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California. Dept. of Fish and Gams
r Biennial Report 1895-1896.





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FOURTEENTH BIENNIAL REPORT



OF THE



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OF THE



STATE OF CALIFORNIA,



KOR THE YEARS



COMMISSIONERS



WILLIAM C. MURDOCH,
H. F. EMERIC, President,
J. M. MORRISON, -




San Jtilfl ijfflcisco.
San Pablo, Contra Costa County.

Sacramento.




SACRAMENTO;
A. J. JOHNSTON, : : : : : superintendent state printing.

1896.



:alifornia. Dept. of Fish and Game,
Biennial Report 1895-1896.



^TE DUE



Biennial Report 1895-1896.





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California Resources Agency Library

1416 9th Street, Room 117

Sacramento, California 95814



REPORT.



To the Honorable James H. Budd, Governor of the State of California:

In conformity with law, the Board of Fish Commissioners of the State
of California has the honor to submit its Fourteenth Biennial Report,
being the record of its work from September 1, 1894, to September 1, 1896.

Hon. H. L. Macneil was forced by ill health to present to you his
resignation in January, 1895, and Mr. H. F. Emeric was named by
you, February 8, 1895, as his successor.

On February 25, 1895, Hon. J. D. Redding presented to you his
resignation, which was accepted, and Mr. J. M. Morrison was appointed
to succeed him on March 12, 1895.

Thereupon the Board met and elected H. F. Emeric president, and
decided to move the office of the Commission to more commodious
quarters, where its business could be more easily transacted. A suit-
able office was selected at No. 78, Flood Building, and cabinets pro-
cured for the library and specimens of native and introduced fish and
birds. This collection, while yet small, is rapidly increasing and will
furnish an object-lesson, valuable alike to fishermen, marketmen, and
sportsmen. Through the generosity of the friends of the Commission
suitable furnishings were presented and loaned, so that the office was
fitted up in a very complete manner, and without expense to the State.

Meetings of the ' Board have been regularly held upon the second
Monday of every month, and at such other times as the exigencies of
the work demanded. A majority of the Board has been present at
every meeting. . Complete minutes of the meetings are on file in the
office.

The work of this Commission is steadily increasing, and its field for
usefulness so rapidly extending that much time is required to plan the
work and properly attend to the various questions which are constantly
demanding attention. We have followed the policy laid down by
the first Board and adopted by every succeeding Board, both because
the laws governing this Commission require us to do so, and because
our greatest field of usefulness lies in that direction. We are greatly
pleased to be able to present to you, in the following pages, the splendid
results of this policy, and to demonstrate conclusively that the care and
supervision of the commercial fisheries is worthy of the best efforts of this
Board and will make returns a hundredfold to the people of the State.

We quote from " A Review of the History and Results of the Attempts



4 REPORT OF STATE BOARD OF FISH COMMISSIONERS.,

to Acclimatize Fish and other Water Animals in the Pacific States," by
Dr. H. M. Smith, of the U. S. Commission of Fish and Fisheries, a
gentleman who has made extended investigations throughout the State
and thoroughly examined all of our waters, making investigations of the
various branches of our commercial fisheries :

"The zealous efforts of the Fish Commissioners of California to increase the quantity
and variety of food and game fishes of the State deserve special recognition. For more
than twentj'-five years the energies of the Commission have been almost constantly
directed to the acclimatization of desirable fishes inhabiting the waters of the Eastern
States. Their remarkable success when acting on their own behalf and in conjunction
with the New York Commission and the U. S. Fish Commission entitles them to the
great credit and praise which they have received both from the inhabitants of California
and from the people of other States and foreign countries." (p. 380.)

This quotation is not made with the idea of self-congratulation or
laudation, but to show that the policy laid down by the State's first
Board of Fish Commissioners is the policy which receives the highest
commendation from the men who are the best posted in the value of this
work, and thoroughly able to express an opinion.

It has also been our aim, so far as was in our power, to protect and
care for the game and game-fish interests of the State, believing that they
are of great importance; and, as the following pages will show, demand
more attention and better protection than has heretofore obtained. We
have, during the last two years, by watching the chief market centers
and sending men into districts where violations were reported, made
many arrests and put a stop to much illegal work.

