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Full text of "Annual Report of Commissioners on Fisheries and Game of Massachusetts (1915, 1917-1919)"



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Public Document 



No. 25 



FIFTIETH ANNUAL REPORT 

OF THE 

: COMMISSIONERS 

on JJ*rujcxrr,cK 

Fisheries and Game 

For the Year 1915. 




BOSTON: 

WRIGHT & POTTER PRINTING CO., STATE PRINTERS, 

32 DERNE STREET. 

1916. 



i 



Approved by 
The State Board op Publication. 



ft 



COMMISSIONERS ON FISHERIES AND GAME. 



GEORGE W. FIELD, Sharon {Chairman). 
GEORGE H. GRAHAM, Springfield. 
WILLIAM C. ADAMS, Boston. 

Chief Deputy Commissioner. 

ORRIX C. BOURNE. 

Clerk. 

W. RAYMOND COLLINS. 

Biologist. 

DAVID L. BELDING. 

Office: Room 321, State House, Boston, Mass. 

Telephone: Haymarket 2700. 



CONTENTS 



General considerations, . 
Recommendations, . 
Organization, . 
Finances, 
Educational efforts, . 

Publications, 

Boy scouts, 

Exhibitions, 

Lectures, . 

State associations, 

National activities, 

Commercial fisheries, 
Enforcement of law, 

Report of chief deputy, 
Violations of fish and game laws, 
Inland fisheries, 
Fishways, 
Pollution, 
Pond culture, . 
Fish propagation, 

Hatchery operations, 

Adams hatchery, 

Palmer hatchery, 

Sandwich hatchery, 
History of fish culture in Massachusetts, 

Winchester hatchery, 

Joint hatchery, . 

Hadley hatchery, 
Shad, . 

Connecticut River, 

Merrimac River, 
Salmon, . 
Brook trout, . 

Trout culture, . 
Game, .... 
Private game farms, 
Breeders' permits, 
Game propagation, . 
Game farm operations, 

Wilbraham game farm, 

Sutton game farm, 

East Sandwich game farm, 

Norfolk game farm, 

Sharon game farm, 

Marshfield game farm, 

Marthas Vineyard reservatii 






VI 



CONTENTS. 



Game — concluded. 
Pheasant, 
Quail, 

Ruffed grouse, 
Ducks, . 
Geese, 

Marsh and shore birds, 
Woodcock, 
Heath hen, 

Song and insectivorous birds 
Deer, 
Rabbits, 
White hares, . 
Gray squirrels, 
Foxes, 
Marine fisheries, 
Fishermen, 
Deep-sea fisheries, 
Gloucester, 
Fishing boats, . 
Deep-sea fishing, 
Fishery products landed at Boston and Gloucester 
Fishing fleet of Boston and Gloucester 
Shore fisheries, .... 

Statistical returns, 
Mollusk fisheries, 

Scallop, .... 
Quahaug, .... 
Clam, .... 

Shellfish pollution, 
Lobster fishery, 

Statistical returns, 
Otter trawl fishery, .... 
Deep-sea trawling, 

Problem, .... 
Hand lining, 
Net fishing, 

Purpose of investigation, 
Steam trawlers, . 
The trawl, ..''•.. 
Species and number of edible fish taken 
Non-edible fish taken. 
Destruction of small edible species 
Destruction in general, 
Extent of sea bottom covered 
Damage to sea bottom, 
Destruction of fish spawn and food 
Agency in driving fish away 
Conclusions, 
Small otter trawl, 
Trawl, 
Results, 



CONTENTS. 



vn 



Clam Report. 
Introduction, 
Object, . 

Purpose of the work, 
Results, 
Presentation, 
Appropriations 
Courtesies, 
Assistants, 
Localities, 
Laboratories, 
Natural history, 
Distribution, 

Clam areas below low-water mark 
Anatomy, 
Spawning, 

Egg, 

Spermatozoon, . 

Breeding season, 

Temperature and spawning 

Age and spawning, 

Flats and spawning, 

Natural fertilization, 

Artificial fertilization 
Embryology, 
Veliger, . 

Velum, 

Foot, 

Heart, 

Gills, 

Muscles, 

Mantle, 

Digestive tract 

Distribution, 

Destruction, 
Attachment, 

Set, . 

Current, . 

Soil, 

Shore line, 

Clam set in various localities 
Spat collecting, 
Rowley Reef set, 

Methods of transplanting, 

Growth of Rowley Reef set 

Depletion, 

Transplanting of Rowley Reef set 
Conclusion, 
Enemies, 

Waterfowl, 

Crabs, 

Fish, 

Oyster drill 

Starfish, . 

Winkle or cockle 



Vlll 



CONTENTS. 



Natural history — concluded. 
Enemies — concluded. 

Clams bored by lunatia, 

Commercial value of cockle 

Worms, 

Passive enemies, 

Man, 

Pollution, 
Movements, 
Recovery from injury, 
Food value, 

Meat, 

Shell, 

Influence of soil, 

Comparative food value, 
Clam culture, 
Decline, . 
Remedy, 
Benefits, 
The clam farm, 

Selection of ground, . 

Seed clam supply, 

Pollution, 

Preparation of grant, 

Procuring seed, 

Spat collecting, 

Transportation of seed, 

Planting, . 

Harvesting, 

History of clam farming 
Clam laws, 

History, . 

Legislation, 

Proposed legislation, . 
Industry, .... 
Fishing grounds, 

North Shore, 

South Shore, 
History, .... 

Early history, . 

Rise of bait industry, 

Development of inland markets, 

Attempts to develop the industry- 
Clam production statistics 
Clam digging, . 

Methods, 

Outfit, 

Marketing, 

Shipment, 

Maine clams, 

Market, . 

Price, 
Growth, 

Methods of investigation 

Experimental beds, 

Recording, 



CONTENTS. 



IX 



Growth — concluded. 

Methods of investigation — concluded. 
Planting, ..... 
Location, ..... 
Ipswich Bay experiments, . 
Plymouth experiments, 
Monomoy experiments, 
Average growth, .... 
Length of life, .... 
Average rate of growth, 
Growth for market, . 
Maximum per square foot, 
Growing months, 
Seasonal growth on sand and mud flats 
Growth of old and young, . 
Comparison with quahaugs and scallop 
Individual variation, . 
Malformations, 

Transplanting, .... 

Cultivation, .... 

Conditions regulating growth of the clam 

Current, ..... 

Food carrier, 

Oxygen bearer, . 

Lime furnisher, . 

Sanitary agent, . 

Influence on set, . 

Action on flat, 

Summary, .... 
Water, ..... 

Salinity, .... 

Temperature, 

Depth, .... 

Tide, .... 
Soil, 

Sand, .... 

Mud, .... 

Gravel, .... 

Unproductive soils, 

Eel grass, .... 

Mussels, .... 

Organic material, 

Shifting sand, 
Reclamation of unproductive areas, 

Natural changes, 

Planting, .... 

Hardening, 

Elevation and drainage, 

Thatch, .... 
Character of soil, 
Growth out of the soil, 
Recommendations, .... 

Restocking barren flats, 
Brood grounds, .... 

Size limit, ..... 

Closed seasons, .... 



CONTENTS. 



Recommendations — concluded. 

Grants as spat collectors, . 

Improved methods of shipment, 
Tables, 

Relative values of growing months, 

Size and growth, 

Growth factors of various sizes, 

Size and volume, 

Table of clam volume, 

Standard growth, 

Standard growth to four and one-half years, 
Bibliography, ...... 



PAGE 

221 
221 
222 
223 
223 
223 
224 
225 
226 
226 
229 



&f)£ Commontoealtl) of ittassactyiisette. 



To His Excellency the Governor and the Honorable Council. 

The Commissioners on Fisheries and Game respectfully sub- 
mit their fiftieth annual report. 

General Considerations. 

At this time it is particularly appropriate to call attention 
to the extensive development in methods of conserving fish and 
game which has taken place in the half century which has 
elapsed since the founding of this commission in 1866. Es- 
pecially in recent years numerous laws, public education in 
respect to fish and game conservation, oversight of the com- 
mercial fisheries, and extensive propagation of birds, quadrupeds 
and fish have expanded many fold the once simple routine of 
this department. 

Constantly changing conditions affecting both fish and game 
have contributed largely to the increasing complexity and cor-j 
respondingly greater necessity for the work. However, the 
commission in its plans for the proper utilization of the great 
natural facilities with which Massachusetts is favored has ex- 
panded to meet and even anticipate the demands of the present 
era. By the establishment and administration of a definite 
system of law enforcement, by the increase of birds and 
animals in our coverts and fish in our waters, and by the edu- 
cation of the public, this department is endeavoring to fulfill 
its great mission of conserving our natural fish and game 
resources. In this way your commissioners have contributed 
largely to the benefit of all sections of the Commonwealth. 
No State department is more worthy of receiving public support 
and encouragement than the Commission on Fisheries and 
Game in its endeavor to restore to the present generation and 
its descendants at least part, or even more, of the abundance 
of fish and game which our ancestors enjoyed. 



2 FISH AND GAME. 

Your commissioners must administer their work to the end 
that maximum efficiency may be reached at a minimum cost, 
a point which can be attained only by a definite system for 
all branches so co-ordinated and so specific that it may meet 
the increasing demands which are constantly being made. The 
work of every subsidiary department is growing rapidly, and 
only carefully worked-out plans, based on accurate methods 
of policy and thorough knowledge of the public needs, can 
enable this commission to maintain its present high standing 
among other States. The details of our recent activities and 
suggestions for future development are presented in the follow- 
ing pages. 

Recommendations. 

The Commissioners on Fisheries and Game respectfully 
recommend the passage of laws designed to accomplish the 
following purposes : — 

1. To provide for the punishment of persons assaulting or 
interfering with officers enforcing the fish and game laws. 

2. To provide for the control of certain great ponds by the 
commissioners for the purpose of cultivating useful fish, birds 
and quadrupeds. 

3. To amend chapter 118, Acts of 1911, by increasing the 
penalty for the violation of the provisions of said chapter 
relative to the taking of hares and rabbits. 

4. To provide a penalty for the violation of chapter 542, 
Acts of 1913, relative to hunting with rifles and revolvers. 

5. To amend section 133, chapter 91, Revised Laws, relative 
to the discharge of waste materials into public waters. 

6. To amend chapter 270, Acts of 1913, relative to gray 
squirrels. 

7. To amend section 8, chapter 92, Revised Laws, as amended 
by Acts of 1903, chapter 330, relative to the use of the bodies 
or feathers of certain birds for millinery purposes. 

8. To amend section 67, chapter 91, Revised Laws, as 
amended by chapter 329, Acts of 1904, relative to pickerel. 

9. To amend chapter 118, Acts of 1907, relative to loons and 
grebes. 

10. To amend chapter 465, Acts of 1912, relative to ap- 
pointment of town wardens. 



PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 3 

11. To authorize the Commissioners on Fisheries and Game 
to take or receive as a gift, or lease or purchase in the name of 
the Commonwealth, such improved or unimproved property as 
they may deem necessary, and to control and use such prop- 
erty. 

12. Relative to hunting of game on State reservations, parks, 
commons or land held in trust for public use, or upon public 
highways. 

13. To amend chapter 472, Acts of 1910, extending protec- 
tion to the Bartramian sandpiper, upland plover, heath hen, 
wood duck, wild or passenger pigeon, Carolina or mourning 
dove, gulls or terns. 

Organization. 

Under the supervision of the three commissioners the work 
of the commission comprises four main divisions, viz., (1) 
central office organization, (2) law enforcement, (3) fish and 
game propagation, and (4) scientific investigation. 

The central office, under the immediate direction of the 
commissioners, serves a twofold purpose: (1) as bureau of 
information for the general public and the Legislature, and 
(2) as the central clearing house for the entire department. 
The commissioners, in addition to devoting considerable time 
at the central office, make many trips to different parts of the 
Commonwealth for the purpose of keeping in close touch with 
the various phases of the work and the needs of the different 
localities. The office force comprises a chief clerk, a book- 
keeper, three stenographers and an office boy. A vast amount 
of miscellaneous information relating to fish and game is 
dispensed by personal interviews and by detailed correspond- 
ence in reply to numerous queries from all sections of the 
State. All matters relating to hunters' licenses, statistics of 
shore fisheries, production and development of hatcheries, re- 
ports of deputies, and weekly statements of the various de- 
partments are efficiently handled at this office. 

The enforcement of the fish and game laws is restricted to 
the services of a corps of deputies, under the immediate su- 
pervision of a chief deputy, who directs the work from the 
central office by constantly keeping in touch with the various 
districts. Under the existing system each deputy has to cover 



4 FISH AND GAME. 

approximately 415 square miles of territory, necessitating con- 
tinuous vigilance and arduous work. Massachusetts can justly 
be proud of the excellent manner in which her fish and game 
laws are enforced by the efficient and conscientious men now 
holding these positions. In addition to the regular deputies 
there are a number of town wardens and unpaid deputies, 
many of whom are of great assistance in the proper enforce- 
ment of law. Efficiency in law enforcement is not indicated 
merely by the number of convictions secured, but rather by 
the more important preservation of fish and game through the 
prevention of law infractions. 

The propagation of fish and game is carried on at four 
fish hatcheries, situated at Palmer, Adams, Sutton and Sand- 
wich, and at six game farms, at Wilbraham, Sutton, Norfolk, 
Sharon, Marshfield and East Sandwich, each in charge of a 
superintendent who is directly responsible to the commis- 
sioners. By means of a system of weekly reports and by 
frequent inspections the commissioners keep constantly in 
touch with the progress of the work at these hatcheries and 
game farms, in this way exerting direct control over the prop- 
agation of fish and game. 

The biologist and his assistant have oversight of all scientific 
investigations and from time to time make reports on the 
results of various studies upon fish and game. A number of 
routine biological, pathological and bacteriological examina- 
tions are made upon material sent to the office from various 
sections of the State, and the services of this division are 
always available to any resident of the Commonwealth. 

Finances. 
The expenditures and receipts for the year 1915 are itemized 
in the following tables. The appropriations for the past year 
totaled $150,195.53, of which $138,181.49 was expended, leaving 
a balance of $12,014.04. 

Expenditures, $138,181 49 

Receipts, 64,538 60 

Gross cost, ■ . $73,642 89 

Value of fish and game output from hatcheries, . . . 58,338 18 

Net cost, $15,304 71 



PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 



Disbursements for 1915. 

Commissioners' salaries, $6,040 00 

Clerical, 5,268 07 

Expenses, 6,228 24 

Enforcement of laws, including expenses and salaries of 

deputies, 47,337 64 

Maintenance of fish hatcheries, propagation of food and game 
fish, purchase of egg lobsters, establishment of bird and 
game preserves, maintenance of game farms, and propaga- 
tion of wild birds and quadrupeds, 66,026 04 

Stocking great ponds with food fish, 497 36 

Establishment of fish hatcheries, 2,777 66 

Establishment of fish hatchery especiaUy adapted for shad 

(chapter 115, Resolves of 1915), 81 00 

Increasing supply of food and game fish (chapter 159, Resolves 

of 1914), 897 03 

Land for hatcheries (chapter 135, Resolves of 1915), . . 1,000 00 
Publication of laws, (chapter 89, Resolves of 1915), . . 1,507 37 

In favor of Pittsfield Angler's Club (chapter 44, Resolves of 

1915), 259 00 

Investigation of fisheries of Buzzards Bay (chapter 19, Re- 
solves of 1915), 262 08 

Total, $138,181 49 



Receipts for 1915. 



Licenses: — 

Nonresident at $10, 
Nonresident at $1, . 
Resident at $1, 
Alien at $15, . 



Game tags, 

Sale of Buzzards Bay fish, . 

Interest on deposits, 

Sale of produce at Wilbraham, 

Sale of produce at Sutton, . 

Sale of produce at Sharon, . 

Sale of produce at Vineyard Reservation 

Sale of produce, and fee for fighting fires at East 

Sandwich Game Farm, .... 
Sale of carp from Laurel Lake (per cent, only) 
Sale of rubber and 1 gallon of oil, Sandwich, 



$1,365 85 

142 15 

60,368 05 

1,358 25 

$356 85 

322 70 

3 77 

279 59 

243 23 

38 37 

25 28 

31 66 
' 81 
2 04 



$63,234 30 



1,304 30 



Total for fiscal year 1915, $64,538 60 

No fees have been received for the inspection of fish in accordance 
with the provisions of chapter 138, Acts of 1912. 



FISH AND GAME. 



Educational Efforts. 

An increasingly important activity is the education of the 
public in all matters relating to the conservation of our fish 
and game. Undoubtedly publicity is a most essential factor 
in the preservation of our natural resources, and is especially 
necessary for the proper enforcement of laws, which are pri- 
marily for the protection of fish and game for the benefit of 
the public. Not only the foreign-born citizen, but the ma- 
jority of our complacent, easy-going native population, need 
such education to enable them to realize the urgency and 
value of this type of work. Until the public is keenly alive 
to the importance of and knows the reason for fish and game 
conservation, no great advance can ever be made, since the 
enactment and proper enforcement of laws for their protection 
and propagation depend upon public opinion, as reflected by the 
members of the General Court. For these reasons it is highly 
desirable that in the future greater efforts be directed by this 
commission toward the education of the public along the lines 
here outlined. 

Publications. — Each year the work of this department as a 
bureau of information, not alone for Massachusetts but for 
other States as well, is increasing. Public interest constantly 
demands that this information be placed in convenient form for 
distribution. Nevertheless, the results of our scientific in- 
vestigations lie for months, even years, unpublished, owing 
to lack of proper appropriations to cover the cost of printing. 
One report of limited distribution is printed annually, which 
contains a variety of subjects, but necessarily cannot include 
important special reports. For this reason it is not only highly 
desirable but essential that a radical change be made in pub- 
lication methods, by the inauguration of a system of special 
popular bulletins, each of which would chiefly deal with a 
single subject, and which would be of suitable form for con- 
venient and cheap distribution. 

Boy Scouts. — In Europe, where the public has been taught 
to respect wild life, the children take genuine interest in the 
preservation and propagation of birds, and private citizens 
engage extensively in the artificial cultivation of fish and game 



PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 7 

under conditions which until lately have been considered im- 
practicable in this country. In interesting the boys and girls 
in outdoor life and recreation the promotors of the Boy Scouts' 
and Camp Fire Girls' organizations are doing an excellent work. 
Yet what a valuable opportunity for useful work is neglected 
by not utilizing such organizations for the protection of our 
wild birds and animals! If these boys and girls, soon to become 
the men and women of our land, were given a proper knowledge 
of fish and game, and taught how to be of service collectively 
and individually, a great and important step would be ac- 
complished. In addition to broadening their own education, 
the Boy Scouts could be of active service to this commission by 
(1) patrolling water and land areas during closed seasons, (2) 
locating forest fires, (3) feeding birds in winter, (4) recording 
the abundance of fish and game in their sections of the State, 
and (5) reporting violations of the laws. Plans are now under 
way to develop this important asset, and to institute closer 
association between the commission and such organizations as 
the Boy Scouts. 

The following suggestions as to the means of interesting the 
Boy Scouts in fish and game conservation are given : — 

1. Frequent lectures and informal talks upon fish and game 
work before the various patrols. 

2. Co-operation of scout masters and district deputies in 
patrolling woods and streams at special times. 

3. Furnishing grain and other bird food for winter distribu- 
tion. 

4. Providing opportunities for the scouts to visit fish hatch- 
eries and game farms, with accompanying demonstrations of 
practical methods in fish and game propagation and distribu- 
tion. 

5. Granting suitable prizes or some form of recognition for 
proficiency in fish and game work. 

6. Arranging for definite statistical surveys of the wild life 
in woods and streams. 

Exhibitions. — The policy of giving practical information to 
the public by means of exhibiting live birds, fish and other 
products has been in vogue for several years. These exhibi- 
tions, which have been made at agricultural fairs, poultry 



8 FISH AND GAME. 

shows, food fairs and various society entertainments in all parts 
of the Commonwealth, have aroused great interest and should 
be further extended. 

The commission is continually receiving requests from schools 
and societies for permanent demonstration exhibits of fish and 
birds. These are supplied to the best of our ability, and it is 
hoped that sufficient funds will soon be forthcoming to enable 
this department to furnish more and better educational dis- 
plays. 

Lectures. — Frequently illustrated lectures are given by the 
commissioners before societies, churches, granges and sportsmen's 
associations, in which the various phases of fish and game con- 
servation and propagation are described. This work is meeting 
with hearty response and encouragement on all sides, and should 
prove an important educational feature worthy of further ex- 
pansion. 

State Associations. — The policy of encouraging and aiding 
the formation of gunning and fishing associations has already 
begun to yield important results. The number and size of 
these associations is steadily increasing, and their influence is 
beginning to have a strong bearing upon fish and game legis- 
lation and protection. The aim of this commission has been 
to co-operate with these associations in the enforcement of 
laws and in the distribution of fish and game, thus receiving 
additional assistance in constructive work. 

National Activities. — The educational work of your commis- 
sioners has not been confined merely to home affairs, but they 
have endeavored to maintain the high standing of Massachu- 
setts among other States. They have been consulted upon 
national problems relating to fish and game, and have been 
active officials in organizations such as the National Associa- 
tion of Shellfish Commissioners, the American Fisheries So- 
ciety, the National Conservation Congress and the National 
Association of Game and Fish Wardens. By visits to other 
States in their official capacities, your commissioners have 
established a broader viewpoint, and have acquired new ideas 
for the development of the resources of our Commonwealth. 

Commercial Fisheries. — It is highly desirable that the scope 
of our educational efforts in the marine fisheries mav be ex- 



PUBLTC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 9 

tended to meet the great advances now being made in the 
commercial fisheries. Already the lobster fishermen have 
formed associations for their own protection and for the pres- 
ervation of the lobster. The efforts of the members of these 
associations in co-operation with this department argue well 
for the future of this industry. 

The achievements of the New England Fish Exchange, the 
Boston Fish Bureau and the Boston Wholesale Fresh and Salt 
Fish Dealers Association, resulting in the new fish pier and 
the introduction of more sanitary methods of handling fresh 
fish, together with those of the salt-fish industries of Gloucester, 
show the influence of. education. The importance of teaching 
conservation in the marine fisheries cannot be overestimated, 
and the need of proper facilities for furthering this work is 
sadly apparent. With the important fishing port of Boston as 
a center, a fisherman's institute, similar to that now operating 
in Japan, might readily be established, where a definite course 
of training could be offered to men desirous of entering the 
fishing industries. In addition, lectures and demonstrations 
could be given in the various shore towns, and associations 
organized for discussion and study of the current problems. 
Publications upon various commercial subjects, with lessons on 
their practical application, could be regularly distributed. The 
need for this type of work is great, and the response should be 
overwhelming. The accomplishment of such results can be 
achieved by State appropriations, and the whole-hearted co- 
operation of all those interested in our commercial fisheries. 

Enforcement of Law. 
One of the most important activities of the commission is the 
enforcement of the laws relating to fish and game, which each 
year become more numerous and complicated. In previous 
reports we have strongly urged their simplification, and have 
even presented a complete codification, which, however, has 
met with no co-operative response from the Legislature. As a 
result our deputies are burdened with an excessive amount of 
* work which would be unnecessary under more simple and 
explicit laws. The law enforcement is administered by a chief 
deputy, twenty-eight district deputies and a variable number 



10 FISH AND GAME. 

of special deputies; in addition, town and unpaid wardens 
assist in the work. In our regular deputies we have a corps 
of energetic, upright men, influential in their respective com- 
munities and capable of conducting the work quietly but with 
great efficiency. They are under civil service, have dedicated 
their lives to the work and are striving constantly to increase 
their usefulness. 

The report of Chief Deputy Orrin C. Bourne upon the en- 
forcement of the law during the past year follows : — 

Dr. George W. Field, Chairman, Commissioners on Fisheries and Game, 
State House, Boston, Mass. 

Sir: — I herewith submit my report for 1915 upon the enforcement of 
the fish and game laws. 

Deputies. — During the year 1915 the force consisted of 28 district 
deputies, 10 special deputies and about 30 town wardens. The work 
of all these men is worthy of the highest commendation. The position 
of a deputy is no sinecure. His duties do not end at any stated hour of 
the day, but he must be on duty day and night, alert to all that may 
transpire in his district of 415 square miles. Saturdays, Sundays and 
holidays are his busiest days. The open season each year brings into the 
fields and woods a vast army of hunters and fishermen. In many dis- 
tricts large areas can be covered only on foot, and it may require a several 
days' tramp for one deputy to cover the entire length of certain streams. 
Many hunters and fishermen own automobiles and thus are able to cover 
the country at such a rate that if they once locate a deputy whom 
they desire to avoid they can easily shift the scene of action to a distant 
locality. 

The so-called alien law has presented new problems to our deputies, 
since many aliens do their hunting with small caliber rifles which can be 
heard but a short distance and can easily be concealed in their clothing. 
The number of laws is increasing every year, many of which are of such 
a nature that it would take the entire time of two men to properly enforce 
them in a single district. Since chapter 240, General Acts of 1915, pro- 
hibiting certain aliens from owning, using or having rifles and shotguns 
in possession, went into effect, about 50 cases of aliens hunting have been 
placed before the courts, and about 40 shotguns and rifles (nearly all cheap 
makes) have been confiscated. Fifty-dollar fines have been imposed and 
paid in several cases. A few have shown to the satisfaction of the court 
that a fine would be a great hardship to their families, and on agreement 
to do no more hunting the cases have been filed. 

Forest Fires. — A number of forest fires were reported by our deputies. 
In several instances small fires were discovered and quickly extinguished, 
thus saving valuable property. 



PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 11 

Transportation. — Our deputies still have to employ the same methods 
of travel as of yore, either riding in trains or hiring a team at a cost of 
S2 or S3 a day. If an automobile is used the cost is prohibitive, since it 
entails the additional cost of employing a chauffeur, with the result that 
our deputies are still practically confined to the slowest means of locomo- 
tion, while the violators have the most up-to-date means of covering the 
country. Along the water front high-power boats are used by the fisher- 
men and duck hunters, yet the deputies must be content with such make- 
shift boats as they may hire on short notice. Practically it is impossible 
to rent a boat suitable for our work, as the owners say that they do not 
care to risk injury to boats and other property through retaliative acts of 
violators. 

Fish and Game Distribution. — The amount of fish available for stocking 
our brooks and ponds has rapidly increased within the last few years, and 
their distribution requires the expenditure of additional time by our 
deputies, who necessarily must be in touch with all water courses to know 
what fish are suitable and w r hat places are posted against public fishing, 
in order that State fish may not be put into private waters. The special 
knowledge necessary in handling the fry, fingerlings, yearlings and adult 
trout, and the delicate fry of the pike perch, yellow perch and bass, can 
be acquired only by long and careful study. 

The distribution of pheasants, ducks, quail and white hares has also to 
be attended to by the deputies, while the feeding of quail, pheasants and 
other birds during the severe winter weather necessitates considerable work. 

Pollution. — The enforcement of the law relative to the taking of clams 
in polluted areas, which was delegated to this department by the State 
Board of Health, is by no means an inconsiderable problem, since the 
courts called on to handle this matter do not impose sufficiently heavy 
penalties to force the clammers to give up their illicit practices. 

Convictions. — A comparison of the number of court cases and the 
amount of fines turned into the Commonwealth for the past few years 
will show r an increase from year to year. In 1915 a total of 610 arrests 
were made, of which 559 were by regular district deputies, 18 by special 
deputies, 17 by unpaid deputies, 2 by town wardens and 14 by police 
officers. 

Our deputies have been selected because of their recognized ability to 
meet the varying conditions under which they have to work. It is neces- 
sary that a deputy should, in addition to being well versed in wood-lore, 
hunting and fishing, with particular knowiedge of the covers, ponds and 
streams in his district, be able to recognize violations of the law, to know 
the proper methods of apprehending and handling violators before they 
are brought into court, and to be thoroughly acquainted with legal pro- 
cedure in regard to making out complaints and stating cases clearly in 
court, even when arrayed against the best legal talent. 

Office Work. — The work of the chief deputy in connection with law 
enforcement has been confined largely to the central office, with occasional 



12 FISH AND GAME. 

visits to the various district deputies. To illustrate the inadvisability of 
devoting his entire time to field supervision of the district deputies it 
may be stated that if but one day were devoted to visiting each deputy 
it would take thirty days to cover the whole State, and at that it would 
necessitate traveling from district to district at night, which would mean 
but twelve visits to each man in a year. Better results can be obtained 
by directing the operations of the deputies from the central office. Many 
people call at the office for special information relative to the interpreta- 
tion of fish and game laws, and necessarily they require the services of 
the chief deputy or some one in authority. There are many calls by 
deputies for assistance when two men or more are required, necessitating 
an order from the office for the requisite assistants. The forty or more 
narrative reports from paid deputies, town wardens and superintendents 
of hatcheries are read each week by the chief deputy, who thus is enabled 
to keep in close touch with each district. Annual reports from about 300 
people connected with the department must be read to get a reasonable 
idea of the increase of birds, fish and animals in various localities. During 
the warmer months much time has to be devoted to the distribution of 
fish, mainly in transferring shipments through Boston to their proper 
destinations, as occasionally, for unforeseen reasons, the district deputy 
engaged in this work may be called for some urgent court case, and 
thus may be unable to receive the consignment. 

During the winter the chief deputy follows the fish and game affairs 
before legislative hearings, locates the various bills and sees that the 
commissioners are posted as to their progress. He has charge of dis- 
tributing the fish and game law books, cards, extracts and other literature, 
and has general oversight of the reports of deer and pheasants killed in 
the open and closed seasons. 

Respectfully submitted, 

Orrin C. Bourne, 
Chief Deputy. 



PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 



13 



1915. 





■n 
O 

72 


o 


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3 


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« 


Violation. 


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J 


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a 
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13 

a 

1 


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2 

CD 2 


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£ 


5 


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s 


to 


£ 


o 


Sunday hunting, 


63 


i 


62 


8 


8 


$1,172 00 


$437 00 


$20 00 


Hunting without license, . 


108 


10 


98 


1 


20 


865 00 


75? 00 


1 96 


Possession of short lobsters, 


24 


- 


24 


1 


1 


444 75 


200 75 


- 


Illegal possession of short 

pickerel. 
Possession of pickerel in 


19 


- 


19 


- 


- 


77 00 


56 00 


- 


4 


_ 


4 


_ 


_ 


30 00 


30 00 


. 


closed season. 


















Illegal possession or hunt- 
ing of game. 


22 


5 


17 


3 


2 


170 00 


120 0C 


2 60 


















Taking herring before they 


1 


- 


1 


- 


- 


3 00 


- 


- 


cast spawn. 


















Placing poison to kill ani- 


1 


- 


1 


- 


- 


50 00 


50 00 


- 


mals. 


















Using scented bait without 


2 


- 


2 


- 


2 


- 


- 


- 


owner's permission. 


















Hunting, wounding or kill- 


7 


- 


7 


- 


2 


125 00 


1Q0 0C 


- 


ing deer. 


















Illegal killing of deer dur- 


7 


2 


5 


- 


- 


105 00 


105 00 


- 


ing open season. 


















Killing or possession of 


17 


1 


16 


- 


5 


180 00 


120 00 


- 


song or insectivorous 


















birds. 


















Setting snares, . 


3 


- 


3 


- 


- 


30 00 


25 00 


- 


Hunting, after being con- 


1 


_ 


1 


1 


_ 


10 00 


_ 


_ 


victed within one year. 


















Assault on officer in per- 


2 


- 


2 


_ 


_ 


25 00 


10 00 


- 


formance of duty. 


















Fishing in closed ponds, . 


4 


- 


4 


- 


4 


- 


- 


- 


Carrying concealed weapon, 


3 


- 


3 


2 


- 


160 00 


10 00 


- 


Possession of short trout, . 


12 


- 


12 


- 


- 


106 00 


106 00 


2 CO 


Illegal possession of black 

bass. 
Using sweep net in Buz- 


14 


- 


14 


- 


1 


64 CO 


44 00 


- 


2 


_ 


2 


_ 


_ 


20 00 


20 00 


_ 


zards Bay. 


















Illegal taking of fresh- 


9 


- 


9 


2 


- 


85 00 


45 00 


- 


water fish. 


















Killing eagle, . 


1 


- 


1 


- 


- 


10 00 


10 00 


- 


Setting fish trap without 

permit. 
Setting nets illegally in 


1 


- 


1 


1 


- 


- 


- 


- 


4 


_ 


4 


_ 


_ 


80 00 


40 00 


_ 


ponds. 


















Taking short quahaugs, . 


2 


- 


2 


- 


- 


10 00 


10 00 


- 


Setting fish trap in closed 


2 


_ 


2 


2 


_ 


200 00 


- 


_ 


season. 


















Violation of shellfish laws, 


78 


6 


72 


14 


28 


1,060 00 


65 00 


42 00 


Hunting with ferret, 


19 


- 


19 


- 




135 00 


135 00 


- 


Hunting with rifle during 


5 


_ 


5 


_ 




85 00 


75 00 


_ 


open season on deer. 


















Possession of seed lobsters 


1 


_ 


1 


_ 




- 


- 


_ 


taken from Massachu- 


















setts waters. 


















Illegally killing rabbits, . 


8 


- 


8 


- 




14 00 


14 00 


- 


Hunting on posted land, . 


31 


- 


26i 


7 




160 00 


47 00 


- 


Taking alewives contrary 


2 


_ 


2 


_ 


2 


_ 


_ 


7 00 


to rules of selectmen of 


















Bourne. 



















Five pleaded nolo contendere. 



14 



FISH AND GAME. 









1915. 










Violation. 


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8 


Illegal possession of or tak- 
ing smelt. 

Illegal possession of white 
perch. 

Possession of or killing 
heron or bittern. 

Failure to make return of 
money as required by 
law. 

Molesting and interfering 
with lobster traps. 

Taking oysters illegally, . 

Exceeding bag limit on 

quail and partridge. 
Illegal taking of fish in 

Lynn Harbor. 
Securing license through 

misrepresentation as to 

naturalization. 
Fishing with more than ten 

hooks. 
Violations of the alien gun 

law. 
Illegal taking of fish in 

Salem waters. 
Setting fires, 

Breaking and entering 
camp. 

Killing pheasant in private 
enclosure. 

Interfering with officer in 
performance of duty. 

Hunting on State reserva- 
tion. 


9 
3 
2 

1 

8 
1 
3 
21 
5 

2 

53 

12 

2 

1 

1 

1 

14 


5 

3 
2 


9 
3 
2 

1 

3 
1 
3 

21 
5 

2 
50 
12 

1 

1 

1 

14 


3 

3 
12 

3 


2 

8 
1 

1 
12 

4 


$215 00 
6 00 

75 00 

30 00 
10 OC 
45 00 
535 00 
70 00 

20 00 

1,800 00 

600 00 

10 00 
25 00 

85 00 


$95 00 

6 00 

30 00 
10 00 
45 00 
430 00 
45 00 

20 00 
950 00 

65 00 


SI 80 

30 00 
10 CO 

7 10 




618 


35 


578 


04 


117 


S9.001 75 


S4.327 75 


SI 24 46 



Inland Fisheries. 

The importance of developing our inland fisheries is annually 
becoming more significant. The policy of your commissioners 
will follow two general lines, (1) the stocking of public waters 
and (2) the encouragement of private fish propagation. The 
first is the direct work of this commission, the second an in- 
direct result of the first. 

Several factors govern the wholesale stocking of public 
waters. (1) These waters must be kept free from pollution 
and other causes which may impair their fish-producing powers. 
(2) This commission must have an accurate and thorough 
knowledge of the physical characteristics of the waters them- 
selves, a groundwork which has already been laid by a pre- 
liminary survey of all the streams and ponds in the Common- 



PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 15 

wealth. (3) The waters to be stocked must be judiciously 
selected and the fish for stocking carefully chosen in order 
that the right species may be placed in waters suited for their 
growth and existence. This can be accomplished only with a 
thorough knowledge of the waters and the life history and 
habits of the various species of fish, such as this commission 
by the course outlined above is steadily acquiring. (4) There 
should be a definite and uniform program for stocking certain 
bodies of water for several years, with a follow-up system. 
(5) An increase both in the number and species of fish propa- 
gated is necessary to adequately increase the yield of our waters 
for the benefit of the recreationist and sportsman, as well as to 
provide an abundant food supply for the public. 

This commission, as previously stated, has collected data on 
all waters in the State, and in many instances has decided 
upon the species of fish best suited for stocking purposes. It 
has outlined a definite plan for systematic stocking, and is now 
engaged in developing and increasing the production of fish 
at the hatcheries in order to carry out the proposed program. 

In addition, experiments in fish propagation are now being 
tried, notably the introduction of the Chinook salmon of the 
Pacific coast into our large inland lakes. Incidentally, efforts 
are to be made to establish this fish in the Atlantic Ocean by 
placing them in a tributary of the Merrimac River. The pro- 
posed establishing of a shad hatchery on a tributary of the 
Taunton River should revive interest in this excellent fish, 
which is now all but gone from our coast; also, plans are now 
under way for the re-establishment of the alewife fisheries in 
many coastal streams. Only through experimental work of 
this nature can appreciable advance in fish propagation be 
achieved. 

Fishivays. 

The early colonists soon utilized the coastal and later the 
inland streams for water power by building dams, thereby 
causing barriers to the passage of migratory fish. Numerous 
laws were passed prohibiting the erection of dams without 
suitable fishways on coastal streams where alewives abounded, 
but the same care was not taken in the case of the inland 
streams. Nevertheless, the coastal streams have fared but 



16 FISH AND GAME. 

little better than the inland streams, since these laws were 
either evaded or directly disobeyed, with the result that, owing 
to their nonenforcement, but few and at best inefficient fish- 
ways were ever installed. 

The primitive successful type, known as the Cape Cod fish- 
way, consisted of a trench or sluiceway dug around the dam, 
in which the current was checked by large stones laid at short 
intervals. This fishway answered very well for alewives but 
had the objection of wasting water, and proved impossible to 
construct in certain localities. To enlarge this type to a size 
sufficient for the passage of shad and salmon would have caused 
serious injury to many mill privileges. In the smaller Massa- 
chusetts streams the Brackett fishway has proved the most 
practicable from the standpoint of efficiency and cheapness. 

In determining upon the installation of fishways your com- 
missioners base their decisions upon the potential value of the 
stream for fishing. During the past year the dilapidated con- 
dition of fishways in many alewife streams has received at- 
tention, and efforts have been made, particularly at Middle- 
borough, Harwich and other places, to see that proper fishways 
were installed which would allow the passage of the alewives 
to their spawning grounds. The general policy has been to 
require the erection and proper care of fishways wherever the 
welfare of the fisheries demanded it. 

The question of fishways in the Merrimac River is now under 
consideration by this commission. Attempts are soon to be 
made to rear Chinook salmon at North Andover, and when 
these and other migratory fish give any promise of an ap- 
preciable increase, definite steps will be taken for the installa- 
tion of the best types of fishways at Lawrence and Lowell. 
Efforts are also being made to stock the upper waters of this 
river with food and game fish, and action will be taken in the 
matter of screening the entrance of canals and flumes, since 
the existing law does not compel the owners to screen these 
outlets and inlets. By erecting suitable fishways on these 
dams, by eliminating unnecessary and harmful pollution, and 
by systematically stocking the headwaters of the Merrimac 
it is hoped that appreciable results may be obtained in restor- 
ing these once important fisheries. 



PUBLIC DOCUMENT — Xo. 25. 17 



Pollution. 

Chapter 460, Acts of 1910, forbade the discharge into the 
streams of the Commonwealth of sewage, manufacturing waste 
or any material which directly or indirectly would prove 
prejudicial to fish life, either by injuring the fish themselves 
or by destroying the food of the young fish, such as micro- 
scopic plants or animals. It has been found that even slight 
chemical pollution of water causes the gills to become in- 
flamed, thus rendering the body more susceptible to disease, 
while larger quantities of polluting material may actually kill fish. 

Important decisions have been made by the courts, which 
are of great value not alone to the citizens of Massachusetts 
but to the citizens of the entire United States. One case 
went to the Supreme Court on the contention that the defend- 
ants had been putting this polluting material into the streams 
for upwards of two hundred years; and upon this ground they 
claimed that they had gained by prescription the right to con- 
tinue the pollution. The Supreme Court specified particularly 
in their decision that an individual or corporation could not 
acquire such a right against the State by prescription, and that 
the fact that they had not earlier been prevented from putting 
this material into the streams was no reason why they could 
not be so prevented at any time. (Commonwealth v. Holyoke 
Water Power Company.) 

Likewise, in judging what constituted the "fisheries value" 
of a stream, the commissioners have been directed to consider 
not alone the present value of the fish in that stream, but its 
potential value for the production of food fish, as well as its 
recreational value to the general public. 

Hereafter the law will be enforced from this standpoint. We 
do not contemplate rabid agitation or ill-advised attempts to 
force manufacturers to act prejudicial to their real interests, 
but we expect in the course of five or ten years to take some 
progressive steps toward the purification of the inland waters. 
In this connection we must consider not alone the actual de- 
struction of fish life, but the corresponding waste of a vast 
amount of valuable material which should be used for fertilizing 
land. 



IS FISH AND GAME. 

Section 8, chapter 91, Revised Laws, as amended by chapter 
356, Acts of 1906, prohibits the discharge of sawdust into 
fishing streams. Recent experiments by the National Bureau 
of Fisheries have demonstrated that sawdust promotes the 
growth of fungus on fish eggs, thus killing both eggs and young 
fish. Sawdust affects the larger fish by clogging their gills, 
or by the liberation of chemical substances inducing an in- 
flammatory condition of these organs. The elimination of this 
source of pollution is highly desirable. 

Future work upon the pollution of streams will consist in 
the recording of all cases, the elimination of unnecessary 
sources of pollution upon good fishing streams, particularly 
when the remedy may be applied at small expense, and a 
biological investigation of the effect of different types of pollu- 
tion upon fish life. Fish propagation will prove a bountiful 
success only when suitable waters are prepared to receive the 
small fish and support the immense numbers they should 
normally produce. 

Pond Culture. 

In addition to more than 800 State ponds with an area of 20 
acres or more, Massachusetts possesses a wealth of private 
ponds which are either natural bodies of water of less than 10 
acres, or artificial. The inherent resources of the United States 
are immeasurably greater than those of other countries, but 
in spite of the natural abundance of unrivaled streams, springs 
and small bodies of water of every character scattered profusely 
over the entire country, little advantage has been derived in 
the commercial production of fish. It is high time that the 
people of Massachusetts were awakened to a realization of the 
benefits accruing from proper development of inland waters. 

An acre of water suitably adapted to fish propagation is 
worth more to the farmer, dollar for dollar, than a cor- 
responding area of upland. Previous to this time the American 
farmer has devoted but casual attention to the utilization of 
aquatic resources, which has resulted in the present useless 
condition of small streams and undrained swamp land. Mas- 
sachusetts waters are abundantly supplied with hardy fishes 
well adapted for this work. No serious difficulties are pre- 
sented in obtaining them for breeding, and under cultivation 



PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 19 

they should yield a food supply supplementary to that derived 
from public fisheries to a degree that is by no means negligible. 
Fish-rearing conditions have been thoroughly investigated and 
satisfactorily worked out at both State and national fish hatch- 
eries, and information thus obtained is always available for 
the benefit of the private fish culturist. In Massachusetts there 
are several private fish hatcheries which conduct a profitable 
business in trout rearing, and there is no question but that 
many other species might be included through modification of 
present methods, making possible a wholesale utilization of our 
ponds and streams. At present Massachusetts might be termed 
a mere trailer in this undertaking when compared with some of 
the countries of Europe, where cultivation of fish has been 
supported by private interests for centuries. Not only is this 
true of large estates, but even small landowners keep hundreds 
of acres of ponds in a state of active production. Stations and 
schools for experimentation are supported to teach farmers 
economic methods of raising carp and other fish. Doubtlessly 
this condition is a logical result following exhaustion of fish 
supply in public waters, a condition not so remote as to pre- 
clude its becoming a real possibility in Massachusetts unless 
greater regard is given to suggestions of this commission in the 
development of public waters. 

In proportion to labor and time invested returns from fish 
propagation are great, since after the initial expense and work 
but little labor is necessary until the adult fish are marketed. 
Pond culture is certainly to be recommended as a means of 
lowering the high cost of living by utilization of a present but 
undeveloped asset. Actual figures compiled with regard to a 
pond in Kansas by Prof. Lewis L. Dyche of the State commis- 
sion evidence a remarkable yield from a small body of water. 
In three years the yield from 16,000 fish placed in a small 
shallow pond was practically 27,000 fish, weighing a total of 
6,809 pounds. During this experimental period 1,400 pounds 
of food were fed to the fish. The temperature of the water 
ranged from 70 to 91 degrees F. during the month of August, 
which is considerably warmer than the temperature of Massa- 
chusetts waters, and may explain this unusually enormous 
yield. Although this tremendous increase cited may not be 



20 FISH AND GAME. 

obtained in our waters, it may be approximated, and is a 
fact worthy of attention as indicating the seemingly limitless 
extent to which artificial fish propagation has been made a 
reality. 

Ponds of Massachusetts may be classified as natural (those 
which are usually spring fed and formed by small streams or in 
the hollow of some natural depression) and artificial, which 
class may be subdivided, according to the method of construc- 
tion, into ponds formed by dams, those excavated and those 
produced by embankments or dikes. Small artificial ponds, 
especially those excavated, are easily and successfully made 
from swamp land. Ponds formed by dams are less suited for 
pisciculture since they are more exposed to spring floods and 
freshets, and, similarly, embankment ponds are of less ad- 
vantage than those excavated. 

Water supply of a pond is dependent largely upon the natural 
conditions existent, therefore streams are first choice, though 
closely followed by artesian wells which have a steady flow. 
One point in favor of the latter is that they furnish water of 
more uniform temperature, and if free from chemicals detri- 
mental to aquatic life they are perhaps the most satisfactory 
providers. Hard water is very naturally undesirable for fish 
rearing. Undoubtedly damming of streams to form ponds is 
the more common means to be adopted, owing to the fact that 
springs are not readily found in sufficient numbers to furnish 
the required water, but by the use of pumps and wells, natural 
depressions in many cases may be formed into ponds suitable 
for fish raising. 

The size and shape of a pond is a matter contingent to pre- 
vailing natural conditions. According to Prof. George C. 
Enbody the most satisfactory size to provide sufficiently for a 
small family would be between one-half and one acre, and the 
shape would have very little bearing upon the production. 
Depth has considerable to do with the temperature of the 
water and mitigation of the severity of the effects of winter 
weather. Possibly an average depth of not over 3 feet would 
be satisfactory if the pond had a "kettle basin" in one part, 
as is often the case at the State hatcheries, from which the 
fish are readily removed when a pond is drained. If there 






PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 21 

were a depth of 6 feet at this point it would be ample to 
protect the fish from very thick ice during a severe winter, 
otherwise a maximum depth of 6 feet for the entire pond 
would be necessary. As a rule, the more shallow the pond the 
greater the amount of aquatic vegetation, and, correspondingly, 
the greater the amount of food; therefore more rapid growth 
of fish is the logical consequence. 

An inlet should be so arranged as to properly regulate influx 
of water at the discretion of the owner, and the outlet should 
be so situated as to allow the pond to be completely drained 
whenever desired. In this manner a convenient way is guaran- 
teed not only for clearing the pond but also for catching fish 
to be marketed. Suitable provision should be made for keeping 
a clear outlet, and flashboards should be arranged to regulate 
the flow. The cost of building such a pond varies with con- 
ditions, in many cases depending upon the amount of excava- 
tion necessary, but after initial expense the cost of maintenance 
is slight. 

Desirable fish for stocking ponds of such a character are the 
members of the bass family, sunfish, yellow and white perch, 
bullheads, pike and pickerel. The pond itself should afford 
suitable spawning ground, abundant forage and shelter to which 
the young fish may flee to escape natural enemies. Aquatic 
vegetation suitable for providing food and shelter should be 
planted, and fish of minor importance introduced to serve as 
food for the more desirable species. Late April or early May 
is perhaps the most advantageous time for stocking a pond. 

The procedure in stocking is admirably epitomized by Prof. 
George C. Enbody, who states as follows in his most excellent 
paper upon "The Fish Pond," Cornell Agricultural Experiment 
Station Bulletin: — 

(1) Aquatic plants are the first organisms to be planted in the pond. 
They should be started as early in the spring as possible. (2) Various 
smaller food animals, such as the Crustacea and mollusca, should follow 
the introduction of the plants immediately. (3) The first year, during 
the fore part of June, the forage fishes, gold fish and golden shiners should 
be added, to the number of one hundred pairs of each. (4) Advanced 
fry of the edible fishes may be planted when available during the first 
summer; fingerlings in September and October, but yearlings or larger 
should not be planted until the second summer. (5) The suggested edible 



22 



FISH AND GAME. 



fish for an acre of water are about twenty-five pairs of adult black bass, 
or fifty pairs of any other kind, from two to three thousand fingerlings or 
from four to six thousand advanced fry. 

A pond should be adequately protected against depredations 
of noxious animals, the accumulation of rubbish and sediment 
of various kinds, clogging of screens, and at all times there 
should be a good volume of water flowing through it. At the 
expiration of three years fish so propagated should be ready 
for market. 

Fish Propagation. 
The recent work at the various hatcheries has progressed 
rapidly and has resulted in a marked increase in production. 
Extensive improvements have been instituted in accordance 
with a definite scheme of development which should result in 
an increasing annual output. The first of the following tables 
shows the increase in the value of the 1915 production as 
compared with the years 1913 and 1914, estimates being made 
according to the market value of the output of fish. The 
second table presents a detailed summary of hatching opera- 
tions and fish production for 1915. 

Summarized Value of Outputs of Hatcheries, 1913, 1914, 1915. 



1913. 



1914. 



1915. 



Adams hatchery, 
Sandwich fish hatchery, 
Palmer hatchery, 
Sutton hatchery, 
Total, . 



$1,682 50 
14,451 75 
9,937 00 
5,287 50 



$31,358 75 



$1,475 00 
11,925 00 
9,992 50 
5,178 50 



$28,571 00 



$1,605 00 

16,903 70 

20,386 30 

5,825 00 



$44,720 00 



PUBLIC DOCUMENT — Xo. 25. 



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FISH AND GAME. 



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PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 25 



Hatcheries. 

Adams Hatchery. — The principal improvement at the Berk- 
shire station was the installation by Superintendent Sheldon 
of 15 pools for rearing fingerlings. These pools were provided 
with an ample supply of both spring and stream water at a 
temperature of from 42 to 62 degrees F., which was piped from 
land above the hatchery. The capacity of the hatchery build- 
ing was increased and it was wired for electricity. 

Palmer Hatchery. — The new hatching building has almost 
doubled the hatching capacity and has proved a most practical 
aid in handling large quantities of fish. A new ice house has 
been erected, with an inside cooler for keeping fish food and a 
grinding room fitted with a one horse power electric motor. 
Electricity and steam heat have been supplied to both house 
and hatchery. 

Construction work has progressed rapidly under the direction 
of Superintendent Monroe. Forty-eight rearing pools with 
screens and covers, 30 bass beds and 30 bass fry retainers 
have been built. Three batteries of hatching jars capable of 
holding 50,000,000 pike perch or 30,000,000 yellow perch eggs 
have been installed at the new hatchery. A new 6-inch iron 
pipe has been laid from the large reservoir to the rearing pools 
and one of the two new bass ponds has been completed. 

Sandwich Hatchery. — Superintendent Hitchings reports that 
the fiscal year ending Nov. 30, 1915, was successful owing to 
the excellent condition of the brood stock and the high yield 
of trout eggs. The deeper cement ponds built in 1914 were 
an important improvement, as they kept the water cooler and 
of a more uniform temperature than the former shallow wooden 
ponds, thus making it possible to carry a larger number of 
fish in each pool. Seven hundred and eleven visitors, represent- 
ing 26 States and 2 foreign countries, registered during the year. 

The road from the main thoroughfare to the meat house at 
Sandwich was repaired and a new road made from the meat 
house to the hatchery. Six new cement ponds were built to 
replace the old board ones. Electricity was installed in the 
meat house and in the hatch house, the latter having been com- 
pletely overhauled and repaired. 



26 FISH AND GAME. 

At East Sandwich two parcels of land containing 1.34 acres 
were purchased and a small office was constructed. Six new 
cement ponds and 3 filter boxes, 2 of cement and 1 of wood, 
with a 10-inch pipe, were installed. 

Sutton Hatchery. — Chief among the general improvements 
at this station was the change in the water supply for the upper 
hatchery, made by ditching the springs. Seventy feet of 12- 
inch pipe were laid in the brook to the hatchery and settling 
tanks of concrete were installed to remove the fine sediment. 
A double line of concrete pools was built on the site of the old 
plank pools below the dam, and the south bank of the pond was 
graded to improve the shore line, thus increasing the space for 
loading fish. 

History of Fish Culture in Massachusetts. 

In the year 1725 a worthy individual, Ludwig Jacoby by 
name, conceived the happy idea of artificial fertilization of 
fish eggs, and sixteen years later devised a successful method, 
but it was not until 1761 that his discovery was announced. 
However, in spite of this early revelation negligible progress 
was made in this industry up to the year 1850, about seven 
years after the readoption by Remy of artificial fish propaga- 
tion. At this time the French started pisciculture on a large 
scale, with characteristic ardor, and developed the artificial 
spawning bed, hatching trough, methods of feeding and modes 
of transporting both eggs and young. At this time their re- 
search also included studies on the vitality of fish sperma- 
tozoa, the swelling of eggs in water, and the temperature best 
suited for hatching. 

Although Ohio was the first State in our Union to undertake 
fish culture, as early as 1853, but little was accomplished until 
1856, when Massachusetts soon followed by a legislative act 
appointing commissioners to report " respecting the artificial 
propagation of fish." They concluded their report with a 
description of Capt. N. E. Atwood's attempt to hatch trout, 
and a translation of Jules Haime's article on fish culture, 
printed two years before that date in the "Revue des Deux 
Mondes." Valuable as it was, the commissioners' report made 
little impression, and it was not until the end of the civil war 
that the subject was again taken up. 



PUBLIC DOCUMENT — Xo. 25. 27 

In 1865 the States of New Hampshire and Vermont com- 
plained that shad and salmon, which had once been abundant 
within their borders, had been cut off by impassable dams at 
Holyoke on the Connecticut River and at Lawrence on the 
Merrimac River. These dams at that time had been in ex- 
istence for about sixteen years, and the problem of restoring 
the fish to the upper waters was indeed a difficult one. The 
commissioners, Theodore Lyman and Alfred A. Reed, ap- 
pointed by the Legislature to investigate the complaint con- 
cluded their report upon the decline and partial destruction 
of the fisheries of these rivers as follows: — 

In order successfully to restock the two rivers with shad and salmon, it 
would be necessary that fishways should be built over the dams; that the 
pollution of the water be prevented; that New Hampshire should breed 
salmon; that Connecticut should forbid the use of weirs and gill nets; 
and that stringent laws regulating fishing should be passed by the States 
concerned. ... If the above conditions were complied with, an abundant 
supply of fish might reasonably be looked for within five years, though 
they would not be as plentiful as when the country was in its pristine 
state. 

The Legislature, satisfied that an attempt should be made to 
re-establish these fisheries, ordered the appointment of per- 
manent commissioners whose duty it would be to cause fish- 
ways to be erected at these and other dams. A mill company 
at Holyoke claimed exemption from any such outlay of money, 
and had recourse to a court of law, but eventually lost the 
case after extensive litigation, which resulted in a trial before 
the Supreme Court of the L'nited States. On the Merrimac 
the dam at Lawrence presented in itself quite as great a physical 
obstacle as the legal impediment at Holyoke, and several years 
of experimentation were expended before a fishway of the least 
practical value was erected. 

In 1867 the Legislature in this connection passed two im- 
portant acts, one of which prohibited the catching of shad, 
salmon and alewives in the Merrimac for four years; forbade 
fishing within four hundred yards of any fishway thereon; 
empowered the commissioners to see that fishways were main- 
tained on this stream and its tributaries, and directed cities 



28 FISH AND GAME. 

and towns along the banks of the river to appoint fish wardens. 
The other enlarged and broadened the scope of the powers of 
the commissioners by allowing them to open all possible 
streams to the passage of fish, and appropriated $10,000 to be 
used in restocking rivers and ponds with valuable species. 
Thus, from being originally charged with certain executory 
powers upon two rivers, the commissioners were given unre- 
served authority to open all streams, and undertake compara- 
tively extensive piscicultural experiments. - 

In the autumn of the year 1868, the commissioners estab- 
lished a small hatching house at Maple Spring in Wareham, 
a move made possible by the invaluable assistance of Mr. S. T. 
Tisdale, who donated sufficient land and contributed to the 
building fund. Up to the time of his death this public-spirited 
gentleman continued to interest himself in this undertaking. 
During the two seasons which it operated over 30,000 fishes 
were hatched, the majority of which were salmon, trout, land- 
locked salmon and lake trout. 

During the early years after the establishment of the com- 
mission in 1866, shad and salmon were extensively hatched, and 
less attention was devoted to brook trout. Shad and salmon 
hatching mark the early period of fish propagation, and with 
the disappearance of these fish from the rivers hatching 
operations naturally ceased. Trout culture succeeded salmon 
and shad propagation, although first considered as only adapted 
for private hatcheries.. Necessity and popular demand in- 
duced the State to propagate this fish, and led to the inaugura- 
tion of the Sutton hatchery when the joint hatchery at Plym- 
outh, N. H., was discontinued. Since then the output of trout 
has greatly increased, and in recent years other fish, such as 
yellow, white and pike perch, the Chinook salmon and black 
bass, have been propagated. 

In 1880, 500 carp were, unfortunately, introduced, and dis- 
tributed in forty different localities. They were placed in- 
discriminately by private and public means into waters such 
as Laurel Lake, Lee, and Spy Pond, Arlington, where they 
have ruined the once excellent native fishing. Although good 
small pond fish, this species never should have been placed in 
ponds connected with large public waters. 



PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 29 

The process of fertilization and hatching fish, although com- 
paratively simple, requires care and watchfulness. The ripe 
females are taken from the ponds in large nets, and the op- 
erator, carefully handling each fish, removes the ripe spawn by 
stripping, which is caught in a tin pan or other suitable re- 
ceptacle. Having once secured the eggs the next step is 
fertilization. This embraces the taking of milt from the males 
in a manner similar to that in which eggs are obtained from 
the females, and thoroughly mixing it with the eggs by a gentle 
stirring with a feather. After this procedure the eggs are 
washed several times in cold water before being spread on 
hatching trays. During incubation constant care is required to 
keep the water fresh and moderately cool. Cold water prolongs 
the period of incubation and warm water correspondingly 
lessens it, thus making possible regulation of the time at which 
the young are hatched, a fact which, under certain conditions, 
is of great value. During incubation it is necessary that close 
watch be maintained in order that dead eggs may be removed 
by means of bulb pipettes or tweezers. Such eggs are readily 
detected because of their characteristic white color. Certain 
species of fish, on account of anatomical peculiarities, cannot 
be successfully propagated artificially by the method of strip- 
ping, and require different methods of rearing. A good ex- 
ample of this class is the black bass, which is reared in ponds 
from eggs deposited in gravel nests, and the young as soon as 
hatched protected by fine wire netting placed over the spawn- 
ing beds. 

The history of fish propagation in Massachusetts is so 
intimately associated with three hatcheries now abandoned, 
the joint hatchery at Plymouth, N. H., the Winchester hatch- 
ery and the Hadley hatchery, that a brief review of their 
operations gives an excellent idea of the status of fish propaga- 
tion in the past as compared with the more efficient methods 
now in vogue, and demonstrates the great advance Massa- 
chusetts has made in the last four vears. 



30 



FISH AND GAME. 



Hatcheries. 



Year 
opened. 



Year 
closed. 



Winchester hatchery, 
Joint Plymouth hatchery, 
Sutton hatchery, . 
Hadley hatchery, . 
Adams hatchery, . 
Sandwich hatchery, 
Palmer hatchery, . 



1870 
1878 
1891 
1896 
1898 
1911 
1912 



1911 
1895 



1906 



Winchester Hatchery. — In 1870 the hatchery was established 
by Edward A. Brackett, who was for nearly thirty-nine years 
a member and for twenty-seven chairman of this commission. 
For twenty years the use of the entire place, with equipment, 
was given without charge to the State. In 1895 the need of 
rebuilding was found to be imperative, and a new stone hatch- 
ery was equipped at a cost of $3,000, under chapter 74, 
Resolves of 1897, on land belonging to the Metropolitan Park 
Commission at the entrance to Middlesex Fells. 

Salmon were hatched until 1877, when the greater part of 
operations were transferred to the joint hatchery at Plymouth, 
N. H., but the landlocked and California varieties were still 
reared. From 1879 to 1894 trout fry were raised from the 
eggs procured at the joint hatchery at Plymouth, N. H. It 
still continued in operation in spite of a gradually failing water 
supply, until it was formally abandoned and turned over to the 
Metropolitan Park Commission in 1911. 

Joint Hatchery. — Massachusetts and New Hampshire jointly 
established a trout and salmon hatchery at Plymouth, N. H., 
in 1877, at a cost of less than $4,000. The hatchery house and 
ponds, supplied with both spring and river water, w T ere located 
at Livermore Falls, within a stone's throw of the river, where 
the spawning salmon were taken in weirs. In 1882, 33 Merri- 
mac salmon were taken in the fall run, and 125,000 eggs ob- 
tained, but the greater portion of those hatched came from 
the Penobscot River. 

Beginning with the year 1879 trout eggs were taken, half 
the yield being shipped to the Winchester hatchery, and four 



PUBLIC DOCUMENT — Xo. 25. 31 

years later a large trout pond was fitted up for the accommoda- 
tion of brood trout. In 1889, 100,000 salmon eggs were taken 
from salmon in the Merrimac. At this time the hatchery, 
which was destroyed by fire, was rebuilt, and a new building 
25 by 26 feet, with an office and work room at one end, 
was erected. New hatching troughs and trays were put in, 
and a new meat house 10 by 14 feet was located near the 
breeding ponds. In 1893 extensive repairs were made on the 
hatchery grounds and new tanks were installed for the brood 
trout. 

In 1893 a legislative committee from New Hampshire made 
an investigation of the joint relations of the two States, but 
no report was made. In 1894 the New Hampshire Legislature 
passed a resolve, and soon after a similar one was passed by 
Massachusetts, looking to a separation of the joint interests 
of the two States, with the result that the hatchery was 
abandoned, and the Massachusetts interests transferred to the 
Sutton hatchery. 

Hadley Hatchery. — Three thousand dollars was appropriated 
under chapter 114, Resolves of 1896, for a hatchery in the 
western part of the Commonwealth. The site chosen at East 
Hadley comprised over 7 acres of land, including a spring-fed 
pond of 1 acre, with a fall of 10 feet to the stream below the 
dam, two springs of pure clear water, and the control of 12 
feet on each side of the stream for a distance of 1,000 feet 
below the pond. The hatchery building, 41 by 28 feet, was 
built of brick, comprising a main room 25 by 39 feet and two 
rooms 8 by 11 feet on the second floor. An inch and a half 
pipe 300 feet long connected the building with the middle 
spring, giving a good supply of water with a fall of 30 feet. 
In 1899 the upper dam was strengthened, another sluiceway 
installed, and two ponds built. 

In 1900 the question of securing an adequate water supply 
of a temperature suitable for raising fingerlings became a 
serious problem, which was partially solved by the lease of an 
additional brook, with option of purchase, and by driving 
artesian wells. However, eventually results were disastrous, as 
the brook water proved to be too warm for rearing the small 
fish, and rendered the production of fingerlings impossible. 



32 



FISH AND GAME. 



In 1905 the town of Hadley, by the erection of water works 
and by the diversion of the water at Harts Brook, ruined the 
hatchery, and in 190G, after the matter had been placed in 
the hands of the Attorney-General, the hatchery was practically 
abandoned, although a few fry were hatched as late as 1910. 











Joint Hatchery, 
Plymouth, N. H. 




Winchester 


Hatchery. 




Year. 


Penobscot 

and 

Merrimac 

Salmon 

Fry. 


Trout 

Eggs. 


Trout 
Fry. 


SALMON FRY. 




Penob- 
scot. 


Land- 
locked. 


Cali- 
fornian. 


1870, 


- 




- 


2,200 


- 


- 


1871, 








- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


1872, 








- 


- 


- 


21,000 


- 


- 


1873, 








- 


- 


- 


185,000 


- 


27,000 


1874, 








- 


- 


- 


271,000 


5,500 


27,000 


1875, 








- 


- 


- 


250,000 


10,000 


75,000 


1876, 








- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


1877, 








- 


- 


- 


- 


150,000 


72,000 


1878, 








- 


- 


- 


- 


245,000 


89,000 


1879, 








- 


- 


45,000 


- 


224,763 


- 


1880, 








- 


- 


37,500 


- 


176,000 


- 


1881, 








411,000 


- 


80,000 


47,000 


288,000 


- 


1882, 








454,983 


- 


47,000 


- 


108,000 


- 


1883, 








392,000 


- 


65,500 


- 


185,000 


- 


1884, 








540,000 


- 


115,000 


- 


196,000 


- 


1885, 








330,000 


- 


120,000 


- 


218,400 


- 


1886, 








600,000 


500,000 


245,000 


- 


100,000 


- 


1887, 








495,000 


775,000 


380,000 


- 


50,000 


- 


1888, 








195,000 


1,000,000 


375,000 


- 


115,000 


- 


1889, 








590,000 


750,000 


340,000 


- 


- 


_ 


1890, 








230,000 


1,000,000 


450,000 


- 


- 


- 


1891, 








200,000 


1,000,000 


410,000 


- 


- 


- 


1892, 








190,000 


1,000,000 


520,000 


- 


- 


- 


1893, 








- 


846,000 


320,000 


- 


- 


- 


1894, 








- 


800,000 


350,000 


- 


- 


- 



PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 33 



Shad. 

In view of the proposed attempt now under consideration 
to restock the Taunton River through the establishment of a 
shad hatchery, it may be well to review what has previously 
been accomplished in Massachusetts along this line. There is 
no fish which is more deserving of every possible effort for 
propagation than the shad, and there is abundant hope that 
with our present knowledge the establishment of a shad hatch- 
ery on the Taunton River may prove a great boon to our 
river fisheries. 

Connecticut River. — In 1867 the commissioners secured the 
services of Seth Green, who began experiments in the hatching 
of shad at Holyoke on the Connecticut River. He first tried 
unsuccessfully to hatch the eggs in a trough supplied with 
brook water, as in trout hatching, but later he replaced the 
bottom and ends of a wooden box with wire gauze, and after 
putting in a layer of eggs floated it in the river. Sixty hours 
later the water inside was found to be alive with little trans- 
parent embryos, about one-third of an inch long, resembling 
mosquito larvae. The discovery was made, and it remained 
only to perfect this improved hatching box by attaching to its 
sides wooden bars at an angle with the bottom, so that the 
box floated with one end elevated. The passing river current 
caused a boiling motion of the water within, which kept the 
eggs from collecting in heaps. Following this plan shad hatch- 
ing was conducted by the Connecticut Commission, and later 
by the United States Commission, at South Hadley Falls on 
the Connecticut River, until about 1886. 

The average production of the fisheries for the years 1864 
to 1869 was only two-fifths of that for the years 1827 to 1836, 
and each year had shown a successive decline. In 1870 there 
was a large run of shad, which continued for several years, 
and the season of 1875 was the best in twenty years. The 
result in 1870 and later has reasonably been attributed to the 
artificial hatching by Green in 1867, although restrictive laws 
upon netting were passed in Connecticut at the same period. 
In 1878 the declining fishery involved Massachusetts and 
Connecticut in a dispute, provoked for the most part by the 



34 FISH AND GAME. 

lack of restrictive legislation on the part of the latter State. 
The number of eggs obtained diminished considerably, and in 
1880, owing to the exorbitant price demanded for rental of 
seining grounds, hatching operations were discontinued. 

Merrimac River. — From the building of the Lawrence dam 
to the closing of the Merrimac River by an act of the Legis- 
lature in 1866, the shad had gradually decreased, until all the 
seining grounds below the dam, except three, had been aban- 
doned as worthless. In 1868 shad fry were planted in Lake 
Winnepesaukee, the Concord River and the Mystic River. In 
the autumn of the same year shoals of young shad and ale- 
wives were seen above Lowell passing seaward. 

In 1868 Mr. A. C. Hardy, as agent for the Massachusetts 
commissioners, began hatching shad at North Andover on the 
Merrimac. With an intermission of six years between 1876 
and 1882 hatching operations continued without interruption 
until 1891, when the Lawrence and Lowell dams, supplemented 
by unrestricted seining in the lower Merrimac, caused its 
abandonment, owing to a dearth of spawning fish. The fol- 
lowing shows the results of the first period of hatching in 
regard to the number of spawning shad taken: — 



1869, 
1870, 
1871, 

1872, 
1873, 
1874, 
1875, 



1,554 shad 1 No other fishing allowed on the river. 
754 shad J Average for two years, 1,154. 

' S a I No other fishing allowed on the river. 

'_ « , a , [ Average for three years, 1,942. 
1 ,ooo snaQ J 

1,692 shad! Other fishing again allowed on river. Aver- 

1,433 shad J age for two years, l,-562. 



The first two years represent the natural catch at that time. 
In 1871 Hardy's hatch of 1868 should have returned as market- 
able fish, and, in fact, the next three years show an average 
nearly double the two preceding. In 1874 the river was again 
thrown open to fishermen, and the average for 1874 and 1875 
came between the first two and the second three years. These 
results would seem to indicate a decided increase in fish by 
reason of artificial hatching, but the point was never satis- 
factorily proved, since for six years all fishing in the Merrirnac 
except at Andover was prohibited. In 1SS8 an attempt to 
hatch shad on the Taunton River proved unsuccessful. 



PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 35 



Salmon. 
The transplanting of Chinook salmon to Massachusetts waters 
is being rapidly carried on. The eggs are received in large 
consignments from the Pacific coast, and the young fish hatched 
at our stations are reared to the fingerling size, 4 to 6 inches, 
before planting. Certain ponds in the State which possess the 
necessary natural qualifications suitable for this fish are being 
thoroughly stocked, and the results are being observed as to 
the success of landlocking this species, particularly with regard 
to the question of reproduction. So far we have stocked: — 

Lake Quinsigamond, Worcester. Long Pond, Wellfleet. 

Stockbridge Bowl, Lee. Lake Garfield, Monterey. 

Onota Lake, Pittsfield. Big Alum Pond, Sturbridge. 

Cliff Pond, Brewster. Long Pond, Plymouth. 

In addition to stocking the deep fresh-water lakes an attempt 
will soon be made to liberate a number of these fish in the 
Merrimac River, with the intention of ascertaining whether the 
once famous salmon fisheries may not be restored. In view of 
this attempt it is well to consider that which has previously 
been accomplished with the salmon in Massachusetts. 

