DERWENT FISHERY BOARD

A special meeting of this Board was called to be held at the Court House,  
Cockermouth, on Saturday afternoon.  Mr. W. FLETCHER, Brigham Hill,  presided,
and there were also present Mr. R.A. ROBINSON, South Lodge,  Cockermouth;  MR.
J.A. WILSON, Lorton;  Mr. HARTLEY, Armathwaite, Mr.  J.F. CROSTHWAITE,
Keswick; and Mr. BENSON, Cockermouth. - The Chairman said that  in regard to the
accounts, which, he understood, constituted the chief business  before the
meeting, when he heard that their secretary and treasurer, Mr.  WYNDHAM, was going
abroad, he had called upon him in respect to the accounts,  and Mr. WYNDHAM then
told him that he expected before the end of the year there  would be a
considerable reduction of the balance which stood against the Board  at the
beginning of the year, and that he was confident that it would soon all  be wiped off.
He had therefore been surprised to see from a newspaper that  at the last
meeting at Keswick the amount of the debt was so much.  He had  since had a
conference with Mr. BENSON on the subject, and Mr. BENSON now  produced a
statement of the accounts.  He thought from what Mr. WYNDHAM had  told him that there
must be some accounts due to the Board which they had not  yet received.  
There was one account of £25 or £26 which they expected to  receive from the
county, and which had been improperly handed over to the county  instead of to the
Fishery Board, and there were also fines received at  Workington which should
have been handed over to the Board. - Mr. BENSON said he  though the latter
had been received. -  The chairman said that taking all  the circumstances into
account, he would suggest to the meeting whether or not  it would be better to
further adjourn the question of the state of their  finances until after the
return of Mr. WYNDHAM.  He believed Mr. WYNDHAM  was expected home again at
Christmas.  If that course were approved then  all they could do was to spend as
little as possible in the meantime.  He  suggested that the watchers be
reduced to two - one at Cockermouth and one this  side of Keswick.  He might
further state that in consequence of misconduct  they had parted with their head
bailiff, MYATT, and it had been agreed that his  place should not be filled up
till next spring.  If what he had suggested  were adhered to, then no doubt
their expenditure would be a good deal less than  it otherwise would be. -  In
answer to Mr. HARTLEY, Mr. BENSON explained  that formerly at the police-courts
when poachers were fined half the fine went  to the informer and half to the
county.  Since the Fishery Board was  established the fine should have gone to
the Board instead of to the county, but  by mistake it had been paid over the
county. -  Mr. HARTLEY thought  that Mr. WAUGH would be able to recover for
them the amount that had been sent  to the county. -  The Chairman said that with
the consent of the Board he  should be glad to take the matter in hand and do
what he could to recover  it.  From the accounts which were now presented he
was glad to find that  things were not quite so bad as he thought from what
had been represented.   The amount of their debt was £98.  At the beginning of
the year there was a  deficit of £58.  He still thought that when Mr. WYNDHAM
returned they would  find that there were other sources of income which had not
yet been received  during the past year.  he proposed that the further
consideration of their  financial condition stand over till the next ordinary
meeting, in order that  they might have Mr. WYNDHAM's assistance in the making up of
the accounts, and  in order that they might recover the money which he
believed was due to  them;  and that they confine their expenditure in the meantime
to the  retaining of two watchers, one at Cockermouth and one below
Cockermouth. -   Mr. WILSON thought that they might dispense with the watchers from the
middle of  December to April. -  Mr. BENSON said that if that were done they
might as  well drop the Board altogether.  -  Mr. WILSON thought that the river
about Cockermouth was not half watched.  He had never seen such destruction  
of fish. -  Mr. R.A. ROBINSON said they must cut their coat according to  the
cloth. -  The chairman:  And a very sensible way is it not?   -  Mr. WILSON
said he understood that there was to have been more staking  done at the river.
-  Mr. BENSON said they could not do more owing to the  great depth of water,
but more would be done in the spring when the river was  lower.  -  Mr.
WILSON suggested that when the Board was in a more  prosperous position they should
take up the question of artificial hatching so  as to increase the stock of
fish. -  Mr. ROBINSON said the Derwent had been  very full of salmon this year.
-  Mr. BENSON said that was so.   He thought there had never been more fish
up. -  The Chairman said he found  that their total receipts for the year were
£250, so that the Board need not  hesitate in giving or spending 50s. per
week on watchers. -  Mr. HARTLEY  inquired how many watcher they had this time
last year. - The Chairman said they  had four or five. -  Mr. HARTLEY asked if
the Board thought it would be  wise to cut their watchers down to the small
number suggested.  They might  perhaps cut their coat according to their cloth
and then find that they would be  as well without a coat altogether. -  Mr.
BENSON said there had never been  more fish seen up the river, but until the last
three weeks of the end of the  fishing season there had not been many fish
caught.  There had been a good  deal of illegal fishing. -  A resolution was
passed approving of the action  of the Chairman and Mr. WYNDHAM in discharging the
head water bailiff, and  deciding not to fill up the appointment until next
spring, and in the meantime  having only two watchers. -  The Chairman read a
communication Mr. BENSON  had received from the Keswick section of the Board,
stating that the balance  they had in hand would be just sufficient to enable
them to go on till the end  of next season, with the possibility of having to
engage an extra watcher for  two or three weeks.  Their income had been £60 for
season and £29 for  monthly tickets, both of which were in excess of last
year.  The fishermen  in the Keswick district wished they were in a more
prosperous position, so as to  be able to hand over to the Board a good balance.  -  
The Chairman  expressed satisfaction at the position of the Keswick section. -  
Some  discussion then ensued on the general question of fish hatching, and
Mr. WILSON  said that the Keswick fishermen never had such a chance as they had
now of  procuring fish-hatching apparatus.  It could be obtained for £10.  -  
The question was raised whether the river Derwent had ever been an early
river,  and the chairman replied that there was proof that it formerly was an early
river.  Mr. WYNDHAM had in his possession accounts showing that his (Mr.  
FLETCHER's) great-grandfather had bought fish in July at 2d. per lb.; and  
HUTCHINSON in his "History of Cumberland" said that as many as 300 salmon were  
caught in one raise. -  Mr. BENSON said there was a pool at Marron Foot  where
poachers had stated that as much as 90 lbs. of trout could be got night  after
night. - The Chairman:  Yes, those were what they call "the good old  days."  -
Mr. BENSON and Mr. George WILSON were appointed a Finance  Committee on the
motion of the Chairman, seconded by Mr. CROSTHWAITE. -   Mr. BENSON, in the
course of some further conversation in reference to spiling,  stated that one
poacher had got over the difficulty by sawing the spiles in a  pool so far
through that when his net came against them the night afterwards he  had no
difficulty in breaking them off, and netting the pool. -  The  meeting then [the rest
is missing].

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Carol