Today in the Dauphin Herald – Dec 22 – 1921

Dog Race for Dauphin

The First Annual Dog Race will be held on Monday, January 2nd, in the afternoon, for boys and girls. The prizes will be given according to the support received from the public. It is the Committee’s object to have several races this winter and the first will be run on the above date, so the competitors will have time to train their dogs by then. Any subscriptions may be handed to Rev. Hamilton, Pat Muligan, Duncan Pearson or to F.C. Turland, who is acting Secretary-Treasurer, and who will also be pleased to give full particulars upon request. Help to boost the race Supress of the event will mean fun for the kiddies this winter.

Had Hands and Feet Frozen

Jerry Ravensburg, a homesteader in the Crane River district, was found by the provincial police last week, wandering around the lake in an aimless m[?] with his hands and feet badly frozen. Ravensburg had become insane and left his home. He was given medical attention and later taken to the asylum in Brandon.

Needy People in Town

Dauphin has more families in need this winter than in any year in its history. While in some cases it may be attributed to [falis?] of parents, a great deal of the distress can be accounted for by lack of employment. The Town Council, the churches and other organizations have the matter of providing for families well in hand, and their efforts are being supplemented by the endeavor of citizens. The officers of the Salvation Army, have applications for clothing and people who have cast off garments can make good use of same by notifying Capt. Johnson, who will distribute same to the right quarters.

Fork River Festivities

The season opened with a Hallowe’en party to be held in the school. The earliest arrivals, however, found all in darkness and thought that they were Tuck in when a glance down the street showed them the affair had taken a slight Tilt and landed across the way. The organization was well planned for a progressive game of whist fit into the Timewell and introduced the strangers. The sons of Williams, Richards and Will were present and gave a steadiness to the affair. Someone suggested that it would be as well to Lock (the) Wood as the unsteadier element might get Cooper in trouble over the dishes. However Prudens prevailed and the affair passed off quietly with a Little dance. Our worthy seedsman Briggs by name has been heard saying Harlow quite frequently but the young lady herself calls it Halo. His brother’s face is seen to Blanche with fear as he Hunts for a partner for a dance.

The following week a Thanksgiving supper was given and turkey figured largely on the bill of fare. Some hunters in the vicinity who were, commissioned to replenish the larder, report the choicer varieties of game to be very scarce but grouse to be fairly abundant. However a very sumptuous repast was served. The Irish of course could not get along without their Tait(ers). Parker(house) rolls, salads, etc., were served in a lavish manner and the tables fairly groaned under the weight of the good things provided. A Little dash of Curry added brightness as well as spice and flavor to the affair. The Winnipegosis orchestra played during the meal which added greatly to its enjoyment. After the supper they put on a very enjoyable program. The world renowned baritone Prof. Shears rendered a very classic selection in the truly pompus style of such celebrities. Unfortunately he could not Reid his music very well, in fact he read it upside down, i.e., the music; but otherwise it was artistically rendered and heartily encored. Another popular item was given by Mr. Roberts. Mr. Roberts has acquired a truly oriental style both in methods of procedure and delivery for he read it backwards and in a reverse position. A noted trio also figured largely on the program. A famous elocutionist was present and gave a very fine selection, but upon being encored she was so upset by some experience with a young man from Aldershot that she was unable to respond. Her troubled Browse won the sympathy of the audience. We hope that she will soon recover from her unhappy experience and be able to favor the public again in her usual capable manner.

The next event was a farewell to our esteemed friends, the Lockwoods. They will be greatly missed in our midst as they took a very active part in the social life. The evening’s performance opened with a game of whist. This created considerable excitement as the winners were nearing the goal. There was scarcely time to take a Brethour two and no time to Parker round the corners as the winning team was just two lengths ahead and making straight for the goal. The prizes presented were of a useful character. Some of our friends from the north were present for the first time this season and have a very Ven(er)able appearance as well as added distinction to the party. Our new station agent felt very Proud as he danced with the leading belles of the town. A very dainty lunch was served and four leafed clovers were seen among the viands. Later some recitations were given. Mrs. Lockwood gave some really good advice to girls which we hope will receive serious attention.

Sime nature study students from Snell’s Grove brought some specimens for identification. Among them was the lace wing, a very dainty insect with large Lacey wings, and which feeds upon the aphids. Another was the Dobson which is the aquatic larva of the order of insects known as neuropteran. In the larva stage of development it is used largely by fishermen for bait. It is well known along the banks of the Mossy. Eels are also reported to be found along this stream. The Meadows and Lees are full of such insects as the damsel and dragon flies.

The evening’s performance closed with a little dance and as the lights were low it finished up with a dance in the White, moonlight which was streaming in through the windows. Then there was a Russel for to get the wraps. The darkness acted as a Shield to some amusing episodes which were transpiring in the corridors.

