E-text prepared by Ronald Calvin Huber while serving as Penobscot Bay Watch, Rockland, Maine
FISHING GROUNDS OF THE GULF OF MAINE 
WALTER H. RICH Agent, United States Bureau of Fisheries
Introduction Acknowledgements Gulf of Maine Geographical and Historical Name Description Bay of Fundy Inner Grounds Outer Grounds Georges Area Offshore Banks Tables of Catch, 1927 Maps Index to grounds
PREFACE TO THE 1994 EDITION
Fishing Grounds of the Gulf of Maine by Walter H. Rich first appeared in the U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of Fisheries, Report of the United States Commissioner of Fisheries, for the fiscal year 1929.
When Captain Robert McLellan of Boothbay Harbor died in 1981, the employees of the Maine Department of Marine Resources contributed money to be used to purchase books in his memory, for the Department's Fishermen's Library. Captain McLellan's family was asked what purchases they would recommend, and a top priority was to somehow reprint this work on the fishing grounds. This was a book that had been helpful to Captain McLellan in his career, and one which his son, Captain Richard McLellan, found still valid and useful.
Contributions from the employees of the Department of Marine Resources paid to get this project started; film to reproduce the pages of the original text was donated by the Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences; printing costs were paid by the Department.
It is the hope of the Department and its employees that the fishermen of today will benefit from the detailed information in this publication, and that they will remember Captain Robert McLellan, a man who knew how to use books to enhance his career as a fisherman, who knew how to share his knowledge with the scientific community, and who was widely respected by fishermen and scientists alike.
Paralleling the northeastern coast line of North America lies a long chain of fishing banks—a series of plateaus and ridges rising from the ocean bed to make comparatively shallow soundings. From very early times these grounds have been known to and visited by the adventurers of the nations of western Europe—Northman, Breton, Basque, Portuguese, Spaniard, Frenchman, and Englishman. For centuries these fishing areas have played a large part in feeding the nations bordering upon the Western Ocean, and the development of their resources has been a great factor in the exploration of the New World.
According to statistics collected by the Bureau of Fisheries. these banks annually produce over 400,000,000 pounds of fishery products, which are landed in the United States; and, according to O. E. Sette, annually about 1,000,000,000 pounds of cod are taken on these banks and landed in the United States, Canada, Newfoundland, France, and Portugal.
Apparently the earliest known and certainly the most extensive of these is the Great Bank of Newfoundland, so named from time immemorial. From the Flemish Cap, in 44 deg. 06' west longitude and 47 deg. north latitude, marking the easternmost point of this great area, extends the Grand Bank westward and southwestward over about 600 miles of length. Thence, other grounds continue the chain, passing along through the Green Bank, St. Peters Bank, Western Bank (made up of several more or less connected grounds, such as Misaine Bank, Banquereau, The Gully, and Sable Island Bank); thence southwest through Emerald Bank, Sambro, Roseway, La Have, Seal Island Ground, Browns Bank, and Georges Bank with its southwestern extension of Nantucket Shoals.
To all these is added the long shelving area extending from the coast out to the edge of the continental plateau and stretching from the South Shoal off Nantucket to New York, making in all, from the eastern part of the Grand Bank to New York Bay, a distance of about 2,000 miles, an almost continuous extent of most productive fishing ground.
Within the bowl that is the Gulf of Maine, the outer margin of which is made by the shoaling of the water over the Seal Island Grounds, Browns Bank, and Georges Bank, this chain is further extended by another series of smaller grounds, as Grand Manan Bank, the German Bank, Jeffreys Bank, Cashes Bank, Platts Bank, Jeffreys Ledge, Fippenies Bank, Stellwagen or Middle Bank; and again, lying inside these, this fishing area is increased by a very large number of smaller grounds and fishing spots located within a very short distance of the mainland.
All these banks are breeding places of the most valued of our food fishes—the cod, haddock, cusk, hake, pollock, and halibut—and each in its proper season furnishes fishing ground where are taken many other important species of migratory and pelagic food fishes as well as those named here. It is probable that no other fishing area equaling this in size or in productivity exists anywhere else in the world, and the figures of the total catch taken from it must show an enormous poundage and a most imposing sum representing the value of its fishery.
With the most distant of these grounds we shall not deal here, leaving them for later consideration when noting certain of the fishery operations most characteristic of them. Thus, we may treat of those well-defined areas that lie within or are adjacent to the Gulf of Maine, such as the Bay of Fundy, the Inner Grounds (those close to the mainland), the Outer Grounds (those within the gulf), the Georges area, Seal Island Grounds, and Browns Bank, these forming the outer margin of the gulf; and also make mention of certain others of those nearer offshore banks that are most closely connected with the market fishery of the three principal fishing ports within the Gulf of Maine.
[Footnote 1: First published as Appendix III to the Report of the US Commissioner of Fisheries for 1929. Bureau of Fisheries Doc# 1059. Submitted for publication Jan 18,1929.]
[Footnote 2: U.S. Bureau of Fisheries Statistical Bulletin No. 703]
[Footnote 3: U.S. Bureau of Fisheries Document No. 1034]
As to the charts, it has been the writer's endeavor, by consulting a large number of fishing captains of long experience upon these grounds, to reduce the margin of inaccuracy as much as possible. In case of conflict of their opinion, the greatest agreement as to the facts has been accepted.
The grounds as drawn are not meant to include any definite depth curve but are meant to show certain fishing areas. It is known of course, that most species frequent the shallows and the deep water at the various seasons: also, that certain other species are found on the deeper soundings during virtually all the year. Thus, if a given area appears as a larger ground than is shown upon other charts made for navigating purposes, often this is because we have included in it a cusk ground or a hake bottom lying adjacent to the shoal as charted.
A large number of these grounds have been described before by G. Browne Goode and others, and where possible their work has been used as a basis for the present paper, with any further information or the noting of any changed condition of the grounds or difference in fishing methods employed upon them that was obtainable.
Grateful acknowledgment is hereby made to the many captains who furnished information that, made the drawing of the charts possible and for the facts used in the descriptions of the fishing grounds.
With the offshore banks, particularly with the Georges area and Browns Bank and to a certain extent, also, the western portion of the Inner Grounds, the writer has had a considerable personal acquaintance from which to draw.
For the geographical and historical data the writer has quoted freely from various modern authors, who, in their turn, have drawn their facts from older records. Among those quoted are Holmes's American Annals; Parkman's Pioneers of France in the New World; Southgates History of Scarburo; Abbott and Elwell's History of Maine; Willis's History of Maine; Sabine's Report on the Principal Fisheries of the American Seas; A History of the Discovery of the East Coast of North America, by Dr. John G. Kohl, of Bremen, Germany; various chapters of Hakluyt's Voyages; the Journal of John Jocelyn, Gent.; and New England Trials of the famous Captain John Smith.
GULF OF MAINE—GEOGRAPHICAL & HISTORICAL NAME
What is apparently the earliest mention of this body of water appears on some old Icelandic charts that show, roughly, Cape Cod Bay in their southern areas and the Bay of Fundy in the northern. On these maps the cape itself was shown on the "Promontory of Vinland" and was given the name Kialarnes, or the Ship's Nose, from its resemblance in form to the high upturned prow of the old Norse ships. To the entire area of the gulf was given the title Vinland's Haf.
Oviedo (Historia General de las Indias) sometimes names this gulf the Arcipelago de La Tramontana, or the Arcipelago Septentrional—the northern archipelago. He gives us to understand that he, himself, or Chaves, had this information from the Report and Survey of Gomez, who, in his search for a northwest passage to Asia in 1525, "discovered all these coasts lying between 41 deg. and 41 deg. 30' north". As a matter of fact, his careful explorations certainly covered all the territory between 40 and 45 degrees.
The Spanish navigators who followed Gomez, in describing these coasts, when indicating this gulf, usually named it in honor of Gomez, the first of their nation to make a careful survey of its shores. Thus it became known as the Arcipelago de Estevan Gomez, and the mainland behind it as La Tierra de Gomez. It was so named on the map of Ribero in 1529 who thus acknowledged the source of his information.
The Biscayans followed Gomez but later gave way to the French fishermen, who followed down the chain of banks extending southward from the Grand Bank and entered these waters by way of Cape Sable. These gave to it the name Gulf of Norumbega or Sea of Norumbega. The name Norumbega was for a time applied to the coast lands and to the inland country stretching away indefinitely westward and northwestward from the waters of the gulf.
Later, with the coming of the English and the establishment of their colony in Massachusetts, the title Massachusetts Bay came into general use, although this name was afterwards restricted to the smaller section of the gulf at present so termed.
The charter of Gorges (in April, 1639) designated the territory deeded to him as the Province or County of Maine, whence, perhaps, the modern custom of referring to these waters as the Gulf of Maine may have arisen. This latest name seems especially appropriate, in view of the fact that the present State of Maine lying directly opposite its entrance capes, stretches along the inner borders of the gulf and with its deeply indented shore line occupies by far the greatest section of its coasts. Thus the title has finally come into general use and acceptance in modern times. Apparently it was first officially proposed and used by the Edinburgh Encyclopedia in 1832  and later was adopted by the United States Coast Survey.
[Footnote 4: "All that parte, purport and porcion of the Mayne Land of New England, we doe name, ordeyne and appoynt shall forever hereafter bee called and named The Province and Countie of Mayne."]
