New Brunswick History and Other Stuff

St. John River – Grand Falls to the Tobique

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 Grand Falls

The St. John River at Grand Falls, N.B.

The following is from The St. John River in Maine, Quebec, and New Brunswick written in 1894 by J.W. Bailey; and this segment includes that part of the river between Grand Falls and the Tobique.

Bailey’s descriptions are not limited to the main river, but also include tributary rivers and streams. The work describes, in effect, the entire watershed. He had a particular interest in identifying fishing areas, but the work is broader than that and is primarily geographical.

Two unacceptable remarks about Indians have been deleted, albeit they were apparently acceptable in 1894. Each of these places is marked with an asterisk.


The St. John River From Grand Falls to the Tobique River in 1894

I – From Grand Falls to Andover

At the basin below Grand Falls the river pauses, as if for needed rest, and then races away to Andover, twenty-four miles off, at an average speed of six miles an hour. Here and there some ledges cross the channel, or loose rocks obstruct the current, forming the White Rapid, Rapide de Femme, and Black Rapid, within the first four miles from Colebrooke; Frayall’s Rapid, near Little River; and the Tobique Rips, opposite Indian Point. These rapids are not dangerous, and the uniform rapidity of the current makes them less noticeable than would otherwise be the case. The valley is narrow and deep, with many well-formed terraces rising one above another, and marking former water-levels of geological antiquity. An excellent field is presented for the study of glacial and post-glacial phenomena, and of surface geology, as in addition to the numerous terraces may be seen the drift-filled pre-glacial channels of the St. John around the Grand Falls, of the Aroostook around the Aroostook Fall, and of the Tobique around The Narrows.

Between Grand Falls and Aroostook the country is more rugged, and the inhabitants fewer in number than elsewhere between St. Francis and the sea, while the railway generally follows the level table-lands on the natural terraces. On the Rapide de Femme Brook, two and a half miles from Colebrooke station, the government maintains a salmon-hatchery, above which the water falls fifty feet in a series of minute cascades.

Little River, which enters the St. John three miles above Aroostook, is in itself of no importance, but it reminds one of the blundering bad taste of the early colonists in calling a dozen or more streams in western New Brunswick by that commonplace name, while so many euphonious Indian words were negligently abandoned and lost.

II – Salmon River

Salmon River rises near the source of Grand River, runs a course of forty miles, drains something over two hundred square miles, and disembogues into the St. John six miles below the Grand Falls. Through a deep valley, encompassed by lofty hills clad in a dense spruce forest, the tributary stream rushes forth with a speed rarely found in such a small body of water. Crossing a rich intervale where stately elms are grouped with other trees in the regularity of an artificial park, the water of the Salmon River — and very pure, transparent water, too — dances and sparkles, and seems momentarily to increase in speed; while such is the force of the stream that, in the course of time, masses of pebbles and sand have been pushed out, crowding the main St. John into a comparatively narrow and very rapid channel. One of the ablest canoe-polers of the Madawaska valley said that he had never undertaken a more difficult task than that of pushing a birch up the first five miles of this mad stream. “Worse than Green River” he remarked, wiping the perspiration from his brow. Salmon River may be ascended for thirty miles or more, but nothing will be gained by so doing, unless the explorer desires to penetrate the wilderness in a new direction. The water is less rapid above Foley Brook.

Salmon never resort to this river now, as once they did, and the trout-fishing is poor.

III – The Aroostook River

Six miles above Andover the Aroostook sweeps into the St. John by a graceful bend around the base of a lofty ridge, which terminates in a knifelike point at the very confluence of the two waters; and, in length one hundred and thirty-eight miles when measured from the source of the Munsungan, and drainage area two thousand one hundred and sixty square miles, it is certainly the largest tributary. Probably the average volume of discharge is also the greatest, but on no other large branch of the St. John does the water fall so low in dry weather. Even Green River, with an area less than one fourth as great, is generally navigable when it would be almost impossible to work a canoe over the partially dry bed of the Aroostook. The causes are, probably, the paucity of large lakes which retain the flood water, the extensive denudation of forest, and the widening of the channel by heavy lumber driven from the upper waters. Once the valley was famous for white pine, but the larger trees have been pretty well culled out in recent years. So rich and well-irrigated is the soil that the region has been called “The Garden of Maine.”