We have caused certain statistics pertaining to our fisheries to be
compiled. They are included in this report, and give much valuable
information regarding the catch of our commercial fishes. We also pre-
sent statistics, which will be found of interest, showing the value and
amount of game handled in San Francisco and Los Angeles markets,
during the season 1895-96.

We have increased our fish hatcheries by the addition of the Battle
Creek, Tallac, and Wawona stations, and are now much better equipped
than ever before, and better able to carry on the work of re-stocking
and increasing the output of our streams and lakes.

The splendid location of the Battle Creek hatchery makes it possible
to take and hatch an unlimited number of salmon eggs; and, although
obliged to stop last fall in the middle of the work for want of a place
to eye the eggs, we have placed to our credit in one year the largest
plant of salmon fry ever made b}' the State in any previous four
years— 14283,180.

The location of the Wawona hatchery fills a long-felt want, and
makes it possible to reach the magnificent waters in and about the
Yosemite National Park without the long, tiresome, and unprofitable
trip from any one of our other hatcheries.



REPORT OF STATE BOARD OF FISH COMMISSIONERS. 5

We have granted all applications for fish for public waters in so far
as they were suitable for the varieties asked for; but so great a demand
has been made upon us in this direction that the supply has not been
equal to it, even with the increased output never before equaled.





Total Output For—


1895,


1896.


"Rffsrs .. -




383,000

7,391,700

1,239


1,141,000


Fry - - - -


18,351,833


Adults and vearlinss . .-.-_.


5,209








Totals . ....


7,775,939


19,498,042







Total output for two years 27,273,981.

The remarkable success of the plant of Eastern fresh-water fishes in
Lake Quyamaca, San Diego County, in 1891, would indicate that these
varieties, which are held in high esteem as food and game fishes
throughout the East, as well as others introduced here, will find con-
genial waters in our State, thereby adding to our already large variety
of fishes, and making our waters more productive.

Efforts have been made to introduce desirable mollusks and crus-
taceans from one part of the State to another, with the hope of increas-
ing the range of these species, and consequently the supply.

The sawdust question in the Truckee River has demanded attention,
and we are glad to report that this stream, as well as others, has been
kept free from pollution.

The ladders upon dams have been frequently inspected, and kept in
repair. Such arrangements have been made that but few, if any, dams
are unprovided with ladders at the present time.

The policy of retaining the trained and capable men who have been
employed in the work for many years, has enabled the Commission's
work to proceed without interruption, and has been the means of
saving many dollars to the State. We believe that this Commission
should be operated under civil service rules, as it will incite the men
employed to more careful and better work, knowing that they will be
retained so long as they are faithful and attentive.

We have designed to conduct the business of the Commission on
business lines, and have, we believe, made the best possible use of the
money appropriated. The amount has many times seemed inadequate,
and we have been obliged to temporarily retire some of our men until
such time as our finances would permit their re-instatement.



6



REPORT OF STATE BOARD OF FISH COMMISSIONERS.



The resources and expenditures of this Commission have been as

follows:

Forty-sixth Fiscal Year.



Resources.



Disburse-
ments.



•f 7,500 00



Support and Maintenance of State Hatcheries —

Appropriation

Restoration and Preservation of Fish —

Balance on hand 150 00

Appropriation i 10,000 00

Fish Commission Fund —

Balance on hand j 1,379 24

Receipts from licenses, fines, etc. _ 5,225 92

Amount expended ! .

Balance on hand



Totals ..I 124,255 16



$7,500 00
10,150 00



4,737 72
1,867 44



$24,255 16



Forty-seventh Fiscal Year.



Support and Maintenance of State Hatcheries-
Appropriation $7,500 00

Restoration and Preservation of Fish and Game —
Appropriation 10,000 00

Fish Commission Fund —

Balance on hand 1,867 44

Receipts from licenses, etc 1 \ 5,671 90

Amount expended.. !

