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California Fish and Game,
V. 7 1921
bound volume



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DATE DUE



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California Fish and Game.
V. 7 1921
bound volume




California Resources Agency Library

1416 9th Street, Room 117

Sacramento, California 95814



CS7J-' ' '



California Fish and Game

"CONSERVATION OF WILD LIFE THROUGH EDUCATION"

- -. . ■-

Volume 7 SACRAMENTO, JANUARY, 1921 Number 1



CONTENTS.

Pace
TIHIEE CALIFOliNIA MARKED SALMON RECOVERED

-/. O. Snyder, Stanford University 1

AX INSTANCE OF ADULT. SEA-RUN CHINOOK SALMON FOUND
FEEDING IN FRESH WATER

WiUis H. Rich, Field Assistant, United States Bureau of Fisheries 7

STEELHEADS CAUGHT AT SEA OFF THE COAST NEAR FORT

BRAGG ./. O. Snyder, Stanford University 9

Tin: RELATIVE lAIATURITY OF THE CHINOOK SALMON TAKEN IN
THE OCEAN ALONG THE PACIFIC COAST

Willis II. Rich, Field Assistant, United States Bureau of Fisheries 12

GEAR USED FOR SALMON TROLLING IN CALIFORNIA IN 1920_ - -

W. L. Scofield 22

THE FUTURE OF THE SARDINE Will F. Thompson 38

EDITORIALS — 42

FACTS OF CURRENT INTEREST 48

HATCHERY NOTES 49

COMMERCIAL FISHERY NOTES 54

NOTES FROM THE STATE FISHERIES LABORATORY 59

LIFE HISTORY NOTES . 62

CONSERVATION IN OTHER STATES Go

reports-
Violations OF Fisii AND Game Laws GS

Seizukes G8

Expenditures G9

Fishery Products, .July, August, September. 1920 70



THREE CALIFORNIA MARKED SALMON RECOVERED.

By J. O. Snyder, Stanford University.

Three marked king vsalmon were secured last summer iby W. L.
Scofield, who was engaged in making obeservations for the Fish and
Game Commission. Each of the three specimens had the adipose and
left ventral fins excised. The mutilations were of such a nature that
they could not be attributed to any other causes than the methods
used in marking small fish. One was taken at Monterey, April 6. It
measured 73 centimeters. Along with others it was evicerated before any-
thing unusual was noticed regarding the fins. The sex, therefore, could
not be determined with certainty. The second was caught at Shelter Cove

vsas



Z CAl.IKdKMA FISH AM) (JAMK.

aii(l l)i*ijii;;lit to Fiii't Hrjiii^. Aiiiiust 17. Il Wiis <i iiuilc w hicli iiiciisurcd
71 centimeters and \v('iu:lie(l S] p;)Uii(ls. 'Flic iliinl was (•au,i:;lit in
the Sacramento Ixivcr near lMttsl)ur<;. It. too, was a male and measured
68 eentiiuetcrs. These three Msh are the first ca])!!!!'!'!! from some
maiked ones liberated in the Sacramento River in 1!)1S.

j\Ir. AV. II. Sh( l)li'>' writes eoneerniim lliese fish: "The e^gs were
collected during' llic Tall of 1!>1() at the Bureau of Fislieries stations




Fii;. 1. Photomicrograph of scale of salmon marked at the Mmint
Sluista Hatchery in 1917 and taken at Monterey, April 6, 1920.
beiigtJi 73 centimeters. Numerals mark the end of the first, second
and tliird years of growth.



on the Sacramento River. The resulting' fry wci-c put in Sisson Lake
in the sprino: of 1917 and held until October of the same year.
They were then placed in the small rearinur ponds at JMount Shasta
hatcliery. The fry Avere marked during November and December,
1917. These to the number of 18,000 were distributed in Cold Creek,
a tributary of the Sacramento Eiver. on :\Iarch 19, 1918."

