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turing large numbers of live adult steelhead. The percentage of the
total run trapped has varied between 10 and 20 percent (Table 1).
Trapped fish are in excellent condition, with very few visible marks
or bruises which might indicate any attempt by the fish to swim against
the wire webbing in an effort to escape. Steelhead Avere left in the traps
for as long as three days and still remained in excellent condition.
^Marked fish were placed in the traps from time to time to find out if
they were escaping once they had entered the trap. None of the marked
fish ever escaped, although it was possible for them to swim downstream
and out of the traps through the open funnels. Over 160 steelhead have
been taken in a single trap with 24 hours of fishing. Steelhead entered
the traps during daylight hours, as well as during hours of darkness.
However, by far the greatest catches were made at night. During the
peak of the run, fair numbers of fish entered the traps during the
daytime.

The traps are somewhat selective with regard to sizes of steelhead
captured, but not nearly to the degree that they are with king salmon.
When the steelhead run consists of a large number of comparatively
small individuals, a greater percentage of the total run is captured.
It has also been demonstrated by the trapping that the average size
of steelhead decreases at the peak of the run. with a preponderance of
larger fish migrating upstream at the beginning and end of the season.
An excellent cross section of the steelhead population, over 12.5 inches
in length, has been trapped each year at Fremont Weir. Fish 12.5 inches
in length represent the mininnim size tagged, although the minimum
size trapped is 11 inches. During the past two years, examination of
steelhead upstream from Fremont AVeir, at Coleman Fisheries Station
holding ponds on Battle Creek, at Clough Dam Counting Station on
Mill Creek, and while doing creel census work on the main stem of
the Sacramento River, has revealed an almost identical percentage of
tagged fish.



WIRE FYKE TRAPS



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2!(4 ( AIJKOUM A TISIl AM) (iAMI-:

King Salmon

A. lull Kiiiir salmon mi^/nitc inlo 1lic iii)pi'f Saci-ainento Kivor system
durin-.' all moiitlis of the yeai-. Allhou<::h there is a eoiitimious inove-
iiieiit of salmon past the Fremont Weir ti;ippiiig site, there are three
jtoriods eaeh year when the intensity of the mij^ration is greatly in-
creased. These jx'aks in the mijrration represent three distinct runs of
winter, sjjrinpr. and fall fish. Most of those moving upstream between
the peaks are apparently either early or late segments of one of the
three main runs.

The movement of winler and spring-run salmon is fairly continuous,
but with considerable overlap, and it is difficult to distinguish clear-cut
peaks in their migration past the trapping site. However, even though
they move u]) tlic river at about the same time, these tw^o groups of
fish separate in the upper river in accoi-dance with time and place of
spawning.

:\Iost of the winter-run fish spawn during May and June, in the upper
portion of the main stem of tlie Saei-amento River, between Anderson
and Keswick Dam.

Spring-run fish spawn principally in late Augu.st and September.
Spawning takes place primarily in the upper reaches of the Sacra-
mento River above Red Blutf, and in the higher reaches of the larger
tributaries such as Butte, Deer, Mill, and Battle creeks.

The fall run, which is larger in numbers than the other two com-
bined, peaks at Fremont Weir near the last week of September. The
bulk of these fish pass the trapping site betw^een the middle of August
and the early pai't of November. Most of the fall-run fish spawn be-
tween the middle of October and the latter part of December, Avith the
greatest spawning activity taking place near the middle of November.
Spawning takes place in the Sacramento RiA'er from a short distance
below Chico to Keswick Dam, and in the lower reaches of practically
all suitable tributary streams.

Based on tagging at Fremont Weir, salmon carcass counts in the
upper river, and tag recovery data, the fall run of king salmon in the
Sacramento River system, above its confluence with the Feather River,
has varied between 123,463 and 446.000 fish during the period from
3953 through 1956. The traps as fished were effective in capturing large
numbers of live adult king salmon. All salmon captured were in excel-
lent condition insofar as damage caused by the traps was concerned,
even when they were left in the traps as long as three days. Marked
fish placed in the traps from time to time showed that these fish did
not escape once they entered the trap. Kings were caught primarily at
night, even during the height of the run.

However, the traps were not nearly so effective for king salmon as
they were for steelhead trout. While the traps captured between 10 and
20 percent of the steelhead run each year, only 1 percent of the salmon
run was captured using the same traps and with the same fishing
effort r Table 2). The traps were considerably more size selective with
salmon than with steelhead, and a preponderance of small fish w^as
captured in the traps. This size selectivity was brought to light when
measurements were made of salmon upstream from the trapping site,
while doing carcass examination on the spawning beds, during spawn-
ing operations at Toleman Station, and while counting fish at Mill



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296 CALIFORNIA FISH AND GAME

Creek C'oniitinjr Station. The measurements revealed tliat the averajre
size of fish in the runs was mueh greater than tlie averafre size of fish
captured in the trajjs. This size selectivity of fish for tagging purposes
resulted in a poor sample of the run being tagged, and made a reliable
estimate of the total population much more difficult. A poor random
sample of the run by the traps Avas also indicated by a great variance
in the tagged to untagged ratios of salmon observed in the main stem
of the Sacramento Kiver and in the various tributaries.

