Tuesday, May 08, 2012
The kiacks arrive in early May, and the word goes out up and down the shore. These days, fishing times in each river are regulated, for periods ranging from a few hours to full days. Times are posted near the stream and are strictly enforced, so when there's no fishing the kiacks make their way upstream unimpeded. During the open hours, fishers line the banks with nets at the ready, dipping in just upstream of the rock they stand on and move it downstream with the water's flow, catching the small silvery fish as they head up-river to their spawning grounds. They're placed in tubs or crates for transport, and the best of them are set aside for salting and smoking. The rest will be used immediately for lobster bait or frozen for future use. The
Kiack season is a social event, too; there's plenty of time between runs of fish to visit, catch up with old friends, or talk about a wealth of riveting topics like politics or the weather. All to soon, the run will come to and end and the dipnets will be put away for another year. Right now though, for young and old, the riverbank is the place to take part in a tradition that's been kept alive in these parts since the first natives caught sight of the silver flash of fish in the stream.