An Old Veteran Tells a Reminiscence When Salmon River Was Alive With Salmon
The following written by J. A. Mathewson to the Pulaski Democrat will be read with interest by all anglers: Having been a resident of the town of Richland 76 years, I have outlived most of my contemporaries in the town, and all that were residents of Pulaski, old or young, so long ago. I am often asked many and various questions with regard to its early history.
Often I am asked with the regard to the salmon and other fishing on Salmon River, as some of the "fish stories" they hear seem fabulous. One man asked me how many I ever knew to be caught by one skiff. Daniel Brown and John McLean caught in one night, with spears only, 603 salmon. I did not see the fish, but that was their reported count and never disputed.
In one night from 8 to 12 o'clock (four hours) myself and partner caught 230. Two others after 12 o'clock caught 138, making the night's fishing in the same skiff 468. This was about 1834. I know a time, but cannot tell the date, probably 60 years ago, that it was estimated 2,000 salmon were caught within one mile of the bridge in this village. I well remember a fall when 9 skiffs occupied the fishing ground (exclusively) from still water up the river about one mile. They caught in one night 2,100. About 10 skiffs (I was in one) the same night that fished on the same night that fished on the next mile averaged about 70.
The day after the night when I caught 23- in half a night, 100, taken indiscriminately, from the pile weighed 1,475 pounds. I am unable to relate any more extraordinary "fish stories," but a great many more large enough to effect a man's reputation for truth. I wish in conclusion to say that all I have written is strictly true.