The trapping site was not ideally located for a population study of
Sacramento liivcr salmon which migrate above its confluence with the
Feather River. The tagged tish. some of which were released only
one-half mile above the mouth of the Feather Kiver. often moved back
down the Sacramento Kiver and spawned in the Feather Kiver and
even iu the American Kiver. some •J'l miles below.

Silver Salmon

In ^larch, 11J.36, ■io.O'Io yearling Nilvrr salmon were released in .Mill
Creek, one of the principal tributaries of the Sacramento River. These
fish were introduced in an effort to establish a run of silvers in the
Sacramento River system.

During the months of August. SL-pti'inbcr. and October. lO-jli. a total
of 437 of the.se silvers was captured in the traps. The run peaked in
late August. All fish captured were small males, measuring between
13 and 20 inches. Prior to this time there was only one authentic record
of a silver salmon being taken in the Sacramento-San Joaquin River
system. Subsequent examination of silvers in the upper river, during
1956. showed that approximately 11 percent of the run had been tagged,
or that the run totaled about 3.220 fish. This indicates that the traps
are about as effective in capturing silvers of this size (13 to 20 inches)
as they are in capturing steelhead.

Striped Bass

Each spring a spawning run of adult striped bass moves out of the
Delta into the Sacramento River. A significant portion of this run
passes Sacramento and turns off into the Feather River. The remainder
migrates on up The Sacramento River and a few are caught by anglers
each .sumiiier at It-ast as far upstream as Cottonwood. The peak of this
spring migration passes Fremont Weir in April and early May.

The traps were not fished during the period of striped bass migration,
except during a year and one-half of continuous operation between
July, 1953. and December, 1951. Xo reliable figures regarding the size
of the adult striped bass runs past Fremont Weir are available, so it is
difficult to e.stimate the real effectiveness of the traps iu capturing this
species. In other words, it is possible that a good portion of the fish
which passed the trapping area was captured iu 1951. while on the
other hand the numbers caught might represent but a small segment
of the run. A total of 723 adult striped bass was captured during the
month of April. 1954. with only 648 hours of trap fishing, when not
more than four traps were operated at one time. On April 21, 1954, a
total of 300 striped bass was trapped in one night's fishing with but
four traps in operation. A total of 108 striped ba.ss was taken in 672
trap hours of fishing in May, 1954 (Table 3).



WIRE FYKE TRAPS



297



TABLE 3

Numbers of Striped Bass Trapped in the Sacramento River Near
Fremont Weir, July, 1953, Through June, 1954





Number of


Number of


Catch per


Month


trap


striped bass


one hundred




hours


trapped


trap hours


July


1,687


16


0.95


August


3,923


7


0.18


September


3,410


4


0.12


October


3,480


4


0.11


November


2,760





0.00


December


2,840





0.00


January


2,304


2


0.09


February


812





0.00


March


1,416


2


0.14


April


648


723


111. r>7


May


672


108


10.07


June


1,008


103


10.22


Totals


24,960


969






Striped bas.s captured in the traps are in excellent shape, and they
take the confinement quite well. Bass up to an estimated 35 to 40 pounds
have been taken in the traps. The bass appear to enter the traps pri-
marily durin<>- hours of darkness. However, the traps were not emptied
enough in the daytime, during the period of striped bass migration, to
be certain.

Shad

The traps were exceptionally ett'ective in capturing large mnnbers
of adult shad during their annual spring migration up the Sacramento
River. The peak of this .spawning run passes the trapping area in May.
Shad were the oidy fish captured which could not live for any length
of time in the tra])s. Tlie traps were emptied each morning after 24
hours of fishing and practically all of the shad trapped with this method
of operation were dead. The shad were not damaged externally to any
extent by the traps, and usually the only visible mark on dead fish
was a slight redness about the mouth and head. It appeared as though
the shad had either ])ointed their noses into one of the wire meshes
and swam, without gilling themselves, until dead, or had made a series
of rushes against the wire webbing, eventually inflicting fatal injuries.

Live shad could probably be obtained with these traps if they were
emptied often enough, for example, on an hourly basis. It also appears
possible that if the impounding area of the trap had been constructed
with a smaller mesh and perhaps in the shape of a sphere, in which
shad could not find a corner into which to poke their noses, they might
swim around in a continuous circle without injuring themselves. This
was not tried. Instead, the trapping operation was curtailed during
the height of the shad run, to prevent a possible large loss.

