Harpers Weekly April 1872
In this edition of Harpers Weekly April 1872 we get a glimpse in to some of the lifes work for a man who’s name and work are embedded in fish-lore, fly fishing and sporting. Mr Seth Green in no an uncommon name to read when doing any type of research into the history of fishing. Whether it be stocking Tout or taking them on a fly Mr Green’s persona was only equaled by his lifes work and dedication to fishing.
APRIL 27, 1872.
In April, 1868, the Legislature of the State of New York passed a much-needed act for the protection of fish. The Hudson River was at the moment practically closed by various nets of so small a mesh that mature shad could not ascend to the usual spawning beds.
This act specifies four and a half inches as the smallest mesh to be used in a shad net, and provides, under penalty, for the opening of all nets or traps from sun-down of Saturday until sunrise of the following Monday. It also designate the season for shad fishery to be those days between the 15th of April and the 15th of June. Horatio Seymour,GEORGE G. Cooper, and R. B. Roosevelt
were appointed Commissioners of Fisheries.
These gentlemen at once engaged the services of Mr. Seth Green and set him at work to restock the Hudson River with shad, and save to the people a food source which bade fair to be presently exhausted.
Mr. GREEN selected for his work a location on the right bank of the Hudson, some four miles above the town of Coeymans. At this a low island affords protection from wind the wash of passing steamboats. It is convenient to some of the best fishing grounds of the river. The fish are taken by seine at night. The ova is gently pressed from the female (if ready for spawning) into a pan of water kept in gentle motion. Care is taken not to injure the shad before spawning it. The male shad is made to evolve sufficient milt to impregnate the eggs, which seem instantly to lose their opacity, and become crystals of more than double their un-impregnated size. From the pans they go to the hatching-boxes contrived by Mr. Green a simple wooden box of fifteen by twenty-two inches, fitted with a wire bottom, and arranged with strips of wood fastened on each side to float with the wire bottom at such an angle to the tidal current as will keep the eggs in continual motion, with the exception of a short time at the changing of the tides, when it is necessary to occasionally shake the boxes to keep the spawn […]