Balance on hand c



Totals $25,039 34



$7,500 00
10,000 00



5,874 89
1,664 45

$25,039 34



In the Appendix will be found a statement of all the bills passed by
this Board and allowed by the Board of Examiners. This statement
shows to whom and for what purpose the money was paid. Duplicates
of all bills are on file in this office giving in detail the uses to which our
funds have been put.

Having thus given a resume of the work under our supervision, we
invite your attention to the details which follow, as well as to many
subjects and incidents connected with our fisheries, and to the other
matters with which we have had to deal.

We are pleased to report that the increase in the fishery
industry, shown in the Thirteenth Biennial Report of the
California Fish Commission, has continued during the last
two years, although the fisherfolk have suffered in some
measure, owing to the hard times which have affected every industry.

We regret our inability to present the actual increase. Our resources
do not admit of a sufficiently thorough investigation of all its branches
to enable us to make complete statistics. The U. S. Commission of
Fish and Fisheries have not taken a complete census since 1892, but
are now completing one for the year 1895. The results of the cen-
sus of 1892 were embodied in the last report of the California Fish
Commission.



COMMERCIAL
FISHERIES.



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REPORT OF STATE BOARD OF FISH COMMISSIONERS. 7

Mr. W. A. Wilcox, of the U. S. Commission of Fish and Fisheries, in

his treatise entitled "The Fisheries of the Pacific Coast," says:

"The growth of the industry of late years has been marked, and the near futtire will
doubtless witness an advance in the relative position, of California at the expense of
several of the east-coast States. Considering the entire country, the rank of California
as a fishing State is six; in the value of its products it is surpassed only by Massa-
chusetts, Maryland, New York, New Jersey, and Virginia." (p. 147.)

We take the following totals from a table prepared by him, which
show the products of the fisheries of California:

Pounds. Value.

1889 - - 53,505,055 $2,465,317

1890 -. 53,330,194 2,592,826

1891..- - 52,483,906 3,031,430

1892 .- - 57,838,466 3,022,991

That the fisheries of the State are constantly developing along broader
lines is beyond question, and the fishermen and people generally are
coming to appreciate the value of fostering this industry, and are urging
the Commission to extend its investigation and its protecting power to
branches which they never before deemed in need of protection, because
of the seemingly limitless store from which the supply was being drawn.

If at any time there has been a question as to the needs and results
of the artificial propagation of both fresh and salt water fishes, that time
has passed, for it is no longer a supposition but an established fact that
this work makes enormous returns for the money expended. The results
of this work are everywhere apparent, and nowhere more so than in
California, and the people generally are alive to the necessity and demand
for it.

Dr. H. M. Smith, of the U. S. Commission of Fish and Fisheries, says,
in his " Notes on a Reconnoissance of the Fisheries of the Pacific Coast
of the United States in 1894":

" In no other region in the United States are the people more generally impressed with
the beneficial results of artificial propagation and more ready to aid and approve any
fish-cultural measures that are properly recommended. While the results of salmon
culture have in some places been marked and are readily acknowledged by fishermen
and others, this alone is not suflicient to account for the widespread advocacy of fish
culture which exists among all classes and in all parts of the Pacific Coast. We must
look further for the cause. There seems little reason to doubt that to the marvelous
success of shad and striped bass acclimatization on the west coast must be attributed the
firm belief in fish-cultural work that pervades all localities in which fish is an article of
food or an object of capture. One or both of these new species are well known in almost
every Pacific Coast settlement, and they are an enduring testimony to the influence of
man over fish production." (p. 226.)

It has been the purpose of this Board to increase the pro-
SALMON. ductiveness of the salmon fishery, which is our most im-
portant branch. Aided by the extended close season granted
by the last Legislature, we were enabled to plant in our waters a greater
number of young fish than ever before. The following table, showing



8



REPORT OF STATE BOARD OF FISH COMMISSIONERS.



the yearly increase in the receipts of fish in the San Francisco markets,
must be attributed to the planting of fry in former years:

Salmon Received in the San Francisco Market.



Month.



1893.



1894.



1895.



1896.



January .
February
March ...

