G. Brown (George Brown) Goode.

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MOVEMENTS. Haddock are not so active and powerful as the Cod. Dr. Gilpin has expressed
the opinion that on the coast of Nova Scotia they do not retreat so far from the shore in winter as
the Cod, but this does not appear to be true in Massachusetts Bay.

Storer, in 1839, made the assertion, which was repeated in 1867, in another edition of the
" History of the Fishes of Massachusetts," that in Massachusetts Bay in the warm season about
twelve hundredweight of Haddock are taken to each hundredweight of Codfish, and in the winter
about twelve hundredweight of Cod to each hundredweight of Haddock ; but since the haddock
fishery is of longer duration, the proportion throughout the year averages about three Haddock to
one Cod. They abound in Massachusetts Bay throughout the summer, and it is at this season also
that they are taken in the greatest abundance on the off-shore banks in the Gulf of Saint Lawrence.

There is a strange absence of information concerning their movements on the European coast.
On the coast of East Friesland the haddock fishery is permitted by law from March to the begin-



MOVKMF.NTS '.IF TIIK HADDOCK.

ning of Jtiuc, and from October to the middle or end of January , a winter recess being allowed for
the purpose of spawning. It is stated by Dr. Wittinack that during the heat of summer they
retreat from these coasts, with the Cod and the flounder, into the deepest waters, appearing again
towards tin- end of September. On the coiwst of Scotland they are said to be most abundant in
winter. In Massachusetts Hay, as it has been said, they are most abundant in summer, coming
in alter the cod pass out, though they are also taken in deeper parts of the bay the whole winter
long, and are sought at this season on George's and other off-shore banks as well as localities
farther to the north.

A study of such data, as these is unsatisfactory iu the extreme, since it is impossible to draw
from them any conclusions concerning the relation of the movements of the Haddock to the tem-
perature of the water in which it is found. The only movements which are now intelligible are
those which take place at the period of spawning.

ABUNDANCE. Remarkable variations in the abundance of this tish are upon record ; at certain
times they have been exceedingly rare, at others abundant in the extreme. They appear to be
much more gregarious than the Codfish, and to swim together in large schools from place to place.
Storer, writing in 1839, said that they were common about Cape Cod, but that ten years before they
had l>een rare. An item in the "Gloucester Telegraph," June 3, 1837, stated that Haddock were
at that time brought in abundantly and sold from the Swampscott boats at a cent apiece.

According to Capt. B. W. Merchant, in the years from 1814 to 1820 there was a great catch in
the vicinity of Nahant, about five miles at sea, east-southeast. So plenty were they that two men
and one boy could catch with hand-lines from one boat 600 to 1,000 in number in one day. This
school of fish came in about the 20th of March and continued until the first of May, then grad-
ually decreased and spread over the fishing banks in Massachusetts Bay. At this time the
majority of the boats belonged to Sandy Bay, now Rockport, and to Gloucester.

Capt. King Harding, of Swampscott, tells me that in 1843 Haddock were so scarce that they
were sold singly. The fishermen received twenty-five cents each for all they could get. A vessel
could not get more than one hundred in the course of a day's fishing.

At this time Isaac Rich & Co. chartered the schooner " Harriet," of Duxbury, to go out on a
special cruise for Haddock, paying $200 toward the venture. She started out with a crew of five
meu about the 20th of February, and fished on soft bottom in the deepest water. Her fare was
two hundred and twenty Haddock, and the trip was considered a remarkable success.

In May of the next year great schools of little Haddock came in. They were six or eight
inches long and a great bother to the fishermen. The following year they were about half grown,
or a foot or so in length and very thick. They came in May.

In 1846 they came in earlier, many in March, but mostly in May. They were quite large and
very abundant.

Haddock were also very abundant in 1857. On the 13th of March one hundred Swampscott
fishermen, in twelve vessels, caught in a period of about six hours 160,000 pounds of fish, chiefly
Haddock. 1

In 1877 and 187 no Haddock were very large and quite scarce. In the winter of 1877 and
1878 they were larger than for many years. Some were caught near Swampscott which weighed
fifteen and sixteen pounds. The average size is from four to six pounds.

