Video by the Musée de la mémoire vivante
Informant: Georges-Henri Lizotte, eel fisher
Date: November 13, 2016
Location: Rivière-Ouelle (Québec)
Georges-Henri Lizotte and his team are busy dismantling his eel weir.
Georges-Henri Lizotte uses a device mounted on his tractor to remove a post planted on the foreshore – the portion of the shore that is flooded only at high tide. The post still has stays and a fishing net attached to it. A man watching the operations heads toward the post as soon as it has been laid on the ground.
[Narrator] Georges-Henri Lizotte is using a device mounted on his tractor to remove the stakes and posts from the wings, the leader and the main structures of his weir.
It’s November 13, 2016. This is the latest date on which the family has ever dismantled their fishing gear on the Pointe de la Rivière Ouelle.
Georges-Henri Lizotte rolls up a cable on the ground carefully and methodically. He talks about last night’s windstorm.
[Georges-Henri Lizotte] I don’t know what the wind was like last night. I don’t know which direction it was coming from – south. In any case, a south wind doesn’t’ do much damage. A northeast wind causes damage. I’ve never seen any damage when the wind comes from that direction. It just broke like that.
[A person we cannot see] There were gusts of 80 km. The strongest recorded was 95 km.
[G.-H.L] I don’t know if they were sick, but three or four of my trees snapped.
A trailer is now attached to the tractor. Three men pick up posts lying on the ground and put them on the trailer.
[Narrator] They can’t wait any longer. Snow and ice may soon make it impossible for them to work, in addition to destroying all the fishing equipment.
A new scene. Three men pick up a net folded on the ground and pile it onto a platform hitched to the front of the tractor as a man drives it forward.
The day before, the stakes and posts from the wings and the leader, the poles, the nets and thousands of fasteners were gathered up systematically.
The nets are very heavy because they are attached at the bottom to a large iron chain and are very wet. Once all the debris has been removed from them, the nets will be dried and then repaired, if necessary, before being placed in storage.
Georges-Henri Lizotte places the forks of the tractor under the collecting box of an eel trap and then lifts it so that he can transport it. Another man watches the operation.
The men don’t talk very much. They all know exactly what steps they have to follow and what they have to do.
The collecting boxes and the blocks of concrete used to anchor them in place are the last things to be removed from the foreshore.