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TITLE
West Highland Salmon Fisheries Co. - Rigg Station Record, 1946
EXTERNAL ID
HCD_DAVIDBANKS_088
DATE OF IMAGE
31 July 1946
PERIOD
1940s
SOURCE
Skye and Lochalsh Archive Centre
ASSET ID
1346
KEYWORDS
fishing industry
commercial fishing
salmon fishing
trout fishing
net fishing
West Highland Salmon Fisheries Co. - Rigg Station Record, 1946

James Banks, owner of the sea salmon fishing lease in Portree, kept excellent records of daily business. This document records the number of fish caught in July 1946 in the number 5 net at Rigg salmon station, situated off the northeast coast of the Isle of Skye. The record notes the number of salmon, grilse and trout that were caught each day. At the end of the month, the totals from all the nets in each station would be tallied. Most of the stations had five or six nets, some of them identified by number while some were given names, usually associated with nearby landmarks.

During this 1946 season, records were prepared for six nets at Rigg, although net number 6 showed no entries for the whole season. The Rigg station was fished from May to August and the total number of fish caught during this period was 257: 6 in May, 46 in June, 170 in July and 35 in August. Of this total, 59 were salmon, 175 grilse and 23 trout.

As a comparison, nine years later, in 1955, the catch for number 5 net at Rigg was 7 salmon, 23 grilse and 1 trout. In 1961, the year before Banks sold the business, the catch for this net showed no salmon, 7 grilse and 1 trout. The catches reached a peak later in the 1950s and declined thereafter until the business was sold.



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.


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West Highland Salmon Fisheries Co. - Rigg Station Record, 1946

1940s

fishing industry; commercial fishing; salmon fishing; trout fishing; net fishing

Skye and Lochalsh Archive Centre

David Banks: West Highland Salmon Fisheries Co Ltd (documents)

James Banks, owner of the sea salmon fishing lease in Portree, kept excellent records of daily business. This document records the number of fish caught in July 1946 in the number 5 net at Rigg salmon station, situated off the northeast coast of the Isle of Skye. The record notes the number of salmon, grilse and trout that were caught each day. At the end of the month, the totals from all the nets in each station would be tallied. Most of the stations had five or six nets, some of them identified by number while some were given names, usually associated with nearby landmarks. <br /> <br /> During this 1946 season, records were prepared for six nets at Rigg, although net number 6 showed no entries for the whole season. The Rigg station was fished from May to August and the total number of fish caught during this period was 257: 6 in May, 46 in June, 170 in July and 35 in August. Of this total, 59 were salmon, 175 grilse and 23 trout. <br /> <br /> As a comparison, nine years later, in 1955, the catch for number 5 net at Rigg was 7 salmon, 23 grilse and 1 trout. In 1961, the year before Banks sold the business, the catch for this net showed no salmon, 7 grilse and 1 trout. The catches reached a peak later in the 1950s and declined thereafter until the business was sold.<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>