The Munsungan stream, undoubtedly the principal branch of the Aroostook, rises near the sources of the Musquacook River and Spider Brook, tributaries of the Allagash, and, by uniting with the Milnikak, Millnokett, or south branch, forms the Aroostook proper. Both the Munsungan and Millnokett have lakes and deadwaters. Thirteen miles of stream connect Big Munsungan Lake with the Millnokett, and one fall occurs, necessitating a portage for canoes. Above the lake are deadwaters, fed by small brooks, many of which flow from very picturesque little ponds among the mountains.

The Millnokett stream may be reached by portaging from the East Branch of the Penobscot to a small pond above Big Millnokett Lake. Below the lake the channel widens into another pond, followed by a few miles of rough water, and the lower course is also somewhat obstructed by rapids. Deadwaters are found above and below the mouth of the principal tributary, the Milmigasset, a rough brook flowing from Milmigasset Lake, one of the prettiest little bodies of water in the Aroostook valley.

The Mooseluc River runs about thirty miles, drains nearly one hundred and fifty square miles, and enters the Aroostook from the north, ten miles below Millnokett. Its various sources interlock with the Munsungan, Musquacook, and Big Machias rivers; and the country comprising the valleys of these streams is one of the best, possibly the very best, of moose grounds in the St. John River basin, and a locality equally as good for deer and caribou. The traveler must be content with the hunt, however, as the fishing is very inferior. Chandler Brook joins the Mooseluc a few miles above the mouth, and drains a fair-sized lake.

A little above Umcoleus stream, and ninety-five miles by water from the St. John, begins that pioneer settlement called the Ox-bow Plantation; then the Aroostook ceases to be a wilderness river. The banks are generally under cultivation, although wooded in places; and the water glides noiselessly along, unbroken by a single rapid that the ordinary canoeist would call a bad one. The scenery is attractive, although strictly rural. The Umcoleus stream, which takes its name, as the Indians say, from a species of wild duck, may be ascended by canoe, if the poler’s arm be stronger than the rapids; and at its head are deadwaters connected by a portage with a tributary of the East Branch of the Penobscot. The La Pampeag River, which is said to have been in early times the principal avenue to the Aroostook from the Penobscot country, flows between low banks encumbered with alders and leaning bushes.

The Masardis, or St. Croix River, probably the largest tributary, but one uninteresting to sportsmen, as flowing through a partially inhabited country, enters from the south, twelve miles above Ashland, and drains two hundred and sixty square miles. Big Machias River, on the contrary, another tributary draining over two hundred square miles of forest and desolate, barren land between the valleys of the Mooseluc and Fish rivers, affords an excellent hunting ground for moose and other large game.

Pending the settlement of the boundary question between the United States and Great Britain, the Aroostook valley became the prey of lawless trespassers, who removed large quantities of the most valuable timber. The legislature of Maine, in secret session, passed a resolve for the protection of the public lands, and authorized Sheriff Strickland to muster a company of volunteers for the suppression of this illegal traffic. On the fifth day of February, 1839, two hundred men were marching through the wilderness, under the leadership of Captain Stover Rines, and on the eighth of that month they reached Masardis stream, fell unexpectedly upon the trespassers, who offered but slight resistance, and captured their teams and implements. Flushed with success the company then advanced to the Little Madawaska, where they met with a reverse, and Captain Rines was made a prisoner, and carried off to Fredericton. These events precipitated the so-called “Aroostook War,” a general call to arms throughout the Provinces and Maine, fortunately unattended with loss of life, and leading to some curious international complications and Lord Ashburton’s treaty.

Ashland village, forty-five miles by road from the St. John River, is prettily situated on a hilltop overlooking the great green forest of the Machias valley. It is the terminus of a lumbermen’s road that extends almost straight across northern Maine to the Quebec settlements, crossing the Musquacook and Allagash rivers, and connecting Seven Islands with St. Pamphile. Few but Indians can trace it now, so overgrown has it become in many places with young trees and dwarfish shrubbery.

Midway between Masardis and Machias the Aroostook receives the Squapan, a “canoeable” stream, issuing from a lake nine miles in length, the largest in the Aroostook valley.

