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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 44.djvu/24

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life"; then the water is let in gradually from the sea until the required depth is obtained. For ordinary evaporation a small quantity of fresh water is allowed to be introduced, but sometimes it becomes necessary to admit tide water. There are hundreds of ponds along our coast that could be utilized in the same manner as the one which I have just described, and a little care to observe a proper density and temperature of the water, after the inclosure and macadamizing had been done, is all that would be necessary to secure quite as satisfactory results as have been obtained in France.

Stringent regulations governing the dredging of the French natural oyster beds have succeeded in rehabilitating the depleted

PSM V44 D024 Cases for rearing seed oysters at cancale france.jpg
Fig. 12.—Cases for rearing Seed Oysters at Cancale, France.

banks at Granville, St. Malo, and Cancale; and it appears to me that similarly stringent State enactments in Maryland and Virginia would immensely benefit the productivity of the Chesapeake grounds. "Dredging within the prescribed limits (in France), as at Cancale, is granted so seldom that such occasions have become like holidays." The time allowed in 1890 was "between two and three hours." Mr. Dean thus describes this annual dredging expedition: "The beach is filled with spectators. At a cannon shot the little vessels start as in a regatta, each striving to be first on the ground. The dredges, four or five to a boat, are operated by half a dozen fishers. A cannon shot closes the dredging, and the little fleet returns shoreward, usually well laden."