HISTORY: YORK DARTMOUTH ST-JEAN
TOPONOMY OF POOLS: YORK DARTMOUTH ST-JEAN
The York River Fishing Club was created in 1909. Together with two other small clubs, the Gourmet Club and the Middle York River Fishing Club, they managed the York River until 1977, when a section was reclaimed by the provincial government. In 1980, the Société de Gestion des Rivières York et Dartmouth inc. acquired the fishing rights for the sector between Petite Fourche and Spruin Rock pools. A year later, this sector would be extended as far as Patch pool, considerably reducing the area controlled by the clubs. The closure of the Middle York Fishing Club in 1973 and the York River Fishing Club in 2000 would open the York entirely to the general public, with the exception of the sector managed by the Gourmet Club and a few private holdings along some stretches of the river.
The Dartmouth River Fishing Club was created in 1895 and was shortly thereafter managed by Jules R. Timmons, a wealthy Canadian industrialist. In 1976, the provincial government revoked the fishing rights held by the Dartmouth River Fishing Club and mandated the Ministry of Tourism, Hunting and Fishing to manage the Dartmouth River. A little later, in 1983, the Société de Gestion des Rivières York et Dartmouth inc. obtained from the government the right to manage the entire river.
From the time the St. John River Salmon Club was formed in 1899 by a group of New York anglers, the club held exclusive fishing rights to the St. John until 1952 when the provincial government of the time reclaimed a stretch of the river nearly 36 kilometres long. In 1987, the Société des Établissements de Plein Air du Québec was mandated to manage the upper and lower reaches of the river and finally, management was transferred to the Société de Gestion des Rivières du Grand Gaspé inc. which has been responsible for management of the river since 1993. However, the central portion of the St. John River is still managed by the St. John River Salmon Club.
TOPONOMY OF POOLS YORK
SECTOR 1: YORK DOWNSTREAM
2 Petite Fourche: Name of the brook that flows into this pool.
3 Petit Saumon: Small pool in the river where salmon rest.
4 Roche Plate: Name of a flat rock that covers the bottom of this pool.
5 Butler: Surname of an angler.
6 Forbes: Surname of an angler.
7 Baillargeon: Bridge leading to the Z.E.C Baillargeon.
8 Wayne Taylor: Name given to honour an angler, who died in 2003, for his exceptional efforts to promote the rivers of Gaspé.
9 Huit Bouleaux: Inspired by the presence of eight birch trees.
10 Grande Fourche: Name of the brook that flows into this pool.
11 Mississipi: Name of the brook that flows into the river here.
12 Bluff: Designates the steep cliffs overlooking the pool.
13 L’Ile: Island in the middle of the river.
14 Ruth: Name of a guide’s wife, as pretty as the spot.
15 Carter: Surname of an angler.
16 Maitland: Surname of an angler.
17 Dog Run: Rapids downstream from Dog pool.
18 Dog: Place where a trapper’s dog drowned in winter.
19 Still: The depth and stillness of the water here inspired this name.
20 Cèdre: Inspired by the presence of cedars.
21 Gros saumon: This large pool earned its name for the large number of salmon it shelters.
22 Alfred: Inspired by Alfred Miller, a former Gaspé area prospector, who used to fish at this particular spot.
23 Araback: Surname of a York River Fishing Club shareholder.
30 Sentier: Place where one had to portage one’s canoe.
32 Garry: Name of a club warden.
36 Dexter: Name of the angler who took the first salmon here.
37 Fairbanks: Name of the angler who took the first salmon here.
38 Cuve: Formerly known as Tub because of its shape.
39 La Chute: Named in honour of the waterfalls located here.
40 Viviane: Viviane Patterson, a river guide, discovered this pool.
46 Guard Rail: Old guard rail along the road across from the pool.
48 Gorge: Very narrow site.
51 Castor: Inspired by the beavers here.
52 Offie: Offie Miller, a river and fishing guide superintendent during the time of the Club.
53 Spruin Rock: John Spruin, a log driver by trade, was trapped on a huge rock in the middle of the river during a log drive.