A photomicrograph of a scale from each of these fish is presented.
It will be seen at a glance that the Pittsburg specimen differs markedly



CALIFORNIA FISH AND GAME. 6

from the others in that the edges are frayed ov worn. Thi.s frayed
appearance of the scales was characteristic of all fish ol)served at the
time, and it plainly indicates that the absorption of reserve tissues
was already in progress, a condition just preceding the breeding period.
The fish from which this scale was taken was very dark in culor, and
the snout had become elongated and hooked.




Via. 2. Pliotomicrograph of scale of salmon marked at th<-
Mount Shasta Hatchery in irtl7 and taken in Shelter Cove, near
I' ort Bragg, on August 7, 1920. Sex, male; length 71 centimeters;
neight 8J pounds. Numerals mark the end of the first, second and
third years of growth.

A nuclear area of closely apposed rings appears near the center of
each scale. This area corresponds with the period in the fish's life
spent in fresh w^ater, including the lake, pond and river. The nuclear
area is surrounded by alternating bands of l)road and narrow rings
representing times of rapid or slower growth, which may be interpreted
in periods of years, the second year growth eiuling at 2. the third at 3,
while the fourth is in progress. The rapid growth of the fourth year was



4 CAI.IKOKXIA FlSll AND (lA.MK.

early inteiTupti'd in lln' case of tiu* Moiitcfcv fish, uiiilc alidwcd to
progress farther in the Shelter Cove and rilts])ur<; examples.

Th(^ most valiialile information eomiiio: Id iis with the capture of
these marked fish is that the sea ran^e of Saei'amento salmon not onl\"
embraces ^Tonterey Bay to the sotitlnvai'd. l)ut that it extends far
noi'thward as well. Now thei'e is uiyently desired at the present
time some definite information regarding the source of supply of the
marine salmon fisheries, and we have here a very plain suggestion
as to the procedure necessary to gain at least some of tliat information.
To be sure, it is perfectly well known that the.se salmon breed in
certain large streams. l>ut it is not known whether California streams
alone contribute to our ocean supply, or whether we are in a measure
reaping a harvest from seed sown north of our Ixjundaries. The
opinion has been freely expressed in some (juarters tiiat the salmon
of ]Monterey Bay are from the Sacramento Ki^'er. that those from
Fort Bragg and Shelter Cove are from streams entering the ocean
north of these lo;'alities, and in sliort. that young salmon on migrat-
ing into the ocean progress southward from their place of entry,
where they live and grow until the approach of maturity. With a
firm belief in the theory of southward migraticn, sonu^ fishermen and
others of experience will even pr(4end to identify C()luml)ia River
salmon among those caught near Fort Bragg. We have at present
very little to show that their l)elief is not well founded. Init they
have still less to denicustrate that it is. Tin- capfui'e of this marked
Sacramento River fish at Shelter Cove, a long distance north of llie
mouth of the river, is then easily seen to be a matter of considei-able
importance. The evidence derived from a single example should not
be overestimated, however, and if simmus evidnit that only investigation
involving carefully planned ex])eiiments will he of definite aid lierr
and elsewhere in a profitable study of the life history of the salmon.
It is very probal)le that such investigation might be carried on to
better advantage in a sticani much smallci- than the Sacramento,
foi" wIkmi cue comes to consider the difihculties of obtaining results
from a marking experinunit. f(U^ exam])le, in a very large river with
the wide distribution and varied character of its fisheries, it is really
remarkable that even three fish From a i'(insi(iei'al)l(' iiuur.M'r wci-e
secured. .Moreover, the (piestion as to wh(>ther some of our smaller
streams nuiy l)e uuule to confi'ibute with jti-ofit to sea fishing is \\(A\
worth cniisidering. for tlie j^rescnf rapid growth of irrigatiiui and
power ])r()jects. which seriously interfere with tiie natui'al i)i ceding
grounds of salmon in the Sacranu'uto and Klamath I'ixci - ;. foreshadows
the time when some attention will be dii'ectod cls(>wliere if we seriously
care to maintain our sup])ly of these lish.

