Mr. Adee to Sir Julian Pauncefote.

Excellency: In part reply to your note of the 25th ultimo, regarding the injury to the salmon fisheries of the Fraser River, arising through the setting of ground nets by United States citizens at Point Roberts, on the boundary line of the State of Washington, I have the honor to inform you of the purport of a letter received on the subject from the Commissioner of Fish and Fisheries.

The Commissioner states that his Commission is now engaged in an investigation of the methods, condition, and apparatus of the fisheries, and of the life history of the species of fishes which are of economic importance in the international and contiguous waters on the boundary between the United States and Canada, and that a concurrent investigation, having the same object, is being conducted by the Canadian Government. These investigations are being made in accordance with a protocol now in force between the Government of the United States and that of Great Britain, the purpose of which is to furnish a basis for joint and concurrent regulation of fisheries in the waters above referred to. The present season’s investigations will be conducted on the Lake of the Woods, the chain of Great Lakes, and the maritime waters lying between the United States and Canada, this region presenting the most important and urgent questions of controversy.

The particular matter brought to the Department’s attention by you, the Commissioner thinks, properly belongs to the investigation now in [Page 260] progress, and he has accordingly brought the subject to the attention of the American representative, Mr. Richard Rathbun, and requested him to have the matter fully investigated. Pending this inquiry it does not seem expedient to take any action. When Mr. Rathbun’s report is received the Department will communicate its substance to you.

I have, etc.,

Alvey A. Adee,
Acting Secretary.