[Footnote 5: Edinburgh Encyclopedia, Philadelphia edition, by Thomas Parker, Vol. XVIII, p. 263.]
A very striking and peculiar body of water is this Gulf of Maine, markedly different in character from any other of the bays on the coast line of the eastern United States. Especially does it differ in the depth of its coastal waters, where in all the others, except the much smaller New York Bay, the shoal water is found extending far out from the land.
In the Gulf of Maine, however, with the single exception of the vicinity of Ammens Rock on the eastern part of Cashes Bank, the entire central area presents navigable deep water having a mean depth of 100 fathoms, out of which rise the various underwater plateaus, whose depths average about 50 fathoms and which constitute the larger of the fishing grounds. In addition to these, many smaller banks and "fishing spots" are found nearer the land where they lie a along the 50-fathom curve.
In general this curve lies at a distance of about 16 miles from the coast line, but in many instances it approaches much neared to the mainland. From this 50-fathom depth the soundings decrease very gradually to the 20 and 10 fathom marks.
These latter soundings are often held far in toward the coast line, even carrying the deep water well into the river mouths, so that in deeply indented hays, in long inlets running far into land, in the river mouths, the deep water behind the rocky headlands, or in the lee of the thousands of surf-washed islands that line the coast, are found innumerable safe anchorages within easy run of the fishing grounds, where the fleets may take shelter from a sudden blow or await the arrival of a "fish day," when conditions may permit "making a set" under the hardships of winter fishing.
If the marine features of this region are radically different from those of other coastal bodies of the eastern United States, so, too, the shore land, battered as it has been by sea and storm or worn by glacial action or Arctic currents, is no less remarkable.
No other section of the eastern United States has a similar coast, so serrated, indented, and rugged, as has this shore line of the Gulf of Maine. Here the battering by the forces of nature has resulted in making thousands of safe harbors and havens for the navigator. All along shore are strewn hundreds of islands, a characteristic feature of the region and one noted with wonder by every early explorer.  These islands, if near the land, are beautiful and smiling; if in the open sea, of rugged grandeur; and mainland and island alike are inhabited by a numerous and hardy race of fisher folk.
The tides within the Gulf of Maine have a very great rise and fall as compared with other waters in this region. At the south of Cape Cod tides are seldom over 4 feet in their range, but beginning at once at the north of Cape Cod with a rise of from 7 to 10 feet these increase quite constantly as they go eastward reaching about 28 feet in the neighborhood of Passamaquoddy Bay, to touch their highest point in the Bay of Fundy, where in many places is a rise and fall of 50 feet, and in some few places tides of 70 feet are reported. These Fundy tides probably are the greatest in the world.
This great ebb and flow of water serves to aid shipbuilding and the launching of vessels as well as to carry the deep water far up into the inlets of the coast and into the mouths of the rivers, making these navigable for crafts of considerable size well into the land or up to the lowest falls of the streams.
The climate here is one of extremes, and, lying as it does between 42 deg. and 45 deg. north latitude, the region may be said to be cold. Apparently the waters of the Gulf of Maine are not affected by any stray current from the Gulf Stream, which passes at a considerable distance from its mouth, thus doing little to temper the cold of this area either on land or at sea. Whether these waters are cooled further by any flow from the Labrador Current may be questioned.
The winters are long, usually bringing heavy snowfalls; and strong gales are frequent during much of the fall and winter season. Perhaps the most dangerous of these "blows" come out of the mountain to the north and northwest of the gulf. Thus, in addition to the uncertainty of an opportunity to set gear when once upon the fishing grounds, the winter fishing here is not without its element of serious danger. While the ice crop in northern New England never fails, yet, perhaps because of the strong tidal currents of these waters, the principal harbors rarely are closed by ice, or, if closed, for but a few days only.
While the summers are fairly mild and in certain parts of them even extremely hot, fogs are heavy and virtually continuous during the "dog days" (July 20 to September 1). when southerly and south-westerly breezes bring the warm moist air from the Gulf Stream into the cooler currents from the land. The fogs of Fundy are especially noted, even in these waters. During the summer seasons winds from the east and north bring the only clear weather experienced in the outer chain of fishing grounds.
The main body of the gulf lies approximately between 42 deg. and 45 deg. north latitude. It is in form like a deep bowl whose outer rim is made by Georges Bank and Browns Bank, with a narrow, deep-water spillway between: its area is half encircled in the arms of the mainland, two conspicuous headlands reaching bodily seaward to mark its wide entrance at the opposite sides—Cape Cod, Mass.  on the western side, and Cape Sable,  Nova Scotia, on the eastern flank, distant from each other about 230 miles. These two capes range with each other about ENE. and WSW, thus matching alike the general trend of the coast line, of the island chains and of the offshore ledges within this area.
From a base line connecting these outposts of the gulf the distance to the Maine coast opposite averages about 120 miles. From Cape Sable, at its eastern end, the coast trends for some distance to the northwest, whence a continuation of this course strikes the coast of Maine near West Quoddy Head at a distance of rather more than 110 miles. From West Quoddy head to Cape Elizabeth (in a direct line about 160 miles) the coast, in general rough, rocky, and with many lofty headlands is extremely irregular and deeply indented and follows a general course of WSW. Thence, the coast, lower and becoming more and more sandy, begins to trend more decidedly south-west until it reaches Boston, when it turns to the southeast, and to the east toward Cape Cod.
But this is not the entire story. There remain outside of these stated limits the Bay of Fundy in the north, with a possible area of 3,000 square miles; and at the south Cape Cod Bay, whose area, with that of the waters west of a perpendicular drawn from the western end of the base line that strikes the land in the vicinity of Portsmouth, N. H. makes an additional section containing close to 1,500 square miles. Within the limits thus inclosed there are, roughly, 30,000 square miles of most productive ground most intensively fished through all the year.
The Bay of Fundy is divided at its head by Cape Chignecto, making two branches to north and to east—Chignecto Bay and Minas Basin. With these smaller areas, lying as they do entirely within the territorial limits of Canada, American fishermen have little to do, although both are valuable and productive fishing grounds.
[Footnote 6: William Strachey (1609), speaking particularly of Casco Bay, but the words equally applicable to almost any stretch of the Maine coast, says "A very great bay in which there lyeth soe many islands and soe thick and neere together, that can hardly be discerned the number, yet may any ship pause betwixt, the greatest part of them having seldom lesse water than eight or ten fathoms about them"—History of Travalle into Virginia Britannica.]
[Footnote 7: This, the most striking cape of the Atlantic coast line, made a very prominent landmark for all the early ocean voyagers approaching it, and all were greatly impressed by it, whether they came from the south and fought their way through its shoals to eastward, or, coming from the north, found themselves caught in the deep pocket which it makes with Cape Cod Bay.
The Spaniard Gomez (1525) gave it the name "Cabo de do Aricifes" cape of the reefs, referring to the dangerous shoals to the eastward. The Frenchmen Champlain and Du Monts named it "Cape Blanc", and the Dutch pilots, also noting its sandy cliffs, called it Witte Hoeck. The English mariners at first accepted his last name of White Cape, but the English Captain Anthony Gosnold, the first to make a direct passage to the waters of the Gulf of Maine from Europe, although at first he called it "Shoal Hope", soon changed this, because of the success of his fishing, to "Cape Cod", which title, commonplace though it be, has been the name to endure despite Prince Charles's attempt to change it to Cape James in honor of his father.]
[Footnote 8: Cape Sable, at the southern end of Nova Scotia, has held this title from very old times. It is so indicated on a Portuguese map of the middle of the sixteenth century.]
BAY OF FUNDY
At the different seasons of the year the entire Bay of Fundy  is a fishing ground for sardines and large herring; and while these are of somewhat less importance in recent years than formerly, the principal fisheries of this region still center around the herring industries—the supplying of the canning factories with the small herring used as sardines and the taking of large herring for food and bait. The sardine industry of the State of Maine is largely concentrated in the district about and including Eastport and Lubec, where about 30 of the 59 factories and 16 of the 43 operating firms are located; so that, while the herring catches of recent years have fallen much short of their former proportions, they still show imposing figures.
In the past much of the catch was taken in St. Andrews (Passamaquoddy) Bay and along the north shore of the Bay of Fundy to Lepreau Bay and Point. Lepreau. Of late years virtually no herring have been taken in these waters, in which the herring schools that arrive in October were accustomed to remain until spring. Of past fishing in this locality Capt. Sumner Stuart, of Lubec, says:
"The herring left St. Andrews Bay and the North Shore about 1885. There is no summer netting there now. Those waters and Lepreau Bay were formerly very productive fishing grounds, it being not unusual to take 5,000 (count) big herrings (food fish) in a single haul. These were mainly spring and winter fishing grounds for large herring. The fish seem to have disappeared from all these grounds at about the same time.
"In past years (25 to 30 years ago) small herring were driven ashore in such quantities by their enemies—squid, silver hake and dogfish—that it sometimes became necessary for the authorities at St. John to use a snowplow to cover them where they lay decaying on the beach."
