John Vonderlin says the "real fish" went to the City in a wagon!

Story is dated 1857

From John Vonderlin

Email John (benloudman@sbcglobal.net)

Hi June,
You’ve wondered what happened to the original fish of the Coastside? Here’s another piece of the puzzle. The excerpt below is from a column in the May 13th, 1857 issue of “The Daily Alta.”
Think how many times something like this was done without ever being mentioned in the newspaper. The rapacious behavior, so enthusiastically described by the writer, that was displayed by these so-called “expert” fisherman, as they had two days of “sport,”
made sure the original stocks of local fish were almost all gone by the turn of the Century. Note the writer uses the word captured instead of caught. My guess is these jokers were seine netting the lagoon. Otherwise with beer and lunch breaks, that’s a fish a minute for each fisherman, all day, and that doesn’t include time for cleaning them. Doesn’t sound sporting to me at all. Enjoy. John
The California angler can find on no spot above ground a fairer field for the display of his piscatory skill than the brooks flowing into Half Moon Bay, on the coast, some fifty miles below San Francisco. Parties of gentlemen from this city have recently met with extraordinary luck, and have brought back wagon loads of beautiful speckled trout. A week or two ago, four expert fishermen, after two days’ sport, counted the number caught by the party, and found that they had captured two thousand of the finny inhabitants of these waters. This is the most favorable month for catching this delicious fish, and we adise all disciples of the venerable Walton, who wish to enjoy rare sport, to fit themselves out in corduroy, pack up an ample supply of provender and fluids, rig their tackle, hire a wagon, and drive down to the trout field. The roads are fine, the scenery magnificent, and the accommodations at the farm houses near the bay, excellent.

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About June Morrall

1947 - 2010
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