In 1870, 1,000 fry were raised at the joint hatchery on the 
Merrimac River, and 700 on the Mystic River. At Maple 
Spring, a hatchery of Mr. Samuel Tisdale, from 1868 to 1870, 
3,325 Atlantic salmon and 4,575 landlocked salmon were 
reared. The first lot of 2,557 landlocked salmon reared at 
the Winchester hatchery was distributed in 1870. In 1871 
salmon spawn was procured from Charles G. Atkins at the 
Penobscot River, where the fish were retained in a small pond 
until the eggs were ripe, at a considerably lower cost than the 
Canadian salmon eggs could be obtained. In 1872, 21,000 were 
hatched and distributed from eggs obtained at the Penobscot 
River, Me., in conjunction with the Maine Commission. 

From 1873 to 1878 California salmon fry, presumably the 
Chinook, were hatched and liberated in Massachusetts waters, 
and during a period of three years no Penobscot or Merrimac 
salmon fry were liberated in the Merrimac River. In 1878 



36 



FISH AND GAME. 



it was decided not to introduce any more California salmon 
until more was known about their life history, especially since 
no adult fish of those introduced into Massachusetts streams 
had ever been taken. 

Between 1874 and 1889 landlocked salmon were reared at the 
Winchester hatchery from eggs obtained in Connecticut, and 
distributed in various lakes and ponds throughout the Com- 
monwealth. 

At the joint hatchery at Plymouth, N. H., operated by New 
Hampshire and Massachusetts, eggs were taken from Merrimac 
salmon until 1893, but the greater portion came from the 
Penobscot River, Me. With the closing of the joint hatchery 
extensive rearing of salmon practically ceased. 









Sh 


VD. 


Salmon Fry. 


Year. 


MERRIMAC 
RIVER. 


CONNECTICUT 
RIVER. 


Penob- 
scot and 
Mer- 
rimac. 


Land- 
locked. 


Cali- 
fornian. 




Number 
of Fish. 


Eggs 
taken. 


Number 
of Fish. 


Eggs 
taken. 


1867, 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


1868, 






- 


- 


7,341 


- 


- 


- 


- 


1869, 






1,672 


- 


8,807 


- 


- 


- 


- 


1870, 






799 


1,950,000 


11,618 


60,000,000 


2,200 


7,132 


- 


1871, 






4,336 


4,530,000 


10,634 


- 


- 


- 


- 


1872, 






2,447 


5,925,000 


7,691 


92,065,0001 


21,000 


- 


- 


1873, 






2,691 


11,595,000 


7,294 


44,556,000 » 


185,000 


- 


27,000 


1874, 






3,016 


44,556,000 


15,057 


800,0001 


271,000 


5,500 


7,000 


1875, 






1,433 


6,670,000 


9,135 


3,035,0001 


250,000 


10,000 


75,000 


1876, 






- 


- 


10,741 


- 


- 


- 


- 


1877, 






- 


- 


2,674 


3,000,0001 


- 


150,000 


180,000 


1878, 






- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


245,000 


425,000 


1879, 






- 


- 


- 


- 


190,000 


224,763 


- 


1S80, 






- 


- 


- 


- 


95,000 


176,000 


- 


1881, 






- 


- 


- 


- 


446,000 


288,000 


- 


1882, 






654 


1,227,000 


- 


- 


454,983 


108,000 


- 


1883, 






428 


1,607,000 


- 


- 


392,000 


185,000 


- 


1884, 






166 


252,000 


- 


- 


540,000 


196,000 


- 


1885, 






704 


528,000 


- 


- 


330,000 


218,400 


- 


1886, 






644 


695,000 


- 


- 


600,000 


100,000 


- 


1887, 






765 


1,600,000 


- 


- 


495,000 


50,000 


- 



Fry liberated. 



PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 



37 





Shad. 


S 


\lmon Fry. 


Year. 


merrimac 

RIVER. 


CONNECTICUT 
RIVER. 


Penob- 
scot and 
Mer- 
rimac. 






Number 
of Fish. 


Eggs 
taken. 


Number 
of Fish. 


Eggs 
taken. 


locked. 


v^aii- 
fornian. 


1888, 


291 


1,145,000 


- 


- 


190,000 


115,000 


- 


1889, . 


98 


700,000 


- 


- 


590,000 


- 


- 


1890, 


62 


190,000 


- 


- 


230,000 


- 


- 


1891, 


- 


- 


- 


- 


200,000 


- 


- 


1892, 


- 


- 


- 


- 


190,000 


- 


- 



Brook Trout. 

Trout streams throughout the State have suffered severely 
during the past year from the extreme weather. Many streams 
never before known to fail in water were reported as practically 
dry, and when rain finally came, were then completely flooded. 
Cold weather and high water prevailed for several weeks during 
the early part of the trout season, but later the extremely hot 
weather brought many large trout up the streams, so that fair 
catches were reported. Many good trout streams, now almost 
destitute, will require constant care for several years to restore 
them to their former condition. 

Trout Culture. — Between 1868 and 1870 at Maple Spring, a 
tributary of the Agawam River, 20,281 brook trout and 2,450 
lake trout were raised by Mr. Samuel Tisdale, and 16,496 were 
reared at the Winchester hatchery. In 1872, when the private 
trout hatchery of D. A. Gilbert & Son was established at 
Plymouth, a total of 3,000 trout were raised in various parts 
of the State. As the cultivation and rearing of trout came 
more strictly within the scope of private enterprise, it was 
decided not advisable for the State then to devote any time 
or expense in that direction. In 1879 about 100,000 trout eggs 
were taken from the brood stock at the joint hatchery at 
Plymouth, N. H. Later half the output, Massachusetts' share, 
was annually shipped to the Winchester hatchery. After 
abandoning the Plymouth hatchery the brood fish were kept 
at the Sutton hatchery, which supplied the Winchester and 
Adams hatcheries with eggs. In 1911 the Sandwich hatchery 
took the place of the Sutton hatchery as the principal produc- 



3S 



FISH AND GAME. 



ing station, and it now supplies annually 6,000,000 trout eggs. 
A great advance has been made in the change from fry to 
fingerling distribution, a system which was first started at the 
Sutton hatchery. The best results in stocking are obtained 
by using fingerlings, but naturally their rearing is more ex- 
pensive. At times rainbow and brown trout have been reared 
at the hatcheries, but their number has been inconsiderable 
compared with the brook trout. The following table shows 
the consistent and rapid development in the production of 
brook trout in Massachusetts : — 



Brook Trout. 



Year. 


Fry. 


Fingerlings. 


Yearlings 
and Adults. 


1879 


45,000 


- 


- 


1880 


37,500 


- 


- 


1881 


80,000 


- 


- 


1882 


47,000 


- 


- 


1883 


65,000 


- 


- 


1884 


115,000 


- 


- 


1885 


120,000 


- 


- 


1886 


245,000 


- 


- 


1887 


389,000 


- 


- 


1888 


375,000 


- 


- 


1889, 


340,000 


- 


- 


1890 


450,000 


- 


- 


1891, 


410,000 


- 


- 


1892 


520,000 


- 


- 


1893 


410,000 


- 


- 


1894 


350,000 


- 


- 


1S95, 


375,000 


- 


- 


1896, 


550,000 


- 


- 


1897, 


790,000 


- 


- 


1898 


900,000 


- 


- 


1899 


900,000 


- 


- 


1900 


850,000 


- 


- 


1901, 


865,000 


44,750 


- 


1902, 


1,010,000 


65,000 


- 


1903, 


913,000 


59,600 


- 


1904, 


954,500 


40,400 


- 



PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 



39 



Brook Trout — Concluded. 






Year. 


Fry. 


Fingerlings. 


Yearlings 
and Adults. 


1905 


969,000 


45,875 


- 


1906, 


815,000 


38,450 


- 


1907 


855,000 


58,000 


- 


1908 


773,000 


112,600 


- 


1909 


802,000 


128,900 


- 


1910 


720,000 


123,500 


- 


1911, 


591,000 


132,000 


- 


1912, 


1,826,000 


342,000 


12,700 


1913 


2,836,700 


828,000 


7,770 


1914 


2,110,000 


581,050 


13,422 


1915, 


1,960,000 


941,000 


12,125 



Game. 

Each year the demand for more extensive stocking of the 
coverts of the Commonwealth becomes greater, and in attempt- 
ing to meet this requirement our game farms are being rapidly 
brought to that state of perfection which will furnish the 
maximum yield at a minimum expense. The total output of 
game birds has largely increased; new species, chiefly of the 
duck family, are being experimented with, and special efforts 
are being made to rear quail and ruffed grouse in appreciable 
numbers. In addition to the commendable work accomplished 
at our six game farms, numerous protective reservations have 
been established, where the birds are given a sanctuary to 
feed and breed, free from molestation. 

Hand in hand with the great work of propagating these 
game species goes the protection of our natural supply of 
birds through law enforcement. Instructions have been given 
our deputies to record the amount of game in possession of 
each hunter met in the woods during the open season for the 
purpose of obtaining an approximate idea of the comparative 
abundance of game in the various sections of the State, in 
order that a basis for future comparisons as to the respective 
increase or decrease in the different species of game may be 
formed. During 1915, 3,423 hunters were interviewed, 2,433 



40 FISH AND GAME. 

of whom had no game in their possession and 990 had a vary- 
ing amount. The relative abundance of the different species 
are as follows: rabbits, 521; squirrels, 396; ducks, 300; ruffed 
grouse, 230; quail, 99; pheasants, 96; whistlers, 93; sand- 
pipers, 72; coots, 66; plover, 62; muskrat, 58; deer, 41 
woodcock, 22; geese, 16; foxes, 13; robins, 8; skunks, 5 
raccoons, 4; snipe, 4; bluejays, 3; pigeons, 1; crows, 1 
chcwinks, 1; chipmunks, 1; woodchucks, 1; kingfishers, 1. 

Private Game Farms. 

The policy of the commission has always been to encourage 
in every possible way the artificial propagation of game birds. 
Chapter 567, Acts of 1913, provides that a person, firm or 
corporation may, upon request, receive a permit to propagate 
any species of deer, elk, pheasants, quail, partridge, geese, 
wild ducks or squirrels for sale, exchange or to be given away. 
People are beginning to recognize the benefits accruing from 
such undertakings, as is well evidenced by the annually in- 
creasing number of permits issued. The following table shows 
the commendable results being obtained, particularly with 
pheasants and ducks, and it should be borne in mind that all 
such work contributes toward the public welfare. 

If birds raised according to the provisions of this act be sold 
for food, dead or alive, a second permit is required, and a 
numbered tag must be attached either just before or im- 
mediately after they are killed. To enable the commissioners 
to approximately estimate present stock an annual report is 
required from each breeder. Once having received sufficient 
impetus, a great step will be accomplished by this movement 
towards the establishment of game propagation in our Com- 
monwealth. 



PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 



41 



Summary of 4-20 Reports by Holders of Breeders' Permits for the Year 191- 









Number 
of Brood 

Stock 
on Hand 

Dec. 1, 
1915. 


Hatched 

during 

1915. 


Reared 

during 

1915. 


Number 

GIVEN 


SOLD, EXCHANGED OR 
AWAY DURING 1915. 


Species. 


For 
Food. 


Propaga- 
tion. 


Eggs sold 

or 

given away. 


Pheasants, 


2,485 


0,057 


2,968 


453 


1,042 


2,800 


Quail, 






117 


287 


202 


128 


2 


112 


Ducks, . 






3,002 


5,299 


2,786 


880 


552 


1,992 


Geese, 






1,974 


696 


597 


54 


213 


46 


Cranes, . 






24 


- 


1 


- 


- 


- 


Hawks, . 






1 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


Crows, 






1 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


Turkeys, 






10 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


Guinea hens, . 






10 


40 


- 


15 


- 


- 


Deer, 






52 


2 


- 


4 


- 


- 


Ruffed grouse, 






2 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


Partridge, 






1 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


Squirrels, 






4 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 



Total number of permits, 578. 

Game Propagation. 
The first table shows the value of the output of the game 
farms for the years 1913, 1914 and 1915, based on the actual 
market value of the birds when liberated. The second table 
gives a condensed report of the operations of the various game 
farms, including the number of each species distributed. 



Summarized Value of Outputs of Game Farms, 1913, 1914, 1915. 





1913. 


1914. 


1915. 


Sutton hatchery, 


$5,287 50 


$2,643 50 


§4,162 41 


Sharon station, 


1,059 80 


864 50 


718 62 


Sandwich station, 


- 


2,393 25 


2,317 36 


Norfolk State Hospital Reservation, .... 


539 00 


687 50 


510 40 


Marshfield Reservation, 


- 


- 


45 00 


Wilbraham game farm, 


2,995 00 


3,967 75 


5,864 39 


Totals, 


§9,881 30 


§10,556 50 


§13,618 18 



42 



FISH AND GAME. 



Game Farm Operations. 





Eggs. 


Birds L 


BERATED. 




Hatched. 


Distributed. 


Young. 


Old. 


Ring-necked pheasants: 

Wilbraham, 

Sutton 

Sharon, 

Norfolk 


4,509 

1,541 

408 

801 


2,125 

1,612 

15 

12 


962 

200 

94 

128 


400 

302 
10 
50 


Total 


7,259 


3,764 


1,384 


762 


Versicolor pheasants: 

Sutton, 

Sharon, 


114 
16 


- 


5 


4 


Total 


130 


5 


4 


Reeves pheasants: 

Wilbraham, 

Sutton 

Sharon, 

Total 


4 

57 

61 


- 


- 


6 

6 


Golden pheasant?: 
Sharon, ...... 

Sutton, 


8 


• - 


- 


: 


Mongolian and half-blooded Mongolian: 
Sharon, 


55 
70 


~ 


5 


2 


Total 


125 


5 


2 


silver pheasants: 
Sutton, 


10 


_ 


_ 


_ 


Half versicolor, half ring-necked: 
Sharon, 


7 


- 


- 


- 


Mallard ducks: 

Wilbraham, 

Sutton, 

Norfolk 

Marshfield 

East Sandwich, 


412 
998 
218 

28 


962 
319 

1,281 


190 
429 

15 

634 


322 
327 

3 


Total, 


1,658 


652 


Wood ducks: 

Sutton, 

East Sandwich, 

Marshfield 


14 
20 


- 


- 


4 


Total 


34 


4 


Black ducks: 

East Sandwich 

Norfolk 


24 


- 


- 


12 


Total 


24 


12 


Quail: 
East Sandwich, 


1,259 


- 


377 

377 


4 


Total 


1,259 


4 



PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 



43 



Game Farm Operations — Concluded. 





Eggs. 


Birds Liberated. 




Hatched. 


Distributed. 


Young. 


Old. 


Turkeys: 
Wilbraham, 

Ruffed grouse: 
East Sandwich 

Canadian geese: 

Marshfield, 

Norfolk, 


88 

49 

36 
5 


- 


19 


19 
6 


Total 


41 


6 


Grand totals, 


10,751 


5,045 


2,424 


1,471 






Wilbraham Game Farm. — The work of completely equipping 
this large game farm w r as further extended under Superintendent 
Mosher by, the erection of tw^o new hen houses 50 by 10 feet 
with yards 65 by 60 feet, and by building thirty rearing coops 
and sixteen boxes, each containing nine nests. These boxes 
were arranged in tiers of four in the barn, w T hich served as a 
hatch house. Experiments w T ith metal nesting boxes proved 
unsatisfactory. 

The grounds were improved by laying 3,361 feet of half-inch 
piping above earth's surface to furnish water to the various parts 
of the farm. Three acres of corn, 4 of oats, 7 of winter rye 
and 2 of buckwheat were planted, and 7 acres w r ere ploughed. 
Trails were cut through the swamp in order to more easily 
control the depredations of foxes and other predatory animals. 

Sutton Game Farm. — Extensive improvements have been 
made at this station during the past year. Superintendent 
Merrill has installed large permanent rearing yards for pheas- 
ants, remodeled the quail and pheasant pens, and extended the 
facilities for raising mallard ducks on the new T hatchery grounds. 
He has also made the older areas more suitable, thus increasing 
the number of the birds that may be produced annually. The 
hatchery grounds have likewise been improved by clearing the 
woodland, constructing and repairing roads, and planting trees, 
chiefly fir, spruce and pine and fruit shrubs for the birds. 
With the installation ot a new r water svstem and extension of 



44 FISH AND GAME. 

the now limited grounds the hatchery should soon reach a high 
state of efficiency. 

The new method of wintering birds for spring distribution 
resulted in better selection of brood stock, which in the case 
of pheasants means an increase in their egg production. Con- 
siderable trouble was experienced with vermin, particularly cats 
and crows. 

Exhibits comprising a total of 881 old and 30 young birds were 
made at fifteen different fairs in various sections of the State. 

Eart Sandwich Game Farm. — During 1915 construction work 
under Superintendent Torrey comprised the erection of three 
large wire covered quail pens, each containing 4,500 square 
feet, practically vermin-proof, which were situated on the 
southerly slope of the game farm. Fifty additional breeding 
coops 8 by 12 by 5 feet and fifty setting boxes also were built. 
The operations were especially successful with quail, but less 
so with ruffed grouse, which lay clutches of only 9 to 10 eggs. 
Considerable annoyance was occasioned by vermin, such as 
crows, cats, rats, chipmunks, hawks and owls, of which the 
Cooper hawk proved the most destructive. Over 5 acres of 
hay, oats, mangels, cabbage, buckwheat and winter rye were 
planted. 

Norfolk Game Farm. — Under the direction of Superintendent 
Gates a new duck yard with four control pens, enclosing about 
12 acres, has been constructed. Four new pheasant enclosures, 
five colony houses for hens, eighteen nurseries and twenty 
setting nests have been added. Considerable land has been 
cleared and woodland thinned for fire protection. The em- 
ployment of the hospital patients at this station, which is 
located upon the grounds of the Norfolk State Hospital, is 
proving highly beneficial, both from the standpoint of the 
game farm and the welfare of the patients. Vermin, especially 
foxes and rats, were bothersome. 

Sharon Game Farm. — The work at this place was continued 
under the immediate supervision of Superintendent Gushing 
and the direction of Dr. Field. One hundred and four pheas- 
ants were liberated and 408 were hatched. The experimental 
work was conducted along lines laid down in previous years. 



PUBLIC DOCUMENT — Xo. 25. 45 

Marshiield Game Farm. — Under the direction of Superin- 
tendent Sherman the rearing of ducks and geese was carried 
on. Most of the young birds were kept in addition to the 
brood stock. Mr. Sherman estimates that large numbers of 
quail and grouse were reared on the 5,000-acre reservation. 

Martha's Vineyard Reservation. — Under the efficient man- 
agement of Superintendent Day the work of developing the 
heath hen reservation has steadily progressed. More efficient 
fire stops have been made, 7,000 pine trees have been set out, 
and a large rearing pen with a concrete base as a protection 
from vermin has been erected for experimental work in raising 
these birds in captivity. Various improvements upon the barn, 
hen house and roads have been made, and telephone service 
has been installed. On the farm 22 acres have been put under 
cultivation, which furnish corn, rye, barley and sunflowers for 
the birds. The greatest depredations have come from cats 
and hawks. Twenty-three marsh hawks and 23 hunting cats 
have been shot, one cat being 32^ inches in length and weighing 
10J pounds. Eleven Canadian geese and 50 mallard ducks 
have been raised. Several lots of quail have been liberated 
and numerous nesting boxes for insectivorous birds installed. 

Pheasants. 

It is with pleasure that your commissioners observe the 
increasing popularity of the pheasant as a game bird. The 
tameness due to the long period of protection has been suc- 
ceeded by a natural wariness, and the bird has regained the 
characteristics which have made it so popular abroad. Eminent 
success has resulted from the propagation of the ring-necked 
pheasant at the State game farms. During the past year 2,168 
of these birds have been liberated and 3,764 eggs distributed 
for hatching purposes. 

In 1915 the open season on pheasants was the same as in 
1914, but the number killed was several thousand less. The 
hunters invariably reported that the habits of the birds were 
much different than the previous year, that they were unusually 
shy, hiding in swamps and wet lowlands and that they were 
not so easily overtaken by dogs. Although it is known that 



4G FISH AND GAME. 

many pheasants hatched during the breeding season, heavy 
rains during the most critical period for the young birds were 
responsible for severe losses. 

During the open season the automobile hunters had the great 
advantage of being able to cover a wide territory, and in many 
instances it was reported that they violated the law by shoot- 
ing the birds along the highways. Numerous complaints were 
received concerning such automobile hunters as apparently 
cared little for regulations and trusted to their superior speed 
in avoiding not only the deputies but the people upon whose 
land they had trespassed. In several cases where convictions 
were secured the only means of identification was the automo- 
bile number. 

The open season on pheasants has proved an excellent pro- 
tective measure for the ruffed grouse, since many persons who 
were able to hunt pheasants near their homes or along the 
highways did not take up the more troublesome sport of 
tramping through the woods for partridge. Likewise, the 
reservations which have been made under chapter 410, Acts 
of 1911, have been a means of saving many pheasants and 
other birds which remain in such places unmolested. The best 
protection from poachers must be given to such areas as even 
property owners are excluded from hunting on these reserva- 
tions. 

The following table gives the number of birds killed during 
the open season, from October 12 to November 12, in the 
counties where shooting was permitted. The comparison with 
a similar total for 1914 is interesting, particularly in regard 
to the number shot the first day. 



PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 



47 



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48 FISH AND GAME. 



Quail. 

The first idea which one associates with the bobwhite or 
quail is that of a somewhat rare table delicacy or a day's sport 
in shooting. The fact that this quaint little bird when alive 
is one of our most devoted friends has never been effectively 
driven home to us. The very man whose interests are most 
benefited by the presence of the bobwhite — the farmer — is 
one of the class which eagerly celebrates any freedom from 
toil by quail shooting. Some idea of what the quail does for 
crops is shown by his menu, which has been most carefully 
studied. It includes the seeds of some of our most trouble- 
some weeds, rag-weed, pig-weed, milk-weed, plantain, smart- 
weed, pepper grass, burdock, beggar ticks and many others, — 
a total of 139 different varieties. The number of seeds con- 
sumed by a single bobwhite in one day varies, according, to 
the size of the seed, from 600 burdock to 30,000 rabbit's foot 
clover. But its diet is far from being strictly vegetarian. It 
consumes large quantities of insects, 145 different kinds, in- 
cluding potato, cucumber, bean-leaf, squash and other beetles, 
army worm, chinch bug, wire and cut worms, plant lice, cabbage 
butterfly, mosquito, cotton boll weevil and worm, striped garden 
caterpillar, Rocky Mountain locusts, Hessian and stable flies, 
grasshoppers, etc. On the other hand, the only complaint that 
can be made against this bird is its occasional meal of wheat 
grains which have been left on the ground by the reapers. 
According to Bulletin No. 21 of the United States Biological 
Survey, it is calculated that if in Virginia and North Carolina 
there are 4 bobwhites to every square mile, and that each bird 
consumes 1 ounce of seed per day, the total destruction to 
weed seeds from September 1 to April 30 in those States alone 
would be 1,347 tons. Such facts must have elaboration and 
emphatic repetitions in order to make the large nonhunting 
portion of the population realize that the preservation of the 
quail affects the wealth and happiness of the entire community, 
and therefore should be of interest not only to sportsmen but 
to every individual. 

In 1915 quail were reported on Cape Cod, in Plymouth 
County and as far west as southern Worcester County, where 



PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 49 

their number apparently is increasing rapidly. In the northern 
part of the State bevies of quail are comparatively few. 

Sportsmen often contend that severe winters are responsible 
for a large per cent, of the decrease. While it is true that 
changed conditions of the country may make the struggle for 
existence more difficult, it is likewise possible to aid the birds 
during winter months when snow is on the ground by supply- 
ing food and grit, and by leaving patches of standing grain. 
Considerable work in feeding the quail with grain and grit 
furnished by this commission during the past winter has been 
carried on by farmers, fish and game associations, Boy Scouts 
and deputies, with the result that last spring the birds were 
in excellent condition. In order to increase the number of 
quail sufficiently to obtain effective results, more than partial 
protection is required. 

Breeding of quail has been carried on in various States but 
not to such an extent as to justify the statement that the 
rearing of these birds has passed entirely beyond the experi- 
mental stage. In habit it is primarily monogamous, and the 
breeding stock should be paired off and put in breeding pens 
in April. Bantam hens have proved most effective for hatch- 
ing and brooding. A number of precautions are necessary for 
successful rearing. Broods must be carefully protected against 
vermin by general methods, such as trapping and shooting, and 
by properly constructed wire fences. Each pen should be pro- 
vided with brush or deep grass, as quail are naturally shy 
creatures. The pens should be moved daily, or every other 
day, so that the ground may not become fouled. Young quail 
should be fed , very lightly, but often, on a general diet of 
boiled eggs, milk curd or some animal food, such as ant eggs. 
At the end of the first week a little grain is introduced and 
the quantity gradually increased. While the hens are not 
needed for brooding after the young quail attain an age of 
eight or ten weeks, they are helpful in holding the brood to- 
gether, and thus defer the time of confining the birds in pens. 

State propagation of this bird at the present time is con- 
fined almost exclusively to the East Sandwich game farm, from 
which 377 young and 4 old quail were liberated in 1915. The 
eggs are hatched under bantams, which are allowed to roam 



50 FISH AND GAME. 

with the quail chicks when twelve days old. At the end of 
six weeks the young are caught, often with difficulty, and 
shipped for distribution. 

Quail reared in confinement are largely lacking in stamina, 
which renders them susceptible to disease, as well as to losses 
from weakness and debility. In some measure this may be 
avoided by careful diet and stimulating exercise. In order to 
determine the best methods of overcoming this lack of stamina 
the following experiments in the open method of rearing quail 
were conducted at the Sutton game farm. In these tests flocks 
of different ages were given their liberty in the care of bantam 
hens under varied conditions. 

1. Nine quail three weeks old were located near some flower 
beds, where they remained, rarely making excursions into the 
surrounding territory. Four died from poisoning, the remain- 
ing 5 were recaptured. 

2. Thirty-two birds two weeks old were placed on a brush 
hillside near an open grass plot. At first they exhibited con- 
siderable wildness, rarely venturing into the open, but gradually 
they became tamer, and left their hiding places at feeding time. 
Later, 20 were taken in a trap which consisted of a light frame 
and netting, set with a figure four trigger. Four died from 
poisoning and eight escaped from the main flock. 

3. Thirty-two birds were placed in an open field near a 
drainage ditch which afforded but slight cover. With increas- 
ing strength they took long flights, seeking cover outside of 
the field, and their wildness steadily increased. Whenever ap- 
proached by the attendant at feeding time they took to wing 
and scattered widely, but speedily returned when no one was 
in sight. Their number was seriously reduced by the death 
of several from unknown causes and by the escape of many 
others. Thirteen which were recaptured soon lost their natural 
wildness after being confined in coops. 

4. Fifteen birds were located in a distant, weed-grown corn- 
field, where 12 grew to a size sufficient for recapture. Un- 
fortunately, the brood hen died, and the young quail, being on 
less friendly terms with the new hen, departed from the coop. 
Eight were caught, but 4 avoided the traps and soon dis- 
appeared. 



PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 51 

5. Fifteen birds which were placed in a potato patch where 
buckwheat gave additional cover took flight when encountered 
upon open ground. Just previous to the time of capture they 
suffered from the depredations of a cat, and only 9 were re- 
covered. 

6. Twelve birds were placed in a cornfield near a plot of 
uncut grass, where, owing to the large area and numerous 
opportunities for hiding, they quickly grew tame. They were 
taken up at a younger age than the other lots as a cat was 
discovered hunting in their vicinity. 

7. Nine birds, which were located on a grass plot, preferred 
to keep in hiding rather than venture upon open land. 

8. Later, 12 birds were placed in the same cornfield as the 
fourth lot. Five soon died from intestinal trouble of an 
amoebic nature, and the remaining 7 gradually disappeared. 

9. Twenty-one birds were placed with 2 hens in a field of 
millet with a neighboring lot of broom corn and rape. These 
birds soon mingled, sometimes in one coop, sometimes in the 
other. They gradually decreased in numbers, possibly owing 
to hunting cats which were observed in the vicinity. Sixteen 
were finally recaptured, the last being killed in the trap by a 
cat which was eventually shot after having destroyed 5 young 
birds. As a result of outdoor rearing these quail, although not 
hatched until September 12, gave promise of becoming large, 
strong birds by winter. 

10. Twenty birds, which were held in coops until eight weeks 
old, were liberated in order to improve their condition for 
wintering. These older birds acted entirely different from the 
younger, and separated into small flocks which ranged over an 
extensive tract of brush land. Ten which fed around the coops 
of penned quail were recaptured, and about the same number 
wandered away. Evidently, in order to colonize quail in any 
desired locality it is necessary to put them out at an early age. 

Our experience with these birds indicates that whenever thick 
cover is near by the birds have a tendency to become tame; 
but if they have to seek distant hiding places they soon become 
wild. L'nlike pheasants, which rush to their pen when alarmed, 
the quail seeks to hide outside, and they are even disinclined 
to return to their bantam foster mother at night. In mild 



52 FISH AND GAME. 

weather no harm results from this habit, but in cold weather 
there is danger that the birds may perish. 

On the other hand, the home instinct is so strong with quail 
that field growing is more practicable than with pheasants. 
The rallying point of a scattered flock of quail is the coop or 
place where they have been accustomed to feed, whereas with 
pheasants there is no strong attachment to the home, and 
when beyond the age that shelter is required the birds do not 
return to the coop. The disadvantages of field work with quail 
are due mainly to their persistence in remaining near their 
home place when hunted, and their useless habit of "freezing." 

Their skill in selecting all possible cover, at which they are 
more adept than pheasants, proves a helpful protection from 
hawks. When first put out they venture into the open only 
with utmost caution, skulking in all available cover, and dart- 
ing across open spaces as quickly as possible. When fed in 
the open they alternately feed hastily and hide, and therefore 
they should be fed in places provided with proper cover. 
Cornfields, better if weed-grown, and grass fields with unmowed 
strips, especially near fences, are excellent places. 

Ruffed Grouse. 
With but few exceptions ruffed grouse are reported to be on 
the increase in all sections of the State, and the number seen 
since the hunting season closed augurs well for a good supply. 
From the East Sandwich game farm 19 young were distributed 
from a hatching of 49 eggs. These birds are exceedingly dif- 
ficult to raise artificially, and their propagation is still a matter 
of experimentation. 

Ducks, 

The beautiful wood duck is as plentiful as last year, with no 
great increase being reported for any section. It is sincerely 
to be regretted that this species does not more readily lend 
itself to artificial propagation. Last year only 4 birds were 
distributed, although 34 were hatched at Sutton and East 
Sandwich. 

Black ducks are said to be on the increase on Cape Cod, 
Nantucket and Martha's Vineyard, where as many as 600 at 



PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 53 

one time were observed feeding on Katama Flats. These birds 
are reared in small numbers at the \Yilbraham, East Sand- 
wich and Norfolk game farms. 

Redheads and bluebills were abundant on Martha's Vineyard, 
2,000 having been reported at Job's Neck Pond, — a larger 
number than had been observed for years. Also, 3,000 and 
2,500 were observed Nov. 1, 1915, in Tisbury Great Pond and 
Pocha Pond, and later, 2,000 at Sengakontacket Pond. 

Mallard ducks have proved well adapted for artificial propa- 
gation. During the past year 1,286 have been liberated, 
chiefly from the Wilbraham and Sutton game farms. 

Geese. 

Last year the flight of geese was much later than usual, and 
when the birds arrived many of the inland waters were frozen 
over. The season was considered a failure at many gunning 
stands, notably on Martha's Vineyard, where only 25 per cent, 
of last year's flight was observed. At certain ponds where the 
birds formerly congregated they did not stop at all, while other 
places, where a heavy flight is unusual, were favored with the 
best in years. 

Marsh and Shore Birds. 

These birds do not visit our shores in any great numbers 
during the hunting season. Good flights were reported on the 
northern migration, but for some reason they did not return 
this way. Reports indicate that there were not as many shore 
birds as usual. The only noteworthy increase appeared in 
the smaller varieties, which are protected by the Federal law. 
Nantucket was the only section which could boast the usual 
number of shore birds. Reports from the northeastern part 
of the State say that snipe are more plentiful than they have 
been for years. Upland plover are still very scarce. 

The colony of least tern on Katama Beach has extended along 
the shore for a stretch of 6 miles, instead of segregating in their 
former limited areas, but the birds appear less numerous than 
last year. The Wilson tern, which nests on the sandy beaches 
at Edgartown and Tisbury Great ponds and along the south 
shore of Martha's Vineyard and on Muskeget Island, are more 
numerous than ever. 



54 FISH AND GAME. 

Woodcock. 
Woodcock are reported to be very scarce and there appears to 
have been only one heavy flight during the fall of 1915. A few 
have been bred locally, but not enough to make any material 
difference in their number. 

Heath Hen. 
The heath hen is steadily showing a decided increase on 
Martha's Vineyard where their number is now estimated at 
2,000. In view of this surprising increase the proper time may 
be at hand to attempt their transplantation to other reserva- 
tions on the mainland. The birds are reported by Superin- 
tendent Day as covering the entire island, with the exception 
of Gay Head. He heard the first "booming" on February 22 
and saw the first covey of 6 chicks on June 19. Efficient pro- 
tection is beginning to yield fruitful results in the preservation 
of this interesting and important game bird. 

Song and Insectivorous Birds. 
In all sections these birds are reported as more numerous 
than for many years, in spite of the fact that the spraying of 
trees with poisons has been responsible for many deaths. 

Deer. 
Deer are reported as particularly abundant in Berkshire, 
Franklin, Hampshire and Hampden counties, but less numerous 
in the eastern part of the State. During the open season about 
the same number were killed as last year, the weather con- 
ditions of the first day being responsible for the smaller bag. 
Little variation from last year is shown by our records as to 
the deer killed, the number seen or the damage to crops, but 
as a whole we have had more complaints of dogs chasing deer 
than ever before. A remarkable albino deer was reported 
killed. On December 24 Mr. R. D. Beman of Westfield killed 
a doe with horns several inches in length, which were still in 
the velvet. During the open season 11 deer less than 100 
pounds were killed, the smallest weighing 75 pounds. The 
largest deer, weighing 400 pounds, was killed in Montague by 
Mr. Edward Dubrey of Athol. One hundred and fifty-two 



PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 



55 



deer between 200 and 300 pounds, and 19 between 300 and 400 
pounds, were killed. Eight deer were shot by women. 

The following tables present the deer statistics for 1915: — 







Deer shot during the Open Season of 1915. 














CI 




Killed. 




lO 


o 


J^ 


00 


o 


o 




Counties. 


"3 • 


"3 
S 
1 


o 
a 

M 

a 

1 


1 

a 

3 
O 


3 

Si 

a 

> 
O 


o 

a 

> 
o 


Si 

S 
s 

> 

o 


u 

o 

Si 

a 

o 

> 
o 


Si 

a 

o 
> 
o 
55 


o 

Si 

a 

> 

o 


"3 
o 


Barnstable, . 


11 


14 


3 


1 


3 


3 


4 


8 


2 


8 


28 


Berkshire, 






118 


84 


3 


2 


38 


36 


41 


23 


31 


36 


205 


Bristol, 






21 


21 


3 


- 


8 


11 


2 


5 


6 


13 


45 


Dukes, . 






3 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


3 


- 


- 


3 


Essex, . 






8 


5 


1 


1 


6 


1 


- 


2 


1 


4 


14 


Franklin, 






102 


92 


10 


3 


55 


50 


24 


22 


23 


30 


204 


Hampden, 






83 


67 


1 


2 


27 


30 


25 


19 


22 


28 


151 


Hampshire, 






99 


62 


7 


- 


24 


45 


33 


19 


19 


28 


168 


Middlesex, 






26 


16 


- 


1 


6 


6 


7 


3 


6 


14 


42 


Norfolk, 






3 


4 


- 


- 


- 


3 


1 


- 


1 


2 


7 


Plymouth, 






26 


28 


2 


- 


20 


13 


6 


4 


4 


9 


56 


Worcester, 






106 


67 


6 


4 


38 


42 


23 


17 


14 


45 


179 




606 


460 


36 


14 


225 


240 


166 


125 


129 


217 


1,102 


Unclassified, town not 
reported. 


- 


2 


1 
















3 








606 


462 


37 


14 


225 


240 


166 


125 


129 


217 


1,105 



Summary and Comparison of Deer Statistics, 1907-15. 





1907. 


1908. 


1909. 


1910. 


1911. 


1912. 


1913. 


1914. 


1915. 


Deer seen, .... 


1,298 


2,035 


1,594 


2,582 


1,608 


1,120 


872 


523 


664 


Seen chased by dogs, . 


114 


120 


71 


26 


10 


13 


5 


4 


6 


Seen damaging crops, 


85 


100 


227 


35S 


242 


220 


153 


214 


237 


Shot illegally, . 


40 


36 


49 


64 


30 


23 


13 


5 


4 


Killed by trains and trolley 


25 


60 


55 


50 


25 


35 


14 


25 


20 


Dead from other causes 

(dogs, drowning, etc.). 
Shot while damaging crops, 


47 
16 


83 
17 


82 
198 


157 
327 


77 
232 


126 
313 


109 
195 


118 
212 


76 
254 


Total, .... 


1,625 


2,451 


2,276 


3,564 


2,224 


1,850 


1,361 


1,101 


1,261 


Total killed in open season, 


- 


- 


- 


1,281 


1,270 


1,231 


1,596 


1,312 


1,105 


Total wounded in open sea- 
son. 


- 


- 


- 


101 


56 


53 


34 


21 


14 



56 



FISH AND GAME. 



A Comparative Statement of Payments on Account of Damages by Wild 
Deer in the Fiscal Years 1910-15. 



Counties. 


1910. 


1911. 


1912. 


1913. 


1914. 


1915. 


Barnstable, 


- 


$12 00 


$149 25 


$4,587 00 ! 


$147 00 


$18 00 


Berkshire, 








$452 40 


373 00 


347 00 


442 50 


476 50 


207 00 


Bristol, . 








124 75 


99 00 


770 00 


297 00 


173 50 


213 00 


Essex, 








286 00 


445 60 


382 05 


287 50 


243 85 


43 00 


Franklin, 








3,363 10 


2,905 35 


5,523 25 


3,846 72 


3,644 21 


3,440 61 


Hampden, 








779 00 


1,588 05 


2,055 70 


2,401 15 


1,786 87 


1,417 23 


Hampshire, 








585 90 


2,556 67 


1,720 43 


1,644 58 


1,126 85 


750 02 


Middlesex, 








879 73 


605 65 


887 00 


1,541 50 


418 50 


666 00 


Norfolk, 








9 80 


79 00 


294 25 


184 00 


126 00 


93 00 


Plymouth, 








- 


251 00 


261 50 


562 34 


61 25 


6 00 


Worcester, 








871 16 


611 50 


2,566 50 


2,606 10 


838 95 


1,251 80 


Fees to appraisers and 
chairmen. 


- 


- 


725 20 


1,576 90 


940 00 


1,027 15 










$7,351 84 


$9,526 82 


$15,682 13 


$19,977 29 


$9,983 48 


$9,132 81 



1 Two claims included in this amount aggregate $4,404.20. 

Rabbits, 

These animals have shown a general increase, and are es- 
pecially abundant in the western, northern and southeastern 
parts of the State. Berkshire, Franklin, Plymouth, Nantucket, 
Hampshire, Hampden, Bristol and northern Worcester counties 
report a plentiful supply. In some instances they have mul- 
tiplied so rapidly as to become a nuisance to farmers, owing 
to the destruction of young fruit trees. 



White Hares. 
This excellent game animal is reported as scarce throughout 
the State, a condition which is probably due to the increase 
of foxes and to a knowledge of its habits, since the white hare 
is now exclusively hunted in swamps. Individuals from a 
consignment liberated by this commission in Norfolk County 
were later reported to have attained large size. There is 
urgent need of protection for this animal during the entire 
year. At the Wilbraham game farm 181 were liberated in 



PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 57 

the swamp in 1914, and were fed with clover, hay, beets, 
cabbage and apple tree twigs. Of these, 97 were distributed 
in other parts of the State, where the natural surroundings, 
such as cedar swamps, were favorable for their existence. 

It is the aim of your commission to introduce this animal 
wherever expedient, and by protection to give it a chance to 
propagate, thus assuring excellent gunning for the sportsmen. 
These hares have acquired a reputation of being one of the 
best sporting animals, for the reason that, unlike the small 
coney they do not hole up when pursued. They are long- 
distance runners and will afford a most excellent chase, and 
while it is true that they strip some of the forest brush during 
the winter season, as far as we have been able to ascertain 
they do no appreciable damage to the fruit trees in the regions 
where they are found in the largest numbers. 

Gray Squirrels. 
Invariably gray squirrels are said to be on the increase 
throughout the State, with the exception of the eastern counties, 
to such an extent that in one locality they are considered pests. 

Foxes. 
Apparently the number of foxes is steadily increasing in all 
sections, chiefly owing to the restrictions put on trapping and 
the increase of wild game birds and small animals. We have 
very little information relative to the number of fur-bearing 
animals killed, or the value of the skins. The fur market is 
many times over-supplied with inferior pelts, which tend to 
reduce the price on the better grades of furs. 

Marine Fisheries. 
Massachusetts has at her very doors wonderful facilities for 
,the development of marine fisheries. From her superior geo- 
graphical position she has always been, and always will be, a 
fishing State. With the two large fish markets of Boston and 
Gloucester, and with the large fleet of fishing vessels from these 
ports, the deep-sea fishing industry of Massachusetts con- 
stitutes an important factor in the general welfare of the 



58 FISH AND GAME. 

Commonwealth. Likewise, along the coast the shore fisheries 
provide a means of livelihood for thousands of fishermen. The 
main object of your commissioners is to encourage in every 
way the development of the various fishing industries, and 
at the same time to make possible the conservation of im- 
portant resources of the sea for our descendants. Handicapping 
fishing industries by rigidly restrictive laws is uncalled for, 
unless it is apparent that the future supply of fish is being 
imperiled, while every movement toward the betterment of 
the industries should be encouraged. Obtaining statistics, 
advice as to the regulation of the different industries, settling 
disputes among different classes of fishermen, oversight of the 
sanitary conditions of the fisheries in the interests of the public 
health, and the education of fishermen by reports, lectures and 
other means of instruction, now constitute in part the duties 
of this commission. We strongly recommend that there be 
established a fisheries institute or school for the practical 
education of the fishermen, such as is now conducted in Japan. 
The possibilities of developing the shore fisheries should be 
brought to an active state of realization by the establishment 
of a system of sea farming, whereby the fishermen may be 
able to cultivate sea products on an equal basis with the 
agriculturist. 

Fishermen. — The past ten years has witnessed a decided 
improvement in the lot of the average fisherman. The life of 
the fisherman is by no means a sinecure, and his occupation 
often calls for hard, concentrated work under trying conditions. 
Many steps have been taken toward the alleviation of the 
unpleasant features of the average fisherman's life, such as 
hospital ships, increased accommodations, better and safer types 
of fishing vessels, and various places of recreation on shore. 

The deep-sea fisherman is exposed to the dangers of the sea 
and the inclemency of the weather. His returns are, in a 
certain sense, a lottery, a fact that gives an added attraction 
to fishing. He w T orks strenuously at times, and then remains 
comparatively idle until the next period of active work. 

Shore fishing, which is confined chiefly to handline, net and 
mollusk fishing, with catboats or small motor boats, is less 



PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 59 

exacting. As a rule, trips are made for the day, and the 
fisherman can return to a comfortable home at night. During 
the winter any type of fishing is difficult, but the life of the 
shore fisherman is infinitely more pleasant than that of his 
deep-sea brother. The personnel of the fishing industries, 
particularly the deep-sea, has undergone a slow but progressive 
transition, and the native New England fisherman has been 
largely supplanted by men of foreign birth. The nationalities 
represented in the fishing business at the present time are 
principally Portuguese, Italians, Greeks and Canadians from 
Nova Scotia and Newfoundland, who during a portion of the 
year engage in the deep-sea and trap fisheries of Massachu- 
setts. Apparently within another generation few men of old 
New England stock will be engaged in the fisheries. 

For a long time fishermen as a class have looked upon the 
laws regulating the fisheries as special efforts on the part of the 
fish and game commission inimical to their welfare, an idea 
which has been fostered possibly for political reasons. This 
department has endeavored to overcome this prejudice through 
the education of the fishermen, in order that they may decide 
for themselves what laws are necessary for the protection of 
the fishing industries. It is only through the concentrated 
effort of all classes of fishermen for the enactment of rational 
legislation that the interests of the fisheries can best be served. 
The organization of the different associations, especially among 
the lobstermen, is perhaps the greatest improvement that has 
occurred in the past ten years. It means the education of 
the fishermen, general improvement of fishing conditions, the 
passing of proper laws, and the development of the fishing 
industry, as well as the betterment of the individual fisherman. 

Deep-sea Fisheries. 
Boston Fish Market. — An important recent development in 
the commercial fisheries has been the completion of the new 
fish pier near the Commonwealth Pier at South Boston, afford- 
ing the latest and most up-to-date facilities for the sanitary 
handling of sea food. In this respect, perhaps, if not in con- 
venience for the fishermen, it is vastly superior to the old 



60 FISH AND GAME. 

T Wharf, which had long shown itself inadequate and un- 
suitable for modern effective sanitary conditions. 

Work was started on the new fresh-fish market in 1910, and 
by April, 1914, practically all the firms had moved from the 
old location. This wholesale center of Boston's sea fisheries 
is well worth a visit. The pier itself, constructed of concrete, 
is 1,200 feet long by 300 feet wide, providing dock accommoda- 
tions for forty fishing vessels. A great midway runs down the 
center, flanked on either side by a row of two-story buildings. 
The cold storage and pow r er plant are at the head of the pier, 
while at the end is located the exchange room, the offices of 
the exchange and corporation, and the offices of the Boston 
Fish Bureau and commission merchants. The entire property 
comprises 537,100 square feet and contains 44 fish stores. 
The buildings are thoroughly hygienic, constructed of cement, 
brick and glazed tile, in keeping with the requirements of the 
board of health, and absolutely fireproof. Artificial ice to an 
amount as great as 800 tons can be made daily for delivery 
to the ships from the storage plant, an eight-story building, 
where the ice is cracked by machinery and shot down a chute 
into trucks for its final disposal. A storage room 60 feet high, 
with a capacity of 17,000 pounds, contains reserve ice. Ample 
storage room for all fish and perishable products is provided, 
and light, heat and water pressure are provided for the whole 
pier. 

The individual fish markets are well ventilated, and have 
concrete floors and walls which can be thoroughly flushed with 
running water. In these wholesale markets the fish are brought 
from the vessels, weighed, graded and packed for distribution. 
The shops use the ground floor for storage and packing, and 
the upper floor for the accounting office. In the midway the 
delivery drays back up to receive the fresh packed fish, and 
rush them to the express cars or to the retail markets of Bos- 
ton. 

Unquestionably the sanitary and even aesthetic precautions 
in marketing fish will increase many fold the future fish trade 
of Boston. The community is to be most sincerely congratu- 
lated upon the enterprise and wise foresight of the leaders in 
the fish business of Massachusetts. 



PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 61 

Gloucester. — Gloucester has retained her supremacy in the 
salt-fish industries, and ranks second only to Boston as a 
fresh-fish center. The year 1915 showed an 18,000,000 pounds 
increase over the previous year in the total quantity of fish 
landed at her docks. Improvements are being steadily made 
in all branches of her fishing industries. 

The successful operations of the past year were accurately 
and well described in the following extract from the" Gloucester 
Daily Times :" — 

The summer proved one of the most prosperous in the history of the 
city. Money was plentiful and the result was felt by all. 

The total amount of fish landed here last year is estimated at 111,004,775 
pounds, or more than 18,000,000 pounds more than in 1914, which was 
considered a most satisfactory year. The value will reach many millions 
of dollars. The fish not the product of American fisheries received here 
last year was about the same quantity as in 1914, so the Gloucester vessels 
profited by the heavier total receipts. 

The mackerel fishery was responsible for a large part of the increase. 
The catch of fresh mackerel landed here is estimated at 12,409 barrels, 
against 3,184 barrels in 1914. The salt mackerel brought in here in 1915 
was 16,609 barrels, against 13,895 barrels in 1914. 

Prices for all kinds of fish were good throughout the year, and as a result 
many fine stocks and shares were made by the vessels and crews, and the 
year was one of general prosperity for the fishing fleet. 

Detailed information on the fishing fleet, the big fares, where the vessels 
fished, and the fine stocks and shares, is given in the following resume: — 

The Mackerel Fleet. — The mackerel seiners had the best season in 
recent years, and never before were mackerel any more plentiful in Massa- 
chusetts Bay, and it was this branch of the fisheries that contributed to 
the greatest extent in the prosperity that was enjoyed in this city during 
the summer and fall. Not only did the sailing vessels do exceptionally 
well, but the fleet of little steamers reaped a harvest. The only unfortu- 
nate thing about the mackerel fishery in 1914 was the failure of the North 
Bay trip, so that vessels that went to the northward lost much of the 
fall run of mackerel that added greatly to the already large stocks of 
the vessels that remained in local waters. 

The southern fishery was the best since 1907. 

The fleet that went to the southward numbered 20 sail and was early 
in getting away. Schooner "Ralph L. Hall," Capt. Frank Hall, was the 
first to sail, leaving here March 29, and was followed in a few daj^s by the 
entire fleet. 

The vessels ran into a heavy blizzard April 9 and the damage was heavy. 
Schooner "Arthur James" and schooner "Pythian" each lost a seine boat, 






G2 FISH AND GAME. 

and schooner " Monarch" was considerably smashed up. Others of the 
fleet incurred lesser damage. 

The first fish were landed April 8, by schooner "Rob Roy," Capt. 
Lemuel Firth, who had 44 barrels in Lewes, Del. The next day schooner 
"Ralph L. Hall," Capt. Frank Hall, was in New York with 20,000 mixed 
mackerel. This was thirteen days earlier than the first fare in 1914. 

The largest single trip of the southern season was 50,000 fresh mackerel, 
landed in New York, April 21, by schooner "Arthur James," Capt. John 
Matheson. 

The high line on the southern trip was steamer "Lois H. Corkum," 
Capt. William Corkum, whose stock was $8,885.74, and the share of the 
crew $329 each. This was a fine beginning for the year s work, and the 
little steamer continued to bring in good trips through the season, so that 
at the end of the year she was high line of the fleet. The steamer's stock 
on the southern trip was the highest since 1907, and the share of the crew 
broke all previous records for this trip. 

Schooner "Arthur James," Capt. John Matheson, was in second place 
on this trip, with a stock of $8,854.34, and the share of each of the crew 
$185.54. 

Not only the seiners but also the netters enjoyed an excellent year out 
south. The fleet was a large one and the market was kept well supplied. 
The trips were usually of good size. On May 17, after the seiners had 
returned to fit here for the Cape Shore, there were 52 netting fares in 
Fulton Market, with a total of 106,000 pounds of fresh mackerel. 

The Cape Shore season was a great success, and some of the vessels 
after landing one good trip returned and secured a second, while others 
went down for the third. 

The fleet left here about the 20th of May and the first returned June 7. 
The vessels to arrive on that day were schooner "Arthur James," with 
55,000 fresh and 155 barrels of salt; schooner "Fannie A. Smith," Capt. 
Wallace Walker, with 38,000 fresh and 175 barrels of salt; schooner 
"Lottie G. Merchant," Capt. Ralph Webber, with 40,000 fresh and 175 
barrels of salt; schooner "Rob Roy," Capt. Lemuel Firth, with 56,000 
fresh and 135 barrels of salt; schooner "Monarch," Capt. John Seavy, 
with 36,000 fresh and 250 barrels of salt; schooner "Victor," Capt. 
Douglass McLean, with 35,000 fresh and 140 barrels of salt; schooner 
"Norma," Capt. John McKinnon, with 40,000 fresh and 12 barrels of 
salt; schooner "Benjamin A. Smith," Capt. Martin L. Welsh, with 45,000 
fresh and 145 barrels of salt. 

There was another large list of arrivals the following day, and within 
a short time the entire fleet had returned with good trips. 

The highest stock on this single trip to the Cape Shore was made by 
schooner "Monarch," Capt. John Seavy. The stock was $5,110, and the 
share of the crew $100.75. 

The price paid for Cape Shore salt mackerel was $8 per barrel, a decrease 
of $2 per barrel from the first price of 1914. 



PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 63 

The following vessels returned for a second trip to the Cape Shore and 
were successful in getting good fares: schooner " Arthur James," schooner 
"Rob Roy," schooner "Monarch," schooner "Constellation," schooner 
"Marguerite Haskins " and schooner "Saladin." Schooner "Arthur 
James" and schooner "Rob Roy" went down for a third trip. The 
former was successful in getting a small fare. 

Some authorities claimed that the 1915 Cape Shore season was the best 
in fifty years. It is safe to say that it was by far the best in recent years, 
one of the best features being the fact that nearly all the vessels got good 
trips, which is sometimes not the case. 

After the return of the fleet from the Cape Shore the vessels found fairly 
good fishing and continued to add to their stocks. The price of salt 
mackerel was steadily increasing, and for that reason the captains pre- 
ferred to salt their catches rather than run fresh to market. 

By August 5 the price of salt mackerel had risen to $15.50, that price 
being paid for a trip of 100 barrels of schooner "Arthur James." 

The fish were plentiful on Georges during July, but a series of storms 
in the early part of August broke the schools up and the fares were rather 
small for some time after. 

While the fish disappeared from Georges they came in vast numbers to 
the shore. The little steamers brought in big loads, mostly blinks and 
tinkers, and sold to local dealers for 2\ cents per pound. 

September 1, steamer "Thelma," Capt. Elroy Prior, landed a monster 
trip of 43,000 pounds of tinkers and blinks, taken off Boston Light. The 
fish sold to split at Z\ cents per pound. 

Another example of how plentiful fish were is shown by the work of 
steamer "Roland Wilcox" on same day. In the forenoon she was at the 
new Boston pier with 15,000 fish, and quickly discharged to get underway 
again. At 11 o'clock at night Captain Wilcox returned for the second 
time, bringing a big catch of 32,000 mixed fresh fish. 

The spurt kept the local mackerel splitters busy, and the firms were 
able to get some fish which they needed. 

Remembering the success of the fleet in the North Bay in 1914, and 
thinking that the fish had gone from the shore, a few vessels left about 
the first of September for the bay, although the fleet was not so 
large as in 1914, numbering 6 sail. Later events showed that they 
would have done much better by remaining on the shore, as the bay 
trip was a failure, while the mackerel reappeared on the shore in large 
numbers. 

Those who did not go to the bay remained out, and although no large 
trips were landed, good prices paid for salt mackerel helped to swell the 
stocks and make the trips profitable to the crews. On September 17 salt 
mackerel was bringing 817.50 for large and S8.50 for small. 

The first large trip to follow the disappearance of the fish in August was 
brought in September 17 by schooner "Constellation," Capt. Charles 
Maguire. The hail was for 40,000 pounds of fresh mackerel and 110 



64 FISH AND GAME. 

barrels of salt. The fish were taken off Race Point. The stock on this 
trip was over $3,000. 

This trip gave the fishermen more encouragement, especially as two 
days after schooner "Benjamin A. Smith," Capt. Martin L. Welch, 
brought in a S3,400 trip of 240 barrels of salt mackerel. 

The good trips continued through September and October, but the 
climax came the last part of the month, when record trips were brought 
in by three vessels. 

On October 23 schooner " Constellation " landed a trip of 400 barrels 
of salt mackerel, from which the stock was 86,521 and the share of the 
crew S143. This was the largest stock of the season, although it was 
equaled a few days later. 

Three days later, before the water front had ceased to talk of Captain 
Maguire's trip, schooner "Volant," in command of Capt. John F. Vautier, 
arrived with 75,000 pounds of fresh fish and 210 barrels of salt. She 
arrived Monday night, October 25, and immediately a crowd gathered 
at the Pew Wharf of the Gorton-Pew Fisheries Company, where she tied 
up. The trip was the largest in years and one of the largest on record; 
the scuppers of the vessel were nearly on a level with the water, while 
every available space on deck was full with the fish. In fact, she had all 
she could carry. The trip was taken in Boston Bay, where others of the 
fleet and the steamers got fine hauls. The stock was $6,521 and the share 
was $150, the largest for a single trip for many years. 

Schooner "Victor," Capt. Douglass MacLean, was soon along with 
another monster trip. On October 27 he arrived at the wharf of Davis 
Brothers, hailing for 80,000 pounds of fresh mackerel and 70 barrels of 
salt. This was an even larger trip of fresh mackerel than that of the 
"Volant," but the stock was not so large, being $3,488. The fish sold to 
split. It is believed this was the largest trip of fresh mackerel ever brought 
in here. They were taken on Middle Bank. 

The fall run of mackerel was the best in several years and thousands of 
dollars were added to the stocks and hundreds to the share of the crews. 
Money was very plentiful in this city for several weeks following the 
mackerel run. 

The small boats also came in for their share, and as they were manned 
by fewer men the share each man received was much greater than those 
on the larger vessel. Each of the crew of the schooner "Little Fannie," 
Capt. Charles Nelson, in three trips made in five days in the latter part of 
October, shared $326.50, believed to be a share record at any kind of fishing. 

Many similar cases might be given of the results of the good trips. 

Schooner "Arthur James" returned from the North Bay just in time 
to secure one trip of salt mackerel off the shore. This trip, which was 
the last of the season, resulted in a great jump in the price of salt mackerel. 
There were 188 barrels of tinkers and 15 barrels large fish in the trip. 
After 74 different offers the fish were sold for $28.50 per barrel for large 
and $14.50 for tinkers. 



PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 65 

The high line of the seining fleet was steamer "Lois H. Corkum," 
Capt. William Corkum, whose stock was $33,200 and whose crew shared 
$1,100.50. This stock was the largest for several years, and the share, 
because of the small number in the crew, was the largest ever made by 
a seiner in one season. 

Close behind the steamer was schooner " Lottie G. Merchant," Capt. 
Ralph Webber, whose stock was $33,000 and whose crew's share was $700. 
Captain Webber had some fine trips during the fall, and it is estimated 
that his stock was over $10,000 from September 1 to November 1. 

Other good stocks were made by schooner "Monarch," Capt. John 
Seavy, which had $28,884; schooner "Marguerite Haskins," Capt. 
Reuben Cameron, $28,809; schooner "Arthur James," Capt. John 
Matheson, $26,950; schooner "Rob Roy," Capt. Lemuel Firth, $26,158. 
A number of others had stocks in the vicinity of $20,000. 

The Haddocking Fleet. — At the beginning of the year there was a fleet 
of about 40 vessels, including the channel fishermen, engaged in the 
haddocking branch. The off-shore fleet, almost without exception, 
brought in excellent trips, but the prices were very low; in fact they were 
at times no better than those paid here by the splitters. But few fares 
were brought here, however, the fishermen preferring to fit in Boston and 
save time. 

About the last of January prices began to improve, and some of the 
vessels realized neat stocks and shares. 

The best haddocking trip of the winter was made by schooner "A. Piatt 
Andrew," Capt. Wallace Bruce, who landed February 3, 90,000 pounds 
of fish, from which the stock was $4,050 and the share of each of the crew 
of 25 men $90. The largest trip of the winter in the amount of fish was 
on January 8, by schooner "Laverna," Capt. John Mclnnis, hailing for 
135,000 pounds, part of which was brought here to split. 

The work of Capt. Wallace Bruce, in schooner "A. Piatt Andrew," 
stands out prominently in the results of the past year in the haddocking 
branch. From January 1 to April 1, when the vessel shifted to shacking, 
nearly 700,000 pounds of fish had been landed by that craft. Capt. 
Bruce's year is from September to September. In those twelve months 
he stocked $48,669, and each of the crew shared $880. From January, 
1915, to January, 1916, it is estimated that this vessel landed 2,000,000 
pounds of fish at Boston and this port. About 1,810,000 of this was fresh. 

Schooner "Pontiac," Capt. Ernest Parsons, led the channel fleet for 
the year, and it is estimated that the vessel landed over 1,600,000 pounds 
of fresh fish last year. 

The first trip from the Peak was brought in by schooner " Esperanto, " 
Capt. Asa Baker, March 8. The vessel hailed for 112,000 pounds. Other 
trips from these grounds followed, and a large proportion found their way 
to the splitters in this city. 

Schooner "Mary F. Sears" was the first of the Portuguese shore fleet 
to go off-shore in the spring. She arrived in Boston March 8 with a fare 



66 FISH AND GAME. 

of 90,000 pounds. Soon after the others of this fleet left the shore and 
made good trips to the northern edge of Georges and Western Bank. 

Haddock struck in March 24, and soon prices on this species fell to a 
nominal figure, being often quoted at the Boston fish pier at SI a thousand. 

The steam otter trawlers profited well by the spring run of haddock, and 
on the southeast part of Georges fares of 100,000 were not uncommon. 
The steam trawler "Long Island" on April 6 landed in Portland a fare 
which hailed for 225,000 pounds. Portland took a large number of trips 
of the beam trawlers last year, and in one day alone handled 565,000 pounds 
from the steamers. 

Trawlers. — The trawlers were here very often last year disposing of 
their fares to the splitters. The trawler "East Hampton" later in the 
year, on July 20, landed at the plant of Cunningham & Thompson what 
is believed to be the largest fresh-fish fare ever arriving in one bottom. 
She hailed for 310,000 pounds of fresh fish. 

The haddock fares of the beam trawlers during the spring and summer 
ran from 20 to 40 per cent, "scrod" or immature fish, and in some cases 
even more. 

About April 1 nearly all the fleet made one trip to the Peak before 
coming to this port to fit for the Cape North trip. A few of the fleet 
changed to halibuting at this time. 

The first to leave for Cape North was schooner "Stiletto," Capt. Lyman 
Wyldes, on April 13. As is usually the case, the shackers at this time began 
to feel the shortage of men, and man}' were delayed in sailing because they 
could not obtain a full crew. 

After the fleet had sailed it looked very much as if the season would be 
the repetition of 1914, which was a failure. The ice was late in leaving 
and the bait reports were very favorable. 

On April 26 the first vessel reached the Magdalenes, but it was not until 
June 2 when schooner "Governor Foss" arrived here with the first trip 
of the season, hailing for 80,000 salt and 120,000 pounds of fresh fish. 
She was in the ice nineteen days, and others of the fleet were in for a 
much longer time. 

When the vessels were at last able to begin operations the3 r found fish 
very plentiful and almost without exception excellent trips were brought 
home. 

The largest stock on this trip was made by schooner "Arethusa," Capt. 
Clayton Morrissey. The hail was for 110,000 of salt fish and 110,000 
pounds of fresh. The stock was $5,826 and the crew's share $120. 

Other vessels which stocked over $5,000 on this trip were schooner "Stil- 
etto," Capt. Lyman Wyldes, $5,600; schooner "A. Piatt Andrew," Capt. 
Wallace Bruce, $5,504; schooner "Sylvania," Capt. Jeff Thomas, $5,730; 
schooner "Conqueror," Capt. Robertson Giffin, $5,240; schooner 
"Onato," Capt. J. Henry Larkin, $5,741; schooner "Thomas," $5,790. 

Encouraged by the fine showing made on the Cape North trip, the 
shackers next fished off Perce, and some big trips of shack were landed 



PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 67 

here for several weeks after. The largest fare from these grounds was 
brought by schooner "Thomas S. Gorton," hailing for 200,000 pounds of 
fresh fish and 30,000 pounds of salt. The stock was $4,633. Some of 
the vessels made two trips to these grounds and each time secured fine 
fares. 

Some very large trips of fresh fish were brought in here during the 
remainder of the summer, the largest hail being for 210,000 pounds, made 
by Capt. Lyman Wyldes in schooner " Stiletto." The trip was taken on 
La Have. Trips hailing for 175,000 to 200,000 pounds were not un- 
common. 

After enjoying a good summer, the vessels began about the middle of 
September to fit again for winter haddocking. The vessels went to the 
channel, but the season here was a failure, the trips being very small. 
The fleet did not wait until Thanksgiving before leaving these grounds, 
and early went to the eastward, where better fishing was found. Up to 
the close of 1915 there had been few very large trips landed. 

The Provincetown fleet did well again last year, although the record 
stocks of 191-4 were not reached. Schooner "Mary C. Santos," which 
was probably high line of that town's fleet, cleared up about 843,000 for 
her season's work. 

Halibuters. — The fleet of fresh halibuters had a good year, and many 
vessels made good stocks and the crews profited by good shares. At the 
height of the season there were about 30 sail of vessels following this 
branch, about the same number as in 1914. 

The high line of the fleet was schooner "Rex" of the Davis Brothers 
fleet, commanded by Capt. Augustus G. Hall. This vessel began fishing 
about March 1 and completed her season's work November 3. During 
that time the vessel stocked $30,500, and the crew shared $740. Although 
some of the vessels of the fleet began fishing earlier in the year and con- 
tinued later, this stock was not equaled. 

The next honors went to schooner "Robert and Richard," Capt. Robert 
Wharton, of the John Chisholm fleet. This new vessel on her first year's 
work stocked $29,839, and the crew shared $605. 

Others that did well in the halibuting fishery were schooner "Teazer," 
Capt. Peter Dunsky; schooner "Oriole," Capt. Daniel McDonald; 
schooner "Cavalier," Capt. Robert B. Porper, and schooner "Monitor," 
Capt. George Marr. 

Schooner "Natalie Hammond," Capt. Charles Colson, that followed the 
halibuting branch in the summer and the haddocking branch in the winter, 
also had a fine stock for the year's work. In just a year the vessel stocked 
$32,970, and the crew shared $772.80. This was one of the best stocks 
and shares made by any vessel in any branch of the fisheries during the 
year. 

At the beginning of the year 1915 there were but 7 vessels engaged in 
the halibut fishery, although this number was added to during the middle 
and toward the last of January. 



68 FISH AND GAME. 

The first large trips of the year were landed January 27 by schooner 
"Teazer," Capt. Peter Dunsky, and schooner "Avalon," Capt. Daniel 
McDonald. The hails were for 30,000 pounds, and the stock of each 
vessel was in the vicinity of $4,500. Prices during the first part of Janu- 
ary were about 16 cents for white and 10 cents for gray. 

By the middle of February the fleet had increased to 17 vessels. Prices 
began to drop about this time, and schooner " Cavalier," Capt. Robert B. 
Porper, which arrived February 8 with 50,000 pounds, received 11 and 7J 
cents per pound. 

Schooner " Robert and Richard," Capt. Robert Wharton, arrived 
February 16, on her maiden trip, with 50,000 pounds of halibut and some 
hake. The stock on this trip was $5,200, which was the largest made 
since the previous May, when schooner " Catherine Burke," then com- 
manded by Capt. Daniel McDonald, stocked $5,259. 

The first part of March saw heavy receipts of halibut at this port. 
Three good trips, ranging between 30,000 and 40,000 pounds, were brought 
here March 4 and 5 by schooners "Kineo," "Monitor" and " Oriole," 
and three days later the market was flooded with receipts of 150,000 
pounds, landed by schooners "Cavalier" "Rhodora," "Avalon" and 
"Robert and Richard." Schooner "Volant" was in Portland the same 
day with 20,000 pounds. These trips were all from the eastward and 
brought prices of 9, 7 and 5 cents per pound. 

Heavy receipts continued about the first of April, and the price dropped 
to 7 and 5 cents per pound. 

The first halibuter to arrive with a trip taken on a Magdalene baiting 
was schooner "Oriole," which discharged her trip here May 25. The 
vessel was in the ice four weeks, and found fish scarce in the Gulf, so 
Captain McDonald went to Quero. The vessel had but 10,000 pounds 
on her arrival here. 

Owing to the absence of many of the fleet in the Gulf, receipts of halibut 
were not heavy during May, and the price rose to 13 and 9 cents per 
pound. 

Gulf Trips. — The first big trip from the Gulf was brought by schooner 
"Teazer," which arrived June 3, hailing for 60,000 pounds of fresh halibut, 
35,000 pounds of salt cod and 15,000 pounds of flitches. The prices were 
9 and 5 cents for the halibut. 

Schooner "Bay State," Capt. Archie McLeod, has the honor of making 
the largest trip stock of the halibut and shacking fleets. On June 14, 
from 40,000 pounds of halibut, 80,000 pounds of salt cod, 10,000 pounds 
of flitches and 40,000 pounds of fresh fish, the vessel stocked $6,315. 

There were no unusual trips during July and the market remained 
rather low. 

Schooner "Natalie Hammond," Capt. Charles Colson, on August 18 
landed a trip in Boston which set talking all who followed the fisheries. 
The vessel hailed for 55,000 pounds of fresh halibut, from which the 
stock was $5,496, and the crew's share $144.50 each. This was the 



PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 69 

best stock of the summer, and at that time the third best stock of 
the year. 

Captain Colson was back again in three weeks' time with 35,000 pounds 
of halibut, which netted a stock of $3,400 and another good share. 

The water front had hardly ceased to talk about Captain Colson's great 
work when the news came, on September 27, that schooner "Rex," Capt. 
Augustus Hall, had arrived at Portland from Green Bank with a trip that 
was going to beat them all. The hail was for 55,000 pounds of halibut 
and the price paid was 11 and 9 cents. The stock was $5,854.72, and the 
net share for the crew was $153 each. 

This was the stock that placed Captain Hall in first place. The stock 
on the halibut alone was $5,432.77, which was one of the best made in 
recent years and was second largest stock of the year. 

Soon after this time the vessels began either to haul up or shift to 
haddocking, and receipts of halibut were very light during the remainder 
of the year. There were but few big trips, and Captain Hall retained his 
position of high line. He added to his total stock on his last trip on No- 
vember 3, when he stocked $3,633 and the crew shared $78. 

Salt Bankers. — A fleet of 9, including the British schooner "Independ- 
ence II.," sailed salt banking on the spring trip. 

The British vessel did not return here until late in the fall, having taken 
out her spring trip in Lunenburg. Another of the fleet did not return. 
She was schooner "Senator Gardner," in command of Capt. Reuben Burke, 
and was burned at sea early in June with 200,000 pounds of fish aboard. 

The others of the fleet all had good catches, hailing between 370,000 and 
220,000 pounds. The largest trip was that of schooner "J. J. Flaherty," 
weighing out 359,483 pounds, from which the stock was $12,194. 

But four vessels made a second trip. The largest was that of schooner 
"Athlete," Capt. Thomas Benham, hailing for 300,000 pounds of salt 
cod, from which the stock was $9,889. Captain Benham was high line 
of this fleet, with a total stock on two trips of nearly $19,500. 

There were 3 in the fleet of dory handliners last year, schooner "Tattler," 
Capt. Alden Geele; schooner "Governor Russell," Capt. Louis Soares; 
schooner "Clintonia," Capt. Lew Wharton. 

The first vessel led the fleet by a large margin, and Captain Geele 
brought back one of the largest catches on record, weighing out 478,365 
pounds of salt fish for a five months' trip. The stock was $16,534.29. 
The trip was 10,000 pounds smaller than Captain Geele's record trip of 
1909, and the stock $340 less than the stock made by him in 1913, when 
prices for salt fish were higher than last year. 