The next important event was the recital given by the pupils of Prof. Williamson. The pupils reflected great credit on their teacher by the way the songs and instrumentals were given. Among them was the Flight of the Butterflies and The Thunderstorm. A little lassie of eight played a Scotch selection on the violin and was heartily encored. Representatives were presented from the various countries. The Irish were there from the Shannon while the McLean tartan represented the Highlands. Prof. Williamson represents the Toronto College of Music and his pupils were presented with diplomas from that college during the evening performance. Misses Reid, Bailey, Robertson, Hafenbrak, Munro and Hunt were the fortunate winners and nearly all passed with honors.

After these there was an adjournment and those who did not stay in their Ward at home set out on five year’s cruise on the Meighen and were shipwrecked.

–J.B.

Fork River

The Orangemen will hold their annual New Year’s Ball on January 6th. This is an annual affair and always has been one of the events of the season. Come out and enjoy yourself. The proceeds are to go to a member who lost his all by fire some days ago.

The U.F.M. has elected new officers for the year and will start out with a pie social on January 13th. Do not forget the date.

E.V. Lockwood and family have left for Englefeldt, where Mr. Lockwood will take charge of the C.N. station.

J. Schuchett is moving his old warehouse to the street and all old customers will find him open for business.

The “kiddies” are looking forward to the Christmas holidays with a grin.

Rats are becoming the pest of the village. We would like to see the council put a bounty on them. It might help rid the district of what will be the source of considerable loss of not checked.

See Fred Tilt for fire and life insurance. No one should go without insurance. The cost is small and the security is great.

Winnipegosis

The catch of fish at this point, so far, is below normal. The late mild weather made it very hard to handle the catch at all.

Enearson Bros. have taken a bunch of teams up to the northern part of the make and expect to return with fish about Dec. 20.

The Booth fisheries and the Independent Fisheries have finished storing ice for next season’s operations.

Hay and wood are coming in steadily, at $2.50 to $3 per load for hay and $3.50 to $4 per cord for seasoned poplar.

The trustees are advertising for a new principal of the school. Teachers seem to be ever on the move and keep the trustees guessing all the time. Some day the profession, like other professions, will become more permanent. Of course, in this statement I do not wish to include the gentler sex, whose chief aim (and a worthy one) is to get married.

The United Sunday school Christmas tree and entertainment on the 22nd promises to be a great success. A large number of our young people are taking part in the program. The work of training the children was no small job, and to those who gave their time the thanks of the community are due.

Inspector Martin, of the provincial police, Dauphin, arrived on Tuesday, to participate in a wolf hunt. He was joined here by Constable Black. Timber wolves are reported killing tock in the country north of the town and settlers want these dangerous animals exterminated. An Indian hunter will accompany the two constables on their expedition.

Our community, in sympathy with other places in the West has experienced a poor year. But, many of us in times gone by have seen worse days, so let us cheer up and plan for better things in the coming year.

Today in the Dauphin Herald – Dec 1 – 1921

Mossey River Council

The council met at Fork River, Nov. 15. All the members were present. Minutes of the last meeting read and adopted.

Communications were read from Lakeview Municipality, including copies of several resolutions. Municipal Commission, re date for Mossey River and Winnipegosis to meet in the question of the Mossey River Bridge; Dauphin Land Office, re cancellation of homestead entries; the Hudson Bay Co., as to water trouble on 12-29-20; H. Arrowsmith, re tax account; the controller of town planning, re addition to Fork River; two applications for cancellation of taxes under “The Soldiers’ Taxation Relief Act,” and the Municipal commissioner, re hail insurance.

Hunt-McLean — That the taxes on the T.A. Burrows lumber yard be cancelled to a basis of assessment of $5,000.

Marcroft-Hunt — That taxes to the amount of $20.34 standing against the S. of 2-31-18 be cancelled.

Hunt-Marcroft — That taxes against the following lands be cancelled to the amount over and above an assessment of $800. The nw, sw, and ne of 9-29-18; the nw 23-30-18; and the ne 14-31-19, and also the nw 11-29-19, to an assessment basis of $900.

Hunt-Toye — That the several resolutions submitted by the municipality of Lakeview be endorsed and that the delegates to the Municipal Convention are instructed to support them vigorously.

Marcroft-Thorsteinson — That the account of Coun. Panagobka for letting and inspecting work be passed.

Panagobka-McLean — That the following amounts of taxes be cancelled: D.A. Briggs $35.28; T.N. Briggs, jr, $75.

McLean-Toye — That the polling place for Tp. 30, Rge. 19, be Bicton Health School and for Tp. 29, Rge. 19, Wieden School.

Toye-Panagobka — That the reeve and Coun. Marcroft be a Committee to investigate the water trouble on sec. 12-29-20.

McLean-Panagobka — That the accounts as recommended by the Finance Committee be passed.

McLean-Panagobka — That the Council adjourn to meet again at the call of the reeve.

Winnipegosis

Several loads of fish have arrived from Duck Bay. As the season advances fish deliveries will be a daily occurrence.

