Please Sign In | Register
Google pluspinterestShare on Stumble UponShare on RedditFacebookShare on Tumblr
TITLE
Staffin Salmon Fishing Crew
EXTERNAL ID
HCD_DAVIDBANKS_045
PLACENAME
Staffin
DISTRICT
Skye
OLD COUNTY/PARISH
INVERNESS: Kilmuir
DATE OF IMAGE
1949
PERIOD
1940s
CREATOR
James/David Banks
SOURCE
Skye and Lochalsh Archive Centre
ASSET ID
13101
KEYWORDS
salmon
Staffin
Lealt
ice
ice house
Portree
equipment
Nereid
coble
Staffin Salmon Fishing Crew

This photograph shows the coble used by one of the Staffin salmon fishing crews. It is alongside a larger boat, probably the 'Nereid'. The man nearest the camera has been identified as Lachlan Gillies of Stenscholl.

In the centre of the smaller boat are wooden fish boxes filled with the freshly caught salmon. The 'Nereid' would come out from Portree and on alternate days go to the Staffin or Raasay fishing stations, bringing supplies and ice and return to Portree with the fresh catch. The salmon would be stored in the ice house at Portree pier until it was taken off the island for sale.

The smaller boat is an unnamed coble. These cobles, often built locally, were the style of boat used most often for the sea salmon industry. Their flat bottomed, high bow design made them easy to haul up on the shore, yet they were sturdy and safe on the water when hauling nets and anchors.

Some of the larger cobles had engines. The propeller was recessed in the hull so that the boat could slip over the nets without snagging them. The cobles were used for the day to day work at the nets and salmon stations while the larger, faster boat travelled between stations.



West Highland Salmon Fisheries Co Ltd
In 1944 James Banks & Sons, Perth bought the sea salmon fishing lease for the Kilmuir Estates, Skye from A Powrie & Co, and formed the West Highland Salmon Fisheries Co Ltd to operate the lease. The company continued until 1962 when it was sold to Kenneth Matheson, Portree.

When Banks and Sons took over the lease there were fishing stations at Lealt, Rigg (Borreraig), Staffin, Portree, Camustianavaig, Balmeanach and Brochel Castle (on Raasay). In 1956, Balmeanach and Camustianavaig merged to become the Braes station, with three men employed, while the others usually had four-man crews. The company employed about 28 men each year with jobs being offered to the same men each season before new workers were hired.

The season began late April/early May and ran through to the end of August. Several men were also employed during the winter months to take ice down from the dam at Sluggans for storage at the ice house at Portree harbour. Each crew member would receive a contract with information on wages, proposed bonus scheme and work hours and were provided with oilskins and rubber boots.

The catch was divided into salmon, grilse and trout, with grilse numbers being the highest. The total annual catch was approximately 3000 fish in the late 1940s and early 1950s. A record high of nearly 10,000 fish were caught in 1957.


This image may be available to purchase.
For further information about purchasing and prices please email
Skye and Lochalsh Archives

For guidance on the use of images and other content, please see the Terms and Conditions page.
High Life Highland is a company limited by guarantee registered in Scotland No. SC407011 and is a registered Scottish charity No. SC042593
Powered by Capture

Staffin Salmon Fishing Crew

INVERNESS: Kilmuir

1940s

salmon; Staffin; Lealt; ice; ice house; Portree; equipment; Nereid; coble

Skye and Lochalsh Archive Centre

David Banks: West Highland Salmon Fisheries Co Ltd

This photograph shows the coble used by one of the Staffin salmon fishing crews. It is alongside a larger boat, probably the 'Nereid'. The man nearest the camera has been identified as Lachlan Gillies of Stenscholl.<br /> <br /> In the centre of the smaller boat are wooden fish boxes filled with the freshly caught salmon. The 'Nereid' would come out from Portree and on alternate days go to the Staffin or Raasay fishing stations, bringing supplies and ice and return to Portree with the fresh catch. The salmon would be stored in the ice house at Portree pier until it was taken off the island for sale. <br /> <br /> The smaller boat is an unnamed coble. These cobles, often built locally, were the style of boat used most often for the sea salmon industry. Their flat bottomed, high bow design made them easy to haul up on the shore, yet they were sturdy and safe on the water when hauling nets and anchors. <br /> <br /> Some of the larger cobles had engines. The propeller was recessed in the hull so that the boat could slip over the nets without snagging them. The cobles were used for the day to day work at the nets and salmon stations while the larger, faster boat travelled between stations. <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <b>West Highland Salmon Fisheries Co Ltd</b><br /> In 1944 James Banks & Sons, Perth bought the sea salmon fishing lease for the Kilmuir Estates, Skye from A Powrie & Co, and formed the West Highland Salmon Fisheries Co Ltd to operate the lease. The company continued until 1962 when it was sold to Kenneth Matheson, Portree. <br /> <br /> When Banks and Sons took over the lease there were fishing stations at Lealt, Rigg (Borreraig), Staffin, Portree, Camustianavaig, Balmeanach and Brochel Castle (on Raasay). In 1956, Balmeanach and Camustianavaig merged to become the Braes station, with three men employed, while the others usually had four-man crews. The company employed about 28 men each year with jobs being offered to the same men each season before new workers were hired. <br /> <br /> The season began late April/early May and ran through to the end of August. Several men were also employed during the winter months to take ice down from the dam at Sluggans for storage at the ice house at Portree harbour. Each crew member would receive a contract with information on wages, proposed bonus scheme and work hours and were provided with oilskins and rubber boots. <br /> <br /> The catch was divided into salmon, grilse and trout, with grilse numbers being the highest. The total annual catch was approximately 3000 fish in the late 1940s and early 1950s. A record high of nearly 10,000 fish were caught in 1957. <br /> <br /> <br /> This image may be available to purchase.<br /> For further information about purchasing and prices please email<br /> <a href="mailto: skyeandlochalsh.archives@highlifehighland.com ">Skye and Lochalsh Archives</a>