Flitches. — There were but 2 vessels in the flitching fleet, schooner 
"Atlanta," Capt. Richard Wadding, and schooner "Senator," Capt. 
Axel Laager. The former vessel landed 110,000 pounds, from which the 
stock was $9,300. 

Drifters and "Anchor" Fleet. — Contrary to 1914, the fresh drifters last 
year did not have an exceptional year. The fares did not reach the size 



70 FISH AND GAME. 

of the record trips of 1914, and as a result the year's work did not reach 
the high totals established the preceding year. 

The Georgesmen had their usual good year and some excellent trips 
were brought in. Including the salt drifters, this fleet at the height of 
the season numbered about 10 vessels. 

Tilejishing. — In October, schooner " Stranger," Capt. Charles C. 
Young, under charter of the United States Bureau of Fisheries, sailed on 
a month's experimental trip for tilefish. Several fares were landed in 
New York, and through the publicity of the Bureau a demand was created 
for the fish. At the last of the year there were 3 vessels going to the 
grounds of Nantucket for this fish, and a number of vessels from New 
York were also following this branch, and there is every indication that 
the fleet will be increased as the demand for the fish grows. 

Herring. — There was a fleet of about 30 local vessels which sailed in 
the fall of 1915 for the treaty coast of Newfoundland for herring. This 
was but part of the fleet, however, for several vessels of British registry 
under local charter brought fares to this port. Owing to the war, there 
was a heavy demand for herring, and the local dealers were unable to 
get cargoes enough with their own vessels, and for that reason the British 
vessels were used. The season at Bay of Islands was a failure, but the 
fleet managed to get cargoes at Bonne Bay. At the time of writing, the 
results of the second trip to Newfoundland by several of the fleet are in 
doubt. Prices by cargo lots were S5.25 for salt bulk, and 85.75 and 86 for 
barreled herring, believed the highest fare figures on record. 

Xova Scotia and Newfoundland Fares. — Last year saw the usual heavy 
receipts of free "green" fish from the Provinces, brought here by the local 
vessels engaged in freighting as well as by a large number of British 
schooners. 

In May the wholesale fish dealers of this city were greatly stirred 
when it became known that a duty would be placed on the supposedly 
" green" fish being brought here from the Provinces owing to a ques- 
tion whether the fish was to be classed as "boned" or otherwise. The 
question first arose over a shipment of salmon received in Boston from 
Canada. 

The first cargo to arrive from the Provinces while the question was 
being taken up by the Treasury Department was brought here June 10 
by the British schooner "Edith F. S." She had 250,000 pounds of salt 
fish for Cunningham & Thompson Company. 

The discharge of the cargo was not held up, but the consignees were 
obliged to give a bond double the amount of duty which would be paid 
if the department ruled that the fish was dutiable. The duty on such 
fish would be three-quarters of a cent per pound. 

Cargoes of this kind continued to arrive, and the consignees in each 
case were obliged to put up the necessary bond. It is estimated that 
before the decision was given, on August 11, bonds to the amount of 850,000 
had been given over to the local customs authorities. 



PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 71 

The decision held that codfish of this kind should not be considered 
"boned" under the meaning of the law, and therefore not dutiable. The 
announcement was received with great satisfaction in this city by the 
wholesalers. 

Because the American fisheries are to be prosecuted only by American 
vessels, Deputy Collector of Customs A. H. McKenzie, June 10, refused 
to accept the entrance of the British schooner " James R. Clark," which 
arrived here from the banks, via Yarmouth, N. S., with 55,000 pounds of 
salt cod, unconsigned to any local fish firm. 

Collector McKenzie explained that to all appearances the " Clark" was 
a British fishing vessel, with her full crew aboard and but recently returned 
from the banks. Although she entered and cleared at Yarmouth, X. S., 
this fact was not sufficient, according to the collector, to allow her the 
designation of a freighting vessel, which class is allowed to enter an 
American market, provided the cargo is consigned to a party. 

The vessel returned to Nova Scotia, where her trip was sold. 

Gill Netters. — A review of the year would not be complete without 
a summary of the part taken in the principal industry of this city by 
the fleet of gill netters and the so-called "Guinea" boats owned by the 
Italians. 

After hauling out of seining in the fall of 1914 the steamers changed to 
gill netting, and for the remainder of the year operated along the shore 
and brought in large trips of pollock. Following the pollock run many 
of the boats discontinued operations until early spring, when the haddock 
struck in. 

The gill-netting branch of the fisheries forms a most important part, 
as it gives employment not only to the crews of the steamers, but to shore 
gangs nearly as large as the crews. 

The fish brought in here by the steamers are shipped to Boston when 
the prices are high enough to warrant it; otherwise, the fish are sold to 
the splitters, whose stock on hand is greatly increased from this source. 
The year's catch of this fleet, which numbers about 20 or 25 sail, is esti- 
mated at 10,000,000 pounds. 

The "Guinea" Fleet. — Another branch which has grown to great im- 
portance in the past few years is the fleet of Italian boats from the fort. 
These people follow their work in a quiet but most businesslike way, and 
their operations may seem of but little importance to the public until 
the results of the year's work are looked at. The fleet numbers about 
30 craft, carrying from 3 to 5 men each. 

They follow the fresh herring, ground fish and mackerel fisheries in 
their respective seasons, and the total landing of year run well into millions 
of pounds. 

During the record mackerel run of last year, the little boats made big 
money. One section of the fort is now entirely owned by people of the 
Italian colony. They are a hard-working and prosperous people, and of 
great economic value to the city. 



72 



FISH AND GAME. 



New Crafts. — The following summary of shipbuilding operations in the 
local district for the year of 1915 shows that 11 new fishing schooners have 
been completed and added to the fleet in addition to a number of gas 
screw steamers. 

Following is a list of the vessels in 1915: — 



Tonnage. 



Gross. 



Net. 



New. 
Schooners: — 

Pollyanna 

Republic, 

Catherine, 

Gas screws: — 

Olive, 

Wonasquam, .... 

Francis Willett 

Wahamo 

Grace Clinton, .... 

Rebuilt. 
Steamer: — 

Margaret D 

Gas screws: — 

Victory 

Resolute, 

Swan, 

Esther Madeline, houseboat, 

Mao II 

Prince Olaf , remeasured. 



120 


- 


99 


- 


159 


103 


22 


12 


18 


14 


31 


24 


33 


18 



40 



21 


11 


19 


15 


13 


8 


14 


14 


30 


18 



Vessels Lost and Sold. — Although several new vessels have been added 
to the fleet, the loss to Gloucester in vessels sold or lost has been great, and 
the fleet is at the present time the smallest in the history of the fisheries 
of this port. Those vessels which were formerly owned here but which 
have been changed to British registry still continue to come here with 
cargoes of fish from the Provinces, although they can no longer be classed 
as Gloucester vessels. 

Following is the list of vessels sold the past year: — 



Schooners. 



John R. Bradley, sold foreign. 
Monitor, stranded and later floated. 
Olga, sold foreign. 
Helen G. Wells, sold foreign. 
Essex, sold foreign. 
Tacoma, sold foreign. 
Hattie L. Trask, sold foreign. 
Yakima, sold to Florida. 



William A. Morse, sold to New London. 
Mertis H. Perry, sold foreign. 
Fannie A. Smith, sold foreign. 
Georgia, sold to Maine. 
Pinta, sold foreign. 
Monarch, sold foreign. 
Grace Otis, sold foreign. 
Gossip, sold foreign. 



PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 



73 



The following gas screw boats have also been sold or lost: 



Ignatius. 

Enos. 

Ibsen. 

Alice. 

R. J. Killick. 

Venture. 

Esther Madeline. 



Advance. 
George E. Fisher. 
Mary L. 
Myrtle. 
Randolph. 
Scout. 



The following fishing vessels have been lost this year: 



Ella M. Doughty. 
Priscilla Smith. 



Aloha. 

Senator Gardner. 



Total Fish Receipts for Gloucester. 
Pounds. 





1915. 


1914. 


1913. 


Salt cod, 


10,276,736 


8,595,300 


24,628,614 


Fresh cod, . 














13,834,984 


15,864,366 


10,201,544 


Halibut, . 














2,577,826 


2,219,607 


3,658,583 


Haddock, . 














10,287,453 


11,910,136 


6,999,198 


Hake, . . 














5,221,969 


5,960,968 


3,997,457 


Cusk, 














2,979,625 


3,129,570 


2,727,576 


Pollock, . 














8,925,399 


9,032,819 


11,172,558 


Flitches, . 














268,366 


332,117 


505,107 


Fresh fish from small boats, 








2,500,000 


- 


- 


Salt fish by rail, 








8,725,842 


- 


- 


Miscellaneous (unclassified), 








500,000 


- 


- 


Not product of American fisheries, 






13,054,412 


13,661,310 


- 



Barrels. 



Fresh mackerel, 

Salt mackerel, . 

Fresh herring, . 

Fresh bluebacks, 

Salt herring, 

Frozen herring (pounds), 

Cured fish (quintals), 




,405 



26,701 



21,883 



Total receipts of fish at port of Gloucester for 1915, 111,004,775 pounds. 



74 FISH AND GAME. 

Fishing Boats. — The modern fishing schooner is the knock- 
about type, i.e., without bowsprit. This insures easier handling 
of sails, at the same time giving more room for'ard. The boat 
is usually 70 to 80 feet in length and about 20 feet in beam, 
carrying 10 dories and a crew of about 15 hands. This type 
of boat is especially seaworthy and able to weather the most 
severe storms, owing to its staunch condition and ability to 
withstand tremendous strains. 

The advent of the power boat has revolutionized shore fish- 
ing. Expedition rather than cheapness is essential in fishing, 
and the man who can get his catch to market the quickest and 
in the best condition receives a reward which more than offsets 
the extra cost. The gasolene engine, especially in the form of 
auxiliaries, saves many hours to the fisherman, does away with 
the uncertainty of sailing, and enables him to accomplish an 
increased amount of work in the form of a larger catch, in 
this way ultimately benefiting the consumer. Power boats are 
of such an advantage to all types of fishing that it is impossible 
to say that any one type is benefited more than another. It 
is greatly due to such a means that the lobster, mollusk, line 
and trap fishing have been improved, and it has made the 
small otter trawl applicable for flatfish dredging. It scarcely 
seems possible that the season of 1907 marked the first exten- 
sive use of the power boat in the scallop fishery, whereas at 
the present time the power boat is used in dredging scallops, 
sea clams and quahaugs. On the larger fishing boats auxiliary 
engines equipped with winches save the fisherman much hard 
labor. Well may the fisherman, and for that matter the public, 
rejoice in the advent of the gasolene engine. 

Deep-sea Fishing. — The catch of ground fish by the fleet 
shows an increase, particularly good catches of haddock having 
been taken. Codfish, however, have been comparatively scarce. 
In 1915 the fishing fleet comprised about the same number, 
330, as in the previous year, of which 167 were sailing vessels, 
13 steam otter trawlers, and 150 boats of various kinds. The 
catch of the Gloucester gill netters amounted to 7,400,000 
pounds, compared with a total of 8,500,000 pounds for the 
previous year. The total catch of fresh mackerel by the fleet 
amounted to 71,564 barrels, as against 68,582 barrels in the 
previous season. 



PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 



75 



Quantities and Values of Certain Fishery Products landed at Boston and 
Gloucester, Mass., during the Year 1915. 





Fresh. 


Salted. 


Total. 


Fish. 


Pounds. 


Value. 


Pounds. 


Value. 


Pounds. 


Value. 


Cod: 
Large (10 pounds and over), 
Market (under 10 and over 

2^ pounds), 
Scrod (1 to 2J£ pounds), 

Haddock: 
Large (over 2K pounds), 
Scrod (1 to 23^ pounds), 

Hake: 

Large (6 pounds and over), . 

Small (under 6 pounds), 

Pollock 

Cusk 

Halibut, 

Mackerel: 
Large (over ( 2J^ pounds), 
Medium (V/2 to 2J^ pounds), 
Small (under V/z pounds), . 

Miscellaneous, 


14,568,534 

18,154,124 
1,365,466 

44,948,106 
12,864,944 

7,769,018 
6,820,297 
12,961,313 
6,235,801 
3,584,175 

695,013 
1,000,525 
5,649,036 
10,458,913 


$487,904 

384,034 
16,914 

1,131,660 
173,792 

157,516 
119,954 
249,188 
96,003 
301,787 

67,721 

79,512 

235,783 

398,865 


6,679,925 

3,994,245 
293,603 

130,594 

300,625 

234,640 

94,943 

286,510 

1,015,098 

153,296 

2,405,434 

8,931,550 


$241,707 

134,725 
7,676 

2,361 

5,007 

4,070 

2,347 

21,509 

48,369 

9,999 

172,695 

186,819 


21,248,459 

22,148,369 
1,659,069 

45,078,700 
12,864,944 

8,069,643 
6,820,297 
13,195,953 
6,330,744 
3,870,685 

1,710,111 

1,153,821 

8,054,470. 

19,390,463 


$729,611 

518,759 
24,590 

1,134,021 
173,792 

162,523 
119,954 
253,258 
98,350 
323,296 

116,090 

89,511 

408,478 

585,684 


Total, .... 


147,075,265 


$3,900,633 


24,518,463 


$837,284 


171,593,728 


$4,737,917 



Fishing Fleet of Boston and Gloucester, 1915. 



jxumoer oj vess 
Bank fishery, 


us. 

33 


Market fishery, 


102 


Mackerel fishery, 


131 


Swordfish fishery, 


52 


Herring fishery, 


10 


Shore fishery, 


82 



Total, 410 

Number of Trips. 

Boston, . . . ' , . . . 3,772 

Gloucester, . - 3,472 

Total, 7,244 

Shore Fisheries. 
The returns of the shore, net and pound fisheries have been 
compiled under section 119, chapter 91, of the Revised Laws. 
The following table gives the relative abundance of the dif- 
ferent species of fish and the statistics of the shore fisheries 
of Massachusetts for the past eleven years : — 



76 



FISH AND GAME. 



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PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 77 

Coastal Streams. — The examination of our coastal streams, 
once famous for their alewife and shad fisheries, has continued. 
Fishways have been replaced and conditions generally im- 
proved for these fisheries. Merely a beginning has been made 
in the work of re-establishing these fisheries, but in the future 
extended efforts will soon be made to correct the unfavorable 
conditions now existing. 

Buzzards Bay. — The investigation of the fisheries of Buz- 
zards Bay was continued for the third year. The work was 
necessarily confined, owing to lack of suitable appropriation, to 
the collection of statistics from a number of fishermen who 
were given the privilege of establishing fish traps. At the end 
of the year a report covering the three years' investigation was 
submitted to the Legislature. 

Mollusk Fisheries. 

General improvement in the mollusk fisheries has been noted 
and more extensive efforts have been made in clam and quahaug 
culture. People are beginning to take greater interest in the 
question of commercial sea farming, and the time is not far dis- 
tant when the plans continuously advocated for ten years by this 
commission — the utilization of the barren areas of tidal water 
along the coast for shellfish farming — will be realized. Ex- 
periments have proved that shellfish may be grown with profit, 
and that the monetary returns of sea farming, area for area, 
are correspondingly greater than those of agriculture. It is in 
the interests of economy that the commission has advocated 
sea farming, not only as furnishing a commercial enterprise 
for the fishermen, but also as supplying a revenue to the State. 

Scallop. — The scallop fishery was not as successful as in 
past years. Owing to the small quantity of seed the season 
was poor on Cape Cod, and at Nantucket the production was 
only about one-half that of 1914. 

Quahaugs. — The excellent yield of the large bed north of 
Nantucket still continues, but unfortunately for the fishermen 
the market price was low. 

Clam. — More inquiries than ever have been received rela- 
tive to the leasing of flats for clam and quahaug farming, and 
many shore towns are taking added interest in the cultivation 
of these mollusks. 



78 



FISH AND GAME. 



Shellfish Pollution. — The sanitary conditions of growth and 
marketing of pure shellfish are of extreme importance in the 
development of the shellfish industries of Massachusetts. In 
1905 the Commissioners on Fisheries and Game were required 
to close certain areas of tidal water for such a length of time 
as the State Board of Health recommended, and prohibit therein 
the taking of shellfish of all descriptions for food. The waters 
closed in part or entirely were New Bedford, Boston, Lynn and 
Salem harbors. Within these proscribed areas shellfish, par- 
ticularly clams and quahaugs, could not be lawfully taken for 
food. Owing to certain provisions relative to Boston Harbor, 
whereby clammers with permits were allowed to take clams 
for bait, it became practically impossible to enforce the law 
adequately, and a similar condition, which subsequently was 
partly if not successfully remedied by recent legislation, prevailed 
at New Bedford. 

The number of arrests for violation of the shellfish pollution 
laws since 1904 are here tabulated. 



Shellfish. 



1904, 
1905, 
1906, 
1907, 
1908, 
1909, 
1910, 
1911, 
1912, 
1913, 
1914, 
1915, 



28 
53 
49 
79 
76 
77 
72 
68 
28 
65 
72 
78 



(1) Boston Harbor. — The permit system of digging clams for 
bait for fishing steamers under chapter 285, Acts of 1907, was 
greatly abused, and whereas a portion of these clams were sold 
for bait, the remainder were sold as food. It was practically 
impossible to enforce the law as long as the system of granting 
bait permits by the Boston board of health was in vogue, since 
it was necessary for a deputy not only to see the clams dug, 
but also to keep them constantly in sight until sold as food, — 



PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 79 

in most cases a physical impossibility. In 1914 convictions 
were made possible by the abolition of the permit system, but 
the rigid enforcement of the law in the interests of the public 
health has been practically nullified, since the penalties im- 
posed have been too insignificant, defendants merely paying 
the fines and continuing the illegal taking of clams. In spite 
of numerous arrests this practice has continued to such an 
extent as to make it necessary either for the courts to deal more 
harshly with these offenders, or for the law to be so amended as 
to include a term of imprisonment as well as a fine. Such 
actions are taken solely in the interests of the public health, 
and the tendency to allow violators to escape upon the flimsiest 
technicality is to be deplored by public-spirited and broad- 
minded citizens. 

The attention of this department has been called by the 
United States Bureau of Fisheries to the sale of mussels from 
polluted waters of Boston Harbor. This Bureau has been 
anxious to introduce the mussel as a valuable food, but the 
sale of mussels from the polluted areas has, to a large extent, 
offset their good work in placing this delicious and nutritious 
food on the Boston market. An investigation of the Italian 
fish markets in the spring of 1914 showed that several firms 
for nearly three years had been selling mussels taken from the 
flats of Boston Harbor to French and Italian customers. At 
the present time about two bushels per day are retailed at the 
rate of five cents per quart. Unfortunately, the restrictions 
placed on the taking of clams under section 113 does not apply 
to mussels, and it is advisable that some provision be made 
whereby the sale of polluted mussels may be prohibited, since 
they are as dangerous to the public health as clams. 

(2) New Bedford Harbor. — The shellfish problem in New 
Bedford has been under discussion for a number of years. 
Existing conditions were first called to the attention of the 
State Board of Health in 1904, and in 1905 prohibitive meas- 
ures were placed on the taking of shellfish from the contam- 
inated waters of and adjacent to New Bedford. These 
restrictions continued through the latter part of 1905 and the 
whole of the year 1906, after which the law was modified, so 
that in 1907 the boards of health of New Bedford and Fair- 



80 



FISH AND GAME. 



haven were authorized to grant licenses to take shellfish 
from the restricted areas for bait only. As in the case of 

Boston Harbor this concession merely resulted in flagrant 
abuse. 

The number of cases and deaths resulting from typhoid 

fever between 1899 and 1910, according to the New Bedford 
board of health, is here given : — 



Year. 


Cases 
reported. 


Deaths. 


1900, 


132 
99 

181 

153 
64 
56 
57 

102 
98 

126 


22 


1901 

1902, 


19 
24 


1903, 

1904, 


28 
12 


19C5 

190G 


4 

7 


1907, 

1908, 


10 
20 


1909 


20 







The prevalence of the disease in 1902 and 1903 resulted in an 
investigation which showed that the consumption ofquahaugs 
taken from the Acushnet River was probably accountable for 
the large number of cases during these two years, since the 
families of local fishermen who were using these quahaugs as 
an article of food ■ comprised the principal sufferers. By a 
careful study of the figures from 1899 to 1910 it will be noticed 
that during the period of restrictive measures, up to the grant- 
ing of licenses for bait, the number of cases and deaths was 
small as compared with prior and subsequent periods. Twenty- 
nine investigated cases were found to have eaten quahaugs 
taken supposedly for no other purpose than for bait. It is 
interesting to note that the majority of the typhoid cases in 
1907, 1908, 1909 and 1910 had names similar to the holders 
of licenses to take shellfish for bait. 

In order to save a valuable industry, and especially to 
facilitate the transplanting of small "seed" quahaugs to pure 
waters where in time they would become free from the effects 



PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 81 

of pollution, a law was passed (chapter 411, Acts of 1911) pro- 
viding for a board of shellfish commissioners for the city of New 
Bedford and the town of Fairhaven, which was authorized to 
regulate the taking of shellfish from the polluted waters of the 
Acushnet River and of New Bedford and Fairhaven harbors. 
In 1912 three inspectors were appointed, two from New Bed- 
ford and one from Fairhaven. The quahaugs were transplanted 
to beds in clean water, principally in Swansea and on Cape Cod. 
Legislation was sought in 1914 for reimbursement of the city 
of New Bedford and the town of Fairhaven for the deficit 
occasioned by this law. Experience has shown that this work 
cannot be self-supporting, as the State law fixes the fees that 
may be charged, and the natural law of supply and demand 
regulates the number of fishermen. 

The present method of regulating the fisheries by the two 
local boards appears theoretically ideal, but several drawbacks 
are evident, chief among which has been the inefficiency of 
inspection. There is no absolute method of ascertaining 
whether the shellfish are distributed to the purifying beds or 
shipped directly to market. Naturally it is difficult for in- 
spectors, no matter how skillful, to follow these transfers under 
the present conditions, and there is room for considerable 
improvement before it can be safely guaranteed that quahaugs 
are not marketed without being sent to the purifying beds. 
However, with proper care and rigid enforcement of the law 
on the part of the local inspectors the joint board should be 
able to avoid these difficulties. 

Lobster Fishery. 
The present conditions in the lobster fishery are far from 
satisfactory, as the short-lobster problem is still in an unsettled 
state. The fishermen from Roekport to Scituate in the past 
two years have formed associations, the principal object of 
which is a mutual agreement that they will return all short 
and egg-bearing lobsters to the water as soon as caught. On 
the request of these associations authority has been given to 
certain members to enforce the laws. In but few instances 
have these agreements been violated, and the associations are 
to be commended for the stand they have taken. Reports 



82 



FISH AND GAME. 



from several localities state that the catches are increasing, 
and good results are enthusiastically anticipated. 

Our deputies carefully followed the shipments of lobsters to 
Boston dealers, with the result that in 1915 over 2,400 under- 
sized lobsters were seized and liberated in the waters of the 
Commonwealth. The permits which formerly were issued to 
fishermen to hold the egg-bearing lobsters in confinement 
have all been revoked. In 1915, 3,468 pounds of egg-bearing 
lobsters were purchased from the dealers, who received ship- 
ments from Maine and Nova Scotia. 



Date. 


Fisher- 
men. 


Traps. 


Number 

of 

Lobsters 

above 

im 

Inches. 


Egg- 
bearing 
Lob- 
sters. 


Average 
Catch 
per Pot. 


Ratio of 

Lobsters 
to Total 
Catch. 


Average 
Ratio of 

Egg 
Lobsters, 
Five-year 
Periods. 


Average 
Catch per 

Trap, 
Five-year 

Periods. 


1888, . 


367 


21,418 


1,740,850 


_ 


81 


_ 






1889, 






344 


20,016 


1,359,645 


61,832 


68 


1: 21. 9G 






1S90, 






379 


19,554 


1,612,129 


70,909 


82 


1: 22.70 


|l: 27.06 


76.0 


1891, 






327 


15,448 


1,292,791 


49,973 


84 


1: 25.80 


1892, 






312 


14,064 


1,107,764 


37,230 


79 


1: 29.75 






1893, 






371 


17,012 


1,149,332 


32,741 


62 


1: 35.10 


. 




1894, 






425 


20,303 


1,096,834 


34,897 


54 


1: 31.14 


\ 




1895, 






377 


17,205 


956,365 


34,343 


56 


1: 27.80 






1896, 






453 


22,041 


995,396 


30,470 


45 


1: 32.60 


1: 33.08 


49.4 


1897, 






388 


18,829 


896,273 


23,719 


48 


1: 37.70 






1898, 






340 


16,195 


720,413 


19,931 


44 


1: 36.10 


J 




1899, 






327 


15,350 


644,633 


16,470 


42 


1: 39.10 


\ 




1900, 






309 


14,086 


646,499 


15,638 


46 


1: 41.30 






1901, 






331 


16,286 


578,383 


16,353 


35 


1: 35.30 


il: 38.S2 


36.3 


1902, 






410 


20,058 


670,245 


- 


34 


- 


1903, 






300 


20,121 


665,466 


- 


33 


- 


J 




1904, 






326 


19,539 


552,290 


13,950 


28 


1: 39.60 


J 




1905, 






287 


13,829 


426,471 


9,865 


31 


1: 43.20 


] 




1906, 






335 


21,918 


487,332 


9,378 


22 


1: 52.00 


1 




1907, 






379 


21,342 


1,039,8861 


10,348 


49 


1:100.40 


[l: 84.68 


40.2 


1908, 






349 


19,294 


1,035,12s 1 


9,081 


54 


1:114.00 






1909, 






522 


29,996 


1,326,2191 


11,656 


45 


1:113.80 


J 




1910, 






390 


26,760 


935,3561 


7,857 


35 


1: 68.10 


i 




1911, 






341 


19,773 


822,1071 


5,488 


42 


1:149.80 






1912, 






291 


16,665 


631,5951 


4,744 


38 


1:133.10 


V 1:121.14 


.30.8 


1913, 






254 


13,877 


543,1291 


3,408 


39 


1:159.40 






1914, . 






310 


16,128 


566,1911 


5,932 


35 


1: 95.40 


J 




1915, . 


253 


15,042 


563,5981 


5,050 


37 


1:111.60 







1 Number of lobsters above 9 inches. 



PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 83 

The Otter Trawl Fishery. 

Commissioners on Fisheries and Game, State House, Boston, Mass. 

Gentlemen: — I herewith submit a brief report upon the 

otter trawl fishery of Massachusetts, comprising data obtained 

from an investigation of steam trawling on Georges in 1912, and 

from the use of the small otter trawl in Buzzards Bay in 1913. 

Respectfully submitted, 

David L. Belding, Biologist. 

Introduction. — About 1893, largely as a result of a report 
upon the " Beam Trawl Fishery of Great Britain," by Capt. J. W. 
Collins, published by the United States Fish Commission in 1889, 
beam trawls were first used from sailing boats for catching 
flounders at Provincetown. At the present time flounder dredg- 
ing has extended along the south side of Cape Cod, and even 
as far north as Salem, the power boat largely replacing, the 
sailboat. In 1903 Captain Collins, at that time chairman of 
this commission, with the co-operation of Capt. L. D. Baker of 
Wellfleet> made the first demonstration of the use of the otter 
trawl, which is a more efficient apparatus than the beam trawl. 
The report of this department in 1904 contains what is probably 
the first description published in America of the manner of 
using the otter trawl, and a forecast of its advantages. Since 
that time two distinct lines of development in otter trawl fishing 
have taken place: (1) in the large steam otter trawlers which 
are used for deep-sea fishing; and (2) in the small otter trawl 
employed in shore fishing. 

The largest beam trawler, with a net 150 feet wide, is capable 
of dragging large areas of deep-sea bottom. This type of fishing 
aroused much discussion among the commercial fishermen, and 
restrictive legislation has been demanded under the contention 
that the fishing grounds were in danger of destruction. In 
March, 1912, the first investigation of steam trawling ever made 
in the United States was undertaken by this commission, with 
a view to determining the extent of the damage to the fisheries 
at a time when active opposition to steam trawling among the 
deep-sea fishermen had taken the form of a petition for legisla- 
tion which would prohibit or restrict this method of fishing. 
The report of the biologist, which was presented at that time 
before the congressional committee and incorporated in the Con- 



84 FISH AND GAME. 

gressional Record, formed the basis of a more complete investi- 
gation by the United States Bureau of Fisheries. 

The second, the small otter trawl, 35 to 60 feet in width, is of 
more recent development. Owing to the greater ease in handling, 
and its better fishing qualities, it has within the last few years 
rapidly replaced the more cumbersome beam trawl. It is readily 
adapted for use with auxiliary catboats or power boats, and the 
greater part of the fishing on the south side of Cape Cod is 
carried on with these crafts. 

The problem of shallow water otter trawling is quite distinct 
from that of steam trawling, and it is therefore best to study 
first the question of the deep-sea otter trawl before considering 
the relation of the small otter trawl to our shore fisheries. 



Deep-sea Trawling. 

The Problem. — The general problem, stripped of all adventi- 
tious or local questions, is, broadly stated, how can we best 
utilize the productive capacity of the coastal waters and of the 
fishing banks along the North Atlantic coast? Spawning fish 
must not be destroyed by trawling, or by floating traps which 
take migratory fish just before they reach their spawning ground, 
or even by traps and set nets which take shad, bass, sturgeon, 
alewives and smelt near the mouths of rivers. An actual de- 
crease is already obvious in certain marine species which are 
restricted in distribution and which return periodically in par- 
ticular places, e.g., shad, salmon, striped bass, smelt; and in 
those species which travel along rather definite paths of migra- 
tion, e.g., scup, mackerel and bluefish. For this reason any 
method of fishing which takes more than the annual increment 
of fish and seriously injures the spawning of any species should 
be eliminated. 

Hand Lining. — Hand lining catches the largest individuals 
and does not destroy many immature fish, — a good economic 
practice, while the cost of equipment is at a minimum. The 
actual cost, however, has increased with the difficulty of procuring 
bait. Pollution of shores and streams, together with excessive 
seining and torching, has destroyed or driven away large num- 
bers of bait fish, such as young menhaden, squid, alewives, 
herring, et al. Ultimately the procuring of bait will be a serious 
problem for the fishermen. Hand lining is thoroughly American 
in the sense that it comes nearest to giving equal opportunities 






PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 85 

to all, and under natural conditions is adequate for furnishing 
a reasonable supply of food. 

Net Fishing. — Increased population and correspondingly 
greater market demands bring up again the old problem of hand 
labor versus machine. The best-known machinery of the fisheries 
are the nets of various sizes, materials and types, the efficiency 
and necessity of which have long since been acknowledged, and 
which in ordinary and proper use no longer attract attention. 
The otter trawl, however, is a new type of net devised for operat- 
ing in those localities which have hitherto been unsubjected to 
net fishing, viz., the bottom of the sea at a considerable distance 
from the shore. Essentially it is a large, open-mouthed net 
dragged for miles by a steam vessel over the bottom of the ocean, 
and for that reason is to be classified as one form of net fishing. 

Purpose. — The general object of this investigation was to 
ascertain the amount of damage, actual or theoretical, caused 
by steam trawling. For this purpose one trip to Georges was 
made with Capt. Ralph Thomas on the steam trawler "Foam." 
Observations were made particularly in regard to the destruc- 
tiveness of this method of fishing, and followed these general 
lines: — 

1. The percentage and number of edible fish taken. 

2. The percentage and species of nonedible fish taken. 

3. The destruction of edible fish too small for market. 

4. General destruction of fish by trawling. 

5. The extent of sea bottom covered. 

6. Damage to the sea bottom. 

7. Destruction of fish spawn and food. 

8. The driving of fish from the fishing grounds. 

Steam Trawlers. — Ten years ago the steam trawler "Spray" 
was built as an experiment. Up to 1912, the time of this in- 
vestigation, five other steam trawlers of an American type were 
built at a cost of about $50,000 apiece, and put into commission 
as follows: — 

September, 1910, "Foam." 

December, 1910, "Ripple." 

March, 1911, "Crest." 

January, 1912, "Surf." 

January, 1912, "Swell." 

The "Foam," typical of all American steam trawlers, is con- 
structed entirely of steel, measuring about 126 feet over all, 



86 FISH AND GAME. 

with a beam of 22 feet, depth 10 feet, drawing 13 feet, and 
having a gross tonnage of 244. Two short masts are situated 
fore and aft, and the forward part is raised in turret style, 
affording a storage room for rigging, barrels, etc., above the 
forecastle. In front of the pilot house is an open deck parti- 
tioned into "checkers," to hold the fish when dumped from the 
trawl. Two long and one short "checkers" are on each side 
of a central hatch which leads into the hold, capable of holding 
120,000 pounds of iced fish. In front of this hatch is a hoist 
for unloading the fish and in its rear is a tank with a capacity 
of 800 pounds for washing the fish before they are packed 
into the hold. Directly in front of the pilot house is located 
the winch for operating the trawl, with two large and two ac- 
cessory drums, around which the steel cable (seven-eighths of an 
inch in diameter) of the trawl is wound. The whole machinery 
is operated by a two-cylinder engine, which is controlled by two 
attendants by means of clutches during the setting or hauling 
of the trawl. 

The pilot house, constructed entirely of steel, is fitted in the 
usual manner with compass, wheel, bells, speaking tubes. The 
large wheel operates directly on the rudder, requiring considerable 
force to manipulate it. To offset the attraction of the steel house 
the compass is regulated by magnets. A bridge with iron ladders 
on each side surrounds all but the rear of the pilot house, under- 
neath which are the furnaces and boilers, while further aft is the 
engine room with a large 450-horse power triple-expansion engine. 
Along the bulwarks, one on each side, the trawls are laid when 
not in use. Fore and aft on each side is a steel framework, 
equipped with pulleys, to take care of the "doors" and steel 
cable of the trawl. The stern is occupied by a bin for rope and 
loose ends, a pulley for holding the cables of the trawl together, 
a log, and a sounding line station. 

The crew consists of a captain, mate, chief and assistant engi- 
neer, two firemen, a steward and two crews of six Newfound- 
landers, — in all 19 men. Each section is alternately on duty 
for six hours, thus working twelve hours out of the twenty-four. 
The captain heads one watch, the mate the other, except in 
stormy or foggy weather, when the services of both are required. 
A trip usually lasts four to five days, a little over two of which 
are consumed in running between Georges and Boston, thus 
giving two to three days of continuous fishing if the weather 
permits. Night work is carried on with the aid of electric lights 



PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 87 

supplied from a dynamo in the engine room, so that the fishing 
is practically a continuous process. 

The Trawl. — The main parts of the trawl are the "wings," 
one on each side, which serve as "leaders," and the net proper, 
which leads into a large pocket or bag in which the fish are 
finally hauled aboard. At the forward end of each "wing" is 
a wooden "door," about 10 by 3 J feet, shod with steel runners, 
and strengthened by cross bands of iron. At and from the inside 
corners of the door pass four short chains to join just above the 
center into a single chain, to which is attached the steel cable. 
When not in use the two "doors" of the trawl are hung fore and 
aft on "gallows" equipped with a pulley for the steel cable. 

When extended the trawl has a width of 140 feet, but in action 
probably is less than 100 feet wide. The top rope is about 25 
feet shorter than the bottom, so that the net forms a bow. The 
bottom rope is about 3 inches in diameter, and without leads. 
Before the trawl is lowered into the water the top rope of the 
net is attached to the "doors" by a simple knot. The 3-inch 
meshes of the "wings" and first part of the net are of single 
twine, then double and triple until the bag or "cod end" is 
formed of extremely thick and heavy twine. The latter is 
fitted with a "clapper," so that fish which are once swept within 
find it impossible to get out. The bottom has a large opening, 
closed by a rope in what is known as a "cod end" knot, which 
can be readily loosened when the trawl is hawled aboard. 

Operating the Trawl. — In setting the trawl the net is lowered 
over the side and the rope is attached to both "doors," which 
are lowered to about 20 fathoms. Then the vessel is started, 
and if within 4 or 5 points of its course the whole cable is let 
out. If not headed satisfactorily only 50 fathoms are let out, 
and the net is first towed around into proper position. The 
fore and aft cables are joined by pulling in the forward cable 
to lie in the same pulley as the other. If the trawl has been 
correctly set, the two strands will separate at an angle, but if 
the doors are not towing upright, and the trawl is not in proper 
position, the cables will o'verlap. The pull on the doors and 
their resistance to the water at the angle at which they are set 
cause them to run upright. 

The amount of cable let out is approximately three times the 
depth of the water, but in shallow water a relatively shorter 
length is used. The trawl is dragged for one and one-half hours, 
at the average rate of 4 miles an hour, thus sweeping a 6-mile 



88 



FISH AND GAME. 



strip 100 feet in width, a total of 3,168,000 square feet (72.72 
acres). 

When the traw r l is hauled the vessel is stopped, the winches 
started and the cable is pulled in until the doors are in place. 
The ropes of the net are then untied from the doors and carried 
toward each other about mid-deck, where the wdngs and' part 
of the net are pulled over the sides. Then the large ropes of 
the net are fastened to the auxiliary drums of the winch, and 
the net is hauled. 

(1) The Species and Number of Edible Fish. — This particular 
trip of the "Foam" resulted in a small catch, in fact, less than 
half the usual stock. The total number of edible fish taken in 
15 hauls of the trawl, out of a total of 35 during the entire 
trip, was 4,665 (82 per cent, of the total catch of 5,685). Of 
these, 3,435 (60.4 per cent.) w T ere saved for market, and 1,230 
(21.6 per cent.) w^ere thrown overboard. The largest catch, 
as can be seen from the following table, w T as in haddock. Of 
the 21.6 per cent, thrown overboard, 596 (10.47 per cent.) were 
summer flounders, 617 (10.84 per cent.) small haddock, and 
17 (.29 per cent.) undersized cod. 



Edible Fish. 



Species. 


Number. 


Relative Per 
Cent. 


Total Per 
Cent. 


Saved. 


Over- 
board. 


Saved. 


Over- 
board. 


Saved. 


Over- 
board. 


Cod 

Haddock, 

Halibut 

Wolf fish 

Silver hake 

Pollock 

Flounders: 

Winter 

Summer 


119 

2,472 

2 

3 

1 

143 

695 


17 
617 

596 


3.46 

71.96 

.07 

.11 

.04 

4.14 

20.22 


1.38 
50.16 

48.46 


2.10 

43.48 

.05 

.07 

.02 

2.45 

12.23 


.29 
10.84 

10.47 




3,435 


1,230 


100.00 


100.00 


60.40 


21.6 



Nonedible Fish. 



Species. 


Number. 


Relative Per 
Cent. 


Total Per 
Cent. 


Skate 

Smooth dogfish 

Sculpin, 

Goosefish, 

Toadfish 


938 

19 

32 

25 

6 


92.00 

1.85 

3.13 

2.43 

.59 


16.50 
.35 
.58 
.47 
.10 




1,020 


100.00 


18.00 




Steam trawling. Hauling the otter trawl. 




Pilot house and fish troughs of a steam trawler. 



PUBLIC DOCUMENT — Xo. 25. 89 

(2) Nonedible Fish. — As can be seen from the above tables 
the total per cent, of nonedible fish is 18. To all practical pur- 
poses the skate formed on this trip the entire catch of the 
nonedible forms, making 16.5 per cent, of the total catch, or, 
considered relatively to the total nonedible fish, 92 per cent., the 
remaining 8 per cent, consisting of dogfish, sculpins, toadfish and 
goosefish. If weight and bulk instead of numbers were considered 
the percentage would be still higher. These species, especially the 
skate, are troublesome to the ordinary trawl fishermen, entailing 
loss of bait and labor in removing them from the lines. The 
smooth dogfish is not the species which causes so much damage 
to the fish and nets, but is a bottom feeder, living on crabs 
and lobsters. The goose or monk fish, of the family of anglers, 
probably destroys large quantities of food fish. The sculpin and 
toadfish are only a nuisance to fishermen. It is possible that 
the time is not far distant when the American public will utilize 
the skate and other similar forms as acceptable food fish. 

The service of the steam trawlers in exterminating such 
predaceous fish is problematical. Undoubtedly the fish receive 
hard usage in being dragged over the bottom in the trawl, and 
are pierced by the prongs of the forks when pitched overboard, 
but naturally of a hardy nature the majority of these, possibly 
at least 75 per cent., survive the treatment. So the argument 
that steam trawling is a help to the fishery by exterminating 
these pests is not supported by facts. 

(3) The Destruction of Edible Species too Small for Market. — 
No summer flounders are taken by the trawlers for the market, 
but this species constitutes 10.47 per cent, of the entire catch, 
or 12.25 per cent, of the edible fish taken. All sizes from 4 to 16 
inches are thrown overboard with forks and shovels. The num- 
ber which survive the rough treatment in the net and the wounds 
from the fork prongs is entirely a matter of conjecture, possibly 
50 per cent. 

The small haddock, which comprises most of the remaining 
waste, constitutes 10.84 per cent, of the total catch, or 12.68 
per cent, of the edible fish. The total catch of haddock saved 
for market, including the scrod, was 2,472, while 617 were thrown 
overboard, 24.93 per cent, of the haddock catch. The small 
haddock is a delicate fish, and as no signs of life were evident 
when these fish were thrown overboard, it is doubtful whether 
any recover from the net and pitchfork treatment. A small 
amount of cod, .29 per cent, of the total number of fish, was 
thrown overboard. The total catch of cod was very light on 



90 FISH AND GAME, 

this particular trip, only 119, of which 17, or 14.3 per cent., 
were too small for market. With a more plentiful catch results 
might be different. No pollock, hake, wolf fish, halibut or winter 
flounders were thrown overboard. Whether a larger mesh would 
lessen the destruction of small fish is questionable. 

(4) Destruction of Fish by the Otter Trawl. — The mortality 
among the fish thrown overboard is probably about 25 per cent, 
for skates, 50 per cent, for flatfish and 100 per cent, for small 
haddock and cod. By more careful though less rapid methods 
the fish could be sorted with less damage to the discarded species, 
but where speed is a commercial asset such care will never be 
taken in this type of fishing. 

(5) The Extent of Sea Bottom covered. — The average drag is 
one and one-half hours, covering a distance of 6 miles. The 
net is 140 feet long, but when in action forms a bow about 100 
feet in width. These figures show that an average of 3,168,000 
square feet, or 72.72 acres, is covered by each drag. In a six- 
day trip 35 hauls were made, and by this method of calculating 
a total territory of 2,545 acres was covered. 

(6) Damage to Sea Bottom. — The trawl makes a clean sweep, 
but there is no evidence to show that the net itself does any 
appreciable damage to the bottom. 

(7) Destruction of Fish Spawn and Food. — On this trip no 
fish spawn, with the exception of a few sculpin eggs, were found 
in the trawl. It can be definitely stated that this method of 
fishing is not likely to destroy the spawn of cod, haddock and 
many other species of food fish for the reason that their eggs 
are "pelagic," floating at the surface of the ocean. 

The debris in the trawl chiefly consists of starfish, fish heads 
(evidently thrown overboard from other vessels), rocks of various 
sizes, deep-sea scallops, barnacles and the black quahaug (Cy- 
prina islandica). It is possible that dragging the trawl over the 
bottom may destroy the Crustacea, cchinoderms and other marine 
forms upon which cod, haddock and other fish feed, or it may 
ultimately change the character of the bottom to such a degree as 
to make it less suitable for supporting a large fish population. 

(8) Driving the Fish from the Fishing Grounds. — Whether 
otter trawling is driving the fish from the fishing grounds is 
largely a matter of opinion. The noise of the vessel has little 
influence, as Prof. George H. Parker in a report of the United 
States Bureau of Fisheries has demonstrated that motor boats 
have little or no effect upon fish. The direct action of the 
large trawl is perhaps capable of frightening fish, but the effect 



PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 91 

can be scarcely more than transitory. The disturbance of the 
bottom and the destruction of food, if such there be, possibly 
might drive the fish to seek other feeding grounds. 

It is evident that the public is the chief gainer from improved 
methods of fishing. The otter trawler can fish day and night, 
except in the fiercest gales, and there is no loss of time in seek- 
ing bait. The catch of the steam trawlers comes to market with 
more certainty and at a shorter interval, a decided improvement 
in the sanitary condition of the marketed fish as regards time 
of catching. 

Conclusions. — The main problem is the preservation of the 
marine food supply for future generations. For that reason 
otter trawling should be thoroughly studied, not merely in 
respect to the immediate demonstrable effects on certain species 
of fish, but with a view to determining the possible though 
remote changes which may result after a period of years. This 
type of fishing should be kept under careful observation, and 
restricted to definite areas for the purpose of avoiding the un- 
favorable conditions which have arisen from the excessive use 
of otter trawls in the North Sea. 

The facts here presented give the observations made upon 
a single trip, and for that reason final conclusions cannot safely 
be drawn from such insufficient data. As yet we have made 
only a beginning in the study of this important and far-reaching 
problem, which concerns the vital interests of our fisheries. 
Further investigations should be made in the next few years, 
and ample appropriations should be made for this important 
purpose. 

The Small Offer Trawl. 

An investigation of the use of the small otter trawl was carried 
on in Buzzards Bay in 1913, a gasolene oyster dredger equipped 
with two otter trawls, 55 to 60 feet in width, being used. When 
dragging the net, which had a working width of 40 feet, the 
speed of the boat averaged about 3 miles an hour. 

Trawl. — The small otter trawl is a long tapering net similar 
to the large trawl. The bottom line is leaded, and a buoy is 
attached to the bag end of the net by a line, the length of which 
is about twice the depth of the water. The buoy is attached so 
that should the net catch on an obstruction and break apart 
the severed part might be recovered by taking up the buoy. 
As the boat forges slowly ahead the buoy is first thrown over- 
board and then the net is dropped over the side of the vessel, 
great care being taken to keep the doors from becoming en- 



92 FISH AND GAME. 

tangled in the tow lines. The latter are laid aft, where they 
are gradually payed out until the proper length is spent, ac- 
cording to the depth of the water, when they are fastened to a 
bit in the stern of the boat. The time the trawl is down varies 
with the condition of the tide and bottom, the average being 
from thirty to forty-five minutes. The trawl is then hoisted 
aboard by a winch, the cod end opened and the contents dumped 
upon the deck. 

Results. — The varieties of fish obtained in the otter trawl 
between July 18 and August 13 were mostly prominent residents 
of Buzzards Bay. The species were: winter flounder, summer 
flounder, four spotted flounder, sand dab, skate, dogfish, whiting, 
hake, puffer and sea robin. At no time was a sufficient quantity 
of these fish taken for marketing. The chief source of revenue 
for the small otter trawl is derived from the winter flounder, 
which during the summer months was not found in any abun- 
dance in the bay. 

Probably numerous fish can avoid being taken by the slow- 
moving trawl, and the species which inhabit the rocky ledges 
cannot be taken, since the irregular bottom is unsuited for the 
manipulation of the net. A finer meshed bag over the free 
end of the net made practically no difference in the catch, in- 
dicating that practically no small fish were taken. 

By the use of buoys it was possible to operate the otter trawl 
suspended at various depths. The results of hauls made at the 
various heights above the bottom were entirely negative, no 
fish being taken. However, with a fast-moving boat and larger 
net it might be possible for certain species to be taken by such 
a method. The limited observations which were made indicate 
that this method of suprabottom fishing is impracticable. 

It is evident that the winter flounder is in danger of com- 
mercial extermination through this method of fishing. The 
flounder is a migratory fish only in a limited sense, and it can 
be nearly extirpated in any confined area. Unquestionably the 
small otter trawl is capable of destroying the flounder fishing 
in a single locality, and it will be interesting to observe its 
effect in the next few years upon the abundance of winter 
flounders in Vineyard Sound and on the south side of Cape Cod. 
In this respect the small otter trawl may prove to be even as 
objectionable as the more widely famed deep-sea trawl, and it is 
earnestly to be hoped that some means of restricting its use in dif- 
ferent localities in southern Massachusetts may be devised in order 
to save the winter flounder at least from partial extermination. 



PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 93 



A Report upon the Clam Fishery. 

Commissioners on Fisheries and Game, State House, Boston, Mass. 

Gentlemen: — I herewith submit the following report upon 
the natural history and culture of the soft clam (My a arenaria). 
All investigations herein were made in accordance with the pro- 
visions of chapter 93, Resolves of 1905. 

Respectfully submitted, 

David L. Belding, 

Biologist. 

INTRODUCTION. 

Object. — The report on the mollusk fisheries for 1909 pre- 
sented a survey of the clam flats of Massachusetts, showing their 
extent, condition, present production and possibility of develop- 
ment under cultural methods. The present paper completes this 
work by submitting a practical method of increasing the clam 
production of the Commonwealth. The investigation upon which 
this report is based was conducted for the following purposes: — 

1. To determine the rate of growth. 

2. To discover and* test methods of clam culture. 

3. To check the decline in the natural supply. 

4. To utilize unproductive flats. 

In order to satisfactorily solve these problems a study was 
made of the natural history of the clam, first, to obtain informa- 
tion upon its spawning, early life history, structure, growth and 
habits; and second, to apply this knowledge to the problem of 
clam culture and the improvement of the industry. 

Purpose of the Work. — For many years the clammers of our 
shore towns have dug clams from the abundant natural beds, 
under the impression that these areas would always yield the 
same bountiful harvest and that man could never exterminate 
or even decrease the supply. In the last twenty years it has 
become evident that even the prolific clam could not withstand 
continued overfishing, and in certain localities, such as the town 
of Chatham, the commercial clam fishery has almost passed 
away. The serious effects of the diminution of the clam supply 
are more apparent on the southern coast of Massachusetts than on 
the clam flats north of Boston, which are still in a fair condition. 
Unless some means of checking the decline in the natural supply 
is found, many clammers will be thrown out of employment and 



94 FISH AND GAME. 

the consumer will be unable to purchase clams at a reasonable 
price. For this reason the matter was brought to the attention 
of the Legislature in 1905, and a three-year investigation was 
undertaken, to determine, if possible, suitable methods for im- 
proving the clam fishery of the Commonwealth. 

A practical method of increasing the natural clam supply has 
already been presented to the Legislature in a previous report 
(1909). This report presents in more detail the facts upon which 
the recommendations were based. The main object has been 
the preservation of the clam supply, but not the curtailment of 
the fishery by legislation restricting the catch or methods of 
fishing. The plan presented in this report has for its object the 
maintenance of both the fishery and the individual fisherman. 
Not only will it increase the supply but it will increase also the 
number of men employed and afford better wages. The inves- 
tigation for the utilization of the barren flats has been essentially 
of an experimental nature, paving the way for the more exten- 
sive work of reclamation. 

Results. — The preliminary growth experiments of 1905 show 
that the solution of the problem lies in the development of clam 
culture either by individuals or by towns, and that the success 
of such a movement depends upon the pfoper transplanting of 
small clams from the localities of heavy set to the so-called 
barren areas which are capable of production. Clam farming 
as a commercial undertaking offers the best solution for the 
utilization of the barren flats and for checking the diminution 
in the supply. The Commission on Fisheries and Game believes 
that the economic solution lies in the granting of private leases 
of sea bottom to individuals, either by the State or town, for a 
period of years for the purpose of raising shellfish, i.e., to divide 
a certain portion of the coastal flats of the State into farms which 
would supply clams instead of vegetables for the market. This 
report is designed to give detailed information concerning the 
development of these clam areas for the town and for the Com- 
monwealth. 

Presentation of the Report. — The aim of this paper is to pre- 
sent to the general public, more especially to the fishermen, a 
complete history of the clam, arranged in a practical way, which 
will call attention to the present conditions of the fishery and 
how it may be improved by clam culture or sea farming. For 
completeness and convenience the results of previous investi- 
gators have been included. 



PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 95 

It is difficult to present adequately a report of this nature so 
that it will be comprehensible to various classes of readers, such 
as fishermen, general public and scientists, the members of these 
classes being unfamiliar with the terms used by each other. To 
make clear the contents to all involves repetition and renders 
necessary explanations of subjects which may perhaps appear 
simple to one class and inexplicable to the other two. For in- 
stance, it may appear absurd to the fisherman to describe in 
detail the implements and method of clamming, which are per- 
haps wholly unknown to the other class of readers, while, on the 
other hand, it may have a similar effect on the scientist when some 
simple, well-known doctrine, clothed in new form, is applied to the 
clam to give the proper impression to the fisherman and general 
public. Likewise, for the sake of emphasis, certain fundamental 
principles are repeated from time to time in the following pages. 

Since many phases of the clam's life history have been consid- 
ered already by other investigators, this report, in addition to 
covering old ground, deals principally with practical clam cul- 
ture in Massachusetts. In 1887 appeared the first complete 
account of the clam fishery by Ingersoll (12), published as part 
of the Fishing Industries and Fisheries of the United States by 
the United States Fish Commission and the tenth Census. This 
paper gave a brief account of the life history of the clam and 
described the fishery in the different States. 

The first article upon the young clam was written by Professor 
Ryder (9) in 1889, when he described its attachment by the 
byssus to sand grains before burrowing into the sand. Previous 
to the scientific papers the only mention outside of VerrilPs 
"Report on the Invertebrata of Vineyard Sound" (10) and 
Gould (11) was found in historical writings. In 1892 the anat- 
omy of the clam and several other mollusks was described by 
Kellogg (1) in his monograph upon the "Morphology of the 
Lamellibranchiata Mollusks," the first of a series upon the clam 
by the same investigator. His other works, as published by the 
United States Fish Commission, are " Observations on the Life 
History of the Common Clam, Mya armaria" 1900 (2); "The 
Clam Problem and Clam Culture," 1900 (3); "Conditions gov- 
erning the Existence and Growth of the Soft Clam," 1904 (4), 
followed by a survey report on the clam fishery in New York 
State entitled "The Clam and Scallop Industries" (5), published 
as a New York State museum bulletin. The results of these 
five reports are summarized in a recent book, "The Shellfish 



96 FISH AND GAME. 

Industries" (6), in which Professor Kellogg presents an excellent 
account of the life history, habits and growth of the clam. 

In the bulletin of the Agricultural Experimental Station at 
Kingston, R. I., in 1896, appeared a small pamphlet entitled 
" The Utilization of Waste Products and Waste Places — Part 
II., the Clam" (7), by Dr. George W. Field, then biologist at 
the experimental station, — probably the first publication advo- 
cating the cultivation of the clam. In 1897 a few notes on clam 
culture were appended by H. F. Moore to his report on "Oyster 
Culture" (8), United States Fish Commission bulletin, 1897. 
Somewhat later, beginning in 1898, a series of investigations 
were conducted by Prof. A. D. Mead of the Rhode Island Com- 
mission of Inland Fisheries, which covered in an excellent manner 
the artificial propagation and growth of clams in Rhode Island 
waters. The results of these investigations were recorded in the 
reports of the Rhode Island Commission of Inland Fisheries 
from 1900 to 1904, inclusive, while brief mention of the clam 
fishery has been made in several annual reports since that time. 

In 1906 considerable space was devoted to methods of clam 
planting in the twenty-ninth report of the Maine fisheries (18). 
Three reports on the clam have already been issued by the Mas- 
sachusetts Commission on Fisheries and Game, in 1905, 1906 and 
1907, consisting of two preliminary papers and a survey report 
on the condition of the clam fishery of this Commonwealth. 

It is to be regretted that so little attention has been given 
the excellent reports of Dr. Kellogg and Dr. Mead by the people 
of Massachusetts. Few copies have been in circulation along 
the coast, a most unfortunate occurrence, since it has rendered 
practical results from their work impossible. 

Except in cases where the subject is of general knowledge due 
credit is given to previous investigators for any reprinted matter. 
No claim for originality is made for the chapter dealing with the 
anatomy, which is chiefly taken from the standard work of 
Kellogg (1) and from Stafford (19), "The Clam Fishery of 
Passamaquoddy Bay," and rearranged by the writer to suit the 
needs of this report. 

Appropriations. — Chapter 93, Resolves of 1905, empowered 
the Commissioners on Fisheries and Game to expend for the pur- 
pose of the act the sum of $500 per year for a period of three 
years. It is obvious that ho extended experiments in clam cul- 
ture could be carried on with this limited amount, which had 
to cover salaries, traveling expenses, cost of planting the experi- 



PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 97 

mental beds, etc. The work was carried on as completely as 
possible with the means at our disposal by planting hundreds of 
small experimental beds, mostly 1/1,000 of an acre in size, along 
the entire coast under varied conditions. This method of work 
proved far from popular, as the majority of the people along 
the shore, when they learned that the commission was investi- 
gating the propagation of clams, expected that their barren 
flats would be "seeded" at the expense of the State. Naturally, 
when only small areas were seeded the people were disappointed, 
not realizing the utter impossibility of restocking all barren 
flats, — a proceeding that would have cost many thousands of 
dollars. They also failed to realize that the experimental work 
and the small clam beds were the preliminary steps toward the 
solution of the problem by clam farming. 

Courtesies. — The writer is especially indebted to Dr. George 
W. Field for the general direction of the work and for his help- 
ful supervision in the investigation; to Prof. James L. Kellogg 
of Williams College for preliminary instructions, and to the 
many persons, both summer residents and clammers along the 
shore, who have used their influence and time in protecting the 
experimental beds. 

Assistants. — The work was carried on during the summers 
from 1905 to 1908, and the writer was aided by several assist- 
ants, to whom he wishes to express his appreciation. During 
the summer of 1905 Roy L. Buffum of Williams College assisted 
in putting out the preliminary growth experiments; in 1906 four 
men, J. R. Stevenson, W. H. Gates, C. B. Coulter of Williams 
College and C. L. Savery were engaged for part of the summer 
on the clam problem; in 1907 W. G. Vinal of Harvard University, 
F. C. Lane of Boston University and J. R. Stevenson completed 
the cultural experiments. As investigations of a similar nature 
were being carried on at the same time with the scallop, qua- 
haug and oyster, only part of this time was devoted to the clam. 
From 1907 records were maintained by the writer for the planted 
beds, which were all discontinued in 1910. Owing to the diffi- 
culty of adequately protecting the beds, the average period of 
observation was seldom longer than two years. 

Localities. — W T ork was conducted along the coast by planting 
experimental beds in the principal clamming towns. Naturally 
every town could not be given the same attention, owing to the 
necessity of concentrating the work. Two main divisions were 
made, (1) the north shore, or from Plymouth north, and (2) 



98 FISH AND GAME. 

the south shore, or Cape Cod, Buzzards Bay and the islands of 
Nantucket and Martha's Vineyard. This division was necessary 
owing to the different conditions in these two localities, which 
required different types of work. For this reason in 1906 and 
1907 three stations were established, two on the north shore, at 
Plymouth and Ipswich, and the third on the south shore, at 
Monomoy Point, Chatham. 

On the north shore, general observations were made on the 
habits and growth of the clam as influenced by the food in the 
water and other natural conditions. Cultural experiments, par- 
ticularly at Plymouth and Ipswich, were instituted in regard to 
the effect of different soils upon growth, and the problem of 
reclaiming the barren clam flats was undertaken. In addition, 
a biological survey of the clam flats of the Commonwealth, par- 
ticularly with regard to the location of the set, was made in 1907. 

While the work on the south shore was chiefly conducted at 
Monomoy Point, a great number of experimental beds, especially 
in 1905, were located at different places. The work at Monomoy 
Point was chiefly confined to a study of the early life history 
and habits, and their practical application to spat collecting. 
Also a number of growth experiments, designed to bring out 
points of practical benefit to the planter, were conducted. The 
work in the two localities was so apportioned that there was 
little needless repetition, except as rendered necessary by the 
different conditions. 

Laboratories. — On the north shore no permanent laboratory 
was established. At Kingston, through the generosity of Mr. 
Frank J. Cole, a boathouse served as temporary quarters, while 
at Ipswich the work, almost exclusively of a non-laboratory 
nature, was conducted mostly on the flats, with field instruments 
which could be carried by the investigators. At Monomoy 
Point a permanent laboratory was located in a shanty near the 
water, consisting of two rooms, one 13 by 10 feet, the laboratory 
proper, the other 10 by 10 feet, the living and sleeping room. 
The laboratory was fitted with tables for microscope work, a 
stove, pump and sink. Around the walls were placed shelves 
and closets for instruments and chemicals. The living room was 
equipped with folding cots. In front of the laboratory was a 
large porch fronting the water and protected by a canvas cover- 
ing. On this porch was located the aquaria for holding the young 
shellfish, which were obtained from a floating raft. The raft, 
20 by 10 feet, as described in a previous report on the scallop, 






PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 99 

was anchored in the Powder Hole, an enclosed body of salt water 
connected with the ocean by a narrow opening. This body of 
water was formerly a spacious harbor, but owing to the shifting 
nature of the sands at Monomoy Point the entrance had gradu- 
ally filled, forming practically a landlocked bay. On the west side 
of the Powder Hole was a fine clam flat of about three acres, 
which afforded ample opportunity for experimental work in clam 
culture. The raft was of particular assistance in studying the 
early life history and in spat collecting, as it afforded facilities 
for spat boxes and for raising the young clams. 

NATURAL HISTORY. 
The life of the common clam (Mya arenaria), known in New 
England as the "soft clam," " soft-shelled clam," "long clam" 
or "long-necked clam," to distinguish it from the quahaug or 
hard clam, affords interesting as well as practical information. 
The descriptive names of "sand gaper," "old maid," "manni- 
nose," "sand clam," "squirt clam," "butter fish," "gaper clam," 
and the Indian name "sickishnog," prove that the habits of this 
mollusk were observed long ago by our forefathers. Indeed, a 
study of the natural history of the clam is essential in deter- 
mining proper methods of culture, for the conservation of the 
natural supply, and for the development of the clam fishery. 

Distribution. 

The clam has a wide distribution in the Pacific and Atlantic 
oceans, in the New and in the Old World. In America its habitat 
is principally the Atlantic coast, where it is supplanted in the 
far north by Mya truncata, a closely allied species. It is not a 
native of the Pacific, having been introduced in 1869 with oysters 
from the east (Stafford (19)), which indicates that it might be 
possible to successfully introduce some of the large Pacific shell- 
fish into Massachusetts waters. 

Ingersoll (12) writes: — 

In this country the Mya clams are found from South Carolina to the 
Arctic Ocean, where the seals, walrus, polar bear and Arctic fox feed 
upon them whenever they have a chance. They are scarce south of 
Cape Hatteras and most abundant on the New England coast. They 
occur on the northern coasts of Europe as far south as England and 
France, on the northeastern coast of Asia, in Japan and in Alaska. It 
is therefore essentially a northern species, and has the same general dis- 
tribution as far back as the Pliocene and Miocene ages of geology. 



100 FISH AND GAME. 

In Massachusetts the clam is found along the entire coast in 
varying abundance, according to the natural conditions, but the 
greater part of the marketed supply comes from the Ipswich 
Bay section (Newburyport to Gloucester). Except in rare in- 
stances other localities have not the great natural advantages of 
the Ipswich Bay region, although they once produced a much 
greater supply of clams than at the present time. In nearly 
every instance the flats have shown the effects of overdigging, 
resulting in a more or less depleted condition. 

Exposed beaches with open surf are not inhabited by this 
mollusk, which takes up its stationary life on the tidal flats of 
bays, inlets, rivers, or on sheltered beaches between low and 
high water, rarely leaving its burrow after it attains the size of 
1 inch. It is found in various kinds of soil, from rocky gravel 
to soft mud, but thrives best in a tenacious soil of mud and 
sand, where it lies at a depth of 3 to 12 inches. In walking over 
a clam flat, especially a flat with a hard, tenacious soil, the wan- 
derer will be greeted by tiny jets of water squirting into the air 
to a height of a foot or less, and on closer examination will find 
the soil perforated by minute holes, which mark the location of 
the clams. The hole is elliptical in shape, and for 3j-inch clams 
buried 3j inches below the surface in a mud flat its dimensions 
are 0.58 by 0.38 inches. The clam lies at various depths, depend- 
ing upon the size of the animal and upon the type of soil. In 
some soils the holes show more distinctly than in others, the 
moistness of the soil often making the holes inconspicuous, which 
leads to the popular idea that clams move from one locality to 
another. At low tide the clam rests in its burrow beneath the 
soil, with its siphon partly retracted, leaving a hole in the surface 
of the flat. At high tide the clam extends its siphon above the 
surface of the soil, drawing in a stream of water through the 
incurrent tube which is guarded by a row of tentacles, and shoot- 
ing out the water and waste matter in spurts from the excurrent 
tube. In this manner the animal feeds upon the microscopic 
plant forms strained from the water by the gills. 

Clam Areas below Low-water Mark. — Although the natural 
habitat of the soft clam is between the tide lines, it thrives be- 
neath low-water mark. Experiments have demonstrated that 
clams will grow faster when continually covered by water, while 
the presence of submerged beds as well as numerous beds ex- 
posed only at the extremely low running tides of winter has 
been known for years. In Narragansett Bay and in Katama 



PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 101 

Bay, Edgartown, the process of "churning" is used to obtain 
clams from perpetually submerged flats. Other localities in Mas- 
sachusetts of similar nature are located on the north side of 
the Joppa Flats in the Merrimac River, which is exposed only a 
few times during the low winter tides; certain flats in the Rowley, 
Ipswich and Essex rivers; and a few points along the south side 
of Cape Cod and in Buzzards Bay. The clams below low-water 
mark grow more rapidly than those between the tide lines, since 
they are never exposed, and have, as a rule, a better circulation 
of water. It is from these areas that considerable spawn is de- 
rived for seeding the tidal flats. The good clamming at New- 
buryport is largely due to the submerged area on the Joppa 
Flats, which cannot be depleted by digging. Such territories 
should be protected from digging as much as possible, as they 
form a natural means for perpetuating the clam supply. 

In spite of our lack of knowledge of their exact limits, the 
beds below low water are probably not extensive. For the 
most part the cause is mechanical, the character of the bottom 
in the deeper waters being unsuited to the growth of the clam. 
In the localities north of Cape Cod the great height of the 
tides and the swift tidal currents cause the soil to become more 
rippled toward low-water mark. Below this line shifting as a 
rule increases, owing to the force of the current. For the same 
reason we find no clam area exposed to the wash of the sea, though 
the flat be far below the tide lines. The absence of clams in the 
quiet waters suited for oyster growth is not explained by these 
facts, and can be attributed only to the broad term of habitat. 

Anatomy. 

When clamming the average fisherman scarcely realizes that 
the animal is anything more than an inanimate lump of flesh 
and shell possessing a market value. But the clam, although 
unsightly to look upon when turned out of the soil, nevertheless 
possesses many structures which determine its mode of life and 
affords an interesting basis for the study of its habits and growth. 
How many persons know that one of the three "brains" of the 
clam is in its foot? That the mouth of the clam is the part 
most deeply imbedded in the sand? Or that the intestine passes 
through the heart? Still, such peculiarities exist. 

The exterior of a clam presents two elongated valves, which 
enclose a yellowish mass of flesh, protruding at one end in the 
form of a black, readily retracted tube, the siphon or snout. On 



102 FISH AND GAME. 

the upper side the two valves are joined together at the hinge 
line by a cleverly interlocking projection and ligament. Beneath 
the hinge, on a projecting portion of one valve, is an elastic pad 
which forces the valves apart, in counter action to the two 
adductor muscles which, when retracted, bring the shell together. 
The shell, ^composed of lime arranged in three layers, varies in 
thickness, color and shape, according to the soil, age and rate 
of growth. Owing to the fragile nature of the white shell of the 
sand clam it is easily broken by the digger. The gravel or stony 
clam has a much thicker shell, but, owing to its growth against 
hard substances, it is subject to deformities. Prominent on the 
exterior of the shell are the umbones, — swellings on each' valve 
which are directed anteriorly and toward the hinge, forming the 
so-called "beak." Concentric lines caused by any temporary 
interference in growth are often well marked. It is difficult to 
accurately determine the annual growth. If the clam is a young 
specimen the edge of the shell will be covered by a brown, pro- 
tective cuticle. By cutting the adductor muscles the top valve 
may be lifted like the cover of a book. On its inner surface is 
seen the attachment of the two adductor muscles connected by 
a well-marked line, the pallial line, which is formed by the at- 
tachment of the mantle. The posterior end of this line is in- 
dented to form the pallial sinus, in which lies the retracted 
siphon. 

On removing the shell we find, closely lining the inside, a thin, 
semitransparent membrane, the mantle, which encloses the body 
in a fleshy case. At the edge of the shell the opposite lobes of 
the mantle unite in a thick yellow band, leaving a small slit at 
the posterior end through which the foot is extruded. At the 
opposite end the mantle is modified to form the siphon or " neck/' 
an organ consisting of two tubes of tough contractile muscle fibers, 
which when contracted appear as a small wrinkled lump covered 
with a black cuticle, but when expanded attains a length of 
several inches and extends to the surface of the soil. By means 
of this tube, with a fringe of delicate tentacles at its tip, the 
clam obtains its nourishment. Water passes in at the large or 
lower opening and leaves by the smaller or upper, a continual 
circulation through the body of the clam being established by 
means of the lashing of minute, hair-like protoplasmic projec- 
tions (cilia), whereby food and oxygen are brought to the animal. 
The functions of the mantle are sensory, protective, respiratory 
and nutritive. It forms a reservoir for the blood, and secretes 



PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 103 

by numerous gland cells a sticky substance which becomes im- 
pregnated with lime to form the new shell layers, while the 
horny cuticle is secreted by cells at its edge. 

Beneath the mantle the curtainlike gills, two on each side of 
the visceral mass, hang free in the mantle chamber for two- 
thirds of the length of the shell. Dorsally they are united to 
each other and to the visceral mass, but hang free ventrally, 
thus dividing the mantle chamber into a larger ventral and a 
smaller dorsal portion, the branchial and cloacal chambers re- 
spectively. The water which has entered the branchial chamber 
through the incurrent siphon passes through the gills into the 
cloacal cavity and out by the upper or excurrent siphon. The 
gills may be roughly compared to sieves, by which the solid 
particles, including the minute forms on which the clam feeds, 
are strained from the water. 

Between the gills lies an oval white body, the visceral mass, 
which contains the various organs of digestion and reproduction. 
At its lower anterior portion is a small muscular foot, the bur- 
rowing organ, which, when distended with blood, is extruded 
from the shell through a slit in the mantle. When not in use 
this small, spadelike appendage occupies a relatively inconspic- 
uous position, since it is not used as an organ of locomotion 
after the clam has attained the size of one inch. On each side 
of this pedal opening are two small ciliated flaps resembling the 
gills. Their function is unknown, unless they aid in the extrusion 
of silt and other debris from the mantle chamber. 

AYithin the visceral mass are entwined the folds of the diges- 
tive tract, which starts as a funnel-shaped opening just behind 
the anterior adductor muscle. The mouth is guarded by two 
pairs of delicate ciliated flaps, the palps, which taper back toward 
the anterior part of the gills and function in conducting the 
microscopic food from the gills to the mouth. The oesophagus 
leads into a stomach, which is surrounded by a dark-colored 
bilobed gland, the liver, which secretes the digestive juices. 
The intestine, a slender tube, winds down into the visceral mass 
in a series of convolutions, and finally passes backward through 
the central chamber of the heart, ending just above the poste- 
rior adductor muscle, in the region of the excurrent siphon. In 
a fold of the intestine near the stomach lies a translucent gelat- 
inous rod, — the crystalline style which assists the process of 
digestion. This rod has frequently been considered by the clam- 
mers as the young of the eel or some parasite of the clam. 