Captain Atwood states that in 1834 Haddock were very scarce on the Grand Bank, and few were
caught anywhere on the coast, but in 1840 they became so numerous about Cape Cod as to interfere
seriously with the cod fishery, devouring the bait before the Cod could reach it, and about 1850

1 LEWIS: History of Lynn, p. 450.
15 F



22(3 NATURAL HISTORY OF AQUATIC ANIMALS.

they had increased so rapidly that the markets -were glutted. In 1864 they were caught in great
numbers and were still on the increase. In 1870 the same observer related to the Massachusetts
senate the story of another period of scarcity and abundance. His statements may be found in
the Report of the United States Commission of Fish and Fisheries, part 1, 1873, p. 119. He
elsewhere says :

" If over -fishing were possible, it seems to me that.we should see some of its results where great
changes have taken place in the modes of our fisheries of Cod and Haddock in Massachusetts Bay.
What is called 'trawl fishing' was first introduced about 1850, and it resulted in the taking of a
vast number of fish of these varieties. In consequence of the competition in the business, the
Swampscott people petitioned the legislature .for a law prohibiting trawl-fishing, on the ground
that it would exterminate the Haddock. At that time I proved before the legislature that Had-
dock was much more abundant than it had been at any previous time, and that I was selling
them at thirty-seven and a half cents per hundred pounds. That fishery has been going on ever
since, and the amount taken was greater this last winter than for many years past. A fisher-
man in a dory fifteen feet long has often brought in as much as 1,800 pounds in a single day.
There are eighty boats fishing out of the harbor, and 83,000 pounds have been caught in one day.
This increase has taken place in spite of the constant practice of the new mode of fishing, by
which twice as many are taken in the same time as formerly." '

Captain Atwood explains the great increase at this time by the introduction of fishing with
long trawl lines, which destroyed many species of fish preying -upon haddock spawn. At the
present time Haddock are very abundant; they are caught 'throughout the summer HI great
numbers by the Irish market-boats of Boston, and in winter a large fleet of Gloucester and Port-
land vessels are engaged in catching them upon George's and other off-shore banks. These
vessels fish with trawl lines, and it has been stated that a single crew has been known to
take nearly 60,000 pounds in a day. 2

FOOD. The food of Vhe Haddock resembles that of the Cod, except that they are, if possible,
more omnivorous; their diet consists, however, largely of invertebrates. They are rarely seen
feeding at the surface, though they devour the spawn of other fishes, particularly that of the
herring, with great eagerness. They devour great quantities of shells, many of them of the bur-
rowing species. Professor Verrill has well said that a complete list of the animals devoured by
the Haddock would doubtless include all the inollusks belonging to the fauna of New England.

The Haddock are said to be particularly abundant on clam-banks. From this habit of feeding
on shells has originated the German name for the fish. The difference between the habits of the
Haddock and the Cod is illustrated by the remark of Captain Atwood that Haddock will take a
baited hook as it rests upon the ground, while the Cod will only notice it when it is raised a short
distance from the bottom. Salted menhaden is a favorite bait for Haddock, but not desirable for
Cod, while both Cod and Haddock will readily take stale clams, which are much better for bait
than fresh ones.

REPRODUCTION. The spawning habits of the Haddock in our waters have been carefully ob-
served by Mr. Earll, whose statements are quoted below: On the German coast the Haddock spawn
on rocky bottoms in February and early March at a depth of twenty-two to twenty -five fathoms; 3

1 Extracts from Captain At wood's manuscript biography.

"BlG HADDOCK TRIP. Schooner "E. L. Howe," of this port, Capt. Sewell W. Smith, arrived from George's on
Monday at Boston, with 70,:!HO pounds of Haddock, the largest trip rvn- hmdrd. Time absent, five days. The largest
trip previous to this was landed by thr HUMH'. skipper in schooner " Cora E. Smith," 5'2,(i?y pounds, 1'ebrnary 13, 1877.
lu February of the same year, schooner "Paul Revere," Capt. John ISciitlcy, landed 51,700 pounds of Haddock and
2,500 pounds of Codfish as the result of one day's fishing. Cape Ann Advertiser, February 21, 1878.

"WlTTMACK, L. : Beitriigo znr Fischerei-Statistik des Deutschen Eeichs, 1875, p. 25.



SPAWNING OF TI1K



227



ami according to Yarrow the spawning period is the same on the British coast, the young growing
tn a length of six or seven inches before the beginning of September. At the Lofloden Isles, accord-
ing lo Sars, the spawning season of the Haddock takes place a little later, beginning toward tho
end of Fein-nary and being at its height late in March. 1

Mr. Karll's observations are as follows:

"The flsh usually remain on the off-shore banks till the winter is over, and they do not reach
Cape Ann until just before the spawning season, which for this species begins about the middle
of April and continues during nearly three months, the height of the season being in May.