From the statistics of the sardine and smoked-herring industry for the year 1924 (a year, be it noted, in which the sardine industry almost reached low—level mark for the pack) the waters of the Bay of Fundy furnished to American purchasers alone a total of herring for smoking and canning purposes amounting to 76,756,250 pounds valued to the fishermen at $957,665. This showing, poor as it is when compared with the figures of other years, by no means represents the herring fishery as an unimportant industry. There still remains to be accounted for the catch of herring of Grand Manan and the neighboring Canadian Provinces.
A new source of profit to the fishermen in this industry has been developed in the purchase of herring scales by firms engaged in the manufacture of artificial pearls. For this purpose there were collected at Eastport and Lubec 700,000 pounds of herring scales, valued at $39,000; and a further amount was taken at Grand Manan of 140,000 pounds, valued at $7,000. With other entrants already in the field, this branch of the industry bids fair to grow to still greater importance.
An estimate of the number of weirs in St. Andrews Bay, by Capt. Guilford Mitchell of Eastport, Me., is as follows: Canadian: 1921: 126 weirs 1923: 40 weirs Calais to Eastport: 1921: 35 weirs; 1923: 7 weirs Total number in operation, 1923, Canadian, about 300; American less than 130.
North Shore and coast of Nova Scotia. Along the North Shore and from Yarmouth to Cape Sable, over a hard bottom, cod abound. The western shore of Nova Scotia is virtually all fishing ground for cod, haddock, hake, and cusk, but trawling is somewhat handicapped here by strong tides and rocky bottom, these combining to destroy much gear. Halibut are somewhat unusual on this western shore except about the mouth of the Bay of Fundy, but in summer these fish are occasionally found close inshore along the southwest coast, going somewhat beyond Digby to the northward. Haddocking is quite an important industry off Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, during the winter, the sets being of rather short duration and made at the slack of the tide at high water. This practice is made necessary by the heavy tidal currents on these grounds.
The whole western coast of Nova Scotia is herring ground at some season of the year. "Drifting" for herring was formerly a considerable industry from Digby to Briers Island, but in these last few years it has not been important, although the year 1927 had a very good run of large food fish. This western coast is also an important fishing area for lobster men.
Swordfishing in the Bay of Fundy was formerly profitable in September, although these fish were never so numerous here as upon the outer shore of Nova Scotia.
St. Marys Bay is a summer herring ground. Good haddocking may be had here, also, from April 15 to October 15, with the period from the opening of the fishing in April up to July 15 the best of it.
The mackerel fishery of the Bay of Fundy seems of comparatively small importance in these latter years. The local fishermen say that the fish can not stem the tides of these waters! The abundance of small herring should be an inducement sufficient to bring them here. Apparently these fish pass straight inshore northwesterly and reach the coast of Maine. A considerable amount of this species is taken by traps and by netting in St. Marys Bay and in the general vicinity of Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, as at Cranberry Head, Burns Point. Beaver River, Woods Harbor, and at various other points between Yarmouth and Cape Sable; but the inner waters of the Bay of Fundy show very slim catches when compared with the great amount taken on the outer shores of Nova Scotia in a normal mackerel season. It has been 32 years, it is said, since any number of mackerel have been "hooked" in St. Mary's Bay.
Lurcher Shoal. This lies WSW, from Cape St, Mary 19 miles and WNW, from Cape Fourchu, distant 13 miles, it is an irregularly shaped piece of bottom, a rocky ground, about 5 miles long, north and south, by 3 miles wide, There are a number of "nubbles" arising to 5, 7, and 9 fathom depths—with a spot reported as having only 12 feet of water over it— rising from the average depths over the rest of the shoal of from 13 to 15 fathoms. Over this generally rocky bottom are scattered patches of gravel and of shells, Depths about the shoal are from 30 to 50 fathoms over a bottom consisting mostly of stones, Tide rips are very heavy here, The seasons and species found here are as on Trinity: cod, haddock, pollock, and herring, it is a good lobster ground.
Trinity Shoal. This shoal, 14 miles N. by W. from Cape Fourchu and 7 1/2 miles SW. from Cape St Mary, with a rocky bottom upon it and over an indefinite area about it, is perhaps 3 miles long, NE and SW, by some 2 miles wide. Near the center is a rock, uncovered at low water, but over the greater part of the shoal there are depths of from 6 to 10 fathoms, with an average of from 12 to 16 fathoms over the sandy and stony ground about it. There is a strong tide rip here on the eastern and northeastern part known as Flood Tide Eddy, where is good fishing by hand line for pollock in September and October. Cod and haddock are taken here in small amounts by trawling. It is a herring ground also, and there is a lobster ground on the shoal and all about it.
A cod ground extends offshore SW from Briers Island, beginning about 5 miles out from the island and extending to about 18 miles from the land. Its width is about 4 miles. Depths over this area are from 40 to 60 fathoms over a hard, shelly bottom. Cod are taken here in from 30 to 44 fathoms on the shoal ground running from 5 miles from Gull Rock and the South-West Ledges down to the Lurcher Shoal, a distance of about 22 miles. Between these points fishing is done mostly by hand-lining "at a drift." Cod are taken over the ledges in 5 fathoms of water and thence out to 60 fathoms about them from August to November. Pollock are taken by the same method. The best season is August. September, and October. This is a good lobster ground.
Northwest Ledge. Lies about 3 3/4 miles northwesterly from Briers Island. This is a piece of rocky bottom about 2 miles long by something less than 1 mile wide with depths of from 2 to 10 fathoms over the ledge and soundings of 12 to 30 fathoms on the gravelly ground about it. Cod are found here in good number from September to November, inclusive, and are taken by hand-lining. Pollock also are taken here in summer, "drailing" by hand line.
A narrow piece of rocky ground with somewhat greater depths connects this with Batsons Shoal, some 5 miles SW., the two thus making what is virtually one piece of ground. Depths on Batsons Shoal are rather less than on Northwest Ledge, but the methods of fishing, the species taken, and the seasons of their abundance are the same on both. The bottom all about these two grounds is rocky, with from 20 to 40 fathoms inside of them, but this deepens rapidly to 100 fathoms over rocks and coarse gravel outside of them to W. and NW.
West-Northwest Rips and the Flat Ground. These lie WNW from Briers Island, extending offshore about 18 miles. On the eastern end of this area, two parallel shoals, about 1 1/2 miles across and having 50-fathom depths between them, rise from the 100-fathom depths of water over the muddy ground around them to reach 15 fathoms on the landward end of the rips, deepening to 35 fathoms off the western part, where the two ridges come together at about 9 miles distance from Briers Island, to carry on to the westward over the Flat Ground, which extends to a distance of about 18 miles from the island.
This Flat Ground, deepening gradually westward, averages to have 50 fathoms of water over a level, gravelly, and rocky bottom, to pitch down suddenly, as do all other slopes of this piece of ground, to the 100-fathom depth, which prevails on all sides of The Rips. Currents are very strong here, as elsewhere in these waters, so that trawls are set only on the slack of the tides, beginning about one hour before and remaining down until about one hour after these periods. Formerly this was a good ground for the taking of large herring. In these days The Rips furnish good cod and haddock fishing for the entire year, with hake abundant at all times on the mud about them. In fact; virtually all the ground from this point south to the Lurcher Shoal furnishes good fishing for these species.
Boars Head Ground (also called Inner Ground). This parallels the coast about 4 miles N. by NW from the Head, at Petit Passage, into St. Marys Bay. This ground is about 4 miles long by 3 miles wide, having depths from 55 to 65 fathoms over a hard bottom of broken ground. Cod are most numerous here from April to July, inclusive; haddock from July to September, inclusive. Hake are found here in summer and early fall, principally on the muddy ground between this and the next fishing ground—the Outer Ground.
Outer Ground. This is about 3 miles long by 2 miles wide, lies about 9 miles out from the main on the same bearing as the Inner Ground, and is visited by the same species, their periods of abundance upon this piece of bottom being the same as on the former ground. Virtually all taking of ground fish on these grounds is done by hand-lining, though the practice of trawl fishing has come more and more into use in recent years.
Head and Horns. A shoal of 68 fathoms, about 2 miles long in a NNE and SSW direction by 1 mile wide, lies due north from the Boars Head of Long Island. Here is a hard bottom where good cod fishing is had during the spring and summer. Hand-lining from the bottom is carried on in summer for pollock. Haddock are few here, these appearing mostly in the summer. Depths about the ground average 80 fathoms over mud and stones.
Sandy Cove Ground. Lies offshore NNE about 7 miles from West Sandy Cove. It has from 40 to 50 fathoms of water over a sandy bottom, lying parallel with the coast, about 4 miles long by 2 miles wide. Cod are abundant on this ground from May to July, hake coming somewhat later. As were most of the grounds of this vicinity, this ground was mainly a hand-line spot, but in recent years fishing here has been done mostly by the trawl method.
Inner Sandy Cove Grounds. About 2 miles NNW. from West Sandy Cove. These are 3 miles long NNE. and SSW. by 1/2 mile wide. Both hand-lining and trawling methods of fishing are in use here, but the trawl is fast displacing the older gear. Depths are about 35 fathoms over a sandy bottom and 50 fathoms all about it. Species and their seasons of abundance are as on the Outer Sandy Cove Ground. Almost anywhere between Spencer Island and Cape Split there is good haddock fishing in June and July and cod fishing in May and June. Depths are from 16 to 40 fathoms: the bottom is generally stony, with considerable areas of gravel. The fishing is done principally by trawling, rather short "sets" being made. Off Cape Split are considerable whirlpools, which, with spring tides, are very dangerous. These sometimes run 9 knots an hour.