104 FISH AND GAME. 

The chief organ of circulation, the heart, consisting of a ven- 
tricle and two auricles, is situated just below the hinge line pos- 
terior to the stomach. The course of the circulation is through 
the two aorta?, anterior and posterior, to the various parts of the 
body, whence the impure blood is sent to the gills, and thence 
after aeration to the auricles, which open into the ventricle. 

The nervous system consists of three pairs of ganglia, little 
round white organs, about the size of a pin head, connected by 
fine commissures. They are situated near the mouth, in the 
visceral mass just below the posterior adductor, and in the foot, 
all three being in communication with each other by nerve fibers. 

The excretory organs, the nephridia, consist of dark-colored 
tubes of glandular nature lying beneath the pericardial chamber, 
one on each side of the body. By one end these tubes open 
into the pericardium, by the other into the mantle chamber at 
the base of the gills. Their function is essentially the same as 
the kidneys in higher animals, — the extraction of the waste 
material from the body. 

Before spawning has taken place the visceral mass is largely 
composed of reproductive organs distended with eggs or sperma- 
tozoa. The ovaries in the female and the testes in the male 
surround the folds of the digestive tract, and when mature give 
a plump, white appearance to the body of the clam. These 
organs open by small ducts close to the openings of the excre- 
tory system beneath the free border of the inner gill. 

Spawning. 

Spawning is accomplished by the discharge of eggs from the 
female and spermatozoa from the male into the water, where 
fertilization takes place by their union. With other animals it 
is often possible to distinguish the male from the female by 
difference in size or form, but with the clam it can be determined 
only by examination of the sexual products after the ovaries or 
testes have been cut open. The sexual cells are extruded from 
the reproductive organs into the upper mantle chamber, whence 
they are carried out of the excurrent siphon and passed into the 
water by successive pufL, similar to the exhaling of smoke. 

The Egg. — The mature egg when ready for fertilization in the 
v/ater is a white, spherical body, often enclosed in a gelatinous 
case, but within the ovary or in masses it has a compressed, 
irregular form, due to pressure. When viewed under the micro- 
scope it has an opaque appearance, owing to the yolk granules 



PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 105 

within the protoplasm of the cell. The diameter of the average 
egg is Tg- of a millimeter, or u§y of an inch, and the eggs number 
approximately 3,000,000 per cubic centimeter. (Fig. 1.) 

The Spermatozoon. — The spermatozoon or male cell is much 
smaller than the egg, and is composed roughly of two parts, a 
body tV the diameter of the egg and a long, whiplike tail, the 
motile part. The average size of the head is ^^ of a millimeter 
or gwuo of an inch. The spermatozoon is designed by nature to 
perform the active duty of finding the egg, which is the sta- 
tionary form containing the nutriment for the future embryo, 
and for that reason has lost all surplus material. The sperma- 
tozoa number approximately 50,000,000,000 per cubic centimeter. 

The Breeding Season. — In studying the breeding period obser- 
vations were made at different localities and dates to determine 
the ripeness of the spawn, and towings were made with a plank- 
ton net of silk bolting cloth to determine the number of larvae 
in the water at different times. By making towings for definite 
distances in one location, as at Monomoy Point,' during the en- 
tire summer, and by counting the number of larvae in the tow- 
ings, as described in previous reports, the limits of the spawning 
season could be determined. The recording of the appearance of 
the set likewise served to approximately determine the spawning 
season. The spawning season of the clam in Massachusetts lasts 
about three months, usually from the first of June to the last of 
August. (Fig. 16.) 

Temperature and Spawning. — The time of spawning varies 
with the locality. This difference is unquestionably due to tem- 
perature, since the season begins later as one passes northward 
along the Atlantic coast, from warm to cold water. In New 
Jersey clams are said to spawn during May and early June; in 
Narragansett Bay they spawn in June; on the south side of 
Cape Cod in June and July; and north of Boston the greater 
part of the spawning occurs in July and August. Spawning will 
not take place until the water has attained a warmth suitable 
for the development of the young larvae. 

The body temperature of the clam, like all cold-blooded ani- 
mals, varies with its environment. In 1886 Lombard (20) re- 
corded the temperature of the clam (possibly Venus mercenaria 
not Mya arenaria) with a thermo-electric instrument, one pole of 
which was placed inside of the shell. The temperature was 
found to be \ degree F. higher than the water, the experiment 
showing that a definite production of heat occurred. 



106 FISH AND GAME. 

Upon the clam flats along the south shore of Cape Cod, where 
the ova are extruded early in the summer, it is not uncommon 
to find two distinct sets each year, indicating the possibility of a 
second spawning season. This phenomenon may be due to the 
fact that clams do not cast off all of their reproductive products 
at the same time, and later in the season, when other eggs or 
spermatozoa have matured, they give forth the remainder. Evi- 
dently clams spawn at periods of high temperature of the water, 
so that the time of spawning for each individual possibly ex- 
tends over some weeks. Sporadic cases of spawning may occur 
at any time during the year, but with an unsuitable temperature 
there is little chance of the embryos developing. The writer has 
found a scallop (Pecten irradians) with orange-colored ovaries dis- 
tended with ripe eggs in December, and has noticed similar in- 
stances of ripe eggs in the giant scallop (Pecten tenuicostatus) 
dredged in March on Georges fishing bank. 

Age and Spawning. — The clam usually spawns when two 
years old, although in many cases where the growth is rapid it 
may become mature in one year (Mead (13)). The rate of 
growth and the size, rather than the age, determine the maturity 
of the individual clam. From observations at Monomoy Point 
it was found that the small clams spawned earlier than the 
large. 

Flats and Spawning. — The location of the clam with regard 
to current, soil and time submerged causes more or less varia- 
tion in the spawning. Mead (13) has shown that clams near 
high-water mark spawn before those lower down. In the Essex 
River on June 1, 1906, clams high up in the thatch had partly 
finished spawning, while the lower flat clams had hardly begun. 
Under conditions favorable for rapid growth clams should pro- 
duce a greater quantity and better quality of spawn than those 
in poor localities. 

Natural Fertilization. — In nature the eggs from the female 
and the spermatozoa from the male clam are shot into the water 
and left to their fate. Their union depends largely upon chance, 
since the attraction between the egg and spermatozoon extends 
over only a short distance, and many of the extruded eggs are 
never fertilized. This natural waste, combined with the destruc- 
tive agents which afterward beset the young embryo, shows the 
need of a vast number of eggs for every adult female; otherwise 
the propagation of the species could not be maintained. Fertili- 
zation is the union of the egg and spermatozoon, whereby the 



PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 107 

nuclei of the two cells fuse to form a new individual, which will 
inherit the characteristics of both parents. 

From the time of fertilization the young embryo in its various 
stages of development is beset with all manner of enemies, es- 
pecially during its free swimming existence. Climatic changes, 
such as a sudden rise or fall in the temperature and cold rains, 
as shown by actual count, diminish the number of larvae, while 
winds and tides may wash ashore, polluted water may destroy, 
all manner of sea animals may consume as food, and, finally, 
the greater part of the remainder may fall on poor ground, where 
they soon perish. 

Artificial Fertilization. — Artificial fertilization has been ac- 
complished by Mead (13) by removing the sexual products and 
mixing the eggs and spermatozoa in a dish of water. Little suc- 
cess has attended such trials by the writer, as the eggs either 
failed to develop normally or else never passed beyond the veliger 
state, — that critical period in the artificial propagation of all 
lamellibranch mollusks. At the present time there is little hope 
of raising clams directly from the egg, as more extended experi- 
ments with the quahaug and the scallop have shown that, with 
our present knowledge, the commercial production of young mol- 
lusks in this way is impracticable. However, there is little need 
of artificial hatching as the abundant natural set is capable of 
furnishing a sufficient amount for planting purposes. 

Embryology. 
The embryology of the clam is so similar to that of the qua- 
haug and scallop, which have been more fully described in pre- 
vious reports, that it is unnecessary to enter into a detailed 
description of the different stages of development before shell 
formation. Until the shell is formed it is impossible to tell the 
young clam larva from the quahaug, scallop and many other 
species. The egg of the clam, as all lamellibrancha, passes 
through a series of irregular cell division, starting with the single 
cell and ending with a mass of cells, the blastula, consisting of 
an outer layer of small cells surrounding an inner layer of larger 
cells. In about nine hours the outer cells develop hairlike pro- 
jections of protoplasm, cilia, and the animal begins to roll and 
later to revolve through the water. At twelve hours the body 
elongates into the trochosphere, the animal swimming with a 
spiral motion by means of the cilia, which are now confined to 
the anterior end of the body. On the under side of the animal 



108 FISH AND GAME. 

has developed the primitive mouth, by an invagination of the 
cells in that region, while on the dorsal side, opposite to the 
mouth, appears the beginning of the shell gland, which marks 
the development of a new stage in the life of the animal. Dur- 
ing the next twenty-four hours a thin, transparent shell creeps 
slowly over the animal, until it envelops the soft parts. The 
shell is formed by a secretion from the shell gland, which be- 
comes calcified at two points, forming the two valves. The 
structure of the young clam or veliger, as it is now called, can 
readily be seen through the smooth, homogeneous shell. During 
the process of shell formation various changes in the anatomy 
of the young clam have taken place which have given rise to a 
new period of its existence, the veliger stage, perhaps the most 
critical and important period of its life. 

The Veligek. 

The early veliger is characterized by a transparent shell with 
a straight hinge line and by a swimming organ, the velum, 
which is a direct modification of the ciliated end of the trocho- 
sphere larvae, consisting of a circular pad of strong, lashing 
cilia. The young clam at this period measures from ^^ to 2 ^ 
of an inch in length. These numerous little forms swim 
through the water, where they are the prey of various forms 
of sea life. The act of swimming is accomplished by the 
extension of the velum outside of the shell so that the animal 
can be propelled in any desired direction by the action of the 
cilia. When placed in glass dishes the veligers can be seen as 
white specks whirling through the water. If the dish is tapped 
with a pencil, or if any sudden jar is given, they at once 
close their shells and settle to the bottom. In a few moments, 
if all is quiet, they will cautiously extend the velum and renew 
their swimming. 

The chief characteristics of the early flat-hinged veliger are: 
(1) the transparent shell with the straight hinge line; (2) the 
velum or swimming organ; (3) a primitive mouth lined with 
cilia, leading into a cavity in the center of the body, the stomach, 
and an abbreviated intestine with posterior anal opening; (4) an 
inconspicuous mantle; (5) two adductor muscles; (6) retractor 
muscles for the velum. This form is the common for the scallop, 
quahaug and clam at this age, and it is only toward the last of 
the veliger period that the specific characteristics which differ- 
entiate each species appear. 



PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 109 

Velum. — The velum is the swimming organ of the young 
clam between the sizes of -gro- and tst of an inch. With it the 
clam can swim in any direction or turn in a rotary direction, 
either clockwise or anticlockwise. The velum is held in position 
by three retractors, which are attached near together on the 
posterior part of the hinge line. Two retractors pass from here 
to the opposite sides of the velum, and a third to its center. By 
the action of these muscles it is possible to extend or contract 
the velum, the function of the middle retractor probably being 
to draw in the center of the velum, which assumes a concave 
form when retracted. It is interesting to note that when the 
velum is fully expanded the whole interior, stomach, liver, intes- 
tine, is pulled in a ventral direction, leaving a clear space be- 
tween the soft parts and the hinge. The velum, equipped with 
two or more sets of cilia, sometimes appears in two small parts, 
evidently due to the failure of the central portion to expand 
with the ends. 

The formation of the prodissoconch or late veliger marks the 
completion of this stage. The first noticeable change is in the 
shell, which, as it increases in size, assumes a rounded form with 
prominent umbones. The animal has not yet attained the ap- 
pearance of the adult clam and shows but a slight tendency 
toward elongation. The shell is still of the same homogeneous 
texture, while the valves show an equal curvature, differentiating 
it from the corresponding stages of the scallop and oyster. With 
this change in form, in preparation for a new existence, the in- 
ternal parts readjust themselves by discarding certain organs 
and developing new ones. The most important change is the 
degeneration of the velum, which is replaced by the foot as an 
organ of locomotion. This transformation may be divided into 
four stages: (1) a large velum and a slight indication of a rudi- 
mentary foot on the posterior side of the velum; (2) velum 
about half its normal size with a half-sized foot developing pos- 
teriorly, while two gill bars have formed; (3) a still smaller 
velum advancing toward the mouth, a two-thirds developed foot 
taking the former position of the velum, three gill bars; (4) 
active crawling stage, with a large foot and a well-formed byssal 
gland, while the velum has disappeared in the region of the 
palps. (Figs. 3 to 6.) 

Foot. — The foot, which develops at the same time as the 
gills posterior to the velum, is characterized by a ciliated tip 
which aids in locomotion. In Fig. 6 a fine muscular structure 



110 FISH AND GAME. 

can be made out in the foot, which henceforth is used for both 
crawling and swimming. At this time the byssal gland is prom- 
inent as a cleft projection on the ventral side of the foot, al- 
though the byssus does not as yet function. The otocysts or 
balancing organs were first observed in Fig. 4 and by Fig. 6 
they had assumed the form of two concentric circles, one on 
each side of the foot, one-tenth the height of the shell. Within 
these circles the several revolving granules could be seen. 

Heart. — The heart was not observed until Fig. 6, when move- 
ments could be definitely ascertained whenever the animal was 
in the act of crawling. 

Gills. — The gills, in the form of two coils or filaments lined 
with lashing cilia, make their appearance with the foot in Fig. 
4, before the velum disappears. In Fig. 5, when the velum is 
but slightly smaller, there are three filaments to the gill. In 
Fig. 6 the same three filaments show a marked increase in 
size. 

Muscles. — In Fig. 4 the posterior adductor appears slightly 
larger than the anterior, but from this time on they are prac- 
tically the same size. The retractor muscles of the velum are 
attached near the posterior adductor. 

Mantle. — In the veliger stage the mantle is in its simplest 
form, later becoming ciliated as in the adult, and even extend- 
ing beyond the edge of the shell. The siphon does not make its 
appearance until later, although there are indications in Fig. 6 
that in that region the mantle is about to undergo a modifica- 
tion. 

Digestive Tract. — Since the animal needs more nourishment 
with its increasing size, the digestive tract undergoes changes 
which permit the digestion of a greater quantity of larger food 
forms. In the early veliger the mouth and oesophagus consist 
of a ciliated opening one-quarter the height of the shell, which 
leads into the stomach. The cilia at the entrance to this canal 
are long and especially adapted for the capture of food particles. 
In Fig. 6 the palps can be seen as minute films near the mouth, 
which has followed the retreating velum from the ventral to the 
anterior side of the clam. The stomach has also shifted its posi- 
tion, so that the former dorsal exit of the intestine has become 
more posterior. The stomach, with the diverticuli on each side 
which form the yellow-green liver, is comparatively large in the 
veliger stage and becomes relatively smaller with the growth of 



PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. Ill 

the shell. The primitive intestine is a straight tube leading 
from the stomach to a posterior anal aperture. "With the 
growth of the clam the problem of increased digestive powers is 
solved by the extension of the tube in a series of coils, and the 
location of the anal opening dorsal to the posterior adductor 
muscle. 

At the beginning of the veliger stage we have found an animal 
equipped for leading a free swimming life, as evidenced by its 
size, shape, lightness of shell and swimming organ. At the end 
of this period we find the animal prepared for another change. 
Its free swimming days are over; anatomical changes have taken 
place which enable it to enter upon a new existence. The ciliated 
foot with prominent byssal gland has taken the place of the 
powerful velum. This organ enables the clam first to swim 
through the water and later to crawl on the bottom among the 
sand grains or over the seaweed in search of a suitable place for 
attachment by the byssus. The shell has assumed a form more 
suited to its new existence, and the animal is now able to enter 
into the period of youth, Nature having adjusted the various 
organs for life under a new environment. 

Distribution. — During the spawning season the water is 
crowded with the small veliger larvse, which may be taken with 
a net of silk bolting cloth. The net is pulled behind a dory at 
a uniform rate of speed, which permits the water to filter through 
the fine meshes, leaving the clam larvse and other floating organ- 
isms in the net. The contents are washed into a pail containing 
about 3 inches of water and the water is given a whirling motion 
with a small stick, which forces the larvse, by centripetal action, 
to the center of the pail, where they can readily be removed 
with a pipette. In this fashion it is possible to obtain approxi- 
mately all the larvse from the towing. By using stated dis- 
tances, the same period of tide and a uniform method of count- 
ing with the Rafter cell, as described on pages 118 and 119 in 
the "Report upon the Quahaug and Oyster Fisheries" (1912), 
we were able to follow the spawning during 1906 and 1907 at 
Monomoy Point. Towings at various depths, obtained by sink- 
ing the net with weights, indicate that the larvse are present 
even to a depth of from 15 to 20 feet. They are especially 
abundant near the surface of the water, and only during rains 
does the number at the depth of 10 feet exceed that at the 
surface. 



112 FISH AND GAME. 

In the towings two stages of veligers were taken, the early or 
true veliger and the late or footed form. The later form swims 
by means of a ciliated foot which had gradually replaced the 
velum as a swimming organ. During the growth of this foot 
the disappearing velum aided in the swimming, so that the ani- 
mal passed through a period where both functioned in locomo- 
tion. A greater proportion of the footed larvae were found in 
the towings on rough windy days than in calm weather. 

The lamellibranch veligers are not affected by light, as they 
are not attracted by either a dark or a light background. This 
fact was demonstrated in the following manner: the veligers 
were left over night in a small circular dish enclosed in a tri- 
angular case, two sides of which were black and one side white. 
In the morning the larvae, one-half of which were swimming, 
were evenly distributed about the dish. The same test was re- 
peated, the light side being turned to the window for an hour, 
with no change in the grouping of the larvae. 

Destruction. — During the veliger or free swimming period, as 
well as during the first thirty hours previous to the shelled stage, 
the clam larva passes through its most precarious period, which 
is only partially ended when it settles to the soil or attaches 
itself to various objects. It is during the free swimming period 
that the clam is most openly exposed to the elements and to the 
natural enemies which beset its path. When the fact is con- 
sidered that only one out of several million eggs liberated by 
the adult female clam ever reaches maturity, the extent of the 
destructive powers of nature becomes strikingly manifest. It is 
during this critical period that the young must be shielded from 
their enemies. The active enemies of the larval clam may be 
enumerated as fish, worms, crustaceans, mollusks, etc., which 
suck down the larva? as food, even the mother clam uncon- 
sciously devouring her hapless babes. However, the vast de- 
struction is not accounted for by the active enemies but is due 
rather to adverse physical conditions. Severe weather, storms, 
sudden changes in the temperature and in the salinity of the 
water during the spawning season, sewage and other contamina- 
tion from manufacturing sources bring about the destruction of 
the floating larvae. 

The effect of cold rains upon the larvae was observed at 
Monomoy Point in 1906. During a long cold rain counts were 
made upon the number of larvae in a certain amount of water 
which passed through the plankton net. Before the rain began 



PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 113 

the number of larvae at the surface was 26,900 at 3 p.m. July 
31; rain started at 12 a.m. on August 1 and continued steadily 
for fifteen hours, gradually increasing in severity. The rain was 
cool, 64 degrees F., which was the temperature of the air at 3 
p.m. August 1. At 8 a.m. August 1 a surface towing gave 13,900 
larvae, at 3 p.m. August 1 a surface towing gave 15,000, and at 
5 to 10 feet below the surface 15,000. The ratio of footed larvae 
to the veligers in the morning towing was 1 to 5, in the after- 
noon towing 1 to 10, showing a loss in the large footed larvae. 
It was noticeable that nauplius larvae, chiefly young barnacles, 
were more abundant at 10 feet than at the surface in the after- 
noon tow, whereas these forms are usually more abundant near 
the surface. These observations showed that after eight hours 
of rain the number of surface larvae had decreased one-half. 
Another record of a similar nature gave the following figures: 
before the rain, 30,000; after nine hours, 15,000; after fifteen 
hours, 3,000. After the rain ceased the number of larvae gradu- 
ally increased, until it was the same as at the first count. 

It was difficult to tell whether the absence of the larvae from 
the water was due to their direct destruction or whether it was 
the result of their settling to the bottom. Undoubtedly, in 
either case, many perished as a result of a change in salinity 
and temperature of the water, or from the mechanical beating of 
the rain on the surface of the water. The density of the surface 
water in the enclosed Powder Hole was slightly lowered by nine 
hours of rain, as the fresh water formed a layer near the surface, 
while the temperature of the water was lowered but 1 degree, 
from 70 to 69 degrees, during this period. 

Another test of the effect of salinity upon the veliger larvae 
was made in the aquarium. One thousand larvae were put into 
water of the following densities, made by adding fresh water to 
the salt: (1) 1.016, (2) 1.012, (3) 1.008. After eight hours: 

(1) the larvae were apparently unaffected, except that a few 
showed slightly reduced ciliary action; (2) a few were dead, 
about 1 out of 50, while the ciliary action was much reduced in 
others; (3) a few were dead, about 1 out of 40, and ciliary ac- 
tion was reduced. The veligers were apparently more affected 
than the footed larvae. After twenty-four hours: (1) the larvae 
were only slightly affected, a few having reduced ciliary action; 

(2) a few were dead and ciliary action was reduced; (3) several 
were dead and ciliary action was considerably reduced. A 
further test was made by suddenly drawing off the salt water 



114 FISH AND GAME. 

from a watch glass and covering the larvae therein with fresh 
water for a few minutes; then the fresh water was replaced by 
salt water, and after standing fifteen minutes the larvae were 
examined. No movement was visible. One hour later two larvae 
were swimming, and at the end of twenty hours all had fully 
recovered. 

In raising young clams from the eggs in aquaria, the water 
after a few days became infested with protozoa. Two kinds 
were observed in the bodies of the dead veligers, one an elon- 
gated paramcecium-like form, -£% of a millimeter in length, the 
other a small, round, actively motile organism. 

Attachment. 

Attachment takes place at the end of the veliger or free swim- 
ming stage, the young clam fastening itself to various objects, 
such as sand grains, shells, eel grass, sea lettuce, Enteromorpha, 
etc., by a horny thread called the byssus, which is secreted from 
a gland in the foot. The period of fixation marks an abrupt 
change in the habits and life of the clam, which has deserted 
its free swimming existence for an alternate crawling and sta- 
tionary existence. The structure of the clam now becomes more 
like that of the adult. The new shell growth is sharply separated 
from the embryonic shell by the formation of a definite growth 
line, and its texture and composition differ from the homogeneous 
structure of the early shell. At first the young clam, as de- 
scribed by Kellogg (2), who has made a most careful study of the 
clam during this period of its life, has a rounded shape like the 
quahaug, but as it increases in size it takes on the elongated 
form of the adult. At this period the excurrent and incurrent 
siphons are present, the excurrent part having a filmy telescopic 
attachment which draws in and out with a folding motion, sim- 
ilar to that of the young quahaug, as described in the "Report 
upon the Quahaug and Oyster Fisheries" in 1912. When a 
stream of water is shot out, the transparent tube is unfolded 
and held as a hose to direct the flow. With the growth of the 
clam it gradually atrophies, until only a slight trace can be 
found in the adult. The ends of the siphons are equipped with 
sensory tentacles, but lack the brilliant pigmentation of the 
older clams. 

The most prominent organ of the clam at this age is the rela- 
tively large muscular foot, which serves as an organ of locomo- 
tion. During the transitional stage from the veliger the foot is 



PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 115 

first used as a swimming organ, propelling the animal through 
the water by a kicking movement. After the clam settles to the 
bottom the foot is used for crawling. The act of crawling is 
accomplished with the flexible foot in the same manner as the 
locomotion of the young quahaug, which is described in full in 
the "Report on the Quahaug and Oyster Fisheries," 1912, and 
consists of a forward or following movement, the common 
method, and a backward movement, which is occasionally em- 
ployed. 

On the under side of the foot is the byssal gland, a conspicuous 
papilla containing a pore. Numerous cells line this gland and 
furnish a mucous secretion, which, when coming in contact with 
water, immediately hardens into a tough, horny thread. When 
formed the byssus consists of a single translucent thread with 
several branches tipped with sucking discs for attachment to 
various objects. Ryder (9) in 1880 found that the young of the 
soft clam were attached by single branching threads to seaweed 
and sea lettuce. This fact was clearly demonstrated by Kellogg 
(2) in his report on the "Life History of the Common Clam," in 
which he gave excellent drawings of the byssal attachment and 
proved that the attachment stage was a necessary part of the 
life of the young Mya. The byssus runs from one-quarter to 
one-half of an inch in length but is so elastic that it can be 
stretched to a length of 1| inches without breaking. The clam 
retains the byssus until it is about three-quarters of an inch, 
capable of burrowing deeply into the sand. Primarily the func- 
tion is protection, as it enables the animal, though of small size, 
to remain in the sand or on the seaweeds, and prevents its being 
washed from its shallow burrow. Attachment is needed only 
until the clam attains a sufficient size to protect itself by bur- 
rowing. Professor Kellogg (2, 4) showed how the young clams 
attached themselves in vast numbers to the sea lettuce and En- 
teromorpha, and later migrated to the mud or sand. In many 
instances they settle directly upon the soil and attach to the 
sand grains, large numbers usually settling in limited localities. 

The Set 
We have seen in the preceding pages that the young clam, 
after its free swimming life, either settles upon sea lettuce or 
Enteromorpha and later migrates to the sand, or that it settles 
directly upon the sand, attaching by means of the byssus. We 
will briefly consider a few of the numerous causes influencing 



116 FISH AND GAME. 

the set and then follow a particularly heavy set of clams from 
the beginning to the time they become adult clams. For this 
purpose the set of 1906 on Rowley Reef Knobs in Plum Island 
Sound has been taken as a typical example. 

The time and amount of set varies with the spawning season. 
The temperature of the water, cold rains and other climatic con- 
ditions determine the spawning and set for any year. Since the 
spawning season lasts from the middle of June to the middle of 
August, the set may come at any time during July, August or 
even September, when the requisite conditions are present. Or- 
dinarily the set continues for two or three weeks unless unfavor- 
able conditions intervene. Years of good set may be followed 
by poor, owing to the condition of the weather during the spawn- 
ing season. Localities which have a large set one year may have 
none the next, merely because the conditions which brought 
about the set have changed. At best, the set is but a happy 
combination of two factors, — the presence of the larvae in the 
water, a fairly constant item, and the variable tide and current 
conditions of the particular locality. The nature of the soil also 
plays an important part in deciding whether the young clam 
can grow after it sets, as slime, silt, soft mud and shifting sand 
may prove disastrous to its existence. 

The set takes place between the tide lines, the ordinary loca- 
tion, and below the low-water mark, in shallow and deep water. 
The locality is chiefly determined by the relation of the shores 
to the current or tidal flow, and secondarily depends upon the 
nature of the soil. There is close similarity in the conditions 
governing the set of the oyster and the clam, the sandy bars 
over which the current passes often being the most productive 
of oyster set. 

The relation between these areas, often of extremely thick set, 
as described by Kellogg (4) and Mead (13), and the regular beds 
of clams is peculiar. Kellogg distinguished two kinds, the small 
areas of heavy set and the thin scattering set, and considered 
the former of little value for the replenishing of the large beds, 
which were supplied by the scattering clams. This is true as far 
as it concerns the particular segregations of clams on small areas, 
these dense sets often resulting in complete extermination. In 
what way man can take advantage of this fact, and plant many 
areas of barren flats will be described later. From these densely 
populated areas ordinarily there is little migration to the large 
flats, which are replenished by the scattering set, and by clams 



PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 117 

from the thatch or sedge banks, which offer excellent places for 
the spat to catch. Here the small clams, less than lj inches in 
length, unless too strongly imbedded in the roots of the grass, 
frequently migrate to the flats. 

Current. — Let us consider the causes which operate to form 
heavy sets in certain localities and not in others. In what man- 
ner is this result brought about and under what conditions do 
such sets exist? Larvae have approximately the same abundance 
everywhere during the spawning season, and it is not absolutely 
necessary that the spawning clams lie in the immediate vicinity 
of the set, although the chances of a favorable set are somewhat 
increased by their proximity. In all probability the actual for- 
mation of the set is mechanical in nature. The larva, at the 
time it is ready for set, has lost its velum and propels itself 
through the water by a muscular foot. The heavier body has 
difficulty floating, but is carried in the current in the same man- 
ner as suspended silt. When the current becomes slack there 
is less possibility of keeping afloat, and if perchance the clam 
larva strikes an object and settles to the bottom it is unable to 
rise again. On the other hand, if it floats into an eddy or into 
the quiet edge of a swift current it has a tendency to settle to 
the bottom. Thus the current acts in a purely mechanical way 
in distributing the clam set, as if the larvae were but inanimate 
objects. 

Two conditions appear suitable for a good set, (1) a projecting 
bar against which the tide sweeps, forming an eddy, and (2) a 
swift current with slack water along its edge. The first is more 
commonly recognized by oystermen, and is more nearly in ac- 
cord with the conditions usually chosen for the capture of oyster 
spat between the tide lines. In the formation of the Rowley 
Reef set, as described later, both conditions play an important 
part. 

The Soil. — Not every soil is suitable for clam set. In the 
majority of cases the clam larva falls on poor ground and meets 
an early death. When the surface is covered with a slimy ooze 
or has a thick deposit of silt the young clam is soon smothered. 
Flats filled with tube worms and other enemies of the young 
larva prove unsuited for the set. Scattering sets have been 
found on the rippled beaches or on shifting flats, but for heavy 
sets ripple marks usually denote the limit of their extent. The 
main consideration in the protection of the set is its shelter from 
the wave and wind action. Where the flat is so situated that 



118 FISH AND GAME. 

the wind has a clear sweep no set will be found, since the young 
clams are either washed away or rolled in windrows upon the 
beach. 

Rocky beaches and gravel bars offer protection for the set by 
affording places sheltered from wave action where the clam larvae 
may settle. Clams cannot exist on shifting beaches, except near 
large, protecting rocks, but the heavy soil of gravel bars, even 
when swept by swift tidal currents, renders shifting impossible, 
so that the young clams having once gained a foothold are lodged 
as permanent residents. 

Sedge and thatch are also natural spat collectors, and if there 
is any evidence of set it is usually present in such vegetation. 
Evidently the swimming larvae strike against the upright plants 
and fall to the ground, where they find an opportunity to settle 
in a protected situation. From such a locality they can migrate 
to the near-by flats, a fact which accounts, in part, for the 
abundance of clams near thatch islands, as in Barnstable Harbor. 
In addition, thatch serves as a means of preventing the exter- 
mination of the clam, since it protects large numbers of spawn- 
ing clams from the inroads of the clammers. Many instances 
are recorded of the thatch bank gradually turning into good 
clam ground by continued digging. The main point for con- 
sideration is the checking of the larval-bearing tidal current in 
such a way that the larvae are mechanically deposited. This 
may be accomplished in other ways than catching in the thatch 
or on the gravel, such as by the parting of the current either 
by a projecting rock, by a thatch island or by the branching of 
the tidal stream, where in the quiet water between the two side 
currents the set may be found. 

Shore Line. — Perhaps the best sets are found in little coves 
where an eddy is formed by an uneven shore. The conditions 
necessary for an eddy are a fairly strong current and a project- 
ing sand or gravel bar which causes a back flow. In the quiet 
water thus formed the larvae are deposited. On Lufkins Flat in 
Plum Island Sound the set in 1906 was everywhere abundant, 
except on the outer edge and near the shore, where the flat was 
strongly rippled by the back current at both flood and ebb tide. 
The heaviest set took place between the two currents on the 
level center of the flat. In some instances the eddy exists only 
until the bar is covered by the tide. Frequently heavy sets are 
found on the sides of swift currents, as described by Kellogg (4). 
On the river flats of Plum Island Sound similar sets have been 



PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 119 

observed between the tide lines, on the side of a swiftly moving 
body of water. A possible explanation of this phenomenon is 
the mechanical settling of the larvse on the sides of the current 
where the flow is less swift. 

Notes on the Set of Clams in Various Localities. — The varia- 
tions in the spawning season, owing to temperature differences 
in localities and to the sporadic spawning of individual clams and 
the variations in the rate of growth, make it possible to find 
clams of small size every month of the year. Every year sets 
vary in thickness, i.e., a flat with a heavy set one year may not 
have any set the next. In the fall of 1906 and in the spring of 
1907 the following observations were made on the sets of the 
flats of Plum Island Sound and Plymouth Harbor. 

(1) Lufkins Flat. — This flat is situated in Plum Island Sound 
on the west shore of Plum Island, opposite Ipswich Bluffs. On 
Nov. 13, 1906, about 2 acres of this flat was covered with a set 
numbering from 500 to 1,000 per square foot of surface, where 
a bend in the outgoing tide on the southern edge caused slack 
water. No 1906 set was present on the rest of the flat. On 
Nov. 13, 1906, the 1906 set averaged about 11 millimeters in 
size, and on Aug. 28, 1907, 30.65 millimeters. Clams that had 
been transplanted from Rowley Reef set to a portion of Lufkins 
Flat which had no natural set on this latter date, on Nov. 13, 
1906, averaged 30.57 millimeters in size, showing practically the 
same growth. 

(2) Foresides Flat. — There was a heavy set upon the Fore- 
sides, the western part of the Middle Ground in Plum Island 
Sound, which was not so numerous as Lufkins but covered a 
larger area. At extreme low tide on the west side the coarse, 
shifting sand contained a few rapidly growing clams. The area 
of set lay on a smooth flat of fine sand, between an outer coarse 
shifting sand and a mud flat near the thatch bank containing 
larger clams of slow growth. The outer area of Foresides had 
too swift and unchecked a current, the inner portion too slow 
a current, for a numerous set, but in the central parts the cur- 
rents were of sufficient force, yet checked enough by thatch pro- 
jections and sharp bends to induce an ample set. On Nov. 13, 

1906, the set ranged from 2 to 20 millimeters in size. July 1, 

1907, the average of the smaller clams gave 20.5 millimeters, or 
a gain of about 10 millimeters. Clams were still attached to 
the sand grains by the byssus, and ran from 10 to 50 per square 
foot. Aug. 28, 1907, in the outer portion the clams averaged 



120 FISH AND GAME. 

40 millimeters, in the inner portion 29 millimeters, showing the 
effect of the current on growth. On Aug. 28, 1907, the 1907 set 
averaged 4.75 millimeters, varying from 2 to 10 millimeters. 

(3) Northeast Sides. — Upon a small high flat on the northeast 
side of Plum Island Sound Middle Ground, where the current 
made a sharp curve, there was a heavy 1906 set upon ground 
already inhabited by clams of various sizes. In 1907 no set 
took place. 

(4) Wheelers Flat. — This flat is situated in the Ipswich part 
of the Essex River, adjoining the Spit. On July 6, 1907, a set 
averaging 380 clams per square foot was found over an area of 
6 acres, making a total estimate of about 87,500,000 clams. One- 
half the entire flat, approximating 60 acres, was covered with 
a scattering set, estimated at 50,000,000 clams, making a total 
of 137,500,000. The average size was 16.2 millimeters. On the 
Essex Spit toward the channel, a set running 25 per square foot 
measured 15.67 millimeters in length. On Aug. 28, 1907, the 
clams in the thick portion ran about 350 to the square foot and 
averaged 22.21 millimeters in length. 

(5) Castle Neck. — Along the west side of Castle Neck in the 
fall of 1906 was a heavy set of small clams of variable size, aver- 
aging 11 millimeters. On Aug. 28, 1907, the clams on the higher 
portion, where they were submerged but four hours out of the 
twenty-four, measured 18.65 millimeters, running about 100 per 
square foot, while low down, with an exposure of only two hours 
out of the twenty-four, they averaged 36.84 millimeters, at 250 
per square foot, and on the outer reef, where they ran 218 per 
square foot, 29.93 millimeters, showing that the circulation of 
water and length of time submerged control the growth. 

(6) Greys Flat. — In Plymouth Harbor in the town of Kingston 
a set was found on Greys Flat in October, 1906, on the site of the 
planted clam beds. This set on May 24, 1907, measured 19 mil- 
limeters; on Sept. 5, 1907, 26.45 millimeters. 

(7) Coles Shore. — Along the Kingston shore of Plymouth 
Harbor was a fair 1906 set, which measured on May 31, 1907, 
18.6 millimeters in length. 

Spat Collecting. 

The subject of spat collecting in connection with the oyster 

industry has always received considerable attention. On the 

other hand, the collection of seed clams has not as yet attained 

any great importance; but with the development of the industry 



PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 121 

attempts will doubtless be made to procure large quantities of 
young elams for planting. There are several ways by which this 
may be accomplished. 

The least probable, yet the most remunerative if successful, is 
the artificial hatching of clam eggs. While it cannot be definitely 
stated that this method is impossible, up to this time it has been 
entirely impracticable, and probably will never be successful 
from a commercial standpoint. Various investigators have dem- 
onstrated that artificial fertilization can be carried out with 
more or less certainty, but the subsequent rearing of the young 
larva? has proved a more serious problem, which is yet to be 
solved. Mead (13) describes the rearing of a few clams in an 
aquarium, but no investigator has demonstrated a practicable 
method whereby a large number can be reared successfully by the 
culturist. While this problem may appeal to future investigators, 
its solution is not necessary at the present time, since there are 
other means of obtaining the young clams in sufficient abundance 
for planting. 

Box spat collectors were first described and used successfully 
by Mead (14) in Rhode Island, who found that the swimming 
larvae could be captured in the water by means of a net of fine 
bolting cloth. He observed, when the larvse were in the aqua- 
rium, that any sudden agitation of the water, such as would 
result from a sharp tap on the glass, caused the animals to cease 
swimming, close their shells and sink to the bottom. In accord- 
ance with this fact a spat collecting device, consisting of a square 
bottomless box with a top of fine galvanized wire screening, was 
set in the flat so that the sides projected several inches above 
the sand. As high as 1,300 clams per square foot of sand were 
taken from this spat collector. 

Various spat collectors of this type were tried by this depart- 
ment during 1905 and 1906, with but little success, owing to 
their precarious location upon flats exposed to strong tidal cur- 
rents. Boards projecting above the level of the flat proved suc- 
cessful in but one case, the majority soon being undermined by 
the current. It was observed that this type of collector when 
covered with copper wire "was less successful than with galvanized 
iron netting. The destructive influence of copper was demon- 
strated by the death of a small scallop and of clam veligers 
which were kept in an aquarium in dishes covered with copper 
wire, and by the survival of others under similar environment 
when iron wire was used. Galvanized iron netting proved to be 



122 FISH AND GAME. 

superior to the plain iron, which did not last more than two 
weeks when exposed to the corrosive action of the salt water. 

In the quiet waters of the Powder Hole at Monomoy Point 
a considerable number of small clams were caught in the boxes 
of sand without netting suspended at various depths. The 
heaviest set between 1906 and 1909 was obtained in 1907, ten 
boxes giving an average of 155 clams, or approximately 100 per 
square foot of sand surface. The best box gave 200 per square 
foot. In 1909 the set was poor, as the supply of clams in the 
vicinity had been almost exterminated. This method of catching 
the young of various shellfish, while interesting, will hardly be- 
come a practical method since the expense far surpasses the 
returns. At the present time methods of spat collecting are un- 
necessary as the natural clam set is sufficient to supply abundant 
seed for planting. By utilizing the heavy natural sets, so abun- 
dant in certain localities, which are entirely wasted under natural 
conditions, the future clam culturist will be able to procure suf- 
ficient seed clams. He will obtain his seed by methods such as 
described for the Rowley Reef set, but as he becomes more adept 
he will endeavor to let Nature do the work of transportation, 
turning his grant into a huge spat collector by developing the 
surface in various ways for catching the set. On examining the 
sand from the clam flats at Monomoy Point more larva? were 
obtained from the hollows than from the surface of the level flat, 
indicating that an uneven surface is more favorable for collecting 
the set. The planting of thatch or sedge in rows to catch and 
hold the set is being tried by Mr. Marcus Howes of Barnstable. 
Other methods, such as the building of artificial bars to direct 
the currents so that the set will be deposited upon the grant, 
should prove entirely practicable. 

The Row t ley Reef Set. 

In November, 1906, a good illustration of a typically heavy 
set of clams was found on Rowley Reef Knobs, a sand flat in the 
form of a horseshoe in Plum Island Sound. Its history and final 
fate are here recorded. 

The set was confined chiefly to the eastern section of a sand 
bar which was swept by a swift, narrow current except when 
exposed for three hours at each tide. Upon the west side of this 
channel a long reef formed the eastern bend of the horseshoe. 
The area of this set was approximately 3 acres and covered 
about one-third of the entire flat. The soil was a fine, tenacious 




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PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 123 

sand, typical of this region, in parts rippled by the current, in 
others of a firm consistency. The current swept in a curve 
around the horseshoe at low tide and over it at high, passing 
in both directions. A projecting salt marsh on Plum Island on 
the east side of the current caused a partial turn in the current, 
forming an eddy over the sand flat, and at the same time a 
spreading of the water on the sides of the channel, both condi- 
tions being conducive to a set. 

The clammers of Rowley stated that sets frequently occurred 
on this flat and furnished good digging when the clams had 
reached maturity. However, such evidence is only hearsay and 
the prevalence of previous sets is not definitely known. The 
set was first described in November, 1906, by J. R. Stevenson: — 

Upon an area of 600 to 700 feet long, tapering at the ends, and about 150 
feet wide in the center, I found a set of young clams from 1,000 to 5,000 
per square foot. From an average square foot of sand in which every 
clam was burrowed out of sight, and in which I counted roughly 1,000 
holes, I dug 1,937 clams averaging about one-half inch in length. From 
a square foot of sand into which the clams had not completely burrowed 
I sifted 2,416 clams. Roughly estimating this area as containing 50,000 
square feet set with clams at least 1,000 per square foot, we have the 
enormous number of 50,000,000 young clams. These averaged 3,000 per 
quart, making a total of 17,000 quarts, or over 500 bushels of young clams. 
Upon the boundaries of this thickly set portion the young clams spread 
out in decreasing numbers over an extensive area, although few clams 
could be found in the shifting sand on the top of the reef. This lesser 
and more scattered set increased perhaps by 50 per cent, the number of 
young clams upon this reef. 

Xear the center of the most thickly set area I found a tidal pool, roughly 
12 feet long by 6 feet wide and about 15 inches deep. At first sight it 
seemed but an inch or two in depth, but upon wading into it I sank to 
my knees. Imagine my surprise when I found that it was not sand into 
which I sank but a groaning mass of living clams. Here were more than 
60 cubic feet of solid clams. Reckoning 2,000 per quart, as these seemed 
larger than those burrowed in the sand, with 25.7 quarts per cubic foot, 
I found in this one pool more than 3,000,000 young clams. Upon other 
portions of the thickly set area were many smaller hollows, set full of 
clams, layer upon layer, tier upon tier, till the former sand hollows now 
became ridges of living clams, which could be scooped up by the pailful. 

The cause of this enormous set is found in the arrangement of 
the currents. The main channel of Plum Island Sound takes a 
bend of 90 degrees just northeast of the reef. Upon the western 



124 FISH AND GAME. 

side of the channel is slack water. The swift current bearing 
the larvae is suddenly checked, and the larvae as well as sand 
grains are deposited in the slack water. On the top of the reef 
and on the western side of the flat the waves beat .with too 
great force to permit of any permanent set, but upon the eastern 
side of the flat the waves do not exert sufficient power to dislodge 
the clams, which explains the peculiar outline of the set. When 
first observed no enemies and no other shellfish, i.e., Gemma, 
Mo coma, Mactra, Ensis, Lunatia, Littorina or Nassa, were pres- 
ent. It was a pure set of clams. 

Methods of Transplanting. — The uneven distribution of set is 
of importance to the planter; the thicker the set the greater the 
ease of transplanting. But even with heavy sets the work of 
obtaining the seed is far from an easy matter. The proper time 
for collecting is after the clams have reached the size of one-half 
inch and the byssus no longer holds them firmly to the sand. 

For transplanting to experimental beds a sieve was made in 
the form of a cradle which could be rocked in the water. The 
framework was covered with fine sand wire, which allowed the 
sand to sift through, leaving the clams inside. One man rocked 
this cradle under the water while two others shoveled the sand 
and clams into the cradle. In this manner the young clams 
could be obtained for planting entirely free from the soil. On 
April 25, 1907, three men using the cradle sifter were able to 
obtain seed clams at the rate of two bushels an hour, or six 
bushels per tide, since the flat is exposed about three hours. 
These clams ran about 67,600 per bushel, or a total of 405,600 
clams gathered. 

From 200 quarts of sand taken from an area of 45 square feet 
6f quarts of clams 15.5 millimeters in size (2,112 per quart) 
were gathered in six minutes by three men. Hence, three men 
can dig and sift 2,333 clams per minute, or enough to seed 100 
square feet of clam flat. These clams ran about 550 per square 
foot, but the amount saved by the sifting was only 313 to the 
square foot. On June 25, 1907, when the clams ran about 450 
to the square foot, they could be obtained faster, 166 quarts of 
sand then yielding 17 quarts of clams, which ran 1,000 to the 
quart and measured 20.3 millimeters in length. Four men ob- 
tained 5 bushels in one hour, or at the rate of \\ bushels per 
man, which is considerably faster than two-thirds of a bushel 
per man obtained on April 25, although the total number of 
clams was about the same. This successful method of obtain- 



PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 125 

ing the seed clams for the experimental beds was used almost 
exclusively in this section. 

Another method of transplanting clams from a locality of 
heavy set, which was more adapted for commercial purposes and 
for planting on a large scale, was to load dories with both sand 
and clams, and, without sifting, to transfer the cargo directly 
to the place of planting. This method was undoubtedly the best 
for rapid work or when the planting grounds were near the 
locality of set. In this way the town of Rowley could have 
seeded over 100 acres of barren flats at a comparatively slight 
cost. 

A third method of obtaining the seed clams was by digging 
trenches across the thickly set portion of the flat, thus forming 
artificial tide pools into which the clams were washed by the 
waves and could be gathered on the succeeding tide by the pail- 
ful. The yield was further increased by turning over part of the 
surrounding flat with clam hoes. A modification of this method 
was also used with an incoming tide when a strong wind was 
blowing. As the tide began to flow, portions of the thickly set 
flat were turned over in advance of the incoming waters. The 
waves washed the clams over from the heavier sand and rolled 
them in windrows where they could readily be gathered. A 
somewhat slower and more laborious method was to dig the 
clams under water with a clam hoe, gathering them by hand. 

Many bushels of clams were experimentally transplanted to 
the unproductive flats of Plum Island Sound. The subsequent 
fate of the clams on Rowley Reef demonstrates how the town 
of Rowley, by a lack of initiative, allowed thousands of dollars 
to be wasted merely because, under the present condition of 
town regulation, satisfactory transplanting could not be carried 
on by the clammers. Practically the same conditions obtain 
in many shore towns throughout the Commonwealth. 

Growth of the Rowley Reef Set. — In most cases areas of heavy 
set are not always areas of rapid growth, owing to the location 
and to the greater number of mouths to feed. Rowley Reef set 
proved an exception to this rule as its rate of growth equaled 
the average for this section. In the spring and summer of 1908, 
two years after the set, the first marketable clams were dug as 
small "steamers," about 2 J inches in size, the larger specimens 
being selected. During this period the number of clams had 
passed through many changes, illustrating the destruction of the 
natural set. A record of the growth of the set was obtained from 



126 



FISH AND GAME. 



successive examinations, as indicated in the following table. To 
all practical purposes no growth took place in the winter (not 
over 2 millimeters), the greater increase occurring in the summer. 



Date. 


Size 
(Milli- 
meters). 


Number 

per 
Quart. 


Number 

per 
Bushel. 


Number 

per 
Square 
Foot. 


Total 

Number 

of 

Clams. 


Total 
Number 

of 
Bushels. 


Nov. 13, 1906, .... 


12.90 


3,200 


100,000 


1,934.0 


96,700,000 


9C7 


April 25, 190V 


15.50 


2,112 


67,000 


550.0 


27,500,000 


411 


June 25, ls)07 


20.30 


1,000 


32,000 


450.0 


22,500,000 


703 


July 17, 1907 


21.20 


850 


27,200 


425.0 


21,250,000 


781 


Aug. 29, 1907, .... 


26.40 


468 


15,000 


400.0 


20,000,000 


1,333 


May 10, 1908, .... 


45.88 


81 


2,592 


53.4 


2,670,000 


1,030 



The Depletion. — Nature regulates the number of clams on any 
flat by the elimination of the weaker or unfit. It is practically 
impossible for a square foot of soil to contain more than 50 adult 
clams of the same size, owing to the lack of actual space, even 
when the hindrances to growth by such crowding are not con- 
sidered. In any heavy set the majority must perish, the surplus 
clams being forced out by the pressure exerted by the growth of 
the others. A cubic foot of soil will hold perhaps 2,000 small 
clams, but when they have doubled in size it is manifestly im- 
possible for the same space to hold the increased bulk, which 
results in forcing out the weaker clams or those near the surface 
of the soil. There are certain exceptions to this rule; for ex- 
ample, at Lufkins, where the soil is hard, the clams cannot be 
forced out, with the result that the growth is checked. Once 
out, the clam finds it practically impossible to find space to bur- 
row back into the ground, and must perish unless it can find 
other favorable ground. It therefore lies on the surface of the 
flat, and is rolled around at the mercy of the wind and waves, a 
prey to predatory animals and the warring elements, which soon 
destroy it; or, if fortune favors, it is carried to suitable ground. 
In the case of the Rowley Reef the clams that were thrust out 
of the soil were washed into the deep waters of Plum Island 
Sound where they perished. The tidal pool mentioned in the 
first part of the description of Rowley Reef is only one of the 
many instances where large quantities of clams are washed out 
of their burrows by the action of wind and tide. Comparatively 
few reach good ground and restock other flats. As can be seen 



PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 



127 



from the above table, the ravages of winter are especially heavy 
upon such unprotected sets. 

Not only, do the elements destroy these sets but active enemies 
contribute directly and indirectly to their destruction. Two 
principal enemies were found on Rowley Reef, but their work 
was not noticeable until August, 1907, when the clams had at- 
tained sufficient size to serve as prey for the cockle or winkle 
(Lunatia heros) and the horseshoe crab (Limulus polyphemus), 
which soon accomplished considerable damage. The horseshoe 
crabs, in ploughing their way through the sand, displaced from 
their burrows thousands of clams, which were swept away by 
the current, and crushed numerous others with their claws, de- 
vouring all they could eat. Of eleven horseshoe crabs examined 
five held crushed clams in their claws, and the stomachs of many 
crabs examined elsewhere were distended with crushed clams. 
The cockles did considerably less damage, owing to their slower 
method of boring through the shell. 

Transplanting of the Rowley Reef Set. — Several bushels of the 
small clams were transplanted to the neighboring flats in Plum 
Island Sound, where the growth was compared with the natural 
set. Two bushels were sowed upon Lufkins Flat abreast of 
Ipswich Bluff, just south of the "North Guzzle" and well out 
upon the flat. Two more were distributed along the west side 
of Treadwells Island in Ipswich River, in November, 1906, and 
in the following spring, on April 25, 1907, on North Foresides 
and Southwest Head in Plum Island Sound. That part of Luf- 
kins Flat where the clams were planted had a slower current 
than Treadwells and Rowley Reef, and possessed a sort of soft 
mud and sand. Treadwells was a hard mud flat on the side of 
a swift current, where rapid growth was obtained for the planted 
beds. Both places proved suitable for good growth. 





Rowley 

Reef. 


Tread- 
wells. 


Lufkins. 


North 
Foresides. 


Southwest 
Head. 


Date. 


o 
QQ 


a 

« If 

3C 


o 
s B 


a 

s a 

3C 


8g 

•1 

N B 

OS 


a 

11 


1 

— © 
OQ 


a 

is 


m 


a 

S3 


Nov. 13, 1908, . 
April 25, 1907, . 
June 25, 1907, 
Aug. 29, 1907, 
May 10, 1908, 


12.90 
15.50 
20.30 
26.40 
45.88 


3,200 
2,112 
1,000 

468 
81 


12.90 
15.75 
19.50 
33.20 


3,200 

2,018 

1,134 

220 


12.90 
15.74 
17.40 
20.35 
45.74 


3,200.0 
2,018.0 
1,561.0 

300.0 
81.8 


15.5 
22.0 
35.0 


2,112 
795 

185 


15.5 
20.3 


2,112 

1,000 



128 FISH AND GAME. 

Conclusion. — The fate of heavy natural clam sets, as typified 
by that at Rowley Reef, indicates that in this respect Nature is 
destructive and wasteful. Of 2,000 clams to the square foot all 
but 50 perished, and these were of but slight benefit to the Row- 
ley clammers. Under natural conditions 25 per cent, of these 
clams were wasted, having perished in the manner previously 
described. The remedy for such a deplorable condition is ar- 
rived at by simply transplanting the clams to unproductive flats 
before they are destroyed. The potential producing power of the 
967 bushels of small clams contained in this flat on Nov. 13, 
1906, seems incredible. From some productive flats less than 
500 two-year-old clams fill a bushel basket. If it had been pos- 
sible to successfully transplant this set in its entirety at the end 
of two years a total of 154,720 bushels would have resulted. 
Even if half the number had survived the gain would have been 
enormous, — far greater than in natural areas, where the set is 
most uneven in its distribution. The value of these clams at 
75 cents per bushel would have been in round numbers $110,000 
to the town of Rowley, which could at slight expense have trans- 
planted these clams to barren flats and provided profitable clam- 
ming for the citizens. The direct cause of this continuous neglect 
of natural resources is the present state of our shellfish laws, 
whereby all power is delegated to the town, which can at will 
either neglect or improve its valuable shellfish resources. Such 
sets should be unrestrictedly State property, and not improvi- 
dently controlled by an individual town. 

The presence of such sets as that at Rowley Reef is a great 
advantage to clam culture, since the necessity for artificial spat 
collecting no longer exists when nature furnishes such an abun- 
dance of seed clams. The planter then merely has to find such 
places of heavy set and transfer the clams to his grant by any 
method best adapted to his convenience. In this way these sets, 
which under natural conditions are wasted and destroyed, may 
be utilized for the public. The Rowley Reef set is not a solitary 
instance but is one of many similar sets located in the various 
coast towns, which afford means of easy and successful planting 
if proper precautions are observed. 

Enemies. 
The numerous enemies of the larval clam have already been 
described, but even when the young clam has set on good 
ground, it is not free from enemies, and during this early period 



PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 129 

great destruction ensues/ We will now consider certain of the 
more important active enemies of both the young and the 
adult. 

Waterfowl. — At various hearings on bills for bird protection 
before the Legislative committees on fisheries and game during 
the past few years evidence has been submitted concerning the 
destruction of shellfish by different species of waterfowl. From 
facts submitted it was shown that quantities of clams were eaten 
by coots, shelldrakes and other waterfowl. Although no clams 
have ever been taken by the writer from the crops of such water 
birds, other small adult shellfish of a similar nature have been 
found. If these mollusks are eaten, it is very evident that the 
small clams which lie near the surface might fall an easy prey 
to these birds. Dr. Benjamin Sharp once personally described 
the destruction of small sea clams (Mactra) by coots at Nan- 
tucket, which indicates that small clams (Mya) could be taken 
as readily by these birds. It is impossible to accurately estimate 
the extent of destruction from this source. 

Crabs. — The lady crab (Ovalipes ocellatus) is found in abun- 
dance on sand flats, where it buries itself up to its eyes and 
antennae in the sand and watches for prey or foe, quickly disap- 
pearing beneath the surface by burrowing with its "paddles" 
when danger approaches. The blue crab (Callinectes sepidus), 
which has achieved fame as the edible soft-shelled crab, is less 
abundant, and usually inhabits muddy shores. This species is 
larger and more ferocious than the lady crab, and individually 
may do more damage to clams. The lady crabs greedily devour 
the small clams, which they dislodge as they scuttle backward 
into the sand. However, their destructive influence is limited, 
for in compact flats the clams cannot be turned out in this man- 
ner, and only the small are thus captured. On one occasion four 
clams lj inches in length were dropped into a pen containing 
six lady crabs. One of the latter immediately seized a clam in 
each large claw and hastened to devour its prey in a solitary 
corner, but upon pursuit by a companion dropped one in its 
flight, and finally consumed the remaining clam with the aid of 
the mandibles, after having broken the valves apart by inserting 
its claw and crushing the shell. For a while the other clams 
remained unnoticed, although the crabs passed over them several 
times, but eventually one was taken, and the captor chased as 
before. This incident broke the spell, and the remaining clams 
were then rapidly disposed of. 



130 FISH AND GAME. 

The horseshoe crab (Limulus polyphemus), king crab, or "horse- 
foot" as it is commonly termed, is found along the Atlantic coast 
from Maine to Mexico. It inhabits either tidal flats or those 
just below low-water mark in the summer, being especially abun- 
dant during the breeding season, when the eggs are deposited in 
the sand. The male of this species is considerably smaller than 
the female. It has a thorax in the form of a horseshoe, bearing 
two pairs of eyes, and seven pairs of appendages on the under 
surface; an abdominal portion on the under side of which are 
several overlapping, platelike appendages; and a long movable 
spine, which aids the animal in turning. The first pair of tho- 
racic appendages are small and lie in front of the mouth, but 
like the next four appendages they are tipped with claws which 
enable the crab to seize, crush and devour young clams. These 
crabs burrow through a bed of young clams, actually rooting 
them from the soil, and gorge themselves with the victims. The 
writer has examined the stomachs of crabs taken from thickly set 
flats and without exception has found the contents to consist of a 
mass of crushed clams in various stages of digestion. Consider- 
able damage may be done by a single individual, since the ap- 
petite of the crab appears to be insatiable, and culturists should 
see that their grants are kept free of this voracious enemy. 

Another species, the small hermit crab, found so commonly on 
our beaches, has been observed to devour small clams which 
were lying exposed on the surface, but damage from this source 
is of minor importance. 

Fish. — Although certain fish prey upon young clams, it has 
yet to be proved that they do any damage to the adults. It is 
a popular idea among the clammers that the flounder or flatfish 
takes delight in biting off the tips of the siphons or necks of the 
clams as it swims over the surface of a flat. If such is true the 
flounder must necessarily exhibit surprising celerity to catch the 
sensitive siphon, which is so readily retracted. The writer has 
never been able to verify this theory by examination of the 
stomachs of flatfish, nor has he ever found clams thus deprived 
of the upper portion of their siphons. Such mollusks as Lcevi- 
cardium mortoni and young razor clams (Ensis directris) have 
been found in the stomachs of flounders, and, naturally, small 
clams before they had burrowed deeply into the flat could be 
taken in similar fashion by bottom-feeding fish. The species of 
fish which are destructive to the oyster in southern waters can 



PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 131 

do but little damage to the clam, and it may safely be concluded 
that fish are not a menace to the adult clam but that certain 
species do destroy the small clam. 

The Oyster Drill. — Kellogg (2) reports the finding of small 
clams the shells of which were perforated by the oyster drill 
(Urosalpinx cinerea). However, this pest, so destructive to the 
oyster, does but little damage to the buried clam, since it cannot 
burrow far beneath the surface of the flat. Our records indicate 
that only small clams are attacked and that the perforation 
occurs at the upper end of the shell in the region of the 
siphon. 

The Starfish. — The starfish or "fivefinger" seldom is capable 
of injuring the clam, which is well protected in its burrow. This 
animal is the great pest of oyster planters, destroying thousands 
of bushels of oysters each year. If the clams, like oysters, were 
exposed on the surface, the starfish would attack them similarly 
by forcing the valves apart by the slow concentrated action of its 
sucking feet, and by passing its everted stomach into the shell 
to digest the contents. Although the damage to adult clams is 
very slight, the young clam offers a more serious problem. Mead 
(13) and Kellogg (2) have shown that the young starfish during 
its development preys particularly on young clams, destroying 
enormous numbers. Thus in regions where the starfish abounds 
we have an active enemy capable of doing considerable damage 
to the clam set. 

The Winkle. — By far the most destructive enemy of the adult 
clam is the common winkle or cockle (Lunatia duplicata and L. 
heros), which destroys the clam by boring a hole through the 
shell. In Massachusetts there are three species, Lunatia heros, 
L. duplicata and L. triseriata, the last possibly erroneously con- 
sidered to be the young of L. heros. L. heros is more abundant 
than L. duplicata, the latter being a more southern form, ranging 
from Massachusetts Bay to the Gulf of Mexico; which, although 
abundant in Vineyard Sound, rarely occurs on the north side of 
Cape Cod. L. heros is found from Georgia to Labrador, occurs 
in abundance on the flats in Massachusetts Bay, and has been 
taken at a depth of 40 fathoms in Vineyard Sound. L. triseriata, 
the small variety, is found in about the same locality. Accord- 
ing to Verrill (10) in his "Invertebrates of Vineyard Sound," 
fossils of both L. heros and L. duplicata are found in the Miocene, 
Pliocene and post Pliocene periods. 



132 FISH AND GAME. 

The adult snail inhabits a heavy spiral shell from 2 to 4 inches 
in length, into which it can withdraw for protection, closing the 
large aperture by means of a horny operculum attached to its 
foot. The shell of L. duplicata is relatively less high, and the 
angle at the apex is more obtuse than is that of L. heros, its 
width exceeding its height, while in the region of the umbilicus 
on the lower side there is a calcareous formation of purple color 
which is lacking in L. heros. The shells of both species are usu- 
ally of a dull bluish white or grayish color, but old age alters 
the surface, which becomes rough and worn. 

The most noticeable part of the animal's anatomy is the large 
foot, which is protruded from the shell when the animal is crawl- 
ing or burrowing. This muscular organ, with thin spreading 
edges, gives the animal the typical snail appearance with the 
small shell on the back and the proboscis or feeler in front. A 
thick mucus is secreted which covers the foot with a slimy exu- 
date, and, according to Verrill (10), assists the sucker-like action 
of the concave under surface. By means of this foot the animal 
can burrow in search of clams, sea clams, quahaugs and other 
mollusks. 

On protected harbor flats the usual size of L. heros is from 2 
to 3 inches, but at Monomoy Point, Chatham, in more exposed 
waters, they often reach a size of 4 inches. 

Of particular interest is the radula or lingual ribbon, which is 
set with rows of small teeth and enables the animal to drill a 
clean, countersunk hole, from 1 to 4 millimeters in diameter, 
through the shell of a clam. With the quahaug, which lives near 
the surface, the perforation is at the umbones or back in nearly 
every instance, but in case of the clam the point of attack varies, 
since the clam, buried upright in the sand, can be reached only 
by burrowing. To make its attack the cockle envelops the clam 
with its muscular foot, and after making the perforation with its 
rasping tongue, sucks out the contents. No mollusks are safe 
from this potent enemy, and in some cases others of the same 
species are a prey. 

From observations upon lunatia confined in boxes with various 
sized clams, it was ascertained that the size of the perforation 
depends upon the size of the lunatia. A 2|-inch lunatia made 
a 4j-millimeter hole. The experimental clams were placed in 
boxes forty-eight hours before the lunatia were introduced, in 
order to give them an opportunity to burrow well into the sand. 



PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 



133 



Five sizes of lunatia were used, J, 1, lj, 2 and 2§ inches, re- 
spectively, while 5 of each of the following sized clams were 
used: 1, \\, 2 and 2|, one lunatia being assigned to a box con- 
taining 20 clams. The results of two series of four days each 
are shown in the following table: — 

Table of Clams bored by Lunatia. 
Experiment I. 



Lunatia Size (Inch). 


Clajms. 


Total 


1 inch. 


W2 inch. 


2 inch. 


VA inch. 


Destroyed. 


A 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


1 


2 


1 


- 


- 


3 


IA 


1 


- 


- 


- 


- 


2 


1 


2 


2 


1 


6 


2H, 


1 


2 


- 


- 


3 


Total 


5 


5 


2 


1 


13 



Experiment II. 



1. 

1H, • 
2, 

2A, • 
Total, 



_ 


_ 


- 


_ 


2 


1^2 


1 


- 


1 


V/ 2 


- 


- 


- 


3 


VA 


L 


2M 


- 


- 


- 


5H 


6 


4K 


- 



VA 

®A 
VA 



The conclusions from this experiment are as follows: — 

1. One-half inch lunatia can do damage to clams over 1 inch 
in size. 

2. One or one and a half inch lunatia cannot operate on clams 
over 2 inches in length. 

3. Two-inch lunatia appear even more effective than the 2\- 
inch size. 

4. Eliminating the J-inch lunatia with inch clams, 4 lunatia 
bored 28 clams in eight days, which indicates that 1 lunatia is a 
potential destroyer of 7 clams in eight days, or about 26 clams 
per month, if it worked continually. At this rate it would appear 
that the cockle 'can satisfy its gastronomical propensities with 



134 FISH AND GAME. 

approximately 150 small clams in the course of the six summer 
months. "With 2-inch clams, except in one instance, lunatia over 
2 inches were alone effective, and performed their work nearly 
twice as quickly as the smaller cockles. 

Another method of determining the respective sizes of lunatia 
and clams was to ascertain the depths to which various sized 
lunatia could burrow. The larger a clam the deeper it settles 
into the sand. In like manner, the burrowing faculties of the 
lunatia increase proportionately with the size of the animal, but 
beyond a certain limit it is manifestly impossible for the lunatia 
to burrow deeply enough to attack the clam. Various sized 
lunatia were placed in bottomless boxes which were covered 
with screens and pushed into the sand to depths of 1, 2, 3, 4 
and 6 inches, respectively. It was found that lunatia from 1 to 
2|" inches in size could burrow under enclosures less than 3 
inches deep, but none escaped from those between 3 and 6 
inches in depth, indicating that this gasteropod probably does 
not burrow to a depth of more than 3 inches below the sur- 
face. 

In spite of the fact that several experimental clam beds were 
totally destroyed by this enemy, the danger is not to be feared 
by the culturist, since cockles can be readily gathered for bait 
at an even greater profit than clams. 

During the last few years the industry of gathering cockles for 
bait, especially for the rip-fishermen, has increased in importance. 
These mollusks are found most abundantly in places of extensive 
flats, such as Plymouth, Hingham, Boston Harbor, the Annis- 
quam and Essex rivers, especially in the vicinity of large beds of 
mussels, sea clams or clams. Formerly they were gathered by 
hand, but as the supply became scarce they increased in value, 
and the inhabitants of certain coast towns now make a regular 
business of catching them with baited traps. This method is 
practiced in the early spring from the first of March to the mid- 
dle of May, when the cockles make their appearance on the flats. 
During the remainder of the season they are picked up by hand. 
To obtain them on soft mud flats use is sometimes made of a 
rude board framework, similar in principle to snowshoes, which, 
by reason of the increased surface, prevents the wearer from 
sinking into the mud. In this manner the fisherman is able to 
collect from one to five buckets per day, which he is able to dis- 
pose of at the price of 90 cents or more per bucket. 



PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 135 

At Hingham the traps are made in the following manner: 
from the iron tire of a wagon wheel, cut down to make a circle 
some 30 inches in diameter, is suspended a bowl of 1-inch mesh 
twine netting. The rim is suspended by three ropes joining some 
distance above the trap to another rope, which in turn is at- 
tached to a floating buoy. To bait the trap some dozen crabs 
are fastened around the rim by thrusting a stick through the 
body into the meshes of the net. If crabs are not readily 
obtainable fish heads are used. One man may easily operate 
as many as thirty such traps, which require attention but once 
a day. The average haul is perhaps one-tenth of a bucket to a 
trap. 

Until used the cockles are confined in cars, which usually are 
made 10 by 6 by If feet, with slats of 2-inch furring, \ inch apart. 
During the summer the fishermen call for these cockles once a 
month or more. In the spring as many as fifty buckets of 
cockles may be kept without risk in one car, but in the summer, 
because of the heat, it is not safe to keep more than twenty. 

The cockle industry in Massachusetts possesses certain pos- 
sibilities of development, since the supply of cockles under pres- 
ent methods of fishing will inevitably be exhausted unless some 
means is found for increasing their numbers. The possibility of 
rearing the young has as yet not been investigated, but it is 
hoped that some enterprising fishermen may enter this promising 
field. 

The peculiar egg cases of cockles, in the form of sand collars, 
which are often seen on flats and beaches, are composed mostly 
of sand cemented together by a gluelike material. In these col- 
lars there are numerous little vestibules containing the eggs. 
Verrill (10) states that: — 

The peculiar form of these egg masses is due to the fact that they are 
molded into shape by being pressed against the body of the shell when they 
are being extruded, and while they are still soft and gelatinous; they thus 
take the form and spiral curvation of that part of the shell, and when laid 
in the sand the fine grains at once adhere to and become imbedded in 
the tenacious mucus, which soon hardens. 

The egg case of L. duplicata differs from L. heros in having a 
crinkled edge, that of the latter being smooth and plain. A 
specimen of L. duplicata 1J inches in size was found which had 



136 FISH AND GAME. 

laid a case 3-f inches in diameter and lj inches high. During 
the spawning season in June and July the cockles apparently 
enter shallow water to spawn, and deposit their egg cases on 
the sandy beaches or flats. The practical application of cockle 
propagation lies in the possibility of collecting the cases, hatch- 
ing the eggs, and rearing the young in enclosed tidal pools. 

The rate of growth invariably depends upon the amount of 
food consumed rather than upon the age of the cockle. At the 
present time information with regard to the actual time requisite 
for the cockle to attain maturity is as yet incomplete. What 
few observations were made at Monomoy Point in 1906 indicate 
that growth is rather slow. Various sized cockles confined up 
to Oct. 22, 1906, in three boxes covered with netting and partly 
filled with sand, which contained numerous clams for food, gave 
the following results: — 

(A) 40-millimeter lunatia gained 5.75 millimeters in width. 

(B) 29-millimeter lunatia gained 3.83 millimeters in width. 

(C) 23-millimeter lunatia gained 4.00 millimeters in width. 

An average gain in width of 4.53 millimeters (J inch) was 
obtained in two months. 

Worms. — The question of the actual damage caused by worms 
is indefinite, and a decisive answer is practically impossible, ow- 
ing to our inability to secure reliable data. As regards directly 
injuring the clam, the majority of worms are harmless, but in- 
directly they interfere with the food supply. However, the con- 
ditions which are unfavorable for clams are apparently favorable 
for worms, thus giving the misleading impression that the worms 
and not the environment bring about their destruction. 

The clam worm (Nereis virens, N. lumbata, N. pelagica), occa- 
sionally used for bait, is common on mud, sand and gravel flats. 
Its head is armed with strong, pinching jaws and a large, re- 
tractile proboscis, which enables it to prey on various marine 
forms. The greenish red body is rounded above, flat below, and 
is divided into separate segments, equipped with projecting tac- 
tile parapodia which function as limbs. Nereis is often found on 
flats in close association with clams, a fact which undoubtedly 
accounts for the name of clam worm. Frequently, clam shells 
containing the worm are dug up, thus lending credence to the 
fallacv that the worm .destroys clams, but no case has ever been 



PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 137 

recorded where a clam was either actually killed or in process of 
being devoured by this worm. In boxes suspended from a raft 
at Monomoy Point, in which clams were kept for growth ex- 
periments, several young clam worms, not exceeding three inches 
in length, were found in 1908. Yet all the clams in these boxes 
were in good condition, which is further evidence that this species 
is not harmful. 

