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TITLE
West Highland Salmon Fisheries Co. - Portree Station Record, 1947
EXTERNAL ID
HCD_DAVIDBANKS_090
DATE OF IMAGE
1947
PERIOD
1940s
SOURCE
Skye and Lochalsh Archive Centre
ASSET ID
1353
KEYWORDS
fishing industry
commercial fishing
salmon fishing
trout fishing
net fishing
West Highland Salmon Fisheries Co. - Portree Station Record, 1947

This document from the West Highland Salmon Fisheries Co Ltd, based in Portree, Isle of Skye, shows the record of fish caught for the 1947 season at the Portree fishing station. The actual fishing season operated from May to August with some workers employed before and after the season to look after the equipment and boats.

This record breaks down the catch to show the number of salmon, grilse (the salmon returning to fresh water after a single winter at sea) and trout. The Portree station usually had five different nets but for several years there were seven. Sometimes the nets would be designated by the name of a nearby landmark: "Prince Charlie's Cave", "Rhu Beag", or "Camus Ban", rather than just a number. In this season, at the Portree station, July was the best month for number of fish caught, with grilse making up the highest number of fish caught each month. This record shows 1947 as being the year with the lowest recorded catch with 462 fish. 1957 saw the highest with 1631 fish caught.


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. - Portree Station Record, 1947

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)

This document from the West Highland Salmon Fisheries Co Ltd, based in Portree, Isle of Skye, shows the record of fish caught for the 1947 season at the Portree fishing station. The actual fishing season operated from May to August with some workers employed before and after the season to look after the equipment and boats. <br /> <br /> This record breaks down the catch to show the number of salmon, grilse (the salmon returning to fresh water after a single winter at sea) and trout. The Portree station usually had five different nets but for several years there were seven. Sometimes the nets would be designated by the name of a nearby landmark: "Prince Charlie's Cave", "Rhu Beag", or "Camus Ban", rather than just a number. In this season, at the Portree station, July was the best month for number of fish caught, with grilse making up the highest number of fish caught each month. This record shows 1947 as being the year with the lowest recorded catch with 462 fish. 1957 saw the highest with 1631 fish caught.<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>