Fishery Resources of Northern Wisconsin
Swenson, William A.
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Fishing represents a most important recreational activity and a significant commercial enterprise in northern Wisconsin. The quality of the o:riginal resource is best defined from the writings of early travelers on Lake Superior. The early Jesuit relation of 1669-1671 noted that a single native could catch 20 sturgeon, or 150 whitefish, or 800 herring in one net. Another observer, the Reverend Fullerton, stated in 1843 that two·:natives, one with a dip net and the other paddling, could fill a two-fathom canoe with fish (presumably walleye) in one hour during the spring run on the St. Louis River (Kaups 1978). Information on inland fisheries is less precise; however, discussions with longtime inhabitants of the area suggest that fish were plentiful, and it was quite common for men using hook and line to catch enough fish to support their families during winter months.