Glycera americana is a long, smooth, segmented worm tapering 
at both extremities, and has a large proboscis armed with four 
hook-like jaws, similar to those of Nereis. It inhabits flats, 
but is less common and apparently does no damage to clams, 
since it has been found in experimental boxes with healthy 
clams. 

The presence of numerous tube worms (Clymenella) on a flat 
is usually an indication of an absence of clams, such flats being 
unfitted for clam growth. This species constructs almost per- 
pendicular tubes of pure sand, which project slightly above the 
surface of the flat. They can hardly be considered as enemies of 
the clam, although they may possibly consume the same type 
of food, and may devour the larval clams. On examination, no 
diatoms have been found in the stomachs and intestines of these 
worms. The conditions best suited for this worm are unsatis- 
factory for clam life, which accounts for the rarity of clams 
where they are abundant. 

The Meckelia, recognized by fishermen as the "tape worm," 
is a large, flat, ribbon-like, flesh-colored worm, usually found in 
mud or sand flats between tide lines, where it remains a few 
•inches below the surface. Exact measurements are impossible, 
as the worm is continually expanding and contracting. The 
adult is from two to three feet in length and about one inch in 
width. When disturbed it readily breaks into several parts, each 
of which may regenerate to form a new individual. On one occa- 
sion a large specimen when placed upon a laboratory table lay 
in a sticky mucus, one part of the body seeming to flow to an- 
other in a series of wavelike expansions, which enabled the ani- 
mal to progress slowly. The worm repeatedly thrust out a 
slender banded proboscis two inches long and one-sixteenth of 
an inch in diameter, which coiled and uncoiled on the table. 
When the worm was picked up the proboscis, covered with mu- 
cus, shot forward and coiled around the observer's fingers, caus- 
ing a cool or burning sensation. When placed in formalin by a 



138 FISH AND GAME. 

forcible ejection it cast off the entire proboscis, which evidently 
was used as a feeler or sensory organ. 

Sometimes this worm occurs in flats where many dead clams 
are found, and the question naturally arises as to whether it 
destroys this mollusk. A clam found by Mr. J. R. Stevenson 
on Grey's Flat, Kingston, with the rim of the mantle and siphon 
still remaining, contained inside the shell a living tape worm 
about 4 inches long. Other similar instances have also been 
observed where it appeared as if the worm had destroyed the 
clam. 

On Jeremy's Point, Wellfleet, a clam was found with a 4-inch 
Meckelia inside the shell. In this case the soft body of the clam 
was gone, but the mantle, siphon and muscles were still intact 
and undecayed, showing that it had only recently been killed. 
The specimen was brought to the laboratory and placed in a 
small aquarium, when the worm soon crawled out of the shell. 
During the remainder of its stay of three days in the aquarium 
it refused to notice the clam, the water finally becoming so foul 
that it died. Here the evidence points strongly to the fact that 
the clam was killed by the worm. The fact that the worm did 
not resume its activities might, however, throw doubt upon a 
hasty conclusion. 

It may be stated conservatively that, although instances may 
be extant where Meckelia have destroyed clams directly, their 
prevalence on flats unsuited for clams is rather due to natural 
conditions favorable for their existence but unfavorable to clam 
life. 

Passive Enemies. — Certain forms of life injure the clam pasr 
sively by direct interference with its growth or indirectly by 
depriving it of necessary food. Mussels and many other species, 
considered valueless at present, assimilate the same food as the 
clam, in this way exerting a mildly injurious influence. The 
mussel beds serve as collectors for clam set, but at the same time 
destroy many small clams by deposited silt. Diseases are in- 
clined to spread over a flat where the circulation of water is 
poor, and infected clams quickly contaminate their neighbors. 

Man. — The influence of man has had severe and far-reaching 
effects upon the decrease in the clam supply in two ways, either 
directly in overthrowing the balance of Nature by ill-advised 
methods of clamming, or indirectly through pollution of waters; 
but much of the damage may be repaired if man will only assist 
Nature in its renewal of the supply. By such unwise exploita- 



PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 139 

tion it has been reduced to a seriously depleted state. Excessive 
and ill-advised digging in certain localities has brought the clams 
to almost complete extinction by the method of taking scattered 
clams, thus totally depleting acres of flats. 

Overdigging is deleterious in its effect in the following ways: 
(1) adult clams which are capable of furnishing spawn are re- 
moved, which naturally leads to a diminution in the reproduc- 
tive capacity of the bed; (2) actual destruction results from 
breakage of the shells, and the inability of the injured clam to 
burrow again in the soil; (3) the number of clams taken from 
the average flat is greater than its productive capacity, which 
will result inevitably in a progressive depletion. 

With the advent of man upon New England shores came also 
domestic animals, and we read with interest in Winsor's "His- 
tory of Boston" that "swine were doubtless instrumental in 
eradicating clams and mussels at the points they visited, since 
it is well known that, at localities in the west where they are 
allowed to run at large, they quickly destroy the fresh-water 
mussels in all the streams where in seasons of drought they can 
gain access to these animals." 

Pollution. — The area of available clam flats has greatly di- 
minished during past years owing to restriction of certain har- 
bors, such as Boston, Lynn and New Bedford, which the State 
Board of Health, after due investigation, have considered unfit 
for the production of edible clams. The reason for this action 
was occasioned by the numerous typhoid epidemics which have 
been traceable in many instances to shellfish from sewage-pol- 
luted waters. The curtailing of this available clam territory is 
greatly to be deplored, and while protective from the standpoint 
of the public health, it is by no means a curative measure. The 
true remedy lies in removal of the causative agents which have 
produced this condition. Unnecessary pollution of public waters 
by sewage and manufacturing wastes should be prohibited, and 
then the present distressing condition of our rivers and streams 
would be at least ameliorated if not fully remedied. It is our 
purpose to make an unbiased statement concerning some con- 
ditions now existent on clam flats of the State in an endeavor 
to attract the attention of the public to the necessity of imme- 
diate, thorough reform by means of proper legislation. In pre- 
senting these facts we wish to specify particularly that the clam 
industry or clammers of any one section are not the objects of 
our criticism, but rather the underlying causes which have been 



140 FISH AND GAME. 

operating during the past century by reason of the laxity of our 
laws. Many conditions cannot be remedied, but in numerous 
instances their noxious features may readily be avoided at a 
comparatively slight expense. 

When the first settlers landed upon the "rock-bound coasts' ' 
of New England all our streams and tidal waters were unpolluted. 
As the colony expanded and the various towns arose along the 
rivers near the ocean, these waters were considered the natural 
exits for refuse and waste. Towns rapidly enlarged into cities 
with extensive industrial interests, and the volume of sewage and 
manufacturing wastes proportionately increased, with little or no 
effort to prevent such a wanton practice. In this way the fish- 
eries of some of the finest rivers in this Commonwealth, the 
Merrimac, Connecticut, Taunton, Charles and Mystic, have been 
ruined. Pollution has not been confined to fresh water alone, 
but has irretrievably ruined for commercial value shellfish beds 
in many salt-water rivers and harbors. 

The soft clam, unlike the oyster and little-neck or quahaug, is 
rarely eaten raw, which fact materially lessens the danger of 
typhoid infection. It feeds in a similar manner to the oyster, 
acting as a living filter by straining all microscopic life from in- 
flowing water by means of the tiny cilia of the gills. Then if 
any pathogenic bacteria, such as the typhoid bacillus, are present 
in the water, they are collected in concentrated form. The con- 
sumer who by chance takes such clams raw or imperfectly cooked 
ingests this accumulation of bacteria, with the possibility of 
serious results. Fortunately, in the majority of instances the 
clam before being eaten is subjected to a sufficiently high tem- 
perature to destroy pathogenic bacteria. Undoubtedly in the 
case of the clam the danger of infection from contaminated 
waters has been to some extent exaggerated in the public mind. 
Nevertheless, the fact remains that it has been essential to close 
large tracts of clam flats in the interests of the public health. 
The great problem which confronts us at the present time is the 
legitimate utilization of such areas. 

Even more important than the purity of the water in which 
the clam lives is the application of sanitary methods in its 
handling and preparation for market. Yet this important con- 
sideration is neglected by the general public. The clammer is 
hardly to be criticized for ordinary negligence in sanitation, since 
the average man, if placed under similar circumstances, would com- 
mit similar indiscretions from lack of knowledge. Nevertheless, 



PUBLIC DOCUMENT — Xo. 25. 141 

in justice to the majority of clammers of this Commonwealth, the 
few who are guilty of practices directly prejudicial to public health 
should be restrained. Whoever either through carelessness or 
ignorance sends clams to market from an unsanitary environ- 
ment potentially injures not only the health of the consumer but 
the business of every man engaged in the clam fishery. When 
the public fully realizes the importance of the use of proper care 
in marketing shellfish, the fishermen as a class will reap the 
reward of diminished trade resulting from the careless neglect of 
the few. 

Clams are marketed in two ways: in the shell as " steamers" 
or shucked. In the case of the first class the danger of con- 
tamination in transit is negligible provided the clams are dug 
from clean flats, properly handled, washed with pure water, and 
packed in clean barrels for market. With shucked clams the 
sanitary condition of opening shanties is essentially important, 
since chances of contamination are greatly enhanced. Such places 
should receive systematic and thorough inspection. For the most 
part they comprise small shacks or cabins, where the clams are 
opened for market, and in these absolute sanitary cleanliness 
should be maintained. The opener in the typically unhygienic 
and unclean shanty usually sits on a stool or low chair with a 
bucket or basket of clams beside him. In front of him is a tub 
of questionable cleanliness partly filled with water, which is often 
of such a character as to be considered unfit to drink, into which 
the shucked clams are thrown. The tub is admirably adapted 
to collection of dirt and other refuse as well as clams, and per-, 
chance if an opened clam slips to the dirty floor, it invariably 
is tossed with the adherent dirt into the tub. However, this case 
as cited may be taken as an example of the worst type of un- 
sanitary preparation for market. Fortunately, such cases are 
few, but they are sufficiently numerous to warrant the inspec- 
tion and regulation of the opening shanties. By the enforcement 
of a simple law governing the inspection of shellfish, the interests 
of the public, the dealers and the fishermen would all be safe- 
guarded. Persons guilty of such deplorable practices should be 
made to appreciate the danger and should be instructed in the 
proper handling of their product. 

The practice of swelling or soaking shucked clams is to be 
deplored. In the report upon the "Scallop Fishery" is a de- 
scription of how the small yellow "eye" or adductor muscle of the 
scallop is soaked in fresh water until it has increased one-third 



142 FISH AND GAME. 

of its former size by the swelling of the tissues, and how it is 
converted into a plump white body more tempting in appear- 
ance to a prospective consumer. While soaking brings a tem- 
porary reward to fishermen through an increase in immediate 
returns, the consumer loses not only the sweet flavor of the un- 
soaked product, but actually receives less nourishment, since the 
nutritive value is also depreciated by this process. When a 
clam has been immersed in fresh water for several hours it in- 
creases about one-third in bulk by infiltration of the tissues with 
water through osmosis. This, of course, enables the clammer to 
materially increase the volume of his product and present to the 
consumer finer appearing clams. Although this practice results 
in loss of nutritive material and flavor it causes no danger to 
public health if the soaking is carried on with sanitary precau- 
tions. The only possible sources of contagion in this process 
would be either from the water used or the tubs, which should 
be harmless if clean and properly sterilized. Danger is occa- 
sioned by the use of unclean utensils and water from contami- 
nated wells. 

Chemical waste and sewage exert a detrimental effect upon the 
clam. The precipitation of sewage sludge renders flats unsuit- 
able for the clam growth. The idea prevails that clams thrive 
most readily at the mouths of sewers, chiefly because more food 
is supposed to be present. In the immediate vicinity of sewers 
this fact is not true; the food perhaps may be more abundant, 
but the benefit is offset by a great preponderance of suspended 
organic material in the water, which renders proper feeding a 
mechanical impossibility. The putrefactive changes which or- 
ganic matter undergoes indirectly have a detrimental effect upon 
the clam growth. The waste products of gas factories, chiefly 
that of water-gas tar, have been shown to destroy oysters, and, 
even if not fatal to clams, necessarily would have a deleterious 
effect by imparting a tarry flavor, credited to clams taken from 
certain waters entering into Boston Harbor. Perhaps the great- 
est damage from manufacturing wastes is in making flats un- 
tenantable for young clams. Soft silt on the surface of a flat pre- 
vents a set, and the clam larvse soon perish in the soft ooze, 
while the oily film on the surface of the water probably destroys 
vast numbers before the swimming larvse attain sufficient size 
to set. In this way good clam flats may become unproductive 
and the clams unfit for food. 

The history of sanitary shellfish legislation is interesting as 



PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 143 

exhibiting discrepancies between enactment and enforcement of 
laws. In 1901 it was enacted that the Commissioners on Inland 
Fisheries and Game (now the Commissioners on Fisheries and 
Game), whenever so requested in writing by the State Depart- 
ment of Health, should prohibit the taking of oysters, clams, 
scallops and quahaugs from tidal waters or flats of any part of 
the Commonwealth for such period of time as the latter might 
designate. The penalty for violation of this measure was a fine 
of not less than $5 nor more than $10 for the first offence and 
not less than $50 nor more than $100 for each subsequent offence. 
Unfortunately, the beneficial effect of this law in protecting pub- 
lic health by restricting sewage-polluted areas was made void by 
another bill in 1907 which permitted the taking of shellfish from 
these areas for bait, if permits were first secured from local 
boards of health. As a matter of fact, it is impracticable to 
properly enforce the law, since it is possible only in rare in- 
stances to keep any single lot of clams under surveillance from 
the time of digging until they have been used as bait. Unre- 
stricted prevention of clam digging in these areas with severe 
penalties is the only means by which public health can be safe- 
guarded under present conditions. 

The waters in the immediate vicinity of many productive clam 
flats have been found to be more or less polluted, as revealed by 
an inspection of the clam flats of Massachusetts in 1910, at 
which time certain of the immediate sources of contamination 
were recorded. A brief outline of this 1910 survey is here 
given: — 

The Merrimac River is one of the worst examples of the results of 
pollution from manufacturing sources. The cities of Lowell and Lawrence 
and Newburyport have for years emptied wastes into this river. This 
condition, in addition to dam obstructions, has contributed to the ex- 
tinction of the salmon, shad and alewife fisheries in its waters. At the 
mouth of this river on the south bank lie the extensive Joppa Flats, some 
1,080 acres in area, while on the north bank are the Salisbury Flats, 
covering 250 acres. The immediate source of pollution is the city of 
Newburyport, as but few culverts empty into the river on the Salisbury 
side. The sewage system of the city consists of 2,215 regular drains, 3,144 
connections, 30 culverts and 2 mains, one of which empties directly upon 
the clam flats. In addition to this 25 private sewers empty into the river. 
Twelve manufacturing plants, distilleries, shoe and cloth mills discharge 
their waste wholly or partially into the stream. In spite of the polluted 
nature of the water quantities of clams are dug for market from these 



144 FISH AND GAME. 

flats, and the only remedy for this unsanitary and even dangerous state 
of affairs is the proper regulation of the sources of pollution by the different 
cities. 

At Ipswich 100 private sewers, 10 public sewers and the sanitary sys- 
tems of 2 mills were found to empty into Ipswich River. Dyes and other 
refuse from 2 woolen mills and part of the waste from a gas factory add 
to the pollution. Fortunately, the greater part of the clam flats are 2 
to 3 miles from the source of this pollution, and for that reason the mar- 
keted clams are reasonably safe, but for the good name of "Ipswich 
clams'' these sources of pollution should be removed. 

The only pollution entering Essex River is a small amount of 
refuse from 2 shipyards and from street culverts. At Gloucester 
the waste from 2 factories and the sewage from a hospital and 
a number of summer cottages are discharged into the Annisquam 
River. The major portion of the contaminating material is emp- 
tied into water that does not affect the clam flats. The clam 
fishery between Gloucester and Lynn is so insignificant as to 
render a consideration of the question of pollution superfluous. 
Lynn and Boston harbors have already been adjudged unfit and 
set aside by the State Department of Health. In the case of 
Plymouth Harbor the sewer empties about 50 feet from the 
shore. In addition to this a gas house, 2 woolen mills and the 
Plymouth Cordage Works empty refuse into the harbor. At 
Wareham an electric power plant empties refuse into the Aga- 
wam River, while at Edgartown 4 small sewers discharge near 
the clam flats. In the vicinity of Mattapoisett a schoolhouse 
sewer leads to the water. Owing to the tremendous amounts of 
pollution entering the Acushnet River from New Bedford and 
Fairhaven this stream has previously been closed by the State 
Department of Health. 

The Taunton River conveys sewage and manufacturing wastes 
from Taunton, which has 29.7 miles of sewers and a population 
of 30,067, from a bleachery and paper mill at North Dighton, 
and from private sewers at Somerset. The city of Fall River, 
with a population of 115,097, in addition to its 71.35 miles of 
sewer's emptying by 11 mains directly into Mount Hope Bay, 
contributes the wastes from 8 large manufacturing plants. 

Movements. 
The movements of the clam may be grouped into two classes, 
the burrowing of the adult and the migratory activities of the 
young. Occasionally the adult is turned out of its burrow by 



PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 145 

the clammer or by natural agents, but its anatomical structure 
renders it unfit for any movement except downward in the sand. 
Therefore the culturist is certain of retaining a planted bed un- 
less his grant is situated in an exposed location. 

When the clam is exposed on a flat by a clammer, it lies inert 
until covered by the rising tide. When once immersed its ac- 
tivity begins. From the anterior end of the shell, opposite the 
siphon or "snout," is extended a small white arrow-shaped organ, 
the foot, which has been enlarged several times its normal size 
by engorgement with fluid from the rest of the body. The ex- 
tended foot works down between the sand grains and slowly 
lifts on end the shell, which disappears into the soil in a series 
of jerks by a pulling action of the foot. At Monomoy in coarse 
sand measuring from the surface of the soil to the uppermost 
point of the shell, 38-millimeter clams averaged a depth of 4.07 
inches below the surface, 64-millimeter, 5.53 inches, and 75- 
millimeter, 5.73 inches. Clams in a pure sand flat apparently 
live at a deeper level than in a mud or gravel soil. 

The length of time for burrowing depends upon three factors: 
(1) the size of the clam, (2) its activity, and (3) the character of 
the soil. Large clams take longer to burrow as they are less 
active, have a greater displacement, and owing to the relatively 
smaller size of the foot require more propelling force to enter 
the soil. From the standpoint of the planter, Mead (16) has 
carefully studied the burrowing of clams of different sizes under 
various conditions. His results showed that the larger clams 
take longer to burrow than the smaller clams and that a smaller 
percentage bury themselves. In transplanting clams he found it 
best to keep the small seed in moist seaweed, and plant them on 
unfurrowed soil, allowing them to burrow naturally instead of 
ploughing them in. 

The consistency of the soil regulates the speed of burrowing, 
as harder soils make the entrance of the clam more difficult. In 
addition to age, the activity of the clam is governed by the tem- 
perature of the water, cold producing a state of torpidity. When 
the temperature of the water runs below 45 to 50 degrees Fahren- 
heit they burrow more slowly, and often lie exposed on the sur- 
face, a fact which culturists should bear in mind when planting 
during winter months. 

Clammers report that in winter clams burrow more deeply 
into the soil and work toward the surface in the spring, but this 
observation has not been verified by the writer. The depth at 



146 FISH AND GAME. 

which a clam is buried is dependent upon its size and the nature 
of the soil in which it lies. Doubtless clams are found at a 
lower level in winter, owing to increased growth during the pre- 
vious summer, but there is no evidence that they rise in their 
burrows. 

The young clam on reaching the attachment stage has rela- 
tively a much larger foot than the adult, which enables it to 
creep or burrow in the sand. Kellogg (4 and 6) has demon- 
strated in at least a large percentage of cases that the young 
Mya passes through a migratory stage in its existence, during 
which it attaches itself to seaweeds or other substances by its 
byssus before it finally settles into the sand. He says: — 

The small clams are restless, and apparently always desire to creep 
about. Though the [byssus] threads are many times the length of the 
body, they allow of little movement. From time to time the thread is 
cast off, for, once attached at its ends to sand grains or other bodies, it 
cannot be loosed. The clam then creeps about by means of its foot, but 
soon spins a new thread, at the same time attaching it by its free ends. 
This may be repeated many times, as the clam never remains for any 
length of time unattached. 

Very early the young clam manifests the digging instinct. Being a 
helpless creature, and subject to attack by enemies (notably small star- 
fish), it is necessary that it should cover itself in the bottom as soon as 
possible. When but little more than a millimeter in length, the creature 
thrusts its tiny foot down between the sand grains in a tireless effort to 
obtain a lodgment. This cannot be accomplished, however, for the light 
body is still not much larger than the sand grains which it attempts to 
displace. When a length of 2 or 3 millimeters is reached, the body is 
sometimes partially or perhaps wholly covered, if the sand of the bottom 
is very fine. When a length of 6 or 7 millimeters is reached, a clam is 
able to dig below the surface on any bottom, and is able to cover itself 
with much celerity. 

Even in its burrow, the small clam exhibits a strange restlessness. It 
repeatedly casts off the byssus from its body, digs out to the surface, and 
creeps away, only to go down and again attach itself. 

The ordinary crawling of the young clam, like that of the 
quahaug, is accomplished by a pulling movement of the foot. 
The small clam opens its valves, stretches out its foot hesitat- 
ingly, lashes it to and fro for a second, and then applies the 
distal end to a suitable resting place. In this position the two 
retractor muscles of the foot are relaxed. The remainder of the 
foot, with the elbow-like byssal gland, is extruded, and this 



PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 147 

movement draws the shell down slightly and in the direction 
of the tip of the foot, while the anterior end of the shell, that 
nearest the foot, tips down toward it. This movement is due 
to contraction of the anterior retractor. Then as the posterior 
retractor shortens, the foot is drawn into the shell, which results 
in advancing the shell as far as the distal end of the foot, and 
causes it to assume its original position, having covered a dis- 
tance corresponding to the length of the extruded foot. Half- 
grown Gemma and young Venus mercenaria have been observed 
to employ similar movements, and very probably many lamel- 
libranchs use this means of locomotion during early life. Young 
Amonia and Pecten travel by means of a straight pull with the 
foot with no tipping of the shell, due either to the absence or 
lack of development of the anterior retractor muscle of the foot. 
The backward movement described for the quahaug in a pre- 
vious report is likewise performed by the clam. In observing a 
0.7-millimeter clam it was ascertained that the average move- 
ment took 5.1 seconds, the longest 10, and the shortest 2. Two 
or 3 millimeter clams burrowed within one minute from time of 
first extending the foot. 

The clam less than 1 inch in length is not imbedded in the 
soil deeply enough to prevent washing out and the animal is 
thus frequently forced to migrate. Many of our experimental 
beds have been filled with small clams from neighboring locali- 
ties, a condition which often caused confusion in the records of 
the planted clams, and rendered difficult the determination of 
set. Clams on rippled wave-washed flats are occasionally car- 
ried away before they attain adult size, a difficulty with which 
the prospective culturist must contend. At Plymouth and Well- 
fleet seed clams were washed out and completely disappeared 
from the beds on exposed flats. Therefore it may be considered 
that the movements of the young clam depend upon its size, 
its environment and natural forces being brought to bear upon 
its existence. But once having attained a size sufficient to bur- 
row deeply in the soil, it loses its power of voluntarily moving 
from place to place. 

Recovery from Injury. 
Frequently clams are broken in numerous ways by the inex- 
perienced and occasionally by the experienced clammers. Un- 
less the fracture is too extensive the wound is healed by the 
formation of a layer of new shell inside the old. Though the 



148 FISH AND GAME. 

old crack never joins it is held together by substratum of new 
growth, secreted by the mantle. Usually the breaks are more 
serious than mere cracks, and being unable to burrow the clam 
perishes on the surface of the flat. In a few tests made at Mon- 
omoy Point with broken clams various sorts of shell wounds 
were found to heal. One test consisted in mutilating large and 
small clams in five different ways, viz., breaking the edges of the 
shell, puncturing a small hole just below the umbo, clipping a 
piece from the tip of the siphon and breaking the anterior and 
posterior ends of the shell. Small clams exhibited greater recu- 
perative powers than the large, as 43 per cent, of the former 
recovered as compared with 30 per cent, of the latter. None of 
the small clams recovered after breaking shell edges, while 40 
per cent, of the large clams similarly treated were alive after 
one month; 83 per cent, of the small clams recovered after hav- 
ing a small hole drilled through the shell below the umbo, while 
none of the large clams survived; 50 per cent, of the small clams 
and 60 per cent, of the large recovered after removal of a piece 
from the tip of the siphon; 25 per cent, of the large clams and 
42 per cent, of the small recovered after having the ends of their 
shells broken. It is well for the clam culturist to realize that 
slight breaks are not necessarily fatal to the clam and that for 
this reason broken ones should not be wholly discarded. 

The Food Value. 

Clams are shipped to market both in the shell, as " steamers " 
and "shucked." Naturally the consumer is interested in quan- 
tity and quality of clam "meat" rather than in the appearance 
of the shell, in spite of the fact that the clammer markets the 
attractive sand clam in the shell while he "shucks" the less 
prepossessing mud clam. Since in our growth experiments we 
have dealt only with the increase of the shell, it might perhaps 
be interesting to consider the relation between shell and meat 
in the different varieties of clams. 

To determine the ratio between meat and shell simple tests 
were made on clams of five sizes between 45 and 85 millimeters 
in length from four localities, Newburyport, Ipswich, Essex and 
Plymouth. The method of work consisted in (1) obtaining the 
desired sizes from freshly dug clams, care being taken to select 
no abnormal specimens; (2) determining the total weight; (3) 
the removal of tfre meats, fluid and waste, in the customary 
market manner; (4) weighing the meats and waste; (5) record- 



PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 149 

ing the natural conditions of the flats from which clams were 
taken; and (6) obtaining the volume of the different parts by 
water displacement. 

According to the results of At water and Langworthy (16) the 
clam in the shell shows a composition of 43.6 per cent, refuse 
material, 48.4 per cent, water, 4.8 per cent, protein, .6 per cent, 
fat, 1.1 per cent, carbohydrates and 1.5 per cent, mineral matter, 
making the total nutrients 8 per cent. Canned clams were found 
to contain 84.5 per cent, water, 9 per cent, protein, 1.3 per 
cent, fat, 2.9 per cent, carbohydrates and 2.3 per cent, mineral 
matter, thus affording 15.5 per cent, of nutritive material, which 
is greater than that of the canned oyster, with 14.7 per cent., 
and less than the canned quahaug, which averages 17 per 
cent. 

The Meat. — As with the quahaug, the greater part of the 
solid contents of the clam is used as food. The waste portion 
consists solely of the tip of the siphon, the edge of the mantle, 
and a portion of the adductor muscle left adhering to the shell, 
which in all amounts to 5.04 per cent., while the edible portion 
averages 34.55 per cent, of the total weight. With increasing 
age the flesh, particularly in the region of the siphon, becomes 
yellow and tough, which tends to render an old specimen, not 
necessarily a large clam, less palatable. 

Among future possibilities is the production of clams with 
characteristic flavors, since it is believed that the various species 
of microscopic plants present in the water give a diversity of 
flavor to mollusks. , \Yhen more detailed information concerning 
the food of the clam is available it may be possible to do much 
towards the creation of such special flavors by artificially cul- 
tivating these particular food forms. In this connection it may 
properly be mentioned that the presence of oils, chemicals and 
other manufacturing wastes frequently render the flesh of clams 
distasteful. 

The Shell. — The material for shell formation is assimilated 
by the tissues of the body from the inorganic salts which are in 
solution in the water and then deposited as shell. Soil is not 
absolutely essential for shell formation, since clams have been 
found to grow when kept without sand, in wire baskets sus- 
pended in the water. The character of the soil, as shown below, 
indirectly exerts an appreciable effect upon the type of shell 
formation. The rate of growth is also important, as the more 
rapidly growing clams possess a lighter and more delicate shell. 



150 



FISH AND GAME. 



As the clam increases in size the weight of its shell in terms of 
the total weight relatively increases but slightly, since the older 
shell is heavier, except where its substance has been corroded by 
organic acids in the soil. 

The following table gives the values in per cent, by weight for 
an average 60-millimeter (2-f inches) clam in different classes of 
soil. From 100 pounds of clams by weight the consumer ob- 
tains 34.55 pounds of meat. 





Influence of Soil. 










Shell. 


Meat. 


Waste. 


Fluid. 


Sand 




50.41 


37.74 


5.11 


6.74 


Sandy mud, . 




50.82 


37.79 


5.25 


6.14 


Mud 




53.46 


32.43 


4.60 


9.51 


Gravel and clay, 




57.98 


30.24 


5.19 


6.59 








Average, . 


53.17 


34.55 


5.04 


7.24 



While it is impossible to eliminate the influence of current 
upon clam growth, the above table indicates the general effect 
of different types of soil upon the shell. First, the sand clam 
has the lightest shell, sometimes styled the "paper shell." Sec- 
ondly, the sandy mud clam in some localities, where the soil is 
little more than a tenacious sand, varies little from the pure 
sand clam. Thirdly, the mud clam has heavier shell and greater 
width. Fourthly, the gravel clam has a characteristically rough, 
heavy shell. The general shape and appearance of sand and 
mud clams are radically different. The mud clam is wider and 
appears to have grown more sluggishly than the smooth, slim 
sand clam. The shell of the gravel or stony flat clam is rough 
and heavy, and often shows marked deformities. Possibly this 
strength and ruggedness have been necessitated by the irritating 
nature of its environment. As the weight of the shell increases 
that of the meat proportionately decreases, and though the dif- 
ference is not entirely accounted for by the increased weight of 
the shell, more value may be obtained by the purchase of sand 
clams by weight than either the mud or gravel. As the clam 
increases in size it changes but slightly the relative proportion 
of its parts, as may be deduced from the table below. While 
the shell becomes comparatively heavier the meat likewise in- 
creases in weight, with a corresponding decrease in the waste 
material. 



PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 



151 



Size (Millimeters). 


Shell 
(Per Cent.). 


Meat 
(Per Cent.). 


Waste 
(Per Cent.). 


Fluid 
(Per Cent.). 


45 

55 

65, 

75 


52.80 
51.94 
53.87 
54.04 


32.08 
35.24 
35.71 
35.17 


5.62 
5.12 
5.05 
4.37 


9.50 
7.70 
5.37 
6.42 



Comparative Food Value. — In a comparison of the food values 
of the clam, quahaug and scallop it is necessary to eliminate 
fluid volume from consideration, as with the scallop this is an 
uncertain quantity. Again, only the adductor muscle of the 
scallop is eaten, w T hile the entire solid contents of the quahaug 
and clam are consumed. Considering the weight of the shell 
and the edible content, the latter, though practically the same 
weight for weight in both the quahaug and scallop, being 17.85 
per cent, for the quahaug and 17.77 per cent, for the scallop, is 
much higher for the clam, in which the edible portion is 37.24 
per cent. The weight of the quahaug shell in considering such 
values is 82.15 per cent., that of the clam 57.32 per cent., and 
of the scallop 49.43 per cent., while the soft nonedible parts of 
the clam amount to 5.44 per cent, and of the scallop to 32.80 
per cent. 





Shell 
(Per Cent.). 


Edible Meat 
(Per Cent.). 


Nonedible 

Meat 
(Per Cent.). 


Clam, 

Scallop, 

Quahaug, 


57.32 
49.43 
82.15 


37.24 
17.77 
17.85 


5.44 
32.80 





CLAM CULTURE. 

The Decline. — The diminution of the natural supply has been 
brought many times to the attention of the general public by 
the difficulty in obtaining good clams at a reasonable price. In 
certain localities laws safeguarding the public health, by re- 
stricting the area of productive clam flats, have brought about 
a decline, but in a general sense the decrease in the natural sup- 
ply has been caused by the lamentable practice of overfishing. 
Even in the towns of Newburyport, Rowley, Essex and Glouces- 
ter, the best clam producing sections of the Commonwealth, 



152 FISH AND GAME. 

the natural supply has shown signs of failing. South of Boston 
the depletion of the clam beds has been even more noticeable. 
A striking illustration of this condition is furnished by Plymouth 
Harbor, where a y as t area of flats which formerly yielded the 
famous "Duxbury clams" is now barren and practically unpro- 
ductive. The Buzzards Bay district barely yields sufficient to 
supply home consumption, and the same is true of the shore of 
Cape Cod. For a detailed statement of this decline the reader 
is referred to the report on the "Mollusk Fisheries" for 1909. 

The specific causes of the decrease in the clam supply can be 
readily enumerated: (1) the destruction of certain productive 
flats by natural forces, such as shifting sand, changing currents 
and heavy storms; (2) the restriction of productive areas, owing 
to sewage pollution; and (3) the exploitation of the natural clam 
beds by overdigging, a direct result of the increasing popularity 
of the clam as a sea food. 

The Remedy. — Not only the clammers but the consumers as 
well may properly ask what can be done to increase the supply 
of clams. The Commissioners on Fisheries and Game now sub- 
mit a plan for regulating the clam-producing territory of the 
Commonwealth. In brief, it is to restore the barren and un- 
productive flats to their former thriving condition by planting 
clams, in this way preventing the inevitable decline and even 
producing a greater supply than under natural conditions. Ex- 
periments have demonstrated that clams may be successfully 
transplanted and that their cultivation is a practical undertak- 
ing. Not only may barren areas be restocked and made fruitful, 
but the slender harvest of the mildly productive areas can be 
notably increased. 

To accomplish this end it will be necessary to radically change 
the conditions now prevalent in the clamming sections. There 
is no question but that clams can be profitably transplanted and 
grown; but their extensive culture cannot be instituted except 
along systematic lines, which means that the individual fisher- 
man must supervise the operations of transplanting, seeding and 
harvesting the crop. All that he lacks is the necessary land upon 
which to raise clams, a deficiency which may be remedied by 
timely legislation. To the clammer, this change signifies eleva- 
tion from a chance gatherer of shellfish to the plane of a prac- 
tical culturist. In other words, a waning industry would be 
revived, and the clammer would receive a tract of land for a 
clam garden, with the assurance of obtaining the fruits of his 



PUBLIC DOCUMENT — Xo. 25. 153 

labors. Only with absolute protection can the clam flats under 
a system of clam farming be made to yield their normal harvest, 
but this system can be inaugurated solely by the passage of 
legislative measures, more liberal and specific than any on the 
present statute books for the proper regulation of this infant 
industry. 

A choice between private and public management of clam cul- 
ture must be made before the problem can be satisfactorily 
solved. Two methods of procedure are available: (1) the seed- 
ing of the flats at the expense of the town or of the State, with 
permission given to the public to gather clams after a closed 
season; (2) the leasing of the lands to individuals for private 
planting, which would be equivalent to the adoption of a system 
of grants. A review of the past efforts of towns to restock clam 
flats on a communal basis will disclose the fact that failure has 
resulted in practically every instance, invariably because the 
planting was done by men unfamiliar with such work. Although 
communal culture is a possibility, inherent drawbacks to such 
a scheme will always remain, e.g., a just sharing of expenses, 
equal co-operation in labor, and a satisfactory division of the 
harvest, all of which tend to render the plan impracticable. 

A more satisfactory plan is that of granting licenses to indi- 
viduals by the town or by the State, allowing such persons to 
hold and cultivate under proper safeguards a tract of clam flat, 
which they shall seed and stock at their own expense. Accord- 
ing to this method the clam-producing area of a town would be 
divided into two approximately equal parts, one of which would 
be reserved as public flats, and the other separated into small 
sections of a few acres each, to be leased to clam culturists at 
a fair annual rental. Only citizens of the Commonwealth or 
residents of the town in which such ground was situated would 
be permitted to hold these licenses. According to this plan the 
lease would run for a specified term of years, with privilege of 
renewal depending upon the efficiency with which the lessee had 
improved his holding. Immunity from outside molestation would 
be guaranteed to the licensee, who, in addition to the annual 
rental to the town or State, would be subject to taxes upon his 
holdings by the town in proportion to their assessed value. 

The proposed remedy is the outgrowth of several years' in- 
vestigation conducted by the Massachusetts Commission on Fish- 
eries and Game. The results of experiments in practical clam 
culture show conclusively that small clams may be successfully 



154 FISH AND GAME. 

transplanted from one locality to another and made to grow 
rapidly to a marketable size with but a small outlay of capital. 
It has also been demonstrated that clam cultivation or farming 
is positively practicable and that good profits will result from 
judicious planting. Clam farming is therefore not a theory but 
an established fact. The remedial measures advocated are not 
a makeshift, hurriedly formulated, but are the logical consequence 
of several years' careful study of existing conditions along the 
seacoast. By its installation clam farming may be placed upon 
the same basis as oyster culture, to the ultimate benefit of both 
the fisherman and the consumer. 

Benefits. — The following advantages to all classes are now 
demonstrable or may be conservatively predicted to result from 
the adoption of the proposed remedy: — 

1. Economically the available supply of sea food will be in- 
creased, to the general benefit of the public. In Massachusetts, 
where the population is so dense that the people have to depend 
in a great measure upon other sections of the country for their 
supply of foodstuffs, any important article of diet native to the 
Commonwealth should be cultivated to its maximum production. 

2. The supply of clams will be so increased as to more ade- 
quately meet the demands of the market. The clam has become 
a popular article of diet and there is no valid reason why it 
should not be more readily obtainable and at a lower price than 
at present. Any method of production which tends to increase 
the supply of this valuable mollusk is deserving of public sup- 
port. 

3. The product of the planted beds would tend to limit the 
drain on the natural beds, as many clammers who formerly dug 
from these flats would be supplied from their own grants, and 
in this manner allow nature to recuperate its own supply. 
Spawning clams on the private grants would enhance the value 
of the public flats by furnishing a greater amount of spawn. 

4. Thousands of acres of barren or unproductive flats would 
be converted into active sources of revenue. It seems poorly 
in accord with prevailing methods of New England thrift that 
large areas along the shore, which could be made more valuable, 
acre for acre, than upland, should be allowed to remain unpro- 
ductive. There is no question but that a division of the tidal 
flats into gardens for the raising of clams is as feasible as sec- 
tioning a large agricultural tract for different crops. The shore 
lands, by a comparatively slight expenditure of time and money, 



PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 155 

could be changed into clam farms, which would exceed in earn- 
ings the income from tracts of the same size in rural districts. 

5. The individual clammer would be benefited by having more 
remunerative and steady work. The natural flats, open to the 
public, in spite of the restricted area, would yield more clams, 
owing to the increased natural supply, but the unfailing and 
reliable source would be the private grant, from which, except 
under the most unfavorable circumstances, the clammer should 
be able to derive a respectable annual income. The value of an 
acre of average clam flat, if properly cultivated, is about $450 
per year, although it is possible for very productive ground to 
yield $750 per acre. A man cultivating a grant of 1 J to 2 acres 
could derive from it anywhere from $650 to $900 per year, which 
quite surpasses the present average income of the Massachusetts 
clammer. 

6. The cultivation of clams will inevitably advance the general 
prosperity of the coastal communities, where the shellfish indus- 
try furnishes the main source of income. The proposed system 
by insuring a steady income to the industrious fishermen residing 
in these communities will materially aid in general civic advance- 
ment. 

The problem which now confronts us is as follows: Massa- 
chusetts possesses 11,000 acres of tidal flats potentially capable 
of clam production. The greater portion of this area is prac- 
tically barren, unproductive of clams in paying quantities, and 
yet these flats, once planted with small clams, would yield in 
from one to two years large quantities of marketable bivalves. 
In the past, such methods as closed seasons and restricting the 
catch have been tried without success. In the case of the clam, 
which readily lends itself to artificial propagation, restrictive 
legislation alone is not only unnecessary but disastrous in its 
effect, and the only scientific solution of the problem is an in- 
crease in the supply, made possible by a system of clam farming 
based upon properly regulated private grants. 

7. The uncertainty of the present free-for-all fishing will be 
practically eliminated. The clammer, with more or less cer- 
tainty, will be enabled to estimate the exact size of his crop, 
and thus will be in a position to market his clams to the best 
advantage. Under the present system the catch has to be 
shipped to market at once, regardless of the prevailing prices, 
whereas under the proposed system the clammer is placed in a 
position similar to the owner of desirable standing timber in a 



156 FISH AND GAME. 

region comparatively safe from forest fires, and can market his 
product whenever he desires at his own price, in this way elim- 
inating that often quoted bugaboo, the commission merchant. 

8. In the capacity of clam culturist the attitude of the clam- 
mer toward his work will undergo an agreeable change with the 
realization that he will receive the direct reward of his labors, 
and that the fruits of this work will be for his own permanent 
benefit. 

9. The social and economic status of the clammer will be ele- 
vated, since at present his calling furnishes at best but an un- 
certain and scanty income. By producing clams for the market 
the clammer will increase his material assets, build up his credit 
and establish a reputation for reliable business on the same plan 
as the agriculturist and manufacturer. 

10. By systematic cultivation the future of the clam industry 
will be indefinitely assured. In this way the clammer will pro- 
tect his own interests and will work out the salvation of the in- 
dustry. 

The Clam Farm. 

In the following pages the problems which would beset a pros- 
pective clam culturist are set forth for the enlightenment of per- 
sons who are either desirous of engaging in the business, or who 
are interested in the problem. 

Selecting the Ground. — The most difficult problem confront- 
ing the prospective culturist is the selection of suitable ground. 
In the choice of a tract for cultivation the clam farmer should 
be influenced by a consideration of three important factors: (1) 
the capacity of the ground for rapid production of clams; (2) the 
advantages for work; and (3) the facilities offered for advan- 
tageous marketing of the crop. The ideal grant should be natu- 
rally adapted to the rapid growing of clams, should possess ready 
facilities for work and should be located reasonably near a good 
market. Unfortunately, such a delightful combination of advan- 
tages is not common, and the culturist will probably have to 
choose a grant with such qualities as he thinks best suited to his 
particular needs. For this reason it is perhaps well to explain in 
greater detail these three factors. 

(1) Productive Capacity. — The foremost consideration in the 
selection of a grant is its productive capacity, which is based on 
three conditions: (a) favorable soil, (b) water currents, (c) mini- 
mum exposure at low tides. 

A good flat should have a tenacious and compact soil which 






PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 157 

nevertheless would afford comparatively easy digging. Perhaps 
the best consistency is a mixture of fine sand and mud in a ratio 
of one-third mud to two-thirds sand, which supplies the proper 
degree of tenacity. The nature of the soil, which acts as the 
supporting receptacle for the clam, affects it in two ways: (1) if 
too shifting it buries the clam too deeply or washes it out of its 
burrow; (2) soils in which organic acids, caused by vegetable 
decay, are present prove unsatisfactory for the catching of seed 
and interfere to a slight extent with growth by destroying the 
shell, often giving to the clam a black appearance, making it less 
favorable for marketing. Although the shell of the clam is se- 
creted by the lime salts absorbed from the water, nevertheless, 
the nature of the soil in some indirect way determines the ap- 
pearance, the composition and the weight of the shell, as can 
readily be seen by comparing clams from various soils in the 
same localities. 

The growth of the clam depends chiefly upon the circulation 
of water, as the current bears both food and oxygen, and there- 
fore, within limits, the more current, the more food, a fact which is 
fully explained in the section relating to the growth of the clam. 
The clam obtains its sustenance from the water, feeding almost 
exclusively upon minute marine plants (diatoms), which in turn 
derive their nourishment from the nitrogenous waste products 
which pass into the streams from the land. The currents also 
keep the ground clean and prevent the spread of contamination 
and disease. It is highly desirable that the grant should be 
located where there is a steady current, such as can be found 
over river flats, since the rate of growth of this mollusk depends 
directly upon the circulation of water. It is possible for a flat 
to be washed by too rapid a current, which causes a shifting of 
the bottom and washes the clams out of their burrows. How- 
ever, such conditions exist in but few localities where one would 
consider planting. 

The growth of the clam is more rapid on ground seldom ex- 
posed by the tide, since the clam is able to feed only when the 
water is over its siphon. Our experiments have shown that clams 
grow faster when continually under water than when partially 
exposed. The question of exposure is not as vital a problem as 
that of current, and the most satisfactory conditions for clam 
culture are found on a fairly high flat which has a good circula- 
tion of water, a tenacious soil and which affords a reasonable 
time between tides for digging. 



158 FISH AND GAME. 

(2) Facilities for Work. — The second important consideration, 
facilities for work, comprises (a) accessibility, and (b) a suitably 
long period between tides for digging. If possible, the grant 
should be readily accessible from the home of the culturist, so 
that he may have access to it without loss of time and have 
protective oversight. That grant is most desirable which by vir- 
tue of its location offers the greatest possible length of time be- 
tween tides for labor. In this respect there is great variation, 
high flats being exposed for hours, while low flats are often un- 
covered. The former offers the advantage of a longer working 
period to the clammer, but at the same time possesses the dis- 
advantage of less rapid growth. 

(3) Proximity to Market. — It is an extra asset if the grant 
affords facilities for an easy disposal of the crop. Certain clam 
flats have the advantage of being near city markets and have 
advantages for shipment, which result in greater net profits 
than is the case with the more remote grants. The parcel-post 
system should prove of value to the clam culturist in making 
small shipments of clams in the shell, or "shucked," to the in- 
dividual customers, thus doing away with excessive express 
charges. 

Proximity to Seed Clam Supply. — The cost of obtaining a 
supply of seed clams is worthy of consideration. If a grant can 
be chosen so as to be near an area of natural set, where seed 
clams may be readily obtained, it will do away with the diffi- 
culty of transporting seed from remote beds. The culturist 
should also consider the possibility of so modifying his grant as 
to turn it into a natural spat collector, and in this way make 
Nature seed the flat. 

Pollution. — It is important that the location of the grant be 
far removed from sources of pollution, which inevitably results 
in serious depreciation of the market value of the clams when 
the fact that the grant is situated in contaminated waters be- 
comes publicly known. In the future rigid inspection of marketed 
shellfish will be instituted, which will result in the exclusion of 
clams deemed dangerous to the public health. In connection 
with this the clams from particular localities and with particular 
flavors should be permitted to be marketed under registered 
trade names and under suitable laws, prohibiting improper sub- 
stitution and false representation. 

Preparing the Grant. — Usually the ground needs no prepara- 
tion previous to the planting of the clams, although the removal 



PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 159 

of cockles, horseshoe crabs and other enemies which might prove 
detrimental is a wise precaution. Often the culturist will find 
that the grant needs such preliminary treatment as the removal 
of eelgrass, sanding, providing drainage, and other similar pre- 
requisites before it can become a productive clam flat. 

Procuring the Seed. — The set of clams is usually restricted to 
certain localities which vary from time to time in the amount of 
seed clams. Heavy sets are generally found in limited areas, in 
one instance running as high as 2,000 per square foot of surface, 
and covering an area of nearly 3 acres. Natural flats are in part 
supplied with young clams from these areas, but nature unas- 
sisted is extremely wasteful, depending upon the washing out of 
the seed from the areas of thick set and the chance depositing 
upon receptive soil. Often whole sets are wasted because the 
young clams, instead of being washed upon favorable ground, 
are carried to unsuitable flats, where they soon perish. In this 
way heavy natural sets often contribute practically nothing to 
the reseeding of barren flats. These regions of heavy set occur 
to a greater or less extent in almost every harbor on the coast, 
and it should be the concern of every clammer to check this 
natural waste by correctly utilizing the seed clams. Clam farm- 
ing presents a means of saving natural sets by transplanting the 
seed to favorable soil, in this manner making lucrative the bar- 
ren flats. 

Spat Collecting. — Methods of spat collecting have been pre- 
sented in reports of the Rhode Island Commission of Inland 
Fisheries and unintentionally the impression has been created 
that clam farming will never be successful until some practical 
method of spat collecting is devised. In the case of the soft 
clam there is no immediate necessity for a method of spat col- 
lecting. The problem here is the proper utilization of the enor- 
mous natural sets, which are even more than sufficient to restock 
the barren flats. The solution is rendered difficult by lack of a 
rapid method of obtaining the small clams. Since the character 
of the soil and the size of the clams vary, no one method is ap- 
plicable in every case, and upon the ingenuity of the individual 
planter depends the success in overcoming obstacles presented 
by a particular locality. The methods of set gathering employed 
at the present time are: (1) the slow process of digging the 
small clams with an ordinary clam hoe; (2) the somewhat 
quicker method of digging the set in shallow water in such a 
manner that the clams are washed out of the soil; (3) the mak- 



160 FISH AND GAME. 

ing of trenches across thickly set flats into which the clams are 
washed by the action of the tide and wind; (4) the transporting 
of both soil and clams to the new ground; and (5) the sifting of 
the clams from the sand by means of a cradle, as is described 
in detail in the section dealing with the Rowley Reef set. 

Transportation of Seed Clams. — In cases where the seed has 
to be carried many miles by rail extreme care must be used in 
transit, since the shells of small clams are extremely fragile, 
especially the sand varieties, which are therefore less favorable 
for transportation than the same species from gravelly, stony or 
muddy soil. -The length of time that they will live out of water 
depends upon the temperature; in cold weather they will live 
several days (clams have been kept for several weeks at a low 
temperature); in warm weather they will be in poor condition 
after being out of water for even one day. For rapid burrowing 
it is essential that the clams be in good condition when planted. 
The best method of shipping seed clams is by packing them in 
damp seaweed, a more successful method than keeping the clams 
in water. Perhaps the safest way is to pack the clams in light 
crates such as are used for strawberries, but this method is open 
to the objection of expense and excessive amount of time con- 
sumed in packing. In transplanting clams for certain experi- 
mental beds of this department, seed clams were shipped in good 
condition 150 miles. In our method of packing ordinary barrels 
were divided into three compartments by means of two cross- 
bars set at right angles, and nailed firmly to the sides of the 
barrel. On these crossbars circular pieces of wire netting were 
laid and over the netting was strewn a layer of rockweed or eel- 
grass. A piece of ice about the size of a two-quart measure was 
placed in each division and holes were bored in the bottom and 
sides of the barrel. The netting might well be eliminated as 
the rockweed resting on the cross pieces is sufficient to pre- 
vent the clams grinding together. Less than 3 per cent, thus 
shipped were damaged, and when sown nearly all burrowed 
rapidly, showing that they were in excellent condition in spite 
of the fact that they had been out of water over twenty-four 
hours. Twenty-one bushels were shipped in nine barrels, aver- 
aging two and one-third bushels to each barrel. 

Planting. — The operation of planting consists merely of sow- 
ing the seed clams upon the surface of the flat. The small clams 
when covered by the tide will rapidly burrow into the soil if in 
good condition, and require no further attention. Certain classes 



PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 161 

of soils require raking over the surface to facilitate the burrowing 
and prevent their "clumping" by the tide. For the experi- 
mental beds the arduous, time-consuming method of planting the 
individual clams by making holes in the soil with the finger or 
with a stick was used, but for practical use it is scarcely worth 
considering. The practice of ploughing the small clams under, 
in deep furrows, an erroneous application of agricultural prin- 
ciples, is to be avoided. Dr. Mead (16) of the Rhode Island 
Commission of Inland Fisheries, upon investigation of this 
method of planting, found that when the clam had been buried 
sidewise or the wrong end up it had difficulty in righting itself, 
especially if it were a large specimen, and concluded that this 
method was at best unsatisfactory. The results of our experi- 
ments favor the method of sowing by hand, with due regard for 
such factors as the tide and force of the tide, the nature of the 
soil, and the freshness of the seed. 

A novel method of planting was used at Wellfleet, which well 
illustrates the necessity of adapting the method to the particular 
locality. Here the flats which line the head of the harbor from 
Duck Creek to Herring River are exposed to the influence of 
southerly winds, and for this reason are slightly shifting. If 
clams were sown here in the usual manner the incoming tide 
would roll them in windrows upon the beach before they would 
have time to burrow. Although this difficulty could be avoided 
by the selection of a calm day for planting, it is usually impera- 
tive that the planter work immediately, before the seed perish. 
This problem was solved by planting at half tide, when water 
was at least 3 feet deep over the flat. At this depth the clams 
on the bottom remained undisturbed by the motion of waves in 
an ordinary breeze. All planting was done either from boats or 
by wading in the water. A comparison of the two methods was 
made, and in spite of the fact that the flats had been well raked 
over to afford a resting place for the clams, and though the wind 
was not blowing hard, many of those planted on the dry flat were 
washed for a distance of 200 feet. On the other hand, clams 
planted when the water was over the bottom deeply enough to 
prevent a ripple were not washed off the bed. The method of 
planting clams in ploughed furrows was tried by the town on 
these flats and resulted in many of the clams being washed out 
of the furrows and collected in bunches, while the soil became 
soft and temporarily unsuitable, a condition which illustrates the 
undesirability of such a method in this locality. 



1G2 FISH AND GAME. 

Harvesting the Clams. — Once planted, the clam crop requires 
less toil on the part of the planter than does the raising of prod- 
uce for market. Cultivation is unnecessary for the rapid growing 
clam, and, in fact, they grow better when left undisturbed. 
However, protection from poachers and natural enemies demand 
the attention of the owner at all times. The time of harvesting, 
in a general sense, depends upon the size of the clam, but, unlike 
other crops, clams undergo no deterioration if not harvested dur- 
ing a certain season. By digging certain sizes the farmer can 
cater to a particular trade or demand, as in some instances he 
may find it profitable to market a small clam after a short period 
of growth, while on other occasions it may be of a greater ad- 
vantage for him to sell large clams. This situation is very sim- 
ilar to that of the farmer who harvests his crop of cucumbers in 
two sizes, the smaller for pickles and the larger ones for table 
use. Since the greater growth takes place during the summer 
months, a clam culturist may control his seed and its rate of 
growth so as to obtain clams of desired size in six, eighteen or 
thirty months. 

History of Clam Farming. — The idea of artificially raising 
clams is not new; past years have witnessed attempts at clam 
culture; but it is a noteworthy fact that all conspicuous experi- 
ments up to date resulted from legislation aimed to protect the 
cultivator's right to his crop. The prevailing idea seems to have 
been that such enterprise could not successfully be launched 
without a lease from State or town, by virtue of which the 
planter might protect the fruits of his labors. Although acts 
purporting to give such desired protection have been passed, 
examination of the records have shown them to be either invalid 
or not enforced. 

The first record of any legislation upon this subject is an act 
regulating the clam fishery of Plymouth Harbor, passed in 1870, 
whereby clam planting and the distribution of licenses was au- 
thorized. Only in recent years has this opportunity been taken 
advantage of. In 1874 a similar act was passed governing the 
shellfisheries of Mount Hope Bay, but it was repealed the follow- 
ing year. In 1888 the town of Winthrop was empowered to give 
2-acre grants, and in the same year the town of Essex was en- 
dowed with a similar right. Each and every one of these acts 
clothed the respective town with authority to regulate such 
licenses unrestrictedly. 

In substance the Essex act was the most liberal, and several 



PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 163 

fishermen, after procuring licenses, successfully started clam 
cultivation. As the licenses in these cases were not sufficient 
protection from trespassers, these clam grants were given up 
after a few years. Nevertheless, the attempt served to prove 
that clam farming properly protected would be profitable. In 
1906 the barren flats in Essex River were again leased under 
the same act, protection being afforded by general sentiment 
against poaching and mutual agreement to respect individual 
rights. Since that time clam culture has been carried on with 
more or less success. The history of clam culture in Essex is 
given more at length in the "Report upon the Mollusk Fish- 
eries," 1909. However, the Essex system may not be practicable 
on a large scale or in every community, and need of protective 
legislation is still urgent, to say the least. 

Lack of protection, which discouraged the early Essex planters, 
has had similar results in other shore towns where attempts at 
clam culture have been made, and it may be stated unreservedly 
that until protection is guaranteed clam farming may never be- 
come more than a possibility. The present law is in no sense a 
safeguard, as according to its precepts all persons have an in- 
alienable right to dig clams anywhere between the tide lines. 
No clammer will expend labor and money to plant clams if an- 
other has a legal right to dig them. Clam culture can never 
become a successful industry until a law is passed to protect the 
planter from trespassers. 

By the year 1911 several coast towns had seriously taken up 
the problem of clam culture, and many enterprising men had 
ventured into the new business. These pioneers, with but feeble 
legal backing, are now bringing the inhabitants of the Cape Cod 
towns to a realization of what may be done with the now un- 
productive flats along the shore. As a result more men are 
entering the business, even with full recognition of their slender 
chance for redress in case of injury by trespass. 

Not all towns are actuated by the same progressive principles 
existent in Barnstable, Plymouth, Kingston, Duxbury and Essex, 
the only towns which have taken advantage of the special acts 
of the Legislature by leasing small sections of barren flats to 
their citizens. The results of such efforts in the town of Barn- 
stable are eagerly awaited by other towns on Cape Cod, and if 
success is the reward in this novel departure it is to be expected 
that many will quickly follow its example. Already great strides 
in quahaug culture have been made in Chatham, Harwich, Barn- 



164 FISH AND GAME. 

stable and Swansea, as well as in many of the Buzzards Bay 
towns. The fact that quahaug culture is now safely under way 
augurs well for the future success of clam farming. 

Interest in this new enterprise is strongly manifesting itself on 
Cape Cod. Premiums are now offered at the Barnstable County 
Fair for the best cultivated clams, quahaugs and oysters, and in 
1912 genuine enthusiasm was aroused over the shellfish exhibi- 
tions and competition for these prizes was very keen. Proper 
protective legislation is greatly to be desired by way of encour- 
agement to these planters. 

Clam Laws. 

Up to the present time legislation governing the shellfisheries 
of this Commonwealth has been of a desultory character. Now 
and then the requirements of the industry have called forth new 
legislation, confined in scope to the relief of adverse conditions 
in particular localities or pressing monetary needs. As a result 
of this narrow policy the welfare of the shellfisheries in general 
has suffered, and the results are now very apparent. Unques- 
tionably the shellfisheries are heavily burdened with antiquated 
and obsolete laws which hinder possible improvement. 

In the past clam legislation has been necessary only as a pro- 
tective measure, while now we have reached the point where legal 
regulation of clam fishing is to play an important role in the 
development of the industry. In one sense it is entering upon 
a new and critical phase of its existence, the cultural stage, and 
true advancement will henceforth be measured by the impetus 
given by numerous laws governing the leasing, planting, pollu- 
tion and sale of clams. For this reason it is well to consider the 
extent of the previous protective legislation. 

History. — The fundamental principle upon which the shell- 
fish laws of the State are founded is the so-called beach or free 
fishing rights of the public. While in other States property ex- 
tends only to mean high water, in Massachusetts the property 
holders own to extreme low-water mark. Nevertheless, accord- 
ing to further provisions of this ancient law, the right of fishing 
(which includes the shellfisheries) below high-water mark is free 
to any inhabitant of the Commonwealth. 

(1) Origin. — The first authentic record of this law is found 
under an act of Massachusetts in 1641-47, by which every house- 
holder was allowed "free fishing and fowling" in any of the 
great ponds, bays, coves and rivers, as far "as the sea ebbs and 



PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 165 

flows," in their respective towns, unless "the freemen" or the 
General Court "had otherwise appropriated them." From this 
date the shellfisheries were declared to be forever the property 
of the whole people, i.e., the State, and have been for a long 
period open to any inhabitant of the State who wished to dig 
the shellfish for food or for bait. 

(2) Early Benefits. — In the early days, when the natural sup- 
ply was apparently inexhaustible, and practically the entire popu- 
lation resided on or near the seacoast, it was just that all people 
should have common rights to the shore fisheries. As long as 
the natural supply was more than sufficient for the demand, no 
law could have been better adapted for the public good. 

(3) Present Inadequacy. — Two hundred and fifty years have 
passed since this law was first made. The condition of the shell- 
fisheries has changed. No longer do the flats of Massachusetts 
yield the enormous harvest of former years, but lie barren and 
unproductive. The law which once was a benefit to all has now 
become antiquated and incapable of meeting new conditions. 

(4) Evil Effects. — If this law were merely antiquated, it could 
be laid aside unnoticed. On the contrary, as applied to the pres- 
ent conditions of the shellfisheries it not only checks any ad- 
vancement but works positive harm. From the mistaken com- 
prehension of the so-called beach rights of the people, the general 
public throughout the State is forced to pay an exorbitant price 
for sea food, and the enterprising fishermen are deprived of a 
more profitable livelihood. The present law discriminates against 
the progressive majority of fishermen in order to benefit a small 
unprogressive element. 

History of Legislation. — The clam, with the scallop, oyster 
and quahaug, was grouped under general shellfish legislation in 
acts which fall naturally into the following divisions: (1) town 
regulation; (2) permits; (3) seizure in vessels; and (4) the pro- 
tection by limitation of catch, place and time of taking. 

The clam is first mentioned in the Public Statutes under an 
act of 1870 regulating the clam fishery in and around the shores 
of Plymouth, Kingston and Duxbury. Although this act was 
substantially the same as the Essex act of 1888, printed in an- 
other section of this paper, it excepted the specification that the 
grants made should be on "unproductive" flats, and is now in 
force. The towns embraced within the scope of this act regulate 
their clam fisheries according to its provisions, which are in 
brief: (1) Five-year licenses to be granted to any inhabitants to 



166 FISH AND GAME. 

plant, cultivate and dig clams. (2) Such benefits to be bestowed 
subject to the discretion of the selectmen. (3) Grants to be 
given on any flats or creeks in respective towns of applicants. 
(4)' Licensed territory to be described by metes and bounds, and 
recorded. (5) Payment of a $2 fee to the selectmen and 50 cents 
to the town clerk for recording. (6) Protection and treble dam- 
ages to be adjudged in an action of tort against any person dig- 
ging or taking clams from grants without consent of the owners. 
(7) Towns may make such by-laws as expedient to adequately 
protect the shellfisheries. (8) Penalty for each offence not less 
than $5 nor more than $10, with cost of prosecution, and $1 for 
each bushel of shellfish taken in violation of the provisions of 
this act. 

In 1874, in a legislative act "to regulate the shellfisheries in 
the waters of Mount Hope Bay and its tributaries," the select- 
men of towns bordering on Mount Hope Bay were permitted to 
issue licenses to any inhabitant for clam, quahaug, scallop and 
other shellfish cultivation. It seems strange that such a pre- 
cocious and beneficial act should have been enacted at such a 
period, certainly before the time was ripe, as is made evident 
by its repeal the following year. Only within the past few 
years has similar legislation been passed for the quaiiaug, as 
typified by the act of 1909, which permits granting of leases 
by the selectmen for quahaug culture provided the town meet- 
ing has voted to adopt the general law. The act of 1874, though 
it applied only to the Narragansett Bay section of Massachu- 
setts, clearly emphasizes the fact that shellfish cultivation is no 
new project. It was considered of practical importance thirty- 
five years ago. 

In 1875 the town of Winthrop, through special act of the 
Legislature, required that to gather clams for market residents 
must have permits, and forbade the taking of clams by any 
nonresident without a written permit from the selectmen. The 
price of such permits was left to the discretion of the selectmen, 
and the fine for violation of the act was not less than $5 nor 
more than $10, but any inhabitant was allowed to take clams 
for family use or for bait. 

In 1880 the word "clam" appears in a general act of the Com- 
monwealth which delegated to towns and cities their present 
authority and control of the shellfisheries. Later this act was 
amended by the Acts of 1889, but the substance remained un- 
changed, and to-day it differs but slightly. 



PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 167 

In 1888 the town of Winthrop was authorized to regulate its 
shellfisheries by an act similar to that already governing those 
of Plymouth, Kingston and Duxbury, but differing in that not 
over 2 acres of unproductive flats could be granted to any one 
person, and no grant could be situated within 500 feet of high- 
water mark. 

During the same year similar legislation was enacted for the 
town of Essex which embodied the best features of previous acts, 
and is here quoted: — 

Acts of 1888, Chapter 198. 

An Act authorizing the Planting of Clams in and around the 

Shores of Essex. 
Be it enacted, etc., as follows: 

Section 1. The selectmen of the town of Essex may by writing under 
their hands grant a license for such a term of years, not exceeding five, 
as they in their discretion may deem necessary and the public good requires, 
to any inhabitant of said town, to plant, cultivate and dig clams upon and 
in any flats and creeks in said town now unproductive thereof, not exceed- 
ing two acres to any one person, and not impairing the private rights of 
any person. 

Section 2. Such license shall describe by metes and bounds the flats 
and creeks so appropriated and shall be recorded by the town clerk before 
it shall have any force, and the person licensed shall pay to the selectmen 
for the use of said town two dollars and to the clerk fifty cents. 

Section 3. The person so licensed and his heirs and assigns shall for 
the purposes aforesaid have the exclusive use of the flats and creeks de- 
scribed in the license during the term specified therein, and may in an 
action of tort recover treble damages of any person, who, without his or 
their consent digs or takes clams from such flats or creeks during the 
continuance of the license. 

Section 4. Said town of Essex at any legal meeting called for the 
purpose may make such by-laws, not repugnant to the laws of the com- 
monwealth, as they may from time to time deem expedient to protect 
and preserve the shellfisheries within said town. 

Section 5. Whoever takes any shellfish from within the waters of 
said town of Essex in violation of the by-laws established by it or of the 
provisions of this act shall for every offence pay a fine of not less than five 
or more than ten dollars and costs of prosecution, and one dollar for every 
bushel of shellfish so taken. 

Section 6. This act shall take effect upon its passage. [Approved 
April 9, 1888. 

In 1901 it was enacted that the Commissioners of Inland Fish- 
eries and Game (now the Commissioners on Fisheries and Game) 



1GS FISH AND GAME. 

should prohibit the taking of oysters, clams, scallops and qua- 
haugs from tidal waters or fiats of any part of the Commonwealth 
whenever so requested in writing by the State Board of Health, 
and for such period of time as the latter might determine. The 
scope and other features of this act are discussed more in detail 
under the subject of pollution. 

. In 1905 the Commissioners on Fisheries and Game were em- 
powered to conduct a biological investigation and make report 
as to the best methods, conditions and localities for clam prop- 
agation. The final results of this investigation are embodied 
in this report. 

In 1911 the planting and cultivation of clams and quahaugs 
was authorized in the town of Barnstable, and in 1915 extended 
to all Barnstable County by an act which provided that: (1) the 
license term should be not over five years; (2) the area of grants 
should be not less than 2 nor over 5 acres; (3) transferable only 
to a citizen of the town of Barnstable; (4) certain powers should 
be exerted at the discretion of the selectmen; (5) a public hear- 
ing should be required before licenses could be issued by the 
selectmen; (6) the price of 82 be paid to the selectmen for the 
license and 50 cents for recording; (7) the exclusive use of flats 
described in license to be vested in licensee and heirs; (8) after 
failure to use and occupy a grant for two years after investiture, 
the grant should revert to the town; (9) on any person using 
flat, other than licensee, a penalty of not less than So and not 
more than $10, costs of prosecution, and $1 for each bushel of 
shellfish taken, be imposed for each offence; (10) each town 
might make by-laws to protect its shellflsheries. 

Under chapter 710 of the Acts of 1912 any city or town in 
Essex County was given the privilege of leasing for ten years 
at an annual rental of So per year from the Commonwealth the 
right to control and regulate the taking of clams from all the 
flats within its borders. 

Town control of the clam fishery has been exerted chiefly 
through issuing permits. Of the 69 seacoast towns in this Com- 
monwealth. 25 grant permits to take clams. The town of 
Plymouth issues an excellent permit, which limits the quantity, 
sale and size of clams taken, besides requiring a weekly report 
of the number of bushels dug by each holder. 

Proposed Legislation. — Numerous special laws and regulations 
have resulted in a lack of uniform control of the shellflsheries of 
various coastal towns. The future of the shellflsheries depends 



PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 169 

essentially upon legislation which will correct the present inade- 
quacies in our mollusk laws and permit the establishment of 
prosperous industries on our coast. The Commissioners on Fish- 
eries and Game believe that the present situation can best, and 
will ultimately, be met by placing the shellflsheries under uni- 
form State control. At present they consider that such a dis- 
position should not be undertaken before the selectmen of the 
various coastal towns have been given a full opportunity to 
demonstrate their ability to handle the situation. In order to 
afford every opportunity it is advisable that uniform laws be 
enacted, especially in regard to guaranteeing a safer tenure for 
grants than under the existing conditions. The rights of the 
riparian owners to the areas suitable for shellfish grants should 
be eliminated through some form of taking by eminent domain on 
the part of the State. In the light of our present knowledge the 
following detailed suggestions are offered to the selectmen for 
working out a definite and uniform system of town control: — 

1. The selectmen of every coast town should be authorized to conduct 
an accurate survey of all mollusk territory below mean high-water mark 
and to lease such territory for the cultivation of food and bait mollusks. 
They shall appoint one or more deputies for the detection and prosecution 
of any violation of the laws of the Commonwealth relating to the mollusk 
fisheries. 

2. The selectmen may, by writing under their hands, grant a license, 
for a term not exceeding twenty years, to any inhabitant of the Common- 
wealth to plant, grow and dig mollusks at all times of the year, or to plant 
shells for the purpose of catching mollusk seed, upon and in any territory 
below mean high-water mark in their respective towns, upon such terms 
and conditions as they may deem proper, not, however, materially ob- 
structing navigable waters. 

3. All territory for which a license has been granted as aforesaid shall 
t>e designated by suitable bounds, consisting of both stakes and buoys, 
one each at each of the several corners of every grant, so that its precise 
situation may be in evidence at high and low tide, and these bounds shall 
be maintained by the licensee under penalty of forfeiture of the license 
within seveu days after his failure to maintain the proper stakes and buoys. 
The selectmen shall keep at their office a record of each license, describing 
by metes and bounds the waters, flats and creeks so appropriated, with a 
map of its location, and these records shall be open at any time to public 
inspection. 

4. Every licensee shall be required to submit to the selectmen, or to a 
duly authorized inspector or inspectors appointed by them, an annual 
report of the total number of bushels of mollusks produced upon the 



170 FISH AND GAME. 

territory covered by his license, together with the value received for the 
same, and an estimate of the total number of bushels of specified mollusks 
produced upon the territory covered by his license, together with the 
value received for the same, and an estimate of the total number of bushels 
of specified mollusks at that time growing upon the said territory. This 
statement shall be duly sworn to before a justice of the peace, and if the 
total sum shall fall below 50 bushels per acre, or if the selectmen, after due 
examination, shall find that the sum has fallen below 50 bushels per acre 
for two consecutive years, unless such condition has been brought about 
by natural causes, then the license shall be declared forfeited and the grant 
revert to the Commonwealth. 

5. The available territory for the growth and planting of mollusks shall 
be divided into two classes: the shallow waters near shore, including the 
flats, creeks, inlets and bays, which shall be allotted to the smaller planters; 
and the deep or more exposed waters, which shall be leased to individual 
planters, partnerships or corporations, who shall give suitable guarantee 
of sufficient capital to develop the same. Not more than one-half of the 
whole territory of the first class in any town shall be granted, and the re- 
maining half, unless voted to the contrary by the voters of the town in 
regular town meeting, shall be retained as a public fishery. Due regard for 
the public fisheries shall be given by the selectmen in granting these 
licenses. 