54 L’Écluse: This pool is, in fact, a series of small pools separated by small waterfalls giving it the appearance of closing canal lock doors.
56 L’Orignal: First named Moses Island, in honour of Moses Vardon, this pool came to be known as Moose Island. Eventually, its name was changed to L’Orignal.
57 Terry: Name given by Terry Miller who discovered this pool in 1970.
58 Keg: From the name of the brook that flows into the river here; the name Keg is apparently derived from a trapper losing his small keg of whiskey in the stream here.
60 Pine Hill: Name of a brook that floews into the river here.
61 Montagnard: In honour of the mountaineer’s hill just behind the pool.
65 Pont: A bridge leading to old mine workings used to cross the river near this pool.
66 Stony Beaver Dam: Inspired by the large rocks on a number of beaver dams in this sector of the river.
67 Big Beaver Dam: Inspired by a huge beaver dam located here at one time in the past
68 Random: Formerly known as Tom’s Pool, this pool was renamed Random in honour of the hill of the same name.
69 Patch: Formerly known as Madeline Forks, the pool was renamed Patch in honour of the brook that empties into this pool.
70 Truite: Reputed as an excellent spot for trout fishing.
71 White House: A white cottage overlooking the surroundings was built on the bank of this pool by the Société de Protection et d’Incendie du Québec.
72 Big Eddy: Inspired by the many eddies in the water here.
73 Garland: Name given by a hunter who used to have a camp at this spot.
74 Anderson: Pool first known as Henderson, in honour of the hill of the same name before being renamed Anderson.
75 Oatcake: Inspired by the name of a brook emptying into the river here. The name Oatcake recalls an incident in which an unsatisfied cook tossed his cake batter into this stream.
76 Green Wood’s: Following the 1941 fire, the few remaining green trees stood along this pool.
TOPONOMY OF POOLS DARTMOUTH
SECTOR 1: DARTMOUTH DOWNSTREAM
3 Diotte: In honour of the Diotte family.
4 Strawberry Island: Inspired by an island where wild strawberries grew in abundance.
5 Narcisse: Narcisse Lacombe used to live across from this pool.
6 Bill Island:
7 Freddy: In honour of Freddy Fournier, river warden for the Dartmouth Fishing Club.
8 Fortin: Magella Fortin lives across from this pool.
9 Petite Fourche: Brook forming a small fork in the river.
10 Smoke: Light, early morning fog.
12 Adams: Near the home of Harvey Adams.
13 Stony Brook: Same name as the brook that flows into the river at this spot.
14 Run: A small fishing spot.
15 Lemay: Regular guest of the Dartmouth Fishing Club.
16 Home: Across from the Club’s main camp.
17 Grave: Small beach of large pebbles.
18 Snake: A guide is said to have seen a snake here.
21 Lower Lady Step: Downstream of nearby Lady Step Brook.
22 Upper Lady Step: Upstream of nearby Lady Step Brook.
24 Rock: Large rock in the middle of the river.
25 Spring Rock: Inspired by a spring at the bottom of the pool which makes the water very cold.
26 Tent: Temporary canvas tent set up by wardens at the time of the Dartmouth Fishing club.
27 Ladder: Stairs built so visitors can observe the falls.
28 Gorge: Inspired by the high steep cliffs bordering a canyon at this spot.
29 Ledges: Ladder-like natural bedrock forming small pools.
30 Johnson Island:
31 L’île: Island in the middle of the river.
32 Breeder: Around 1920, a number of small camps were located here, one of which serve as a fish hatchery.
35 Toad pool: A guide is said to have seen a toad on the riverbank.
36 Coude: Sharp bend in the river.
38 Little Salmon Hole: Description of pool.
39 Big Salmon Hole: Description of pool.
41 Jam: Log jam.
43 Post Brook: Inspired by the name of a brook that empties into the river at this spot.
44 Dumaresq: Armand Dumaresq, timber merchant.
48 Paul-Émile: From 1980 to 1987, Paul-Émile Roy was the manager of the Zone d’Exploitation controlée (Z.E.C) that included the Dartmouth, York and Baillargeon rivers. When he died, this pool was named in his honour.
