The British Ambassador ( Howard ) to the Secretary of State

No. 393

Sir: With reference to your note No. 711.428/1020 of April 13th last regarding the pike-perch fisheries in Lake Champlain, I have the honour to inform you at the request of the Government of Canada, that enquiries made through the Department of the Province of Quebec which administers fisheries in that area, indicate that while some illegal fishing was attempted in April, the seines and other apparatus were immediately seized and an official of the Department, who has since made a thorough investigation, has reported that conditions are now entirely satisfactory.

As set forth in your note under reference, the question of prohibiting seining in the Missisquoi Bay was considered by the Canadian-American Fisheries Conference of 1918, and in anticipation of the different questions that had been referred by the two Governments to the Conference being settled by the acceptance of its report by both Governments, a regulation was adopted by Order in Council of February 18th, 1918, prohibiting fishing by means of nets of any kind in Missisquoi Bay. This regulation was maintained in the face of growing objection to it until March 1st, 1922, up to which time the recommendations of the Conference, though they had been approved by the Canadian Government, had not been approved by that of the United States and there was no immediate indication that they would be.

Missisquoi Bay is in the Province of Quebec, where the fisheries are being administered by the Provincial authorities, which consequently issue any licenses which authorize fishing there. The statement in your note abovementioned that it has been reported that individuals continue to fish in the Bay during the close season is being communicated to the Provincial authorities for proper attention.

It will be recalled that the Treaty of 1908 for the regulation of the fisheries in boundary waters32 covered not only Missisquoi Bay, but other waters as well. The regulations adopted by the Commission [Page 514] appointed under that Treaty failed to receive the approval of the United States Senate and so did not become effective.

In the light of the above, the Dominion Government are of the opinion that the situation should be dealt with as a whole rather than that Missisquoi Bay should be considered by itself.

I have [etc.]

Esme Howard