NL GenWeb, frequently asked questions

What is a fishing room?
By Fred Pafford

A fishing room was an area on the shoreline where a fisherman or a group of men landed their fish, kept their boats, stored their fishing property and built flakes to dry their fish. It most often required the clearing of forest, building a shelter for storage of fish and material and a dock of some type for their boats. In the early years of the Nfld. fishery it was important to have such places to return to each spring and not have to rebuild every year.

So a person's "room" was his shore line property and quite valuable to him. In some places every bit of useable shoreline was taken up and a male person wanting to go on his own would have to move to another cove or island to find a good landing area. This was important enough that quite often a man from one community would marry into another area to get waterfront land for his "fishing room". There was an official register of Fishing Rooms done for the East Coast of Nfld. at the turn of the 19th century. It was done at least for the areas of Bonavista Bay to St. John's.

Fred Pafford