Fishing


fishing1

Some farmers who lived by the Severn used to supplement their income by fishing. This picture shows Tony Bamfield holding a salmon at Folly Weir, Aust in 1967.

Salmon fishing was regulated and licences were needed. It was treacherous work, requiring knowledge of the river, tides and winds. In the winter months, the fishermen cut lengths of willow to make their putchers, the conical traps used to catch the fish. The putchers were set out in rows in wooden frames known as weirs or ranks or fishing engines. These stretched out into the Severn, at 90 degrees from the river’s edge. Salmon swimming into the putchers were trapped and couldn’t swim out again.

Putchers can still be seen in Thornbury, filled with flowers, and there is one hanging in the museum hall.

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