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and may be recovered by action of debt before any court of competent jurisdiction, and be distributed as aforesaid.

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1723 ’83, An act to prevent the purloining of Fish caught in any Pots,

Weirs or Nets. Penalty Be it enacted by the General Assembly, and by the authority

thereof it is enacted, That if any person or persons shall be pots,&c. found robbing or drawing any fish-pots, weirs or nets be

longing to any other person, they shall be liable to be sued by the owner or owners of such pots, weirs or nets; and upon due proof thereof, shall pay to the owners of such pots, weirs or nets, the sum of seven dollars and costs, to be recovered before any two justices of the peace or wardens of such town where the offence shall be committed.

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1736 243 An act to prevent the Fish from being hindered in their course '98 1800

1e into Point Judith ponds and Petaquamscut and Saucachuset 20 '22. rivers. Seins, &c. Section 1. Be it enacted by the General Assembly, and by

the authority thereof it is enacted, That no person or persons set in certain shall, at any time from the twentieth day of April to the places,

fifteenth day of June, in every year, erect any weir or draw any seine or net for the obstructing, catching or hauling any fish, within half a mile from Point Judith breach into the sea; or at the breach or entrance into Petaquamscut river, nor within one mile thereof; nor at any time in any of the waters of the Point Judith ponds or

narrows, or in any part of Saucachuset river. Across Sec. 2. And be it further enacted, That no weirs shall be Peta

sut made or erected across Petaquamscut river at any time; river. neither shall any standing seine be set across said river,

at any time whatever. Penalty. Sec. 3. And be it further enacted, That if any person or

persons shall set, draw or haul any net or seine, or erect any weir, contrary to the provisions of this act, he shall forfeit the net, seine or weir so set, drawn or erected, to

gether with the boat and fishing apparatus employed in How re- setting or drawing the same; to be seized and taken by covered.

warrant issued upon complaint under oath; the said forfeiture to enure to the benefit of the complainant; and

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shall also forfeit and pay the sum of ten dollars, to be recovered by an action of debt before any three justices of the peace in the county of Washington, (who are hereby empowered to hear such matter, give judgment and grant execution thereon;) one half thereof to and for the use of the person who shall sue for the same, and the other half thereof to and for the use of the town of South-Kingstown.

Sec. 4. And be it further enacted, That this act shall Smelt fishnot be construed to prevent any person using such nets

Lo cepted, &c. or fishing craft for the catching of smelts, as is commonly used in the smelt fishery, from the first day of February to the first day of April annually.

Sec. 5. And be it further enacted, That the freemen of the Southtown of South-Kingstown be and they are hereby author- bir ized, at any legal town-meeting, annually, to choose so overseers many overseers of the fishery in said pond and river. as of

ery. they may deem necessary, whose duty it shall be to protect the said fisheries agreeebly to law; and who shall be engaged to the faithful discharge of their duty.

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An act to prevent the Drawing of any Net or Seine for the 1737.

catching of Fish in the Pond commonly called and known by the name of Easton's Pond in Newport.

Be it enacted by the General Assembly, and by the authority Penalty thereof it is enacted, That no person or persons whosoever 10

p for catchshall, under any pretence whatsoever, draw any seine or with nets, net in the aforesaid pond, or creek adjacent, or any of the

Easton's inlets or rivers belonging thereto, for the catching of any pond. sort of fish, under the penalty, for every offence, of forfeiting the sum of eighteen dollars, to be recovered before any two justices of the said town, upon information thereof made, who are hereby fully empowered to have cognizance of the same ; the one half of which fine shall be appropriated to and for the use of the town, and the other half to him who shall inform and sue for the same.

1755

An act to prevent Fishing with Seines in Kekemuit river.

Be it enacted by the General Assembly, and by the authority thereof it is enacted, That no seine shall at any time be set or drawn in Kekemuit river, within half a mile's distance

Penalty from the place called and known by the name of the Narfor draw.

seines rows, either above or below said Narrows; and if any in Keke- person or persons shall at any time presume to set or draw muit river.

any seine or seines in said river, within the limits aforesaid, every person so offending shall pay as a fine the sum of fifteen dollars; one half thereof to and for the use of him who shall inform and sue for the same, and the other half to the use of such town where any seine shall be so set or drawn; to be recovered by action of debt, in any court proper to try the same.

