Tag Archives: eels

The Eeels Named “Ling” of Carleton Place

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The Eeels Named “Ling” of Carleton Place

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Photo-news clipping from the files of Doris Blackburn/ Karen Black Chenier 

 

If you have read-Myth #343 The Electric Eeel of Carleton Place you have read what Rob Gardiner said about eels in Carleton Place:  “When I was life guarding at Riverside Park, we would tell the kids that an eel lived under the raft to keep them from swimming under there where we couldn’t see them. I worked there a long time, but I never saw a real eel, even though others will swear they saw one. The power of suggestion must be very strong”.

But, after I posted this news clipping above from the files of Doris Blackburn/ Karen Black Chenier I got all sorts of comments:

Shane Wm Edwards I seem to recall that they were doing this the year the Outward Bound Club at CPHS decided to take canoes out and canoe down the Mississippi toward Almonte. We had to carry the canoes past this point and there were still some small pools of water and in one of the deeper ones we saw a huge eel just swimming along the bottom. I had not known how big the eels in the Mississippi River could get. I think we only got as far as Appleton as some of our group seemed to enjoy capsizing their canoes as we went through some of the rapids. Then one group found golf balls in the river near the golf course and filled the bottom of their canoe with them. Unfortunately on the way back around Glen Isle the got swung around and the canoe tipped dumping out almost all of the golf balls.

There used to be some Americans, I believe from Detroit, who would come up every year to catch the eels and they would bring them to my father’s store to flash freeze them and then store them in ice for the trip home.

 

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Llew Lloyd The eels that were caught in front of the powerhouse were referred to as ” Ling ” . Once they passed through the turbines and out into the waters below the dam they became “Electric Eels”!

Okay I thought Lloyd was pulling my leg but he  wasn’t. In the Mississippi River you supposedly can pull long, eel-like creature from any dark hole — a hole that is could be an entrance to the underworld. Okay, I can maybe make a story about the underworld of the Mississippi, but I will save that for another time.

“I heard about such a serpentine creature being thrown to the ice during an ice fishing event but the long-finned tail swiftly wrapped itself around the fisherman’s arm. Face contorted with fear, he stumbles back from the hole, trying to shake the menacing fish loose. Such an angling nightmare could continue with the widemouthed creature clamping down on the jugular and sucking the life from our hapless angler but — as anyone intimate with the virtues of the ling will attest to — this is no nightmare.”

Okay, I  will stop now.

Those who know the secret of the delicately flavored firm, white, flesh hidden under a rough exterior know ling are great eating. However, the first thing most notice is that they’re different looking. Some don’t hesitate to call them ugly.

To tell you the truth if they were remaking The Godfather into a Canadian version, I wouldn’t want to find one in my bed, but some say they make for a unique and exquisite fish. They say all it takes is a big mouthful of ling meat and what might be perceived as ugly and undesirable, suddenly becomes a delicacy.

The ling is the single surviving freshwater species of the codfish family and in Ontario ling are native to cold, deep lakes and during winter often share the habitat of lake trout and even walleye. Few break out in song upon catching a ling, but many, if not seduced by their beauty on the ice, are sold by their performance on the table– the dinner table that is.

I think I will never go swimming in the Mississippi River or Lake again– not that I ever did. I will just rename that watery area Electric Avenue.

 

Come and visit the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page– what’s there? Cool old photos–and lots of things interesting to read. Also check out The Tales of Carleton Place and The Tales of Almonte

  1. relatedreading

The size of a Minivan Sitting 30 Feet Offshore— The Big Rock of Carleton Place

Myth #343 The Electric Eeel of Carleton Place

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Myth #343 The Electric Eeel of Carleton Place

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Myth #343 The Electric Eeel of Carleton Place

 

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Rob Gardiner When I was lifeguarding at Riverside Park, we would tell the kids that an eel lived under the raft to keep them from swimming under there where we couldn’t see them. I worked there a long time, but I never saw a real eel, even though others will swear they saw one. The power of suggestion must be very strong.
Jeremy Stinson— I remember the raft, and my brother, (and lifeguard) John Stinson passing me off to Janet Barker for my swimming lesson, which only happened in the summer because the pool had not been built yet. I also want to say the lessons were every day for a week.

Jeremy Stinson It was quite an accomplishment, as I was about 6, to swim out to the raft.

Bill Brunton-– I wonder why the Raft was taken away. It was always pretty low tech. Not hard to maintain, I mean.


Shane Wm Edwards– I remember that for a number of years in the 60s a group of people would come up from Detroit and fish for eels in the Mississippi then bring their daily catch to be frozen in the locker plant at the store so they could transport them home. They considered them quite the delicacy.

Also I seem to recall canoeing down to Appleton with a group (either Scouts or the Outward Bound Club) and they were working on the dam by the town hall and most of the south side was dry except for a few small pools that still held water and in one of those pools was a huge eel that looked at least 4″ in diameter. This would have been in the early 70s. As we passed the golf course one of the group spotted a few golf balls in the river and eventually filled the bottom of his canoe. Unfortunately on the way back the canoe tipped and most of the balls went back to the bottom of the river.

Ted Hurdis– I still help replenish the balls there. Hahaha

Janinne Wark We were told it was under the rock on the other side of the river. We spent many years being afraid of that eel.

Ted Hurdis Loved the raft. When we were young there was a pecking order and the older kids would throw you off. Everyone had to prove themselves by swimming under it.

Shannon Michie-mcdonald People still fish for them and catch them on the back bridges near Bluebell

Michele Waugh I remember being told that! I used to freak just swimming to the raft lol! Never did swim under it!

 

 

historicalnotes

Clipped from The Ottawa Journal,  16 Sep 1968, Mon,  Page 27

 

Clipped from The Winnipeg Tribune,  15 Aug 1906, Wed,  Page 9

Information where you can buy all Linda Seccaspina’s books-You can also read Linda in The Townships Sun and Screamin’ Mamas (USA)

Come and visit the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page– what’s there? Cool old photos–and lots of things interesting to read. Also check out The Tales of Carleton Place.

relatedreading

“If Wayne Robertson Jumped Off the Highway 7 Bridge Does that Mean You Do it?”

The size of a Minivan Sitting 30 Feet Offshore— The Big Rock of Carleton Place

The Family Freezer Locker

The Old Nichol’s Swimming Hole in Carleton Place

 

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Friday October the 13th– 6:30.. meet in front of the old Leland Hotel on Bridge Street in Carleton Place (Scott Reid’s office) and enjoy a one hour walk with stories of murder mayhem and BOO!.. Some tales might not be appropriate for young ears. FREE!!

 

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