Spencer Island. Almost anywhere between Spencer Island and Cape Split there is good haddock fishing in June and July and cod fishing in May and June. Depths are from 16 to 40 fathoms: the bottom is generally stony, with considerable areas of gravel. The fishing is done principally by trawling, rather short "sets" being made. Off Cape Split are considerable whirlpools, which, with spring tides, are very dangerous. These sometimes run 9 knots an hour.
Isle au Haute. Lies far up within the bay 9 miles W. 1/2 S. from Cape Chignecto. All about this island are good summer haddock grounds with fair cod fishing. The latter are taken by trawling principally. Depths about the island are from 9 to 14 fathoms, deepening offshore to 35, the average depths being 22 to 27 fathoms. North of the island the bottom is generally sandy; elsewhere much of the ground is rocky or stony, with here and there a small patch of gravelly ground. To the S. of this ground, toward the Nova Scotia shore and to within 2 miles of the coast, the bottom is mainly muddy and of little account as a fishing ground. Tides are very heavy on all the inner grounds of the Bay of Fundy.
Quaco Ledges. This ground lies about 10 miles SE, from Quaco Head and is out at low tide, the water about the ledges having depths from 14 to 30 fathoms over a bottom of stones and gravel, There is a heavy tide rip over these ledges when covered, These furnish good pollock fishing in the summer months, and cod fishing is carried on here by hand-lining from May to July.
Salmon Netting Ground. A salmon-netting ground lies off about the Mouth Harbour and St, John Harbour, where these fish are netted, for the most part during June and July, when they are en route to the St, John River, where are their spawning grounds.
Ingalls Shoal. This is the name given by some of the fishermen of the vicinity to a shoal lying about midway between Digby, Nova Scotia, and Point Lepreau, New Brunswick. This ground is about 9 miles long. NE. and SW., by about 5 miles wide. It lies about 22 miles NW. from Digby and 18 or 20 miles from Point Lepreau. The depths are from 35 fathoms on the shoalest area (where is a piece of ground some 4 miles long by 1 mile wide near the center of the bank, lying in a NE. and SW. direction), the bottom sloping away from this on all sides to 47 or even 55 fathoms in a few places. The bottom is mostly of sand and gravel or of small stones over much of the ground except for the shoal parts, where it is mainly rocky. This piece of fishing ground furnishes good cod fishing in June, July, and August, which formerly was carried on by hand-lining but now, as elsewhere in the bay, is more and more becoming a trawl fishery. Haddock and pollock also are taken here in fair amounts.
Mussel Shoal Ground. This is a mussel-covered bottom lying 8 miles ESE. from the Eastern Wolf and 9 miles from Point Lepreau. It runs in an E. and W. direction and is about 2 miles long by 1 mile wide. Depths are from 40 to 50 fathoms. This is a mussel and scallop bed, where large cod are usually in abundance in winter. Pollock are plenty here in June, and hake are here and in the surrounding Hake Ground in all the summer months.
The Wolves. These make a group of small islands lying N. 1/2 E. from Grand Manan, distant 8 or 10 miles. On the bottom of rocks and gravel, extending about a mile from the shores of these, in depths of from 18 to 34 fathoms, small boats and small vessels take a quantity of fish by trawl and hand line. These are mainly haddock and cod grounds in May and June and pollock grounds in June and July. It is also a winter lobster ground for Canadian fishermen.
The Wolves Bank. This bank lies between The Wolves and Grand Manan, distant about 8 miles from East Quoddy Light, SE. 1/2 E. Marks: The Coxcomb showing to the eastward and just touching on the western edge of Green Island: bring the heads of Grand Manan to form The Armchair, and White Horse and Simpson Island into range. This is a small-boat ground of scarcely more than 6 acres, with depths of 18 to 30 fathoms on a bottom of rocks and mud. Species and seasons are as on The Wolves. Southeast from The Wolves from 2 to 20 miles lies a piece of muddy bottom where hake are usually abundant in summer.
Campobello and vicinity. Fair quantities of haddock and cod are found between Grand Manan and the American shore in the North Channel (Grand Manan Channel) between West Quoddy Head and Grand Manan in depths of from 40 to 50 fathoms, over a bottom of rocks, mud, and sand in June, July, and August and up to September 15, while hake is the most abundant species present.
No haddock or cod are on these grounds in winter. Halibut are taken in similar numbers in the North Channel in May, June, and July. Pollock are taken on the western side of Campobello Island, near the eastern side of Indian Island, and at the mouth of the channel between Campobello and Casco Bay Island. In all these places are strong tidal eddies. Some fish are taken by seining, but most are caught by hook and line in a small-boat fishery lasting from June 1 to September 1.
All around Campobello and Deer Island and on the New Brunswick shore as far as St. John are located weirs, which furnish large quantities of herring to the factories at Eastport and Lubec.
Passamaquoddy Bay.  Depths here are from 10 to 24 fathoms, even 30 fathoms where the St. Croix River passes out into the sea. In general the bottom is muddy, although there are rocky patches. In most years a school of cod "strikes" here in April, the early corners being mostly of small size, but the later arrivals may reach 30, 40, or even 60 pounds. Haddock sometimes make their appearance in the bay as early as May 1, remaining through August. Hake, also, are present from June to September, but this excellent fish is held of little account by local fishermen. A considerable flounder industry is developing in these waters, the fish being taken in specially devised traps as well as by the smaller otter trawls.
Passamaquoddy Bay is also a spring netting ground for herring (food fish), and there are also many weirs in operation here each year whose catch goes to the factories of Eastport and Lubec for canning as sardines. Pollock are very abundant, and a great deal of fishing for them is carried on from June to October, both by seine and hand line. At times the pollock completely fill the many herring weirs, until, from their numbers, there is no market for them. Pollock are also abundant at the same season and are taken by the same methods in the St. Croix River, though perhaps they leave the river a month earlier in the fall.
The Mud Hake Grounds. These grounds extend about N. and S. between Campobello and The Wolves and from about West Quoddy Head to Grand Manan. Their length is about 15 to 18 miles and their width 3 1/2 miles. This is a summer ground much used by Canadian fishermen out of Campobello, Grand Manan, and Beaver Harbor. It is said to be the best hake grounds in this vicinity. Depths are from 45 to 60 fathoms, and fishing is done by trawls and hand lines.
There is a stretch of muddy bottom from Point Lepreau and Beaver Harbor to Grand Manan, which furnishes good hake fishing. In general, the bottom on the western side of the Bay of Fundy is muddy. Off Beaver Harbor on a mud bottom with 30 fathoms of water cod are found the year around, although this fishery is mainly carried on in the winter in small craft from Beaver Harbor and Campobello, mostly by trawling, but some hand-lining is carried on.
Beaver Harbor. There is a stretch of muddy bottom from Point Lepreau and Beaver Harbor to Grand Manan, which furnishes good hake fishing. In general, the bottom on the western side of the Bay of Fundy is muddy. Off Beaver Harbor on a mud bottom with 30 fathoms of water cod are found the year around, although this fishery is mainly carried on in the winter in small craft from Beaver Harbor and Campobello, mostly by trawling, but some hand-lining is carried on.
Grand Manan Bank. This bank is at the entrance of the Bay of Fundy, SW. 1/2 S. from the southwest head of Grand Manan Island from which the northern part of the bank is 15 miles distant. From Mount Desert Rock, E. by S., it is 45 miles distant. The bank is 10 miles long and 5 miles wide, extending in a NE. and SW. direction. The bottom is mostly stones and gravel, the depths running from 24 to 45 fathoms. Soundings of 18 and 21 fathoms are found on the northeast part.
Cod (especially abundant when the June school is on the ground) and pollock are the principal fish. Haddock are not usually abundant, although sometimes they are plentiful in the fall from late September to December; hake are fairly abundant on the mud between Grand Manan Bank and the Middle Ground (in The Gully). This is a good halibut bank, the fish being in 33 to 60 fathoms in June and July; the southwest soundings and the southeast soundings are most productive always.
The best fishing season is from April to October, when the fish come to this bank to feed. In the spring the fish, other than halibut, are mostly on the southwest part, but later (July to October) the best fishing is had on the northern edge of the ground. The very best herring fishing for large herring (food fish) occurs on this bank in June and July. In general, this is a small-vessel ground fished by craft from Cutler, Eastport, Grand Manan, and, to a less extent, Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, with an occasional visit by craft from Portland and Rockland, chiefly trawlers of moderate size.
Tides run NE. in flood and SW. on the ebb and are quite strong, the flood being the heaviest. Because of these powerful currents, fishing is somewhat difficult, it being necessary to make sets at the slack of the tides, getting the gear over and traveling with the finish of the current, to take it up and come back with the tide's return.
Clarks Ground. This lies SSE. from White head 4 1/2 miles (just inside the Bulkhead) and has depths from 6 to 14 fathoms over a rocky bottom. Here are very heavy rips on the ebb tide. This is a good summer ground for pollock, cod, and halibut, and it is a good herring-netting ground in the season.
