History of the fishing industry

History of the fishing industry
Exploring our Deep Roots

Prior to the twentieth century, Prince Edward County`s industry was driven by farming, fishing, ship building and shipping. In the mid 1800’s, the rich harvest from the surrounding waters developed into a commercial fishery that supported generations of County families. Sports fishermen made annual trips to local resorts to haul in trophy catches. Fishing became a big business.

Video courtesy of History Lives Here historyliveshere.ca

But commercial fishing has always been a dangerous trade.  Sudden storms, rough waters and dense fogs drove many ships onto the rocky shoals that extend deeply from County shores into the lake.  The waters off Prince Edward County are a graveyard to more than 50 shipwrecks, many of them shipping vessels that simply ran out of good luck.

In the early 1900s, there were hundreds of commercial license holders.  Today (2010) there are only 77, and only a few still set their nets in County waters, maintaining the tradition of another age when the commercial fishing industry was a significant contributor to the local economy.

Also see:

  • Mariners Park Museum
  • Local Shipwrecks – The Graveyard of Lake Ontario
  • Fishing Tournaments
  • Fishing Resorts & Charters
  • Boating & Fishing
  • Glenora Fisheries Station

Be sure to visit Mariners Park Museum – Located at the junction of County Roads 10 and 13, overlooking South Bay. Many hundreds of nautical artifacts from early vessels of the Great Lakes and Lake Ontario`s fishing industry are on display for `hands on` inspection in an uncrowded setting. Nearby is North America`s most important `Dive Site` with over 50 shipwrecks.

Glenora Fisheries photo credit: By Óðinn – https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=45391728

About Peter Lockyer

Peter is a former CBC radio and television broadcaster. Peter formed History Lives Here Inc. in 2004. His interest in local history was developed when he wrote his master's thesis [Master of Journalism graduate, Carleton University 1986] on the canning industry of Prince Edward County, once the capital of the industry in Canada. Contact Peter at historyliveshere.ca