" lu the spring of 1879 it is thought that two schools visited this coast, the first, composed of
iMi of large size, arriving early in April and leaving by the middle of May; and the other, com-
posed of smaller individuals, reaching the grounds about the 20th of May and leaving gradually
after the 1st of July, a few remaining during the greater part of the summer. When the fishing first
began the fish were several miles from the shore, but they continued to 'work in,' until there was
good fishing at the mouth of the harbor for several days, after which they seemed to move back
again, and toward the close of the season remained on muddy bottom, when trawls were extensively
used in their capture.

"Early in May Haddock were so plenty that one man caught 1,881 pounds in one day with
hand-lines, and about the same time many different fishermen secured over 1,000 pounds daily.
The males were usually a trifle more abundant, though at times the females composed fully half of
the catch. The latter average larger than the former, and some days there would be a difference
of two pounds in favor of the female.

"The first ripe females were noticed on the 23d of April, and in the middle of July an occa-
sional one had not finished spawning. The first eggs were secured May 5, and others were taken
at intervals to June 2, the total quantity being about 250,000. The method of impregnation was
similar to that used for eggs of the Cod, and the size of the eggs was one-nineteenth of an inch.
Though the number contained in the larger individuals of the species reaches over 1,800,000 (see
table), the quantity obtained for hatching purposes at any one time was quite small as compared
with the number taken from the Cod or the Pollock, and the quantity of milt in the male fish was
very much less than in either of the other species."

Mr. Earll's observations confirmed those of Professor Sars, that the spawn of the Haddock
floats at the surface like that of the Cod, and that the spawning process is in every way similar.
The following table gives the result of his enumerations of the number of eggs in Haddock of
different sizes :

Table showing the number of eggs in Haddock of different nixes.



Number.


Length of flab.


Weight of flab.


!


Estimated weight
of ovary walla.


*

4B
M

7

*a
*?

H


Number of graina
(troy) weighed
oat.


H

li




1


Total number of
egga In flab.


1


In.

281


Ztw.
OA


Oz.

*i


OK


0;.
g|


4


1,90


487.5


l, toe. Mi




26*


<U|


6}




n


4


1,47


MB. 75


nw.ais




28


A


f




6




1,447


364.23


B56.148




24


4U


81




6




1,180




(34.180




23


4


:,j




4}




no


1M


40B.U2




201


*A


ty




4)




MO


IK


,w


7


l*i


2ft


-1




2




DM


in. i


1W.MO























Beport of the United States Commission of Finn and Fisheries, part 5, 1879, p. 686.



228 NATURAL HISTORY OF AQUATIC ANIMALS.

The average size of the Haddock is probably not far from three or four pounds; maiiy twelve-
pound fish are brought to market, and individuals weighing seventeen pounds are on record.

In 1879 Haddock were successfully hatched, under the supervision of Mr. Earll, at the Glou-
cester station of the United States Fish Commission.

USES. The Haddock is now very highly esteemed as a food fish, having grown in favor during
the last twenty years. It is especially desirable for boiling or for making chowders, and is a great
favorite in Boston, while iu Philadelphia enormous quantities are yearly consumed. Being well
adapted for preservation in ice, great numbers of them are distributed through the interior of the
country, together with the Codfish. The success with which the Scotch method of smoking Had-
dock has been introduced into this country has also greatly increased the demand for them, and
Finland Haddies are manufactured in enormous quantities iu Portland and Boston. At Province-
town a Haddock salted and dried after being split is called by the name "Skulljoe," or "Scoodled
Skulljoe."

68. THE POLLOCK. POLLACHIUS CARBONARIUS.

The Pollock, Pollachitts carbonarius, which is the Coalfish of England, the Kohler of Germany,
and the Sei of Norway and Sweden, is closely related to the Pollack of Great BritJiiu, Pollachius
virens, from which, however, it is specifically different. It is one of the best-known fishes of North-
ern Europe, as may be inferred from the abuudance of its common names. The following names
are in use in different parts of England : Baddoch, Billet, Billard, Black-Pollock, Black-Jack,
Black-Coalsey, Blockan, Blockin, Coal, Coal-fish, Coalsay, Coalsey, Coal-Whiting, Colemie, Col-
mey, Cooth, Cudden, Cuddy, Dargie, Gilpin, Glassock, Glashan, Glossan, Glossin, Green Cod ;
Green Pollock, Grey-lord, Gull-fish, Harbin, Kuth, Lob, Lob-Keling, Maulrush, Parr, Piltock,
Podley, Poddlie, Podling, Pollack, Prinkle, Rauniug Pollack, Rawliu Pollack, Rock Salmon,
Raw Pollock, Saithe, Sethe, Sey, Sey Pollack, Sillock, Skrae-fish, Stenlock, Tibrie.