Southern Head Reef. The chain of reefs extending S from White Head Island is all good ground in summer for cod and for pollock, also, when the herring schools are on this ground. Currents are very heavy here. The ledges that make up this reef are more or less connected. Among these are Brazil Shoal, Tinker, Inner Diamond, Outer Diamond, Crawleys, Rans, Proprietor (Foul Ground), and the Old Proprietor. While virtually all this reef is pollock ground, Crawleys and Rans perhaps furnish the best fishing.
Gravelly. Lying about 5 or 6 miles SE. by S. from White Head, this piece of bottom has about 25-fathom depths over a rocky bottom. This is a cod and pollock ground in their season. While an occasional halibut is taken here in summer. Heavy tide rips occur here also.
The Soundings. Mentioned elsewhere as a herring ground, these lie outside the Bulkhead Rips 8 or 9 miles SE. from White Head. There are 30 or 40 fathoms of water here over a rock bottom, where pollock and cod are found in good number in July, August, and September, and a certain amount of halibut in summer.
Bulkhead Rips, also called The Ripplings. This is a long rocky barrier rising sharply from the deep water about it to depths of from 12 to 20 fathoms. Here are found cod, haddock, hake, and pollock in abundance from June 1 to October 31. Apparently all are feeding on the small herring, so numerous in this vicinity at this season. Virtually no haddock are found on the grounds in the near neighborhood of Grand Manan in winter. The Ripplings were formerly one of the principal fishing grounds of the herring netters but of late years have been less productive.
Cards Reef. The depths here are from 28 to 30 fathoms, over rocks, and the ground lies 3 miles S. by E. from the Old Proprietor and 9 miles from White Head. This is a cod and haddock ground from June to November.
Gannet Rock. This lies east of the Murre Ledges. All about it is good ground in from 40 to 70 fathoms over a hard bottom. Cod are found here in good number from March to May, and halibut are taken here from March to May, inclusive.
Southeast Ground and Gravel Bottom. These lie S. of Seal Island, forming an extensive piece of fairly level ground extensive piece of fairly level ground. The western part bears a little E. of S. and the eastern part about ESE. from the island. It is about 5 or 10 miles in diameter. While this is really but one piece of ground, the eastern part is called the Southeast Ground and the western part, from the nature of its bottom, the Gravel Bottom. The eastern portion is muddy and has 40 to 60 fathoms. The western has 35 to 40 fathoms. It is a good cod ground in winter and spring. Haddock are present from November to March, inclusive; hake in summer. Fishing is done mainly by trawling by sloops and vessels.
Machias Seal Island. Nineteen miles E. by S. from Moosabec Light. This furnishes good ground in the water all about it, where depths are from 15 to 54 fathoms over a generally rocky and uneven bottom. In summer cod, haddock, and pollock are abundant here, the cod and haddock remaining all winter. The fishery is carried on mostly by the smaller vessels from Maine ports, principally those from Cutler, with an occasional visit by larger craft, usually from the Portland fleet. This ground is not much visited in winter. Fishing is done by trawling and hand-lining.
Gannet Rock. This lies east of the Murre Ledges. All about it is good ground in from 40 to 70 fathoms over a hard bottom. Cod are found here in good number from March to May, and halibut are taken here from March to May, inclusive.
[Table I—Fishing Grounds of the Bay of Fundy Area of the Gulf of Maine, showing the principal species taken upon them.]
[Footnote 9: It (Fundy) was not clearly indicated by Verrazano (1524) nor in the report of Gomez (1525), who probably saw something of its entrance but fog or other unfavorable circumstances may have prevented him from observing it more accurately, but we find in the first old Spanish maps, in the latitude where it ought to be, names like these:
Rio hondo or 'fondo' (a deep river) or Bahia Hondo (a deep bay), or Golfo (a gulf) once, also 'La Bahia de la ensenada', the bay of the deep inlet.
Doctor Kohl, here quoted further says "On the maps of the seventeenth and early part of the eighteenth century, especially, it is written Bay of Funda. I believe that this name grew out from and is a revival of, the old Spanish name 'Bahia fondo'".]
[Footnote 10: It is gratifying to announce that the winter of 1925-26 saw a large run of herring on this ground, where for a number of years past there has been virtually no fishing for this species.]
[Footnote 11: "According to Porter C. Bliss, a thorough student of the Indian dialects, Acadie is a pure Micmac word meaning place. In Nova Scotia and Maine it is used by the Indians in composition with other words, as in Pestum-Acadie; and in Etchemin, Pascatum-Acadie, now Passamaquoddy, meaning 'the place of the pollocks'" (Doctor Kohl, Dis. of Maine, p. 234)
"This derivation is doubtful. The Micmac word Quoddy, Kady, or Cadie means simply a place or region and is properly used in conjunction with some other noun; as, for example, Pestum-oquoddy (Passamaquoddy), the place of pollocks." (Dawson and Hand, in Canadian Antiquarian and Numismatic Journal)
"La Cadie, or Arcadie: The word is said to be derived from the Indian Aquoddiaukie, or Aquoddie, supposed to mean the fish called a pollock. The Bay of Passamaquoddy, 'great pollock water,' if we may accept the same authority, derives its name from the same origin." (Potter, in Historical Magazine, I, 84)]
Under this heading are listed those grounds of the innermost chain of shoals, ledges, and "fishing spots", patches of rocky and gravelly bottom, the deeper water between them being over the muddy ground, which line the coast of the Gulf of Maine, making of it an almost continuous piece of fishing ground. In the Reports of the United States Bureau of Fisheries, on which all the statistics of the catch and value of the various species quoted in this report are based, these figures are grouped under the heading "Shore".
The larger and more important of these grounds are outcroppings along the edge of the 50-fathom curve and lie at distances varying from 12 to 20 miles offshore; but there are many inside this line, and where the deep water of the Gulf of Maine extends so far inshore some are close in to the land. Thus, nearly all are within comparatively easy reach even for the smaller craft (where these all now have power) and so furnish productive fishing for a large fleet of gill netters and sloops (small craft of from 5 to 10 tons net) and to the myriad of "under-ton" boats (of less than 5 tons net), all these being enabled to run offshore, "make a set," and return the same day.
With the uncertainties of the weather and the hazards of the winter fishing, very often the large vessels also follow this practice on those not too frequent "fish days" (when conditions permit fishing "outside ") that intervene between the storms; and with the scarcity of fish in the markets usual to the season and the consequent better price for the catch, with ordinary fishing luck they are well paid for doing so.
The fish of these shore grounds, due perhaps to the greater abundance of food here, are thought to be distinctly superior in quality to those of the same species taken on the offshore banks. The cod and the haddock, especially, of the Gulf of Maine are particularly well conditioned fish and are noted for their excellence.
The figures presented in Table 2 show only a fraction of the catch from the Inner Grounds, since they deal entirely with the fares of fishing vessels of 5 net tons and over. There are literally thousands of the so-called "licensed" or "under-tonned" boats, mainly gill-netters, that take millions of pounds from these waters annually, principally cod and haddock.
On the Maine coast and across the line in New Brunswick there are more than 300 weirs which furnished to American smokers and canners during the year 1923 (whose figures have been chosen as representing an average season) 77,000,000 pounds of herring. On the coast of Massachusetts there are 50 or more weirs and fish traps, and from the Isle of Shoals to Pemaquid Point in Maine there are more than 50 floating traps in the various bays, on the points of offshore islands, or even in the open sea, and all these take a rich harvest from these waters. Then, too, there is the lobster fishery, more important in the Gulf of Maine than anywhere else in the United States.
Of these various branches of the fisheries industries few statistics are available, yet we may say that the figures of the 1919 census showed that the "under-ton" boats mentioned landed 5,324,426 pounds of fish at the port of Boston, mostly of cod and haddock, and that the same type of craft in 1923 landed at Portland, Me., more than 3,000,000 pounds, principally of ground fish. We also know that every island, hamlet, village, town, and city along this nearly 4,000 'miles of coast line takes its toll from the sea.
Lukes Rock. This rock lies S. by E. 3 miles from Moosabec Light, circular in shape, and about 1 mile in diameter. Depths are from 25 to 35 fathoms; the bottom is rocks, gravel, and mud. This is mainly a small-boat fishing ground, but there is some vessel fishing. Hake are taken here from June to September, inclusive; cod are present about the rocks the year around. Pollock are here in spring and fall, and haddock from December to February, inclusive. Fishing is by trawl and hand line.
Newfound Ground. A small rocky spot about 1/4 mile across with an automatic buoy in the center for guidance into the Bay of Fundy. This is a small-boat ground having depths averaging 18 fathoms. It lies about 3 miles S. by W. from Moosabec Light. Species and seasons are as on Lukes Rock. Fishing is by trawl and hand line.
Henrys Rock. Five miles SW. by S. from Moosabec Light. 1/4 mile in diameter, and 30 fathoms over a level bottom. Fishing is done by hand line and trawl. Cod are present the year around, a few haddock in the fall, hake in the summer but not in the fall, and pollock in spring and fall.
Handspike Ground. Eight miles SW. by S. from Moosabec Light, nearly circular in form, and 1/4 mile across. It has a bottom of rocks and depths of from 35 to 40 fathoms. Species and seasons are the same as on Lukes Rock, but mainly cod and pollock are taken here by trawl and hand line.