Candidate W.J. Ward was in town Tuesday. He is billed to address several meetings in the district this week.

Rev. E Roberts returned from Dauphin on Tuesday. He had an interview with the dentist while at the big down.

The ladies in town are very busy preparing for the United Church bazaar, to be held in Friday, December 9th, in the Rex Hall, commencing at 3 p.m. A good assortment of dainty useful presents will be on sale, most suitable for Christmas presents; and tea will be served from 5 to 7 o’clock. At 8 p.m. there will be an entertainment in the hall. Admission: Adults 35 cents; children 15 cents.

Although December brings us to the half year in church work, as yet, owing to the distressing financial situation we have been able to raise only 26 per cent of the amount necessary to carry through our year’s work. It is therefore sincerely hoped that this effort to add to church funds will receive the utmost possible support of…[lost page atm]

Today in the Dauphin Herald – Nov 17 – 1921

$300 from Poppy Day Sale

In commemoration of the many Canadian Soldiers who are buried on the battlefields of France and Flanders, and to mark the signing of the armistice, thousands of Red Poppies, replicas of the scarlet flowers which grow in such profusion in the devastated areas, were placed on sale last Friday, all through Manitoba.

In Dauphin the sale ladies were on the street at an early hour, and every pedestrian was politely asked the question, “Will you buy a poppy?” Scarcely a person refused and nearly every man, woman and child, wore a red flower.

Headquarters for the poppy Day campaign were established in the G.W.V.A. Hall. Proceeds of the sale amounted to about $300, half of which goes to the G.W.V.A. Building Fund, and half to the I.O.D.E. War Memorial.

La Verandrye Chapter thanks the Great War Veterans Association for the use of the rooms, the citizens in town and country for their generous response toward the campaign, and lastly the different committees of ladies, who worked so untiringly in their efforts that the sale might be a success.

Dauphin’s Population 3862

The census returns for Manitoba are now to hand. The population for he town is 3862. With the sub-divisions of Westmoore and River Heights it is 4,200. The sub-divisions are really part of the town although in the rural municipality of Dauphin. The increase since the census of 1911 is 37.19 per cent.

The population of the Electoral Division of Dauphin is 35,219. The increase since 1911 is 50.78 per cent.

The population of the province is 613,008, an increase since 1911 of 32.92 per cent.

Grandview town has a population of 846, an increase of 32.81.

Winnipegosis

Mr. Harry W. Grenon returned on Tuesday from a trip to Chicago. He states that the fish market outlook is not very bright. Prices are likely to continue low.

The open winter fishing season started on the 15th. The number of licenses issued is about 150, which is considerably less than last season. No fish, of course, will be brought down from the north until the ice is strong enough to carry the teams.

The wholesale companies operating this season are: The Booth Fisheries, The Armstrong Independent Fisheries and H.W. Grenon.

The prevailing prices for fish are 6 cents a pound for whites and 5c. for yellows.

The meeting in the interest of Mr. Cruise last week was well attended. The speakers were Messrs. Cruise and Bowman.

Today in the Dauphin Herald – January 29, 1920

G.W.V.A. Notes

Members are requested to remember the meeting called for Thursday, Feb. 5th, in the rooms. Comrades Bowler and Wilton, of the Provincial Command, will address the meeting.
The association would be glad to receive any discarded magazines or books.

Fork River

Peter Ellis and son Ray, of Kamsack, spent last week here. He had Dun Hamilton sell his homestead effects. The goods off and sold well.
Robt. Hunt, homestead inspector, spent several days in the district last week. Bob is one of the old-timers and we are always glad to see him.
Max. King was a visitor to the Peg last week.
The funeral of the late John Basham took place on Sunday.
The Literary Society had the meeting in All Saints’ Church on the 20th inst. It was magazine night, Mrs. Ina Briggs, editor, had charge of the adult portion of the program. Mrs. A.J. Little gave a selection on the piano. The papers by the juveniles were very good. There were ??? by Prof. Williamson and his pupils, W. and A. Russell. Mrs. I. Briggs accompanied on the piano. There was a ten minute talk by Mr. Lockwood. There was a good ??? and all enjoyed the excellent program. W. King was chairman, Wednesday next, the 28th, the program will be in charge of the school teachers.
More snow has fallen of late. An abundance of snow always means sufficient moisture and good crops.
It seemed a little odd to be without the daily papers of late, but I suppose one has to get used to anything these days when the times are out of joint.

Sifton

Mr. and Mrs. Paul Wood and family, who have gone to Florida, are greatly missed by their many friends and we wish them every success in their new home.
There is very little wheat coming to the elevator now. The most of it has been already marketed.
W.C. Wellborn was in town a few days ago and says the fishing on the lake is fairly good this winter.
The trains are running all hours these days.
Mike Poloski is in Winnipeg attending college this winter.
Ed. Woods, of Dubin Bay, is spending the winter with Mr. Willison.
The stock is wintering fairly well although feed is very scarce.
Mr. Fred Kitt spend a few days in Winnipeg lately.
Mr. Ramsey, who has been under the weather for some time, is improving in health.
The roads are good and the town is full of famers every day.
Brigham Young is again in our midst.

