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Benecke, speaking of the habits of the river Lamprey of the Baltic, remarks: "Concerning the
habits of 'Nine-eyes' in the sea nothing is known. In summer they make their way from the
Baltic into the Kurisches Haff and the Frisches Haff, and toward the end of September begin to
ascend the rivers, and are caught in great numbers in baskets and pots. The ascent continues
until January. In the upper reaches of the rivers they make their appearance in the early spring,
and spawn in April and May in small schools in shallow places, where the water flows rapidly
over shingly bottom. The act of spawning has been observed by us from year to year in the
passage between the bridges at Braunsberg. After the eggs, which are one millimeter in
<liameter, grayish-yellow in color, aud entirely opaque, have been deposited in little masses, the
Lampreys die.

" The development of the spawn is extremely dependent upon the weather, so that during
many years only a very small brood of young fishes makes its appearance. The young of this
species have been found by August Miiller in the Oder and the Alle, aud in the latter (?) the
drying up of one of its tributaries near the mill at Pinne gives an opportunity every year to collect
hundreds of them in the bottom mud. They are never found partially grown, aud we must believe
that they go back to the sea, there to attain their full size."

KEPEODUCTION. Concerning the breeding habits of the brook Lamprey, P. planeri, Benecke
writes : " The brook Lampreys, like the allied species, feed upon little animals, aud are found in almost
all the clear brooks in Prussia, seeming never to migrate to the sea, although Yarrell claims that he
Las found them there. The clear gray or grayish-yellow eggs, which are one millimeter in thick-



Till: IIKI'KOIH ( TION OF TUE LAMPREY. C.T'.i

ii. . an' deposited in March or April. The adult fish gather themselves together in companies of
from ten to fifty individuals to spawn in water of little depth, whore the current flows swiftly "\.i
rough ground. In close proximity to each other they cling with their mouths to the bottom, and
their hodie.s st framing out in the current squirming like the bodies of snukes. Every once in a
while ( he observer can see a male, easily recognizable by its size and black color, seize upon one of
the females with its suctorial month, and therewith firmly attaching itself to her close behind the
head. The two then extend themselves with a powerful backward squirm, and while the male,
with a half turn of its body, brings his abdominal aperture close to that of the female, a part of
her spawn may be seen flowing forth in a clear, semi-opaque stream. This action is repeated
until the female has deposited all of her eggs. The young Lampreys, when hatched, burrow in the
mud. They require a period of four or five years before they attain the length of twenty centim-
eters."

The development of the Lamprey is extremely remarkable. It was first worked out thoroughly
by Prof. August Miiller in 1850.' The young was formerly considered to be a member of a distinct
genus, Ammoccetex. The young of the brook Lamprey, P. planeri, which, in a general way, corre-
sjwnd to those of other species, are thus described by Professor Benecke: "They are tawny yellow,
without any trace of silvery hues, and have half moon shaped, toothless mouths, not intended for
suctorial uses. Their small eyes are hidden deeply under their thick skins, and hardly visible.
Their gill-openings lie in a deep furrow. The head is small and pointed, and the tins continuous."

It is a curious fact that as early as 1866 Leonhart Boldner, of Strasbourg, investigated and
thoroughly understood the development and metamorphoses of the Lamprey, as is indicated in the
following paragraph, translated from his work upon the water-birds, fishes, and other aquatic
animals of Strasbourg :

" From August to December, Lampreys with eyes are not often seen and are rarely taken, but
blind Lampreys are found throughout the entire year. The Lampreys with eyes and the blind
Lampreys are all of the same kind, for the young from the very beginning are all blind, and bury
themselves at once in the mud as soon as they make their escape from the eggs. The blind
Lampreys develop no eggs until they develop their eyes."*

Like the eel, the Lamprey was formerly believed to be hermaphrodite.*

As far as I am aware, few observations are on record which indicate the date of the spawning
of the Lampreys in this country. P. niger spawns in early spring. Wittmack, in his excellent
work upon the "Fishery Statistics of Germany," states that P. marinus spawns at I lame] n in June,
and in the Rhine, at Zurich, in March and April; P. fluviatilis in various parts of Northern Ger-
many, chiefly in March, April, May, and June, though in the Kurisches Ilaff also in November,
December, and February. In Bavaria their spawning season is from March to June; in Austria
in April and May, and in Switzerland in March and April. P. planeri is said by the same author
to spawn in Pomerauia in May; in the Rhine Provinces in March and April; in Banover in May
and June; in Gotha in March and April, and in Lower Bavaria in May, June, and July; in the
Tyrol in March, April, May, and June, and in Switerland in March and April. In the rivers of
Connecticut, where a lamprey fishery is still carried on, Lampreys are reported to be abundant in
May and June; and it is probable that these months are included within the period of spawning.
The artificial propagation of the Lamprey was first successfully accomplished on the 24th of May,
1879, when M. Frauen, employed by the German Fishery Union in gathering sturgeon-eggs in

'MOLLER: ArcLiv fiir Naturgeschichte, 1856, p. 25.

