Dory and crew setting cod trawl-lines on the Bank. From the latter half of the 19th century to the 1920s, this was the most productive form of hook and line ground fishing, finally superseded by power vessels towing otter trawl nets.
Long lines are made up in tubs with baited hooks on short lines called snoods attached every six feet. The trawl line would be marked by buoys at each end and anchored to the bottom. They could be half a mile long. After setting trawls the dory fisherman would run down their lines taking off fish.
Hand-line dory cod fishing on the Grand Bank. The fishing schooner would anchor and launch a fleet of dories, which let the fishermen spread out from the ship. A fisherman could tend several handlines.
Atlantic Salmon, Salmo salar. Once a highly valued commercial fish, the Maine Atlantic Salmon was declared an endangered species in 2009. Salmon are raised in aquaculture, but many problems, ranging from disease to ecological issues like impact on feed fish and fish pen effluent, are creating difficulties for farm raised salmon.
This image is from G. Brown Goode's The Fisheries and Fishery Industries of the United States, 1884-1887, Section I, Plate 186. The book can be found on line at:
The Atlantic mackerel is a schooling (pelagic) fish once caught for fertilizer. It does not keep well but can be canned. Fresh, it was popular in the Boston market with fast mackerel schooners bringing fish in from waters near Cape Cod. Today mackerel is primarily caught for bait and aquaculture food.
Drawings provided courtesy of the Maine Department of Marine Resources Recreational Fisheries program and the Maine Outdoor Heritage Fund.
Fish flakes in Friendship, Maine. After processing, cod were salted and dried on fish flakes or drying racks. These racks were a common feature in Maine fishing towns. Once dry, the fish was packaged for shipment. Dried salted cod could keep for well over a year.
These flakes are near the water's edge. There is a lobster car (float with compartments to hold live lobsters) pulled up on shore next to it as well as a small boat pulled up on a ramp. Like most coastal towns in the late 19th century most of the tree cover had long since been cut down.
Drying racks for fish are called fish flakes. Salted split fish, usually cod, are laid out on them to be dried in the sun. The fish needed to be covered from rain. Once dry, the fish was packaged for shipment. Dried salted cod could keep for well over a year.
These fish flakes are located in conjunction with a fish processing plant which might well be the Lane-Libby Company in Vinalhaven. But fish flakes could be anywhere. Small amounts of cod could be dried for home consumption or for resale to larger buyers and processors.