Thei'e is one jioint of interest connected with these scales to which.
however, one is not as yet wai-i-anted in attaeiiing any real significance,
ft will be ol)sei'ved that in the Shelter Co\-e scale, aiul i)art icularly
ill that fi'iim flic Sacramento I\iver. the annual checks are very marked,
while in the ]\fonterey specimen they ai'e much less distinct. A com-
parison of a large number of scales from the region of Fort Bragg
and Shelter Co\-e. with many from ^lonterey Bay. seems to give the
impression that the jireseiice of sharjily defined annual checks is not
very characteristic of scales of ^lonterev salmon, but that, in contrast



CALIFORNIA PISH AND GAME. 5

with those from the region of Foi't Bragg, they are much less pro-
nounced and in many eases diffienlt to deteet. Although one is not
prepared to even speculate as to the reason for this, especially since
the cause of the growth check is not known, it is, at any raie, of
passing interest to observe that in the character of the growth check
both the Monterey and Shelter Cove scales conform to what appears
to be the fashion in each locality. And if appearances are not mis-
leading, one would l)e tempted to suspect that the Sacramento fisli




Fig. 3. Photomicrograph of scale of sahnon marked
at the Mount Shasta. Hatchery in 1917 and taken in
the Sacramento River at Pittsburg, September 15,
1920. Sex, male ; lengtli 68 centimeters. Numerals
mark the end of the first, second and third years of
growtli.

had spent its sea life in the region of Fort Bragg or Shelter Cove.
Furthermore, if we calculate the length attained by each fish at the
end of the second and third years, which may be done with some
degree of accuracy from measurements obtained from the scales, it will
be seen that the Shelter Cove and Pittsburg specimens agree in being
smaller than the one from Monterey.

Monterey second year 30 centimeters ; third year 71 centimeters

Pittsburg second year 27 centimeters ; third year 55 centimeters

Shelter Coye second year 22 centimeters ; third year 59 centimeters



CALIFOKNIA FISH AND GAME.



This may be only a matter of coincidence, bnt interest will not be
lost after a comparison of a number of fish from Fort Bragp: an<i
Montere}'. From the scales of a hundred fish caught in ^lunterey Bay,
and which had apparently entered the sea as yearlings, the average
length at the end of the second and third years was computed. The
same was done with a like number of similar fish from the vicinity
of Fort Bragg. In both cases the specimens were taken at random
as they appeared in the catch. The result was as follows:

jNIuutorey second vear.'JS criiliinctfrs ; tliird yuar tj.j ceiiiiaiL'U'i's

Fort Bragg second .vear HZi nni iimU rs ; third year 59 cpntinieters



fl B


n B


tA P 5


MPS


Z


3


Z


3


A


B


c


b



MPS



Fig. 4. Diagram showing the average length of marked
and unmarked salmon, at two and tliree years of age,
taken at various places.

A simple diagram will serve well to show these comi)arisons. A and
B represent the average lengths at 2 and 3 years, M being the fish
from Monterey, and B representing those from Fort Bragg, including
Shelter Cove. C and D are the lengths of the marked fish from Mon-
terey, Pittsburg and Shelter Cove at the end of second and third years.
E represents the lengths of these fish at time of capture, the dotted
tips indicating that growth was interrupted by capture before maturity.

Judging from the experience of investigators who have experimented
witli the marking of salmon, we may expect to see more of these fish
in the fifth year. Their capture will be awaited with interest.



CALIFORNIA FISH AND GAME.



