Please Sign In | Register
Google pluspinterestShare on Stumble UponShare on RedditFacebookShare on Tumblr
TITLE
West Highland Salmon Fisheries Co. - license to purchase Strychnine
EXTERNAL ID
HCD_DAVIDBANKS_123
DATE OF IMAGE
2 August 1945
PERIOD
1940s
SOURCE
Skye and Lochalsh Archive Centre
ASSET ID
1478
KEYWORDS
fishing industry
commercial fishing
salmon fishing
trout fishing
net fishing
poisoning
West Highland Salmon Fisheries Co. - license to purchase Strychnine

One of the nuisances of the sea salmon fishing industry are seals. The West Highland Salmon Fishing Co took several approaches to keeping the seal numbers under control. They were licenced to shoot the seals, or poison them. Authorisation to use poison had to be obtained from the Fisheries Secretary, Scottish Home Department, Edinburgh.

This letter was sent with a two-part document. James Banks was to present part 1 to the merchant when purchasing the poison and retain part 2 as proof that he was authorised to use the poison. His purchase was limited to 4 oz (113g) of strychnine and only to be used at the Brochel Castle and Lealt salmon fishing stations. This was the maximum amount of the poison that could be purchased at any one time. The letter also reminds Banks that, according to Poison Rules 1935 and 1941, the poison can't be used for any other purpose and 'proper precautions must be taken to prevent access to it by other animals'.


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

West Highland Salmon Fisheries Co. - license to purchase Strychnine

1940s

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

Skye and Lochalsh Archive Centre

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

One of the nuisances of the sea salmon fishing industry are seals. The West Highland Salmon Fishing Co took several approaches to keeping the seal numbers under control. They were licenced to shoot the seals, or poison them. Authorisation to use poison had to be obtained from the Fisheries Secretary, Scottish Home Department, Edinburgh. <br /> <br /> This letter was sent with a two-part document. James Banks was to present part 1 to the merchant when purchasing the poison and retain part 2 as proof that he was authorised to use the poison. His purchase was limited to 4 oz (113g) of strychnine and only to be used at the Brochel Castle and Lealt salmon fishing stations. This was the maximum amount of the poison that could be purchased at any one time. The letter also reminds Banks that, according to Poison Rules 1935 and 1941, the poison can't be used for any other purpose and 'proper precautions must be taken to prevent access to it by other animals'.<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>