April

May

June



July

August

September

October

November
December .



137,460

93,263

139,401

374,478

325,170

70,216

,139,988

149,217
575,609



128,556
103,801
163,131
211,552
242,126
138,675

937,841

117,516
576,991



249,753
183,789
155,090



403,340
276,768
192,153



161,641
146,250
155,791
365,387
401,787
161,989

1,392,845

115,592
447,094



431,453
326,474



Totals I 2,453,446 ' 2,554,609 ; 2,713,458



168,366
173,278
197,043
301,964
291,310
134,922

1,266,883



While the yearly increase is not large, it shows a healthy growth, and
establishes the fact that this fishery can-, with proper protection and the
re-stocking of our waters, be restored to its former splendid condition,
when the annual catch amounted to ten millions of pounds instead of
four.

It must be borne in mind that the success at Battle Creek station is due
entirely to the extension of the close season. Until October was included
in the close season, the salmon that had successfully passed the bays and
lower river during the month of September were legally taken by the
ton from their spawning-beds, or in the deep pools of the Sacramento
River in Tehama and Shasta counties, though the fish were unfit for
food and had not accomplished the purpose for which the State had
guarded their ascent of the river. The addition of the month of October
to the close season was timely and is of vital importance in the efforts
of the Commission to restore the supply of salmon. The Board met
with no opposition to its efforts to enforce the observance of the extended
close season in the region of the upper Sacramento and in Humboldt
County. This change meets with the approval of the people of those
sections, as well as of the fish-dealers of the San Francisco market, all
of whom have evinced a genuine interest in the efforts of the Commission
to increase the run of our most valuable fish. In Del Norte County,
however, the efforts of the Board to enforce this law were made abortive
by the action of the local authorities, the Board of Supervisors assuming
to make regulations in conflict with the State law, and the District Attor-
ney instructing the Justices of the Peace to refuse to issue warrants, and
refusing himself to prosecute arrested offenders. Our deputy was with-
drawn and the matter was called to the attention of the Attorney-Gen-



REPORT OF STATE BOARD OF FISH COMMISSIONERS.



9



eral. The people of that county will alone be the sufferers, since the
fisheries there supply only the local demand.

For some reason the run of salmon in the Sacramento River in 1895
was affected (presumably from high temperature or a rise of water) so
that, instead of being heaviest during the month of August, it was only
well started when the season closed. This condition obtained in 1896,
but in a more marked degree. The early or spring run of fish was also
affected by some cause. The salmon appeared in considerable numbers
in the river as early as January, and continued to come through February
and March, in consequence of which the April run of fish did not show
the decided increase of former years, though there was an increase in
the total take for the first six months.

Owing to the varied run, the canneries did not pack as many
SALMON salmon, as the following table will show. The figures for the
CANNED, years previous to 1895, in all of the tables, were taken from

the biennial report of the California Fish Commission for
the years 1893-94:

Salmon Pack of the Sacramento River.



Year,


Pounds.


Cases.


1888 , - - - - - - -


4,039,200

1,618,471

672,121

170,425

1,496,927

1,940,009

1,637,025

870,155


61,200


1890. ..




25,065


1891




10,353


1892




2,281


1893




23,336


1894




28,463


1895 -


25,185


1896 - - -


13,387







It would be advantageous for the State to cause an investigation by
trained scientists of the habits of the young salmon after reaching the
river from the small creeks on their way to the sea. Such an investi-
gation, combined with intelligent observations upon the fish-food to be
found in our larger interior waters, might lead to information that would
be of material help in the restoration of salmon and the development of
other valuable food-fisheries. It would seem advisable, therefore, that
the Legislature should make a small appropriation for such scientific
investigation, placing the appropriation in the hands of the Board, or of
Dr. David Starr -Jordan, of Stanford University, who, as is well known,
stands high as an authority on the habits of fishes.

The number of seals near the Seal Rocks, lying off Point Lobos,
SEALS. City and County of San Francisco, has so greatly increased

under the protection afforded them by an Act of Con-
gress relating to the control and care of the rocks that they very
seriously interfere with the fishermen who carry on their vocation in
the Bay of San Francisco and its tributary waters. Many schools of
fish seeking entrance to spawning-beds are scattered by these seals.



