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“ [384] different places in Mistick River, three days in a week.” This petition was not acted upon for some years.

The next act of the General Court, touching this prolific trade in Medford, was in Feb. 16, 1789, and was as follows:--

An act to prevent the destruction of fish called shad and alewives in Mystic River, so called, within the towns of Cambridge, Charlestown, and Medford, and for repealing all laws heretofore made for that purpose.

Whereas the fishery in Mystic River, in the county of Middle-sex, if properly regulated, will be of great public utility, as it serves to promote the cod-fishery, and is also of advantage to the particular towns through which the river runs, affording, in some measure, subsistence and support to the inhabitants thereof, and is therefore necessary to be preserved, &c.

The act provides that each of the three towns is empowered to choose a committee for the preservation of fish, whose duty it shall be to keep out of the river all obstructions to the free ingress of the fish. The act grants to Cambridge the right to fish, within the limits of that town, on Monday, Tuesday, and Friday; and to Charlestown and Medford the right of fishing, within the limits of those towns, on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday,--from the first of March to the last day of June. Penalty for each violation of the law, three pounds. In this act, the right of each inhabitant to fish is recognized and secured. If persons from other towns should either stop or catch fish in this river, they shall each be fined three pounds for every such offence; and the committee shall have power to arrest them, and sell their seines, dragnets, marsh-nets, baskets, or any other implements used by them. “This act to be in use five years, and no longer.”

Immediately on the passage of this act, the town proceeded, April 2, 1798, to a new step, indicated in the following vote: “Voted that the town will let out their fishing-grounds to the highest bidder the present year.” While this vote was based upon the original right of the town to the fisheries within its borders, some minor questions arose, which led the inhabitants, at the same meeting, to choose a committee to inquire into the rights of the town to the fishing-grounds. The result was, that, Jan. 21, 1803, the town “voted that a petition be presented to the General Court, at their present session, to enable the town to let out the right of taking fish in Mystic River, within the limits of the town.”

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