DISTRIBUTION. Its geographical distribution is quite different from that of either the Cod or
Haddock, its northern range, at least in the Eastern Atlantic, being fully as wide as that of the
Cod, the species having been found in the northern part of Spitzbergen, beyond the parallel of 80,
and on the arctic coast of Europe. It rarely enters the Baltic. Bloch records a specimen from
Lubeck, and it is said to occur on the coast of Pomerania.

Concerning the limits of its southern range authorities differ. Giinther places this at latitude
46 in the Bay of Biscay, while others claim that it enters the Mediterranean. Canestrini states
that it has been observed at Taranto. 1 It does not appear, however, that the species is abundant
south of the English Channel. It occurs about Iceland and on the west coast of Davis Straits,
where specimens were obtained by Sir Edward Parry on his first voyage. North of Newfound-
land it does not seem to be very abundant, while to the south the limit appears to be in the
vicinity of Nantucket Shoals, where specimens are occasionally taken by the cod smacks.

In Perley's "Catalogue of the Fishes of Nova Scotia," he states that he had never seen the
fish in the Gulf of Saint Lawrence, nor heard of it except near the Straits of Canso, although it
was found very abundant in the Bay of Fundy and everywhere except in the muddy waters,
such as those of Cumberland Bay and the Basin of Minas.

I have seen large individuals taken in midsummer in the pounds iu Vineyard Sound, and
the capture of small individuals in these waters is not unusual. They are often taken, according
to De Kay, off New York, in company with the Cod. In June, 1 881, the schooner " Edward E.
Webster," of Gloucester, Solomon Jacobs, captain, returning from a southern mackerel trip, fell in



1 CANESTRINI : Fauna d' Italia. Pescbi, 1872, p. 155.



DISTIMI'-TTION 01 Till: i'OLLOCK. 229

with a school of Pollock and captured sixty tlioiisaml iioiinds of them in her puree seine. Its
range, as now understood, is in the Eastern Atlantic between the parallels 40 and 80, in the
Western Atlantic between 40 and 70. That its southeastern limit is as near the equator as the
parallel of 3fi seems quite improbable.

HABITS AND FOOD. Unlike the Cod and the Haddock, the Pollock is, to a great extent, a
surface-swimming species. The fishes of this species congregate together in large schools, roaming
from place to place in search of food. To a certain extent they feed at the bottom, like Cod, but
are more often seen at the surface of the water, where they prey upon young fish of all kinds.

Professor Sars gives the following account of the manner in which they prey upon little
Codfish:

"I was much interested to see how the Pollock caught the young Codfish. It looked like a
systematic chase, and it certainly looked as if the Pollock were acting with a common and well-
deli ned purpose. As far as I could observe, the schools of Pollock surrounded the little Codfish
on all sides, milking the circle constantly narrower until all the Codfish were gathered in one lump,
which they then, by a quick movement, chased up to the surface of the water. The poor little fish
now found themselves attacked on all sides: below, the voracious Pollock, which in their eagerness
often leaped above the water; and above, hundreds of screeching sea-gulls, which, with wonderful
voracity and precision, pounced down upon the places where the Pollock showed themselves, to
share the spoils with them. The whole chase is carried on so rapidly, and the young fish stay only
so short a time at the surface of the water before they are scattered in all directions with lightning-
like rapidity, that it was not even possible for me to see any, much less to catch any with my
insufficient implements."*

On the coast of New England they are much disliked by the fishermen, who claim that they
consume great quantities of other fish much more valuable than themselves ; in consequence of
this the fishermen have a great prejudice against them and refuse to eat them.

Captain At wood states that about Cape Cod they do not take to the hook freely; that in other
localities they are exceedingly voracious, and great numbers of them may be caught in Massachu-
setts Bay with a surface bait.

When the United States Fish Commission steamer has been stationed north of Cape Coil, a
favorite amusement of the officers has been to catch young Pollock with a fly. The older fish are
less active and remain more at the bottom.

