Back in the 40s Francois Lake was commercially fished

It’s early Tuesday morning, June the 5 and it’s raining and has all night.

It’s early Tuesday morning, June the 5 and it’s raining and has all night. As I look out my office window it’s the kind of day you like to curl up in your best chair and sleep away the day. In about 15 days we will have our longest day and we start back again. It seems that we have missed summer or at least it’s been shorter than it should have been. Last week we had three days of minus three. Some folks have lost their bedding plants. One good thing there will no doubt be a good hay crop with this rain today.

Good fishing

I have just got off the phone with Sandy’s Resort and they report very good fishing, especially trout. But on their opening week they had a 20 lb. Char come in. That’s just a nice eating size.

The lake is coming up but very slowly so if all goes well there will not be a danger of flooding. Tchesinkut Lake has reached its high point and is going down again. If the cooler weather keeps up the runoff will slow down in our lake.

I am going to go back a long time over 70 years that’s when we first came to Francois Lake. The char fishing was very poor and the reason was we were told that a Prince Rupert fishing company had pretty well fished out the lake of char. We were told they had left in 1940. They reported seeing huge loads of fish go out and it no doubt effected any local fishing. G. B. Stanton was still allowed to net and ship our char. It was called the Francois Lake Fishery. As he was local he could still fish. Stanton’s lived about 15 or so miles down the lake but they had moved to Mill Bay where he kept on fishing. He hired me to haul out his fish boxes once a week and I met the early train in Burns Lake and shipped them out for him. There was a rule four boxes and they would weigh about 150 pounds. The fish were opened up and packed in ice. They were going to New York city to a very fancy hotel dining place. The boxes of fish were unloaded in Winnipeg and repacked in ice and sent along their way. This lasted until George could not handle the boxes and the fishing anymore. I hauled out the fish boxes for about three years. This was the end of any commercial fishing in Francois Lake. Hauling out the fish to catch the train I had a time set to catch the train and it was close. The east Francois Lake Rd. was terrible and rough to the Mill Bay and I had to make time. Low and behold about a mile from the highway I dropped a tie rod so I had only one wheel to control the steering. So I jumped out, stuck it back on, found a big rock and beat it on and I made the train. Every corner I made I said a prayer that I would not lose the steering. Was I ever glad to see the station come up and the train still there. Once I asked Mr. Stanton if he ever caught any sturgeon in his nets and he said once in a while his net would be destroyed so he would know that a sturgeon had got caught up in the net and had torn itself loose. He told me they were just too big to hold.

Pinnacle Pellet

Thank you Rebecca for your article in our last news. I think we have got the ball rolling which is very good news. As you have headlined in the paper ‘Burns Lake Pinnacle Pellet emissions follow up’. At least it has drawn some attention and this is very important. Clean air is so important for every living thing, it’s our life blood. Without clean air we are lost.


What a treasure this last paper is with the pictures of the grad class of 2012. How handsome they all are and how proud they must all be. What an accomplishment. A new page open for a new life ahead for them all. And how proud the parents must be to see their children into start out a new life. It’s like opening a book and seeing what’s on the next page.

I never had the great pleasure of being a grad. I missed out due to an accident but as I look back it no doubt would have changed my life, or would it? I have had a good full life and as I look back I would not change it. I loved the range and I loved horses and I loved to ride so what more could I ask for. Miles of open range and I got to know every piece of it.


I have at hand a brochure written by Stephen Hume and very kindly given to us by Mike Robertson, it is under the title of ‘Discovery of Bones of a B.C. Lake resurrects one of the darkest tales in Canadian history.’ This all happened with the flooding of Ootsa Lake, now 60 years ago. The heart breaking and the confusion these carrier nation’s people must have gone through. Seeing their Scatchola village burial grounds destroyed with the flood waters.

This whole story is told in the centre page of the last L.D. News and I think in all respect to the First Nation people, everyone should get a copy and read all about it as it’s an eye opener and something we must never forget.

I have this brochure at hand and I will contact Mike Robertson and ask if we could run off some copies, as it will give something for us to digest. It tells the whole story.


Has anyone by any chance got a 20 gauge shot gun? I had one that was damaged in an accident. But I have found a number of shells. So if you have one let me know and you have them for the asking. They have been high and dry so should be still active

A little story

A small barn burnt down on an elderly couple’s farm. It was insured for $50,000 so the wife called the insurance company and asked to send a cheque. The insurance agent said, “We will come and replace the barn.” “Oh” the farmer’s wife said “If that’s how you do business, I had better cancel the insurance on my husband.”

Take care and have a safe week, slow down and enjoy. Always remember God loves you and so do I.