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Commission of Conservation

Constituted under " The Conservation Act," 8-9 Edward Vll, Chap. 27, 1909, and

amending Acts, 0-10 Edward VII, Chap. 42, 1910, and 3-/, George V,

Chap, n, 191S.


Sir Cliuford Sifton, K.C.M.G.


Hon. Aubin E. Arsenault, Summerside, P.E.I.

Dr. Howard Murray, Dalhousie University, Halifax, N.S.

Dr. Crcil C. Jonf.s, Chancellor, University of New Brunswick, Fredericton,

Mr. William B. Snowball, Chatham, N.B.

Hon. Henri S. Beland, M.D., M.P., St. Joseph-de-Beauce, Que.

Dr. Frank D. Adams, Dean, Faculty of Applied Science, McGill University,
Montreal, Que.

Mgr. Charles P. Choqoette, St. Hyacinthe, Que., Professor, Seminary of
St. Hyacinthe and Member of Faculty, Laval University

Mr. Edward Gohier, St. Laurent, Que.

Dr. James W. Robertson, C.M.G., Ottawa, Out.

Hon. Senator William Cameron Edwards, Ottawa. Ont.

Mr. Charles A. McCool, Pembroke, Ont.

Sir Edmund B. Osler, M.P., Toronto, Ont.

Mr. John F. McKay, Business Manager, "The Globe," Toronto. Ont.

Dr. Bernhard E. Fernow, Dean. Faculty of Forestry, University of Toronto.
Toronto. Ont.

Dr. George Bryce. University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Man.

Dr. William J. Rutherford, Member of Faculty, University of Saskatche-
wan, Saskatoon, Sask.

Dr. Henry M. Tory. President, University of Alberta. Edmonton. Alta.

Mr. John Hendry, Vancouver, B.C.

Members, ex-officio:

Hon. Martin Burrell, Minister of Agriculture, Ottawa

Hon. William J. Roche. Minister of the Interior, Ottawa

Hon. p. E. Blondin, Minister of Mines, Ottawa

Hon. John A. Mathieson, K.C, Premier, President and Attorney-General,

Prince Edward Island
Hon. Orlando T. Daniels, Attorney-General, Nova Scotia
Hon. George J. Clarke. Premier and Minister of Lands and Mines. New

Hon. Jules Allard, Minister of Lands and Forests, Quebec
Hon. G. H. Ferguson, Minister of Lands. Forests and Mines. Ontario
Hon. a. B. Hudson, Attorney-General, Manitoba
Hon. George W. Brown. Regina, Saskatchewan.
Hon. Arthur L. Sifton, Premier, Minister of Railways and Telephones,

Hon. William R. Ross, Minister of Lands. British Columbia

Deputy Head and Assistant to Chairman
Mr. James White

Commission of Conservation




Fish, Birds and Game

Proceedings at a Meeting

of the

Committee, November I and 2, 1915



Committee on Fisheries, Game and
Fur-Bearing Animals

Chairman :

Dr. Cecil C. Jones

Members :

Hon. a. E. Arsenault
Hon. Geo. J. Clarke
Hon. T. Daniels
Hon. G. H. Ferguson
Hon. a. B. Hudson
Hon. J. a. Mathieson
Dr. Howard Murray
Dr. J. W. Robertson
Hon. w. R. Ross

Ottawa, Canada,

March 1, 1916

I beg to submit herewith a report of the proceedings of the Com-
mittee on Fisheries, Game and Fur-bearing Animals, at their meeting
on November 1 and 2, 1915.

For convenience, the various addresses are not here presented
in the order in whicii they were delivered, but have been rearranged
according to subject. The whole compilation is now issued under the
title of " Conservation of Fish, Birds, and Game."

Respectfully submitted,


Deputy Head and Assistant to Chairman

Sir Clifford Sifton, K.C.M.G.,

Commission of Conservation,


To Field-Marshal, His Royal Highness Prince: Arthur William
Patrick Albert, Duke of Con naught and of Strathearn,
KG., K.T., K.P., ETC., ETC., Governor General of Canada

May it Please Your Royal Highness:

The undersigned has the honour to lay before Your Royal High-
ness the attached report on " Conservation of Fish, Birds and Game,"
which is a compilation of addresses delivered at a meeting of the Com-
mittee on Fisheries, Game and Fur-bearing Animals, of the Commis-
sion of Conservation, on November 1 and 2, 1915.