MOVEMENTS. Concerning this species, Captain Atwood states that they appear about Cape
Cod in schools in early May, frequently passing round Race Point so closely to the shore as to be
caught with the seine among the "tide-rips."

Capt. E. W. Merchant, of Gloucester, tells me that the Pollock were very abundant in Massa-
chusetts Bay early in this century before the war of 1812. They were especially abundant on
Middle Bank. They were at that time chiefly caught with bait of herring, taken in seines from
the beaches. The fishing boats were of about thirty tons, and carried three men and a boy. Fishing
was carried on chiefly at night, when the vessels would all "fleet up," and the bait on their hooks
would toll the schools of fish together. The vessels would take about fifty quintals in a night.
There were about thirty fish to the quintal. This abundance of Pollock lasted until about 1820.
These Pollock were salted, and consumed at home or carried to Maine. They sold for about two
dollars a quintal. The oil of their livers was tried out in kettles on the shore. Their roe was
exported largely in those days. It was sold by the bushel, at the rate of about sixty cents.

'Report of the United States Fish Commission, part 5, 1879, p. 593. Another vivid description of the manner in
which the Pollock feed upon the sand-eels, or lant, may be found on pp. 619 and (520.



230 NATURAL HISTORY OF AQUATIC ANIMALS.

Mr. Kuril writes:

"Large Pollock are absent from the waters of Cape Ann from the middle of January till early
in May, the small ones leaving earlier, in the fall, and returning in April. 1 The young may be taken
almost anywhere along the shore, but the large fish seem to confine themselves to definite locali-
ties; and though not particularly abundant during the summer at Cape Ann, it is a favorite
spawning ground for the species, and during this period large schools visit this shore.

"They begin to grow plenty about the first of October, and by the last of the month are so
numerous as to greatly annoy the cod-fishermen by taking the hook before it can get to the bottom.

"During this season some of the smaller vessels fish exclusively for Pollock, 'seizing up' their
lines a number of fathoms from the bottom, and at times the fish bite as fast as the fishermen can
haul them. Early in November, a crew of four men landed 10,420 pounds, or about 1,100 fish, the
result of less than two days' fishing. Owing to a foolish prejudice, the price is always low, at times
being less than thirty cents per one hundred pounds. The average weight of the fish is about
nine or ten pounds, and during the spawning season the sexes are taken in about equal numbers."

Early in May, 1881, two vessels at Chatham caught in one day 35,000 pounds each. The fish
were caught with seines as they schooled at the surface like mackerel.

Perley, writing in 1851, mentioned that he observed that a large number of small fishing
schooners was engaged in the capture of Pollock in the rips, or riplings, off Grand Manau. " These
rips are formed by strong currents and the conflict of tides, in which the lively Pollock delight to
play. Here there is found an abundance of small herring for food. For this description of fishing
the vessels are kept in easy sail, the lines attached to poles of seven feet in length, which project
from the sides of the vessel. A round, bright lead is used, about seven inches in length, weighing
from one-half pound to one and one-half pounds ; the bait is a piece cut from the under, or bright,
side of the Pollock; it is called the 'last'; this, being kept in brisk motion by the sailing of the
vessel, closely resembles the living fish darting through the water, and is eagerly chased by the
Pollock. The fishers often take twenty Pollock with a single 'last,' it being a very tough bait."

In the Bay of Fundy and along the coast of Maine the capture of young Pollock from the
rocks is a favorite amusement. At Eastport these fish are often called "Quoddy Salmon." Hind
states that in the Gulf of Saint Lawrence they are known as "Sea Salmon"; this name may refer
both to their active and voracious habits, and to the excellence of their flesh in those localities.

The capture of young Pollock, or mort, on the coast of Norway, is described by Sars in the
paper already referred to. z

REPRODUCTION. The spawning of the Pollock occurs in the German Ocean, according to
Wittmack, from December to February; in Scotland, according to Paruell, in February, after which
it remains out of condition until May.

About the Lofodens, as indicated by the observations of Sars, the breeding time corresponds
with that of the Codfish, the young Pollock being found in early summer in company with the
young Cod, swimming under the protection of the jelly-fishes.

Mr. Earll found Pollock spawning at Cape Ann in November and December, but he does not
state whether the breeding season continued through the winter and early spring. Concerning the
observations made at the Gloucester station, he writes:



Online LibraryG. Brown (George Brown) GoodeThe fisheries and fishery industries of the United States (Volume 1:1) → online text (page 41 of 146)