VON SIP.BOLO: SUaswamerfoche Mittelenropas, p. 378.

8lB EDWARD HOME in Philosophical Transactions, 1815, p. 266.



680 NATURAL HISTORY OF AQUATIC ANIMALS.

Schleswig-Holstein, fertilized the eggs of the river Lamprey aud placed them in a breeding box.
Between June 3 aud June 16, many young were hatched out, and on July 17 the entire contents of
the breeding box escaped. 1

As has already been stated, it requires four or five years for the larval Lamprey to undergo
its metamorphoses and become capable of reproducing its kind. The sea Lamprey, P. marinm,
often attains the length of three feet; but those species which are found only in fresh water are
usually much smaller.

The name Petromyzon signifies " a stone-sucker," it being a common habit of these auimals to
cling to stoues and pebbles. In swift currents this habit is of great importance to them, since it
enables them to hold their own where their swimming powers would often be severely taxed. It
is stated by careful observers that they have some way of transporting stones, and that they build
nests, or rather circular fortifications of stonework, around the crevices in which they lurk. As
may be inferred from what has already been said of the manner in which they prey upon other
fishes, Lampreys are among the most troublesome enemies of many large species. Giinther states
that salmon have often been captured in the middle courses of the Rhine with marine Lampreys
attached to them. Milner, in his "Report on the Fisheries of the Great Lakes," 2 remarks: (> A
parasite that troubles the sturgeon is the Lamprey Eel, Petromyzon argenteus, Kirt., which is found
very frequently attached to the skin. The circular scars aud raw sores sometimes found upon the
sturgeon, and attributed to this cause by the fishermen, are correctly accounted for in this way.
It is probable that their natural food is the slime or mucus exuded in abundance from the pores,
but they frequently retain their hold upon a spot until they have eaten through to the flesh, and
deep ulcerous cavities occasionally result from the sore."

ECONOMIC USES AND CAPTURE. The Lamprey was formerly highly esteemed as an article
of food, and iu early days is said to have constituted an important dish in certain civic feasts of
Europe. It was once the custom to drown Lampreys in wine and then to stew them. This process
was supposed to impart a higher flavor to the flesh. It is stated by Lacepede that King Henry I,
of England, came to an untimely end by too full a repast of Lampreys. At the present time, in
Germany and France, they are cooked in earthenware jars with vinegar and spices, and are fre-
quently seen among the relishes aud hors-d'oeuvre brought upon the tables as a preliminary course.
They are also highly esteemed in many other parts of the continent. At present in this country
Lampreys are but little prized, except in certaiu portions of New England, particularly along the
Connecticut River. Col. Theodore Lyman, in his report as fish commissioner of Massachusetts for
1876, 3 states that the Lamprey Eel is a fish greatly esteemed by the country people of Massachusetts,
and one which was formerly taken in almost incredible numbers in the Merrimack. It was found as
far north as Plymouth, New Hampshire, and by the Connecticut Hiver also it passes into the same
State. When the Saiut Lawrence dam, in 1847, was first completed, several cart-loads were daily
taken by one man for a considerable period. In 1840 Mr. Joseph Ely took thirty-eight hundred in
one night at Hadley Falls. It was then the custom of the country for each family to salt down
several barrels of Lampreys for winter use. " Now, in 1866," he continues, " this valuable fish has
become nearly extinct in both rivers." This remark should be interpreted as applying simply to
the headwaters of the Connecticut, since in the tributaries of its lower stretches there is still a
considerable lamprey fishery and a large local consumption.

Mr. George Lyou, of Bridgewater, Connecticut, writes under date of August 25, 1879 :

'Circnlar der Deutschen Fischerei-Verein, 1879, pp. 135, 136, 159.
'Report United States Fish Commission, part ii, 1874, p. 74.
3 Page 40.