Today in the Dauphin Herald – January 22, 1920

Ethelbert

We have been asked to publish a copy of telegram sent to the Acting Prime Minister at Ottawa by the Ruthenians of this vicinity. It is herewith:
“Canadians of Ukrainian descent, in mass meeting assembled at Ethelbert, unanimously protest against the brutal invasion of Ukrainian East Galicia by imperialistic Poland, against the decision of Peace conference of July 11th, sanctioning the invasion, and against the decision of Supreme Council of November 20th awarding to Polish invaders a mandate over Ukrainian East Galicia for twenty five years. We appeal through the Canadian Government to the Government of Great Britain and other allied governments and people to right great wrong done to four million Ukrainians of East Galicia. We urge governments to have polish invading armies withdrawn from Ukrainian East Galicia to have that territory occupied by inter-allied armies, and to compel Poland to make reparation for destruction of Ukrainian villages and towns, and to indemnify families of civilians murdered by Polish soldiery or robbed by Polish officials. We appeal to governments to settle East Galician question in accordance with wish of people concerned. We request the Canadian Government to convey this our appeal to the government of Great Britain and to British plenipotentiaries at Paris.”
The above protest shows clearly where the root of wrong is and what the Ukrainians demand.

Fork River

The first annual Grain Growers’ Masquerade Ball, which took place Friday evening, the 16th of January, was a huge success and the big event of the New Year. The costumes were varied and created a pretty color scheme. There were six prizes awarded. Miss Gertrude Cooper as a Japanese lady, and Mr. D. Briggs, as a soldier, were awarded the prize for the best dancers. Mrs. Charles Bailey, representing a Gypsy fortune teller, was awarded first prize for best lady’s costume; Miss Viola Rowe, representing a country maid with her quaint hat, dress and crook was awarded second prize. Dr. A.J. Little, representing a colored dude was awarded first prize for best gentleman’s costume. Mr. Milton Cooper as Pierrot, was awarded second prize. The prize for best comic costume was awarded to Mr. Norman Shannon, who represented a tramp. The judges were Mrs. T.B. Venables, Mrs. A.J. Little and Mr. Williamson. After the judging and unmasking at midnight refreshments were served.
Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Rawson are moving to Winnipegosis.
Fork River Literary and Debating Society met at the home of Mrs. A.J. Little, Saturday evening last to discuss the next debate, which will be held Wednesday evening, Feb. 4.
Fork River Women’s Institute met at Mrs. Tuck’s Saturday afternoon for the election of officers and to appoint directors for Agricultural Society. Mrs. A.J. Little was elected Secretary to succeed Mrs. Ina Briggs, Mrs. T.B. Venables and Mrs. McEachern were elected directors.
Mr. Fleming Wilson, Mr. T.B. Venables, Mr. Duncan Briggs, delegates to the Grain Growers’ convention held at Brandon, gave their reports on Tuesday evening’s meeting.

Winnipegois

The Tennis Club is arranging to hold a masquerade ball on Friday, Feb, 18th. A ball is always popular and a masquerade ball doubly so. This dance promises to be the event of the season.
The fish catch has been exceptionally good this winter. The December catch was the largest in the history of the late. Many of the fishermen will return from the north early next month.

Snake Island Fish Hatchery

While I have highlighted a few of my relatives with the help of 52 Ancestors I thought I would do something different this week. This week, instead of a person, I am going to focus on a government institution that employed a number of local men from Mowat and beyond, including my great-grandfather, who lived along the shores of Lake Winnipegosis.

This week I will be looking at the Snake Island Hatchery.

Now what exactly is a fish hatchery you may ask? Well, as Wikipedia has neatly written a fish hatchery is a place where artificial breeding, hatching, and rearing of fish occurs and is typically done to support the aquaculture industry.

Much of the information below can be found in the Department of Natural Resources Fisheries Branch 1984 report The Past, Present and Projected Demands on Manitoba’s Freshwater Fish Resources. The first records of commercial fishing in Manitoba date back to 1872 when a few men from Winnipeg established a fishing station on the Little Saskatchewan River, now called the Dauphin River. This early venture failed due to a number of factors such as poor transportation, the abundance of fish, and heavy competition with the Great Lake fisheries. Only in the following decade, with the introduction of efficient freight and fishing boats and the expanding market, did the industry became more commercially successful.

The success found on Lake Winnipeg opened up opportunities for commercial fishing on Manitoba’s other lakes including Lake Manitoba and Lake Winnipegosis. Growth in the industry can be attributed to the development of the railway as well as other modes of transportation. The commercial fishing industry on Lake Winnipegosis developed rapidly when the rail-line to the town was completed in 1897.

