HERRING FISHING SEASON IS ABOUT TO START UP
PETER GREGORY AND OTHERS HAVE BEEN WAITING FOR LOW WATER CONDITIONS
Catch During the Past Few Years Has Been Slowly Dwindling, Possibly Due to the Contamination
Peter Gregory and other "Bath" fishermen are about ready to begin their season's work of catching herring. There are about half a dozen men living in Upper Rensselaer who make it a practice each year to set nets in the river and to catch teh wily fishes that have so many bones, but which are, withal, very good eating.
INDUSTRY HAS DWINDLED
Of late years the industry has dwindled and men who have engaged in it have gone into other business. Herring cannot be caught when the water is high because the nets cannot be properly set. The season usually opens early in May but at that time there was a heavy freshet in the river and the men could not go to work. However, everything is now in readiness adn the work will start just as soon as the water is down where the fishermen believe it ought to be.
Time was when the herring industry brought good money for those who engaged in it, but of late years the herring have been runnign rather short. This may be due to the contamination of the water by sewers or from the fact that dykes built along the river have not permitted the fish to get to their old spawing grounds.
At any rate there are not so many herring in the river as there have been, but there are enough to keep the Upper Rensselaer fishermen busy for a number of weeks during the catching season.
STURGEON ARE SCARCE
Sturgeon are also disappearing from the upper Hudson and it is rare in these days that any of this sort are found in the nets. Last year but one sturgeon was caught and the year before only a few were obtained. Shad, however, are found usually as well as the herring. Time was when farmers used to purchase the fish by the barrel and salt them down but of late years the herring caught have been sold to peddlers and thus they reach the consumer.
A few days ago a 300 pound sturgeon was caught near Lagoon Island.
The New International Encyclopedia of 1906 says: "Lagoon Island, in the Hudson, midway between Troy and Albany, is a popular resort, with bath houses, athletic grounds, and other features." I believe the island no longer exists, victim of the construction of Rt. 787.