Western Egg Rock. This is SW. from Moosabec Light, 8 miles distant, lying in a NE. and SW. direction, 3 miles long by 1 mile wide. The bottom is irregular, sharp, and rocky and has 25 to 30 fathoms. Fishing here is mostly by hand line, the ground being said to be too rough for trawling. This is a small-boat ground, and fishing is done mainly in the summer season. Cod and pollock are taken in the spring, summer, and fall; haddock are present in spring and fall; and cusk in 35 to 40 fathoms in spring and fall. This is not a hake ground.
Old Egg Rock. This rock is WSW. from Moosabec Light, 6 miles distant, and running in a NE. and SW. direction. It is 3 miles long by 1 mile wide; has a rocky bottom and depths of 25 to 30 fathoms. This is also a small-boat ground, where fishing is done mainly by hand lines, but trawls also are employed. This ground is fished by the larger vessels in the fall months when the weather is too rough for fishing on the outside grounds. Cod, haddock, and a few pollock are taken in spring and fall; hake in fair number in the fall months.
Middle Ridge This is W. by S. from Moosabec Light 3 miles. It lies in a NE. and SW. direction and is about 1 mile long by 1/2 mile wide. The depths are from 18 to 25 fathoms and the bottom is rough and rocky. It is a small-boat ground mostly and of little importance as a fishing ground. Cod are present the year around haddock in late spring and summer with a smaller number in the fall. Cusk are here the year around. A few pollock are here in the spring and fall.
Broken Ground. This lies S by E from Moosabec light, 15 miles, whence the ground extends WSW to within 4 miles of Mount Desert Rock with an average width of 1 mile. The depths run from 15 to 100 fathoms. The shallows are sharp and rocky; the deeps, clay and gravel. There are places 1/2 mile long and others 3 miles long having depths of 70 fathoms. Several of these spots have special names: Crawley's Rocks, Puzzling Rock, The Ridges. The grounds mentioned here and those previously mentioned are known to the fishermen as the Moosabec Ridges. All these seem to be fishing spots cropping out upon the 50 fathom curve. On the Broken Ground the fishing season is from June 1 through September. Herring usually are abundant here from May to September. Cod are taken outside of the grounds in spring and fall. Pollock and small cod are taken on the shoals in summer and fall, and hake on the mud bottom in summer and fall and hake on the mud bottom in summer and fall.
Tibbetts' Ledge. This lies east from Petit Manan 4 or 5 miles. The marks are Schoodic Island over Green Island of Petit Manan and the Ladle over Nash's Island. This ledge consists of two rocky shoals with depths of 3 to 3 1/2 fathoms, about one acre apiece in extent and 1/4 mile apart lying NW and SE from each other. To the westward of these is broken ground nearly to Petit Manan. These are favorite small-boat grounds. The eastern ledge drops suddenly into the mud. In May large cod are caught over the muddy bottom just E of the ledge in 27 to 30 fathoms. Hake and haddock are taken in late spring (May) and fall. Fishing is by hand line and trawl.
Ben's Ground. Lies ESE from Petit Manan 4 or 5 miles. The marks are Petit Manan Light to northward of Middle Hill of Mount Desert and Humpback Mountain on the west side of Trafton's Island or Pond Island Light to the eastward of Jordan's Delight. The ground is circular in shape, about 3/4 mile across, having 14 to 30 fathoms of water. The bottom is of rocks and mud. This ground is of little importance except as a small-boat ground in summer for cod and haddock. Hake are taken on the muddy bottom near it, It is a winter haddock ground in calm weather, these fish leaving it in the storms, the water being somewhat too shallow for them to "ride out a blow" in comfort, Such at least is the reason the fishermen give for the sudden cessation of their taking on shoal grounds after a period of heavy weather.
Southeast Rock. This is a ledge, nearly uncovered at low tide on its shoalest spot, SSE from Petit Manan and 4 1/2 miles distant, The shoal portions slope toward the NE a distance of 4 miles over an irregular bottom, Depths vary from 17 to 30 fathoms, The shoals are rocky, and the deeps are muddy, Cod and haddock are taken here in May and June, hake from July to September, It is a good lobster ground, also, Fishing here is by handline and trawl operated from vessels and small boats from near-by Maine ports.
Broken Ridges aka Joe Roy Ground. This lies SSE from Petit Manan 7 miles to the center. It is 2 miles long NE and SW and one mile wide and from 27 to 33 fathoms, and the bottom of rocks and mud is very uneven, The shoalest portion is near the center. It is said to be a good cod and haddock ground, and is mainly a small boat ground, although some vessel fishing is carried on here in the spring.
Black Ledges Ground. This ground lies between Jordan's Delight and the Halibut Ledges, or Black Ledges. It is a good haddock ground for a brief season in the spring and early summer when the fish are following the herring schools. In general it is a small-boat ground on which chiefly hand lines and trawls are operated, A few cod and cusk are taken here in the fall, and it is a good lobster ground.
Bakers Island Ridge. This is a narrow ledge making out from Bakers Island E, by N. The eastern part bears S. by E. from Schoodic Island 3/4 mile distant The ridge is much broken, its average width being 1/2 mile, and it has depths of from 20 to 25 fathoms over a rocky and gravelly bottom. It is not much fished on the shoaler spots, but in 30 to 35 fathoms, on a muddy bottom, hake are abundant from July to October, inclusive. Cod and cusk are found here in the spring and fall; haddock from October to January, inclusive. Fishing here is done by small boats and small vessels mainly from Bass Harbor and Southwest Harbor by trawl and hand line. It is a very good lobster ground.
Martins Ground; Hillards Reef. The center bears WSW. from Schoodic Point, distant 3 miles. It is a rocky patch of 4 or 5 acres and has depths of from 15 to 25 fathoms. It is not important except for its hand-lining for cod and haddock in the spring and fall months and for hake in the fall. It is a good lobster ground.
Egg Rock Broken Ground. This is a rocky ridge making out S. by W. from Egg Rock Ledges and is about 2 miles long by 14 miles wide. It has an irregular bottom, with depths from 9 to 15 fathoms. This ridge, with Martins and Seaveys Grounds, divides the western or Bakers Island mud channel from Schoodic mud channel. Both these were formerly considered very good hake grounds but, while still good, are not as profitable for hake fishing as in past years. Haddock are taken on the ridge in the spring and in October, November, and December. A few cod are taken in the spring and fall. Fishing is by trawl and hand line. It is a good lobster ground.
Inner Schoodic Ridge. This ridge bears SE. by S. from Bakers Island, the center distant 12 miles. This ground is nearly circular in form, about 4 miles in diameter, and has depths running from 18 to 60 fathoms. The bottom is of rocks, gravel, and mud; the shoaler portions are sharp and rocky. Vessels from Maine ports use this ground, fishing by hand line and trawl. Cod and haddock are abundant here in spring and fall, and hake fishing is good through the summer. It is a good lobster ground.
Outer Schoodic Ridge. The northwest part of this ground bears SE. from Bakers Island, from which it is distant 22 miles. It lies 7 miles outside Inner Schoodic, has long been considered one of the best shore fishing grounds of the Maine coast, and still seems to deserve the reputation. The ridge is about 8 miles long in a NE. and SW. direction, lying nearly parallel with the adjacent coast. Its greatest breadth is 6 miles. The bottom is broken and irregular and has depths from 22 to 80 fathoms over rocks and gravel on the shoaler parts and mud on the deeps. Principally Maine vessels fish this ground, using hand line and trawl. Cod, pollock, haddock, cusk, and hake are present here from June to November, and a few large halibut, up to 300 pounds in weight, are taken here in June and July.
Mount Desert Outer Ridge. This ridge lies SE. by E. from the Big Hill of Mount Desert Island. From Schoodic Island to the center of this ground is about 25 miles. Its length E. by N. and W. by S, is 2 miles; its breadth 3/4 mile. Depths are from 45 to 60 fathoms; the shoals are rocky, but on the sides sand and clay predominate. This is a comparatively small ground, but it furnishes good cod fishing in the spring (April to July) and fall. Cusk are taken in the spring and fall. Virtually no haddock are taken here. Hake are found in the deep water on the W. and SW. in spring, summer, and fall; trawl lines principally are used here. It is a good lobster ground but is too distant for present fishing methods.
Flat Ground. This ground lies between Mount Desert and Swan Island, SW. from Long Island. In 50 fathoms, on a hard mud bottom, there is good fishing for hake in the summer. Fishing is by hand line and trawl.
Enoch's Shoal. This shoal lies ENE. 3 miles from Great Duck Island. This is a small hummock on the outer parts of a ridge extending out to it from Great Duck island. It has a sharp, rocky bottom with depths of about 18 fathoms. Hand lining and trawling are the methods employed to take a few cod in early spring; haddock are here in small numbers in the summer as well as a small quantity of hake. It is a good lobster ground.
Banks Ground. The center bears SE. by S. from Great Duck Island, distant about 5 miles. It is about 1 1/2 miles long in a NE. and SW. direction by 1/4 mile wide and has a mud bottom with depths from 35 to 50 fathoms. It is mainly a small-boat ground, fished mostly in the summer, when hake are fairly abundant and there are a few haddock and cod. It is a lobster ground, also.
