catchment encompasses approximately fourteen hundred (1400) square kilometers a
large watershed. From Port Medway where
the river meets the Atlantic Ocean to its upper reaches at LakeAlma is
about eighty (80) kilometers of river including PonhookLake
(as the crow flies).
The river is
characterized by being relatively long and more narrow than other river
systems. This river system is divided into two (2) main parts in the upper half
of the catchment. AlmaLake is the headwater lake of the main river and the PleasantRiver
system runs into the large MolegaLake before it joins with the main river system just
upstream of PonhookLake.
storied salmon fishing heritage associates with the village
of Ponoque which became Greenfield in 1850.
Previous to 1883 the only connection the village had with the outside world was
via the MedwayRiver
or coach from Liverpool.
fishermen began coming to the Medway prior to 1900 and were taken in as
boarders by locals.
The Maple Leaf
Hotel as it was named by Boardman Hunt when purchased around 1900 became a must
destination for salmon enthusiasts for many years.
In 1926 the
Freeman House opened for business and continued the salmon fishing traditions
that had become legendary on the Medway. Mr. Lew Freeman spent his whole life
on the MedwayRiver. He started at the Freeman House in
nineteen hundred twenty six (1926) and stayed until nineteen hundred forty four
(1944). The clientele, mostly American, came to fish Atlantic salmon and trout.
There were about eighteen (18) to twenty (20) guides involved with the hotel.
Over the years,
several lodges and cabins were built in the area driven by the great salmon
fishing, helping to create a vibrant economy.
from the book titled Markland or Nova Scotia
by Robert R. McLeod published by the Markland Publishing Company in nineteen
hundred three (1903) says it all about the river at the time – “On the Port
Medway River, Queens County, there is probably the best salmon fishing in the
province from the mouth upward some twelve (12) miles to Greenfield where there
is a pretty village at the foot of Ponhook Lake.”
mention the MedwayRiver without speaking of
Harry Freeman. Harry, a lumberman and a scientist, devoted much of his life to
the enhancement of the MedwayRiver and the Greenfield
area. He was recognized internationally as a scientist and developed laboratory
research methods still in use today, and pioneered in studies of fish health,
particularly that of the Atlantic Salmon.