From Ashland to Presque Isle the river is shallow and very broad, — in places as broad as the main St. John above Edmundston. The town of Presque Isle, a miniature metropolis of four thousand people, built across the Presque Isle stream, one mile above its confluence with the Aroostook, has sprung mushroom-like, in a few years, from two houses and a mill; while the villages of Caribou and Fort Fairfield, the former fourteen, the latter twenty-six miles below Presque Isle, have also had a rapid, prosperous growth. Presque Isle stream resembles the Masardis; and as the upper waters interlock with those of another Presque Isle, a tributary of the St. John, the two streams are called respectively the Aroostook and St. John Presque Isles by way of distinction. Although but sixteen miles from Presque Isle town to the St. John, the distance is thirty-three miles by the river, which makes a very sharp northward bend. Below Caribou the Little Madawaska enters the Aroostook from the north, a large stream drain two hundred and thirty square miles south of the east branch of Fish River, and said to be sluggish, flowing through swampy forests of spruce and fir.

Four miles from the mouth, the noble Aroostook sadly impairs its reputation as a stream of uninterrupted tranquility. The water divides at first into little rapid channels, which gradually contract and unite; the slope of the river bed and the force of the current ever increasing, until the river finally enters a gorge, and tumbles about in it with a wanton fury only exceeded by that of the St. John at the Grand Falls. The walls of the gorge are low at first, but rise to an elevation of sixty or seventy feet at the lower end. Within are five principal cascades aggregating seventy-five feet in height; the largest a fall of sixteen feet, at the foot of the gorge, where a remarkable dike of diorite overhangs the water. Immediately below the dike is the Split Rock, on which lumber once piled, as at the Grand Falls, until the gorge became completely choked. Nicely formed wells appear at the Aroostook Falls, worn out by the grinding action of rounded stones, and one especially is very large, the water within pulsating in correspondence with the ebb and flow of the fall outside, by reason of some curious subterranean connection. Dense evergreen woods surround the gorge, and the scene is picturesque in the extreme.

The valley of the Aroostook, in the three miles intervening between the fall and mouth, is very deep, and in several places the water falls over ledges and boulders, forming rough rapids. Whatson’s and Herd’s rapids are the most dangerous to navigate, and are already responsible for one or two canoe wrecks and some loss of life. In 1842 a canoe containing Dr. Gesner and his Indians was carried over Whatson’s Rapid and swamped, much to the doctor’s vexation, as he had intended to confine his geological researches to such ledges as appeared above water. The Augeanquapsporhegan, or Limestone River, enters from the north near Herd’s Rapid by successive cascades called “The Four Falls,” having a total descent of eighty feet.

Although the Aroostook waters are not well stocked with fish, the Tobique Indians succeed in spearing a good many salmon at the deep black pool below the fall. Some idea of that fish’s strength and activity may be conveyed by merely stating that a few small salmon succeed in ascending the gorge. Of late years grilse have been taken with the fly at the mouth of the Little Machias River.

IV – The Tobique River

Not often does a river like the St. John, considerably exceeding four hundred miles in length, receive its two principal tributaries within a distance of four miles; yet just so far below Aroostook the famous Tobique River pours its pure, translucent waters into the greater stream. The Tobique measures about one hundred and ten miles to the source of the so-called Right Hand Branch, and drains fifteen hundred and sixty square miles. A gentleman visiting the river in 1863 says: “The mouth of the Tobique is exceedingly insignificant, and entirely unsuggestive of the beautiful scenery which characterizes the river in every other part. This unprepossessing appearance is caused by the land being here quite low, and the channel obstructed by evergreen intervale islands. One would scarcely suppose that there was any river here at all, much less one of the largest tributaries of the river St. John.” To-day the water rushes forth in one rapidly moving mass, which presents an imposing appearance, even when viewed from the Andover bank. Can lumber, swift water, and ice, in so short a period, have completely eroded these “evergreen intervale inlands,” and scattered them, in the form of silt, along miles of the river below?

The Tobique and St. John waters do not thoroughly intermingle where they meet, but even at Andover, two miles down, the former stream’s proximity is indicated by the transparency of the river near the eastern bank. Below Green River the line of demarcation is equally distinct.

