The Acting Secretary of State to the Canadian Minister (Massey)
Sir: I have the honor to invite your attention to the situation regarding pike perch fisheries in Lake Champlain which in former years has been a subject of correspondence between the Department and the British Embassy. In note No. 393 of June 7, 1926, the Ambassador stated that it was the Canadian Government’s view that fishing in boundary waters should be considered as a whole rather than that the fishing in Missisquoi Bay should be considered separately.
While this Government appreciates the Dominion Government’s position as set out in the Ambassador’s note, it believes that the interests of the people on both sides of the international boundary require the discontinuance of seine fishing in Missisquoi Bay, independent of the solution of questions relating to fisheries in other boundary waters. This Government understands that in the Lake Champlain region the interests of the summer angler are of greater financial importance to the resident people than market fisheries could be. You will recall that the American-Canadian Fisheries Conference of 1918 found that the work of the States of New York and Vermont directed toward the building up of the Lake Champlain region as a summer resort was being “largely nullified” by seine fishing in the Canadian part of Missisquoi Bay. The benefits of the fish hatcheries in the American section of the Lake are likewise impaired by the seine fishing.
This Government appreciates the importance of adequately protecting and regulating fishing in all the boundary waters through the cooperation of the governments of the United States and Canada. It is a matter of regret to it that questions of a local nature have delayed it in undertaking negotiations in regard to the fisheries in certain waters. However, this Government is hopeful that in respect of the fisheries in every part of the boundary waters in relation to which no serious questions have arisen the Dominion Government will find it possible to cooperate in the preservation of the permanent interests of the people immediately concerned.[Page 515]
In view of the opening of the season in which seine fishing in Lake Champlain has been permitted, which is now approaching, I have the honor to request that you bring the views of this Government to the attention of the Government of Canada with the suggestion that, if the Dominion Government finds it practicable to prohibit the use of seines in Missisquoi Bay, this Government will appreciate such action being taken.