Friday, December 3, 2010

Long-form Project Excerpt #2

Here's another excerpt from the long-form project I've been doing:

Salmon are majestic fish with a long, storied history. Considered one of the prize catches of early modern English anglers, salmon have been praised, threatened, protected, and fetishized for hundreds of years. According to Isaak Walton’s iconic 17th-century treatise on fishing, The Compleat Angler, salmon were overfished as early as the 1200s:

"They be principally three, namely, March, April, and May: for these be the usual months that Salmon come out of the sea to spawn in most fresh rivers. And their fry would, about a certain time, return back to the salt water, if they were not hindered by weirs and unlawful gins, which the greedy fishermen set, and so destroy them by thousands; as they would, being so taught by nature, change the freshfor salt water. He that shall view the wise Statutes made in the 13th of Edward the First, and the like in Richard the Second, may see several provisions made against the destruction of fish: and though I profess no knowledge of the law, yet I am sure the regulation of these defects might be easily mended."

In my opinion, any fish that drew the protection of two English kings is worthy of any and all encomiums. It was also worthy of a little research.

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