6. Any citizen of a coast town shall have the first right to any license 
for the territory within the boundaries of that township over any other 
inhabitant of the Commonwealth who is not a citizen of that town, and 
at all times and under all conditions the selectmen shall give due consid- 
eration to secure to every worthy citizen a just opportunity to participate 
in and to benefit from these fishing privileges. Any citizen of the Com- 
monwealth may have the right to receive a license under this act in any 
coast town where suitable territory remains after the citizens of the town 
have obtained the licenses for which they have petitioned. Preference 
in the allotment of new licenses shall be given to the holders of oyster, 
clam and quahaug grants as held under the present laws. After the system 
shall have been established every grant shall be leased according to pri- 
ority of petition for the same. Any vacant territory shall be regularly 
advertised by the selectmen, and residents of a town may at any time file 
an application with the commissioners stating their ability and what they 
desire in mollusk territory, which shall be allotted to them whenever there 
is vacant ground. These licenses shall be granted only to and held by 
citizens of Massachusetts, firms composed of Massachusetts citizens and 
Massachusetts corporations domiciled within this Commonwealth. 

7. Any citizen, firm or corporation, qualified as aforesaid, desiring to 
obtain a license as provided above, shall present to the selectmen of the 
respective town a written application, setting forth the name and address 
of the applicant, a reasonably definite description of the desired territory, 
and shall petition that the application be registered, that the territory be 



PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 171 

surveyed, that a plan or map be made, and that a license be granted to 
the applicant. 

8. All licenses shall be for the use and profit of the licensee alone, and 
shall be absolutely nontransferable by sale, sublease, transfer or private 
contract of any nature whatever, and if any licensee attempts such pro- 
cedure the license shall thereupon be forfeited. It shall nevertheless be 
lawful for any licensee to hire labor or assistance for the working of his 
grants: provided, that such labor shall in no wise impair his title or owner- 
ship of the grant or cause it to pass from his control. Two years after the 
death of a licensee the grant shall revert to the town, unless the widow or 
children or legal heirs of the licensee continue to plant and grow mollusks. 
In such cases due allowance shall oe made for all improvements. Three 
years before the expiration of a license the licensee shall be informed 
whether or not he is entitled to a renewal. At the expiration of a license 
the previous owner shall be given the preference of renewal. 

9. An}' person holding a license under these provisions shall pay an 
annual fee of not less than SI and not more than $10 per acre, the exact 
amount to be ascertained and fixed annually according to a just and 
equable valuation by the selectmen, under penalty of forfeiture of the 
license if the rental is not paid within six months after it becomes due. 
The money received from the annual fees shall be expended as far as 
necessary for the protection and surveying of the grants, and the re- 
mainder shall be paid into the town treasury. The mollusks sold from 
any grant and the equipment connected therewith shall be subject to 
taxation by the towns in the same way as other taxable property. 

10. The selectmen shall give notice of every application for a license 
by publication once a week for three successive weeks in one or more news- 
papers published in the county in which the land applied for is located, 
describing the territory and giving the name and residence of the appli- 
cant, and the day, hour and place at which the selectmen will give a public 
hearing on the application, the last publication to be at least one day 
before said hearing. The license shall not be granted until after a public 
hearing as aforesaid in the city or town where the land is situated, due 
notice of which shall be posted in three or more public places in that city 
or town at least seven days before the time of said hearing. Upon petition 
of any person aggrieved by the decision of the selectmen upon any appli- 
cation for a license filed within one week therefrom, the superior court, 
sitting in equity, may, after such notice as it ma3' deem sufficient, hear 
all interested parties and annul, alter or affirm the decision. 

11. The selectmen may grant a permit in writing to an}' person to take 
mollusks from the natural beds or from areas designated as unleased at 
such tunes, in such quantities and for such uses as they shall express in 
their permit; but every inhabitant of a city or town may, without such 
permit, take mollusks from the public beds therein for the use of his family, 
not exceeding in any week two bushels, including shells, or any fisherman 
who is a naturalized citizen of this Commonwealth may take from such 



172 FISH AND GAME. 

public beds mollusks needed for bait not exceeding at any one time seven 
bushels, including the shells. 

12. Any person to whom is issued a license by the selectmen shall have 
the number of his license painted in letters at least 2 inches high in a con- 
spicuous place on his boats and buoys. 

13. No person shall dig, take or carry away any mollusks or shells 
between one hour after sunset and one hour before sunrise, by any method 
whatever, from any waters, flats or creeks. 

14. Any person who shall wrongfully make claims to any public mollusk 
ground, of which he has no lease or title from the State, by erecting bounds 
or monuments thereon of any description, or otherwise claiming the title 
to such land, shall for the first offence pay a fine of not less than $50 and 
not more than $100, and for every subsequent offence pay a fine of not 
less than $100 and not more than $200. 

15. Any person who shall wilfully injure, deface, destroy or remove 
such marks or bounds as may define any lease or grant or place any mark 
thereon, or shall tie or fasten any boat or vessel to such stake or buoy, shall 
be fined $20 for each offence. Every person in addition thereto shall be 
liable in an action on the case to pay double damages and costs to the 
person who shall be injured by harming the marks and bounds, stakes or 
buoys of the said grants injured, removed or destroyed as aforesaid. 

16. Whoever works a dredge, oyster tongs or rakes, or any other im- 
plement for the taking of mollusks upon any territory officially designated 
as licensed, or in any way disturbs the growth of the planted mollusks 
without the consent of the licensee during the continuance of such license, 
or discharges any substance which may directly or indirectly injure the 
planted mollusks, shall for the first offence be punished by a fine of not 
less than $50 and not more than $100, or by imprisonment for not more 
than thirty days, and for each subsequent offence by a fine of not less than 
$100 and not more than $200, or by imprisonment for not more than six 
months, or by both such fine and imprisonment. 

17. Any person who shall wilfully break up, damage or injure any bed 
of mollusks, or any tract of land leased from the Commonwealth for a 
mollusk bed, by depositing thereon earth, stones or dredging or scoopings, 
shall be punished by a fine not exceeding $500 and shall forfeit Ms boat or 
vessel with her tackle, apparel and furniture, and all the implements used 
by him in injuring such mollusk bed. 

18. Any police constable in view of the commission of any offence 
against the provisions of this chapter shall arrest the offender without 
warrant and detain him for prosecution for a period not exceeding twenty- 
four hours. 

19. A licensee who violates any provisions of this chapter relative to 
the planting and growing of mollusks or the planting of shells shall, in 
addition to the penalties as provided, forfeit his license. 

20. For the purity of all Massachusetts mollusks, no territory in pol- 
luted waters shall be granted for the growing of mollusks for market. The 



PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 173 

selectmen shall from time to time employ experts to make such examina- 
tions as may be deemed necessary by the State Department of Health to 
ascertain the sanitary conditions of the waters over and adjacent to the 
mollusk-producing areas and may give written certificates of the sanitary 
condition. No mollusks shall be taken from areas which are found upon 
examination to be polluted beyond such standards as may from time to 
time be determined by the State Department of Health, except that this 
Department may make special rules and regulations for the legitimate use 
of mollusks from such polluted areas in such a manner as to safeguard the 
public health. 

THE INDUSTRY. 

From the viewpoint of the fisherman methods of securing and 
preparing clams for market need no explanation, but to the aver- 
age reader, possibly unfamiliar with the practical phase, the fol- 
lowing pages may be of interest. 

The Fishing Grounds. 
As Cape Cod marks the dividing line between a northern and 
a southern fauna, it also divides the clam flats of Massachusetts 
into two distinct areas. The same species is found both north 
and south of Cape Cod, but the natural conditions under which 
it lives are quite different. In comparing these two areas, several 
points of difference are noted. 

1. The clam areas of the north coast are mostly large flats, 
while those of the south shore are confined to a narrow shore 
strip, as Buzzards Bay and the south side of Cape Cod for cer- 
tain geological reasons do not possess flats but merely beaches. 

2. The rise and fall of the tide is much higher on the north 
shore, thus giving an extent of available flats nearly six times 
the clam area south of Cape Cod. 

3. Clam growth as a rule is much faster on the north shore. 
This is due to the great amount of tide flow over the river flats 
of the north shore. Current is the main essential for rapid clam 
growth, as it transports the food. The average south shore flats 
possess merely the rise and fall of the tide, and as a rule have 
not the currents of the north shore rivers. 

4. The temperature of the northern waters is several degrees 
colder than the waters south of Cape Cod, affording a longer 
season of growth for the southern clam. 

The present advantages lie wholly with the north shore dis- 
trict, as through overdigging the less extensive areas of southern 
Massachusetts have become in most parts commercially barren. 



174 FISH AND GAME. 

Overdigging has not occurred to the same extent on the north 
shore, owing to the vast extent of the flats. Nevertheless, many 
acres at Plymouth, Kingston, Duxbury, and even Gloucester and 
Essex, have become wholly or partially unproductive. The only 
important clamming in Massachusetts to-day is found in the 
towns bordering Ipswich Bay. The south shore and a good part 
of the north shore furnish but few clams for the market. 

In view of restocking the barren areas through cultural 
methods, the north shore possesses two advantages over the 
south shore: it has a larger natural supply at present, which 
will make restocking easier; it has larger areas of flats, which 
can be made to produce twenty times the normal yield of the 
south shore flats. Although, compared with the north shore, the 
clam area of the south shore seems poor, it is above the average 
when compared with the clam areas of other States south of 
Massachusetts, and when properly restocked the clam flats of 
southern Massachusetts should furnish a large annual produc- 
tion. 

The North Shore. — The clam industry of the north shore, 
Cape Cod forming the point of division between the two great 
sections of Massachusetts shore, is distributed in approximately 
four localities: (1) Ipswich Bay, which produces at the present 
time the greatest supply in the State; (2) the shore from Glou- 
cester to Boston, including Boston Harbor and its tributaries, 
where clamming is now restricted by the State Department of 
Health as a sanitary precaution; (3) the shore from Cohasset 
to Cape Cod, particularly the harbor of Plymouth, with its ex- 
tensive flats; (4) the north side of Cape Cod. 

(1) Ipswich Bay. — This section may certainly be significantly 
called the "home of the clam." The numerous tributaries enter- 
ing sheltered Plum Island Sound and the tidal rivers presenting 
extensive flats of smooth, tenacious sand and mud adapt it 
peculiarly to the growth of this bivalve and the maintenance of 
a flourishing industry. Here the clamming centers are situated 
along the rivers that flow into Ipswich Bay or Plum Island 
Sound, or in the towns which border on the protected waters of 
the latter, and embrace a total area of 4,260 acres, 2,825 of 
which are set with clams, 1,595 affording good clamming, while 
1,430 lie unproductive. 

The most northerly of these extensive clamming territories is 
located in the Merrimac River, and includes the town of Salis- 
bury and the city of Newburyport. A single flat of 216 acres 



PUBLIC DOCUMENT — Xo. 25. 175 

extending along the north bank of the Merrimac for nearly 2 
miles comprises all of the productive Salisbury ground. The 
flats of Newburyport, comprising in all about 1,080 acres, of 
which some 800 are more or less productive, produce the greatest 
quantity of clams of any city or town in the Commonwealth, 
and provide a means of livelihood for about 175 men. Flats 
are broad, level and continuous in nature, and, though muddy 
for the greater part, they are fittingly adapted to clam culture. 

Of the towns bordering upon Plum Island Sound, where clam- 
ming is conducted both on the open flats of the sound and those 
of the river tributaries, Newbury yielded the smallest quantity 
of clams, although over 300 acres of flats are available. For the 
most part these are in Parker River and in Plum Island Sound, 
and are barren. Possibly 100 acres of sand flats, the usual type 
in this region, contain a few clams here and there, but they sup- 
ply no good digging and no consistent effort is extended toward 
utilization. In Rowley we find conditions not dissimilar, as out 
of 400 acres of available flats only 20 are really productive of 
as good clamming as is the case on Rowley Reef Knobs, where 
was found the vast set described in another part of this report. 

Ipswich, second only to Newburyport in production, possesses 
large areas of flats of varied characteristics, which offer great 
possibilities of development. The flats situated in Plum Island 
Sound, Ipswich River and Essex River, with their numerous 
tributaries, are relatively of small size, diverse in character and 
scattered over a considerable territory. Four distinct divisions 
of the clam territory of this town may be made, — Ipswich River, 
Plum Island, Green's Creek with Roger Island, and Essex River. 
The available ground here averaged 970 acres, 400 of which 
furnish good clamming, while 420 contain but few. 

Essex, while still ranking as an important clam-producing 
town, has but imperfectly developed her fine resources, although 
in the past few years clammers have attempted improvements 
by planting clams on the barren flats. Of the potential total 
of 650 acres, hardly 25 acres can be considered unfit for the 
production of clams. Nevertheless, little more than half the area 
is at all productive, and of this half less than 150 acres yield 
the main supply. The productive portions are for the most part 
scattered along the banks of the Essex River, which furnishes 
excellent sets of seed clams in many places. 

At Gloucester the clam flats lie in the Annisquam and Essex 
rivers, the former flats being the more productive. While the 



176 FISH AND GAME. 

present clam fishery here is fairly important, it yields but an 
inconsiderable portion of the possible revenue from the large 
area of flats now unproductive. The total of flats now in 
use approximates 550 acres, only 75 acres of which furnish 
good clamming, while a scant 100 acres produce few clams 
and 250 acres lie barren, although qualified to produce if 
planted. 

(2) Gloucester to Boston. — The section of the coast between 
Gloucester and Boston is of little importance commercially in 
the production of clams. It has not the requisite natural ad- 
vantages for clamming possessed by the shores of Ipswich Bay, 
and under present conditions can never become of value. Man- 
chester and Beverly are not able to boast of any such industry, 
while the flats of Salem Harbor, comprising about 100 acres, 
annually produce a crop to the value of not more than $200. 
The only localities in this section made capable by reason of 
natural facilities for the production of clams, Lynn and Boston 
harbors, are closed to commercial clammers, owing to the danger 
to public health because of sewage pollution. Under present 
conditions it is probable that it will be many years, if ever, be- 
fore such contamination is eliminated by scientific disposal of city 
sewage and regulation of manufacturing wastes. For this reason, 
large areas of flats, which otherwise would naturally be produc- 
tive, or could be made so, can never be utilized for clam culture. 
Of the 900 acres lying along the shores of Nahant, Saugus and 
Lynn, over two-thirds could be made prolific, while it is evident 
that 3,280 acres out of a total of 6,325 in Boston Harbor could 
be made of value were it not for the pollution. Outside of the 
proscribed area in Boston Harbor, the towns of Weymouth, 
Hingham, Cohasset and Hull provide clams merely for home 
consumption and for bait. 

(3) Boston to Cape Cod. — Scituate and Marshfield possess 
some clam territory in the North River, but the output there- 
from is inconsiderable. The great clam region of this section is 
Plymouth Harbor, with its extensive flats in the towns of Dux- 
bury, Kingston and Plymouth. This territory, 5,700 acres in 
area, contains only 1,475 acres capable of producing clams, the 
remainder being covered with mussels and eelgrass. Only about 
85 acres are producing clams in natural abundance at present; 
1,390 acres have been barren until within the last few years, 
when various areas have been planted and the first large clam 
farm of 200 acres started. The clam industry of Plymouth Har- 



PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 177 

bor is peculiarly interesting as demonstrating a transition from 
a state of productive prosperity to its present status, or from a 
time when the trade name Duxbury represented the acme of 
perfection in clams to a time when this title has become simply 
a by-word, for Duxbury clams have not been shipped in quan- 
tities to the market for years. Whether this great tidal area 
can ever be converted into extremely profitable clam ground is a 
difficult question. However, no adequate reason can be advanced 
why a fishery at least as flourishing and remunerative as of yore 
cannot be re-established, and the barren flats in part, at least, 
utilized. 

(4) North Side of Cape Cod. — The principal clamming centers 
of this section are Barnstable Harbor and flats along the Brewster 
shore, where a fairly large amount of clams is shipped to market 
in winter. The clams from this section are particularly good in 
quality and bring a good price, and the flats here are now in 
process of cultivation under a system of local town grants. These 
flats resemble those of the Ipswich Bay section, and comprise 
an area of 400 acres, practically all of which may be made pro- 
ductive, but of which only 20 acres now provide good natural 
clamming. The area of Brewster flats now productive is variable, 
but opportunities for culture are present, although most places are 
more or less exposed to the open waters of Cape Cod Bay. At 
Orleans, the north side of the Cape, clam flats are found in Nauset 
Harbor, Town Cove, Pleasant Bay and Cape Cod Bay, where they 
are of a sandy character, a total of 200 acres, 150 of which may be 
reclaimed. At Eastham similar conditions prevail, although the 
main source of supply is Nauset Harbor. At this place the total 
area is 200 acres, 175 of which can be made productive. Well- 
fleet possesses extensive flats, but only portions may be made 
prolific, owing to physical surroundings. Out of a total area of 
605 acres only 15 yield clams, in spite of the fact that 250 acres 
of barren flats may be reclaimed. The clam flats of Truro are 
confined principally to the Pamet River basin, where there are 
approximately 50 acres of flats, only 3 of which furnish clams. 
Owing to their shifting nature hardly 6 out of a possible 400 
acres of flats in Provincetown Harbor yield clams. 

The South Shore. — The clam industry of southern Massachu- 
setts is found along the south side of Cape Cod, Buzzards Bay, 
Narragansett Bay and the islands of Nantucket and Martha's 
Vineyard, and is relatively of less importance than is that of 
the north shore. 



178 FISH AND GAME. 

(1) South Side of Cape Cod. — This section offers little oppor- 
tunity for clam culture because of the presence of a slight tidal 
flow. The average clam flats here, except in the case of Chat- 
ham, consist of narrow strips along the sides of harbors and 
tidal streams, and the entire production from this section is 
inconsiderable. 

Chatham, situated at the elbow of Cape Cod, produced a 
greater quantity of clams than all the rest of the Cape in 1879, 
but to-day the annual output is much less than that of several 
other towns in the Cape district. Clam territory is situated in 
Stage Harbor, Pleasant Bay and at Monomoy .Point, and com- 
prises 300 acres, but 60 of which produce clams. 

In Harwich some clams are obtainable from the shores of 
Pleasant Bay, Wychmere Harbor and Herring River. 

In Yarmouth and Dennis clam fisheries are now found in Swan 
Pond River, Mill Creek and Bass River, although in former 
years considerably greater quantities were present in Barnstable. 
In Mashpee the shores of Popponesset River afford favorable 
conditions although little clam-producing territory is available. 

(2) Buzzards Bay. — The section of Massachusetts bordering 
the shores of Buzzards Bay supports a flourishing quahaug, 
oyster and scallop fishery, capable of great development. The 
clam industry, however, never very extensive, is of very slight 
significance at present, and can never attain the same degree of 
importance as the other shellfisheries, owing to the limited area 
available for clams. That clams grow wherever opportunity per- 
mits is evident, for they are found on gravelly stretches or among 
rocks all along the coast, except in those localities openly exposed 
to the full force of the sea. But allowing for all possible favor- 
able features, the lack of any considerable territory is a disad- 
vantage that will forever act as a barrier to any expansion. 
Falmouth and Dartmouth on the east and west sides of Buz- 
zards Bay, respectively, differ materially from the remaining 
towns of the district in the fact that the characteristic soil of 
their clam grounds is sand; while the other towns have little 
in the shape of available territory except gravel stretches along 
the shores of coves, small areas of mud and the rocky beaches 
of points and headlands. The yearly output hardly anywhere 
suffices for the needs of home consumption. Nowhere is any 
attempt at exportation possible. The business, such as it is, is 
carried on in an intermittent fashion, chiefly in the summer, but 
with a small investment of capital. That the combined area of 



PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 179 

all the towns of Buzzards Bay does not equal that of a single 
town in the Cape Ann district is an undeniable truth; but the 
fact nevertheless remains that an industry far more considerable 
than exists at present could be supported, and it is truly to the 
interest of the towns of this region to make the best possible use 
of their limited advantages. 

(3) The Fall River District {Narragansett Bay). — The section 
of country bordering on Narragansett Bay and the Rhode Island 
line comprises a territory remote from the other clam-producing 
districts of the State and possessing many characteristics not 
found in any other locality. Six towns of this region enjoy the 
privileges of a clam industry, situated as they are on the shores 
of Mount Hope Bay and its tributary streams, the Cole, Lee 
and Taunton rivers. Beginning with the most westerly and 
taking them in order, these towns comprise Swansea, Somerset, 
Dighton, Berkley, Freetown and Fall River. They differ only 
in extent of resources or development of the industry, while 
the general nature of the clam flats and the methods employed 
in carrying on the business are essentially alike for all. The 
area in this region suitable for clam culture possesses some of 
the distinguishing features of the typical north shore flats, some 
of the Buzzards Bay variety and some peculiar to itself. There 
are scarcely any sand flats, and the prevailing type of soil is 
mud, as at Newburyport, or gravel, as in Buzzards Bay; while 
the greater part of the clam supply comes from a large and 
rather indefinite area, which is not properly tide flat at all, but 
lies continuously submerged. 

The methods employed in carrying on this industry include 
both wet and dry digging. On the tide flats the clams are 
dug as elsewhere on the south shore, with hoes or the common 
digger. Where, however, clams are dug in 2 or 3 feet of water, 
as is most frequently the case, an ordinary long-handled shovel 
and wire basket are employed. The soil containing the clams is 
shoveled into the baskets, and then the clams are sifted out 
under water. 

The towns of this region can never compete with the towns of 
the Newburyport district in the production of clams for the 
reason that they have by no means an equal acreage of suitable 
flats. The Taunton River is also a considerable factor, as its 
contaminated waters impair the quality of clams grown along 
its shores. There remains, however, a considerable extent of 
suitable territory which might yield a large product if rightly 



180 FISH AND GAME. 

controlled, and this territory, with its inherent possibilities de- 
pleted to the verge of exhaustion by unwise and wasteful meth- 
ods, it is for the interest of the Commonwealth to protect and 
improve. 

Swansea, the most western town of this district, is by far the 
most favorably located, and has the greatest possibilities in clam 
production. Situated as it is on the northern shore of Mount 
Hope Bay, and the majority of the flats in the Cole and Lee 
rivers, it possesses greater available territory, free from contam- 
inating influences of the Taunton River, than any other town 
in this region. Here the total area suitable for culture is not 
far from 150 acres, of which about 20 acres are gravel and the 
rest practically all mud. Somerset, the next town in order, joins 
Swansea on the east and extends several miles up the left bank 
of the Taunton River. Its flats on the south and west, particu- 
larly in Lee River, produce some clams, but the industry is prac- 
tically exhausted. The total clam area comprises about 75 acres. 
Berkley, on the west bank of the Taunton River opposite Digh- 
ton, has clam territory similar both in extent and characteristics 
to that of Somerset; but little use is made of clams taken here 
except as bait, as the river water renders them very unsatisfac- 
tory as food. Freetown, which joins Berkley to the south near 
the Fall River line, possesses a number of clam flats, aggregating 
25 acres, but very little business is carried on, although condi- 
tions are better than in Berkley or Dighton. Dighton has a very 
limited area of clam flats, which comprises only about 10 acres. 
Clams extend but little beyond the southern boundary of this 
town on the Taunton River, and about three-quarters of a mile 
up the Segregansett River on the west. Fall River has no clam 
territory on the south, owing to wharves and other adverse con- 
ditions. At the more open waters of the north toward Freetown 
there is a stretch of clam ground covering about 25 acres. Here 
the foreign element of the city dig clams for food, and some are 
dug for bait, but as a whole the industry is of little consequence. 

(4) The Islands. — Although Edgartown possesses 200 acres of 
potential clam flats, it is not in a true sense a clam-producing 
town. The nature of its flats, which at low tide are mostly under 
water, makes clamming difficult, and this fact answers for the 
limited production. The clam territory of the town is situated 
along the shores of Cape Poge Pond and in the lower part of 
Katama Bay, where many acres of flats are continually sub- 
merged. The shore flats are small in area, owing to the light 



PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 2b. 181 

rise and fall of the tide, which is less than 3 feet at this part of 
the coast. 

At present Nantucket does not possess a clam industry of any 
importance. Years ago it is claimed that clams were abundant 
there, and that quantities were dug for food and bait, but now 
the reverse is true, and fishermen often find it difficult to pro- 
cure clams even for bait. Indeed, the clam fishery of Nantucket 
is an excellent illustration of decline in clam industry. Prac- 
tically all its flats are shore flats, i.e., narrow stretches along 
the shores of the harbor and on the sides of the creeks. Thus 
the area, though extending for many miles, is not great, and the 
clam industry of the island, though capable of development, can 
never assume the importance of its quahaug and scallop fisheries. 

History. 

Early History. — The early history of the Massachusetts clam 
industry is buried in obscurity. Even before the time of the 
earliest settlers the native Indians depended largely upon the 
abundant mollusk for their food supply, as is clearly indicated by 
the scattered shell heaps which mark their ancient camp fires. 
Upon the arrival of the Pilgrims, clam digging was incorporated 
among the most time-honored industries of the Commonwealth, 
and in times of want the early colonists depended largely upon 
this natural food supply. The arrival of the colonists marks the 
first epoch of the clam fishery as an economic factor in this Com- 
monwealth, a period which lasted nearly two hundred years. 
This period witnessed the exploitation of the clam grounds merely 
for home consumption. Money was scarce, inland markets were 
practically unknown, and the importance of this shellfish was 
confined merely to local quarters. 

Rise of the Bait Industry. — Early in the last century a grow- 
ing demand for clams as bait for the sea fisheries became appar- 
ent. Clams had always been utilized for this purpose more or 
less, but an increased demand called for the development of an 
important industry in this line. Various centers of activity were 
established, particularly at Newburyport, Essex, Ipswich, Boston 
Harbor and Chatham. The clams were mainly shucked, that is, 
removed from the shell, and shipped either fresh or salted in 
barrels to the fishermen at Gloucester, Boston and Province- 
town. This industry opened up new fields of employment for 
many men and boys, and brought considerable ready money 
into various coast communities. 



182 FISH AND GAME. 

The Development of Inland Markets. — The consumption of 
clams for food in the coast towns continued throughout the rise 
and gradual decline of the bait industry, but the creation of in- 
land markets did not begin to be an important factor until 1875. 
It was about this time that the clam came to be generally looked 
upon throughout the State as an article of food, and consequently 
an important industry was gradually evolved to meet this grow- 
ing demand. This step marked the beginning of the extensive 
fisheries of the present day. 

The mistaken policy of the average shellfish community, which 
regarded clam grounds as natural gardens of inexhaustible fer- 
tility, still persisted, even after the fallacy of this policy had 
long proved apparent through the depletion of extensive tracts. 
The same ill-advised methods were pursued, to the ultimate 
ruination of much valuable territory. All wise regard for the* 
future was overshadowed by the immediate needs of the present; 
local legislation fostered the evil; State legislation was conspicu- 
ous by its absence; and, left to the mercy of unsystematic dig- 
ging, these natural resources rapidly wasted away. 

The disastrous tendencies which have lurked in the ruling 
policy of the clam fishery have been shown in the rise and fall 
of the industry in certain localities. Forty years ago Duxbury 
and Plymouth ranked as the greatest clam towns of the coast. 
Their supply has long since become insignificant. Newburyport 
and Ipswich have become the chief producers of the State clam 
harvest; but Essex and Gloucester, in the same fertile regions, 
have greatly declined, and the industry at Rowley has become 
nearly extinct. In the Fall River district the digging of small 
seed clams for food has brought the fishery to the verge of ruin. 
The few resources of Buzzards Bay have become nearly ex- 
hausted, while on Cape Cod the industry has shown here and 
there a temporary increase, overshadowed by a far more exten- 
sive decline, such as at Chatham. Furthermore, the sewage con- 
tamination of coast waters in the harbors of Boston and several 
other large cities has closed extensive regions to the production 
of food. 

Attempts to develop the Industry. — Various efforts have been 
made to restrain overdigging the clam flats, by local regulations, 
particularly by "close" seasons. These attempts have been pro- 
ductive of little good. Other efforts, designed to develop exten- 
sive tracts made barren by wasteful methods of fishing, have beeni 
put in operation. These efforts have been along two independent 



i 



PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 



183 



lines: the first, an effort on the part of the community to seed 
in common flats by the appropriation of money for that purpose, 
as in the case of Wellfleet; the second, an attempt to arrive at 
the same end by leasing private grants to individuals, as at 
Essex and Plymouth. These efforts, while tending in the right 
direction, have not as yet yielded the results that might be 
wished for. Within the past three years the State has taken 
hold of the problem, and by an extensive series of experiments 
is endeavoring to devise practical means by developing the great 
inherent possibilities in this extensive industry. 



Clam Production Table for Massachusetts, obtained from the Reports 
of the United States Fish Commission. 



Year. 


Bushels. 


Value. 


Price 

per Bushel 

(Cents). 


1880 


158,626 


§76,195 


41.73 


1887, 


230,659 


121,202 


52.54 


1888 


243,777 


127,838 


52.44 


1889 


240,831 


137,711 


57.14 


1892 


191,923 


133,529 


69.57 


1898 


147,095 


102,594 


69.74 


1902 


227,941 


157,247 


68.98 


1905 


217,519 


209,545 


96.19 



The Clam Industry. 

Methods of Digging. — The ordinary method of taking clams is 
so simple as hardly to need explanation, yet clam digging 
requires considerable skill, and it takes years of experience to 
become a good clammer. 

There are two methods of clam digging used in Massachusetts, 
— the "wet" and the "dry" digging. Wet digging is carried on 
when water is over the clam beds; dry digging, which is the 
common method, takes place when the flats are left exposed by 
the tides. The only places in Massachusetts where wet digging 
is carried on regularly are Eastham, Chatham, Swansea, and in 
Katama Bay, Edgartown. In the lower end of Katama Bay is 
found a submerged bed of clams which is one of the most pro- 
ductive beds of this class in Massachusetts. These submerged 
clams are taken with what is known locally as a "sea horse," 
which is an enlarged clam hoe, with prongs 12 to 14 inches long, 



184 FISH AND GAME. 

and a strong wooden handle 4 feet in length. This handle has a 
belt attachment which is buckled around the clammer. Two 
men are required for this work. The sea horse is worked deep 
into the loose sand and is dragged along by one man, who wades 
in the shallow water over these submerged flats, while his partner 
follows, gathering the clams which the sea horse roots out. An- 
other method of wet digging is called "churning," and is based 
on the same principle as the above method, only the clams are 
turned out under water by long forks or hoes. This method is 
not used in Massachusetts to any extent. Excellent results are 
usually obtained from wet digging. 

The methods used in dry digging depend upon the nature of 
the soil. The difference lies only in the kind of digger. The 
clam hoe of the south shore, where the soil is either coarse sand 
or gravel, has broad prongs, some even being \\ inches across. 
The usual number of prongs is four, but occasionally three broad 
prongs suffice. The clam hoe of the north shore, often called 
"hooker," has four thin, sharp prongs and a short handle. The 
set of this handle is a matter of choice with the individual clam- 
mers, some preferring a sharp, acute angle, and others a right 
angle. This style of clam hoe is best suited for the hard, tena- 
cious clam flats of the north shore. At Essex spading forks are 
used for clamming, but not as extensively as the hooker. For 
sand digging the forks are said to be better, while for mud dig- 
ging the hooker is preferred. 

Outfit of a Clammer. — The outfit of a clammer does not re- 
quire much outlay of capital. A skiff or dory, one or two clam 
hoes and three or four clam baskets complete the list. Occa- 
sionally, as at Ipswich, where the clam grounds are widely scat- 
tered, power dories are used, and this necessitates the investment 
of considerable capital; but the investment of the average clam- 
mer does not exceed $26. Personal apparel, such as oilskins and 
boots, are not considered under this head. 

Clamming Outfit. 

Skiff dory, $22 00 

Two clam diggers, 1 50 

Four clam baskets, 2 00 

Total, $25 50 

The boats most often used by the north shore clammers are 
called "skiff dories," and in construction are between a dory and 
a skiff. These boats are especially adapted for use in rivers. 



PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 185 

Marketing. — Clams are shipped to market either in the shell 
or "shucked out." Two rules are followed by the clammers in 
making this distinction: (1) small clams, or "steamers," are 
shipped in the shell, especially during the summer months, while 
the large clams are "shucked;" (2) the fine appearing sand clam 
is usually sold in the shell, while the unprepossessing mud clam 
is shucked, i.e., the shell and the external covering of the siphon 
or neck are removed. This causes, on the north shore, a division 
by locality. The Ipswich and Essex clams, except for a few in- 
dividual orders, are mostly shipped to market in the shell, while 
the Annisquam River and Newburyport clams in the winter are 
usually shucked. Little if any shucking is done by the south 
shore clammers. 

Shucking almost doubles the value, as a bushel of clams, worth 
in the shell 75 cents, will furnish, when soaked, about 10 quarts 
of shucked clams, which bring about 50 cents per gallon, or a 
total of SI. 25 when marketed. The shucked clams are put 
through a process of soaking in the same way the scallop "eyes" 
are treated before marketing. They absorb a sufficient quan- 
tity of fresh water, after soaking six hours, to increase their 
bulk about one-third, which gives a plump appearance to the 
clams. 

While many clammers do not soak their clams, it seems to be 
a universal tendency, wherever clams are shucked, to gain by 
this method. Soaking of any sort impairs the flavor of the clam, 
and for this reason such a practice is to be deplored, but as long 
as the consumer is satisfied to take second-rate goods this prac- 
tice will continue, and it can be stopped only by the united de- 
mand of the shellfish dealers. 

Shipment. — Second-hand flour and sugar barrels are used for 
the shipment of clams in the shell, while kegs and butter tubs 
hold the shucked clams. In winter, clams can be shipped inland 
without perishing; but in hot weather they spoil in a few days 
unless iced. 

Maine Clams. — Massachusetts annually consumes many thou- 
sand barrels of Maine clams. If the demand of the Boston 
market were* not partially met by the influx of Maine clams, 
the clam flats of Massachusetts would be subject to a greater 
drain. 

Market. — The principal market for the clam industry of Mas- 
sachusetts is Boston. Gloucester, Newburyport, Salem and Lynn 
draw part of the clam trade of the north shore, but the greater 



186 FISH AND GAME. 

portion goes to Boston, whence it is distributed throughout the 
State. In recent years shipments have been made from the 
Ipswich Bay region direct to New York, Baltimore and Phila- 
delphia. 

Price. — The price of clams is fairly constant, varying but 
little in summer and winter. Naturally, this seems curious, when 
winter and summer clamming are compared. The production in 
winter is much smaller than in summer, which is due to (1) fewer 
clammers, because of the severe work in cold weather; (2) less 
working days, as the clammer is often unable to dig for weeks, 
and even months, and also cannot work early or late tides, as 
in summer. In spite of this diminution of supply, the winter 
price is practically no higher. This is due to a smaller demand 
in winter, as well as to the influx of Maine clams at this season. 
In summer there is an increased demand for clams, caused by 
the arrival of the summer people at the seashore, when large 
quantities are used by hotels, cottages, etc. This increase in 
demand is enough to offset the increase in supply, resulting in 
a stationary price. 

The price varies with the quality of the clams, whether soaked 
or unsoaked, small or large, good or poor looking shells, and 
fresh or stale. As stated before, the average price received by 
the clammer for clams in the shell is 75 cents per bushel; 
shucked clams, when soaked, 45 to 50 cents per gallon. 

GROWTH. 

Growth experiments were conducted with the following objects 
in view: (1) to ascertain the normal rate of growth; (2) to 
further develop the lines of experimental work begun by Kellogg 
and Mead; (3) to determine the length of time consumed in the 
production of a marketable clam; (4) to find the average length 
of life; (5) to obtain information of practical value to prospec- 
tive clam culturists; and (6) to discover methods of reclaiming 
barren flats. 

Methods of Investigation. 
Experimental Beds. — In order to satisfactorily solve the prob- 
lems of clam growth under varied environments it was essential 
to lay out numerous experimental beds, necessarily of small size, 
owing to the limited appropriation for this investigation. Three 
sizes were used, y^, lQ 1 0o and j-oVo' of an acre, l0 1 00 of an acre 
proving the most convenient. These plots were bounded by 



PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 187 

stakes and protected by signs, which briefly stated that the en- 
closed space was under the control of the Commonwealth for 
experimental purposes, as provided by chapter 327, Acts of 1906, 
but in spite of these precautions many of the beds were de- 
stroyed by trespassers after the clams had attained adult size. 
The experimental beds were put out under varied conditions 
of tide, current and soil, on both barren and productive flats, 
along the Massachusetts coast. 

Recording. — Different methods of planting were tried. In 
many instances the seed clams could be obtained in the imme- 
diate locality only with more or less difficulty, so they were 
transported from a distance. At first they were measured with 
rule, calipers and a triangular measuring instrument, such as 
described in the report on the "Scallop Fishery " in 1910. Later, 
after a table of the number per quart for each length from 10 
to 85 millimeters had been made from hundreds of specimens, 
and a table of corresponding width and thickness for any given 
length similarly formulated, actual measurement of the clams 
was discarded in favor of recording the number per quart. 

An easy means of recording the successive yearly growths of 
the planted clams was afforded by notching the edges of the 
shell with a file, a method originated by Dr. A. D. Mead of the 
Rhode Island Commission on Inland Fisheries, who states: — 

As it [the clam] grows the notch remains perfectly distinct, and always 
at the original distance from the hinge. A growth ring usually accom- 
panies the notch, and so, after a month, or even years, the complete out- 
line of the clam at the time of notching can be readily identified and traced 
upon the shell of larger growth. 

Planting. — In most beds the seed clams were planted indi- 
vidually, after the bed had been thoroughly cleared of the natu- 
ral clams. This was accomplished either by making holes in 
the sand with a finger or sharpened stick, and then dropping in 
the clam, siphon end up, or by a more elaborate method with a 
wooden framework divided into square feet. By means of this 
device it was poss : ble to plant different numbers of clams to the 
square foot in the same bed, and by using the same framework 
redig them in the same order. Another method of determining 
the maximum production per square foot consisted in sinking 
bottomless wire baskets into the soil, thus confining the clams. 
In the larger beds the clams were merely scattered evenly over 
the surface before the tide covered the flat, and under such con- 



188 FISH AND GAME. 

ditions the small clams, if fresh, burrowed rapidly. Methods of 
preparing the soil and regulating the time of planting according 
to tide, current, wind and soil were attempted with varying re- 
sults. Beds were tried on high and low flats, both between the 
tide lines and below low-water mark. At Monomoy Point clams 
were planted in submerged boxes of sand and suspended from a 
raft, as described in the " Quahaug Report," 1912, and their 
growth compared with that on the Powder Hole flats. 

Location. — The experimental beds were located principally in 
Ipswich Bay and its tributaries, in Plymouth Harbor, and at 
Monomoy Point, Chatham. In addition a large number were 
planted n the following towns: — 

Newburyport. Kingston. Falmouth. 

Newbury. Plymouth. Edgartown. 

Rowley. Dartmouth. Nantucket. 

Ipswich. Wellfleet. Bourne. 

Essex. Provincetown. Marion. 

Gloucester. Chatham. 

Lynn. Harwich. 

These beds were placed under all sorts of conditions, favorable 
and unfavorable, on productive and barren flats, and in some 
cases were never recovered, having been destroyed by an un- 
favorable environment or by clammers. The majority were re- 
covered, and the growth of the planted clams under a variety 
of natural conditions was obtained. 

Ipswich Bay Experiments. — This section comprises the flats 
of Plum Island Sound, Ipswich River and Essex River, lying 
principally in the towns of Ipswich and Essex. Experimental 
beds were planted in Ipswich River, Plum Island Sound, Greens 
Creek, Roger Island Creek and Essex River. 

The Ipswich River has in itself a great variety of clam ground. 
Both sides of the river for nearly 3 miles are fringed with flats, 
mainly of mud, though sandy near the mouth. Some of the 
mud flats are so soft that they are practically barren, or covered 
with mussel beds; while certain sand flats, e.g., the main portion 
of the high sands, are too shifting to be valuable. However, the 
larger part of these river flats are productive. 

The Plum Island division comprises Lufkins, Point Peter, Ap- 
pletons, Foresides and several other minor flats. Of these, Luf- 
kins is important. It occupies a semicircular depression on the 



PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 189 

coast of Plum Island, and, owing to its peculiar location, the 
swift current which flows past its outer edge makes a double 
eddy at both ebb and flood tide. The outer border to the north 
is mud, to the south sand. The portion near shore is a hard 
bluish clay in which clams are abundant. 

Point Peter, or "Pint" Peter, is also an important flat, com- 
prising altogether 28 acres, though about 7 acres of the outer 
portion are so shifting as to be practically worthless. The re- 
mainder varies from sand and hard mud on the outside to soft 
mud in the creeks. The central portion of the flat is peculiarly 
adapted to the culture of clams, and is extremely productive. 

Appletons Flat comprises about 6 acres of hard, tenacious 
sand, thickly strewn with old clam shells. It lies at the mouth 
of Perkins and Pine Creeks, which run for about a mile into the 
mainland of Plum Island, and which contain nearly 25 acres 
each of fairly productive flats. 

Foresides is a thatch island a little over a mile in length, lying 
in the mid-channel of Plum Island Sound. The sand flats which 
surround it on all sides comprise about 80 acres. The western 
side is more or less productive, though the outer edge, over 
which the strong cross currents of the channel sweep, is unsuited 
for clam growth. The strip of sand along the northern and 
northeastern sides, though of rather limited area, is productive, 
while most of the southeastern portion, which projects far into 
the channel, is barren and totally unadapted for the soft-shelled 
clam, though bedded with sea clams. The productive section of 
this flat is one of the most important of the Ipswich clam 
grounds. 

The west coast of Plum Island Sound, comprising the Greens 
Creek and Roger Island Creek territories, extends from the 
Ipswich River to the Rowley River. This division contains the 
bulk of the waste and barren flats of Ipswich, although there is 
exceptionally good clamming in Stacys Creek, Third Creek and 
the "Nutfield." 

In the lower Essex River region the three main flats are Essex 
Beach, Wheelers and the Spit. Essex Beach usually has a good 
set, evenly sprinkled over the ridgy, shifting bars that skirt the 
channel. Wheelers is an irregular sandbar, occupying about 77 
acres, one-half of which is productive. The Spit, mainly a sandy 
soil, lies in the three towns of Ipswich, Essex and Gloucester; 
about one-third of the whole area of 300 acres lies within the 
town of Ipswich. This whole bar is so liable, to change that any 



190 FISH AND GAME. 

calculations based on the precise area or location of clam terri- 
tory are decidedly unreliable. Good digging occurs in limited 
areas on the north and west sides. 

In the region of Conomo Point, numerous flats, a large por- 
tion of which are barren, are situated along the sides of Essex 
River and its tributaries. Many experimental beds were planted 
in Joe's Creek, on "Newfoundland" and other flats near Conomo 
Point. "Newfoundland/' a barren flat which formerly had been 
productive, yielded excellent results, owing to its favorable loca- 
tion at a bend in the river. The results of the clam planting 
on barren flats in this section were most successful, and served 
as a stimulus for clam farming in Essex. 

Plymouth Experiments. — During the year 1906 and 1907 ex- 
periments were carried on with a view to ultimately increasing 
the production of the extensive flats of Plymouth Harbor. At 
that time the prevailing conditions were studied: (1) by a care- 
ful observation of the natural clam on the shores and flats; (2) 
by numerous artificial beds; and (3) by recording the 1906 set. 

Plymouth Harbor presents a vast area of flats more or less 
covered with eelgrass, with a great variety of soils. Three towns, 
Duxbury, Kingston and Plymouth, share the fishing rights of 
this harbor. The natural conditions are: (1) large rise and fall 
of tide; (2) good circulation of water, due to the swift currents, 
except on the shore flats of the western side; (3) high flats with 
long exposure; (4) variety of soils, ranging from a shifting sand 
to a soft mud; (5) great area of eelgrass flats. 

In 1906 clams were naturally present in the greatest quantities 

(1) in the gravelly soil upon the south side of Clarks Island, 

(2) on Plymouth Beach, and (3) in the grants to property holders 
along the western shore, where all conditions for the growth of 
clams, except current, were satisfactory. These shore flats, ex- 
posed for many hours, were washed by a gradual inspreading of 
the water and an equally mild ebb, with the result that the cur- 
rent was not strong enough to permit even an average growth. 
This area, which included the entire extent of the shore flats 
from the Cordage Company's plant to Eel River, was small as 
compared with the possible clam areas of the barren harbor flats, 
some of which were later placed under artificial cultivation by 
the Andrew J. Kerr Company. 

In 1906 here and there on the uncultivated central flats of the 
harbor an experienced clammer might be able to dig a few large 
clams, but in general this mollusk was not found in abundance. 



PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 191 

Upon the top of Wind Flat, among beds of mussels, some clams 
were present. Near at hand were areas swept by a better current 
but absolutely void of clams, though they appeared similar in 
every respect to good clam flats in other localities along the 
coast. 

Egoberts, the larger of the two Kingston flats, has an area of 
about 275 acres, covered by thick eelgrass, except for a triangular 
piece in the mid-southern section, which comprises about 80 
acres of smooth, unshifting sand. The greater part of this open 
section is barren, although a few clams are scattered along the 
edge near the channel. 

Greys Flat, situated to the west of Egoberts, is of an entirely 
different type. It is a long flat, with a uniform width of 100 
yards, and runs throughout its length parallel to the shore, while 
on the east side it is separated from Egoberts by a channel. It 
is essentially different in the nature of its soil, which is mud 
throughout. Although the total area of the flat is about 115 
acres, an irregular section of mud on the southeastern part 
comprising 30 acres, is the only available clam territory. The 
flat is composed of soft mud on the north and on the south, but 
the middle section contains several acres of hard mud. 

During the year 1906 a series of experiments in clam culture 
were conducted at Plymouth, in the course of which approxi- 
mately 100 small beds were planted, most of which proved un- 
successful. These beds, which averaged but 40 clams each, were 
situated on the Oyster Grant, Beach Wharf Flat, White Flat, 
Greys Flat, Egoberts Flat, Corys Flat and near the outlet of 
Eel River. On examination ten weeks later only 7 per cent, 
were recovered. The explanation of this lack of success, as com- 
pared with the experiments in the Ipswich Bay region, probably 
lies in the fact that the experiments were located for the most 
part in unfavorable places where the clams were easily destroyed. 

In 1907 further experimental beds were planted on Greys, 
Egoberts and Whites flats, and upon the shore flats on the grant 
of Frank J. Cole of North Plymouth, who afforded every assist- 
ance in his power to further the work. Thirty-four beds planted 
with comparatively large seed clams proved more successful on 
these flats and supplied definite data as to the rate of growth 
in the northwestern part of Plymouth Harbor, particularly in 
regard to the influence of soil, eelgrass, drainage and current. 

Monomoy Experiments. -•— During the period from 1905 to 1910 
growth experiments were conducted in the Powder Hole, a shel- 



192 FISH AND GAME. 

tered harbor of salt water situated at Monomoy Point, Chat- 
ham, at the elbow of Cape Cod. In former years the Powder 
Hole was a spacious harbor where a hundred vessels could anchor, 
but the sandbars have so shifted that nothing remains at the 
present time but an almost enclosed body of water of perhaps 5 
acres connected with the ocean on the bay side by a narrow 
opening through which a dory may enter at high tide. The 
opening changes constantly, owing to the shifting nature of the 
sand, and has successively worked from the south to the north 
side, and closed and reopened again at the south at intervals of 
one and a half years. A large part of the original harbor is now 
either dry land or salt marsh, while on the north and west sides 
is a sand flat of 3 acres, which up to 1910 contained an abun- 
dance of soft clams. The harbor itself is slowly diminishing in 
size, due to the encroachment of the sand, and will doubtless 
eventually become completely landlocked. 

The water on the north and west sides averages from 15 to 
18 feet in depth, and gradually shoals to the south and east. 
In the shallow water the soil is covered with a heavy growth of 
eelgrass. The rise and fall of the tide is about \\ feet on the 
average, but it is extremely erratic, as the force and direction of 
the wind, and the position of the opening, are important factors 
in determining the amount of water passing through the narrow 
inlet. The location and depth of the opening makes it possible 
for the clam flat to be constantly under water for weeks, while 
at other times several days may pass when the water barely 
covers the flats. At such times the water is over the flats for 
only a brief period, probably not averaging over five hours out 
of the twenty-four. Naturally, the amount and frequency of 
the tidal flow affect the salinity of the water, which varies with 
the influx of the tide. The volume of water also varies with 
the high or low running tides, as a certain height has to be 
reached before water will flow through the inlet. 

(1) Box Experiments. — Two main classes of experiments were 
undertaken, bed and box, which differ but slightly, the latter a 
convenient modification of the experimental bed, consisting of 
small wooden boxes filled with sand and equipped with rope 
handles. The advantage of the experimental box lay, first, in 
its greater accuracy, since it permitted the operator to obtain 
each time the exact number of clams planted, a practical im- 
possibility with the planted bed, and secondly, it furnished a 
convenient form of handling. 



PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 193 

The box experiments were divided into classes as follows: (a) 
boxes in the shallow water near the shore, at a depth of from 
1 to 3 feet; and (6) boxes suspended by ropes from the raft. 
In all cases, especially on the raft, they were made as strong as 
possible to withstand the strain. The boxes could be used only 
one year, as the ship worms {Teredo) render the wood unfit for 
further service. The shallow-water boxes, which were located 
on the south side of the Powder Hole on clear bottom, were 
somewhat larger than the deep-water boxes, as they could be 
more easily handled. 

A raft, 20 feet long by 10 feet wide, was moored in the Powder 
Hole near the flat on the north side, where the deepest water 
and the best circulation were obtainable. It was provided with 
a central well and four trapdoors, by means of which the boxes 
could be lowered to any depth up to 18 feet. This raft was 
used only during the summer months, and in the winter was 
hauled up on land, the box experiments being transferred to 
water deep enough to avoid the ice. 

The natural conditions on the raft were especially favorable 
for clam growth, and extremely good results were obtained. The 
position of the raft was such as to receive the full benefit of the 
incoming tide as it passed over the flat, bringing with it abun- 
dant diatomaceous food. 

(2) Experimental Beds. — The planted beds were located be- 
tween the tide lines in the different parts of the clam flat. The 
first of these beds was planted in 1905 and the last taken up in 
1910. Important results are obtained by a comparison of growth 
between the tide lines and in the submerged raft boxes. 

Average Growth. 

In the determination of the average growth of the clam it is 
difficult to make general statements, since the natural conditions 
which influence development are varied. The rate of growth in 
one body of water invariably differs from that of other localities, 
unless similar conditions are present, instances of which occur 
but rarely in nature, a fact which necessitated the use of a large 
number of experimental beds. Therefore, the reader should un- 
derstand that the general figures given in the following pages 
do not hold absolutely true for individual localities, since they 
are merely averages for certain sections of the coast. 

The enlargement of the shell indicates a proportionate growth 
of the body, and new shell formation is the direct result of a 



194 FISH AND GAME. 

previous corresponding growth in the soft parts, which neces- 
sitates further extension of the shell. In the growth experi- 
ments the shell has been accepted as typifying the development 
of the body, and all measurements have been recorded on this 
basis. In another section the quality of the meat and the 
plumpness of the tissues, so important to the dealer, have been 
considered. 

The shell of the clam, as of all mollusks, is almost wholly com- 
posed of lime salts obtained from the water, but the amount of 
soluble lime in the water, although an important factor in the 
rapidity of growth, is not as essential as is the proper nourish- 
ment of the soft parts by the ingestion of microscopic food 
forms. Actual increase in growth due to an excess of lime is but 
slight, since shell formation naturally is correlative to the increase 
in the soft parts. The difference in localities rich in lime salts 
is evidenced only by an increased weight of shell. The lime 
supply varies slightly in different localities, but its efficiency is 
dependent largely upon the circulation of water. However, food 
is most vitally important. Within limits, the growth of the 
clam is directly proportional to the amount of food it consumes. 
This food consists primarily of microscopic plant forms, called 
diatoms, which are uniformly distributed throughout the water. 
Naturally the abundance of diatoms in any locality and the cir- 
culation of water, the current, are the two important factors in 
the growth of the clam. 

Length of Life. — The maximum period of life for the clam is 
difficult to determine. To our knowledge one of the largest 
shells ever found in Massachusetts was found on Greys Flat, 
Kingston, and measured 5f inches in length. At one point where 
the flat had been worn away by erosion, the ground was white 
with thousands of these large shells in an upright position, indi- 
cating that destruction had suddenly come upon them. The age 
of these clams could have been no less than twelve years. Natu- 
rally the size does not signify the age, as the rate of growth 
varies with the location. A clam high up in the sedge, near high- 
water mark, may be small in size but at the same time several 
years older than a large clam more favorably situated. The age 
of the clam may be estimated from the weight of the shell, the 
frequency of growth lines and the signs of external wear, espe- 
cially on the umbones. Under natural conditions, when clams are 
not dug for market death may result from destructive washouts 



PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 195 

in heavy storms, prolonged exposure in hot weather and disease 
when thickly set. 

Average Rate of Growth. — The average growth for the entire 
coast in terms of a 25-millimeter clam is 38 millimeters, or a 
gain of 1,635 per cent, in volume. In general, clams from 
river flats, where the current is strong, show a faster growth 
than shore clams, owing to the better circulation of water. At 
Monomoy for several years the annual growth in raft boxes, 
shore boxes and on the flat was compared. The raft and shore 
boxes were submerged continually, the raft having a better cur- 
rent than the shore. Naturally the best growth was found in 
the raft boxes. 

Growth for the Market. — Mead (13-16) says that a clam may 
grow to marketable size in one and one-half to two years, a 
statement which coincides with the results obtained in certain 
Massachusetts experiments, where, by planting clams 1 inch and 
over under favorable conditions, marketable clams were produced 
in one year. The definition of a marketable clam varies with 
locality, abundance, and whether it is to be served as a " steamer " 
or "shucked." However, it is fair to consider that a clam of 2\ 
inches is marketable, and on good growing flats this size may be 
obtained in two years' time. 

Diversity in growth may be said to be due mainly to location 
with respect to three essential conditions, — current, length of 
time submerged and soil, — and even the results stated here 
cannot be applied to every locality, since each flat has, as it 
were, an individuality all its own. The following statement gives 
briefly the general results obtained with numerous experimental 
beds under a variety of conditions. For the sake of simplicity, 
a 1-inch clam is taken as the standard. 

A 1-inch clam will grow in one year to a size between 2 and 
3 inches. Under favorable conditions, with a moderately strong 
current, the average will increase to 2 J inches, a gain of 1,600 
per cent, in volume, which means that for every bushel planted 
the yield in one year would be 16 bushels. In the case of beds 
with but little current, 1-inch clams average about 2 inches in 
size in a year, a gain of 865 per cent., or a return of 8.7 bushels 
for each 1 planted. Certain beds under exceptionally fine con- 
ditions have shown the amazing rate of 30 bushels for every 
bushel of 1-inch clams planted. In these beds clams increased 
from 1 to 3 inches in length. 



196 



FISH AND GAME. 



The Maximum Production per Square Foot. — The number of 
clams per square foot that can be raised to best advantage de- 
pends primarily upon the location of the flat with regard to 
natural conditions. Clams thickly planted^ in favorable locations 
may show a greater growth than when thinly planted in less 
favorable habitat; therefore, no definite statement can be made 
which will apply generally. It can only be stated that a flat 
with a current will produce a greater number of clams per square 
foot than one without, and on good flats they may be planted 
conveniently and economically from 15 to 20 per square foot, 
or even in larger numbers. Experimental determination of the 
maximum production per square foot is difficult, for unless the 
experiment covers a large area, slight influences of environment 
affect results. Attempts were made to ascertain the maximum 
production by means of sinking into the soil bottomless wire 
baskets, each enclosing one square foot of surface, in which 
various numbers of clams were planted. Experiment Xo. 80 at 
Monomoy Point comprised a series of twelve baskets, containing 
from 3 to 49 clams per square foot, which were planted on Oct. 
30, 1905, and taken up May 13, 1907. The growth did not mate- 
rially differ between the 3 and the 49 per square foot beds, as 
can be seen from the following table: — 



Number planted. 



Number 
found. 


PerC< 
lost 


1 


67 


4 


20 


8 


- 


5 


50 


8 


33 


15 


17 


13 


35 


22 


27 


18 


49 


35 


17 


28 


43 



Length Gain 
(Millimeters). 



3, 
5, 
8, 
10, 
12, 
16, 
20, 
30, 
35, 
42, 
49, 



26.00 
29.50 
27.25 
23.40 
30.25 
30.47 
28.23 
29.54 
26.89 
28.63 
27.14 



It is readily conceivable that if a bed has a poor circulation of 
water overpopulation may result in an insufficient food supply 
and slower growth. Dwarfed forms caused by crowding should 
be differentiated from those caused by lack of growth because of 



PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 197 

a naturally insufficient food supply. The number per square 
foot which will give the best growth in a given locality can be 
determined only by the planter's gradually increasing his stock 
until the maximum production is reached. 

Growing Months. — The clam differs slightly from the scallop, 
quahaug and oyster in that its growing season, as typified by 
shell formation, is longer. Growth takes place at a lower tem- 
perature than with the quahaug, which increases its size only 
during the warm summer months, from May 1 to November 1. 
This peculiarity is readily explained by the fact that the clam is a 
colder water species, its range extending from New Jersey north 
on the Atlantic coast. The clam has a definite winter growth 
between November 1 and May 1, which, however, is but a small 
proportion of the annual increase. Undoubtedly the greater por- 
tion of the so-called winter growth takes place during November 
and April. Decrease in the microscopic food forms in the water 
is not sufficient to explain the cessation of growth, which is also 
due to the inactivity of the clam during the cold weather in 
assimilating food and lime salts. Evidently the clam is capable 
of performing its nutritive functions at a lower temperature 
than the quahaug, scallop and oyster, possibly ceasing at a 
point between 40 degrees and 42 degrees F. 

An interesting comparison was made between clam 'beds in 
the Essex River, in Plymouth Harbor and on the south side of 
Cape Cod. In Essex River very slight growth occurred between 
November 1 and May 1, as was readily demonstrated by a notch 
filed into the edge of the shell. In Plymouth Harbor the beds, 
especially upon the mud flats, showed a growth of several milli- 
meters during this period. South of Cape Cod, particularly at 
Monomoy Point, there was an appreciable growth during the 
winter months. This peculiarity can best be explained as due 
to difference in the temperature, exposure and current. 

Summer and Winter Growth on Sand and Mud Flats. — By a 
comparison of clam growth at Plymouth in mud (Wind Flat) 
with that in sand (Whites Flat), interesting observations were 
made regarding the proportionate increases in winter and sum- 
mer. 

Growth for nine and two-thirds months proved slightly more 
rapid in the mud bed, and was especially marked for the seven 
and one-third cold months, whereas almost the reverse proved 
true during the two and one-third warm months of this period. 
The mud flat, rich in organic matter and clam food, such as dia- 



198 



FISH AND GAME. 



toms, gave a faster winter growth than did the sand flat, with less 
food on its surface. Diatoms are more numerous and multiply 
more rapidly on muddy soil, which holds the warmth of the sun, 
and therefore more food is close at hand for the clams during 
the winter. In summer diatoms are equally distributed through- 
out the water, and since clams obtain their nourishment from the 
water, growth is faster on the sand flat, where there is no clog- 
ging of the gills with fine silt. 





Gain in Length in Millimeters. 






Oct. 27, 1906, 
to Aug. 16, 
1907 (Nine 

and 

Two-thirds 

Months). 


Oct. 27, 1906, 
to June 6, 

1907 (Seven 

and 
One-third 
Months). 


June 6, 1907, 
to Aug. 16, 
1907 (Two 

and 
One-third 
Months). 


Mud (Wind Flat bed) 

Sand (Whites Flat bed) 

Gain or loss, 


20.84 
16.72 
4.12 


12.72 
7.78 
4.94 


8.12 

8.94 

.82 



Growth of Old and Young. — Actual increase in length as well 
as relative increase in volume constantly diminish as the clam 
increases in size. In other words, the older and larger a clam 
becomes, the more slowly it grows. By planting clams of dif- 
ferent sizes in the same beds a comparison of the gain in length 
may be determined. Naturally a small clam, for the purpose of 
comparison we will say one 20 millimeters in length (the exact 
size has not been determined), shows the greatest gain. Above 
that size the yearly gain in length steadily diminishes with 
advancing age. Under average conditions if a 20-millimeter 
clam had an annual increase of 28 millimeters, larger clams 
would show the following growth: a 25-millimeter clam would 
gain 25 millimeters; a 50-millimeter clam would gain 12.5 milli- 
meters; a 75-millimeter clam would gain 5.8 millimeters; a 90- 
millimeter clam would gain 4.3 millimeters. 

Opportunity was afforded to observe the rate of growth of 
young clams collected in spat boxes at Monomoy Point. In 1907 
boxes containing sand were suspended from a raft in the Powder 
Hole on June 15 and July 26, and were taken up on October 15. 
Three hundred and ninety-one clams in the June boxes averaged 
34.38 millimeters in length, and 1,637 in the July boxes averaged 
32.91 millimeters, or 221.3 per quart. The set which occurred 
about July 1 showed a difference of 1.47 millimeters in growth 



PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 199 

between the June and July boxes. In shallow boxes 1,705 clams 
averaged 28.72 millimeters, or 361 per quart. 

The averages would indicate that when a set is favorably 
located and continually under water, the growth from July 1 to 
October 15, three and one-half months, is approximately 30.5 
millimeters (lj inches). Considerable variations are to be ex- 
pected in other environments and under other conditions, but 
these figures express the growth under very favorable circum- 
stances for the first three and' one-half months. Naturally, when 
sets are too thick, as on Rowley Reef, growth is slower, especially 
if the set is late in the season. The spawning season extends 
over a period of several months, and if a set does not occur until 
late in August, cold weather will not permit rapid growth; e.g., 
on November 13 the Rowley Reef set averaged but 12.9 milli- 
meters (about \ inch). Feeble winter growth and late set ex- 
plain the presence of very small clams in the early spring. 

Comparison with Quahaugs and Scallops. — Arranging mollusks 
in order of rapidity of growth, — scallop, clam, quahaug, — we 
find the same order in respect to weight of shell. Therefore we 
can formulate the general rule that the growth of any mollusk 
is directly in proportion to the weight of the shell, which not 
only holds true for different species, but even for the different 
varieties of clams, as is seen by a comparison of the slow- 
growing, thick-shelled clams of gravel beaches with the fast, 
paper-shelled clams of the sandy flats. During the spawning 
season the clam shows no retardation of growth such as is 
manifest in the scallop. 

The annual growth of a scallop 25 millimeters in size repre- 
sents a gain in volume of 1,850 percent.; that of a 25-millimeter 
clam a gain in volume of 900 per cent. In the case of a quahaug 
of 25 millimeters there is an increase in volume of 527 per cent. 

Individual Variation. — Individual variation of clams with re- 
gard to growth is frequently found. Certain specimens seem to 
exhibit consistently slower growth, either from unfavorable posi- 
tion or from impaired feeding powers. In case of defective nutri- 
tion, shell formation is slow for a number of years, if not for the 
entire life of the animal, as in experiment No. 80, when a clam 
65 millimeters in size showed a gain of 4 millimeters for one and 
one-half years, as compared with the average gain of 13 milli- 
meters for clams of similar size under the same conditions. 

Malformations. — Every time a clam is disturbed in its bur- 
row there occurs a more or less pronounced growth line, which 



200 FISH AND GAME. 

is due to a slight check in its shell formation. Any injury to the 
shell which the clam is able to survive results in a greater or less 
deformity, therefore deformed clams are constantly to be found 
in natural flats, particularly in gravel and stony soils. 

Transplanting. — At first transplanting retards the rate of 
growth of the clam, since a variable length of time is required 
before it becomes accustomed to its new environment. For this 
reason, in planted beds the first month's growth is naturally less 
than the growth in subsequent months, and due allowance should 
be made in computing the results of short-time growth in any 
locality. Clams in certain beds scarcely show any change when 
transplanted, while others apparently take some time to adapt 
themselves to new environments. Such factors as date of plant- 
ing, length of time out of water and changes in natural condi- 
tions determine this period. 

"Cultivation" of Clams. — From the mistaken theory that the 
principles of vegetable cultivation should be applied to clams, 
the idea has been fostered among the fishermen that the con- 
tinual overturning of a flat by digging is beneficial for growth. 
The fallacy of this idea is apparent when one considers that 
clams are unlike vegetables, which obtain the greater portion 
of their sustenance from the soil. Except where clams are too 
thickly set to grow well, e.g., where there are too many mouths 
to feed, digging is not only of no use but is injurious. In case 
of a heavy set, it is good policy, by reducing the numbers, to 
aid nature in her work of establishing an equilibrium, since only 
a limited number to the square foot of surface can grow to the 
best advantage. 

To determine the actual value of "cultivation" an experiment 
was carried on in 1906 at Monomoy Point. Two small beds, 
x fa of an acre in area, were located side by side near the south- 
ern edge of the Powder Hole clam flat. The soil, a coarse sand, 
was carefully dug over on July 17, 1906, and 1,500 clams from 
48 to 58 millimeters in size were removed, showing that the area 
was productive ground. Owing to a slight current and long ex- 
posure, growth in this locality proved slow. Various sizes were 
planted ranging from 44 to 75 millimeters, an equal number in 
each bed. One bed was dug over with a clam hoe, without re- 
moving any clams, on the first of August, September and Octo- 
ber, while the other was left undisturbed. On Nov. 25, 1906, 
both were taken up, 5.94 quarts of clams being obtained from 
the undisturbed plot and 3.56 quarts from that which had been 



PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 



201 



dug over. A marked difference in favor of the undisturbed bed 
was found both in the size and number of clams. No difference 
was noticeable with regard to the catching of 1906 set in the two 
areas. 





Dug. 




Undug. 






Number. 


Size 
(Milli- 
meters). 


Number 

per 
Quart. 


Number. 


Size 
(Milli- 
meters). 


Number 

per 
Quart. 


July 17, 1906 

Nov. 25, 1906 


372 
150 


52.7 
58.7 


58.00 
42.17 


372 
240 


52.9 
59.5 


58.00 

40.38 



Conditions kegulating the Growth of the Clam. 
In tidal waters clams are present in abundance on some flats, 
in scattering quantities on others, and in many sections are en- 
tirely absent. A superficial observer may notice but little dif- 
ference in these areas; but certain definite conditions are essen- 
tial for the existence of the clam, and there is no more convincing 
illustration of the influence of environment than its effect upon 
the rate of growth. Among the surrounding natural forces may 
be enumerated current, tide, soil, depth and salinity of water, 
arranged in order of their relative importance, yet so closely 
interwoven that their separate action cannot always be clearly 
demonstrated. Any discussion of the conditions which form a 
favorable or unfavorable environment involves their separate 
treatment, but the reader should realize that there are few, if 
any, instances where the pure uncomplicated action of a single 
natural condition can be obtained. These factors naturally fall 
into three main groups: (1) the circulation of the water or the 
current; (2) the condition of the water; and (3) the character 
of the soil. 

Current. 
The most important factor in clam growth is a good current, 
not necessarily an exceedingly swift one, but rather a fair cir- 
culation of water. The varied services of the current render it 
of particular importance to the culturist in the selection of a 
grant since productive capacity of a clam flat is dependent almost 
wholly upon the circulation of water. In choice of a location the 
clam planter may follow the general rule that, as long as the flow 
of water does not affect his clams in other ways, the swifter cur- 



202 FISH AND GAME. 

rent gives the faster growth; yet it should be remembered that 
it has disadvantages as well as advantages, and that no hard 
and fast rule can be made. 

In general, current affects both the life and growth of the clam, 
but it is difficult to draw a sharp line of distinction, as any effect 
on growth directly or indirectly influences life. Under the former 
may be grouped sanitary service, effect on soil and usefulness in 
determining set. Under the latter may be classed the regulation 
of food, lime salts and oxygen. 

Food Carrier. — The current plays a most important part as 
food carrier. The clam obtains its nourishment from microscopic 
forms in the water, principally diatoms. These tiny organisms 
vary extremely in size and shape, and are readily recognized by 
their silicious cases and beautiful markings, which have won for 
them the name of "the jewels of the plant world." While dia- 
toms constitute a large proportion of the food of the clam, other 
forms, such as small unicellular and multicellular animals, bac- 
teria algse, and possibly soluble proteids are not negligible. 

Diatoms are distributed throughout all waters. Different lo- 
calities vary in abundance according to whether conditions are 
favorable for their reproduction. Brackish waters are especially 
prolific in food forms, since there is a mingling not only of the 
salt and fresh water forms but also of animals and plants peculiar 
pnly to brackish water. For this reason small bays, rivers and 
inlets, to which entering streams carry down from the land the 
nitrogenous salts, which form a source of nourishment for the 
diatoms, are favorable localities for clam growth; likewise, the 
high temperature of water in certain localities furnishes a favor- 
able condition for the reproduction of diatoms. 

As with lower animals the growth of the clam is directly pro- 
portional to the amount of food consumed, and an animal situ- 
ated in a current naturally receives a greater supply than one 
in still water. For all practical purposes current means food, 
and to a certain extent an increase in current indicates an in- 
crease in the amount of available food. Diatoms are of two 
kinds, pelagic and stalked, the first of which float free in the 
water, while the second, unless detached, are fastened to the 
soil. The clam draws from a limited area around its siphon, 
and when aided by the action of the wind and waves, which 
dislodge stationary forms, it can feed upon both kinds. Since 
it is a stationary animal, with limited feeding range, it is obvious 
that a point of maximum food assimilation can be obtained 



PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 203 

where the clam is unable to take in any more food no matter 
how swift the current. For this reason the term current, as used 
here, implies only a good circulation of water and not an exceed- 
ingly swift flow. 

Oxygen Bearer. — For years it has been a well-known obser- 
vation that clam growth is more rapid where water is constantly 
in circulation than is the case in still water. It has commonly 
been considered that difference in rate of growth was due to in- 
creased amount of food, the clam in the current being most 
bounteously supplied; but rapid growth from good circulation 
is a more complex problem than simple increase in available 
food supply. Five factors determine the amount of food con- 
sumed by a clam: (a) the amount of food brought by the cur- 
rent; (b) the quantity of oxygen absorbed from the water; (c) 
the time of feeding as regulated by exposure of the tidal flat; 
(d) the freedom of the water from contamination or silt, which 
interfere with the automatic feeding of the clam; and (e) the 
action of wind and waves upon the surface of the flat. 

The relation of the first three factors is quite intricate, and 
the exact proportion that each contributes to the increase in 
growth is somewhat problematical as far as figures are concerned. 
Current brings both increased food and oxygen to the animal, 
as well as serving as a stimulus to its feeding. Oxygen, perhaps, 
plays a greater part in growth than actual amount of food con- 
sumed, since it is necessary for body metabolism and for stimulat- 
ing the feeding activities of the clam. An experiment was made 
at Monomoy Point in 1907 to determine the relation between 
assimilation of food and rate of growth of quahaugs in still and 
swiftly flowing water, the results of which are equally appli- 
cable to the clam. In this connection actual increase in food 
forms by means of the circulation of the water was alone con- 
sidered. 

