The Big Lake had two thousand commercial fishermen who took 22,000 lbs of fish every year. Fishing that big took gill nets. It took only a couple decades or so for the native trout to be depleted. Invasive species came in like carp, alewives, zebra mussels. The powers in charge responded by banning gills nets, limiting new commercial fish licenses and introducing salmon from the Atlantic ocean – overcorrecting for a problem after the fact of the damage. The lake is still there, while the people who made these decisions for the most part are not. An Indian in his birch bark canoe spear fishing out on the water transported through time from back then to now would pretty much recognize the water and the shore line, but his catch would greatly confuse him.
Undines were brought to the Great Lakes in buckets, boat by boat, little by little until the native goddesses met her counter parts from around the world. Which is to say they both met one another, although which was the Older and which the New depends upon for which it was the Old or New world. The water nymphs themselves did not care so much, so long as they were remembered, but the various old and new people were never quite sure, except for those people who intermingled, intermarried by force by trade or by love, and thereby just really continued the same old to some extent or manner of speaking. One sum of this result was that as it is difficult to be racist against your own kids, most everyone picked a side or had a side given to them. The gods and goddesses of the earth and sky and water don’t care so much about this one way or another, a rose being a rose and all – just mostly needing to be appreciated for their beauty and thorns. That and a little tender care.
The opening of the St. Lawrence Seaway had something to do with it, of course. But really the big highway H2O was emblematic of larger changes in the imagination. All aspects of the Earth now to be a thing to worked on, rather than worked with, became a popular mindset.
I remember, gutting trout, dumping the roe. These eggs are if nothing else tasty fried up with eggs. Regardless, they gave all they could, those trout. And we took all of it.