1779, '92, An act to prevent the Fish from being obstructed in their course '98. into Púncatest, alias Nonquit Pond, and the branches of the

River running into said Pond, lying in Tiverton. Penalty Section 1. Be it enacted by the General Assembly, and for draw.

seines, by the authority thereof it is enacted, That no person or &c. persons shall haul any net or seine within the said Punca

test, alias Nomquit pond, or in the rivers leading into said pond, or in the breach from said pond into the sea, or within one half mile of said breach, upon the penalty of ten dollars for each and every offence; the which offence shall and may be enquired into by any three justices of the peace of the county of Newport, who are hereby fully empowered to hear such matter, and give judgment thereon; and on conviction of any offender in the premises, to issue a warrant to the sheriff, his deputy, or the sergeant or constable of any town in said county, to distrain so much of the goods and chattels of the offender (unless he shall pay the same, with the costs of conviction) as shall satisfy and pay the fine aforesaid and costs; and that for want thereof, such offender shall be committed to prison until the judgment be satisfied; and one moiety, or half part of such fines shall go to the complainant or person who shall prosecute for the same, and the other half shall be paid into the town-treasury of the town, where such offence shall be committed, to and for the use of said

town. Penalty Sec. 2. And be it further enacted, That no weir, pots or ting weirs, any other contrivances for the obstructing the course of &c. the fish, shall be made or erected across said pond, or any

part thereof, or in any branch of the rivers leading into or out of said pond, in order to hinder or obstruct the

course of the fish, under the penalty aforesaid, to be recovered in like manner.

Sec. 3. And be it further enacted, That no hanging or For set. mesh nets shall be set in said pond, or the rivers leading ting nets. into or out of said pond, unless from the first day of August until the first day of January, under the penalty aforesaid, to be recovered in like manner: provided never- Proviso. theless, that this act shall not be construed to prevent any person or persons from taking op catching fish in the pond aforesaid, or in the rivers or branches thereof, with scoop-nets or hooks and lines.

An act to regulate the Fishery in Pawcatuck River. 1798. Section 1. Be it enacted by the General Assembly, and by the No weir, authority thereof it is enacted, That no weir or pound or erected in

" &c. to be other obstruction shall be erected or continued in the Pawca

tuck river, channel of Pawcatuck river, dividing the States of RhodeIsland and Connecticut, so as to interfere with the main channel of said river, upon penalty of twenty dollars for the first offence, and seven dollars for every twenty-four hours, or any less space of time, any such weir orother obstruction shall be continued in the main channel of said river, after the first offence.

Sec. 2. And be it further enacted, That no person or per- Times of. sons be permitted to draw any seine or seines in said Paw- fishing. catuck river, from the twentieth day of March to the first day of June annually, excepting between the rising of the sun on Monday morning and the rising of the sun on Thursday morning in each week, upon penalty of twenty dollars for each and every time such seine shall be set or drawn, otherwise than as aforesaid: that no person or persons shall be permitted to throw any stone or stones into said river, upon penalty of seven dollars for each and every such offence.

And to the end that the fish may more freely pass to the various sources of the river aforesaid :

Sec. 3. And be it further enacted, That yearly and eve- Passages ry year, from the twentieth day of March to the first day to be.

Y opened in of June, there be a passage opened in the mill-dam be-mill-dams. low Pawcatuck bridge, from the bed or bottom of said river, twenty feet in length, to extend ten feet easterly, and ten feet westerly, from the middle of said river: that similar passages be opened, in manner aforesaid, in all

the other mill-dams in said river, of fifteen feet in length, excepting Sandford Taylor's mill-dam, which shall be opened twenty feet in length, ten feet between the middle of said river and the easterly shore, and ten feet between the middle and the west shore, in the most convenient place for the fish to pass in said river; and the owner or owners, occupier or occupiers of any of the dams aforesaid, who shall neglect or refuse to open the passage or passages as aforesaid, on or before the said twentieth day of March annually, shall forfeit the sum of twenty dollars for every such refusal or neglect; and for every succeeding day's neglect or refusal to open a passage as aforesaid, from the said twentieth day of March to the first day of June annually, the offender or offenders shall forfeit one other sum of seven dollars: no person or persons shall be permitted to erect or continue any weir, or other obstruction, within sixty feet of the fish gaps in said mill-dams, under penalty of seven dollars for the first offence, and four dollars for every succeeding day or less space of time said obstruction shall continue in said river, from the twentieth day of March to the first day of

June annually. Wetrs, &c. Sec. 4. And be it further enacted, That no weir or not to be pound shall be erected or continued upon any flat or the Hats." other part of the bottom of said river, eastward or west

ward of the aforesaid channel of said river, between the first day of June and the twentieth day of March annually, upon penalty of fourteen dollars for the first offence, and seven dollars for every succeeding day such weir or pound shall be continued in said river, from the first day of June

to the twentieth day of March annually. es of Sec. 5. And be it further enacted, That no person or perfishing sons be permitted to fish with mesh or scoop-nets in Pawwith nets.

catuck river, or any of its branches, after sun-set on Friday until sun-rise on Monday in each week, from the twentieth day of March to the first day of June annually; and that no person use more than one net at a time, upon

penalty of five dollars for every offence. Offences Sec. 6. And be it further enacted, That all offences against where tri- this act shall and may be heard and finally determined able.

before any court proper to try the same, in the county

where the same is committed: that all penalties incurPenalties to whose

red thereby shall accrue, the one half thereof to and for the use and benefit of him or them who shall inform and prosecute the same to effect, and the other half shall be

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