Shell Ground. This lies SE. from Long island Head, from which the center of the ground is distant 6 miles. It is 2 miles long, in a NE. and SW. direction and about 1/2 mile wide. In the middle portion is a shoal of 25 fathoms, its bottom sharp rocks. On all sides of this shoal the bottom is quite irregular, consisting of pebbles and mud. The greatest depth, near the edge of the bank, is 50 fathoms. Cod and haddock, together with a few cusk and pollock, are taken here in June, July, and August and even into the late fall, but it is mainly a hake fishing ground for small boats and an occasional larger craft, all using hand line and trawl. It is a good lobster ground.
Abner Ground. This ground is SSE. from Gott's Island, distant 8 miles. It extends 1 1/2 miles in a NE. and SW. direction and is about 1/4 mile wide. The bottom is broken, rocks and mud, with depths of from 25 to 50 fathoms. This is principally a haddock ground, the best season being in July and August, and is resorted to mostly by small craft.
Grumpy. Extends from SE. 4 1/2 miles from Eastern Ear of Isle au Haute to SE. 1/4 E. from the western head of Isle au Haute, distant 7 miles. This ground is 2 1/2 miles long by 3/4 mile wide and has a small shoal of 14 fathoms on the northeast part. Over the rest of the ground the average depths run from 35 to 40 fathoms over a gravelly bottom. Though not of great importance of late years, this was formerly considered one of the best inshore grounds for cod for the entire year and for haddock in winter. Hake usually are abundant just off the southeast edge in summer. This bank is mostly fished by craft from ports of eastern Maine—small boats as a rule—and the principal method is by trawling, although there is considerable hand-lining for cod in 25 fathoms in June and July. Marks: Big Camden Mountain over the Eastern Ear of Isle au Haute; Fog Island in Jericho Bay, touching on the eastern part of Big Spoon Island; Brimstone between Isle au Haute and the Western Ear.
Hatchell Ground. This ground lies SE. by E 3/4 E. 9 1/2 miles from the western head of Isle au Haute. Marks are eastern Mount Desert Hill in the Middle Saddle of Long island, and Little Spoon Island in the great or center Saddle of Isle au Haute.
Blue Hill Ground. This ground lies approximately E: by S. 3/4 S from the western head of Isle au Haute, distant 7 miles. The bottom consists of gravel and pebbles. Marks: Brimstone Island out by the western head of Isle au Haute and Blue Hill on the west side of Marshall Island. These marks lead to a depth of 25 fathoms on the northeast part of the ground, deepening southwest to 40 fathoms in 1 mile from the shoaler part, which is about 1/2 mile wide, part of the ground, deepening southwest to 40 fathoms in 1 mile from the shoaler part, which is about 1/2 mile wide. This is a good ground for cod in the spring and fall but is best for haddock during the entire winter. Hand lines and trawl are used.
Inner Horse Reef. This reef lies SE. 3/4 E 1 1/2 miles from the eastern ear of isle au Haute. There is a shoal here of 25 fathoms about 1/8 mile in diameter. From this the water gradually deepens to NE. for 1/2 mile, where it drops off into the mud. Depths on this northeast portion are about 35 fathoms. The bottom is of pebbles and gravel. In spring and fall this is a good cod ground. Hake are found close to the edge in summer. Fishing is by small craft, generally, using trawl and handline. It is a good lobster ground. Marks: Bring Blue Hill Mountain in the saddle of White Horse; Brimstone showing between Western Ear and Isle au Haute.
Outer Horse Reef. This is a short distance SW. from the Inner Reef, with only a narrow gully between. The small shoal falls off rapidly on all sides. It has a depths of 30 fathoms. Over a space 1/4 mile in diameter the bottom is gravelly. Seasons and species are as on Inner Horse Reef.
Hake Ground. North of Monhegan island lies a patch called the Hake Ground or Mud Channel, the first name because of the abundance of hake taken here during June, July, and August. It extends from just outside White Head to abreast of Monhegan Island on the northern side. The depths vary from 20 to 45 fathoms, and the ground is still considered one of the best hake grounds alongshore. It is fished by small boats and vessels when the dogfish are on the outer grounds. This is a good haddock ground in December and January, as well as a good lobster ground.
Southwest Ground. This lies 2 miles SW. from the western head of Isle au Haute. It is circular in form, 1/2 mile in diameter and has a gravelly bottom with depths varying from 35 to 40 fathoms. It is a cod ground from April to June and from September to November, inclusive. A few pollock and haddock are taken with the cod. Hake are abundant in summer close to Isle au Haute. Handlines and trawls are used in the fishing. It is also a good lobster ground.
Barley Hill Ground. This ground lies NNE. from Seal Island and SSW from the western head of Isle au Haute directly in line between the two, about 3 1/2 miles distant from each point. It is circular in form, has 28 to 30 fathoms of water, and the bottom is mixed mud and rocks. This is a ground much resorted to by sloops and larger vessels, and the fishing is by hand line and trawls. It is a good cod ground in spring and fall and a hake ground on the mud and rocks in summer. Occasionally a few halibut are taken here during June and July. It is also a lobster ground.
Gilkey Ground. This bears S. from the western head of Isle au Haute. 4 miles distant. It extends ENE. and WSW about 1 1/2 miles long by 1/3 mile wide. The bottom is rocky on the shoals where depths are about 23 fathoms sloping to 35 fathoms on the southwest part., where the bottom is gravelly and comparatively smooth.
This is a cod ground in spring and fall, a haddock ground in winter, and hake are taken on the edges in summer. Vessels fishing here are mostly from Maine ports. It is also a good lobster ground.
Rock Cod Ledge. This ledge lies NE. of Seal Island 1 mile. It has a depth of 3 1/2 fathoms on the shoalest part, deepening gradually on all sides for a considerable distance. The bottom is of sharp rocks and is broken in places. Rock cod area present in fair numbers in spring and fall, and this is a mackerel and herring ground in their seasons. Haddock are abundant in the fall close in to the rocks of Seal Island in 6 to 15 fathoms. This is not a hake ground, although there are a few cusk to be had here on the deeper parts and an occasional small halibut is taken in the kelp on the shoal in June and July. It is a good lobster ground.
Gravel Bottom and Southeast Ground. These lie S. of Seal Island. forming an extensive piece of fairly level ground extensive piece of fairly level ground. The western that bears a little E. of S. and the eastern part about ESE. from the island. It is about 5 or 10 miles in diameter. While this is really but one piece of ground, the eastern part is called the Southeast Ground and the western part, from the nature of its bottom.
The Gravel Bottom. The eastern portion is muddy and has 40 to 60 fathoms. The western has 35 to 40 fathoms. It is a good cod ground in winter and spring. Haddock are present from November to March, inclusive; hake in summer. Fishing is done mainly by trawling by sloops and vessels.
Laisdells Ground. This is a small, rocky spot outside the Brandy Ledges. It is about 1/4 acre in extent and has a sharp rocky bottom with 20 fathoms of water over it. It is the best cod and haddock ground in Isle au Haute Bay. This is chiefly a small boat ground and is also a lobster ground.
Saddleback Reef. This reef lies S. from Saddle-back Ledge, 3/4 mile distant. It is about 2/3 mile long N and S by 1/4 mile wide. Depths are from 15 to 35 fathoms over a broken and rocky bottom. Cod are taken here by hand line in May and June; haddock and cod by trawling in fall and winter (November to January 1). It is a good lobster ground and chiefly a small-boat ground.
Otter Island Reef; Snipper Shin; Western Reef. These are names applied to different sections of an irregular, broken piece of rocky ground about halfway between Vinalhaven and Seal Island. Otter Island Reef is the eastern section, lying 4 miles W. by S. by 1/4 S. from the western head of Isle au Haute. Depths here are from 10 to 25 fathoms over a rocky bottom. The trawl, formerly not much used here, is now in general use. This is a cod and haddock ground at seasons when these fish are in shoal water, but it is best for cod in winter and spring and for haddock in the fall, from November 1 to January 1.
Old Ripper. This lies S. from the Western Ground (Western Reef) and 10 miles WSW. from Criehaven or Ragged Island. Apparently this is a part of the Western Ground. On the deep-water mud bottom between these (Ripper and Western Reef) is good hake fishing in summer, and cusk are abundant from May to the time when the dogfish strike the ground, usually about July 5 to 10.
Crie Ridges. These lie 4 miles NW. from Matinicus Rock, 4 miles WSW. from Criehaven or Ragged Island, and run SE. from Western Ground toward Matinicus, distant 4 1/2 to 5 miles. Cod, pollock, and cusk are here in the spring, and haddock are abundant in the fall.
Bald Ridges. These begin just outside Wooden Ball Island and run off in a nearly direct line for Matinicus Rock. They are each from 1/4 to 1/2 mile wide, are quite close together, the distances between them being not over 1/2 mile, and they are almost parallel with each other. Soundings show from 15 to 30 fathoms upon them, with a broken, rocky bottom. The shoalest water is about 1 mile from Wooden Ball Island, the depth increasing toward the southern end.
This is a good cod ground at all times when the fish are on the coast, the spring school being the largest. The shoal is a favorite place for rock cod. Haddock are present from January 1 to February 15. Hake are abundant in their season on the mud bottom inside the Bald Ridges 1 1/2 miles WSW, in 50 fathoms. It is a good lobster ground.
Henry Marshalls Ground. This ground lies S. by W. from Matinicus Rock about 3 miles; its area is about 2 acres. The shoaler portion has a depth of 35 fathoms and a gravelly bottom; on the edge the depth is 45 fathoms and the bottom is of rocks and mud. Cod are taken here in the spring, haddock in January and February, and hake in the summer months. It is a good lobster ground.
