Written by Alexander B. Lamberton
— PART three —
While researching A.B. Lamberton’s activities at the Fulton Chain, I found an article written for FOREST AND STREAM, March 23 1876, the only reference to Lamberton in “Adirondack Bibliography” published by the Adirondack Mountain Club.
Alexander B. Lamberton’s informative and historically entertaining article continues…
Before reaching the Forest House my horse fell several times, throwing me at each plunge into the feathery snow. Mr. Phelps, my companion, varied the journey by walking.
When walking he could only advance by aid of the animal’s switch.
A dog pressed close upon my horse’s heels, the snow covering the old fellow, save his nose and a narrow strip of his back.
At last we gained the hotel, the horses were stabled and we were seated by a warm fire.
The wind screamed around the building like a wild animal let loose from the mountain.
The snow beat the window panes and banked up the doors. The storm might rage were the boys in.
The team that we expected to find fresh for our return had just come in, and was worn and fatigued. It was out of the question, therefore, to go back for the men and fishes that night.
With the first light of day the teams started. The snow was still falling.
The day had hardly worn away when our companions issued into the clearings from the woods.
Men and horses were literally covered with ice and snow. They advanced toward the hotel after the manner of machines, rather than human beings.
Our greatest concern was for the fishes.
The cans were examined and not one of the little “innocents abroad” [reference Mark Twain] were dead.
There were the little finny fellows full of life, wiggling in the self-made current, delighting with the prospect of being accounted worthy of a home in the Fulton waters.
I just began to realize what a perishable commodity tiny fishes are.
Before, I had had no conception of the care and attention required in conveying these on their journey.
Not an hour had passed since our departure from the hatching house that was not full of labor and anxiety. The water had to be aerated continually.
That your readers may form some correct conception of the labor consequent upon the conveying of young fish to the almost inaccessible waters of our State, I need but recite the experiences of a single night.
At 8 o’clock on the night previous to the one when the fish were put in the lake, the cans were filled with fresh water, and I took charge of them.
They run all right up to 11 o’clock when I commenced to draw the water, filling the cans with new.
I discovered the little fellows wiggling to the surface, a sure sign that they were suffering, and in one can they lay on the bottom, giving but little signs of life.
Mr. Marks was aroused, and for three hours, it was one continued effort to resuscitate the young salmon.
At last we saw a decided change in their condition for the better, but agreed that the surest plan to preserve their lives was to put them at once into the lake.
I aroused a man to aid in cutting a hole in the ice.
After much trouble we succeeded in making a cavity large enough for the small salmon to escape through.
The balance were taken on a hand sleigh far up the stream and put in to the Fulton Chain.
It may be well to remind anglers, when seated in their boats amid the green foliage, enjoying the scenery of these lakes, unsurpassed in beauty, trolling or casting the fly, of the winter day when these fishes came to the waters.
Also call to memory the days of waves and winds, of wet and cold, when Seth Green and his men gathered spawn on Lake Ontario.
The patient study and experimenting of Mr. Green has made our waters as susceptible of production as our acres of land.
Mr. Green is already receiving encouraging reports from water recently stocked with young salmon and other highly esteemed table fishes.
The state has just commenced the hatching of brook trout, and now our streams once famous for these fish will contribute again to the table of the mountain farmer, and afford the bare-footed boy with beech rod and twine rare sport, and the Isaak Walton’s of our land may bend their way to streams, where far from care and strife, from smoky town and busy life, they may cast the fly o’er the finny race.