Shad were caught principally during hours of darkness but during
the peak of the run good numbers w^ere also taken in the daytime.

Other Fishes Captured
Several other species of fishes were captured from time to time in
the traps. Among those appearing most frequently were the catfishes,



2!>S CALIFORNIA FISH AND CAMK

I>riiii;irilv \\lii1(> calfi.sli { IcIalurKs rnliis), cliaiiiirl calfish i Ichihtni.s
pinicfnius), and occasionally brown l)ul]lH'a(l f A iiieiurus nebulosus).
Catfish w(M'C numerous at times in the trapping; area, and larjic catches
Avcre made with commercial-type catfish nets of smaller meshed cotton
wcl)hin<r. The lar^'e traps s<'t for stccjlicad and salmon were surpris-
injjrly ineffective in eapturinf«- catfish.

Larpremouth bass (Microptcrus salmoides) and smallmouth bass
i Mirrojjfniis dolomieu) were often captured, particular-]y in the spring
aiul fall months, hut Tievei' in any (|nan1ity. (>nl\- one s1ni"!.n'nii lias been
captured ill tlic traps to ihite. This was a 4(in-|)(Hiii(| white stur<i-eon
{Acipenscr transmontanus) measurin|»: over nine feet in length, cap-
tured during the fall of lOoo. Tlie sturgeon ])opiilation of this section
of the fSacramento River is uiilxiiown, and thus the elfectiveness of
the traps for this fish remains a mystery. However, it is doubtful that
the traps are very effective in ejiptnring sturgeon.

Three species of Pacific .salmon, other than kings and silvers, have
also been taken in the tra{)s. Between 1951 and 1056, a total of 31
chum salmon {Oncorhynclins keta), 10 pink salmon (0. gorhuscha),
and 3 sockeye salmon (0. nerka) was captured. These fish were prob-
ably strays, since only a few are ol)si'r\ed e^eli yi'^iv in the Saer-amento
River system.

Miscellaneous fishes appearing in the ti-aj)s inelnde western suckers
(Catostomus Occident alls) , splittail (Pogoriichthiis macrolepidotus) ,
hardhead (MyJopharodon conoccphalns) , greaser hlackfish (Orthodon
microlepidofus), Sacramento scjuawfish {Ptycliochcilus grandis), carp
{Cyprinus carpio), black crappie {Pomoxis nigromactdatus), brown
trout (Salmo I ml hi i. hlnegill {Lepomis macrochirus) , tule perch (Hys-
ferocarpns fraski), and Pacific lamprey (Eiifosjjhfiius tridentatus) .
None of these species was ever ntimerous in the catches.

SUMMARY

This article describes the construction and use of large cylindrical
fish traps and their effectiveness in capturing king salmon, steelhead
trout, silver salmon, striped bass, American shad, and other species
of fishes in the Sacramento River.

The traps are 10 feet in diameter and 19| feet long, open at one
end, and contain two funnels whieh aet as a one-way pass into a pot
01- imj)ounding area.

Detailed material lists and i'<)iivi nict ion dire t ions ai-e given, together
with fishing and transportation methods.

The traps are fished in the Sacramento River along steep dirt banks
where the water is commonly 20 feet dee]) a few feet from shoi'c. The
flow is usually between 5,000 and 10,000 cubic feet per second, with
velocities of 2 to 3 feet per second near the shore.

Seven of these traps fished at Fremont Weir captured from 10 to
20 percent of the total run (jf steelhead. One percent of the king
salmon run and, in 1956, approximately 11 i)erceiit of the silver salmon
run was captured. These three species were in good condition, with no
evident injuries. Considerable mortality was experienced by the Amer-
ican shad.



FISHES COLLECTED IN THE TROPICAL
EASTERN PACIFIC, 1954'

HAROLD B. CLEMENS

Marine Fisheries Branch
California Department of Fish and Game

INTRODUCTION

This paper is concerned with marine fishes of Central and South
America and the Gala])a<ios Islands eollcM-ted incidental to tuna tag-
ging operations conducted from the tuna clipper ^I. Y. ]\[ayplower
during the period February 13 to June 9, 1954 (California Department
of Fish and Game, Cruise Report C-2-54). In all, some 5,000 specimens
were preserved frozen or in formalin and brought to the California
State Fisheries Laboratory for identification and dispositon. From
these, 62 families containing 137 species in 115 genera have been
identified.

The present collection supplements that made from the tuna clipper
M. V. Intrepid during 1952 and 1953 (Clemens, 1955) and should aid
materially in achieving a better understanding of the habits of these
tropical species, as well as of their geographical distributions.