THE HAG-FISF1ES. 681

" Previous to tlio building of the dam over the Housatonic at Birmingham, Lampreys were taken
in large c|iiantitiex us far up (In- river as tin- falls in the town of New Milford; now none are MM
ahovo (In- dam. Then, standing over the falls on shelving rocks, one could hook them, as they
cliing to the rocks with their suckers, by means of a large sharp hook fastened to a long pole, this
hook In-ill;,' imbedded in the holes in the sides of their necks. Many people formerly salted barrels
of tin-in for their own consumption. Their use at present has much decreased, owing to the dis-
turbance in the fisheries caused by the building of the dams. Those now used in the vicinity of
I'.ridgcwatcr a iv taken in the Housatonic at Birmingham, and during the months of May and June
arc peddled through the country by the people who catch them."

Mr. X. M. Mnckctt, of Lakeville, Connecticut, states that in that vicinity the annual average
catch is about t\v,. thousand fish, the implement of capture used being a pole about six feet in
length with a hook in its end. The fisheries are located in Salmon River about two miles from the
Connecticut,. just above tide water, and the Lampreys sell in the markets of the adjoining villages
at an average price of live dollars a hundred.

Mr. M. A. Hart, of Rivertou, Connecticut, says that thirty years ago, and before, Lampreys
were found in the Farmingron River in the vicinity of Kiverton, but have long ago been exhausted.
Quant it ics are sold in the city markets of Southern Connecticut, chiefly obtained in the Connecticut
Ki\ er in spring and early summer. They are easily caught with the hands, and fishermen captur-
ing them in this way always use mittens. 1

Mr. C. M. Hunt, of Northville, Connecticut, states that in New Milford large quantities are
consumed in May and June which are caught in the Housatonic at Birmingham. Before the dam
was built they were caught everywhere in the Housatonic and the small streams which are its

tributaries.

i

203 THE HAG-FISHES MYXINID.E.

The " Slime Eel," Myxine glutinom, is found on the Atlantic coast north of Cape Cod, and in
the deeper water even further south. It occurs also on the coasts of Northern Europe. It is a
great annoyance to the fishermen, whose baits it devours, and who entertain for it a superstitions
dread. Little is known of its habits, and its importance to man is very slight. Jordan writes:

"The Hag-fishes (Mi/j-inidas) are represented along the California coast by one species, Poli-
ttotrema Stotiti. It is most abundant in Monterey Bay, where it is very destructive to fishes caught



'The Hartford (Conn.) "Post," in Juno, 1876, contained the following paragraph:

"CuRlocs HABITS OP LAMPliKY EELS. Two gentlemen from Granby, Connecticut, Messrs. Dewey and Good-
rii-h. were in town last week on a visit, and took away with them on their return one hundred and ten Lamprey Eels,
which they captured in the creeks hereabout. The Eels were all of good size, sixty-two of them weighing one bun*
tired ]K>unds. These Eels are esteemed to be a great delicacy by the people of Granby and neighborhood, and are
held to In' worth twelve cents apiece, or they offer to exchange a barrel of pork for a barrel of cured Kels. The
method of taking these Eels is quite novel. They are found only in shallow water, with stony or gravelly bottom,
and the fisherman goes provided with a large bag of nett ing, the month of the bag being distended with a hoop, and
an instrument of iron about eighteen inches long terminating in a hook.

"The Eels have what are called nests, made by heaping np stones in a circle of about eighteen inches in diameter.

These KtiincN tln-\ pl:n-i- in tin- | K IN! i inn li\ t MM . niiiL 1 1 1"-; i sin ki r inmu I >- i !n- IMdlMTlBg IfcMDMlTM . '! i.i!l\ ,

ilr.-iu inx r the stones along with them. Inside this circle of stones lie usually from three to five Eels, parallel with
one another, their heads all in one direction and each Eel made fast by unction to stone. The bold li-herman ap-
proaches them from behind, and, skillfully putting his hook under an Eel, he suddenly brings it up with such force
that it penetrates the hide, and brings out the fish, when, after two or three flourishes in the air to get him in the
right position, he is deposited in the hug. Each Eel in the nest is in turn made the subject of a similar operation,
the creatures often holding on to the stone with such tenacity as to bring it out of the water with them, when the
aerial flourish causes it to become detached and to fly to a considerable distance.

"These Eels, it is said, arc wholly free from bones nave the backbone, which is removed in dressing, and when
iwlteil for a few weeks and fried make an article of food second to none in the way of li-h."



682 NATURAL HISTORY OF AQUATIC ANIMALS.

in gill-nets. It fastens itself on the eyes, or especially the gills, of fishes and works itself into the
inside of the body, where it devours all the flesh without breaking the skin, so that the fish is left
a mere hulk of head, skin, and bones. Every gill-net in summer at Monterey has more or less of
these empty hulks (Sebastichtkys, Ophiodon, Rhacochilus, Paralichthys, etc.) in it. It is thought by
the fishermen that the Hag-fish will eat a fish of five or six pounds weight in a single night.
When a hulk is taken out of the water with a Hag-fish in it, the parasite will scramble out with
great alacrity. They reach a length of fourteen inches."