51 Moose Bogan: Marshy place frequented by a few moose.
TOPONOMY OF POOLS ST-JEAN
SECTOR 1: SAINT-JEAN, DOWNSTREAM
Carter: Surname of Wilfrid Carter, current president emeritus of the Atlantic Salmon Federation.
Baker: Surname of John Baker, owner and renowned Gaspé innkeeper whose lot bordered this pool and who later sold his land to the St. John Salmon Club of Gaspé in 1997.
Gregory: The name of this pool may have been inspired by that of the owner of Le Druide, the vessel the Dufferin family used on their travels between Québec City and Gaspé.
1 Blackwells: Surname of a family that owned this pool and the lot bordering it in the early days of the 20th century.
2 Burnett: The adjacent land belonged to the Burnett family.
3 Laws: The adjacent land belonged to the Laws family.
4 Juniper: English common name of the Larix laricina or tamarack, which can be found near this pool.
5 Birches: English common name of the Betula sp. which can be found near this pool.
6 Home Pool: Pool just across from an old St. John Salmon Club campsite.
7 kid —
8 Mosquito castle: Deep pool with very still water, there may be many mosquitoes here.
9 Sluice: The river separates into two branches here and the water funnels through the rocks, creating an area of rapids.
10 Lime Rock: Inspired by the limestone rocks at this pool.
11 Little Fork: A small brook enters the river here, forming a little fork.
12 Bluff: Designates the steep cliffs overlooking the pool.
13 Flat Rock: Inspired by the flat rock located in the centre of the river.
14 Red Tag: Pool where a guide is said to have seen a salmon bearing a red tag on its dorsal fin.
15 Wild Rose: Sector where wild roses bloom in abundance.
SECTOR 2: SAINT-JEAN, DOWNSTREAM
16 Big Fork: Name of the brook that empties into this pool.
17 Chip Pile: Inspired by a pile of wood chips left here by a sawmill.
18 Roaring Bull: Inspired by the sound of the nearby river rapids.
19 Third Fork: Inspired by a small brook that empties into the river at a place where the river already has two branches.
20 Island: Small island located mid-river.
21 Lady Mary: May be inspired by a close friend of Lady Dufferin, Lady Mary Marsham who is known to have travelled with the Dufferins on Le Druide in June-July 1874, although there is no sign that she ever actually stayed on the Saint-Jean.
22 Lady Grey: Inspired by Lady Grey. Wife of Lord Grey (1851-1917) who was a contemporary and friend of Lord Dufferin and who, like him, was also Governor General of Canada.
SECTOR 3: TODAY’S ST. JOHN SALMON CLUB OF GASPÉ
23 Older Red Rock —
24 Curtis: Surname of Fred Curtis, a private landowner who leased a portion of the river from the government in the early 1870s.
25 Still Pool: Calm waters, deep pool.
26 Rough Water: Place where there are rapids in the river.
27 Shanty: From the English word for a small rough dwelling.
28 McDonald: Surname of the owner of land lying between the York and the Saint-Jean.
29 Mossy Cliff: Inspired by the moss-covered cliff overhanging the pool.
30 Dufferin Run: Trail laid down at the time of Lady Dufferin around 1874 where a shelter was built by Fred Curtis.
31 Dufferin: Inspired by Lord Dufferin (1826-1902) and Lady Dufferin who fished these waters.
32 Lady Hamilton: Irish maiden name of Lady Dufferin.
33 Countess: Title held by Lady Dufferin.
SECTOR 4: ST-JEAN, UPSTREAM
ClandeBoye: Surname of a noble Irish family of which Lord Dufferin was an heir.