On “The Point,” above the Tobique outlet, we find a village peopled exclusively by Maliseet Indians, the aboriginal proprietors of both the Tobique and St. John. There are three principal Maliseet villages,—one at St. Mary’s, opposite Fredericton; one on the west bank of the St. John, twelve miles above Fredericton, and the one under consideration. A family of the Penobscot tribe has settled at St. Pamphile, near Big Black River, and a few scattered Maliseet families live at Edmundston and other points. * Some of them farm in a small way; all have ceased to live in wigwams. The men build canoes, hunt, and act as guides. The squaws make baskets and like articles of commerce, and indeed do all the less interesting work, as no disturbing modern theories of woman’s rights have entered the cerebral cavity of the brawny Maliseet. In every village the Indians maintain a brood of ugly, vicious dogs; but dogs not under their immediate control they greatly fear. The birch-bark canoe is used invariably, while the French and English settlers along the Upper St. John prefer the pirogue, a clumsy-looking craft, shaped, like that of the ancient Britons, from a single log. In still water the birch outstrips the pirogue, especially in running with the wind, but in poling rapids the pirogue keeps the better headway. The Indians experience some difficulty at present in procuring suitable bark for canoe-building. The white or canoe birch is said to attain a diameter of six or seven feet in some parts of the northern woods, but so widespread has been its destruction that the Indian is compelled to seek it in regions growing ever more remote. Where once canoes were covered with a single sheet of bark, they now too often exhibit unbecoming seams and patches. which, opening from atmospheric change or contact with stones and snags, necessitate a frequent use of the rosin-pot.

Two lakes resting on the common watershed between the St. John and Miramichi rivers, and called respectively “Long” and “Trousers,” form the principal sources of the Tobique. Trousers Lake, which is five miles long, has been named from the similarity in form to a well-known article of male attire. Had nature placed it on the broad Aroostook they would have called it “Pants.” The shores are low and thickly wooded to the water’s edge with black spruce, which imparts a weird and gloomy aspect. Long Lake, seven miles in length, is much more beautiful, with higher shores. Large boulders, deeply overgrown with moss, cover the surface of the country in this vicinity. Both lakes send forth goodly streams, which, by uniting, create the “Right Hand Branch,” or principal water, of the Tobique. Geographically speaking, it is the “left hand branch,” but popular names, when generally accepted, admit of no correction. From Long Lake a portage of seven miles leads to the upper waters of the Little Southwest Miramichi River; a very difficult portage to cross, but one that affords the traveler what is possibly the longest and most attractive journey through an unbroken wilderness to be found east of the St. Lawrence. Britt Brook, a tributary of the Long Lake stream, flows from a little lake on the same watershed with the others.

The Right Hand Branch has a rough fall, three or four feet high, six miles above its junction with the Left Hand Branch, Little Tobique, or Nictaux; and elsewhere is rapid and ledgy, with high banks, gradually rising below the mouth of the Don River, or Long Lake stream. Above the Don the boulders make the channel rough and difficult to navigate.

The Serpentine River enters from the east, about twelve miles below the Don, and widens at one part to form Serpentine Lake, a very tortuous sheet of water, surrounded by hills which decline to form flat projecting headlands. The channel is encumbered by boulders for six miles below the lake, and then we find a deadwater approached by lofty ridges which stretch away towards Cow Mountain, on the southeast. Nine miles below the deadwater the river cuts through a granite belt, forming rapids and falls, around which a portage of a quarter of a mile becomes necessary. Several large brooks enter, and most of them, including North Pole Brook, rise near the sources of the Little Southwest Branch of the Nepisiguit. The various lakes we have mentioned lie approximately parallel with each other, and are connected by a series of portages; that from Serpentine Lake to Britt Brook Lake being the longest.

The word Nictaux means “Forks,” and in no other part of the country do we find such a peculiar corrivation as the Nictaux or Forks of the Tobique. Almost at the confluence of the two principal streams, the Mamozekel River enters the Right Hand Branch; the Sisson stream, the Left. The same explorer who noted the islands near the mouth remarked: “The two branches form with the main stream a figure somewhat resembling an italic T.”

The Sisson Branch has a fall seven miles above the mouth, where a portage of more than a mile must be made; above the fall a tributary enters from the northeast, flowing from Sisson Lake, an excellent water for trout. A lessee of the Tobique, accustomed to hunt around the Nictaux with John Bernard and “Frank,” two of the most experienced Indians at “The Point,” says: “Up to the present time (March, 1893), no person, not even a lumberman or Indian, has ever visited the headwaters of the main Sisson stream.” There can be little question about the accuracy of his information.

The Nictaux, or Little Tobique, runs about thirty-five miles and drains, with the Sisson Branch, an area of three hundred and seventy square miles. The drainage area of the Right Hand Branch is slightly greater. All these streams spread out over the country so as to give a fan-shaped appearance when viewed on the map, the main Tobique being the handle of the fan, the various branches the spokes. The many lakes, ponds, and barren hinds around the outskirts of the watershed afford a hunting ground for moose and other large game, very little, if any, inferior to that surrounding the upper Aroostook.