Respectfully submitted,


Commission of Conservation
Ottawa. March 2, 1916



Introduction — Chairman's Address 1

Dr. C. C. Jones
Brief Remarks on the Work and Aims of the Commission of Conservation. . 8

Sir Clifford Sifton
Practical Problems in the Fish Business 10

D. J. Byrne
Technical Education in Relation to Fishermen's Occupations 28

Dr. Jas. IV. Robertson

The Herring Fishery of Canada 37

Prof. E. R. Prince
Unutilized Fisheries Resources of Canada 47

Prof. E. E. Prince
Government Inspection and Branding of Fish 65

/. /. Cowie
Oyster Culture in Prince Edward Island 71

Hon. A. E. Arsenault

Conservation of Canada's Inland Fisheries 81

/. B. Feilding

Prohibition of the Sale of Game 93

Frederick K. Vreeland

The Big Game of the Canadian Rockies 100

»'. .V. MiUar

Game Preservation in Dominion Parks 125

F. //. H. WiUiavison
Conservation of Birds and Mammals 141

Dr. C. Gordon Heivitt
Bird Protection in Canada 152

ff. H. Sounders
Silver Fox Raising in Captivity 16J

Hon. A. E. Arsenault
Resolutions 164

CONTENTS— Continued


I. Silver Black Fox Breeders' Association Act 165

II. By-laws of the Silver Black Fox Breeders' Association of Prince

Edward Island 171

III. The Silver Black Fox Breeders' Association of Prince Edward

Island— Standard Bred Register, Rules of Entry 173

IV. Notes on the Leith Nautical School, Edinburgh, and the Tech-

nical School for Fishermen, Grimsby 179

V. The Fish Inspection Act (1914) and Regulations made Thereunder 181

VI. Synopsis of the Report on the Otter Trawl Fishery, Submitted to

Congress by the United States Commissioner of Fisheries 195

Index 201


A Large Humpback Whale. 82 h. Long I'rontispiece

Lower Jaw and Mouth Cavity of Fin-back Whale 6

Fleet of Herring Boats, New Brunswick 6

Fish Hatchery in Marine Laboratory, Bay of Nigg, near Aberdeen, Scotland 31

Net-making and Net-mending Room, Fisher Lads' Institute, Grimsby, Eng-
land 31

Tunny or Horse-mackerel SO

Sword-fish, 400 lbs. Weight '. SO

Diagram of Dog-fish Reduction Plant 54

Staff of Scottish Herring Girls Packing Herring 66

Trout from Tusket, N.S 86

Cleaning Sea-mosses or Zoophytes for Market 86

Two Stoney Indians with Eleven Heads of Big-horn Sheep 94

Ducks Illegally Netted in Lake Ontario 98

Head of Big-horn Sheep • 102

Head of Moose 102

Head of Elk 106

Head of Caribou 106

Group of Stoney Indians with Heads of Big-horn Sheep 114

Stoney Indian Encampment 114

Buffaloes in Buffalo Park, near Wainwright. Alta 118

Elk in Buffalo Park 118

Big-horn Sheep in Rocky Mountains Park, close to Banff 126

Group of Big-horn Sheep, near Banff, Alta 126

Reindeer at Athabaska Landing, in Transit to Fort Smith 135

Jamicson Lake, in Buffalo Park 135

Big-horn Sheep at Vermilion Lakes. Alta 146

Deer in Rockv Mountains Park 146


Proceedings of the

Committee on Fisheries, Game and

Fur-bearing Animals

A MEETING of the Committee on Fish, Game and Fur-bearing
Animals of the Commission of Conservation was held in the
Board Room, Temple Building, Ottawa, on November 1 and 2, 1915.
The following members of the Commission were in attendance:

Sir Clifford Sifton, Chairman of the Commission

Dr. C. C. Jones, Chairman of the Committee on Fish, Game and
Fur-bearing Animals i

Hon. A. E. .-\rsenault, Summerside, P.E.I.

Hon. O. T. Daniels, Attorney-General, Nova Scotia

Mr. A. A. Lefurgey, representing Hon. J. A. Mathieson, Premier,
Prince Edward Island

Dr. Howard Murray, Dalhousie University, Halifax, N.S.

Dr. J. W. Robertson, C.M.G., Ottawa, Ont.

Dr. C. C. Jones, Chairman of the Committee, presided. In opening
the meeting, he said :

Gentlemen : The first item on the programme is the Chairman's
address. My purpose will be mainly and almost altogether to connect
up the work of this meeting with the work of the meeting of 1912
and with the general work of the Committee before that meeting and
from that until the present time.