The Bounties (The Bowdies). This ground bears SE. by S 1/2 S distant 6 miles from Wooden Ball Island. It is nearly circular in form, about 4 miles across, and has depths from 40 to 60 fathoms. The bottom, of gravel and rocks, is somewhat broken. It is a good cod and cusk ground in spring and fall and a haddock ground in winter and is fished by vessels and sloops, mainly by trawling but with a certain amount of hand lining, in May and June. A summer hake ground extends from 3 miles ESE. of Seal Island to 4 miles SSE of the Wooden Ball, thus it is about 7 1/2 miles long by some 2 1/2 miles wide. The depths here are from 35 to 60 fathoms.
Summer Hake Ground. A summer hake ground extends from 8 miles SE. of the eastern Ear of Isle au Haute to 3 miles SE. of Long Island in 35 to 60 fathoms on a bottom of hard mud. This piece of ground is about 15 miles long by 4 miles wide.
Minerva Hub. This bears SSE. from Matinicus Rock, distant 6 miles. This is a small, gravelly spot about 1/4 mile in diameter and with a depth of 35 fathoms, abounding with cod in spring and fall. It is a summer ground for hake and cusk. Hand lines and trawls are used.
Haddock Nubble. This lies SE. 1/2 S. from Matinicus Rock, distant 16 miles, and has an average depth of 50 fathoms over a small, circular patch some 2,000 feet across. The bottom is of gravel and rocks, and "lemons" and marine growths of like nature are abundant. This is a June cod ground, usually furnishing good haddocking, also, from November to January, inclusive.
Skate Bank. This bank bears SSE. from Matinicus Rock, distant 12 miles. It is about 2 miles in diameter and nearly circular in form. Depths are from 35 to 60 fathoms. The bottom is gravelly but quite uneven. The best season on this ground for cod and cusk is from April to July. Hake abound in July and August. Hand lines and trawls are used here, fished by sloops and vessels.
Matinicus Sou'Sou'West Grounds. These grounds bear SSW. from Matinicus Rock, from which the inner edge of the grounds is distant 6 miles. They extend about 9 miles N. and S. and have about the same width, being nearly triangular in shape, broadest at the northern end. On the northern part there is a shoal of about 30 fathoms 2 miles long E. and W. and 1 mile wide. Sharp rocks cover this, but the ground is not broken and drops off gradually to depths of 50 to 55 fathoms or even to 60 fathoms on the southern part. Outside of the shoal the bottom is pebbly and gravelly. This is one of the best cod and haddock grounds in the vicinity. Cod are sometimes abundant here all winter; haddock are found here from December 1 to February and are more abundant than the cod. Hake are plentiful on this ground and in 60 fathoms on the mud off the edge SE. of this ground during the summer season. Marks: The high pinnacle on the eastern end of Wooden Ball, showing just out by Matinicus Rock, SW. by S. from the rock, 5 miles.
Inner Breaker. This lies 2 miles W. of the southwest point of Matinicus Island. It is a rocky shoal about 1 acre in extent and having 7 fathoms of water. From this shoal the bottom slopes gradually to depths of 25 to 30 fathoms, and this slope furnishes good fishing for cod in May and June, while haddock are here in December and January. A good school of hake is found on the edge of the ground in summer. The bottom is rocky and broken and, while sharp, is fished with trawls as well as hand lines. It is mostly a small-boat ground.
Towhead Grounds. These grounds hear N. by E. 1/2 E. from Matinicus Island, from which they are distant 2 1/2 miles. Depths are from 12 to 30 fathoms. It is somewhat irregular in shape and has a very rocky, broken bottom. The ground is from 2 1/2 to 3 miles long and 1/2 to 1 1/2 miles wide. It extends E. by S. and W. by N. and is considered one of the best inside shoal grounds for cod and haddock in the bay. Hand lines and trawls are used here now, although in former times this and the preceding grounds were considered too sharp for the use of trawls. Both these are good lobster grounds and chiefly small-boat grounds.
Green Island Ridge (or Western Ridge) and the Pigeon Ground. The northern portion of this ridge lies 6 1/2 miles NW. by W. from Matinicus Rock, from which the ground extends about 7 miles in a SSW. direction. The greatest width is not over 1 mile. Depths are from 15 to 30 fathoms. The bottom is broken and rocky. It is a good cod ground in the spring and fall. Haddock are found here in June, November, and December. In summer this is a good hake ground. Halibut are found on the shoals (10 fathoms) and about the northern part of Western Green Island, on the sandy bottom during June and July.
Matinic Bank. This is an extension of the shore soundings that make out to the southward and eastward of Matinic a distance of 2 or 3 miles, with depths (outside of 1 1/2 miles) of 23 to 30 fathoms. The bottom is level, consisting of rocks, pebbles, and gravel, and the ground abounds in cod in the season from March to June. Just off the edge, in depths of from 40 to 50 fathoms, the bottom is soft mud, on which hake abound in summer. Very few haddock are taken on this bank. Halibut are sometimes abundant here in 10 to 15 fathoms during May and June.
Matinic Ooze. This is a flat bottom, composed of ooze and shells, that makes off to the eastward of the Haddock Ledge and Shoal and bears about S. from Matinic. The Haddock Shoal and the Ooze are really parts of one ground, though they have been given different names by the fishermen. The Haddock Shoal (3 miles S. by B. from the Seal Ledge: breaks in rough weather) is thought to be poor ground and is but little fished, although it is a fall haddock ground. The Ooze falls off gradually, reaching a depth of 50 fathoms on the outer part. It is considered fair fishing ground for cod and haddock in the spring and for cod and hake in the summer and fall.
Freemans Ground. This ground lies 6 1/2 miles E. from Monhegan Island between Ornes Ground and Matinicus Western Ground. It is 3 miles long and 1 mile wide and runs in a NE. and SW. direction. There is a shoal on the southwest part having 20 fathoms over a sharp rocky bottom. The rest of the ground has depths of 25 to 40 fathoms, the bottom of rocks, gravel, and shells, in some places uneven and in others smooth. This is a good spring ground for cod and for cod, hake, and pollock in the fall. Haddock are not numerous on this ground, though a few are usually to be found here in December. Herring are here May to August.
Middle Shoal, Pollock Rip, Allens Shoal, and Deckers Shoal. These are small rocky patches lying to eastward of Monhegan Island and northerly from the Outer Shoal. They have depths from 6 to 30 fathoms over a sharp, rocky, and broken bottom. Middle Shoal is 2 miles from the island. Pollock Rip 1 1/2 miles. Allens Shoal 1 1/4 miles, having 5 1/2 fathoms and breaking in rough weather; and Deckers Shoal 1 mile. Depths vary here from 6 to 30 fathoms over a bottom generally sharp and rocky. The principal fishing here is hand-lining for cod in the spring during the herring season and in the fall in "squid time". A few pollock are taken here also.
A number of small patches lie westerly from the Outer Shoal and close to Monhegan Island. These are the Cusk Ground with a depth of 20 to 35 fathoms; Gull Rock Ledge (breaks in rough weather) 3 1/2 fathoms; Lobster Point Ground, 15 to 30 fathoms; Inner Spring Ground, 15 to 30 fathoms; Outer Spring Ground 25 to 30 fathoms. All these are fished for cod nearly all the year, for haddock in December and January, and for pollock in early spring and late fall. The Spring Grounds are near the harbor and so are fished before the others. All are lobster grounds. Small boats and vessels operate here.
Black Island Ground. This ground is ENE. 2 miles from Monhegan. 1 mile in diameter, has a shoal of 10 fathoms, and sharp rocky bottom in the center. The ground slopes gradually from this to the edges, where are 40 fathoms. Beyond the depths of 28 to 30 fathoms the bottom is gravelly and smoother. This is a cod ground in spring, and cod and hake are taken here on the edges in summer and fall. Pollock are found about the shoal in summer. It is a good lobster ground.
Franklin Ground. This ground is NE. by N. midway between Monhegan and Burnt Island, distant 4 miles. Cod and haddock are found here from April to June and pollock in summer. In summer and fall hake are taken by night fishing with hand line about the rocks in 20 to 30 fathoms on the broken ground. Fishing here is by hand-lining in summer and trawling in fall and winter. It is a lobster ground.
White Head Ground. Depths on the shoal (the White Hub: Bring Budd cottage out by White Head, Black Head. and Allens Island touching) are 7 fathoms, thence to 20 fathoms on the edges about it. This ground extends NE. and SW., 2 miles long by 1/4 mile wide. The bottom is chiefly broken, of rocks, and with spots of coarse gravel and sand. Fish and their seasons are as on Franklin Ground. Marks: Bring Black Head, White Head, and Gull Head in range on the east side of Monhegan Island.
Burnt Island, Inner Ridge aka Andrews Shoal. This is NE. by E. from Monhegan, distant 5 miles. It is a broken ground with depths from 15 to 20 fathoms, the bottom rocky and gravelly, with occasional mud holes. It extends NE. about 4 miles, nearly to Roaring Bull Ledge, and is 1/2 mile wide. There are strong tidal currents here, the flood being NE., the ebb SW. It is a cod ground from April to June, and cod and hake are taken from September to November; haddock in December. It is a good lobster ground.