Nictaux Lake, the most picturesque little water imaginable, and the head of the Left Hand Branch, nestles at the base of Bald Mountain, the highest peak in New Brunswick. The mountain, which is not, strictly speaking, bald, but clothed with a stunted vegetation, rises quite abruptly from the water’s edge to a height of 2,240 feet, or a little less than half a mile. The sides are strewn with large detached blocks of granite, and the slope has been ascertained, by actual measurement, to be no less than forty-five degrees. The view from the summit is so extensive that on a clear day with a good glass one may on the one hand see the cliffs of Gaspe to the northward, and on the other, in the far-off south, the still more lofty and snow-crowned peak of Katahdin. The whole country, as far as the eye can reach, is one unbroken wilderness, thrown into mountains and ridges of every variety of outline. A stream having a few feet of rapid descent divides Nictaux Lake into two parts, the upper part connecting with Nepisiguit Lake by a portage two miles and a half long. By ascending the Tobique, crossing this portage, and descending the Nepisiguit River, the traveler will enjoy a very surfeit of good hunting and fishing. rapid-shooting, beautiful scenery, and wild camp life. The lower lake is two miles long by one broad, and completely inclosed by hills, except at the ends. A tiny island, bare of all vegetation, rises in the very centre of the eastern end, immediately beneath Bald Mountain, affording the jaded traveler a complete refuge from those quintessences of wickedness on wings, the black flies.

The Little Tobique is somewhat obstructed by rapids for a few miles below the lake, and then becomes narrow, deep, and swift, with many windings. The Great and Little Cedar streams enter from the north, their upper waters being probably as little known as those of the Sisson Branch. Below “The Cedars” the stream becomes more tortuous than ever, the current slower, the banks thickly overgrown with tangled alders. Had the ancients been familiar with Northern New Brunswick they might have chosen the Nictaux or Cabineau, instead of the Meander, as an illustration of thoroughly aimless crookedness.

The main Tobique measures some sixty-three miles from the Nictaux to Indian Point, the only really rough waters occurring at the Narrows and Red Rapids, although the current is swift in most places. The valley is one of the most fertile and beautiful ones in the Province, and on no other tributary of the St. John, unless it is the Aroostook, has the pristine forest so rapidly disappeared before the settler’s axe. While in 1860 but a few scattered dwellings appeared, near the Red Rapids, the valley is now continuously, in many places thickly, settled from the Nictaux to the St. John.

One of the most enchanting parts of the stream is the Blue Mountain Bend, where the water is smooth, deep, and transparently clear, and the three ragged summits of the Blue Mountains rise abruptly on the east. The soil is reddish below Two Brooks; the land alluvial and rich. There are many islands, low and covered with luxuriant vegetation. Dr. Gesner estimates their number in the main Tobique to be no less than seventy, but it is liable to change from time to time through natural causes.

The Gulquac enters the Tobique from the south, about twenty-five miles below the Nictaux, and Gulquac Lake, the source of the south and principal branch, is connected with Trousers Lake by a portage two miles and one half long. The stream is rather too rough for canoeing, as it winds around the bases of bold and rugged cliffs, but the upper waters of both, branches lie well within the country of large game. In the summer of 1885 the industrious beaver so far forgot his constitutional dislike of civilization as to construct a dam across it, four miles from the settlements in the Tobique valley, a perfect model of infrahuman architecture by which every drop of water was successfully turned into the adjoining woods, and the river bed left quite dry for many yards below. “Beaver like white man,” remarked the delighted guide on first discovering it, “settles down and goes to work; otter like Injun, here to-day, there to-morrow.”

The Au-kee-awe-waps-ke-he-gan, or “River with a wall at its mouth,” is another principal contributor of the Tobique, entering from the south, twenty-eight miles above Indian Point. Its name, which certainly deserves to have some meaning, has been successively shortened to “Wapskehegan” and “Wapsky,” while the “wall at the mouth” consists of a cliff of red and snow-white gypsum, interstratified with marl and sandstone, and often of a pearly whiteness. It is sixty feet high, and nearly perpendicular, exhibiting a curious and beautiful appearance, from the alternating bands of gypsum and red sandstone. The Wapsky, with its tributary the Rivière du Chute, and the Southwest Miramichi River, have interlocking waters. Possibly a canoe could be “portaged” across, although the task would doubtless be very difficult.

