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tained. Hence the undertaking here de- 402,000 salmon went through the gates, scribed, which, as will presently be seen, on their way up, and the total count for has a direct bearing upon the commercial the season was 2,603,651. Reckoning problem. Thus, for example, now that was only made, however, of the red, or it has been ascertained how many salmon "sockeye” salmon, this being by far the run up Wood River to spawn, the ex- most important species commercially. perts are able to judge with accuracy of Now, it should be explained that each the number of fish required to maintain salmon river has what is called a "value" the supply in that particular stream. of so many fish per annum—which

Suppose that the requirement for means simply that it can produce just Wood River is 500,000 spawning salmon about that number, and no more. The per annum. The Fisheries Bureau, then, number is always limited, each stream will prohibit fishing in that stream each having a definite capacity, which depends season until the necessary half million upon its area of suitable spawning have passed up the river to the spawning grounds and the amount of food availgrounds—this matter being easily deter- able for the young "fry.” mined by extending a species of barri- To make this clear, it is necessary to cade, called a "rack,” across the stream, explain that no river produces salmon allowing the fishes to pass only through unless it takes its rise in lakes. For the narrow gates, and counting them as they fish go up to the lakes to lay their eggs go by. When the 500,000 breeding sal- —though, as a matter of fact, they do mon are thus assured of safety, the can- not deposit their spawn in the lakes, but ning companies will be told to go ahead in small streams flowing into the latter. and catch all the salmon they choose in When they are big enough to take care the waters below the "rack.”

of themselves, the young fishes find their The rack and gate method is the one way into the lakes. But, if there are too that has been employed by the govern- many young ones, there will not be inent agents to count the salmon in Wood enough food to go around, and they will River. Tally was kept of them as they perish in multitudes. passed through with the aid of an auto- It will be seen that in this way the matic click counter, held in the hand. number of salmon in any river regulates Such contrivances are sometimes used itself—or did so before greedy man apnowadays to make a record of the num peared on the scene, to interfere with ber of people who visit a museum or things. Recent study of the subject has other public building. On July 14 over proved that salmon, though their proper home is the sea, never—while in the intending parents—hatched originally ocean—go far away from the mouth of from the first salmon's eggs—enter the the stream in which they were hatched. river from the sea four years later. This At four years of age, or thereabout, they applies to all salmon streams. But no go up the river of their birth to spawn. two rivers are alike in respect to the conAccordingly, the number of intending ditions governing their annual fish outparents thus returning to the old spawn- put; so that it is necessary to make a ing grounds in any given season is special investigation of each one. Speakdirectly proportionate to the number of ing generally, however, it may be said,




“fry” that survived out of the brood of on the basis of the above figures, that four years previous.

from fifty to eighty per cent. of the total The government experts say that there number of salmon may be taken annually is no longer any danger that the supply without injuring the fishery. of salmon in Alaska will be exhausted, Controlling the matter so absolutely as or even seriously diminished. So long it now does, the Fisheries Bureau will be as the Bureau is allowed to continue in able not only to keep as many salmon in control, and to prevent destructive meth- the Alaskan rivers as there are now, but ods of fishing, it can maintain the output to restore the fish in multitudes to many to the end of time, without curtailing the streams which have been depleted by commercial fishery, and without artificial reckless commercial operations — the hatching, except in places where fishing most destructive of these consisting in is extraordinarily active, or where the putting up dams, or stretching nets area of spawning grounds is curtailed across the streams, in such a way as to by such salmon-killing agencies as saw- make it impossible for any fish to reach mills, mining industries, etc.

the spawning grounds. Obviously, the A very painstaking and comprehensive adoption of a plan of this kind meant study of the whole subject has been that the river, however productive at the made, and one of the conclusions drawn start, would cease to contain any salmon is that for every salmon which reaches after four or five years. the spawning grounds, from two to five It seems amazing that any human being gifted with ordinary intelligence are the Dolly Varden and "cutthroat" should adopt so short-sighted a policy. trout. These trout follow the salmon to But experience has shown that people the spawning beds for no other purpose generally, when they have a chance to than to steal their eggs, of which they make money rapidly by exploiting a devour immense numbers. great natural resource, have not the While thus defending their nests, the slightest hesitation in destroying it parent salmon become thinner and thinutterly and for all time to come. It has ner until at length they die. Not one been the practice of the canning com- out of all the multitudes that have panies, when they had wiped out all the reached the spawning beds survives to salmon in one river, simply to move the go back to the sea. Sometimes the scene of their operations to another streams that flow into headwater lakes stream; and, if this had been allowed to are literally choked with their decaying go on, the salmon fishery of Alaska, bodies—a pitiful sight to see. Thus, which yields $10,000,000 worth of prod- however, it will be understood how and ucts per annum, would have ceased to why it is that the maintenance of the exist within a generation.