Special The Committee on Fisheries is perha])s slightly differ-

Fisher"ifs° *^"^ ^""""^ *^^ °^^^^ Committees owing to the fact that

Committee we have very few members other than ex officio

Needed members of the Commission, who very seldom attend

the Annual Meeting, and, for that reason, it has been rather difficult


to have a meeting of the Committee during the Annual Meeting of the
Commission. It was very difficult at the first Annual Meeting, at which
the Committee was appointed in its present form, to have a meeting of
the Committee, and it was largely for that reason that we had the
meeting in the summer of 1912. Since then, we have had Committee
meetings in connection with the Annual Meeting but they have proved
unsatisfactory and we have felt that we were not accomplishing as
much as we desired. So it seemed best to have again a special meeting
of the Committee on Fisheries, Game and Fur-bearing Animals and
this meeting has been called that we might gather information regard-
ing the subjects with which we have to deal and perhaps do more to
advance the interests of the Committee than we could at the time of
the Annual Afeeting. The Assistant to the Chairman of the Commission
and his staff have prepared a splendid programme and doubtless we
shall find that the meeting will be of great interest and also of great

y^3f^^^^ The first subject to engage the attention of our Com-

Fisheries mittee and a subject which was considered at the 1912

meeting, was that of a possible arrangement between
the Provincial Governments and the Dominion Government with
respect to the oyster fisheries, with the idea of leasing areas that
private companies might carry on oyster cultivation. Shortly after the
Committee was formed an understanding was reached between the
Federal Department of Fisheries and the Government of Prince
Edward Island whereby leases were made of bottoms where oyster
farming was carried on in the Island. Later, that arrangement was
extended to the other Maritime provinces, Nova Scotia and New
Brunswick, with the exception of certain specified sections of the latter.
Thus, since that time, a good deal has been done in the way of the
formation of companies to carry on oyster farming along the shores
of the gulf of St. Lawrence, Northumberland strait and various other
sections of the Maritime provinces. During the Meeting of the Com-
mittee in 1912, we had with us Dr. Stafiford, who had been employed
for some time by the Biological Board in connection with the work
carried on by them. His paper proved very interesting to those of us
who were present. His address was somewhat technical, as he is a
biologist and not definitely associated with the practical work of oyster
culture. However, his chief idea seemed to us to be capable of prac-
tical application. He had ascertained and followed the life of the
oyster from the egg through the larval stage until it was deposited as

C H A I R M A X ' S A D D R E S S 3

spat, and he claimed it was quite possible for a fairly intelligent man,
a man who would be interested in oyster cuhure, to determine quite
definitely the time at which the spat would be deposited and therefore
the proper time for putting out cultch to which the spat would become
attached and, in time, develop into the mature oyster.

In connection with that work, he was asked to prepare a somewhat
more lengthy statement and that statement was issued by the Commis-
sion as a report entitled The Canadian Oyster. That work, how-
ever, was also rather technical and perhaps not quite so much in a
practical way came from the paper of Dr. Stafford as we hoped for.
At that meeting this resolution was carried:

" Resolved that the Dominion Department of Marine and Fisheries
be urged to carry on demonstration and research work looking toward;
improved methods of oyster culture, especially with reference to the
proper time of putting out cultch in order to procure the necessary
supply of spat, and also to carry on further demonstration work in
connection with the formation of oyster beds in grounds not now
productive of oysters and to assist in the introduction of improved
methods in live oyster beds."

As I suggested, very little has been done with respect to the first
part of that resolution, the ascertaining of the proper time of putting
out cultch, and the further extension of Dr. Stafford's paper with the
idea of its practical application. The latter part of the resolution, the
demonstrations in connection with the formation of oyster beds in
grounds not now productive of oysters, has perhaps come somewhat
under the domain of the work carried on by Capt. Kemp, who is an
employee of the Federal Dept. of Fisheries, and it might be suggested
that more work along this line be done through the special activities
ill connection with the Dept. of Fisheries. The matter of further
resolutions in this connection or further consideration of the subject
of oyster culture might naturally come before this Committee when
ihe time for resolutions is at hand.