AN INSTANCE OF ADULT, SEA-RUN CHINOOK SALMON
FOUND FEEDING IN FRESH WATER.-

By Wiixis II. Rich, Field Assistant, United States Bureau of Fisheries
During the course of the writer's investigation of the salmon of

the Columbia River, it was learned, through apparently reliable sources,

that the chmook salmon which entered the Cowlitz River clurnig trie

early spring were feeding upon the smelt or euchalon {Thaleichthys

pacific us) which run in large numbers at this time of year
The Cowlitz River empties

into the Columbia River nearly

seventy miles above the mouth

of the latter — well above the

highest reach of brackish water.

It is well known ithat the

habit of adult salmon, entering

streams for the purpose of

spawning, is to cease feeding at

least as soon as the fresh water

is entered. In many cases the

fish apparently cease to feed as

soon as they leave the open ocean

and definitely begin the journey

to the spawning grounds even

though the first part of the

.journey may be through pure,

or nearly pure sea water. This

is true of the Fraser River sock-
eyes which enter Puget Sound

through the Strait of Juan de

Fuca and- which cease to feed as

soon as the journey through the

strait has begun.t The mature

salmon taken just within the

mouth of the Columbia River

have ceased feeding although the

water is only slightly fresher

than sea water. Numerous other

examples illustrating the same

point might be cited. In view of
these facts, the feeding of salmon
so far from the ocean as the Cow-
litz River formed a remarkable

contradiction to the usual habit

and it seemed desirable to

fully investigate the report. On
account of the spring closed season no commercial fishing for salmon
was being carried on at the time the smelt were the most plentiful
and It was necessary to make special efforts to secure specimens. On
April 14, 1916, m company with a fisherman and one of the state fish
wardens, several drifts with a gill net were made in the Cowlitz River

fTM^^'?!**^^ ^^ permission of tlie U. S. Commissioner of Fisheries




I'^n;. ."i. Stomacli of an adult sea-run
("liiiiook salmon found feeding in the
('owlitz River, Washington. As a rule the
stomach of a salmon found in fresli water
shows no evidences of its being in Use.



8 CALIPORXTA FISIT AND GAME.

just bt'luw the town of Kelso. One cliinook was finally secured — a
female weighin.i,' about 25 pounds. The examination t'lilly confirmed
the reports, as the stomach contained upward of a dozen smelt in
various stages of digestion. The stonuu-li, partially dissected in order
to expose the contents, is shown mi the previous page.

This unusual habit is without doubt occasioned by and associated
with the presence of enormous ]nim])ers of smelt. These smelt enter
the Cowlitz and a. few other tributaries of the Columbia Kiver for
the purpose of spawning and, at the height of the season, are gathered
ill close schools in small restricted localities. The laying of ^the eggs
is apparently accomplished while they are thus aggregated. Evidently
these conditions as fouml in the Cowlitz, where large numbers of
small fish are closely schooled, approximate the normal feeding con-
ditions as found in the ocean. Similar habits of the salmon will doubt-
less be found in other streams which have runs of smelt or other small
anadromous fishes coinciding with a run of chinook salmon. Other
species of salmon may also have a similar habit. It is probable that
the salmon have followed the smelt run in from the ocean and that
they contiinied to feed while passing up the main river and into the
Gowlitz. This seems more likely than the alternative, that they had
eea.sed feeding on leaving the ocean but began again on entering tne
Cowlitz.

In this connection it should be noted that the precocious male salmon
which have matured after spending the first year in fresh water con-
tinue to feed even after the sex products have ripened. Such pre-
cociously mature males are commonly found both among wild fish and
among those which have been reared in hatchery ponds. In certain
instances it has been noted that these mature yearlings have recovered
from the effects of maturity and have survived — contrary to the rule
in the case of sea-run adults.*

It would seem that this is chiefly on account of the fact that the
normal food supply has been constantly present so that it has not
been necessary for the fish to cease feeding during the spawning period.
The fact that adult, sea-run salmon wnll frequently take the hook when
w^ell into fresh water is further evidence that the normal feedmg
reaction is not disturlied merely by the entrance into fresh water.
At many places chinook .salmon may be taken by trolling with large
spoon hooks. The salmon fishing at the Oregon City Falls on the
Willamette River is well known. The stcclhead fishing on other
w^e.stern streams, particulai-ly the Rogue River, has a wide spread
reputation, as has also the fishing for Atlantic salmon in .Maine and
Canada. In many cases these fish are taken hundreds of miles above
the mouth of the streams.