Lake Winnipeg, Lake Winnipegosis, and Lake Manitoba have been the three most important fisheries in the province while Whitefish was the most important species caught until their decline in the 1920s and 1930s. Advancements in equipment such as gasoline powered boats and stronger gill-nets made fishing quicker and easier than ever before and consequently with all the success there were also concerns of sustainability and depletion.

As early as 1892 a number of regulations were enacted in order to restrict and confine commercial fishing, some of these regulations include the size and limit of fish, the type of nets and boats used, as well as the start and close of the fishing season. The first fish hatchery in Manitoba was built at Selkirk and was constructed in 1894. This hatchery, however, was closed in 1914 and replaced by another at Gull Harbour that was later moved to the mouth of the Dauphin River. A number of different hatcheries were built to support the fishing industry on the three major lakes but I will only be taking a closer look at one of them.

The Snake Island fish hatchery was the first to be built on Lake Winnipegosis, 1909, and was located on the south end of the lake. In fact, Snake Island is one of the closer islands on the lake to the town of Winnipegosis, it was only five miles away. I can only speculate why it is called Snake Island but a note in a 2001 letter to the editor of the Dauphin Herald mentions little red Garter Snakes swimming out to the island on Lake Winnipegosis. While snakes might not be afraid to swim, five miles seem like a long way from the mainland, but I suppose the island could have made a good nesting ground for the snakes away from predators.

Below is a picture taken of Snake Island and what is suppose to be the hatchery however I believe the building in the photograph might actually be the building for the department of forestry that was also on the island.

c. 1916

c. 1916

The first mention of the fish hatchery is in the Winnipeg Free Press in 1907. This small article writes that the building and its equipment have been put into place and they now wait for a dock to be built but it would be some time before the buildings would see any proper use. Two whole years would pass before the fish hatchery would officially open its doors and even then it was a rocky start.

Winnipeg Free Press – 22 Oct 1907
Fishing Season Wound
Winnipegosis, Oct. 19. – Fishing operations are wound up for the season and all are preparing for the winter’s work.
P. Wagner, of the department of the interior, is looking into matters connected with the department this week.
The fish hatchery is completed and the glass jars for the fry will at once be placed in position.
Work is expected to commence at once on the dock at Snake Island. The Island will assume its proper importance when it is made a port.

In 1911 a large scale report of recommendations was published by the Manitoba Fisheries Commission. Commissioners J.B. Hugg, D.F. Reid, and Edward E. Prince traveled all across Manitoba in 1909 and 1910 in order to examine the fishing policies and procedures of the day as well as to speak with fishermen in order to determine how to sustain the commercial fishing industry.

Winnipeg Free Press – 21 Oct 1909
Lake Winnipegosis Fishermen Place Their Opinions Before Commissioners

Fish Are Now Plentiful

Closed Summer Seasons Have Good Effect – Hatchery Would Be a Benefit

Winnipegosis, Man., Oct. 20 – The fishery commission continued its meeting here today, many of the oldest fishermen expressing opinions resection the fishing industry. Commissioner Prof. E.E. Prince gave the fish dealers and the fishermen to understand that they were there to investigate the fishing industry from every standpoint. The principal matter discussed today was as to what part of the lake the fishermen wished to be open for summer fishing, and it was learned that they wished the north end of Lake Winnipegosis to be kept open. Prof. Prince stated that the object of the inquiry was to make fishing regulations and to find out to what extent fishing should be allowed so as not to exhaust the lakes of fish, but to make the fishing industry a permanent livelihood for the fishermen and settlers of this vicinity and to arrange the matter so that the fishermen can get the best price possible for their fish.

Fish Do Not Migrate

The fishermen stated that they require to be allowed to use about two thousand wards of net for each man for winter fishing and about half the amount for summer fishing.

They also claimed that the fish do not migrate from one portion of the lake to the other, but each band of fish has its own home and there live and die. It was claimed that the fish are not now as plentiful as when fishing first began, but that the fish are of a better quality than when they were overcrowded, as then they were half starved. The opinion of the fishermen was that a hatchery would be a benefit, but they thought there should be the usual close season to allow nature to follow its course for keeping up the supply of fish in the lakes. It was sworn by the fishermen that the law regarding summer fishing can be observed.

The commission suggested that the amount of net for each fisherman should be five hundred yards, but this was objected to by the fishermen, who stated that a man could not make a living if this was enforced. It was also shown by the fish dealers and fishermen that the industry could not be carried on without exportation to the United States. The fishermen thought a good protection to the whitefish would be that nothing less than a five and a quarter mesh be allowed.

It was stated during the taking of evidence that the fish had increased considerably during the past three years, as the lake had been closed for summer fishing and the fishermen would like not to see the lake open again, but restrictions would be necessary to prevent the lake from being depleted.