METHODS OF CAPTURE

Several methods of capture were employed to sample a variety of
habitats. These methods were:

I. Hook and Lino.

A. Trollinj; With Feathered Jigs and Plastic Squids.

Trolling, while cruising between different fishing areas and bait grounds,
resulted in the capture of several specimens found relatively near the sur-
face of the water. It was by this method that barracuda, Sphi/niena idiastes,
station 17; a rainbow runner, Ehigatis hipuniulutua, station 17; and bullet
mackerel, Aiiais thazard, station 11, were taken at the Galapagos Islands.
In addition, a dolphinfish. Coryphaena hippurus, station 54, was caught off
Colombia and a bonito, Sarda velox, station 44, off Panama by trolling.

P>. Bottom Fishing With Handlines.

Handlines were employed to good advantage when the vessel was an-
chored or drifting in water less than 400 feet deep. The use of various
sized hooks baited with live or cut bait resulted in the capture of many
species dwelling at or near the bottom. At station 47 off Colombia three
species were caught with a handline in 300 feet of water. Of these, only
one, a snapper, Luijanus peru, was previously known to science. A second,
a scorpaenid, has since been named Fontinus cleniensi (Fitch, 195.5), while
the third, a serranid, Epinephelus, is being studied by Dr. Boyd W. Walker,
University of California, Los Angeles. The remoras have also been included
in this category, though for the most part they were removed from sharks
caught on handlines. One exception, however, was a Phtheirichthys lineatus,
station 22, captured off Panama. This fish was taken under the night light
in a dip net — no sharks were noted in the vicinity.

C. Rod and Reel.

A good deal of rod and reel fishing was carried out whenever the oppor-
tunity arose and several of the more "'gamy" species found in relatively

^ Submitted for publication April, 1957.

(299)



:l():) CALIFORXIA FISH AND (iA:\IK

shalliiw w:ittr nr iicnr llir surt'acc were l.ikcii : cahrilla, Epinephelus (dki-

lofiiix. stiition 4. off raiiaiiiJi ; wliitc spotted l)ass. l^innlahvn.r nUiomaculutun,

station 12, at the (lalapagos Islands; and d<il|iliinfisli, (■ori/phaoia eqnisetis,

station i>4. off rolomhia.
1>. Alisccllanoons.

Tho I'acific anihcrjaclc. ><rriolii lolhurni, station 4!), taken off Coloml)ia

were cansht on scpiid i)oIes — stont Itaniboo poles with short lines attached.

Rnajr hooks were used to capture mackerel scad, J)ecaptf'nis. station 21,

at Malpelo Island.
II. F.ait-net Hauls.

Tuna clippers use a lar.ne (juantity of live liait in noi-nial fishing activities.
This bait is captured in relatively shallow water near islands or continental
land masses by means of a larj;e encircling: type bait net. Each haul of this
net was closely observed for specimens. On this particular trip, bait hauls made
in the Gulf of Panama (stations 5, 25, 27, 4^), and .~»5) resulted in especially
good catches of sciaenids. engraulids, and carangids. One of the more rare
specimens taken in a bait-net haul was a goby, Tynlldstcs hrei-is, at station 4.j.
HI. Examination of Stomach Contents.

This method resulted in the collection of various surface and deep sea forms
that were not accjuired in any other manner. For the most part stomachs ex-
amined were from oceanic skipjack. Kaisuuonus ; black skipjack, Eutliynnus ;
and yellowfin tuna, JS'eothiainus. However, the specimens listed for station 2
were from a dolphinfish. Coryplwena hippiirKs. captured off Nicaragua.
IV. Dipnetting Under a Night I>ight.

After a day of good fishing, the tuna cli]ipers frequently drift all night and
start fishing again the next morning. This provides an excellent opportunity to
suspend a bright light over the side of the vessel and dipnet the specimens
attracted. I\se of a night light resulted in the capture of many larval and post-
larval forms, as well as larger fishes preying upon them. Larval bullet mackerel.
Aiuis, are usually the most numerous of the fish attracted to the night light.
No special attempt was made to collect large numliers of Auxis, yet over 1,600
were taken ; as many as 419 were dipped in a few hours at Malpelo Island,
station 21. Other species commonly attracted to the night light were flying
fish, Exocoetidae ; lizardfish, Synodidae ; lanternfish. Myctophidae ; mullet.
Mugilidae ; and pomacentrids, Pomacentridae. Two of the more unusual species
dipnetted at the Galapagos Islands were an eel, Garmanichthys bicollaris,
station 12. and a snake mackerel. Xealofiis fripes, station 13.

Ill actual practice several of tlie above-mentioned methods were
often employed in the course of a particular evening. For example,
on March 8, 1954, at the Galapagos Islands, station 12, the night light
was put over the side of the vessel and a dip net made ready. Next,


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