It may be concluded from these observations that one of the factors
which cause salmon on entering a stream for the purpose of spawning
to cease feeding is the lack of a normal food supply. In the particular
instance herein described, a normal food supply was present, with
the result that the fish fed in a normal manner. It is possible that
a longer residence in fresh water or the nearer approach of the spawn-
ing season would cause the fish to cease feeding even though a normal
food supply was available.

* Eai-ly History and Seaward Migration of Cliinook Salmon in the Columbia and
Sacramento Rivers. By WiUIs H. Rich. Bulletin of the Bureau of Fisheries,
XXXVII, 1919-20. Doc. 887, page 67.



CALIFORNIA FISH AND GAME.



9



STEELHEADS CAUGHT AT SEA OFF THE COAST NEAR FORT

BRAGG.

By J. O. Snydeh. Stanford ruiversity.

Trailers fi.sliino- for salmon off the coast north of Sau Francisco have
reported the capture of steelhead trout at sea. None of these trou.t
has been available for study until this summer, when W. L. Scofield,
while making observations for the Fish and Game Commission at Noyo
Eiver near Fort Bip^/g, was fortunate enough to separate 16 spenreeus
from the mass of king and silver salmon brought in there. JNIaterial
was preserved so that no doubt is involved in the identification ot
the.se fishes. From the collector's notes the following paragraph is
taken :

The first steelheads appeared July 23, and the last one was seen
August 25. On August 14 five specimens were found, and again on




I'^iG. 6. Noyo Estuary, showing salmon lishing boats. Photograph by J. O.
Snyder, 1920.

August 16 the same number were secured. In color they were of the
characteristic steel blue above and bright silvery on the sides; the
dark upper surface with small blackish spots, numerous on some
examples, less abundant on others; the head with few or no spots.
The dorsal, adipose and caudal fins were spotted, the size and number
of spots varying considerably in different individuals. The pectoral
and ventral fins were immaculate except for dark anterior margins,
the lateral series of scales as recorded from twelve individuals number
from 132 to 143, the count being made to base of caudal fin ; the series
from lateral line to back 25 to 34. They measured 19 to 29 inches,
and weighed 2^ to 9f pounds. There were eleven males.

These fishes are regarded as examples of Salmo iridcnsi, the rainbow
trout. This identification is liased on what appears to the writer
as a Avell-founded assumption, that but two si)ecies of trout* inhabit

* Bureau of Fisheries Document No. 638, page 183.



10



CALIFORNIA FISH AND GAME.



tile costal region of California, S. irideus and Salnio clarkii, the eut-
throat trout, sea living individuals of both being known as steelhcads.

The steelhcads enter the rivers to spawn, thcii- progeny in turn
migrating to sea where food is plentiful, or renuiining for an indefinite
time in fresh water as the ca.se may be. the latter being i-ecognized as
stream trout. The rainbow trout is a large scaled form, there being
about no to 150 series of scales on the body, while the cutthroat has
smaller scales, about 150 to 200 series. In their distributicm the two
species overlap, botli occurring in the coastal streams from Redwood
Creek northward.