g A second topic discussed during the meeting in 1912

Trawling ^^'^^ the matter of the employment of steam trawlers

in connection with the fisheries on the Atlantic coast.
It was suggested that it would be advisable to limit the field of opera-
tion of these trawlers and that they should be prohibited from inter-
fering with the work of the shore fisheries. It was felt that the
contention of the fishermen, with respect to the injuries by steam
trawlers, was not altogether borne out, and that their opposition was
largely due to the fact that steam trawling interfered with their occu-
pation rather than to any damage to the fisheries themselves. Although


no resolution was passed, it was deemed advisable that the operation
of the steam trawlers should be restricted to a certain extent. The
whole subject was, however, in a chaotic condition and it was not
thought advisable to take any definite action in connection with it.
Since then, the Canadian government has taken action and limited the
field of operation of steam trawlers to twelve miles off shore. There
was also a very important investigation being carried on by the Bureau
of Fisheries at Washington. That investigation has been completed
and the results have been published. The United States authorities
suggest that international action be taken to limit the field of operation
of steam trawlers along the Atlantic coast. Thus, our chief purpose
in connection with the discussion at the meeting of three years ago
has already been carried out; the field has been restricted and the
United States report has been published. It might be well to con-
sider whether we should urge that international action be taken ;
although I presume that such action will be considered apart from
anything we might propose in that connection.

Wh"t'fi\°^ Among other subjects discussed at the meeting of 1912

Fry was a paper on the whitefish industry, by Mr. M. J.

Patton, at that time Assistant Secretary of the Com-
mission. In that connection this resolution was moved — I wish to read
these resolutions in order to connect the work of this meeting with the
work of the former meeting:

" Resolved that this Committee, while recognizing and appreciating
the value of what has already been undertaken by the Department of
Marine and Fisheries, urge upon the Dominion Government the neces-
sity of planting, at the earliest practicable time, whitefish fry in lake
Superior and in lake Huron and Georgian bay in sufficiently large
quantities to prevent the depletion of those waters."

A considerable addition has been made, I understand, to the opera-
tions of the Dept. of Fisheries in connection with the planting of
whitefish fry. I asked Mr. A. Donnell, of the staff, to ascertain just
what had been done in this respect. We have ascertained that the total
number of fry deposited in the Great Lakes region in 1912, the year
in which our Committee met previously, was 64,000,000. In 1913, the
number had been increased to 137,000,000, of which 20,000.000 had
been deposited in lake Superior. We felt at the time that the planting of
fry in lake Superior was essential to the proper development of the
whitefish industry in the Great lakes. In 1914, the number had
been further increased to 175,500,000, of which 26,500,000 had been
deposited in lake Superior, and, in 1915, the number was still further
increased to 281,600,000, with 28,000,000 deposited in lake Superior,

C H A I R M A K ' S A D D R E S S 5

54,000,000 in lake Huron and 40,000,000 in Georgian bay. 'J'luis, the
procedure suggested in that resolution, and advocated also in the paper
of Mr. Patton, has been carried out very largely and possibly no further
action is necessary along that line.

Also in connection with Mr. Patton's paper this resolution was

" Resolved that the Department be requested to publish each year
in its Annual Report a statement, in readily available tabular form, of
the number of fry of various kinds of fish deposited by it in each
stream and body of water where such are planted in Canada."

This has also been carried out. In their Annual Report the Depart-
ment is now publishing just the information asked for in connection
with that resolution, so that our recommendation has been fully met.

Fisheries The onlv other resolution passed at the Meeting was

Expert , .

Required t"'s :

" Resolved that this Connnittee considers it necessary that an expert
official be appointed to the staff of the Commission of Conservation to
carry on investigations and report upon all matters respecting fisheries,
game and fur-bearing animals."

It is not necessary to say very much regarding that except that
means were taken to appoint an expert in 1914. Mr. White went
to England with authority to engage such an expert as was called
for by that resolution, but the outbreak of the war in August and the
subsequent financial stringency led us to decide that the appointment of
an expert in connection with the Committee should be postponed for
the present. We hope that such an official may be appointed when the
war is over and the financial stringency has been somewhat relieved.