204. THE LANCELETS BRANCHIOSTOMIDJE.

The Lancelot, or Amphioxus, Branchiostoma lanceolatum, interesting as being the lowest and
least specialized of vertebrate animals, has been found at the mouth of the Chesapeake, at Flatts
Village, Bermuda, and at San Diego, California.



IV.



MOLLUSKS.



W. MOLLUSKS IN GENERAL BY ERNEST INOERSOIX.

X. THE LIFE HISTORY OF THE OYSTER BY JOHN A. RYDER.



883



ANALYSIS.



W. MOLI.USKS IN GENERAL.

205. The Cuttles: Cephalopoda 687

20G. The Sea-snails: Gasteropoda 093

207. The Wing-shells: Pteropoda 709

208. The Tusk-shells: Solcnoconcha 703

209. The Bivalves: Lamellibranchiata 703

X. A CONTRIBUTION TO THE LIFE-HISTORY OF THE OYSTER.

210. Outline Sketch of the Coarser Anatomy of the Oyster 711

211. The Minute Anatomy of the Oyster 715

212. Sex of the American and European Oysters 719

213. New Methods of Distinguishing the Sexes and of Taking the Eggs of the Oyster 722

214. Rate of Growth of Ostrea virgin ion 796

2i:>. The Food of the Oysters 789

216. The Cause of the Green Color of Oysters 736

217. Local Variations in the Form and Habits of the Oyster 742

218. The Oyster Crab as a Mess-mate and Purveyor 744

219. Physical and Vital Agencies Destructive to Oysters 746

220. Natural and Artificial Oyster Banks. 760

(686)



W. MOLLUSK8.

205. THE CUTTLES CEPHALOPODA.

The mollusks called " Cuttles" or "Cuttle-fishes" bear a very important relation to the fisheries
and consequently to the food supply of the United States. It has recently been ascertained that
some of these Cuttle-fishes attain huge bulk and corresponding abilities for destruction. The two
species of Arclnteuthw (A. princeps and A. Hameyi), roaming through the North Atlantic and now
and then stranded upon the beaches of Newfoundland, have each a total length of from thirty to
tilty feet, and a weight of solid flesh amounting to thousands of pounds.

" The Cuttles," says Dr. Philip Carpenter, " have very acute senses. They have an approach
to a brain, inclosed in a cartilaginous skull. They can hear sounds, and evidently enjoy the taste
of their food. They have a large, fleshy tongue, armed with recurved prickles, like that of the lion.
They either crawl on their head tail upwards, or swim, tail foremost, by striking with their arms,
or squirt themselves backwards by forcing water forward through their breathing funnels.

"They are ferocious creatures, the tyrants of the lower orders, and do not scruple to attack
and devour even fishes. The larger kinds are deservedly dreaded by man. Their weapons con-
sist in their powerful arms, which are abundantly furnished with rows of cup-like suckers, each
of which fastens on its prey or its foe like a limpet to the rock. Often these are accompanied with
sharp-curved teeth, strong enough to be preserved even in fossil species."

The giant Cuttle-fishes of the north (Architeuthis) and the commoner Squids and Calamariesof
our Atlantic coast belong to the ten-armed division of the order termed Decapods. The three
smaller species ordinarily met with are Loligo Pealei, Loligo Pealei var. pallida, and Ommastrephet
illecebrosus. On the extreme southern coast they are replaced by an Octopod (Octopus granulatus).

Of these four, Loligo Pealei is the common Squid of Long Island Sound and southward, and
when full grown it is more than a foot in length. The color when living is very changeable, owing
to the alternate contractions of the color-vesicles or spots, but red and brown predominate, so as
to give a general purplish-brown color. An allied variety or subspecies, named pallida, is a
"pale, translucent, gelatinous-looking" creature, with few spots on the back and nearly white
beneath. Commonly five or six inches long, exclusive of the arms, it frequently grows much larger,
and is of broader and stouter proportions than the type-form, from which it is further distin-
guished by its broader caudal fin and the larger size of its suckers. It belongs especially to the
western end of Long Island Sound, " where it is abundant with the schools of menhaden, on which
it feeds."

"This species," writes Verrill, 1 "is found along the whole coast from South Carolina to Massa-
chusetts Bay.