10 REPORT OF STATE BOARD OF FISH COMMISSIONERS.

When the salmon come in from the open sea they are set upon, and
many schools are broken up and driven back; and only when compelled
by the demands of nature do they gather in sufficient numbers to force
an entrance to the bays and lower rivers. Thus is the run of this valu-
able fish lessened and delayed. Their devastations do not cease here,
as the seals follow in the wake of the fish, ascending as high as the
waters of Suisun Bay and the lower Sacramento and San Joaquin rivers,
where the principal fishing-grounds for salmon, striped bass, and shad
are found. Not content with taking the number of fish they wish for
food, which is considerable, they go along the nets biting and killing the
fish, tossing them into the air, and playing with them. In this way
they tear the nets; and very often bepoming entangled in the meshes
thereof, the net is completely destroyed.

It has been estimated that there are at the present time no less than
two thousand seals resorting to the Seal Rocks; and, as it is said to
require about sixty pounds of fish a day to supply the needs of a full-
grown individual, it is easily seen that they are interfering seriously
with the fishing industry of this State.

We fully appreciate the great attraction they are to the people of this
city and State, as well as to the great number of visitors who annually
come here; but, as the servants of the people of this State, charged with
the duty of protecting their fisheries, we deemed it wise to call the atten-
tion of the proper officials to the above referred to Act, wherein the right
to at all times control and limit or diminish the number of the seals
resorting to said rocks, so as to protect the fisheries and fishing indus-
tries, is reserved to the United States. We communicated with the U. S.
Commissioner of Fish and Fisheries, who referred the matter to the
Secretary of the Interior, with the recommendation that this matter be
given prompt attention.

In order that you may fully understand the subject, and deeming it
of interest to many, we append herewith a copy of the Act relating to
the control and care of the Seal Rocks:

An Act to Grant Certain Seal Rocks to the City and County of San Feancisco,
State of California, in Trust for the People of the United States.

[Approved February 23, 1887.]

Be it enacted by the Seriate and House of Representatives of the United States of America,
in Congress assembled. That all the right and title of the United States in and to the rocky
islets known as the Seal Rocks, and all rights to seals resorting there, situated off Point
Lobos, in the City and County of San Francisco, State of California, are hereby granted,
subject to the provisions named, in trust to said city and county, upon the following
conditions and for the following uses, to wit: Said city and county shall hold said Seal
Rocks inalienable for all time in trust for the people of the United States, and shall
commit to the Commissioners of Golden Gate Park the custody and care of said Seal
Rocks, and shall keep said rocks free from encroachment hj man, and shall preserve
from molestation the seals and other animals now accustomed to resort there, to the
end that said Seal Rocks will continue to be a ptfblic preserve and resort for seals ;




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REPORT OF STATE BOARD OF FISH COMMISSIONERS.



11



provided, that the United States may at all times control and limit or diminish the
number of the seals resorting to said rocks, so as to protect the fisheries and fishing in-
dustries; and provided further, that whenever any of said rocks or the space occupied
by said rocks shall be required by the United States for the erection or maintenance of
any public work for any other purpose, then as to the rocks or space so required the
provisions of this Act shall terminate and the United States shall be reinvested with the
full title, control, and possession thereof. Said city and county shall signify its accept-
ance of this trust, and thereupon the Commissioner of the General Land Office shall file
in his office a plat showing the locus of said Seal Hocks, and said plat shall be the evi-
dence of the extent and position of the premises hereby granted.

Sec. 2. That all Acts in conflict with the provisions of this Act are hereby declared
inapplicable to the premises hereby granted.

The laws for the protection of the salmon fishery should not be
changed.

The shad fisheries continue to be influenced by the demand for
SHAD, the fish. The fishermen are limited by the marketmen to that

amount which is daily consumed, this being deemed the only

ERRATA.

Page 11— Number pounds Shad for March, 1896, should be 14,.375; for April
should be 75,625 ; and total for six months should be 234,612.


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