The evidence given by the witnesses today was much the same as yesterday. The commission has not made any statements as to what changes will be made in the fishing laws, but they are in favour of putting the fish industry on a permanent basis so as to have it satisfactory to the fishermen and, at the same time, not to exhaust the lakes of fish. The commission will go to Snake Island tomorrow, where the fish hatchery is located, and will leave here Friday evening, which is the first train out of here. The prospects are good for the lake being opened for next summer fishing.

Two whole years would pass before the fish hatchery would open and even after it was a rocky beginning with the commissioners coming to inspect the building and its workings as part of their inquiry.

Winnipeg Free Press – 23 Oct 1909
Commissioners Inspect Hatchery
Plant at Snake Island, in Lake Winnipegosis, Ready to Commence Operations
Winnipegosis, Man., Oct. 22 – The Fisheries commissioners visited the fish hatchery at Snake Island, about five miles east of town, today. The attempt made in the forenoon failed. The commissioners embarked in a gasoline launch, but as it was turning into the Mossey River, leaving the landing place a rod broke, necessitating an hour’s work by a blacksmith in welding it. In the second attempt the party traveled a couple of miles out into the lake and there the machinery stopped and nothing could be done. Capt. Silton came out with his tug and towed the party back in time for dinner. A steam launch was later obtained and the trip made successfully in the afternoon, starting at 2:30 and returning at 4:30. Snake Island is said to be an ideal place for a whitefish hatchery. It is some two miles and a half in length, and narrow, comprising between 200 and 300 acres. Substantial buildings and up-to-date equipment for hatching purposes on a scale of considerable magnitude, have been provided, and everything is in readiness for operation as soon as the spawn can be brought in.

The Process of Hatching

Mr. Finlayson, superintendent of hatcheries, of which there are thirty-give in the Dominion, is one on the lake making preparations for hatching the spawn, which is obtained at this time of year. Allowing for differences of a week or two between the different points on the lake, north and south, as this hatchery is now it is impossible to say even approximately how many whitefish can be hatched in a season, but if the spawn can be obtained in sufficient quantities to fill all the receptacles, there may be perhaps twenty to forty millions hatched each year. The spawn is placed in glass jars, in the centre of each is a glass tube, he top of which is connected by means of a rubber tube with a water tap, and water is pumped up from the lake and kept continually flowing through the jars, the spawn being thereby kept as nearly as possible in the condition in which it would be in the lake.In about six months the fish are hatched out then they are kept for some further time in large tanks through which, as in the glass hank previously, fresh water is kept constantly running. The final operation is the taking of young fish out and depositing them in the lake. Care must be exercised that the temperature of the water be as nearly as possible the same as that in the jars. What proportion of these grew to replenish the lake it is not easy to estimate.

The commissioners proceed to Dauphin tonight to take evidence there tomorrow.

In their interim report the commissioners indicated that more attention needed to be given towards hatchery operations to increase their efficiency. A starting note is that the commissioners found that the Winnipegosis scheme was a serious failure.

“We referred to the prevalent feeling in the province respecting the serious mismanagement which happened in certain seasons formerly, whereby some hatcheries practically were not in operation for one or two seasons…The evidence brought before the Commission clearly provided that on Lake Winnipegosis this was emphatically the case and that there was a serious lack of proper management, and that the system adopted for securing spawn was an altogether unreliable and undesirable one. We are aware that the department, when the matter came to its attention, had a special officer sent to Lake Winnipegosis and we have every reason to believe hat recently a great improvement has taken place and that matters have been put on a more workable basis (p. 15).”

Here is a picture take from the inside of the fish hatchery. My best guess is that it was taken sometime around 1916 as the individual with the X is my great-grandfather who worked at the hatchery. It is interesting to see the inside the of the building given the description of a hatchery from the article above that described the process of hatching.

c. 1916

c. 1916

Dauphin Herald – 20 Feb 1916
Fork River
W.J. Johnston arrived home and intends putting in a few months on the homestead. Johnny has been at the fish hatchery in at Snake Island all winter and says they have they best lot of spawn since the hatchery started.
Dauphin Herald – 17 Apr 1924
Winnipegosis
The government are starting to gather pickerel spawn in the Mossey River, and they have also a number of men destroying suckers in the creeks and small rivers. There is a one cent bounty paid for each sucker destroyed. The reason of destroying these suckers is to prevent them from eating the spawn of the better fish.
The Snake Island fish hatchery is turning out a larger production of fish than it has for years.
Dauphin Herald – 8 May 1924
Commendable Conservation Work
The Fish Cultural Branch of the Department of Marine and Fisheries at Ottawa, last year started a cur safe on the coarse fish in Lake Winnipegosis, particularly on the suckers, which play such havoc by devouring the eggs of the finer and more edible species such as whitefish, for which Lake Winnipegosis is internationally known.Last season upwards of 40 000 suckers were destroyed and a number of the parent fish were distributed to alkaline lakes throughout Manitoba and Saskatchewan, free of all charge.Suckers, being of practically no commercial value, but very prolific, are not fished for, whereas the Whitefish ave been fished very extensively for a great many years and to assist nature to maintain her balance the Department of Marine and Fisheries, some few years ago, established a whitefish hatchery on Snake Island which has proven most effective but it is obvious if the sucker is allowed to multiply unmolested it must eventually predominate.The Department has, therefore, launched a well organized campaign under the supervision of Inspector of Hatcheries S.J. Walker, of Ottawa, and H.J. Reid, Superintendent of the Snake Island Hatchery, and a bounty has been placed on the head of Mr. Sucker with the result that this year approximately 200,000 will be destroyed.To appreciate the result and the ultimate beneficial effect that this commendable action of the Department of Marine and Fisheries will have on the Lake it must be realized that each female sucker will produce, on a conservative estimate, 25,000 eggs, taking 50 percent of the above number destroyed to be females the destruction in eggs will reach the enormous total of 2,500,000,000.While the parent sucker is destroyed, a great number of their eggs are taken and fertilized by officers of the Department and distributed, free of charge, to applicants desiring this species; the sucker being of a hardier variety than most fish found in the Western waters, have a better chance of surviving in alkaline lakes than any other species.

