They Are Rarely Seen In Our Waters At Present, On
Account Of The Dams, Though They Are Taken In Great Quantities At
The Mouth Of The River In Lowell.
Their nests, which are very
conspicuous, look more like art than anything in the river.
If we had leisure this afternoon, we might turn our prow up the
brooks in quest of the classical trout and the minnows. Of the
last alone, according to M. Agassiz, several of the species found
in this town are yet undescribed. These would, perhaps, complete
the list of our finny contemporaries in the Concord waters.
Salmon, Shad, and Alewives were formerly abundant here, and taken
in weirs by the Indians, who taught this method to the whites, by
whom they were used as food and as manure, until the dam, and
afterward the canal at Billerica, and the factories at Lowell,
put an end to their migrations hitherward; though it is thought
that a few more enterprising shad may still occasionally be seen
in this part of the river. It is said, to account for the
destruction of the fishery, that those who at that time
represented the interests of the fishermen and the fishes,
remembering between what dates they were accustomed to take the
grown shad, stipulated, that the dams should be left open for
that season only, and the fry, which go down a month later, were
consequently stopped and destroyed by myriads. Others say that
the fish-ways were not properly constructed.
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