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HA WARDEN. PETTY SESSIONS. THURSDAY WEEK.—Befote Meadows Frost, Esq. (in the chair), W. Johnson, H. Maddock, and W. Hancock, Eq rs. ILLEGAL USE OF THE TRAMMEL NET ON THB DEB.— William Bitheil, of 7, Pitt-s reet, and James Minshull, Crane-street, Chester, were summoned at the instance of the River Dee Fisherv Board for fishing with a net during weekly close time.—^Mr A. Pritchard, Chester, prosecuted on behalf of the Fishery Board. Bithell did not put in an appearance.—In statihg the case, Mr Pritchard said the information was laid under the Salmon Fishery Acts 24 and 25, Victoria, cap. IOU, and section 21, which enacted that no person should fish for, catch, or kill any salmon by any means other than the rod and line, between 12 o'clock at noon on Saturday-and six on Monday morning, the penally for contravention being not over £5, and a further penalty not exceeding £1 for eaeh fish so taken. The defendants were summoned for contravention I of the section by fishing at 12.45 on the morning of Sunday, the 28th Jaly, on the river Dee.—Thomas McShea, head water-bailiff, in the employ of the River Dee Conservators, said he was on duly on Sunday morning the 28th July last by tho hisrhor ferry on the Navigation Cop. He saw a boat fishing, one man beinw ia the boat and another walking on the side, and there was a nit from the boat to the man on shore. They fished down towards the ferry, an l when they got the man in the boat lifted the net in and also :ook the man off the bank. They then returned to Chester. He kept them in sight an the time, and when they landed at Chester he identified them aud spoke to them. He saw Bithell take the net out of the boat and Minshull and he were carrying it between them, when be met them and took it from th"m. He said to them This is a nice time to be fidiing—on Sunday morning." Bithell said :—" I don't deny it. We have been out but we got nothing, and we have hst the net now. I will give you 10s on Monday to say nothing about it." Minshull was walking cn> hit in front when this was said. There was no fbh in the boat.—Minshull,. when by the Bench if he had anything to say, replied that he was very sorry the thing had happened, but he got drunk and was pursuaded to go out.—McShoa stated that Minshull was not a regular fisherman, and the de- fendant himself said he was a labourer.—Bithell, who did not appear, was fined 40s and the cost", or 14 days' hard labour in default; and Minshull, as he seemed to be a tool, was fined only 10s. and costs, or seven days' hard labour,—Bithell and Minshull wore further sum- moned under a bye-law of the River Dee Fishery Board prohibiting the use of the trammel net except within a specified portion of the river. Mr Pritchard said he was desirous of proceeding with this case in order that he might have the opportunity of an ex- planation —The Chairman: Is it for explanation or con- viction.—Mr Pritcha-d I will put the case before the court aid I shall be quite willing to let you deal with it; but the chief object of my doing so is to let it be known to other fishermen the wecl-e circumstances under which the question of trammelling is situated. He proceeded to say that this was an information against the same defendants as in the last case for a breach of a new feve law which had been recently passed by the Board of Conservators. It had been for some time a ground of complaint by the fishermen at the lower end of the river that they were unable to fish for salmon with the ordimry draught net, and they petitioned the Homo Office, asking them would they be good enough to take into consideration whether or not trammel nets might under some circumstances be leealised. Two inspectors, Mes-rs Walpole and Bick- land, came down to Chester some time ago and held an inquiry into the subject, and as a result they re- ported in favour of a regalisation of trammel nets. Upon that the Conservators, as speedily as possible, con- vened a meeting of their board, and took the matter into consideration, and in order to carryjout the recommend- ation of the inspectors they passed this bvelaw:— "Trammel nets may be lawfully used for taking salmon in that portion only of the River Dee which is below animaginarv line drawn across the riverfrom Burt on Point on tho northward shore to Rokliff Hall on the southward shore thereof, and in no other portion of the river above that line, namely, a net consisting of not more than three walls or nets placed together, the centre one having a mesh of not less than two aud a quarter inches from knot to knot when measured wot, and the outer onea having a mesh of not less than eleven inches from knot to knot when so measured. Any person offending against this byelaw shall be liable for each offence to a penalty not oxeeeding This bye'aw Mr Pritchard went on to say, had been approved by the Secretary of State, pursuant to the act of Parliament, on the 10th June last. He might explain that prior to the passing of this new byelaw it was altogether illegal to fish with trammel nets, by section 10 of the same statu'e he had quoted in the other case. But m order to meet the wishes of the fishermen anj to enable them fairly to carry on their trade, the Board had passed this byelaw, limiting the use of these nets to a certain area, and it was the desire of the Board that it should be known that that was illegal, and that was the principal object in issuing this ;ast°information. —Thomas McShea was called to prove that the net used by the defendants on this occasion was a trammel net.—The magistrates imposed a fiue upon Bichell of 5s and costs, or seven days in default, and Minshull they ordered to pay half the costs-3: 31, and gave him a month to pay the full amount in which he was mulcted, 19" i}J.




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