Persons desiring a shipment of these eggs should make application to the Department of Marine and Fisheries at Ottawa, Ont.

Snake Island was not without accident or tragedy as seen in the following articles which mention destruction of property and even death.

Dauphin Herald – 9 Mar 1922
Winnipegosis
The dwelling house at the hatchery on Snake Island was burned to the ground Monday 27th. The maid, who was out milking, on returning to the house found it in flames, and quickly aroused the inmates, who all got safely out. Practically nothing was saved.The fishery overseer from Selkirk was here on behalf of marine and fisheries. He was investigating the need of nouns in the channels. He reports that it is necessary to have buoys, and also one buoy light at a dangerous spot further north.
Dauphin Herald – 30 Nov 1922
Drowned at Winnipegosis
A tragedy occurred at Winnipegosis on Monday evening, in which young Billy McNicol lost his life. Employed at the fish hatchery on Snake Island, he started to skate back the five miles from Winnipegosis just about dark on Monday evening, but never reached there. Being missed the next morning a search part started out, following his tracks, and found his hat on the ice where he had broken through, and the body was recovered about noon.
Mr. Martin, at other employee of the fish hatchery, started to skate across in the opposite direction on the same night, towards Winnipegosis town, and broke through the ice, but was eventually able to crawl back up on the ice, and return to Snake Island.
Dauphin Herald – 14 Jul 1927
Winnipegosis
It was with feelings of deep regret that we learned of the fate of the seaplane which left Snake Island base, Lake Winnipegosis, Monday morning for Victoria Beach, Lake Winnipeg, and met with such fatal results when flying over the Fairford district in which three lives were lost. Aviator Weaver, Mechanic Eardley, and Photograher Wrong, D.L.S. Aviator Weaver has made frequent visit to Winnipegosis in the last few years and all who have been here for some time completing some portions of the air maps. During their brief stay here they had made many friends at Winnipegosis and the Campers at Snake island and members of the hatchery crew all of whom extend their deep sympathy to the relatives in their sad bereavement.
Dauphin Herald – 24 Jul 1930
Cyclone at Snake Island, Lake Winnipegosis
On Thursday evening about nine o’clock a regular cyclone passed over Snake Island. It uprooted dozens of elm and maple trees. The Forestry plane moored at the station there was a complete wreck. The wind tore it from its moorings, breaking both the 1 inch manilla rope and 3-8 inch steel mooring cable with which it was secured to its buoy, turning it over several times smashing both wings and wreaking it in general. Flight Officer H.A. Foley has hone to Winnipeg for another plane. The Provincial Government buildings, where the Hatchery is situated, were undamaged.

Between 1914 and 1918 there was an increase in commercial fishing in Canada due to the demands of the first world war, however with the removal of these demands at the end of the war there was also a decrease in fish production. Another increase in production would be felt again in the 1920s when the international market opened up, however this did not last long as there was another decrease in production at the beginning of the 1930s. This dip proved to be the breaking point of the Snake Island hatchery. The Great Depression also effected how the government managed its budget and the tight purse strings can be seen in the following articles that make mention of debt.

Winnipeg Free Press – 28 Feb 1930
Dominion Government Reduces
Expenditures by Nearly $5 000 000

Harbours and Rivers

In regard to harbours and rivers, the estimate deal generously with the Red River and Lake Winnipeg areas.
A sum of $96500 is provided for Manitoba, to be used as follows:
Arnes wharf repairs … $6000
Habours and rivers, generally, repairs and improvements … $15 000
Hnausa wharf extension … #13 000
Hecla wharf extension … $24 000
Red River renew of jetty … $9500
Roseau River improvements … $10 000
Schist Creek improvements … $2000
Selkirk wharf reconstruction … $3000
Snake Island … $4000

Arnes is a fishing town on Lake Winnipeg, and, in reality, a new wharf will be built, the old one being hopelessly out of repair. The wharf at Hnausa, also a fishing village on Lake Winnipeg, was built two years ago, but offered little, if any, protection against storms. The government, this year, will build an extension to it in the form of an L, thereby providing shelter from high seas. The Snake Island fishing community, also on Lake Winnipeg, is to be given a wharf. The item for the Red River jetty includes the pair of the navigation channel to the north of Selkirk where the river passes through a vast swamp, an also at the outlet to Lake Winnipeg.

