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Navigable Rivers, Creeks, and Canals. - The Exe is navigable for large vessels up to Topsham, whence there is a canal for sloops and barges up to Exeter. The Teign is navigable to Newton Bushel, between which and King's Teignton it is joined by the Teigngrace Canal. The Dart is navigable from Dartmouth to Totnes. A fine estuary runs inland about five miles, from Salcombe to Kingsbridqe, and is navigable for sloops and barges This estuary has several navigable creeks, branching from either side, and affording the adjacent parishes the means of importing lime, sand, and other manures, and of exporting their produce. The Yealm is navigable for sloops and small brigs, to Kitley Quay. The Tamar in navigable to New Quay, 24 miles from Plymouth, for vessels of 130 to 140 tons; and up to Morwellham Quay, for vessels of 200 tons. The Plym is navigable at Catwater, near its mouth, for men of war; and vessels of 40 or 50 tons go up as far as Crabtree. The Torridge becomes navigable for boats at Wear Gifford, and for ships of large burthen at Bideford. The Taw is navigable to Barnstaple, for vessels of 140 tons; and up to New Bridge for small craft; but large vessels can anchor within three or four miles of Barnstaple.
The Grand Western Canal, was intended to pass through a great part of Devon, but only extends to Tiverton. In 1792, an Act of Parliament was passed for making the Stover Canal, from the Railway of Haytor Granite Works, near Bovey Tracey, to the Teign, near Newton Abbot; with a collateral cut to Chudleigh. The former was finished in 1794, but the latter not till 1843. The Tavistock Canal, to Morwellham Quay, on the Tamar, was constructed under the powers of an act passed in 1803, but was not completed till 1817, as noticed at page 624. In 1819, an Act of Parliament was obtained for making the Bude Canal from Bude Haven, on the Cornish coast, to the Tamar Valley, and thence eastward to Thornbury, &c., in Devon; and southward, down the valley, to Launceston. At Burmsdon, a branch of this canal proceeds to Moreton Mill, and to a large reservoir on Longford moor; and from Veale a branch extends to Vorworthy.
Great quantities of salmon and salmon-trout are taken in the principal rivers of Devon ; but those taken in the Exe and Dart are the most esteemed. Salmon-peal is found in the Tavy, Tamar, Erme, Dart, Mole, and Otter; and lamprey in the Exe and Mole. The Salmon-Weir in the Tavy, near Buckland Abbey, is a work of considerable magnitude, thrown across the river in a part where two projecting rocks serve as buttresses to the masonry, which is built somewhat arch- wise, to resist the pressure of the waters in times of flood, when they collect from the slopes of Dartmoor, and rush down with great impetuosity. Turbot, plaice, soles, whiting, mullet, mackerel, pilchards, gurnet, flounders, herrings, sprats, crabs, lobsters and other fish abound in the Channels opposite both coasts. Brixham, in Torbay, is the largest fishing port in Devon, and after it ranks Plymouth, Teignmouth, Lympstone, Topsham, Dartmouth, Salcombe, and Ilfracombe. There are extensive oyster beds at Starcross, Newton-Ferrers. Lympstone, and Topsham. The torpedo, or electric ray, has occasionally been taken in Torbay and the river Dart. The opah , or king-fish, is very rare, hut one was taken at Brixham, in 1772, weighing 140 lbs., and its flesh "looked and tasted like beef." The sepia, or cuttle fish, is frequently taken in nets by fishermen off Teignmouth and Slapton Sands. Dartmouth, Teignmouth, Torquay, Bideford, Topsham, and Plymouth, formerly sent many vessels to the Newfoundiand fishery, but that trade has considerably declined. and only the three first named places are now partially engaged in it.
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