supply of fish in any given river depends Under present circumstances, for- upon the annual crop of young "fry." tunately, it is not a very difficult matter Early in the following spring these to repopulate with salmon the depleted can be found on the spawning grounds rivers. Unlimited numbers of eggs of by taking up handfuls of gravel from the finest and most desirable species are the bottom. They are not yet able to easily obtained, and these are already swim, but, when released, wriggle away being hatched by the hundreds of mil- and burrow into the bottom again, hidlions at two stations which the Fisheries ing themselves. Meanwhile they derive Bureau has established for the purpose. what sustenance they need from yolkOne of these hatcheries is at Yes Bay, in sacs attached to their bellies. When they southeast Alaska, and the other is on are able to look out for themselves, they Afognak Island, south of the Aleutian pass out of the affluent streams into the Chain. The island is a government pre- lakes, and remain there, feeding, until serve, on which no game or fish is they are four or five inches long. The allowed to be killed or taken. Natural call of the sea now summons them, and conditions make it one of the best local- they wend their way down the river to ities in all Alaska for salmon-culture, and the ocean, where they dwell in deep the spawning grounds are so situated as water off the coast until, at the end of to be at all times under observation and about four years, they are ready to swim control.

up the river, to spawn, and in their turn Last season there were hatched at to give up their lives for the perpetuation these two stations 96,397,000 salmon of their species. eggs, mainly of the redfish, or "sockeye.” During the fishing season of 1909-10 No special difficulty is involved in the there were taken in Alaskan rivers work, although salmon eggs require an 34,692,608 salmon, or a total of 175,028,extraordinarily long time, eight or nine 594 pounds. The annual pack is about months, for their incubation.

2,500,000 cases of forty-eight one-pound When the salmon reach their spawning cans each; but the catch varies a good grounds, they pair off, and excavate deal from year to year, and every fourth nests in the bottom by plowing up the year it is relatively huge. Thus the sand and gravel with their noses and catch for the season of 1908-9 was sweeping it out with their tails, until at 43,304,979 salmon, with a total weight length a bowl-shaped hollow is dug, per- of 213,378,570 pounds. haps three feet in diameter and from a It is interesting to reflect that during foot to a foot and a half deep. In this the last ten years Alaska has produced, in the female lays her eggs, which are care- salmon alone, fourteen times as much fully covered up. It then remains for money as Mr. Seward paid for the territhe parents to stand by the nest and fight tory when he bought it from Russia half off enemies, among the worst of which a century ago.



GOVERNMENT BOARD. The illustrations respectively show the signals set for safety, the track trip mechanism, and the signal set for danger,




00 many railroad wrecks ! It is a very serious problem, and the goy*How shall they be made lessernment is trying hard to find at least a frequent ?

partial solution for it. Congress, not long During the last fiscal year, ago, handed the matter over to the Inter

in this country, no fewer than state Commerce Commission, with aunine hundred and thirty-two people were thority to appoint a board to investigate killed, and fourteen thousand, three hun- the whole subject. dred and seven persons maimed or other. This board, in a report newly prepared, wise seriously hurt, by smashups on the declares that the fundamental cause of rail. It was a frightful carnage. A con- the trouble is to be found in the Amerisiderable battle, indeed, might have been can tendency to hurry. People in this fought without greater loss. But there country are so anxious to do things is good reason for supposing that the quickly that, to a great extent, they number of slain and wounded in the ignore caution. Here is the principal present year will be at least as great, and reason why railroad wrecks, which are so on for every subsequent twelvemonth. rare occurrences in England and on the

That is to say, unless something is continent of Europe, are so frightfully done to alter radically the conditions frequent in the United States. Neverthewhich give rise to mishaps of the kind. less, taking conditions as they are, much

[merged small][graphic][subsumed][merged small]



the over-running of stop signals by trainmen. Often it happens that the engineer of a locomotive fails to notice the fact factor in the railroad equation to a that a signal is set for danger. It warns minimum. him to bring his train to a halt; but, fail- Many such automatic train-stops have ing to recognize it, he runs past, and in been to a greater or less extent perfected. many instances a disaster is the conse- In most instances they are electrical conquence.

trivances, and operate by setting the The ingenuity of inventors has been brakes of the train. Thus, for example, taxed to devise a means by which this one of them—already tried with some


J. E. PAGE, OF KANSAS CITY, AND HIS PATENT COACH. This car has an anti-telescoping device, the steel floor at cach end terminating at an angle, so that cars

in collision may slide by each other.

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