Dauphin Herald – 9 Mar 1932
$110,651 Deficit in Natural Resources

Fisheries

Three fish hatcheries are maintained and operated, at Gull Harbour, Lake Winnipeg; Snake Island, Lake Winnipegosis; and Swan Creek, Lake Manitoba. According to Dominion statistics during 1930 the output of these Manitoba hatcheries was equal to the total output of all the other hatcheries in the Dominion.

The hatcheries at Gull Harbour and Snake Island are each capable of handling one hundred million whitefish eggs or a smiler quantity of pickerel eggs, while the hatchery at Swan Creek has handled over two hundred million pickerel eggs. These eggs are distributed in various parts of lake Winnipeg, Winnipegosis and Manitoba, and pickerel eggs are also distributed to numerous small lakes throughout the province.

The Annual Report of the Department of Mines and Natural Resources for the Fiscal Year Ending April 30th, 1933 reported it was found necessary in the interest of economy to close down the Winnipegosis (Snake Island) Hatchery. The Superintendent was placed in charge of the Hatchery at Gull Harbour on Lake Winnipeg (p. 150).

It wasn’t till more than a decade later, after the second world war, that the buildings on the island were put up for sale.

Winnipeg Free Press – 22 Jan 1947
MISC. PROP. FOR SALE 91A
OFFERS TO PURCHASE will be received by the undersigned up until 12 o’clock noon, February 15, 1947, for the following Provincially owned buildings and contents located on Snake Island in Lake Winnipegosis:One double storey frame dwelling, approximately 24’ x 24’ and lean-to.
One Fish Hatchery Building, frame, approximately, 76’ x 36’ and lean-to.
One Frame building approximately 12’ x 16’.
The purchaser to remove the buildings before May 1st, 1947 and leave the site in a work-man-like condition.

HON. ERRICK F. WILLIS.
Minister of Public Works (Man.)
203 Legislative Building, Winnipeg, Manitoba.

In the 1970s and 1980s various youth groups such as the Boy Scouts and the Cubs would visit Snake Island just like those who had taken pleasure trips to the island in the early years. These pleasure seekers would walk and camp among the interesting flora and fauna that made the two mile island their home.

Dauphin Herald – 21 Jul 1910
Winnipegosis
Mrs. H.M. Park and children, are spending the summer holidays at Snake Island, Winnipegosis.
Dauphin Herald – 7 Aug 1913
C.N.R. Employees Excursion August 21st
Three launches have been engaged to play between Winnipegosis and Snake Island which will afford much interest to many, it being a very good picnic ground and also has a large fish hatchery.
Dauphin Herald – 25 Sep 1919
Winnipegosis
A quartette of duck hunters, composed of J.L. Bowman, E.N. McGirr, Dr. Harrington and Dr. Walker returned on Tuesday from a duck hunt at Snake Island on Lake Winnipegosis. They found the bird numerous and got good sized bags. Since their return the hunters have been busy distributing the water-fowl among their friends.
Dauphin Herald – 24 Jun 1920
Winnipegosis
The senior pupils of the Winnipegosis School with principal A.V.B. Lamont and wife and a number of the parents, spent a pleasant afternoon Sunday on board the S.S. Odinak, which sailed to Snake Island hatchery. After touching at the dock they went on south to McArthur point, where a landing was made on the beach. After a pleasant hour’s ramble and swim, lunch was served. A threatening wind and rain storm caused a hurried embarkation. The Odinak touched at Snake Island on the homeward trip, taking off a Dauphin party, who alarmed at the rising storm, were glad of the safety of the larger vessel. About seventy-five were landed safely by Captain J. Denby, who was in charge. All enjoyed themselves, especially the excitement of the trip home.
Dauphin Herald – 13 Jun 1946
Winnipegosis
A large group enjoyed a picnic on the lake last Sunday, visiting Snake Island. Oscar and Sternie Fredrickson obligingly used their gas boats to accommodate the crowds.

In the 1984 report on the department of Manitoba fisheries there is mention of rebuilding the Snake Island fish hatchery. Furthermore, in the late 1980s there is also mention of developing Snake Island into a sheltered picnic area to be marketed first to the local people in the Parkland and then to all of Manitoba and beyond. To the best of my knowledge nothing came about on the development of Snake Island though I am interested in visiting the place one day. It would be interesting to walk along the shoreline and see where this institution stood as it had such an impact on the area just over 100 years ago.