Virginia Institute of Marine Science
Commercial Fisheries Review
The pound net is one of the most important fishing gears in Virginia. Recent declines in the catch of certain economically- important species have pointed to the need for study of the fishes and the fishery and its methods. The General Assembly of Virginia has requested that the Virginia Fisheries Laboratory conduct experiments to determine the proper size mesh for nets in fixed fishing devices.
A preliminary study of the pound net, embodying historical development, construction and methods of operating, and the catch trends from 1930 through 1951, was undertaken during the summer of 1953.
Although the introduction of the pound net into Virginia waters about 1870 was marked by opposition and conflict, the gear was adopted and has gained importance. Little change has been made in the basic design and method of fishing, although materials and preservatives have been improved.
Studies of the effects of preservatives and use of the component nets indicate variation in stated mesh sizes and the resultant need for further appraisal of definitions relative to mesh sizes and legal sizes of fishes.
Of the fish species taken in ·pound nets, a few comprise the bulk of the catch and constitute the economically- important fishes. Alewives. gray sea trout, croaker, spot, shad, and butterfish have long been the principal food species, and menhaden the important nonfood item, in the catch.
Contribution (Virginia Fisheries Laboratory) ; no. 57
Reid, George K. Jr., The pound-net fishery in Virginia. Part 1. History, gear description and catch (1955). Commercial Fisheries Review, 17(5), 1-15.