Lake Ontario Fisheries
A Large Amount of Capital Invested -- The Largest Fresh Water Dealers in the World.
Writing of the fishing interests of Lake Ontario a correspondent of the Syracuse Herald says that at Port Ontario, Sackets harbor, Cape Vincent, Three Mile Bay and Chaumont are concerns of considerable capital and extent, who deal in fish and whose names are daily spoken in every market from the Rocky Mountains to the Atlantic. At Port Ontario there is a fleet of a half dozen sailing vessels, employing thirty men and a capital of $3,000.
At Sackets Harbor, Clark Robbins, probably the largest fresh water dealers in the world, have their headquarters. They estimate the capital employed in the fishing business between Oswego and Cape Vincent at $50,000, employing from 800 to 1,000 men, yet the production is not one-tenth of what it was ten years ago, and the large nets then used have gone out of date. Clark Robbins for the year ending April 1st paid $50,000 for fish, and nearly the whole sum went to the Canadian side of the lake. As the industry on the American shore decreased, Clark Robbins were compelled to go to foreign waters for their fish.
Continuing the trip down the lake, the next principal fisheries are found at Chaumont and Three Mile Bay. These villages were once noted for their cisco trade, but that, too, has almost entirely disappeared, and with it has gone much of the life which formerly abounded there. At present, in the two places, there are fifty men employed in fishing, representing a capital of $10,000.
At Cape Vincent, for the last twenty-five years, fishing has been quite an extensive industry, but there, as in all other cases, it is declining. At present the sales of there averages $1,500 a week, giving employment to eighty men, twenty-five boats, fifty miles of gill nets and to 200 pound, trap and hoop nets. The amount of capital thus employed and represented is $80,000. Below Cape Vincent no net fishing is allowed.