Small nets of silk bolting cloth (No. 11) 2 inches in diameter 
and 4 inches long were so arranged as to rotate on a steel rod 
like a weather vane. Two nets, identical in every respect, were 
used, one of which was placed 6 inches below the surface of the 
water over a quahaug bed, in still water which was 2 feet deep 
at low tide; the other was placed 2| feet below the surface of 
the water over quahaugs bedded in sand boxes suspended from 
a raft in a good circulation of water. These nets remained ex- 
tended in the water, and on the slightest provocation would 
swing on a pivot, so that their openings always faced the cur- 



204 FISH AND GAME. 

rent. After having been down a certain number of hours they 
were taken up and the food which had been collected was washed 
into 15 cubic centimeters of water and counted in the Rafter 
cell. The approximate number of standard units in each case 
was determined. Three parallel sets were made, ranging from 
eight to eighteen hours in duration. 

The total number of standard units present in the current per 
cubic centimeter was 2,188,800; in still water, 1,612,800, giving 
a gain of 35.7 per cent, in favor of the current. The annual 
growth of quahaugs in the current showed a gain of 24.5 milli- 
meters, or 612 per cent, in volume, as compared with a gain of 
13.62 millimeters, or 241 per cent., in the still water, less than 
two-fifths as much. It is apparent that the 35.7 per cent, gain 
in food supply cannot account for the much greater difference 
in growth, which is due undoubtedly to increased quantity of 
oxygen furnished by the current, its utilization in body metabo- 
lism and stimulation of feeding apparatus of the animal, since 
other factors, such as silt and wave action, were absent in this 
case. These figures at best are only approximate, but are suf- 
ficient to illustrate that there is a great discrepancy in deduction 
based solely upon the actual increase in the quantity of food 
forms and the rate of growth. Therefore we may safely con- 
clude that the other important factor, oxygen, may be of even 
greater import to the clam. 

Oxygen increases the growth in two ways, (1) by increasing 
the metabolic functions of the clam and (2) by stimulation of 
its feeding proclivities, but so closely are they connected that 
it is impossible to determine their relative values. Oxygen is 
necessary to the life and feeding of the clam since with increased 
amount of available oxygen bodily functions are performed more 
readily. Observations upon clams in an aquarium, in still or 
even stagnant water, showed that such specimens feed but a 
small portion of the time. For the most part they lay in a semi- 
dormant condition, with siphons partly extended, but not feed- 
ing. When the water was agitated by blowing upon the surface 
the clams soon extended their siphons and began to feed actively, 
showing that their feeding activity depends to a great extent 
upon circulation of the water. This fact explains why prac- 
tically no growth is evident in clams kept in still-water aquaria. 

Lime Furnisher. — Similarly, current furnishes the clam with 
a solution of lime salts, which are utilized in building its shell, 
a process most essential to growth. An intimate relation exists 



PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 205 

between the amount of ingested food and lime, the absorption 
of the one depending upon the assimilation of the other. The 
shell increases in proportion to the growth of the soft parts, and 
unless the supply of lime salts is sufficient, growth is retarded. 
The lime salts are obtained from the water (this can be demon- 
strated by growing clams out of the sand), and are probably 
transformed through bodily activity into suitable form for shell 
secretion. The amount of lime in solution varies in different 
localities, but this variation is largely obviated by the current. 
Water deficient in lime salts but having a good current will pro- 
duce a better shell than still water rich in minerals, although in 
localities of rapid growth, where lime is scarce the shell is likely 
to be thin and fragile. 

The importance of temperature in shell formation should not 
be overlooked. Practically all shell formation takes place during 
the summer months, growth nearly ceasing during winter. Al- 
though the food supply is not correspondingly diminished, cold 
water renders the animal torpid, and inhibits its activities in 
feeding and shell secretion. For this reason little growth takes 
place during the winter, as temperature is the controlling factor 
in the regulation of growth rate and shell formation. 

Sanitary Agent. — The work of the current as a sanitary agent 
consists in carrying away products of decomposition and thus 
preventing contamination in thickly planted beds. More clams 
to the square foot may be planted in a current than in still 
water, where the decay of a few specimens affects others in the 
same bed. Similarly, current prevents the spread of disease, in- 
stances having been noted where whole beds of thickly set clams 
have apparently perished, although at present little is known 
concerning the diseases attacking the clam. Current also sweeps 
from the surface of a flat any deposits of silt, and dead eelgrass 
or organic matter, thus affording a sanitary environment for the 
clam. 

Influence on Set. — The influence of current on the set of 
young clams has been described in a previous portion of this 
report. The set is due to the relation of tidal currents to shore 
formation, inasmuch as larva-bearing streams are deflected by 
projecting shores and small clams are deposited mechanically to 
the sides of the current or in the slack water of the eddies. 

Action on the Flat. — Current affects the existence of the clam 
by disturbing the surface of the flat and thus interfering with 
its feeding. If a current is too strong it causes a shifting which 



206 FISH AND GAME. 

may prevent set and even destroy adult clams. For this reason 
too swift a current is unfavorable for clam culture. 

Summary. — Current possesses many advantages, as in the 
role of food carrier, oxygen bearer, lime furnisher, sanitary agent 
and set producer; but it also has the disadvantage of possible 
excessive action, causing shifting flats, destruction of clams and 
prevention of set. Nevertheless, by wise selection of his grant, 
a culturist may avoid these disadvantages. 

Water. 
Materials present in water, organic and inorganic, soluble and 
insoluble, regulate to some extent the growth of the clam. The 
soluble constituents, comprising nitrogenous salts for the growth 
of the food forms (diatoms) and lime salts for shell formation, 
indirectly affect rapidity of growth. The insoluble material, such 
as silt and sediment, tends to interfere with the feeding of the 
clam, which mechanically throws off an excess of food and silt 
by means of its gills, thus instituting an unconscious "hunger 
strike. " On the other hand, the insoluble food forms furnish 
practically all the nourishment. In addition, the physical char- 
acteristics of the water, such as salinity, temperature, depth and 
tide, influence growth. 

Salinity. — Clams will grow in practically all degrees of salin- 
ity. Experimental beds have been successfully planted in waters 
ranging from 1.004 to 1.024, and clams from the natural flats 
between these two extremes have shown little difference in 
growth. Clams situated in rivers where there is a great rise and 
fall of the tide frequently have changes from 10 to 15 points 
in salinity within six hours, and yet suffer no ill effects. It is 
of interest to the culturist to note that clams can be trans- 
planted from waters of low density to high, or vice versa, 
without apparent harm, an illustration of their hardihood as 
compared with the oyster, which is affected by slight changes 
in salinity. 

Temperature. — The temperature of the water is the under- 
lying factor which regulates the growth, habits and existence of 
marine animals. It differentiates a tropical fauna and flora from 
a temperate, and in a more limited way separates the animals 
of one locality from another. 

Its effect upon the spawning season and upon food produc- 
tion, particularly in tide pools, has already been mentioned. 
Temperature changes explain the fast summer and slow winter 



PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 207 

growth, in that the clam's activities in the assimilation of food 
and in the secretion of shell are stimulated by warm water, 
while the action of cold water causes the clam to become slug- 
gish. High temperature is of more importance in shell forma- 
tion than high salinity, as the activity of the animal rather than 
the amount of salts in the water is the controlling factor. 

Depth. — Little difference in growth was found at various 
depths, as observed in boxes suspended from a raft at Monomoy 
Point. The relation of depth to growth could not be deter- 
mined on a large scale owing to the impossibility of recovering 
clams planted in deep water. In all probability the height of 
water over the flat is of little consequence, provided that there 
is a uniform distribution of food. In many instances the deeper 
layers of water in enclosed bays do not exhibit the same circu- 
lation as in shallow waters disturbed by wind and wave action; 
but in tidal rivers the deeper waters may have a stronger current. 
Since the habitat of the clam is between tide lines, the question 
of depth is of minor importance. 

Tide. — Although the natural home of the clam is between 
high and low water mark, beds are frequently found below ex- 
treme low-water mark. Submerged beds have been reported by 
Kellogg (4) at the Salt Ponds at Woods Hole and West Fal- 
mouth in Massachusetts; Kickemuit River, W T ickford, and Salt 
Pond, Point Judith, in Rhode Island; at Sag Harbor, Long 
Island. Other places in Massachusetts are the Merrimac River 
at Newburyport, Katama Bay, Edgartown, and Swansea. The 
difference in growth in beds continually submerged and those 
between the tide lines has been demonstrated by both Kellogg 
and Mead, as well as by our experiments in Massachusetts, prov- 
ing that the faster growth of submerged clams is due to a longer 
feeding period. 

Mead and Barnes (16) give interesting figures comparing 
growth between tide lines and below low-water mark in two 
sets of experimental boxes using similar sized clams. The boxes 
below low-water mark, suspended from the house boat, gave the 
following figures: July 7, 6.1 millimeters; August 4, 21.8 milli- 
meters, and September 30, 29 millimeters, as contrasted with 
the boxes between the tide lines, which gave July 7, 6.1 milli- 
meters; 13.9 millimeters August 4, and 23.7 millimeters Septem- 
ber 30. Kellogg (6) gives figures on the growth of the quahaug 
in a series running from high to low water, which exhibit an in- 
crease in growth of 145, 154 and 172 per cent., respectively, 



208 FISH AND GAME. 

as low-water mark is approached. Our experiments with both 
the quahaug and the clam have substantiated these results, 
which clearly indicate a lessened feeding period. Assuming that 
the clam feeds continually when under water, an increased expo- 
sure daily materially lessens the amount of food consumed. This 
assumption is open to the criticism that lower beds have a better 
circulation of water and therefore a faster growth, but this ob- 
jection was eliminated by parallel experiments in the raft boxes 
and on the flat at Monomoy Point, where the only difference was 
exposure. Clams in the raft boxes gave a greater annual gain in 
length than flat clams a few feet away. 

Soil. 

Soil is a less important factor in clam growth than is com- 
monly supposed, and is by no means as valuable an asset to the 
culturist as current. Soil affects the growth of the clam in two 
ways, directly by affording a resting place for the clam, and in- 
directly by regulating the quantity of food. The soil, which 
furnishes a breeding ground for microscopic food forms, varies 
greatly in productive capacity and thus indirectly affects the 
growth of the clam. The action of waves and wind causes the 
stationary and motile food forms upon the surface of the soil 
to be washed off into the water, where they are available for 
the clam. The direct action of the soil upon the growth of the 
clam, on the other hand, is largely mechanical and depends upon 
the composition of various constituents of the flat. Soils may 
be placed in two groups, those below low-water mark and those 
between tide lines. Clams live in both places but the numbers 
below low-water mark are relatively small compared with the 
greater quantity between the tide lines, and for that reason only 
the latter class, the tidal flats, will be considered. 

Kellogg (4) states that a tenacious sand (fine sand mixed with 
a little cementing mud) furnishes the best medium for growth. 
Clams will live in nearly every kind of soil provided it is not 
shifting sand or soft mud. Even in such instances exceptions 
are frequently found, clams often being present where there is a 
moderate shift or where the flat is not unduly exposed to storms, 
and large clams are occasionally found in extremely soft mud. 
However, to insure best growth soil should be free from decay- 
ing organic matter such as is frequently present in soft mud. 
The soil should be of a firm consistency, not readily affected by 
storms and currents, and free from substances injurious to the 



PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 209 

clam. Any soil possessing these qualifications, regardless of the 
exact nature of its composition, is suitable for clam growth. 

Our classification of soils, after the method of the geological 
survey, was made on a purely mechanical basis by measuring the 
grains under the microscope and grouping soils according to the 
size of the particles. By this table soils were classified into three 
main divisions, sand, mud and gravel, with many intervening 
combinations. The actual areas of the different kinds of flats in 
Massachusetts is approximately 6,269 acres of sand flats, 7,111 
of mud, 2,125 of gravel, and 5,580 of eelgrass and mussels, form- 
ing a total of 21,085 acres, of which 1,878 afford good clamming 
and 3,233 scattered clams. 

Sand. — There are two classes of sand, fine and coarse, the 
former including a tenacious mixture of mud and sand, and the 
latter almost fine gravel. Except for the fine particles which 
cement together the larger grains sand flats are usually free of 
sediment. The flats of fine sand in the Ipswich Bay region are 
swept by river currents, and at times approach in character the 
rippled shifting sands of the exposed beaches. The coarse sand 
flats of the south side of Cape Cod, which are under the influence 
only of the rise and fall of the tide, frequently are covered with 
a crust of algae and diatoms which afford stability and protection 
against shifting. The clammers in these sections use two different 
types of clam hoe; for the fine, compact sand in the Ipswich 
Bay section a thin-pronged hoe is used; in the coarse sands of 
southern Massachusetts, one which is broad-pronged is employed. 
The thin-pronged digger is useless in coarse sand as it slips 
through the loosely packed grains, while in the compact sand 
a broad-pronged digger necessitates superfluous labor. The type 
of shell in sand flats is smooth and homogeneous as contrasted 
with the rough gravel or mud clam, and the color is white. 

Mud. — In the case of mud flats we find a greater diversifica- 
tion of class, ranging from compact clay on one hand to coarse, 
soft mud on the other, and of variable composition. This type 
of flat is usually situated where there is little current or where 
the tidal streams carry down silt and other material from the 
land. Thus certain flats in a harbor will be sand and others 
mud, the former being swept by strong currents, the latter lying 
in more quiet waters. Occasionally two other factors enter into 
the formation of mud flats, viz., eelgrass and mussel beds, the 
first serving as a lodging place for the deposit of silty material, 
which in its decay forms a layer of mud upon a previously hard 



210 FISH AND GAME. 

flat, while the second collects the silt and deposits it beneath the 
layers of mussels. Under changing natural conditions mud flats 
are continually being formed and altered, chiefly by the varied 
action of currents. In such locations the type of shell present is 
similar both to the gravel and to the sand clam; and although 
lighter than the former it is heavier, broader and rougher in tex- 
ture than the latter, but still not as irregular as is the shell of 
the gravel clam. 

The quantity of food on mud flats is relatively greater than 
on sand flats, in spite of algse and diatomaceous crust, since 
diatoms reproduce more quickly on a mud bottom. This fact 
is indicated by comparing growth during summer and winter 
on sand and mud flats in Plymouth Harbor, where sand flats 
gave a greater summer growth and mud flats a greater winter 
increase. During the summer the better circulating water over 
the sand flats contains a greater quantity of food forms, while 
during the winter the measure of food is less and the clams less 
active. The mud clam, with a larger food supply at hand, is 
enabled to obtain more nourishment in the cold weather. 

In addition to smothering clams, soft mud is unsatisfactory 
when there is considerable decaying organic material present 
which injures the shell and secreting edge of the mantle. The 
fine particles clog the gills, and by thus interfering with the 
mechanical feeding process eventually starve it or seriously in- 
hibit growth. Slime on the surface of the soil prevents the set 
of small clams, making a flat virtually unproductive. Yet large 
clams have been found by the writer in mud so soft that a clam- 
mer would sink ankle deep in it. Clams will invariably grow 
when planted on hard mud flats, the rate of growth depending 
rather upon circulation of water than upon the character of the 
soil. 

Gravel. — Gravel flats are less extensive than either sand or 
mud flats, but clams are nearly always present in varying abun- 
dance, though many apparently superior sand and mud flats are 
unproductive. The shells of these clams are often rough and 
distorted and lined with coarse growth lines, since gravel and 
stones by pressure warp their form. The weight of their shells 
is greater than is the case with sand and mud clams, since their 
environment necessitates a strong protecting case. While soil 
thus exerts an indirect influence upon the shell of the clam, 
actual nourishment and lime salts are obtained directly from the 
water. All classes of gravel from fine to stony, usually with a 



PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 211 

mixture of mud or sand, are found along the narrow tidal 
beaches. 

Unproductive Soils. — Between the tide lines are found two 
classes of flats, productive and unproductive or barren. Often 
these differ markedly, but at other times appear to be alike, 
except that one produces clams while the other does not. Even 
different parts of a single flat may vary in this respect, as in one 
harbor a certain type of flat may furnish good clamming while 
in another harbor the same style, similarly situated to all appear- 
ances, is unprolific. Usually the boundary line is sharply marked. 
Chemically there is little difference except that in some flats more 
or less organic matter is present, and analysis of the soils throws 
little light upon the subject. 

Unproductive flats may be subdivided into two classes, per- 
manent and temporary. The latter includes those flats which 
for some reason never catch set, but upon which clams will grow 
when planted, and those flats which, owing to changing natural 
conditions, are temporarily unproductive, although this latter 
type may become permanently unproductive if old conditions 
do not return. In such cases large beds of clams are suddenly 
destroyed, the shells remaining upright in the soil in large 
numbers, as in the case in Pine Creek, Plum Island, and on 
Greys Flat, Plymouth Harbor. The other type of temporarily 
unproductive flats is well adapted to clam culture, and it is a 
material object of this report to indicate how thousands of acres 
may be reclaimed. The term permanently barren flats includes 
a large proportion of the tidal flats of the Commonwealth which 
are of three kinds, — those which can never be reclaimed, those 
that may be utilized only after considerable expense, and those 
which may be made productive at a comparatively slight cost. 
Let us therefore consider some types of unproductive flats and 
note how they can be utilized. 

(1) Eelgrass. — Many flats, e.g., those in Plymouth Harbor, 
are overgrown with thick eelgrass and have accumulated heavy 
deposits of soft mud, raising the surface above its normal level. 
By gradual encroachment of eelgrass, flats once productive have 
become barren, and if it were not for continual digging certain 
productive flats might be ruined in this way. The presence of 
eelgrass is brought about by natural changes in current and tide. 
The reclamation of an eelgrass flat, though difficult, may be 
brought about by destroying the grass and roots and allowing 
the current to carry off muddy deposits. In a certain sense some 



212 FISH AND GAME. 

eelgrass is beneficial, as it prevents the erosion and makes some 
flats inhabitable for clams. Decaying eelgrass in soil, shutting 
off of circulation, and the collection of slime and silt seriously 
interfere with the growth and life of the clam and render eel- 
grass an undesirable feature. 

(2) Mussels. — Clams are occasionally found in mussel beds, 
but in such instances they are either the young which have been 
caught in the tangled byssal threads of the mussels, or a few 
large specimens which have been able to survive, despite the 
accumulation of mud. When so situated growth is somewhat 
impaired, since both species utilize the same microscopic food 
forms. The mistaken impression that clams are more abundant 
in mussel beds arises from the fact that these localities are not 
dug as constantly as are other flats. As a matter of fact, the 
actual number of marketable clams in a mussel bed, especially 
when there is considerable mud, is rather small. 

Small clams are found both in the soil under the mussels and 
attached to their byssal strands. The prevalence of young clams 
in such a position is easily explained by the fact that the mussel 
beds act as spat collectors, both catching and protecting the 
larvae as they settle from the water, whereas clams setting upon 
an open, unprotected flat are soon washed away. In such in- 
stances, the young clams either burrow amid the mussels or in 
the near-by mud. However, not only the "set" but also the"- 
small clams washed across these beds are caught. In the case 
of Wind Flat, Plymouth, the presence of clams in mussel beds, 
and their absence elsewhere, may be explained by these facts. 

Mussels eventually ruin a clam flat by gradual encroachment. 
At first a few small specimens collect on a good flat, and as they 
grow, others are caught, with resulting enlargement of the bed. 
If conditions are favorable, fine silt soon collects and the bed 
extends itself over the surface of the flat, placing over the hard 
soil a top layer of soft mud formed in part by accumulated 
debris and in part by deposition of mud from the gills of the 
mussels. Thus, flats may be rendered practically useless for 
clam growth but may be reclaimed by removal of the mussels, 
which necessitates considerable labor unless winter currents and 
ice come to the aid of the planter. 

In the midst of a large mussel bed an experimental clam bed, 
comprising 196 square feet, was planted for the purpose of deter- 
mining the actual influence exerted by mussels upon the growth 
of -clams, both with regard to soil and food, and to obtain a com- 



PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 213 

parison of results and growth with beds on the sand portions of 
Wind and Whites flats. The soil utilized was a dark, soft mud, 
rich in organic material, deposited by mussels on what was orig- 
inally a sand flat swept by an excellent current. 

Wind Flat, centrally located in Plymouth Harbor, lies to the 
west of Long Beach, and is separated from Whites Flat on the 
north by Goose Point Channel. It comprises an area of approxi- 
mately 135 acres, of which 45 on the northwest side are covered 
with eelgrass and about 30 acres to the southeast are set with 
mussels. The dark soil among the mussels and in the eelgrass 
is in many places soft and muddy, while the remainder, which 
is slightly lower but without clams, is sandy. In 1906, among 
the scattering mussels, which shift from year to year with the 
ice, were clams of the 1904, 1905 and 1906 sets, the last in 
larger numbers. 

The bed planted Oct. 27, 1906, was taken up Aug. 16, 1907, 
having been in for a period of nine and two-thirds months. The 
clams showed a gain in length of 21.02 millimeters for clams 38.5 
millimeters in size when planted, which would make the gain in 
length in terms of a standard 25-millimeter clam 29 millimeters, 
or a gain in volume of 1,019 per cent., hardly as rapid as the 
tide and current would indicate. Undoubtedly, rapid growth is 
slightly prevented by excessive silt gathered by mussels, the pos- 
sible but improbable decrease in the food supply, and formation 
of organic acids in the soil, which interfere with shell formation. 

(3) Organic Material. — Clams are usually absent in soils 
which contain an abundance of organic matter. One reason is 
that the slimy surface prevents set; but in many instances clams 
when planted in these soils soon perish. Organic acids corrode 
their shells and interfere with the shell-forming properties of the 
mantle. Such soils indicate a lack of drainage, and clams do not 
grow as well in such places as in better drained soils. The lower 
layers of such are dark, show insufficient aeration, and in certain 
types give forth a hydrogen sulphide odor. In some there is an 
abundance of decaying matter, such as disintegrating clams, 
dead eelgrass, shells, worms and other material which produce a 
foul odor. The conditions which are unfavorable for the growth 
of the clam seem favorable for certain worms, creating the im- 
pression that worms are the cause of the absence of clams, 
whereas underlying conditions are the real cause. In certain 
rivers, particularly the Charles, Mystic and Taunton, clam flats 
have been ruined in certain localities by accumulations of manu- 



214 FISH AND GAME. 

facturing wastes, chiefly of the petroleum group, which not only 
render clams unpalatable but reduce the surface of the flats to 
a state unfit for receiving clam set, and finally in extreme cases 
actually destroy adults. 

(4) Shifting Sand. — Clams are rarely found on exposed shores. 
Shifting sand, the habitat of the sea clam (Madra), does not per- 
mit the growth of the soft clam, which is native to the more 
sheltered flats and beaches. Kellogg (4) states that it is impos- 
sible for clams to live where there is much shifting of the bottom, 
and that a somewhat tenacious soil is desirable. He states in his 
report: — 

Clams are sometimes found in beds of almost pure sand, but in such 
cases the water currents disturb the bottom very little. Even when es- 
tablished in such localities, however, their condition is precarious, for a 
gale or an unusually strong tide may at any time overwhelm them. 
i 

While shifting sands are as a rule an indication of unproduc- 
tivity, set will lodge wherever a suitable opportunity is offered, 
as is shown by the following instance. The stretch of exposed 
sandy shore, on the eastern side of Buzzards Bay, between Quis- 
set Harbor and West Falmouth, is occasionally broken by jutting 
rocky promontories which afford a little protection by breaking 
the force of the waves. Within this sheltered space clams were 
obtained in a stony soil, although the rest of the beach was en- 
tirely barren. 

Flats of fine sand are more compact and can resist fairly strong 
current of water before the surface becomes deeply rippled, while 
deeper layers are undisturbed. For this reason adult clams in 
this compact soil, with a good food supply, are little -affected. 
Nevertheless, such flats are usually barren, because young clams 
do not gain a permanent foothold. Quantities of set are occa- 
sionally found on slightly rippled flats, but eventually they wash 
away. This type of flat responds readily to artificial culture, 
provided shifting is not too severe and that large seed is planted, 
although there is some risk attached to such selection, since 
storms and high running tides are also to be contended with. 

The flats of Monomoy Point afforded opportunities for obser- 
vation upon the effect of shifting in flats of coarse sand. Clams, 
particularly large specimens, will stand a considerable amount of 
shifting, as was observed in the advancement of shifting sand 
from a new inlet of the ocean over a clam bed on the Powder 
Hole Flats. Records were made of the depth of this shift and 



PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 215 

the clams found at various parts at weekly intervals. The clams 
withstood it surprisingly well, as they were found living beneath 
an added layer of at least 4 inches deep in some cases. Although 
such a shift may not at once destroy a bed of large clams, it 
stops their growth by interfering with their feeding, as the con- 
stant rubbing of sand against the shell causes withdrawal of the 
sensitive siphon. 

Reclamation of Unproductive Areas. — The important problem 
at hand is the development of the waste areas and the barren 
flats of the seacoast, while at the same time the yield of the 
areas once productive is increased by allowing the fishermen to 
reclaim such territories. The means by which this may be ac- 
complished at present, although there are undoubtedly many 
other available methods, are briefly as follows: — 

(1) Natural Changes. — Nature is constantly changing. From 
year to year the coast line varies and slight influences frequently 
result in great alterations. The shifting of a current may either 
make or destroy a clam flat, soft mud flats may become hard, 
eelgrass may be swept away, shifting flats may be made firm, or 
the reverse may be true. 

(2) Planting. — Certain barren areas are in such good condi- 
tion that it is necessary merely to plant them with seed clams 
to make them productive. This type of flat would produce clams 
except for certain peculiarities which do not permit the set to 
catch, and unless artificially aided remain barren. Clam culture 
is especially advocated for such places, as there are thousands 
of acres which if properly handled might become of value to the 
fishermen. 

(3) Hardening. — Soft mud may be artificially transformed 
into a good clam flat. At Newburyport an eelgrass flat with a 
surface layer of soft mud was converted into a productive hard 
flat by digging. A strong current removed the loosened material, 
and a new flat about 1 foot lower than the original was formed. 
The surface of a soft flat may also be made firm by covering with 
sand or gravel, either through the agency of a storm or manual 
labor. Instances of flats being formed in this way by dredging 
deposits in Plymouth Harbor and in the Annisquam River at 
Gloucester are on record. In these cases the material dredged 
from the channel was dumped upon unproductive flats and 
formed a firm surface for catching seed clams. 

(4) Elevation and Drainage. — A comparison of clam growth 
in elevated beds with that in natural flats at North Plymouth 



216 FISH AND GAME. 

gave valuable as well as interesting results. In the course of 
this work three artificially elevated beds, each with a control on 
the natural flat, were placed in different locations on the shore 
flats, most generally located in soft mud, while a fourth was 
placed on Greys Flat. The prepared beds were located in similar 
soil, but bounded by boards which raised their surfaces an aver- 
age of 10 inches above the level of the surrounding flat. The 
soil of these elevated beds soon became firm, apparently owing 
to the better drainage secured. The original purpose of this 
experiment was to determine the effect of drainage upon growth, 
but it was later ascertained that this was simply a minor factor 
in a large problem. 

The first experiment, beds Nos. Ill and 112, were located in a 
shore area of mud and sand, where clams naturally grew abun- 
dantly, but slowly, about 50 feet from mean high-water mark, 
just at the beginning of a channel leading eastward through eel- 
grass-covered flats. Both the elevated bed, No. Ill, and the 
control, No. 112, were covered with water about fourteen hours 
out of the twenty-four. 

The second experiment, beds Nos. 109 and 110, were located 
to the south of this channel on flats covered with eelgrass and 
soft mud. The control, No. 109, had a surface of soft mud from 
4 to 5 inches deep, upon a layer of hard brown mud in which 
the clams rested. No natural clams were found in this soil, and. 
it was of such a consistency as to permit one to sink ankle deep. 
The elevated bed, No. 110, had a surface of hard mud about 10 
inches above the level of the flat. 

The third experiment, beds Nos. 107 and 108, were situated 
about 150 feet from shore on a mixed soil of mud, sand and 
rocks, covered with a slimy ooze. In spite of this slime a con- 
siderable number of clams grew here naturally. Bed No. 107, 
which was raised 12 inches above the flat, was not slimy. The 
growth was followed regularly from 1907 to 1910, and showed 
appreciable variation. In terms of 100 per cent, for the box 
bed, the growth in length for the control bed was for 1907, 
51.43 per cent.; 1908, 85.21 per cent.; and 1909, 73.53 per 
cent., an average of 70.06 per cent. 

The fourth experiment, bed No. 134, was tried on Greys Flat 
in soft mud and eelgrass, where there was no natural set. The 
growth in the raised box was approximately the same as in ex- 
periment No. Ill, while none of the clams in the control bed 
survived. 







»ai'- * *»< 



^V. % 














»A"- 



i 



* *,i 



> ■%v , .'S 



PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 



217 



Results showed that the growth in the raised beds was about 
twice as fast as in the controls. 



Beds. 


Gain in Length (Per 
Cent.). 


Gain in Volume (Per 
Cent.). 


Box Bed. 


Control. 


Box Bed. 


Control. 


Ill and 112 

109 and 110, 

107 and 108 


100 
100 
100 


33.24 
54.71 
70.06 


100 
100 
100 


30.95 
41.66 
56.89 


Average, 


100 


52.67 


100 


43.17 



Drainage as an individual problem was tested at Monomoy 
Point in 1907 with negative results. Four beds were planted 
in different parts of the Powder Hole Flat, each consisting of 
two parts, one a water-tight butter firkin, sunk to a point level 
with the surface of the sand to serve as the undrained portion, 
and the other the natural clam flat. Three sizes of clams, 75, 
55 and 45 millimeters, were planted in each division, and the 
rate of growth in each bed was obtained for six months. 

This experiment showed conclusively that there was practically 
no difference in growth between the two types of beds, the un- 
drained portion giving an increase of 140.7 per cent, and the 
drained 136.7 per cent, from May 8 to October 15, for clams 
averaging 50 millimeters in length when planted. The slow 
growth recorded was due to the long exposure of the flats, which 
were scarcely covered three hours out of twenty-four during this 
period, and at times were exposed continually for a week or 
more during low running tides. 

The mere fact that raised beds are better drained and have 
harder and more compact soil does not account for the increased 
growth. Elevation above the flat is probably an important fac- 
tor, since it allows a better circulation of water, particularly on 
the eelgrass flats. Also, clams so located are protected from silt, 
soft mud and slime, and have more freedom in feeding and waste 
less energy in casting off surplus material which might clog their 
delicate gills. In experimenting with quahaugs it was found 
that raised beds, although continually under water, gave a 
greater growth than did those on the surface, a fact to be ex- 
plained by the protection afforded the quahaug while feeding. 

Whatever explanation might truly be given, growth in an ele- 
vated bed is faster than on the natural, soft, undrained flat. 



218 FISH AND GAME. 

Methods of reclaiming soft flats, especially when covered with 
grass, might be based on this principle of raising the level of 
certain parts with gravel and sand. 

(5) Thatch. — Thatch is present on the higher portions of 
many clam flats, varying yearly in amount and location. If 
clams are to be found anywhere they will be discovered in thatch 
banks, imbedded in the wirelike roots of the plants. Kellogg (3) 
considers these areas of inestimable value as refuges for breeding 
clams, owing to the difficulty of commercial digging in such 
places. In certain harbors, like that at Barnstable, ice tears out 
great pieces of marsh turf and the tides sweep them down the 
harbor. Some are torn to pieces and wash away, others find 
lodgment on the broad surface of tidal flats. Sediment accumu- 
lates, grass grows, and gradually a thatch island is formed. Sur- 
rounding these islands and often growing over their entire sur- 
face, bedded among the roots, are thick sets of clams. Thatch 
islands become the natural spat collectors for the small clams, 
which later migrate to surrounding flats. * In this way barren 
flats are reclaimed naturally as the thatch prevents shifting of 
the surface and affords protection to the clams. The warm water 
of the thatch pools supplies an abundance of food forms, but on 
the other hand the decayed material and scum present are by 
no means beneficial. Clams in thatch usually grow slowly, owing 
to the difficulty of penetrating the thick mass of roots, lack of 
current and long exposure because of high elevation. In this 
connection it is interesting to consider the possibilities of reclaim- 
ing certain classes of barren flats by judicious planting of thatch, 
which gives tenacity to the soil and prevents shifting. Thatch 
is useful not only in catching seed but in preventing the washing 
away of small clams after they have set. This plan is now being 
carried out with apparent success by Mr. Marcus Howes of Barn- 
stable on a smooth clam flat swept by a strong current. 

Character of the Soil. — The effect soil indirectly exerts upon 
the clam by interfering with feeding as well as influencing food 
supply is of interest, since the character of the soil determines 
the amount of food and sediment that is in suspension in the 
water during strong winds. In some cases a great quantity 
of material is collected on the surface and when the water 
is disturbed it becomes roily and the clam is either forced to 
stop feeding or expend its energies in getting rid of these sub- 
stances, thus practically starving. This point was illustrated in 
a test at Monomoy Point in 1906 by keeping clams in jars of 



PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 219 

sand in the laboratory. The water in them was changed regu- 
larly, and one lot received the contents of the tow net with a 
great surplus of food, while the other was supplied simply with 
salt water. At the end of one month neither lot had grown any, 
showing that both from a lack of oxygen to stimulate feeding 
and from a surplus of food forms, which acted similarly to roil, 
the clams were able to make no growth. 

Growth out of the Soil. — Clams were placed in wire baskets 
and suspended from a raft, where they continued to grow more 
slowly than in their natural environment, thus proving that the 
clam gets its food and lime salts from the water and not from 
the soil. However, the unprotected nature of the clam renders 
this method of growth of little real value, as the mortality is 
much higher than with the quahaug, with its close, hard shell, 
and a good portion of the clams thus placed were lost. It is 
only interesting inasmuch as proving that they will live out of 
the sand. 

RECOMMENDATIONS. 

Restocking Barren Flats. — Two groups of flats come under the 
term barren: (1) flats which once produced clams in great num- 
bers but now are practically barren, except for small areas 
here and there; (2) flats which never have produced clams and 
on which, for physical reasons, clams can never grow. 

Experimental beds were planted on certain flats in the Essex 
River which come within the first group of barren flats. These, 
once productive, had been dug out and for some reason had not 
seeded naturally. Forty beds were laid out under all kinds of 
conditions, with the object of finding a means of making these 
productive once more. Results were all that could be hoped for. 
Out of a total of forty beds thirty-six were in thriving condition, 
in spite of the fact that no attempt was made to choose the best 
locations, the object being to test all conditions. Over two- 
thirds of the clams were redug, and the increase averaged at 
least 10 quarts for every quart planted. 

If vast areas of Massachusetts flats, at present idle, are capable 
of such rich yield, should such economic waste be allowed? Why 
should not the towns, by the expenditure of a little money, re- 
stock flats such as these for the benefit of their inhabitants? It 
is true that all fla"ts may not be productive in this way, as in 
many instances the mere sowing of seed clams will not restock 
them; but Massachusetts surely possesses enough flats of the 



220 FISH AND GAME. 

former nature to yield great profits to her clammers. Where 
clam set occurs it is usually present in fabulous quantities. The 
transportation of the seed clam is comparatively easy, and plant- 
ing requires but little labor when done by sowing, which is the 
most practical means. It can readily be seen that all things 
taken into consideration the yield in proportion to the labor is 
very great. 

Brood Grounds. — For the ultimate conservation of the clam 
supply in any given locality or harbor it is strongly recommended 
that digging be prohibited on certain flats, which should be set 
aside for "brood grounds." Small sections, not oyer an acre in 
size, should be located at various points and zealously guarded, 
since mature clams so protected will furnish sufficient spawn to 
seed the other flats. To a limited extent Nature does this by 
means of the large clams hidden in thatch banks and below 
low-water mark, where they are free from molestation. It is 
necessary that man assist Nature in this work of propagation by 
guarding such brood grounds. 

Size Limit. — Inadequate territory and constantly increasing 
demands have led to certain abusive methods. One means par- 
ticularly in point is the universal custom of digging small clams 
for food. In certain vicinities, where the supply of suitable clams 
proves insufficient, people will gladly take "anything with a shell 
on," so that it is now no uncommon sight to see clams of little 
over one inch in length for sale. This deplorable condition is 
fostered by the custom of digging under water, since the fine 
mesh of the woven-wire basket used retains even the smallest 
clams, which in most cases are saved for market. 

No quicker way of destroying the industry than this method 
of digging small clams for food could have been devised. One 
barrel of these clams produces approximately 10 barrels of mar- 
ketable clams if left for one year under favorable circum- 
stances. Thus, when a clammer digs 1 barrel of immature 
clams, in reality he is destroying 10 barrels. 

Because of the inherent difficulties of the problem, local regu- 
lations seem powerless to stop this evil. Clammers, while they 
know that these methods, if long continued will ultimately have 
fatal results, nevertheless seem willing to sacrifice the future sup- 
ply upon the altar of present demand. 

Perhaps it might prove difficult to enforce laws preventing the 
digging of seed clams by individuals for their own use; but there 
is pressing need of legislation which would prevent the sale of 



PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 221 

small clams in the public market, and thus deprive the practice 
of its worst features. 

Closed Seasons. — Closed seasons in themselves have proved a 
failure in respect to the clam industry of Massachusetts, and 
unless accompanied by cultural methods they accomplish little. 
The mere fact that towns close their flats totally or in part for a 
definite period does not to any appreciable extent relieve the 
situation, inasmuch as when the flats are again opened to the 
.public the increased amount of clams which have accumulated 
during the closed season are more rapidly marketed by a larger 
number of clammers. In but one respect is a closed season a 
logical and economical means of increasing the clam supply, and 
that is when combined with clam farming. In this way the 
market will not be overflooded, more men will not be enticed 
into the business for short-time periods, and the situation of the 
clammers will be materially improved. 

Grants as Spat Collectors. — The chief object of the clam cul- 
turist should be to so arrange the location of his grant as to 
make it catch the seed clams. The culturist who is able to 
select a grant which seeds itself naturally, or to take advantage 
of its contour so that he may be enabled to increase the natural 
set by artificial means, will have a great advantage over one 
forced to pay for the transplantation. If more intensive study 
were given this problem, and efforts made to develop the indus- 
try along these lines, much would be accomplished toward put- 
ting clam farming upon a very remunerative basis. 

Improved Methods of Shipment. — Improvements in the methods 
of handling and transporting shellfish are much to be desired. 
Such injurious practices as "floating," which, although more 
prevalent in the scallop and oyster industries, are applicable to 
the clam, are to be deplored, mainly because of the unsanitary 
conditions under which they are carried on. 

Since the advent of cold storage advances in the preservation 
of food mollusks have naturally followed, but the product of our 
modern plants, though perfectly edible, is noticeably inferior in 
food value. Results obtained are generally not nearly as good 
as are obtained with fish. Rapid transportation from the pro- 
ducer to the consumer is essential, as is also careful packing to 
guarantee arrival in perfect condition. With proper facilities in 
the form of shipping stations for repacking and icing consign- 
ments en route, there is no evident reason why clams should not 
be shipped even in warm weather to our western States. 



222 FISH AND GAME. 



TABLES. 

The following tables, which were formulated during the in- 
vestigation, are presented for the use of the clam culturist in 
determining the productivity of new ground. 

The method of procedure in determining the growth on a 
prospective grant for a series of years by means of these tables 
is as follows: — 

(1) The culturist must obtain the growth for a definite period 
of not less than two months during the summer by planting a 
small experimental bed with clams of a known size. The sim- 
plest way is to notch the edges with a file, then the new 
growth can readily be measured when they are taken up. The 
reason for having the growing period no less than two summer 
months is due to the slow growth immediately after transplant- 
ing, as described under " Transplanting. " The planter then has 
at hand the following data: (a) size planted; (6) gain in length 
for a certain known time, e.g., in one instance 40-millimeter 
clams grew to 48.92 millimeters, a gain of 8.92 millimeters from 
July 1 to September 1. 

(2) By means of Table 1 (monthly values) we find that the 
annual growth at Monomoy Point is therefore 27.68 millimeters. 

(3) Table 2 reduces the gain of a 40-millimeter to that of a 
25-millimeter clam, which is used as a uniform standard in the 
experiments of this department. By multiplying with the factor 
1.428, in this example the result will be 39.53 millimeters. 

(4) From Table 3 the gain in volume is obtained by dividing 
the water displacement or number per quart of a 64.53-milli- 
meter clam by that of a 25-millimeter, which gives 1,763 per 
cent., or 17.6 quarts for every quart planted. 

(5) By Table 4 the growth on the grant can be calculated to 
four and one-half years. 

Growth Values of Different Months. — The table is taken from 
the monthly measurements of clams from the raft boxes and beds 
at Monomoy Point and beds in the Essex River, and the value 
of the various months is presented in terms of the gain for a 
standard clam of 25 millimeters. Each month is given a number 
representing the gain in per cent., the entire year being con- 
sidered as 100 per cent. 



PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 



223 



Table 1.* — Relative Values of Growing Months (Per Cent.). 



Monomoy 
Point. 



Essex River. 



January, 
February, 
March, 
April, . 
May, . 
June, . 
July, . 
August, 
September, 
October, 
November, 
December, 



1.88 

1.88 

1.88 

7.63 

12.14 

12.76 

15.39 

15.64 

15.29 

9.63 

4.03 

1.88 



100.00 



2.50 
8.33 
13.33 
18.33 
18.33 
18.33 
15.00 
5.83 



Size and Growth. — In recording the growth of a large num- 
ber of various sized clams under the same conditions, sufficient 
data were obtained to formulate a table giving the comparative 
annual increase in length for clams from 1 to 90 millimeters in 
size. If, for example, a 25-millimeter clam, which is taken as a 
standard size in our experiments, gained 25 millimeters, a 50- 
millimeter clam would gain 12.5 millimeters, and a 75-milli- 
meter clam, 5.8 millimeters in the same time. From these 
measurements factors were obtained which, by multiplication, 
would transform the growth of any sized clam into terms of 
the standard 25-millimeter clam. This table was of great as- 
sistance in reducing the experimental data to uniform figures 
when it was impossible to obtain the standard size for planting. 



Table 2. — Growth Factors of Various Sized Clams in Terms of a Standard 

25 Millimeters. 





Size in Millimeters. 


Factor. 


Size in Millimeters. 


Factor. 


20, 




.901 


24, 




.980 


21, 




.918 


25, 




1.000 


22, 




.935 


26, 




1.020 


23, 




.957 


27, 




1.042 



224 



FISH AND GAME. 



Table 2. — Growth Factors of Various Sized Clams in Terms of a Standard 
25 Millimeters — Concluded. 



Size in Millimeters. 



Factor. 



093 
118 
143 
169 
197 
227 
258 
290 
324 
360 
399 
428 
470 
515 
562 
613 
667 
724 
786 
852 



2.000 



174 
247 
325 
410 
500 
581 
667 
740 



Size in Millimeters. 



GO, 
51, 

62, 

03, 
04, 
05, 
66, 
07, 
OS, 
09, 
70, 
71, 
72, 
73, 
74, 
75, 
70, 
77, 
78, 
79, 
80, 
81, 



83, 
84, 

8.5, 



87, 



90, 



Size and Volume. — The mere statement of the gain in length 
does not adequately express the actual increase, which should 
be stated in terms of volume. In preparing the following table 



PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 



225 



the measurements and volume of a large number of clams from 
1 to 90 millimeters were taken. Owing to the variation in the 
individual clams, several hundred were used to obtain the 
volume for each size, except in the cases of the clams below 12 
millimeters, which were difficult to obtain. From this table the 
gain in volume for any size and growth can be readily deter- 
mined. 

Table 3. — Table of Clam Volume. 



Length in Millimeters. 


Number 
per Quart. 


Length in Millimeters. 


Number 
per Quart. 


1, 


- 


32 


249 


2 


- 


33, 


224 


3 


- 


34 


203 


4 


- 


35, 


185 


5 


- 


36, 


169 


6 


- 


37 


155 


7 


- 


38 


143 


8 


- 


39 


132 


9 


- 


40, 


122 


10, 


- 


41 


113 


11 


- 


42 


105 


12 


3,680 


43, 


98 


13, 


3,150 


44 


91.50 


14 


2,680 


45 


85.50 


15 


2,290 


46, 


80.50 


16 


1,927 


47, 


76.50 


17 


1,645 


48 


73.00 


18 


1,410 


49, 


69.75 


19, 


1,222 


50, 


66.50 


20 


1,046 


51, . 


63.25 


21 


910 


52 


60.15 


22, 


795 


53, 


57.00 


23, 


700 


54, 


54.00 


24, 


620 


55, 


51.25 


25 


550 


56 


48.75 


26, 


490 


57, 


46.25 


27, 


437 


58, 


43.75 


28, 


390 


59, 


41.50 


29 


348 


60, 


39.25 


30, 


311 


61, 


37.25 - 


31 


278 


62 


35.35 



226 



FISH AND GAME. 



Table 3. — Table of Clam Volume — Concluded. 



Length in Millimeters. 



03, 
04, 
05, 
06, 
07, 
68, 
09, 
70, 
71, 
72, 
73, 
74, 
75, 
76, 



Number 
per Quart. 



33.65 
32.00 
30.45 
29.00 
27.65 
26.35 
25.10 
23.90 
22.75 
21.70 
20.70 
19.70 
18.80 
17.80 



Length in Millimeters. 



77, 
78, 
79, 
80, 
81, 
82, 
S3, 
84, 
85, 
SO, 
87, 



Number 
per Quart. 



17.10 
16.40 
15.75 
15.15 
14.60 
14.15 
13.80 
13.50 
13.20 
12.90 
12.60 
12.35 
12.10 
11.85 



Standard Growth. — The growth in millimeters up to four 
and one-half years is given for various annual rates of growth, 
from 10 to 75 millimeters, of a -standard 25-millimeter clam. 
Knowing the annual growth for a 25-millimeter clam, the reader 
can determine the size at any period up to four and one-half 
years by referring to the other columns. 



Table 4. — Clam Growth up to Four and One-half Years in Terms of the 
Gain' for a Standard Clam of 25-Millimeter s. 



Annual Rate in Millimeters 


Size in Millimeters at Various Ages. 


FOR A 25-MlLLIMETER CLAM. 


Y 2 Year. 


\y 2 Years. 


•2M Years. 


3H Years. 


43^ Years. 


10 


25 


35 


42.96 


49.55 


54.64 


11, 


25 


36 


44.53 


51.20 


56.43 


12 


25 


37 


46.06 


53.00 


58.34 


13 


25 


38 


47.56 


54.69 


60.13 


14 


25 


39 


49.01 


56.28 


61.82 


15 


25 


40 


50.52 


57.86 


63.51 


16 


25 


41 


51.88 


59.27 


65.06 


17 


25 


42 


53.22 


60.80 


66.68 


18 


25 


43 


54.52 


62.11 


68.12 



PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 



227 



Table 4. — Clam Growth up to Four and One-half Years in Terms of 
Gain for a Standard Clam of 25 -Millimeters — Continued. 



Annual Rate in Millimeters 
for a 25-mlllimeter clam. 



Size in Millimeters at Various Ages. 



Yl Year. \y 2 Years. 2y 2 Years. 3^ Years. 4^ Years 



29, 

30, 
31, 
32, 
33, 
34, 
35, 
30, 
37, 
88, 
39, 
40, 
41, 
42, 
43, 
44, 
45, 
40, 
47, 
48, 
4 'J, 
50, 
51. 
52, 
5:;. 



25 

25 

25 

25 

25 

25 

25 

25 

25 

25 

25 

25 

25 

25 

25 

25 

25 

25 

25 

25 

25 

25 

25 

25 

25 

25 

25 

25 

25 

25 

25 

25 

25 

25 

25 



44 
45 
46 
47 
48 
49 
50 
51 
52 
53 
54 
55 
56 
57 
58 
59 
60 
61 
62 
63 
64 
65 
66 
67 
68 
69 
70 
71 
72 
73 
74 
75 
76 
77 



55.71 
57.00 
58.17 
59.31 
60.41 
61.48 
62.50 
63.05 
64.42 
65.46 
66.47 
67.45 
68.40 
69.39 
70.37 
71.40 
72.42 
73.42 
74.39 
75.34 
76.24 
77.20 
78.10 
79.06 
80.04 
80.98 
81.92 
82.83 
83.75 
84.62 
85.36 
86.62 
87.55 
88.49 



63.39 
64.75 
66.00 
67.26 
68.48 
69.64 
70.74 
71.49 
72.80 
73.88 
74.93 
75.97 
76.98 
78.01 
79.02 
80.05 
81.05 
82.03 
83.05 
82.10 
85.02 
85.99 
86.91 
87.87 
88.85 
89.78 
90.75 
91.71 
92.71 
93.67 
94.81 
95.79 
96.79 
97.77 
98.81 



69.48 
70.90 
72.21 
73.53 
74.66 
75.55 
77.22 
78.08 
79.38 
80.48 
81.68 
82.77 
83.81 
84.90 
85.95 
87.01 
88.04 
89.08 
90.17 
89.54 
92.33 
93.38 
94.40 
95.45 
96.49 
97.50 
98.55 



228 



FISH AND GAME. 



Table 4. — Clam Growth up to Four and One-half Years in Terms of the 
Gain for a Standard Clam of 25 -Millimeters — Concluded. 



Annual Rate in Millimeters 


Size in Millimeters at Various Ages. 


FOR A 25-MlLLIMETER CLAM. 


Y 2 Year. 


1H Years. 


2H Years. 


3H Years. 


4^ Years. 


54 


25 


79 


90.33 


- 


- 


55 


25 


80 


91.28 


- 


- 


56 


25 


81 


92.20 


- 


- 


57 ' . 


25 


82 


93.18 


- 


- 


58, ...... 


25 


83 


94.16 


- 


- 


59 


25 


84 


95.21 


. - 


- 


60, 


25 


85 


96.25 


- 


- 


61 


25 


86 


97.28 


_ 




62, 


25 


87 


98.31 


- 


- 


63, ...... 


25 


88 


99.33 


- 


- 


64 


25 


89 


100.35 


- 


- 


65, 


25 


90 


101.38 


- 


- 


66 


25 


91 


- 


- 


- 


67, . / . 


25 


92 


- 


- 


- 


68 


25 


93 


- 


- 


- 


69 


25 


94 


- 


- 


- 


70 


25 


95 


- 


- 


- 


71 


25 


96 


- 


- 


- 


72 


25 


97 


- 


- 


- 


73 


25 


98 


- 


- 


- 


74 


25 


99 


- 


- 


- 


75 


25 


100 


- 


- 


- 





PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 229 



BIBLIOGRAPHY. 

1. Kellogg, J. L. A Contribution to our Knowledge of the Morphology 

of Lamellibranchiate Mollusks. Bulletin United States Fish Com- 
mission. 1890. 

2. Kellogg, J. L. Observations on the Life History of the Common 

Clam, Mya arenaria. Bulletin United States Fish Commission. 
1899. 

3. Kellogg, J. L. The Clam Problem and Clam Culture. Bulletin 

United States Fish Commission. 1900. 

4. Kellogg, J. L. Conditions governing the Existence and Growth of 

the Soft Clam. United States Fish Commission Report. 1904. 

5. Kellogg, J. L. The Clam and Scallop Industries. Bulletin of the 

New York State Museum. No. 43, Vol. VIII. 1901. 

6. Kellogg, J. L. Shellfish Industries. Henry Holt & Co. 1910. 

7. Field, G. W. Utilization of Waste Products and Waste Places. 

Part II. The Clam. Bulletin of Rhode Island Agricultural Experi- 
mental Station. 1896.- 
, 8. Moore, H. F. Oyster Culture, including Notes on Clam Culture. 
United States Fish Commission Report. 1897. 
9. Ryder, J. The Byssus of the Young of the Common Clam (Mya 
arenaria). American Naturalist, XXIII. 1889. 

10. Verrill, A. E. Report on the Invertebrata of Vineyard Sound. 

United States Fish Commission Report. 1871-72. 

11. Gould, A. A. Report on the Invertebrata of Massachusetts. 1870. 

12. Ingersoll, E. The Clam Fisheries. United States Fish Commis- 

sion and Tenth Census. 1887. 

13. Mead, A. D. Observations on the Soft-shell Clam. Rhode Island 

Commission of Inland Fisheries. 1900. 

14. Mead, A. D. Observations on the Soft-shell Clam. Rhode Island 

Commission of Inland Fisheries. 1901. 

15. Mead, A. D. Observations on the Soft-shell Clam. Rhode Island 

Commission of Inland Fisheries. 1902. 

16. Mead, A. D., and Barnes, E. W. Observations on the Soft-shell 

Clam. Rhode Island Commission of Inland Fisheries. 1903. 

17. Mead, A. D., and Barnes, E. W. Observations on the Soft-shell 

Clam. Rhode Island Commission of Inland Fisheries. 1904. 

18. Spinney, M. The Clam Fishery. Twenty-ninth Report of the 

Commissioner of Sea and Shore Fisheries of Maine. 1905-06. 

19. Stafford, J. The Clam Fishery of Passamaquoddy Bay. Thirty- 

second Annual Report of Canadian Department of Marine and 
Fisheries. 1901. 

20. Lombard. The Temperature of the Clam. 1886. 

21. Langworthy, C. F. Fish as Food. United States Department of 

Agriculture, Farmers' Bulletin 85. 1898. 



INDEX TO CLAM REPORT. 



Age and spawning, 

Anatomy, 

Appropriations, 

Assistants, 

Attachment, 

Average growth, 

Bait industry, . 

Barnes, E. W., . 

Benefits of clam culture, 

Bibliography, 

Boston Harbor, 

Breeding season, 

Brood grounds, . 

Buffum, R. L., . 

Buzzards Bay, . 

Byssus, ' . 

Cape Cod, 

Castle Neck, 

Clam areas below low-water mark 

Clam culture, 

Clam digging, . 

Clam farm, 

Clam production statistics, 

Clam set in various localities, 

Clam volume, 

Clams bored by lunatia, 

Closed seasons, . 

Cockle, .... 

Cole, F. J 

Coles Shore, 

Comparison of clam, quahaug and scallop, 

Conclusion, 

Conditions regulating the growth of the clam 

Coulter, C. B., . 

Courtesies, 

Crabs, 

Cultivation of clams, . 

Current, .... 

Damage by cockles, . 

Decline, .... 

Depletion of Rowley Reef set, 

Depth and growth, 

Destruction of larvae, 

Development of inland markets, 

Digestive tract, 

Digging, .... 

Distribution, 



PAGE 

106 

101-104 
96 
97 

114-120 

193, 195 
181 

207, 229 

154-156 
229 

144, 176 
105 
220 
97 
144 
115 

176-179 
120 
100 

151-173 
183 

156-164 
183 
119 
225 
133 
221 

131-144 



151, 



117, 



120 
199 
128 

201-219 

97 

97 

129 

200 

201-206 

132-134 
151 
126 
207 
112 
182 

103-110 

183 

99-101 



232 



INDEX. 



Distribution of larvae, 

Drainage and elevation 

Edgartown, 

Eel grass, . 

Egg, 

Elevation and drainage, 

Embryology, 

Enemies, . 

Essex River, 

Experimental beds, 

Fertilization, 

Field, G. W., . 

Fish, 

Fishing grounds, 

Flats and spawning, 

Food carrier, 

Food value, 

Foot, 

Foresides Flat, . 

Gates, W. H., . 

Gills, 

Gloucester, 

Glycera, * . 

Gould, A. A., . 

Grants as spat collectors 

Gravel, 

Grays Flat, 

Growing months, 

Growth, 

Growth for market, 

Growth on sand and mud flats, 

Growth of Rowley Reef set, 

Growth of cockle, 

Growth out of soil, 

Growth of old and young 

Growth values of different month 

Hardening, 

Harvesting, 

Heart, . . 

Hingham, 

History, . 

Horse-shoe crab, 

Howes, M., 

Industry, . 

Ingersoll, E., 

Injury, 

Introduction, 

Ipswich Bay, 

Ipswich Bay experiments 

Ipswich River, . 

Kellogg, J. L., . 

Laboratories, 

Lane, F. C., 

Langworthy, C. F., 

Legislation, 



s, 



95, 96, 97 



114, 



17 



115, 116, 146, 207, 208 



109 



PAGE 
111 

215-218 
180 
211 
104 
215-218 
107-108 
128-144 
144 
186 
106 
96, 97, 229 
130 
173-181 
106 
202 
148-151 
114, 115 



162-164 



4-176 



119 

97 

103, 110 
176 
137 

95, 229 
221 
210 

120, 211 
197 

186, 219 
195 
194 
125 
136 
219 
198 
222 
215 
162 

104, 110 
135 

181-183 

130 

122 

173-186 

95, 99, 229 

147 

93 

188-190 

98, 188 

144 

214, 229 

98 

97 

149 

164-173 



INDEX. 



233 



Length of life, . 

Lime furnisher, . 

Localities of work. 

Location of beds, 

Lombard, 

Lufkins Flat, 

Maine clams, 

Malformations, . 

Man as destroyer. 

Mantle, 

Market, 

Mead, A. D., . 

Meat, 

Meckelia, . 

Merrimac River, 

Methods of investigation, 

Methods of shipment, 

Methods of transplanting, 

Monomoy experiments, 

Moore, H. F., 

Movements, 

Mud, 

Muscles, . 

Mussels, . 

Nantucket, 

Narragansett Bay, 

Natural changes, 

Natural history, 

Nereis, 

Nervous system, 

Northeast sides, 

North shore, 

Object of report, 

Organic material, 

Outfit, 

Oxygen bearer, . 

Oyster drill, 

Passive enemies, 

Planting, . 

Plum Island Sound, 

Plymouth experiments, 

Plymouth Harbor, 

Pollution, 

Preparation of grant, 

Presentation of report, 

Production per square foot, 

Price, 

Proposed legislation, 

Purpose of work, 

Quahaug, . 

Reclamation of unproductive 

Recommendations, 

Recording, 

Remedy, . 

Restocking barren flats, 



OQ 



96, 106, 107, 116, 121 



111, 



112, 122, 132, 191 



PAGE 
194 

204 

97 

188 

105, 229 
119 
185 
199 
138 

102, 110 
185 

207, 229 
149 
137 

143, 207 

186-193 
205 
124 

-193, 214 
229 

144-147 
209 
110 
212 
181 

179-180 
215 



136 
104 
120 
174 
93 
213 
184 
203 
131 
138 
160, 187, 215 
19, 120, 122, 123, 201 
98, 190 
120, 190, 191, 211 
139, 158 
158 
94 
196 
186 
168 
93 
147, 151 
215-219 
219-221 
187 
152 
219 



234 



INDEX. 



Results of work, 

Rowley Reef set, 

Ryder, J., 

Salinity, 

Sand, 

Sanitary agent, 

Savery, C. L., 

Scallop, 

Seed clam supply, 

Selection of ground, . 

Set, .... 

Set in various localities, 

Shell, 

Shifting sand, . 

Shipment, 

Shore line, 

Size and growth, 

Size and volume, 

Size limit, 

Soil, 

South shore, 

Spat collecting, . 

Spawning, 

Spermatozoon, . 

Spinney, M., 

Stafford, J., 

Standard growth, 

Starfish, . 

Stevenson, J. R., 

Summary, 

Summer and winter growth, 

Tables, 

Taunton River, 

Temperature, 

Temperature and spawning, 

Thatch, ... 

Tide, 

Transplanting, 

Transplanting of Rowley Reef 

Transportation of seed, 

Unproductive soils, 

Variation in growth, 

Veliger, 

Velum, 

Verrill, A. E., 

Vinal, W. G., 

Water, 

Waterfowl, 

Wellfleet, . 

Wheelers Flat, 

Whites Flat, 

Wind Flat, 

Winkle, . 

Woods Hole, 

Worms, 



117. 150 



95, 131 



11 



PAGE 
94 

122-128 

115, 229 
206 
209 
205 
97 
151 
158 
156 

120, 205 
119 

102, 149 
214 
185 
118 
223 

224-226 
220 
, 208-219 
177 
120-122, 159 

104-107 
105 
229 

96, 229 
226-228 

131 

97, 123 
206 
199 

222-228 
144 
206 
105 
218 
207 
200 
127 
160 
211 
199 

108-114 
109 

135, 229 
97 

206-208 
129 
161 
120 
213 

212, 213 

131-144 
207 

136-138 



132 



ABBREVIATIONS. 



a. — aDUs. 

act. — anterior adductor muscle. 

o. — byssus. 

bg. — byssal gland. 

es. — excurrent siphon. 

f. — foot. 

g. — gills. 
ht. — heart. 

i. — intestine. 

is. — incurrent siphon. 



I. — liver. 

m. — mantle. 

mt. — mouth. 

nl. — nucleolus. 

nu. — ■ nucleus. 

o. — otocyst. 

pa. — posterior adductor muscle. 

r. — retractors of velum. 

st. — stomach. 

v. — velum. 






PLATE I. 

Fig. 1. — Mature egg ready for union with male cell. Size 3 |y of an inch. 

Fig. 2. — Early veliger larva, viewed from the side. The animal arrives at this 
stage from seventeen to forty hours after fertilization, according to external condi- 
tions. The duration of this stage is probably from five to six days, during which 
the animal leads a free swimming life. Size 2 | ^ of an inch. 

Fig. 3. — Late veliger or prodissoconch. Note change in form of shell, the 
flat hinge line having become rounded. This stage marks the end of the embryonic 
period. 

Fig. 4. — Velum somewhat reduced in size. Posterior to the mouth a small 
foot has developed. Two gill filaments may be observed. 

Fig. 5. — Velum noticeably smaller. The mouth has extended forward. The 
foot has increased in size and shows the otocyst distinctly, while three gill fila- 
ments have formed. 

Fig. 6. — Young clam just previous to set. The velum has disappeared in the 
region of the palps. The foot is relatively large in size, and shows a prominent 
byssal gland. The gills now have three or more filaments. The heart is definitely 
discernible. 



PLATE I. 











PLATE II. 

Fig. 7. — Young clam attached by the byssus to sand grains. Note the forma- 
tion of the excurrent and incurrent siphons and the increased number of gill fila- 
ments. 

Fig. 8. — A later stage, showing transition to the elongated form of the adult. 
Note the relatively large foot used in crawling and burrowing. Border of mantle 
now crenated, and siphon more highly developed. 







PLATE 


II 


G- 


%Jr - 
sag* 




¥■ 


F- 


\~%- % : 







F- 




PLATE III. 

Figs. 9 to 13. — Development of the siphon. Fig. 9 represents an early stage. 
There is a filmy, telescopic tube at the excurrent portion, and relatively few tenta- 
cles. The succeeding stages indicate the loss in relative size of the telescopic tube, 
change in form, and increase in number of tentacles. In Fig. 13 the siphon of a 
clam 1 inch in length is shown. 



PLATE III. 



A 





12 13 

DEVELOPMENT OF SIPHON 



PLATE IV. 

Fig. 14. — Change in form of shell. A series of drawings illustrating the changes 
from the early veliger or first shell (No. 1), which is 2 ^o °^ an mcn m s * ze ' t° a clam 
approximately y 1 ^ of an inch in length. No. 2 represents the late veliger, just pre- 
vious to set, No. 3 the form during the first few days after set, and No. 6 the first 
period of elongation. 



PLATE [IV. 




PLATE V. 

Fig. 15. — A comparison of the edible and non-edible parts of the clam, quahaug 
and scallop. 



Shell 
(PerCent.). 



Edible 

Meat (Per 

Cent.). 



Non-edible 

Meat 
(PerCent.). 



Clam, 

Scallop, 

Quahaug, 



57,32 
49.43 
82.15 



37.24 
17.77 
17.85 



5.43 
32.80 



PLATE V. 




CLAM 




SCALLOP 

FOOD VALUE 



15 






PLATE VI. 

Fig. 16. — The spawning season lasts from the first of June to the first of Sep- 
tember in Massachusetts, but in any particular locality the duration usually does 
not exceed two months. 

Figs. 17 and 18. — The clam does not increase with equal rapidity during the 
growing months. There is a difference in winter growth in the waters north and 
south of Cape Cod. The relative value of each month at Monomoy Point and Essex 
River in terms of the increase in volume for a standard clam is graphically repre- 
sented. 

Relative Values of the Various Months in Per Cent. 





Monomoy 
Point. 


Essex 
River. 


January, 


1.88 


- 


February, . 






















1.88 


- 


March, 






















1.88 


- 


April, . 






















7.63 


2.50 


May, . 






















12 14 


8.33 


June, . 






















12.76 


13.33 


July, . 






















15 39 


18.33 


August, 






















15.64 


18.33 


September, 






















15.29 


18.33 


October, 






















9.63 


15 00 


November, 






















4.03 


5.83 


December, . 






















1.88 


- 
























100.00 


100.00 



PLATE VI. 




JMt. FEB. hUR. APR. IW JUNE JULY AU&. SEPT. OCT. NOV. DEC 

SPAWNING MONTHS 
16 



^ 









I 

1 



II 



i 



HH§ 



JAN. FEB. NKR. APR. MM TUNE JULY "AUG SEPT. OCT. HOV. DEC 

RELATIVE VALUE OF GROVJ1UG MONTHS 
noNonoY po\nt 

17 



ll 

^ ^ II 



^ 



^^ 



| 



% iH ^ 

ill 

■ ■I 

1 I I 






■ 
1 



^ 



^ 



JAN. FEB. tt*R. APR. MM JUNE JULX AUG. SEPT. OCT. NO\J. DEC. 

RELATIVE VALUE OF GROWING MONTHS 
ESSEX RWER 

18 



PLATE VII. 

Fig. 19. — As a clam becomes larger the rate of growth both in actual increase 
and gain in volume becomes less. The three columns represent the comparative 
gain in volume of a 25, 50, 75 and 90 millimeter clam under the same conditions. 

Fig. 20. — The four columns represent the volumetric growth for a definite 
period of clams exposed to different conditions of tide. Clams high up with long 
exposure show slower growth than those situated lower down on the same flat. 

Fig. 21. — The four columns represent the growth in volume for clams situated 
in good, medium and poor currents, and in still water. Clams situated in a good 
circulation of water have a faster growth than in still water. 



PLATE VII. 





£,5nn. 




LOV 




50 nn. 


T5ttn. 


SIZE 


AND GROWTH 




19 



<\or\n. 





TIDE AND GROWTH 
20 





^ 



^ 



Good ttEDiuri Poor very Poor 

CURRENT AND GROWTH 
21 



PLATE VIII. 

Fig. 22. — Growth of a standard 25-millimeter clam for twelve months under 
favorable and unfavorable growing conditions. 



Growth (Millimeters). 





A. 


B. 




Favorable 
Conditions. 


Unfavorable 
Conditions. 


June 1, 


7.28 


2.43 


July 1, 






















14.95 


4.93 


August 1, 






















24.18 


8.06 


September 1, 






















33.53 


11.18 


October 1, . 






















42.72 


14.24 


November 1, 






















48.51 


16.17 


December 1, 






















50.92 


16.97 


January 1, 






















52.06 


17.35 


February 1, 






















53.20 


17.73 


March 1, 






















54.34 


18.11 


April 1, 






















55.47 


18.49 


May 1, 






















60.00 


20.0.0 






Fig. 23. — Growth for four years. The growth of the average clam under 
favorable and unfavorable conditions is here given for four years, starting with a 
clam 25 millimeters in length. 

Growth {Millimeters). 





A. 


B. 




Favorable 
Conditions. 


Unfavorable 
Conditions. 


Jan. 1, 1905 


25.00 


25.00 


Jan. 1, 1906 


85.00 


45.00 


Jan. 1, 1907, 


96.25 


57.00 


Jan. 1, 1908, 


105.79 


64.75 


Jan. 1, 1909, 


112.50 


70.90 



PLATE VIII. 























_,^J 


/ 


A 
































































i 
















































































































































































B 






























































































IM/Wi JUNE; JULY 


AUG. 


SFFI 


OCT. 


NOV. 


DFC. 


TAH. 


ffr 


n^Rd 


/\pr. 


MM 


,T\INR 





to 
55 
50 
4-5 
^0 
35 
30 
&5 

10 

5 



22 

A 




||0 y^ '" 


— ^-^ 


. *"" 


^ 




ioo ^ x 


-"^ 


i" 


^ 




yu ^/ 


^s' 


s^- 


Z 


An / 


ou / 


J 


/ ' 


/ 


70 / 


o> / - ^ 


/ ''" 




/ ^ < '"" 


fin i y^ 


DU ] /] ^ 


/ ^^^ 


1 «* — — "" "" 


*- x " X 


™ 4 ^ 


t + * 




_^-~" ■ '~~ J ^ 


_j ^ 


40 4 / 


f ^ 


t -X X 


_, 7 


J / 


?n ' / — 


l|2 3 4|5 6|7 8|9|l0|lll? 12 345 6 78 9101! 12 1 23456789 10 II 12 1 234567 8 9 ION 12 


1905 1906 1907 1908 



110 
100 
90 
80 



B 

70 



60 



50 



40 



30 



23 



PLATE IX. 

Fig. 24. — The growth of a clam from one-half to three and one-half years old 
is shown with corresponding increase in volume. The figures in the clam outlines 
(reduced three-sevenths) represent the size; those on the right represent the cor- 
responding increase in bushels. 






(j>5fm) 



PLATE IX. 



re — is. 
1E* 



fcYEAR 




V 








2.3 Bo. 




^ 


"■-*- 



1&YEARS 




X 




\ 




3t.S Bo. 




V 




^■\ 



&&YEARS 












VT Bu. 




V 


^ 



3&Years 

24 



Public Document No. 25 

FIFTY-SECOND ANNUAL EEPORT 

OF THE 

= COMMISSIONERS 



ImilarirudL 



Fisheries and Game 



Year ending November 30, 1917. 




BOSTON: 

WRIGHT & POTTER PRINTING CO., STATE PRINTERS, 

32 DERNE STREET. 

i 









Publication of this Document 

approved by the 
Supervisor of Administration. 






A 

COMMISSIONERS ON FISHERIES AND GAME. 



WILLIAM C. ADAMS, Newtonville (Chairman). 
GEORGE H. GRAHAM, Springfield. 
ARTHUR L. MILLETT, Gloucester. 

Secretary. 

Miss L. B. RIMBACH. 

Chief Deputy Commissioner. 

ORRIN C. BOURNE. 

Supervisor of Fish and Game Distribution. 

W. RAYMOND COLLINS. 

Biologist. 

DAVID L. BELDING. 

Office: Room 321, State House, Boston, Mass. 

Telephone: Haymarket 4600. 



This report covers the period Jan. 1, 1917, to Nov. 30, 1917. 



Hereafter the annual reports of this department will cover the period 
of the fiscal year, December 1 to November 30 following. 



CONTENTS 



Foreword, 

Organization, 

Proposed changes and additional 
Education, 

Education of children 
Boy Scouts, 
Exhibitions, 

Sportagrams, 
Associations, . 
National activities, . 

