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TITLE
West Highland Salmon Fisheries Co. - record of fish caught, July 1961
EXTERNAL ID
HCD_DAVIDBANKS_099
DATE OF IMAGE
July 1961
PERIOD
1960s
SOURCE
Skye and Lochalsh Archive Centre
ASSET ID
1387
KEYWORDS
fishing industry
commercial fishing
salmon fishing
trout fishing
net fishing
West Highland Salmon Fisheries Co. - record of fish caught, July 1961

This record shows the number of salmon, grilse and trout caught by the West Highland Salmon Fisheries at the various fishing stations for the weeks ending 22 July and 29 July 1961. It also contains notes made by James Banks, the owner of the company, usually about the weather. The week ending 22 July, though well into the summer, was in Banks words, 'Dull and drizzly' andsaw 'No sunshine'. The following week was no better with 'Rain, rain and more rain'. He finishes off the comments for this week saying, 'Have never experienced anything like it.'

The month of August didn't bring an immediate improvement in the weather. The month started with 'another terrible week'. The next week started off bright, but by mid-week it was 'back to pouring rain and high winds'. That week finished with 'the first 3 dry sunny summer days since June 15th'.

The catches were very low and in the first week of August the stations at Raasay and Rigg were closed for the season while Braes and Staffin closed the week after. This was about the time that the season finished most years and James Banks would have to make the decision based on the numbers of fish being caught. In some years it would be worthwhile continuing for another two or three weeks. This was the last year that James Banks ran the salmon fishing business.


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. - record of fish caught, July 1961

1960s

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 record shows the number of salmon, grilse and trout caught by the West Highland Salmon Fisheries at the various fishing stations for the weeks ending 22 July and 29 July 1961. It also contains notes made by James Banks, the owner of the company, usually about the weather. The week ending 22 July, though well into the summer, was in Banks words, 'Dull and drizzly' andsaw 'No sunshine'. The following week was no better with 'Rain, rain and more rain'. He finishes off the comments for this week saying, 'Have never experienced anything like it.'<br /> <br /> The month of August didn't bring an immediate improvement in the weather. The month started with 'another terrible week'. The next week started off bright, but by mid-week it was 'back to pouring rain and high winds'. That week finished with 'the first 3 dry sunny summer days since June 15th'.<br /> <br /> The catches were very low and in the first week of August the stations at Raasay and Rigg were closed for the season while Braes and Staffin closed the week after. This was about the time that the season finished most years and James Banks would have to make the decision based on the numbers of fish being caught. In some years it would be worthwhile continuing for another two or three weeks. This was the last year that James Banks ran the salmon fishing business.<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>