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“Veteran observers of the spring lobster season point out that more ‘gear’ was set out this year than ever before, with the natural result that the bulk of the season’s catch would be landed in the early part of the season. This year it is estimated that approximately 1,400 boats handling close to 420,000 traps will leave Island shores from North Cape to Victoria in search of the tasty crustaceans. Industry spokesmen assert that it is impossible to assess the probable catch as a result of the storm last weekend.”

“The Guardian,” 9 May 1958.

Recent Storm Damages Lobster Gear

“A strong north west wind which started Friday, May 2nd, and continued through Saturday, caused considerable damage to lobster traps and ropes in the area from Neufrage to North Lake. It is reported that approximately 60 percent of traps and lines were lost or damaged. The gear is fished by some 218 boats which average 500 traps per boat. Fortunately, some fishermen did not have all their traps set.”

Souris Reports

Catches Down

“Catches along the Province’s east coast are down considerably in comparison with last year reports from Souris state. One fisherman who always brings in 1,500 lbs on his first day’s haul this year had only 1,000 lbs. Another who usually expected to land 800 lbs saw his first day’s haul cut in half. The almost complete freedom from ice during the mild winter just ended is blamed for this drop. Fishermen say that traps coming to the surface in this area were covered with a slimy deposit, evidence of the dirty condition of the sea floor. This condition would not occur they say following a normal winter. In their opinion the lobsters refuse to travel unless the bottom is comparatively clean.”

“North Lake fishermen east of Savage Harbour who were fortunate enough to leave their traps on land were the best off, since the vicious Gulf storm that developed over the weekend smashed hundreds of traps set the first day and left the remainder of the gear in a terrible tangle, with all traps set in four fathoms or less said to be completely destroyed. However, those that have been able to haul in this area are getting up to five lbs of lobster per trap.”

“One man fishing out of Naufrage is said to have landed 450 lbs from ninety traps that were ‘fishing’’ for two days, while another man operating further west along the north shore landed 300 lbs from ninety traps set at seven fathoms. Loose ballast was blamed for most of the destruction. Tuesday (May 6th) was the first day fishermen were able to work on this mess.”

“In southern Kings the catch is said to be only ‘fair’, as weather conditions have not yet been ideal for lobstering. The bait situation is also reported as only fair, with very little local herring being caught, but with enough on hand from the Magdalenes to supply all needs for several days.”

Catches Excellent in

West Prince

“In western Prince County, the catch this far is said to be ‘excellent’, the total landings to date (May 9th) being ‘slightly ahead’ of the first seven days of last year. It is stated that with most fishermen putting out more traps per boat it is only reasonable that comparatively more lobsters are being landed. Prices reported range from 30¢ to 32¢ per lb paid at Souris.”

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