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Page Index of Forest to Field Volume One

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SAWING BEES

After the winter's supply of wood had been cut in a wood lot, and hauled home, the sawing bees were organized usually around February or March. One farmer in a district would rig up a circular saw mounted on a flat platform on a set of sleighs. The saw was run by a gas engine, and later by tractors. Six or seven neighbors would band together, and choose a day for their sawing.

Sawing bees were rather a festive occasion. A time for visiting as well as work. Sometimes extra help would be needed in the house, so a neighbor would bring his wife to help out in the kitchen. Dinner and lunch you would hear the men joking and laughing. This was the time to tell tall tales of other sawing bees.

When the sun crept low in the sky it was time to call it a day. The cheerful neighbors would depart tired but happy that they had done a good day's work.

The next step was to chop the blocks into stove sized pieces. Crisp cold days were the best. One swing of the axe and the block was split in two.

Wood played such a vital role in the survival of the early settlers and up until the mid 1940's.

Fred Skog cutting wood.

Bringing home the fuel supply.

92

Wood sawing with the Model T.

Ernest and Henry Lofgren and helper wood sawing.

FISHERIES RESEARCH BOARD OF CANADA

by John Whitaker

In the late 1950's, the provincial government stocked several small lakes in this area with rainbow trout fingerlings, hoping to establish sport fishing op­ portunities. Although these stockings were unsuccessful due to the regular occurrence of winterkill, they did document the extremely rapid growth rate of the fingerlings during the open water season.

In 1968, the Fisheries Research Board of the Federal Department of Fisheries began an experimental program in the Erickson-Elphinstone area with the objective of establishing a seasonal trout farming industry based upon the spring stocking of fingerlings and the fall harvest of edible-sized trout. Nora Lake on the E 112 19-17-18W was stocked the first year and harvest results were poor. In 1969, three lakes were stocked and results on two of the three were spectacular. In Lake 154, located on the farm of John and Kathleen Bachewich, 700/0 of the spring-stocked trout were harvested in October at an average weight of fourteen ounces.