Consul: Inspired by one of the many duties held by abroad by Lord Dufferin.
Little Maitland —
Talbot, L.: William Henry Fox Talbot, contemporary to Lord Dufferin, who died in 1877, a photography pioneer in England.
King Arthur: Celtic warrior chief (11th century) in southern England, who inspired the legend of the Knights of the Round Table, perhaps a mythical character dear to Lord Dufferin.
1 Canoe: Canoe landing at the time of the St. John Salmon Club.
2 Trout hole: Pool once inhabited by brook trout.
3 Lazy Bogan: Still waters, very tranquil, a brook of the same name empties in to the river here.
4 Barrière: Around 1960, the Government of Québec set up a check-in gate on a dirt road here to counter poaching on the river.
5 Porc-épic: A brook of the same name empties into the river here.
7 Home: Inspired by its location just across from the St. John pavilion.
8 Flat Rock: Inspired by the flat rock in the middle of the river.
9 Rock Slide: Small pebbles on the river bank, slippery bank.
10 Spoon Rock: Large spoon-shaped rock in the river.
11 Fourth Lake: Inspired by the former name of Lake Baillargeon, located to the north.
12 Birches: English common name of the Betula sp. which can be found near this pool.
13 Cedar Barn: Small outbuilding where loggers used to take shelter around 1920.
14 Upper Cedar Barn: Located upstream of Cedar Barn.
15 Magic Tub: Inspired by the curve of the rock, which resembles a natural bathtub.
16 Friday’s Farm: A warden by the name of Fido used to live at a small camp here. It was said that he used to bring bags of soil with him to make a small garden. Legend has it that he would go to Gaspé on Fridays to do his errands, which earned him the nickname Friday, and the nearby pool came to be known as Friday’s Farm.
17 Sluice: The river separates into two branches here and the water funnels through the rocks, creating an area of rapids.
18 Green Pool: Green highlights deep in the pool.
19 Pines: Inspired by the pines present at the pool.
20 Temptations: Until 1994, a bridge open to road traffic crossed the river here. The “temptation” to try for some fish was strong…
21 Mink Point: Suitable place for trapping mink.
22 Louis: Name of an old trapper and brook of the same name.
23 Tractor Sleigh: Inspired by an old wooden sleigh, used to transport potassium, that was abandoned here.
24 Willis Brook (Bill): Name of the brook that flows into this pool.
25 Long Pool: Description of the pool.
26 Moose: Pool visited by moose.
27 Fly Castle: Inspired by the clouds of mosquitoes at this pool.
28 Ledges: Inspired by the rapids here, caused by numerous rocks and low water.
29 Drew: Name of an American client at the time of the St. John Salmon club.
30 Cedar: Place where there are cedars (Thuja occidentalis).
31 Wayne’s Jam: Logjam named after a former guide.
32 Big Eddy: Inspired by the size of the eddies in the pool.
33 Jim’s Rock: Jim Morris was the first to take a salmon here.
34 Still Man’s: Name derived from the given name of Stillman Stanley, a former guide on the river.
35 Yellow Can: A guide by the name of Lionel Adams marked the location of this pool with a yellow can.
36 McGarvie: Name of a wood buyer in the 1950s.
37 Blue Can: Name given by guide Lionel Adams who marked the location of this new pool with a blue can.
38 McLeod: Perhaps inspired by Dan McClouth, an American fisher who may have lent his name to this pool around 1960.
39 Island Pool: Deep pool near Island Brook.
40 Little Indian: —
41 Big Indian: —
42 Old Bailie: Old portable military bridge that was moved around 1971.
43 Indian Fork: —
44 Moose Rock: —
45 Hunter’s Home: Name of the brook that flows into this pool.
46 Wham: —
47 Murray Brook: Name of the brook that flows into this pool.