The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Detroit Gazette (Detroit, MI), 20 Oct. 1820, page 2

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We cannot but call the attention of such of our citizens as are disposed and competent to investigate the subject, to a department of natural history, the importance of which has not been sufficiently appreciated--we mean the history of the Fishes in these Lakes.

The different species which inhabit our waters, their peculiar habits and instinct, and the various objects to which they may be applied, furnish very curious and interesting subjects for speculation. There ought to be no necessity for transporting white-fish from the Saut of St. Mary's to Dr. Mitchell, in order to determine their general characters and the specific place which they shall occupy in ichthyological classifications....

The importance of the white fishery is better appreciated than any other. It is carried on so immediately within the sphere of our observation, that we cannot be ignorant of it, and its product, compared with the labor and capital which are required, is so beneficial, that we cannot neglect it. We know that in the autumn of each year these fish ascend this river in vast numbers, and are caught at the different fisheries along its banks. But whether, like fish ascending streams of fresh water from the Ocean this annual journey is for the purpose of depositing their spawn, we are wholly ignorant. At what time do they return, and what is then their condition? The superiority of the whitefish in the neighborhood of Michillimackinac is well known, but the cause of this superiority remains to be developed. The water communication between Lakes Erie and Huron affords the only fisheries in which any considerable quantities of them are caught. They do not appear to ascend any of the numerous streams which discharge themselves into these straits.

It would be an interesting inquiry to ascertain the amount and value of these fish, which are generally caught; not confining the inquiry to those which are exported, but extending it to all....

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20 Oct. 1820
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Dave Swayze
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Public domain: Copyright has expired according to the applicable Canadian or American laws. No restrictions on use.
Maritime History of the Great Lakes
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Detroit Gazette (Detroit, MI), 20 Oct. 1820, page 2