Other Other matters considered during the Committee Meet-

QuestVons '".g: o^ 1914 were in connection with lobsters and shad

fisheries, and especially a paper by Dr. Murray advo-
cating proper means of curing, packing, grading and branding fish.
In connection with the latter subject, an Act has been passed
by the Dominion Government, The Fish Inspection Act, which,
to some extent, covers the ground. I am advised that there
have been many difficulties in connection with the working out of the
Act which, however, are being gradually relieved, so that we may
assume that good work is being done along this line and that further
effective work will be done. In time, therefore, we expect to have a
workable Inspection .\ct in connection with our Federal Dept. of


Consideration ''^^ °"'' ^^^^ Meeting, which I have covered in these
of Game brief statements, our time was almost entirely given to

the consideration of the fisheries. We are, however,
a Committee on Fisheries, Game and Fur-bearing Animals, and it has
been thought advisable at this meeting to devote a considerable portion
of our time to the discussion of problems in connection with game in
Canada. With that end in view, several gentlemen have been asked
to read papers in connection with the various problems dealing with
game laws and the preservation of game in the Dominion of Canada.
We have all felt, I am sure, that it is rather pathetic that in a country
so new as Canada there should be so little wild life, that wild life in
Canada, especially bird life, should compare so unfavourably with
that of countries in Europe in the same geographical situation but
which have been settled for thousands of years. Wild life is there
far more abundant than it is in Canada even at the present time. With
the example of the United States before us — a bad example, especially
during their early history, and in the western states — the preservation
of game and the proper administration of game laws in this Dominion
would seem to be one of the very important things to which this
Committee might devote its attention. Of course the administration
of the game laws is in the hands of the provincial authorities but we
are in a position to advise them and to ask them to consider various
matters looking towards the protection of game, just as we have been
accustomed to do in connection with the Federal Administration. We
have all looked with a good deal of interest at the work that is being
done at present in the United States towards retrieving the bad man-
agement of their early history and the effort now being made towards
restoring their game and administering their game laws properly. We
are now looking to the men there to advise us as to methods of best
carrying forward the work of preserving our game in Canada and of
administering our laws properly here.

One subject that I think we ought to consider in connection with
the proper preservation of game is the possibility of eliminating the
market hunter and the marketing of game. More injury is done to
game by the market hunter being allowed to destroy game in wholesale
quantities and sell the result of his work, than by any other possible
means and, if some method can be devised of restricting his opera-
tions, it would certainly be the most effective way of preserving our
game in Canada.

Another point is the setting apart of preserves for game, as has
been largely done in connection with our forests. But still greater

Lower Jaw and Mouth Cavity of Fin-b;ick W \

Fleet of Herrini; H(i:its. New l',run-~'

C H A I R M A N • S A D D R E S S 7

efforts could be made along the line of increasing our game preserves
and administering the preserves properly.

Treaty re Another matter which is coming before the attention

BiTds^°^^ of the Committee is the proposed Treaty concerning

migratory birds, the International Treaty which is
proposed to be put into effect by joint action of the United States and
Canada in order to restrict the slaughter of the migratory birds,
especially in their northern haunts during the summer season. If this
Committee can further the ends of that proposed Treaty we should,
without any question, do it. It seems to me a most important matter.
In connection with the work of preserving our game in Canada, a
great many organizations have been formed in the past year or two
and it might be possible for the Commission of Conservation to be to
some extent a clearing house for the activities of these different
organizations, that we might sum up the work that is being done,
present it in a tangible form to the proper authorities, and also
investigate what is being done in the various provinces.

The third subject, with which this Committee deals, is
Farming ''^"i^ o^ fur-bearing animals. This work is important,

and we have done something along that line. At the
Meeting of the Committee in 1912, a Resolution was passed appointing
Mr. J. Walter Jones to acquire information regarding the possibilities
of fur farming in Canada. His results were published in a report
which met with very great demand and which ran into a second edition.
The matter principally dealt with was, of course, fox farming, with
Prince Edward Island and the Maritime provinces generally, as the
centre of the industry. The results of the work have been spoiled, to
a certain extent, by the wild speculation that took place a few years
ago in connection with the numerous joint stock companies, but it is
rather fortunate that that speculation has been stopped as quickly as
it has and there is little doubt that eventually there will be an important
industry on a definite business basis in connection with fur fanning
in Canada.

I thought it best to review the work of the Committee of 1912
and to gather up the ends of the work covered by that meeting as a
preliminary for the work of this meeting.

Brief Remarks on the Work and Aims of the
Commission of Conservation

Sir Ci,iFFoRD Sifton
Chairman of the Commission

GENTLEMEN : I regret that, as my time is pretty well occupied,
I am not able to give myself the pleasure of being present at
your sessions. I must depend for accurate information on reading
the report of the addresses afterwards and I shall give myself that
pleasure when the papers are reported in the Proceedings of the

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Online Librarygame and fur-bearing animals Canada. Canada. Commission of conservation. CommitConservation of fish, birds and game → online text (page 1 of 23)