Three Brooks stream flows from the north, a few miles below the apex of the Wapsky Flat. On the east branch we discover an excellent trout pool. The Otella or Odell River flows from the south, its two principal branches uniting in a picturesque ravine, where the country is dotted with curious little mounds, almost exactly pyramidal in form.

An interesting feature of the lower Tobique is the almost tropical luxuriance of the vegetation. On the banks are elms and mountain ash of enormous height, with tall grass, and ferns four or five feet high. Even the extreme severity of the winters seems unable to check the natural outgrowth of soils so fertile. At the Red Rapids, twelve miles above the mouth, where beds of bright red sandstone cross obliquely the bed of the stream, we find the only rough water that the canoeist need encounter, except the rapids in the narrows; but while difficult to ascend by poling, the Red Rapids are not at all dangerous. *

Within a circle, having a twelve-mile radius, we find the Grand Falls of the St. John, the Aroostook Fall, and the Tobique Narrows, three lasting monuments of the glacial era. It is probable that, immediately after the disturbance which turned the rivers from their respective channels, three mighty cataracts were formed, situated at the lower ends of the modern gorges, and equal to their present massive walls in height. A process of erosion began, continued through the countless ages, a very race of waterfalls, a never-ceasing struggle to wear away the barriers of rock. With what result? The Grand Falls have moved one mile and lost one half their height and majesty. The Aroostook, moving too speedily, has formed a series of cascades, which being less in power will long remain there. The Tobique, least in volume while greatest in erosive might, alone has conquered the impeding barrier, and now it gambols over the vanquished ledges in some rather lively rapids, the sole remaining remnants of the great post-glacial cataract. In a few more ages the narrows will undoubtedly present the placid surface of a lake. The obstruction which created Grand Falls stemmed back the water above, but the similar impediment which caused the Tobique Narrows merely heaped up large quantities of traveling sand in what is called “The Grand Bar,” the water plainly increasing instead of diminishing in speed. Canoes may descend the narrows with safety, although the novice sometimes experiences such an uprising of the hair as would put “the fretful porcupine” to shame; and the stream drivers steer small rafts down during the spring floods. Within the lower and middle portions of the gorge the water is tranquil and very deep, but so beautifully transparent that the interlacing veins of pure white calcite may be seen distinctly at a depth of sixty feet, contrasting, as they do, so strongly with the darker ledges of slate.

The reader may be disappointed to learn that the public are debarred from using the Tobique as other than a natural highway. Such is the case, however, the local government having leased it for salmon and trout fishing to the same syndicate that controls Green River. Without discussing the propriety of this mode of raising provincial revenue, we merely remark that the policy has caused much ill feeling on the Tobique. So general was the discontent at first, that when some poachers fired upon a fishing party, instantly killing the wife of one of the lessees, the sympathetic jurymen could not be convinced that the crime was one of higher degree than manslaughter. The great salmon pools of the Tobique are distributed along the river as follows, viz.: Four on the Serpentine, at distances almost equally apart, dividing that river into four equal sections; two within the first mile and a half of the Right Hand Branch below the confluence of the streams flowing from Long and Trousers lakes; one on the Right Hand Branch about three miles above the Serpentine; two close together and perhaps five miles below the Serpentine; one, called the Seven Mile Pool, it being just that distance above the Nictaux; one about half a mile above the Mamozekel; one at the Nictaux or Forks ; one at the mouth of Cedar Brook on the Little Tobique; one two miles and one four miles below the Nictaux; one just above Riley Brook, and one a mile and a half below Riley Brook: seventeen in all. Of course salmon may be taken at many other places, and in addition to the generally good trout fishing there are pools of special excellence on the Serpentine, three miles below the lake, and on the main Tobique at the mouth of a small brook entering from the south, a little below Gulquac. Trousers Lake and another small lake near by are also considered good waters for trout. The Tobique salmon is smaller than the Restigouche, and less gamey than the Miramichi salmon, but affords very good sport nevertheless. A gentleman when visiting the river in 1863 said: “The trout are so numerous and voracious as to jump at the canoe paddles;” while in 1842 a settler living near the mouth killed twelve barrels of salmon with a single spear. Those happy days have long gone by, and with civilization’s onward march the whole basin of the St. John is rapidly deteriorating as a country for fish and game.


Written by johnwood1946

June 12, 2013 at 10:02 AM

Posted in Uncategorized

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