Video by the Musée de la mémoire vivante
Informants: Josée Malenfant and Simon Beaulieu, eel fishers
Date: November 14, 2016 and January 23, 2017
Location: Rivière-Ouelle (Québec)
The tide dictates the dates on which a weir can be installed and dismantled, as well as the length of the weir and the time of day the collecting boxes can be emptied.
Josée Malenfant and Simon Beaulieu are sitting on a couch facing the camera and take turns talking.
[Josée Malenfant] We know in the spring, based on the tide tables, when we will be able to dismantled the fishing gear. We make plans based on when the tide is low. We decide how much gear we will install this year.
[Interviewer] Approximately how many hours do you have between the two tides to do your work?
The couple smile.
[Simon Beaulieu] When the tide is low at the end of the weir, I’d say we have about half an hour to an hour at the most. That’s not very long. That’s why we always choose the best tides – the tides with the greatest range so that we can work longer. We work for a while around the collecting boxes closest to shore. Then we work further out. We finish the tide by coming back and working inshore. This allows us to work for, I’d say, three to four hours at low tide.
We actually fish twice a day according to the tide. Starting on the 15th or 20th of September, we fish twice a day, at different times of the day, based on the tide. When it’s at 2 a.m., it’s at 2 p.m. Then after that, it’s at 3 a.m. and 3 p.m., 4 a.m. and 4 p.m.