In spite of the fact tliat these steelhead trout have been known for
many years and that they are of considerable economic importance,
our store of carefully observed and recorded facts concerning tliem
is very meager. Some observations have lately been made on the Kla-
math, in which I'iver both species enter from the sea and migrate lor




Noyo E.stuary, sliovving i-anneiies. I'hntti.nraph !)>• .1. (). Sn.N'dcr, T.iliO.



spawning ]))ii'poses. Ilei'e tliei'e ai'(» two fairly distinct migi'alions
of steelhcads, one occurring in the winter, the other in the suiiuiicr.
Of the winter run we know very little; nothing, in fact, of what
species it is composed. The sunnnei- run consists almost entirel\- of
S. irideus, an example of *S'. chirlii occasionally appearing. The latter
may be spoken of as one among thousands in the migration of the
former. In the summer of 191!)* the first steelhcads were taken in
salmon nets on July 11: the largest number were caught al)out
August 27, and the run had about ceased October 22. The progi-ess
of the steelhead migration coincitled in general with that of the king
salmon, not only in its rise and decline, but in its periodical irregu-

* Agents of the Fish and Game Commission have been making observations on the
trout and salmon for two summers in the estuary of Klamath River. Through the
kindly interest of Mr. G. R. Field, they have been enabled to examine thousands of
individuals, which his fishermen have taken.



CALIFORNIA FISH AND GAME. 11

larities as well, a large wave of steelheads being generally associated
with a similarly large wave of salmon.

As these steelheads appear fresh from the ocean, many still bearing
living salt water Crustacea attached to their bodies, they are of a
beautiful deep steel blue above, with highly burnished silvery sides.
They have usually very definite black spots on the head and body, they
are always present on the dorsal, adipose and caudal fins, while the
remaining fins are immaculate. Sometimes the head is without spots
and the body has very few. Counts on a number of examples resulted
as follows : Head spots, to 25 ; body, 8 to 271 ; dorsal fin, 47 to 98 ;
adipose, 1 to 9 ; caudal, 14 to 220. The spots of the head are almost
always round; those of the body elongate or linear. The ova found in
these fishes are very small, their undeveloped condition giving rise
to the suggestion that the steelheads have entered upon a very long
migration or at least a considerable period in fresh water. Their
stomachs are mostly empty, and they remain so at least while they are
in the estuary for the very simple reason that there is not food enough
in the river to supply such a horde, were its members inclined to eat.
They occasionally strike a spinner, but they will not rise to fly, nor
are they . often attracted to a baited hook. Later in the season and
farther up stream their appetites are said to return, and their behavior
is governed accordingly. About the middle of August, steelheads
that have begun to assume their nuptial colors are occasionally seen
in the estuary. The cheeks become tinted with pink, and a broad
reddish blush appears along the sides. At the same time the dark dorsal
area loses its marine hue and becomes light olive. No salt water
Crustacea are found attached to these tinted individuals, and it ap-
pears probable that they have been in fresh water for some time.
The steelheads fresh from the sea are plump, fat and full of energy.
At times they have been seen in numbers leaping high from the water
and falling with a resounding splash, in strong contrast to the salmon
which only cut the surface with their backs and tails.

The largest steelhead caught in the Klamath is said to have weighed
32 i)ounds. Those which appear from day to day are much smaller.
For example, on August 13 and 14 of this year, 248 specimens that
were caught in gill nets measured 14^ to 32 inches and weighed l.^r to
14-;? pounds. The entire lot gave an average weight of 5.86 pounds;
10,862 examples showed an average weight of 4.3 pounds. Small fishes
are not apt to become entangled in the coarse meshes of the drifting
gill nets, and it is therefore of interest to find that a fine meshed seme
will bring from the river not only large specimens but smaller ones
as well, individuals 8 or 10 inches in length having been taken which
exhibit every detail of color possessed by the larger steelhead fresh
from the sea. Whether these small fishes have just come in from the
ocean we are unable at present to say.

The scales of these Klamath steelheads which are identified as Salmo
irideus, rainbow trout, number 116 to 150 in the lateral series. The
steelhead trout taken at sea near Fort Bragg are of the same species
as those that enter the Klamath in the summer in such large numbers.
They may even be Klamath trout for all that we know, but it seems



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