"It is the Common Squid from Cape Hatteras to Cape Cod. In Long Island Sound ami Vin.-\ ;ud
Sound it is very abundant, and is taken in large numbers in the fish-i>ound8 and seines, and used
to a large extent for bait. It is comparatively scarce, though not rare, north of Cape Cod. The
young were trawled by us in many localities in Massachusetts Bay in 1878. Large specimens were
taken in the pounds at Provincetown, Massachusetts, August, 1879. It was taken in considerable

'Report U. 8. Fiah Commission, part vii, 1883, p. 366.

'.- .



688 NATURAL HISTORY OF AQUATIC ANIMALS.

quantities, in breeding condition, in the fish-pounds at Cape Ann, near Gloucester, Massachusetts,
May, 1880 (var. borealis). It has not been observed north of Cape Ann. Its southern limit is not
known to nie, but it appears to have been found on the coast of South Carolina.

"In depth, it has occurred from low-water mark to fifty fathoms. The eggs' have often been
taken by us in the trawl, in great abundance, at many localities along the southern shores of New
England, in five to twenty-five fathoms.

"It is known to be a very important element in the food supply of the bluefish, tautog, sea-
bass, striped bass, weakfish, king-fish, and many other of our larger market fishes.

"In the Gulf of Mexico this species appears to be replaced by another species (Loligo Gahi
D'Orbigny). Of this we have several specimens, collected on the west coast of Florida, at Egmont
Key, near Tampa Bay, by Col. E. Jewett and Mr. W. T. Coons. This species is closely allied to
L. Pealei, but has a more slender form, with the caudal fin shorter and narrower in proportion to
the length of the mantle. The pen has a shorter and broader shaft, and a narrower and more
oblong blade, which has parallel, thickened, and darker-colored portions between the midrib and
margins. The tentacular suckers have their horny rings more coarsely and equally toothed, there
being only a partial alternation of larger and smaller teeth.

"Along our southern coast, from Delaware Bay to Florida, a much shorter and relatively
stouter species (Loligo brevis Blainv.) occurs, which might be mistaken by a careless observer for
the present species. In addition to its shorter body, it has very different large, tentacular suckers,
with the teeth on the horny rim coarser and all of similar form and size. Its pen is also shorter
and relatively broader, and different in structure."

"I am not aware," he says elsewhere, 2 "that any definite information has hitherto been
published as to the rate of growth or length of life of any of our cephalopods. By some writers it
has been stated that the Squids are all annual, but this seems to be a mere assumption, without
any evidence for its basis. Therefore I have for several years past preserved large numbers of
specimens of the young of Loligo Pealei, collected at different seasons and localities, in order to
ascertain, if possible, the rate of growth and the size acquired during the first season, at least.
One of the following tables (I) shows some of the data thus obtained. 3

"There is considerable difficulty in ascertaining the age of these Squids, owing to the fact that
the spawning season extends through the whole summer, so that the young ones hatched early in
June are as large by September as those that hatch in September are in the following spring.
Owing to the same cause, most of the large lots of young Squids taken in midsummer include
various sizes, from those just hatched up to those that are two or three inches long. They are
often mixed with some of those of the previous year, considerably larger than the rest. Earlier in
the season (in May and the first part of June), before the first-laid eggs begin to hatch, the
youngest specimens taken (60 mm to 100 mm long) are presumed to belong to the later broods of
the previous autumn, while those somewhat larger are believed to be from earlier broods of the
previous summer, and to represent the growth of one year very nearly.

"Taking these principles as a guide, I have arrived at the following conclusions from the data
collected :

"1. The young, Byrida begin to hatch at least as early as the second week in June, ou the

'In early summer this Squid resorts to gravelly and weedy bottoms to lay its eggs. They are contained in bunches
or clusters, sometimes six or eight inches in diameter, consisting of hundreds of gelatinous capsules each holding
numerous eggs. These clusters are attached to some fixed object, and the oysters upon planted beds offer conveniences
which the Squid is very likely to adopt. This occurrence seems to be a source of decided harm in Delaware Bay, for the
oystermen there assert that the larger "sea-grapes " (as they call the egg-bunches) lift many oysters from the bottom by
their buoyancy and float them off in stormy weather. E. I.

'Report U. S. Fish Commission, part vii, 1882, pp. 353-355.

' See the original article.



BATE OF GROWTH OF YOUNG SQUIDS.

southern coast of New England, and continue to hatch till the middle of September, and perhaps



Online LibraryG. Brown (George Brown) GoodeThe fisheries and fishery industries of the United States (Volume 1:1) → online text (page 114 of 146)