The Northeastern Association of 
Birds and game, 
Preservation, 
Reservations, 
Heath hen, 
Pheasants, 
Ruffed grouse 
Woodcock, 
Ducks, . 
Mallard duck, 
Quail, 
Deer, 

Comparison of deer statistics. 
Winter feeding of birds, 
Enemies to the birds, 

Unnaturalized hunters 

Domestic cat, 
Vermin, . 

Squirrel, . 

Weasel, 

Skunk, 

Fox, 

Raccoon, . 

Mink, 

Rat, 

Hawks, 

Owl, 

Crow, 

Blue jay, . 

Starling, . 

English sparrow 
Spraying, 
Bird colonies 
Dogs, 
Fur-bearing animals, 



regulations 



Fish and Game Commissioners 



VI 



CONTENTS. 



Birds and game — Concluded. 

Bird farms and fish hatcheries in general, 
Changes in operation, 
Distribution, .... 
Work at the State game farms, . 
Marshfield State Bird Farm, 
Sandwich Bird Farm, . 
Sutton Game Farm, 
Norfolk State Bird Farm, . 
Wilbraham Game Farm, 
Visit of legislative committee, 
Game distribution during the year 1917 
Inland fisheries, 

Natural abundance, 
Decline, . 
Artificial fish food, 
Fry v. fingerlings, 
Artificial pools, 
Yellow perch, . 
Chinook salmon, 

Chinook salmon in Massachusetts lakes, 
Long Pond, Plymouth, 

Extract from report of Homer W. Hervey, 

Extract from report of Dr. W. H. Thayer, 

Extract from report of E. L. Bassett, 

White perch, . 

Life history, 

Description, 
Habitat, 
Food, 

Spawning, . 
'White perch salvage, 
Falmouth, . 
Marthas Vineyard, 
Newport, . 
Equipment, 
Method of work, 
Artificial culture, 

Spawning ponds, 
Hatching, . 
Nursery ponds, 
Stocking, . 
Trapping, . 
Fyke nets, 
Horned pout, . 
Salvage, . 
Smelt, . 

Life history, 
Names, 
Description, 
Habitat, 
Spawning, 

Value and present condition of smelt fishery, 
The problem of restoration, 
Methods of restoration, 
Fish salvage, . 
Screens, .... 



CONTENTS. 



vn 



Inland fisheries — Concluded. 

Work at the State fish hatcheries, 
Palmer Hatchery, 
Sutton Fish Hatchery 
Adams Hatchery, 
Sandwich Hatcheries, 
Rearing stations, 

Montague Rearing Station, 
Amherst Rearing Station, 
Andover Rearing Station, 
Fish distribution during the year 1917 
Enforcement of laws, 
Deputy force, . 
Problems, 
Annual meetings, 
Town wardens, 
Federal wardens, 
The game warden as an educator 
Exhibits, 
Posters, . 
Licenses, 

Recent legislation, 
Needed legislation, 
Classified court records, 1917 
Fish ways, .... 
Merrimack River fish ways, 
The East Taunton fishway, 
Marine fisheries, 

Some problems of the war and the fleet, 
Figures of the catch, 
Gloucester, 
Boston, 
The views of a leading fish dealer 
R6sum6 of the doings of the fleet 
One craft stocked $85,000, . 
Remarkable mackerel stock, 
The season's mackerel catch, 
"Good old days" surpassed, 
The fishermen's strike, 
Demand for fish greatly increased, 
A record for one day's fish receipts 
The lobster fishery, . 

Shad, 

Activities in connection with national food regulation and conservation 
Fish men at National Food Administration Conference, 
Resolutions adopted by fish men, 
Deductions and recommendations, 
The Fish and Game Commission concurs, 
The Governor's proclamation, . 
Report to the Governor, . 
Board notifies city and town officials, 
The grayfish has come to stay, 
Recommendations for legislation, 
Appendix, ...... 

Returns from the shore net and pound fisheries for the year 1917 
Number of pounds of fish taken in pounds, nets, traps, etc., 
Returns from the lobster fisheries, 1917, .... 



Stye (JtommotuDealtl) of itta00acl)U0ett0< 



To His Excellency the Governor and the Honorable Council. 

The Commissioners on Fisheries and Game respectfully sub- 
mit their fifty-second annual report. 

FOREWORD. 

At this most critical period in the history of our country it 
is most appropriate that the Commissioners on Fisheries and 
Game once again call attention to the special need of conserva- 
tion of the supply of fish and game within the Commonwealth, 
and attempt to bring every citizen to a realization, in some 
degree at least, of the importance of preserving the wild life 
in the State. It is particularly desirable at this time that 
their report should describe the special investigations which 
have been made along the line of food conservation, and deal 
at some length with those species of salt and fresh water fish 
which frequent the coast and inland streams. At our very 
doors abides a large source of food which heretofore has been 
incompletely utilized because of ignorance on the part of the 
public as to the nutritive value of sea foods, and because of 
inadequate methods of transportation, preserving, handling and 
marketing, with the resultant increase in prices. It is self- 
evident that unstinted co-operation on the part of the public 
is the prime prerequisite. 

The development for the public weal of these great natural 
assets is the goal toward which every effort is being bent by 
your Commissioners. 

The accomplishments of the last year have been particularly 
noteworthy. An exhaustive study of the alewife fisheries has 
been completed and definite plans formulated for their re- 
establishment, which will not only prove valuable directly as 
a source of revenue to the shore towns, but indirectly will 



2 FISH AND GAME. 

affect all the fisheries by attracting the larger fish to the 
Massachusetts coast. 

For the first time definite advances toward regulation of the 
smelt fishery have been made by protecting the spawning 
beds, catching the spawn and transplanting the eggs, fry and 
adult fish to various streams and ponds. 

The State fish hatcheries have produced many species of 
fish with which to replenish the lakes and streams, namely, 
brook trout, rainbow trout, Sebago salmon, Chinook salmon, 
large-mouthed black bass, small-mouthed black bass, yellow 
perch, white perch and smelts. All told, 20,096,390 fish and 
98,750,000 fish eggs were distributed in the waters of the 
Commonwealth. 

Over 1,000,000 salt-water smelt were hatched and liberated. 
Three hundred and seventy-eight thousand fingerling Pacific 
salmon (Chinook), 3 to 5 inches long, were planted in the trib- 
utaries of the Merrimack River last October in furtherance of 
the experiment of establishing the fish in the Atlantic Ocean. 

Much attention has been given to the re-establishment of 
the fishways in the coastal streams, and, under the super- 
vision of this department, a new fishway has been built on 
the Taunton River. Many others have been repaired and put 
into shape to permit the passage of anadromous fishes. The 
matter of rebuilding the fishways on the Merrimack River at 
Lowell and Lawrence has been taken up and good progress is 
being made. 

Your Commissioners have co-operated with the United States 
Food Administrator and the fishermen along the coast, and, 
in order to facilitate a greater catch in the marine fisheries, 
have urged the towns to grant more permits for the taking of 
bait fish. 

At the State game farms pheasants, mallard ducks, wood 
ducks and Bob White quail have been reared, and 4,246 birds 
distributed in all sections of the Commonwealth. There have 
been 5,863 eggs of game birds sent out for hatching by indi- 
viduals. All fish, birds and eggs are furnished upon applica- 
tion, and are delivered to applicants free at the nearest rail- 
road station. Also 104 white hares have been purchased and 
liberated in favorable localities. 



PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 3 

During the year past approximately 10 J tons of grain and 
elevator sweepings have been supplied by the department to 
deputies and others who are interested in feeding and helping 
the birds through the severe winter. In addition to this, un- 
recorded quantities of barn sweepings and other feeding ma- 
terial have been collected and distributed for this purpose. 
Many clubs and individual sportsmen gave hearty support and 
valuable assistance in this work. 

Four new reservations under chapter 410, Acts of 1911, have 
been established, adding approximately 7,000 acres of pro- 
tected area to the reservations already set aside as sanctuaries 
for bird and animal life. 

The amount of money received as a result of the activities 
of the department, and turned into the general treasury of the 
Commonwealth, was 853, 927.23, as follows: for non-resident 
hunting licenses, 81,619.85; resident licenses, $47,105.60; alien 
licenses, 81,089.60; game tags and sales of forfeited goods, 
8339.76; sales of materials at game farms and hatcheries, 
83,723.73; proportion of receipts from fisheries in Buzzards Bay 
and rent of shanty at Monomoy Point, 848.69. It is safe to 
say that if a fishing license bill is passed by the next Legis- 
lature it will double the amount of revenue received. 

The department now has 30 district deputies who give their 
entire time to the work, besides about 40 town wardens (the 
number varying as old appointments expire and new ones are 
made), and a force of about 150 unpaid deputies, likewise 
varying in numbers. During the past year 355 convictions 
were secured, in which fines amounting to 89,764 were imposed, 
of which 84,740 were paid. 

Over 37,000 short lobsters were seized in the shipments 
coming to dealers from outside of Massachusetts. These were 
liberated along the coast. 

Two trout-rearing stations have been built in the western 
part of the State, one in Montague and the other in Amherst. 
These stations are well located with an abundant supply of 
spring water, and should be the means of doubling the out- 
put of fingerling brook trout. 

Improvements at the State game farm in Wilbraham in- 
cluded a large barn 38 by 48 feet, with hatching rooms in the 



4 FISH AND GAME. 

basement; a cement incubator house; an ice house; and a 
four-room bungalow for summer use, making this station one 
of the most up-to-date game farms in the country. 

The brook-trout hatchery at Adams and the game farm at 
Norfolk have been discontinued and the work consolidated at 
other stations, with a view to producing more fish and birds 
at a smaller cost. 

Exhibits of live fish and game at sixteen fairs, including the 
large fairs at Worcester, Springfield and Great Barrington, 
were a feature of the year's work. This has been a campaign 
of education, and has acquainted many people with the work 
of this department. 

Of far-reaching importance, also, are the steps taken to in- 
crease the output of fish from the State hatcheries, and the 
efforts made, by salvage, to save many thousands of fish of 
various species which otherwise would be wasted. The plans 
of your Commissioners for the future are in the direction of 
continuing the work along lines already laid down. Results 
are accomplished only by a persistent continuance on a given 
policy. Rapid progress in the next few years is anticipated, 
and your Commissioners expect to be in a position to demon- 
strate that Massachusetts can develop in a marked degree the 
great natural fish and game assets within her borders. 

Organization. 

In order to make the annual report coincide with the fiscal 
year it has been deemed advisable to make this report cover 
the period from Jan. 1, 1917, to Nov. 30, 1917. Hereafter it 
will be possible to give in each annual report a complete survey 
of the activities of the fiscal year, whereas heretofore reports 
have covered parts of two fiscal years. 

Under the old order of things it was customary to have 
the accounts filed by the deputies and the superintendents of 
game farms and fish hatcheries as of the 10th of each month. 
Now all accounts are made strictly on the calendar month. 
The above plan has been found to be of great advantage in 
avoiding the confusion which attended closing up accounts at 
the end of the fiscal year, and laying out the financial schedule 
at the beginning of the following fiscal year. 



PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 5 

In the report for 1916 there were outlined in detail certain 
proposed changes in the administration of the department cal- 
culated to put the work on a more substantial business basis, 
and certain plans for the next fiscal year were stated at some 
length. Most of these are now in full operation. 

In the main, the general plan of work as outlined in the 
previous report was followed during the past fiscal year. 

The new system of bookkeeping put into full operation was 
found to be entirely satisfactory, and made possible at all 
times a comparison of the amount of expenditures which were 
being made with the financial program laid out at the begin- 
ning of the year. The system by which deputies and super- 
intendents are required to obtain authorization for expendi- 
tures beyond their allowances made it possible to use the small 
reserve fund which had been set aside in a way calculated to 
get the most in return and to do those things most needed. 
The practical result was that, despite the constantly increasing 
prices of all kinds of materials and fish and bird foods, the 
uncertainties in the labor market, and the general distraction 
of unusual times, the fiscal year was completed without over- 
drawing any branch of the appropriations. 

One of the largest benefits derived from the new system of 
bookkeeping is that it places before each superintendent a 
detailed account of the expenditures at his station during the 
year past. Each one has now an opportunity, as the year's 
work progresses, to study the cost of production, which it is 
believed will be of practical value in the effort to realize larger 
outputs at a decreasing cost of production. It provides the 
superintendent with detailed information as to costs in all 
branches of his work, thereby giving him data to make com- 
parisons from year to year, to assist in studying economies, 
and to give him facts on which to base his annual estimate 
of the cost of operating his station for the next fiscal year. 

Proposed Changes and Additional Regulations. 
The new system of dividing the deputies into two classes, based 
on the amount of monthly allowance for traveling expenses, with 
a requirement that they shall obtain authorization for all pro- 
posed additional expenses, has worked so well that there appears 



6 FISH AND GAME. 

to be no necessity for making any change in the system. How- 
ever, the work of the deputies is being broadened in scope to 
take in fields other than that of mere law-enforcement. It has 
been found that many of the men are developing special abili- 
ties in certain fields of work, and they will be given every 
opportunity, consistent with the limited funds available, to 
become more proficient. For example, one man has shown 
unusual ingenuity in the designing of fishways and in handling 
the problem of the migration of anadromous fish; another has 
taken hold of the development of the salt-water smelt work 
along lines which prior to the past year were never attempted; 
another has shown ability in the laying out and completing of 
rearing stations; another in outlining and carrying through a 
comprehensive plan of developing the lobster work. And so it 
might be possible to enumerate a number of fields of activity 
in which the men show a desire to specialize, in addition to 
the straight law-enforcement work. The Board is encouraging 
its men to be not only officers in the enforcement of the laws, 
but likewise students of problems involved in developing all 
the possibilities of the districts in which they are located. 
Thus it is believed they will play an increasingly valuable part 
in the general development work being carried on by the de- 
partment. 

At the hatcheries and game farms during the past year the 
policy outlined in the previous report has been followed, 
namely, of handling the finances of each station as based on a 
schedule of estimates. Superintendents were not required to 
qonfine their expenditures to the several items estimated on in 
each month's schedule. The Board considered that it would 
be very difficult for a superintendent, in the financial schedule 
made up in detail, month for month, for the entire fiscal year, 
to figure out with absolute certainty how much of each item 
in that schedule he would require for the entire fiscal year. 
They were given a certain amount of leeway, permitting them 
to shift their plan of purchases as far as individual items in the 
schedule were concerned, so long as they kept inside the 
figure which was allowed for each month's operating expenses. 
This was done on the theory that every superintendent would 
return to the treasury any unexpended balances at the end 



PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 7 

of the month. As a matter of fact, experience showed that 
while the superintendents acted in good faith, there were, with 
a few exceptions, no balances returned. 

With this fact in mind, and with the intention of scruti- 
nizing even more closely the financial activities of the super- 
intendents, the following plan for the next fiscal year has been 
laid out : — 

Each superintendent's schedule of estimates for running his 
station during the coming fiscal year will be carefully figured 
over by the central office, to determine what sums are abso- 
lutely necessary for the operation of his plant. These items 
in the main will represent labor; fish or bird food, as the case 
may be; feed for such stock as is maintained (horses and cows 
at the bird farms); certain traveling expenses; telephone, etc. 
When these are determined, all the rest of the items for which 
he has made estimates will be stricken out. He will then be 
notified of the amount which the central office has allotted 
him, for each month of the fiscal year, for these bare neces- 
sities. He will then be required to observe the rules and regu- 
lations now in force, — that no additional expenditures shall 
I be incurred unless prior thereto he shall have received written 
authorization from the central office. 

In order to take care of the items which will be stricken 
out of the estimates, the following plan will be adopted : — 

Items which call for such accessories as fish cans, seines, 
|| aerators, books, etc., will be covered by a special form of 
[I' requisition. Before any such items of equipment can be pur- 
chased, superintendents will be required to file a requisition 
with the central office, which must be approved by the central 
office before the purchases are made. 

In reference to those items for building and repair work 
which include lumber, cement, hardware, etc., superintendents 
will be required to follow a new plan, thus : — 

Early in the fiscal year each superintendent will be furnished 
with blank forms, three sheets to a set. The first sheet, blue 
in color, will ask for a description of the item of repair, re- 
placement or new construction work which the superintendent 
proposes to do. On the second sheet (white) the superintend- 
ent will be required to give a sketch or plan showing the pro- 






8 FISH AND GAME. 

posed work. On the third sheet (yellow) the superintendent! 
will give an estimate of the cost of the proposed work. On 
this sheet he will also state how much of the labor needed 
will be supplied by his own men, and how much of the ma- 
terials to be used are at the time on hand. 

All of the work will be divided into separate "jobs," and 
in the upper right-hand corner of the sheets spaces will be 
provided for the job number, the date when received at the 
central office, and when authorized, if ever. At the beginning 
of the fiscal year the superintendents will file plans for the 
jobs which in their opinion will be required at their stations 
during the entire year, retaining copies. When these sheets 
have been received from all the stations they will be bound, 
and thus data on all work contemplated for the fiscal year will 
be in the central office in a compact and clean-cut form. 

With these estimates before them the Commissioners will 
consider each job on its merits, and, out of any reserve fund 
which may have been set aside over and above the cost of 
actual necessities for the stations, they will determine which 
jobs will be authorized. The superintendents will be notified 
and the estimated amounts of these jobs will be charged up 
against the reserve fund. As fast as a superintendent incurs 
bills on a job he will endorse thereon the number of the job 
for which incurred. The back of the descriptive sheet will 
bear a form for recording the items • of expenditures, which 
will be entered as fast as bills are received. The bills will 
then be handled and paid on the same system as has previously 
obtained, each station being charged in the analyzed account 
book with the amount of money spent for certain classes of 
materials. 

By the above plan the central office will know exactly what 
work is to be done at the various stations; the Commissioners 
will have had an opportunity to determine in advance whether 
the funds of the department will permit of the expenditures; 
the work will proceed on the clean-cut basis of description, 
plan and estimate; and the accounts will be kept in such 
shape that it can be seen at a glance how closely the super- 
intendent is keeping to his estimated cost of the job. 



PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 9 

The property book will show what materials are on hand 
at the several stations, and all such will be utilized before 
making additional purchases. The objective is a system which 
will keep the Commissioners in close touch with all financial 
transactions without developing needless red tape or duplica- 
tion of effort. 



10 FISH AND GAME. 



EDUCATION. 

To-day your Commissioners are only too well aware of the 
necessity of educating the public to the proper methods of 
utilizing the fish and game assets of the Commonwealth. Al- 
ready the passing of some of the most valuable forms of wild 
life have been witnessed, and it is the duty of this Board to 
exert every possible effort to preserve for future generations 
a just portion of the privileges now enjoyed. The Commis- 
sioners realize that publicity is the most essential factor in 
accomplishing this result, and that the public must be impressed 
with the necessity of this work, since in the final analysis 
public opinion is the force behind the enactment and proper 
enforcement of all protective laws. Various means for dis- 
seminating information have been tried, and the following 
methods bid fair to be most successful in furthering this im- 
portant activity. 

Education of Children. 
The most effective way of guaranteeing a permanent supply 
of fish and game is by instilling into the minds of the boys 
and girls (who are to be the men and women of the future) 
the lessons which it is so difficult to teach mature sportsmen. 
The problem will be completely solved only when natural 
history, including fish and game protection, is taught among 
required subjects in the curriculum of the elementary schools. 
At this age the mind is most receptive to instruction, and the 
lessons learned at this time will exert the most permanent and 
powerful control in the later life of each one. The true ob- 
jective is the complete development of all the ways in which 
our wild-life forms may be enjoyed between the extremes of 
observing them solely for the pleasure derived from their ap- 
pearance and action in their free state, and the ardent pur- 
suit, taking and utilization as food. There is plenty of room 
for all "parties in interest." Each should be encouraged to 
understand and respect the other's point of view. One of the 
earliest lessons should be self-restraint and temperateness in 
the time and amount of taking for sport and utilization as 
food. 



PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 11 



Boy Scouts. 

As a new department of the work, during the past year 
co-operation has been started with the Boy Scouts of Massa- 
chusetts. In this field the Commission has had the approval 
of the Greater Boston Council. While the work thus far has 
not advanced beyond the formative stage, it may be stated 
that the aim is to educate the Scouts to a rather thorough 
knowledge of the various forms of bird and animal life, to- 
gether with the necessity and methods of conserving these. 
Exhibits, illustrated lectures, and such other methods as appear 
effective, will be employed. 

But benefits to be derived by the State would most likely 
be along the following lines : — 

1. Intelligent appreciation of the work the Commission is 
trying to do, which is always a help toward better efforts. 

2. Assistance to the district deputies in times of special 
emergency. Patrolling certain streams or ponds as requested. 

3. Reporting violations of the fish and game laws which come 
to their notice. 

4. Winter feeding of birds, the erection of shelters and the 
planting of food supplies for the winters to come. 

The future only will reveal the extent to which this work 
may be carried on with mutual benefit. Field days for Boy 
Scouts, held at State hatcheries or game farms, to which those 
only are invited who have attained a certain grade on fish 
and game work, would prove invaluable. 

The services of the lecturers of the Commission are available 
without expense in the vicinity of Boston, or by special ar- 
rangement in other parts of the State, the only requirement 
being that an audience of at least thirty boys shall be guar- 
anteed. 

Suitably situated summer camps may be easily established 
with the co-operation of interested Scout masters, where part 
of the day can be devoted to courses of study under the guid- 
ance of a representative from the Commission. A two-week 
course would enable scores of boys to take advantage of such a 
camp and become real amateur fish and game conservationists. 
There is a constantly growing demand for experienced bird 



12 FISH AND GAME. 

and fish culturists, and for men in the warden service -who 
have a broad knowledge of the subject. The best men are 
those who have grown up in the work. Many Scouts may 
eventually go on into the regular work in this and other States. 



Exhibitions. 

The popularity of the educational exhibitions of fish and 
game at agricultural fairs is shown by the number of requests 
for exhibits received annually. During the past year these 
became so numerous that all could not be granted. How 
much these exhibitions are appreciated is shown by the fact 
that several associations have erected permanent cages and 
pens to house them, and the Housatonic Agricultural Society, 
at an expense of $2,000, has even constructed a special building. 

These exhibits consist of live specimens of the fish raised 
at the fish hatcheries, and of the common food fishes native 
to the Commonwealth; also of live specimens of the game 
birds reared at the bird farms. For several years numbers of 
fancy pheasants, wild turkeys, rare specimens of ducks and 
geese and hybrid trout have been exhibited. These have been 
all eliminated in order to center the public interest on only 
those birds and fish which are being reared for restocking 
purposes. The general scheme of the exhibits has been as 
follows : — 

1. As the central part of the exhibit, an information bureau 
where any person wishing detailed information can be received 
and attended to apart from the crowd; where a register can 
be kept for recording the names of such visitors; and where 
literature can be given out. 

2. Maps showing the fish hatcheries, game reservations, for- 
ests, streams and lakes (especially those covering the locality 
where the fair is held), so that visitors may point out the 
particular stream or cover in which they are interested and 
receive intelligent advice in regard to it. 

3. A variety of exhibits illustrating different phases of fish 
and game work, including the development of the egg and 
the growth of the fish, the nesting and hatching of game birds, 
the development of the young, and methods of combating their 



PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 13 

enemies. Where practical, the above features are shown in 
natural groups. 

4. Models and plans showing methods and apparatus used 
at the hatcheries and game farms. 

5. Photographs supplementing the above features, and also 
showing methods of improving and conducting sanctuaries and 
reservations. 

6. Placards showing the extent and benefits of the Com- 
mission's work, inviting co-operation on the part of interested 
persons, and furnishing information in attractive form calcu- 
lated to invite further inquiry. 

7. Charts developing any of the above features which might 
thus be shown to better advantage. 

8. Identification cards attached to the various displays, 
giving, in addition to the name, a statement of general infor- 
mation in concise and attractive form. 

9. A collection of nests of various birds carefully arranged 
in rustic cases, showing how the birds make them, and the 
measures adopted to protect the eggs and young. 

10. Specimens in formalin, illustrating the development of 
the brook trout and chinook salmon; specimens of young 
shad; food upon which young fish and birds are fed; method 
of developing the meat fly for game-bird food; pictures of 
fish, including the process of stripping. The skin of a 52-inch 
water adder, which contained 120 2-inch trout when killed in 
a trout-rearing pool, is mentioned as one feature shown to 
illustrate the large number of enemies of both fish and game. 

It may be said of this special exhibit that it reaches many 
people to whom the live fish and birds do not appeal, and is 
certainly of sufficient importance and general interest to merit 
further development. The purpose is not to provide a "free 
show," but, by a popular presentation, to lay before the people 
practical ways of taking a hand in the work; to encourage 
them to utilize the small ponds and streams in the more in- 
tensive growing of food supplies or to raise a few game birds 
for sale; and to appreciate the problems involved in main- 
taining and increasing the natural supply. Suggestions like 
the following, displayed at these exhibitions, set many people 
to thinking to good purpose. 



14 FISH AND GAME. 



Sportagrams. 

Train yourself to observe conditions when passing through the woods. 
There is always something new to learn. Be sure this Commission will 
always be pleased to have a report of your observations. , 

Feed the birds during the severe winter weather. Directions and a 
supply of grain will be gladly given upon request. 

Aid in every possible way to prevent forest fires. The woods are in- 
valuable as watersheds, and their preservation a necessity for increasing 
wild life. 

Be a real sportsman if you hunt or fish. There is more honor in giving 
a square deal than in getting the limit. 

Report all violations of fish and game laws to the regular district 
deputy commissioner, or to the Fish and Game Commission at the State 
House, Boston, Mass. All reports are considered strictly confidential. 

Teachers, cultivate among school children and others a better knowl- 
edge of the habits of birds and animals. 

Help to popularize the sport by showing a proper respect for the rights 
of property owners. 

Help to restock the streams which you fish, and show the riparian 
owners that you are doing something besides "skinning" the brooks. 

Don't take small fish when angling. Give them a chance to grow up. 
YOU had one. 

Don't try for the largest number. Try for the largest fish. 

Associations. 
It is a great pleasure to recognize the support which the 
department has received during the year from the sportsmen's 
associations in the State. Many of these associations have 
given the Commission valuable suggestions. Some have volun- 
teered to do constructive work in their districts which could 
have been done by the department only at a large expense; 
some have outdone their previous performances in the feeding 
of birds in the winter; others have built bird shelters; others, 
through their fish and game distribution committees, have more 
fully organized their machinery to care for the stock turned 
over by the Commonwealth, so that the plants might be made 
under the most favorable conditions; some have carried on an 
increasing campaign of education to bring the sportsmen and 



PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 15 

the landowners into a closer understanding, resulting in a greater 
consideration for the rights of the owners of the property over 
whose lands they fish and hunt. Since, as has been stated 
over and over again, the fish and game laws and protective 
measures are no stronger than the public sentiment back of 
them, the efforts of the associations in developing this public 
sentiment have been of inestimable value to the cause. 



National Activities. 
The attention of your Commissioners has not been confined 
entirely to State affairs. They have taken an active part in 
the various national conferences on the problems concerning 
fish and game which have become of great moment. By co- 
operating with other national and State officials, by visits of 
inspection, and by active official work in numerous organiza- 
tions, they have acquired new and broader ideas for the de- 
velopment, not only of the resources of Massachusetts, but 
also of the vast fish and game assets of the United States. 
The Commissioners are members of and hold important official 
positions in some of the following organizations: — 

1. American Fisheries Society, with membership in the com- 
mittee on relations with national and state governments. All 
three Commissioners attended the meeting Aug. 29 to 31, 1917, 
at St. Paul, Minn. At this meeting a member of the Board 
was elected treasurer of the society. 

2. National Association of Game and Fish Commissioners. 
The 1917 meeting, held at St. Paul, Minn., August 27 to 29, 
was attended by all the Commissioners. 

3. National Association of Shellfish Commissioners. The July 
meeting, at Providence, R. L, was attended by the Commis- 
sioners and the biologist. 

4. Northeastern Association of Fish and Game Commis- 
sioners, of which one member of the Board is president. 

5. A member of the Board has been appointed on the 
Advisory Committee to the Department of Agriculture on the 
Migratory Bird Law. 

6. His Excellency the Governor honored this Commission by 
selecting one of its members to represent the Commonwealth 



10 FISH AND GAME. 

at the Food Fisheries Conference with the National Food 
Administration at Washington, D. C, Sept. 24 to 26, 1917. 

A complete report of the meeting between the Food Fish- 
eries Conference and the Food Administration will be found 
in another part of this report. 

The Northeastern Association of Fish and Game Commissioners. 

Among the noteworthy events of the past year was the first 
meeting and conference of the Northeastern Association of Fish 
and Game Commissioners, held at the Copley Plaza Hotel on 
February 17. It was attended by members of the fish and 
game commissions of the New England States and New York. 
At the first conference various problems requiring the co- 
operation of these States were discussed. Considerable atten- 
tion was devoted to the regulation of the lobster fishery, and 
by mutual consent a size limit of 4| inches, carapace meas- 
urement (equivalent to 10-inch total length), was decided upon 
as the most acceptable legal limit for all the coastal States. 
The Commissioners agreed to use their influence in their re- 
spective States to secure the passage of such a measure during 
the coming year. 

In addition to a consideration of the systematizing of cleri- 
cal work and law enforcement, the subject of the anadromous 
food fishes received a thorough discussion, which resulted in 
the passage of the following resolution : — 

Whereas, The numbers of the salmon, the shad, the striped bass and 
other valuable anadromous food fishes have become so depleted that 
extermination is seriously threatened ; and 

Whereas, The depletion of these fishes is largely due to the fact that 
they are intercepted during their annual migration to their spawning 
grounds by the use of pound nets and other fishing devices set in waters 
over which the individual States have no control, and as a result of which 
attempts to replenish the waters by resorting to their artificial propagation 
are nullified; be it 

Resolved, That the commissioners of all of the New England States and 
of the State of New York here in convention assembled, strongly approve 
of the Federal control of all anadromous fishes, and commend to the 
attention of the representatives in Congress the careful consideration of 
this question; that they urge that earnest efforts be put forth by these 
representatives to the end that Congress enact a law taking over the 






PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 17 

control of all such anadromous fishes on the Atlantic coast; and that a 
copy of this resolution be sent to every member of Congress from the 
States here represented, and to the United States Commissioner of 
Fisheries. 

A second conference was held in Providence, R. L, on 
July 26 and 27, 1917, at which additional work was laid out. 



18 FISH AND GAME. 



BIRDS AND GAME. 






The general public is coming to realize more and more the 
existing danger to wild life and the rapidly increasing impor- 
tance of maintaining the natural supply of birds, game and 
fur-bearing animals. To-day the words " conservation, " "propa- 
gation" and "protection," which have been glibly used by many 
in the past, have taken on a new meaning. These words must 
be translated into more positive action. They stand for self- 
denial, closer study of supply and demand, and the restraint 
of those impulses which would shortly deplete our waters and 
covers in order to relieve a present though not acute need. 

Back of protective laws must be a healthy public sentiment, 
prompting every person to take the minimum rather than the 
maximum, and only under conditions which will permit of 
using all for food. If the supply is to keep pace with the 
demand, every bird or fish taken from the covers and streams 
must be replaced with one or more of the same species. The 
existing wild stock must be given greater freedom from natural 
enemies in order to do its full share of reproduction. It is 
strikingly evident that in order to perpetuate the supply, and 
at the same time afford recreation and food, artificial propa- 
gation, both public and private, must be more extensively 
undertaken. The State hatcheries and game farms are annually 
increasing the quantity and quality of output; nevertheless, 
more extensive stocking will be required to meet the demands 
of the future. 

Preservation. 
There are three general means of preserving wild life: — 
1. By enforcing observance of the laws. In the main the 
existing laws cover the subject well. Many of them embody the 
most advanced position taken by any State. Others show that 
this Commonwealth has been the pioneer in thought and action 
on the more important policies. The enforcement of these laws 
requires more than the activities of the present deputy force. 
Each man covers a district of approximately 415 square miles, 
with a monthly allowance for traveling expenses ranging from 



PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 19 

$25 to $31, depending on the character of the country he must 
traverse. It is manifestly impossible for one man to thoroughly 
cover such a large territory. The enforcement of the game 
laws depends essentially upon the attitude of the community. 
Without public sympathy and understanding no law can be 
adequately enforced. When the public at large, and especially 
those persons who hunt and fish, wake up to the fact that the 
laws are not intended as shackles, but rather as guides to the 
proper way in and extent to which wild life may be taken, 
and do as a rule reflect a serious effort, on the part of those 
having most accurate knowledge, to lay out the safe course to 
follow, then, and only then, will the game laws of Massachu- 
setts achieve their purpose. 

2. Preserving birds and animals by providing large areas 
where favorable breeding conditions exist and protecting them 
from shooting and their natural enemies. On these reserva- 
tions they must have shelter and sufficient food during the 
severe winter weather. 

3. Artificial propagation and distribution, either by private 
individuals or by the State. The private game farm is useful 
in two ways, — it furnishes birds and game for food, thus 
satisfying a public demand, and the birds which escape tend 
to increase the wild supply. 

It was but a few years ago that large sections of Massachu- 
setts were practically sanctuaries for game. Many such locali- 
ties on Cape Cod and in Berkshire, Franklin and Hampshire 
counties, were inaccessible to the average hunter, and the game 
was unmolested; but to-day good highways traverse all these 
regions, and the automobile takes the hunters swiftly from one 
cover to another. New trolley lines, too, have been built, 
such as the road from Huntington to Lee, through the heart 
of the game section of Berkshire County. 

There is an army of over 60,000 licensed hunters, in addition 
to the large number of men who are privileged to hunt un- 
licensed on their own land, all patroling the covers for some 
kind of game. 

The question that confronts us now is, how long will the 
game last? Are we looking out for the future generations, or 
simply for ourselves? Many plans have been considered to 



20 FISH AND GAME. 

require each hunter to make an annual return of the game 
killed by him, but none has been devised sufficiently simple 
and effective to be workable with the present force and finances. 

Reservations. 

There are two main types, — the private and the State 
reservation. The typical private reservation comprises estates 
which are stocked by the owner and upon which hunting is 
forbidden. Unfortunately, in most instances these estates are 
too small to be of any great benefit. 

Under chapter 362, Acts of 1909, all parks, commons and 
land held in trust for public use are given the status of State 
reservations on which hunting is prohibited. The State insti- 
tution grounds, hospitals and other public lands coming under 
this act comprise approximately 28,321 acres on which bird 
and animal life is protected. 

Likewise, under chapter 178, Acts of 1902, and other special 
acts, an additional area of 16,357 acres has been utilized as 
reservations and State game farms. 

Under chapter 410, Acts of 1911, the establishment of reser- 
vations by the State is provided for. Upon the petition of 
all the landowners the property embraced in several adjoining 
estates may be closed for a period of from three to five years. 
To insure the success of the reservation the area should be 
comparatively large (from 1,500 to 2,000 or more acres), with 
well-defined outer boundaries, such as highways, water courses 
or railroads. The initiative in this work comes from public- 
spirited citizens, not from the Commission. Once closed, no 
hunting whatever is permitted during the prescribed period, 
either by the public or by the property owners, with the excep- 
tion that the Commission may authorize persons to hunt and 
trap vermin. 

Results in this type of reservation have proved less successful 
than was originally expected. It is difficult to secure the con- 
sent of all the landowners within a given tract to the terms 
of closure, and the Commissioners cannot accept any tract which 
includes the land of a person who refuses to join in the peti- 
tion. The Commissioners have rather limited control over the 
land, and there is not that permanency of tenure which makes 



PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 21 

possible the laying out of those schemes for development which 
are necessary to secure the most effective results. Neverthe- 
less, they are better than nothing, and are serving a useful 
purpose in bridging over the time when the State will estab- 
lish permanent reservations. 

Under this act 18,475 acres have been set apart. During 
the year past the following reservations have been newly 
established: — 

Acres. 

Lynnfield Reservation, Lynnfield and Peabody, .... 750 

Taunton Reservation, Taunton, 2,749 

Mansfield-Foxborough Reservation, Mansfield and Foxborough, . 1,800 

Bare Hill Reservation, Harvard, 1,740 

The Commissioners are of the opinion that the true solution 
is to be found in permanent reservations owned by the State, 
of sufficient size to warrant the employment of a superintend- 
ent who will protect against poachers, kill predatory vermin, 
plant grain, and construct shelters where the birds may be 
fed during the severe winter weather; in other words, make 
ideal natural conditions for the wild stock. In addition to the 
State game farms and hatcheries a reasonable number of these 
State-owned reservations should be established in most counties. 

Along the same line the possibility of establishing State- 
owned reservations for hunting is to be considered. 

Heath Hen. 
About the close of 1916 the Board voted to make the ex- 
periment of planting colonies of heath hen upon the mainland. 
This was in line with the policy agreed upon at a conference, 
held April 21, 1916, at the office of the Commission, which was 
attended by T. Gilbert Pearson, secretary of the National 
Association of Audubon Societies, E. H. Forbush, State Orni- 
thologist, Winthrop W. Packard, secretary of the Massachu- 
setts Audubon Society, Dr. George W. Field, Dr. F. W. Rowley, 
William Day, superintendent of the reservation, and others. 
This conference was called for the purpose of considering meas- 
ures for the further protection of this bird. Those present at 
the meeting agreed that substantially the following steps should 
be taken: — 



22 FISH AND GAME. 

1. To consider transplanting colonies to the mainland. 

2. To cultivate corn, sunflowers and clover to insure green 
food during the summer and seeds and grain through the winter. 

3. To take measures to protect the birds against danger 
from fire. 

4. To protect against vermin, and patrol against violations. 

The New York Conservation Commission expressed a de- 
sire to have a substantial number of birds with which to 
restock Long Island, N. Y. (a once famous range of these 
birds). The superintendent of the reservation during the month 
of December, 1916, trapped and shipped to the New York 
commission 18 birds. 

Dr. John C. Phillips, Wenham, Mass., received 8 birds for 
experiment in breeding the birds in captivity, in closer quarters 
than were planned by the New York Conservation Commission. 

In spite of the fact that those who received the birds were 
well qualified to conduct such experiments and made elaborate 
preparations to insure the success of the trials, the results were 
uniformly unsatisfactory, since in every case the birds failed 
to mate. 

An account of these experiments may be of interest. 

Hon. Marshall McLean of the Conservation Commission of 
New York reported on Dec. 21, 1917: — 

It is "with the utmost regret that I have to write you that our heath 
hen experiment has been a total failure. The last of the birds died about 
three weeks ago. Investigations of the carcasses failed to disclose any 
particular disease so far as the records before me show. I cannot tell 
you how great a disappointment this has been to all the members of the 
commission. 

A more detailed report from Mr. Harry T. Rogers, superin- 
tendent of the game farms for the Conservation Commission, 
states that 18 heath hens (11 cocks and 7 hens) were received. 
A 3-acre enclosure was ready for them, with natural conditions 
much like those on the reservation from which they came. 
The birds were wing-clipped and each placed in a small breed- 
ing pen within this enclosure for about two weeks. When they 
had become acquainted with their new surroundings they were 
allowed to escape into the large enclosure. 






PUBLIC DOCUMENT -T- No. 25. 23 



Though pole traps were set for hawks and owls, 7 heath hens 
were lost through these birds. 

About March 1 the heath hen cocks showed signs of mating, 
going through the usual maneuvers. They did not pair off 
with the females, but all kept together. The cock birds did 
not seem inclined to fight, the hens showed no signs of nesting, 
nor did they lay any eggs so far as could be ascertained. 

The birds were fed a balanced ration of wheat, kaffir corn, 
buckwheat, barley, cracked corn and sunflower seeds, and grains 
were planted and left standing in the enclosure. Wild berries 
and insects were also available, though the birds did not eat 
the latter to any extent. 

About July 1 it was noticed that some of the birds looked 
droopy. Shortly after this they began to die, one about every 
ten days, until the remaining 11 were dead. Examination 
showed them to be very thin, almost nothing but bones and 
feathers. All died with a disease that game breeders term 
"going light." Any one who has raised game birds to any 
extent is familiar with this disease, which is tuberculosis of 
the bowels. In the opinion of the game keeper who had charge 
of the Long Island colony there was no reason for their failure 
to breed, as they were surrounded with what was considered 
very favorable conditions. 

Dr. Phillips reports: — 

To start with I had three heath hens and five males. I lost one of the 
females in a most peculiar way. The bird got her head through the wire 
and her entire head was bitten off by a dog. ... I mated the pairs in 
large separate breeding pens in a retired spot, the pens being about 20 by 
20 feet and covered. The surplus males were of course excluded. The 
males of the mated pairs did not "boom" at all during the mating season. 
Prairie chickens I had before boomed continuously for several weeks, so 
that I immediately suspected something was not right. One of the spare 
males was killed in a fight, and upon dissection I found that the sex 
organs were extremely small, although this was the height of the breeding 
season. I afterwards examined two others (males, I think) and found 
exactly the same condition. I shipped the remaining pairs down to 
Mr. Joshua Crane of No Man's Land some time about early July. . . . 

No report has been received as to how the birds have fared 
on No Man's Land. 



24 FISH AND GAME. 

Superintendent Day stated that he believed a surplus of 
cocks was necessary, and that the hens should be permitted to 
choose their own mates. 

During the year consultations, both in person and by letter, 
have been held with persons interested in the birds, not alone 
in Massachusetts but all over the country, keeping them in- 
formed of conditions and getting their views and advice. Keen 
interest in this colony is displayed by persons as far off as 
California. There has been especially close co-operation in this 
work between the department and State Ornithologist Forbush, 
the State Forester's department, the National Association of 
Audubon Societies and the Massachusetts Audubon Society. 
All those consulted at various times have concurred in the 
opinion that the proper protective measures to be followed are 
those laid down at the conference, and the Commissioners have 
used every effort to carry out this program as far as possible 
with the means available. 

The work accomplished may be summed up thus : — 

1. Distributions. — Account has already been given. 

2. Feed. — Three acres of corn were planted and left standing 
for feed, and 1J acres of sunflowers, — more, in the superin- 
tendent's opinion, than the birds could use. Alfalfa was also 
left uncut. 

3. Fire. — The State Forester's department was consulted as 
to the best means of protecting against fire. During the year 
that department, with the co-operation of towns on the island, 
erected a fire tower on the reservation where, during the danger 
season, some one is constantly on watch to detect fires. 

4. Vermin. — A vigorous warfare has been kept up against 
vermin, and the superintendent reports: — 

Twelve cats were shot; 145 rats trapped; 45 marsh hawks, 4 gos- 
hawks, 10 red-tails and 8 rough-legs shot. All these hawks had bird 
life in their stomachs, with the exception that 2 marsh hawks had mice 
and a red-tail had 2 small snakes. 

In addition, following the recommendation of the State 
Ornithologist, a man has been placed on the reservation whose 
instructions are to devote his entire time to the heath hen, 



PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 25 

with particular emphasis on the destruction of vermin and 
patrol work. This man has no other duties in the way of law 
enforcement to distract his attention from the task in hand. 

The State Ornithologist has kept closely in touch with con- 
ditions, and in the course of the year reported his findings 
thus: — 

On April 18, 1917, in a two-day examination covering about 
25 miles on foot and in automobile, he was able to locate only 
70 birds. Not satisfied, on April 24 he covered 40 miles. 
During the two trips he was able to account for 126 birds, 
among which he observed males to be in excess of females. 
He estimates 50 pairs on the island, against 800 a year ago. 
Causes: the great fire which destroyed food and exposed them 
to enemies, killed females on the nest, resulting in excess males, 
and destroyed vegetation and insects, depriving birds of food 
and shelter from enemies. 

On Sept. 28, 1917, he reported that the heath hens were 
fewer in number than at any time within the last nine years. 
He was able to find but two birds. In his opinion the birds 
are about down to the point where they were when the Com- 
mission first took hold of the work. He suggested that the 
deputy on the island needs to give his entire attention to the 
heath hen, excluding all other law enforcement work. He ex- 
pressed the opinion that if the birds are properly cared for 
they may still increase. 

It is probable that the number of heath hens on the island is 
greater than the above figures would indicate, for in the course 
of the year employees on the reservation have seen flocks num- 
bering from 37 to 50 birds. 

On Sept. 30, 1917, Mr. William Day, who has covered the 
double position of superintendent of the reservation and dis- 
trict deputy, resigned to undertake other work. Pending the 
appointment of his successor, Deputy Elisha T. Ellis was 
assigned to the reservation, devoting his entire time to the 
heath hen work. Mr. James A. Peck was selected to succeed 
Mr. Day, his term of service to commence Dec. 1, 1917. 



26 



FISH AND GAME. 



Pheasants. 

During the pheasant season for 1917 every county in the 
State was open except Dukes, Nantucket and Barnstable. 

The restrictions that were placed on the hunters were a bag 
limit of two in any one day and six in the season, with a 
proviso that all birds killed must be reported to the Com- 
missioners. 

Summary of the reports received is here given. 

Pheasants shot in Open Season of 1917, November 1 to 80. 



County. 


Cocks. 


Hens. 


Total. 


Berkshire 


42 


18 


60 


Bristol, 


147 


98 


245 


Essex, 


302 


197 


499 


Franklin 


23 


15 


38 


Hampden, 


118 


48 


166 


Hampshire, 

Middlesex 


117 


78 


195 


522 


281 


803 


Norfolk, 


179 


101 


280 


Plymouth, 


116 


66 


182 


Suffolk 


3 


3 


6 


Worcester, 


184 


114 


298 


Total 


1,753 


1,019 


2,772 



From reports received since the season closed it is evident 
that a good many hunters failed to make the required return. 
It is but a small matter to comply with this part of the law, 
and gunners are informed that the department will try to 
enforce this provision during the next open season. Sportsmen 
who have had an opportunity during the past four years to 
shoot pheasants are loud in their praise of them as game birds 
of the highest type. From all sections of the State come 
requests for the liberation of more pheasants. Unquestionably 
the pheasant has come to stay, and the State will continue to 
liberate increasing numbers each year from the game farms. 

During the past year large numbers of pheasants' eggs have 
been distributed to farmers and others who have facilities for 
hatching and rearing the young birds. Printed instructions are 
sent with each shipment of eggs, and all possible information 
is furnished. In some cases the recipients were quite successful 
in raising the pheasants, while others were less fortunate. 

It is the policy of the Commissioners to encourage private 
individuals to go into the work of raising pheasants. At the 



PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 27 

present time this work has become an established business, and 
there is a ready market for all the pheasants that can be raised, 
either for brood stock or for the market. 

Licenses and tags for dealers who wish to rear these birds 
and sell them for food are issued by the Commission. 

There is a demand for young men as game breeders, and 
unquestionably it will steadily increase in all sections of the 
country. 

Ruffed Grouse. 

When the season closed in November, 1916, it was the opinion 
of hunters and deputies alike in every section that the ruffed 
grouse were rapidly increasing, and that a substantial number 
had been left in the covers to breed. At a convention held in 
Springfield in January of the present year, which was attended 
by a large number of prominent sportsmen from Worcester, 
Springfield, Boston and other sections, it was voted to ask the 
Legislature to change the date of the hunting season for these 
birds, making it from November 1 to December 1. It was the 
opinion of these men that grouse were coming back fast, and 
that old-time conditions would soon prevail. This expectation, 
however, was not realized. Few broods of young birds were 
noticed during the summer, and when the open season came 
birds were scarce and nearly every one killed was an old bird. 

The Commissioners have been to considerable pains to get at 
the facts from all sections of this as well as from neighboring 
States, and have reports from reliable sportsmen, wardens, 
guides and others who know what the exact conditions 
are. From information gained from these persons and our 
own observation your Commissioners attribute much of the 
scarcity of ruffed grouse to the poor breeding season in the 
spring, coupled with the fact that during the past two years 
there has been a great flight of goshawks in all parts of the 
State. It is fully realized that many other factors enter into 
the destruction of the grouse, such as cats, foxes, owls, skunks, 
weasels and the illegal hunter, but these are always present, and 
for that reason the unusual conditions are attributed to the 
causes named. 

It has been learned that this condition is not local, but that 
it prevails in all the New England States, New York and the 



28 FISH AND GAME. 

States farther west. What the future will be no one knows. 
What is the best policy to pursue to save the ruffed grouse 
from extermination is the question that is occupying the minds 
of many sportsmen to-day. It must be remembered, however, 
that it is a well-known fact that similar reductions in the num- 
ber of grouse have in the past occurred about once in every 
seven to ten years. 

Woodcock. 
Reports show that woodcock bred fairly well in Massa- 
chusetts. There is much cover in this State admirably adapted 
as breeding grounds for the woodcock, though this area and the 
feeding grounds are becoming more and more restricted owing 
to drainage of wet lands. Fall reports indicated about the 
usual number of birds in the covers, both native-bred and flight 
birds. The change of the season to the month of November 
(which opened the season in Berkshire, Franklin, Hampden and 
Hampshire counties October 20) undoubtedly deprived sports- 
men in eastern Massachusetts of a part of their sport; but they 
were still given a reasonable opportunity to shoot the flight 
birds which came through between the first and middle of 
November. However, it is a grave question whether or not the 
season on woodcock throughout the United States should be 
closed for a few years. The whole subject comes within the scope 
of the Federal migratory bird law, and undoubtedly the Federal 
authorities will take some action on the woodcock question 
within the next year. 

Ducks. 
Black ducks and wood ducks are reported as increasing in all 
sections of the State, and have nested along the shores and on 
the inland lakes and ponds. Years ago it was a common sight 
to see large flocks of these ducks in all parts of Massachusetts, 
and they are surely coming back, due in a large measure to 
the protection given them by the migratory bird law. At all 
seasons of the year, from all localities along the coast, come 
stories of large flocks of ducks. Many persons who were 
sceptical as to the effect of the Federal law have now come to 
realize its value and are loud in its praise. At the game farm 
at Sandwich 22 wood ducks were raised this year. 



PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 29 



Mallard Duck. 

The mallard duck still presents a problem in the breeding of 
game birds. The desired end is the production of a duck of 
habits sufficiently wild to insure breeding in the open when 
liberated. It is a question whether the pure wild mallards, 
though bred for several generations, will lay enough eggs to 
justify the expenditure of the money required to breed them. 
It is likewise a question whether a crossing of the wild and 
semi-wild types will produce the desired bird. To-day a large 
number of the ducks have become quite tame before being dis- 
tributed, and grow tamer after liberation. This is due largely 
to the way the birds are handled by the persons receiving them, 
who, finding them beautiful and interesting, too often pet and 
overfeed them, with the result that they will more and more 
come to recognize a feeding hour and place instead of wandering 
off to become real wild ducks. 

The Commissioners are alive to the situation and to the type 
of bird required if this work is to be a complete success. If 
a satisfactory bird cannot be produced, the breeding of them 
will probably be discontinued entirely. Xo doubt the present 
semi-wild mallard, so called (which originally came from the 
pure wild stock), could on reservations and shooting preserves 
be handled by expert keepers so that they would be sufficiently 
wild for sporting purposes; that is to say, would be good 
flyers and could be "driven" to the gun. This of course is 
impracticable in any system of State-wide distribution to the 
rank and file of applicants, and as a result a wilder duck must 
be developed. The plan of putting out more and more flocks 
of the semi-wild birds on the various State reservations will be 
continued in order to observe whether these birds, when left 
alone and compelled to shift for themselves, will rear broods 
sufficiently wild so that they will not fall an easy prey to the 

hunters and vermin. 

• 

Quail. 
The spring of 1917 was a very poor breeding season for quail. 
When the birds were nesting the weather was cold and rainy, 
and without doubt many yqung birds in the early broods per- 



30 FISH AND GAME. 

ished; but good broods came from the second hatch, and when 
the shooting season opened, November 1, the quail were quite 
plentiful on Cape Cod and along the southern boundary of the 
State. 

Essex county has already been closed to quail shooting for 
two years, and the Legislature of 1917 closed Hampden and 
Middlesex counties likewise for a period of five years. Just 
what the effect of this action will be it is hard to say. Most 
of the quail that are destroyed are killed by the deep snows 
and heavy crust of severe winters, and not by the gunners, 
as is generally supposed. 

With a few good breeding seasons the department feels con- 
fident that in such sections as provide the proper environment 
the quail will be plentiful again. 

It was not possible to carry out the proposed experiment at 
Marshfield in trapping up wild quail, holding them long enough 
to take a clutch or two of eggs, and liberating the birds in 
time to permit raising a brood in the open, owing to inability 
to secure a sufficient number of wild birds to make the experi- 
ment. However, the plan will be continued during the coming 
season. It is believed that if this method can be successfully 
worked year after year it will go a long way toward solving 
the quail problem. As it is, most of the early-hatched birds 
perish through the cold and wet of the early breeding season, 
and the greater part of the birds which survive are of second 
or third broods. If a reasonable number of birds can be 
caught up in a given locality, a certain number of eggs col- 
lected, and the birds liberated on the arrival of the favorable 
breeding season, it should result in saving a large number of 
the young which would otherwise be destroyed, and not affect 
the number of birds raised in the open. 

In other reports the statement has been made that vermin 
and the rigorous winters are the great menaces to the quail. 
Every year a number of applications for quail are received 
from the northern and western parts of the State. Some ship- 
ments have been made into these regions, more for experi- 
mental purposes, but so far the results have not been satis- 
factory. It is true that quail in years gone by have been 
numerous in southern Berkshire, with a substantial sprinkling 



PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 31 

of them in such counties as Franklin and Hampshire, but until 
a thoroughly organized campaign for winter feeding is in full 
swing, and the birds which may be left in the fall are accu- 
rately located and carefully cared for during the long winters 
of deep snow, it is doubtful whether in these localities the 
quail will ever be increased in such numbers as will justify the 
effort and the expense. It is with reluctance that the Com- 
missioners make such a statement, for the reason that they 
would like to be able to establish this game bird in every part 
of the State. Just as the pheasants seem to gradually work 
toward the swamp land and the sections of tall grass along 
the sluggish waters where they find the maximum protection, 
so the quail seem to prefer a country of bull briers, scrub oak 
and pine, and localities of dense vegetation where they can 
obtain the best possible shelter. To what extent the birds 
will gradually change by reason of greater care and protection 
during the winter remains to be seen, but there is no such 
organized effort to-day as insures much artificial assistance to 
them. 

Deer. 

Reports received from all sections indicate that the deer are 
increasing in Massachusetts. The open season on deer for 1917 
was changed from November to December. As this report is 
made only to Nov. 30, 1917, statistics of the 1917 season will 
appear in the next report, which will begin with Dec. 1, 1917. 

During the severe winter weather when snows are deep it 
is no uncommon thing to receive reports of 12 to 20 deer seen 
in one herd. 

The method of killing with a shotgun (which the law re- 
quires) seems to be the right thing for a state as thickly 
populated as Massachusetts. Trolley lines and highways run 
in every direction, and any other method would without doubt 
result in many accidents. The small number of accidents 
which have occurred since the killing of deer has been allowed 
proves that the method is correct. 

The amount paid in 1917 by the State for damages by wild 
deer was 810,125.21. 



32 



FISH AND GAME. 





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PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 33 

Winter Feeding of Birds. 

During the past winter the Commission has furnished grain 
and chaff, to the value of S600, to numerous persons throughout 
the State to feed the wild birds. The amount was thus limited, 
and the people who put out the grain immediately, without 
waiting until the time when it was needed, were unable to 
obtain second allotments. Persons receiving grain for distri- 
bution should bear in mind that it must be put out only dur- 
ing the severe storms of the winter, when it will do the most 
good, and that it is a great mistake to distribute this grain 
prodigally the moment it is received. The idea is to help the 
birds keep alive in those annual crises. To insure this alone 
in all parts of the State will require a far greater sum than 
the Commission has ever expended. Plans for the coming 
winter contemplate the collection of a supply of waste grain 
to be held in readiness to put out as soon as the snow comes. 
The amount of grain will necessarily be restricted owing to 
limited funds and to the increase in price. For this reason 
persons are requested to use it sparingly, and to put it out 
only when the birds are actually in great need. Reports from 
those who are doing this work independent of the department 
will be welcomed. A record of such persons is gradually being 
built up in an effort to organize the forces all over the State. 

Farmers are encouraged to leave shrubs and grain along the 
fences for the birds to feed on during the fall and winter. By 
planting grain at the cost of a few dollars in places acces- 
sible to the birds, and leaving the crop unharvested, farmers 
can do much toward saving many birds. The sportsmen can 
show no greater appreciation of the opportunity to hunt on 
these lands than by compensating the farmers for this work. 

The building of winter feeding stations, which should be 
located in places protected from natural enemies and from 
weather conditions, is urged. A most satisfactory way is to 
construct, after the snow has been cleared away to the bare 
ground, a lean-to of boughs or trees, which should so cover 
the ground that a fairly good-sized area will be left free from 
snow. Food such as grain, hay, chaff, barn sweepings, straw 
and grit may be put in the cleared space. Plenty of room 



34 FISH AND GAME. 

should be given so that the birds may have easy exit if attacked 
by predatory animals. Small shelters may be made by piling 
brush against fences, being sure to leave openings at either end. 
There is still another line which might be developed at little 
cost, but to great advantage. There has been much talk for 
a number of years of planting "food-bearing shrubs and trees" 
for the birds, but very little of this talk has been put into 
practical operation. It has been noticed that in portions of 
Massachusetts and New Hampshire, locally known as the 
abandoned farm country, there are numbers of old apple trees, 
and that partridges especially feed very heavily on the fruit. 
Many of these trees are old and dying, and but few young trees 
are coming along to take their places. There are, moreover, but 
few trees, widely scattered. This suggests the idea that there 
is no logical reason why apple or other trees which retain their 
seeds or fruit through a large portion of the winter could not 
be planted in practically every likely bird spot in New England. 
Most of these covers to-day are grown up to worthless vege- 
tation of one kind or another. 

Enemies to the Birds. 
The enemies to the birds seem to be almost numberless, but 
three now receiving special attention may be enumerated as 
follows: (1) the pot hunter and unnaturalized hunter who has 
not learned the lesson of the value of bird protection; (2) the 
domestic hunting cat; and (3) the various predatory vermin. 

Unnaturalized Hunters. 
The offender who gives most trouble to the deputies is the 
foreign-born person, particularly the Italian immigrant, who, 
either wilfully or in ignorance of the laws protecting the birds, 
seeks to apply here the methods of the chase to which he has 
been accustomed in his own country. The laws of Massachu- 
setts now forbid all aliens, excepting those who own taxable 
property of at least $500 value, owning, having in possession 
or using a rifle or shotgun within the Commonwealth. As a 
result the pursuit of wild life is carried on assiduously by these 
men in such ways as trapping with horsehair nooses; liming 
trees; the use of string and spring traps such as the "area;" 









PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 35 

and other methods in addition to the use of firearms. In the 
annual report for 1916 a photograph was shown of the con- 
fiscated guns which had been taken from persons under the 
alien law (chapter 240, General Acts of 1915). Many addi- 
tional guns have been taken up during the past year. 

Your Commissioners have no special grievance against the 
alien hunters. Many of them will develop into good citizens; 
but it is felt that, until they have assimilated American ideals, 
and until they appreciate the importance of protecting wild 
life, they should be held in check. They must assume the 
obligations of citizenship and must take advantage of the 
opportunity to adjust their old ideas to new conditions. 

Domestic Cat. 

Mr. Charles A. Wilson in the u Conservationist" asks this 
pertinent question: "Shall we have cats in uncontrolled num- 
bers, or shall we have crops?" Upon analysis the question 
resolves itself into whether we shall have cats, or the birds 
without which agriculture would prove a failure. It is for 
this reason that the uncontrolled hunting house cat should be 
systematically and effectively kept in subjection. 

The damage caused by cats is much greater than is ordi- 
narily believed. Large numbers of wild house cats roam the 
woods and fields in their search for prey. Rarely can one 
traverse a few miles of country road without noticing stray 
cats prowling through the fields. Many of these lead a wholly 
independent existence; others, insufficiently fed and cared for 
at home, are partially dependent for food upon their own 
hunting powers. Their number is constantly being augmented 
by an excess production for which homes cannot be supplied. 
Particularly in the summer colonies along the seashore the 
uncontrolled cat is at its worst. At times cats may abandon 
good homes and lead a free-living existence during the summer, 
but the great proportion of stray cats are those which have 
been left behind by the summer cottagers on their return to 
the cities in the fall. These animals, left to secure their own 
living, readily resume the wild, bloodthirsty habits of their 
ancestors in preying upon birds and other wild forms. On 
Marthas Vineyard, especially, stray cats abound, and on the 



36 FISH AND GAME. 

heath hen reservation continual warfare has been maintained 
by the superintendent. 

Mr. Edward Howe Forbush, the State Ornithologist of Massa- 
chusetts, cites several instances where the bird population has 
been destroyed by cats on small islands. At Monomoy Point 
on Cape Cod a colony of least terns was nearly exterminated 
by cats from the fish shanties. On Muskeget Island a large 
colony of breeding gulls and terns, estimated at 45,000 birds, 
was seriously threatened by cats. The situation on Muskeget 
has been improved by the enactment of chapter 40, General 
Acts of 1917, passed on recommendation of this Board, which 
forbids any person, under penalty of a heavy fine, to take or 
cause to be taken to this island any cat, or to have a live cat 
in possession or at large on the island. 

The Massachusetts Fish and Game Commission is making an 
energetic plea to the fishermen, cottagers and other people to 
consider well the serious danger resulting from the importation 
and subsequent abandonment of cats. Throughout the country 
there have been movements toward suppression of this danger- 
ous enemy of bird life. Various methods in the form of mod- 
erate license fees, coupled with effective measures of restraint 
and elimination of stray animals, have been proposed in Massa- 
chusetts, but as far as legislative measures are concerned no 
action has been taken, and the cat is allowed to pursue un- 
molested its nefarious course of destruction. The situation is 
well summarized by Mr. Edward Howe Forbush in a special 
report upon "The Domestic Cat." 1 

The evils connected with the unrestricted liberty of the cat can be 
abated only by reducing the number of cats to a minimum, limiting 
breeding, destroying superfluous kittens at birth, restraining or confining 
cats kept as pets and as ratters (particularly at night and during the 
breeding season of the birds), quarantining cats in cases of infectious 
diseases, and destroying all stray and feral cats, wherever they may be 
found. 

Vermin. 
Superintendents of the State game farms have for years 
waged warfare against the various forms of vermin which 
interfere seriously with the artificial propagation of game birds. 

1 Economic Biology Bulletin, No. 2, Massachusetts State Board of Agriculture. 



PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 37 

Where a large number of birds are concentrated in a small 
area, predatory vermin find easy opportunity for destructive 
work if constant vigilance is not maintained. 

Vermin are those forms of animal and bird life which, be- 
cause of their predatory nature, serve as a natural check upon 
the increase of game and insectivorous birds, and tend, under 
abnormal conditions, to multiply beyond the balance of nature. 
They primarily include the smaller mammals and birds of prey. 

Vermin may be grouped into four classes: (1) wild mammals, 
such as squirrels, weasels, skunks, foxes, raccoons, muskrats and 
mink; (2) semi-domestic mammals, such as rats, cats and 
ferrets; (3) predatory birds, those belonging to the hawk and 
owl families, including the sharp-shinned hawk, Cooper's hawk, 
red-shouldered hawk, red-tailed hawk, goshawk, barred owl, 
great horned owl and snowy owl; and (4) destructive birds of 
various types, such as the crow, English sparrow, starling and 
blue jay. 

The destructiveness of these natural enemies is much greater 
than is ordinarily realized. There is no closed season for these 
hunters, who operate three hundred and sixty-five days (and 
many nights) in the year. The relative amount of damage by 
the various classes of vermin is difficult to estimate, as it 
varies with abundance and locality. Perhaps under natural 
conditions the predatory birds are the chief offenders, whereas 
on the small reservations it is rats, cats and weasels which are 
the important enemies. The fourth class, destructive birds, 
though more or less of a nuisance, do little damage to the 
adult birds, but destroy the eggs or young. 

The bounty system favoring the destruction of designated 
species is time-honored, but in the light of present-day knowl- 
edge its inefficiency and harmfulness are strikingly manifest. 
Experience has demonstrated that in nearly every instance 
where bounties, particularly upon predatory birds, have been 
offered, all birds of that class, beneficial as well as harmful, 
have been taken. Constant vigilance is necessary to prevent 
extensive fraud in claiming bounties, not to mention the ex- 
pense contingent to satisfying claims. 



38 FISH AND GAME. 

Squirrel. 

Of the two species, the red is a greater nuisance and more 
destructive than the larger and better-mannered gray. Their 
activities are for the most part limited to destroying eggs. 
It is a question whether the damage is not more than offset 
by the hunting they afford. If they become too numerous or 
acquire bad habits they should be thinned out, but otherwise 
left alone. 

Weasel. 

Weasels are undoubtedly the worst menace, for their pelts 
are of little value as fur, and they are not taken by the trapper. 
To-day very little is being done to keep this animal in check, 
and doubtless it will require greater attention in the near 
future, and ways will need to be devised to reduce its numbers. 

Skunk. 
To birds and chickens the skunk is an ever-present source 
of danger, as its work is most constant. All skunks on or 
near any game preserve should be eliminated. 

Fox. 
This animal cannot be given a "clean bill of health," but its 
usefulness as a destroyer of wild mice and moles is greatly in 
its favor. The value of the pelt amounts to a bounty on the 
animal's head. This, coupled with the large number of fox 
hunters, will insure keeping the numbers in bounds. 

Raccoon. 
Raccoons prove a source of considerable danger to the young 
birds and eggs, and are especially difficult to control owing to 
the fact that they are capable of climbing rather high fences. 

Mink. 
Mink are destructive, bloodthirsty creatures which destroy 
merely for the love of it. They are caught along the brooks 
by setting steel traps under the water near the side of the 
stream, baited with an apple or meat on a stick, so arranged 
that the animal is obliged to pass over the trap. 



PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 39 

Rat. 
The general idea is that rats are confined to thickly settled 
communities and live only in houses and outbuildings. How- 
ever, it is a fact that larger numbers of them roam the country- 
side. They show great adaptability to surroundings, and soon 
become at home in the open. They are particularly destruc- 
tive to eggs and young birds. 

Hawks. 

The sharp-shinned, red-shouldered, red-tailed, and the Cooper's 
hawk, particularly destructive to bird life, should be absolutely 
barred from reservations. The rough-leg and marsh hawks, 
which are usually condemned indiscriminately, should not be 
destroyed unless they are known to be more harmful than 
beneficial. The goshawk, a winter visitor in the State, is the 
most deadly of all, and should be killed on sight. Other 
species of hawks should be protected, as they do considerable 
good and seldom trouble the birds. The one exception is the 
marsh hawk on Marthas Vineyard. Here the land is so closely 
covered with a dense growth of scrub oak and other brush 
that mice are difficult to capture, and thus these birds have 
been compelled to turn to more easily captured prey, — the 
heath hen. In one instance the nest of a marsh hawk con- 
tained the remains of one flicker and eleven heath hen chicks. 

Some States have enacted laws placing bounties on hawks and 
owls because these birds as a class bear the reputation of 
robbing hen coops. The killing of hundreds of birds has fol- 
lowed without regard for their habits and value, with the re- 
sult that in a comparatively short space of time these localities 
have been overrun with mice and other vermin. It was found 
by investigation that a majority of the hawks, with the excep- 
tion of the above-mentioned species, do more good than harm, 
and that their detrimental influence on game birds is slight as 
compared with the immense amount of good accruing to the 
agricultural interests. 

The inroads of the Cooper's and the sharp-shinned hawk 
caused a considerable loss at the East Sandwich Game Farm. 
Two methods of offsetting their attacks have been pursued: 



40 FISH AND GAME. 

(1) with shotgun, necessitating continual watchfulness on the 
part of the hunter; and (2) with traps placed on poles situ- 
ated near the enclosures. It is customary for hawks and owls 
to alight on an object before swooping down upon their prey, 
and by placing traps with jaws wound with cloth on high 
roosting places it has been possible to capture a number of 
these predatory birds. 

Owl. 
The barred owl, great horned owl and snowy owl are to be 
classed among the injurious birds. Screech owls should be pro- 
tected at all times. 

Crow. 
Crows are mischievous villains, but their general extermi- 
nation is not recommended. As destroyers of eggs of pheasants 
and other birds they do considerable damage. 

Blue Jay. 
The blue jay is a mischievous bird, and, like the crow, de- 
structive to eggs, although probably to a lesser extent. 

Starling. 
The starling, introduced into New York State a few years 
ago, is rapidly increasing, and is gradually spreading over 
Massachusetts. This bird bids fair to become as great a pest 
as the English sparrow, and possibly more destructive, espe- 
cially to the song and insectivorous birds. 

English Sparrow. 
The European house or English sparrow, which is now firmly 
established in this country, mobs the native birds, and breaks 
up their nests and eggs. Because of its filth and destructive 
habits it has been styled an avian rat. Systematic campaigns 
in various sections of the country have already given proof 
that this pest may be held in subjection in the same manner 
as rats and mice. A campaign is not only justified but highly 
necessary if crops are to be protected and native birds en- 
couraged. It is possible that this species may be utilized as 
food, as in Europe. 



PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 41 



Spraying. 
Numerous reports have been received concerning the death 
of birds by poison from the spraying of trees. In the campaign 
against the gypsy and brown-tail moth and other insect pests 
there has been a wholesale spraying of fruit and other trees 
by the State and by individuals. Arsenate of lead, a deadly 
poison, has been most commonly used. Unquestionably birds 
have died from eating fruits and berries covered with this spray, 
but probably in a much less number than is commonly sup- 
posed. The chief trouble arises from the fact that people are 
in the habit of spraying at the wrong time of year, when the 
damage is greatest to the birds and the spraying of least bene- 
fit to the trees. State Forester Frank W. Rane recommends 
that for the protection of the birds and to achieve best re- 
sults the spraying by individual citizens should be done when 
vegetation has developed sufficiently to hold the poison (vary- 
ing somewhat with the locality and season), and when insects 
are small, the idea being to spray as early in the season as 
possible after vegetation has started. 

Bird Colonies. 
The Commission has been investigating the colonies of birds 
along the coast, particularly the breeding places of the terns. 
The condition of the tern colonies, especially the rare least 
tern, has shown no improvement during the year, indicating 
the need of more stringent protection. The most famous of 
the tern breeding places are Weepecket Islands and Penikese 
Island in Buzzards Bay; Muskeget Island; the south shore 
of Marthas Vineyard near Katama Bay; and Monomoy Beach 
at Chatham. These colonies have suffered severely from the 
inroads of cats and skunks. The colony at Monomoy has 
received especially serious damage. The Commissioners' esti- 
mates for next year ask for an appropriation to protect these 
colonies by patrols who, prior to the breeding season, will rid 
the localities of vermin before the birds arrive, and then guard 
them from vermin and from human interference. The maxi- 
mum opportunity will be afforded the birds to propagate in 
favorable surroundings. 



42 FISH AND GAME. 



Dogs. 

The dog question has taken on a more hopeful appearance. 
The problem of the self-hunting dog will always be present. 
While the difficulty of keeping dogs continually tied, when 
their natural instinct and craving is for the woods and fields, 
is fully appreciated, nevertheless, for the sake of the breeding 
of ground-nesting birds the cruising of dogs during the closed 
seasons should be checked in so far as possible. Moreover, 
there is a great effort being made to revive the sheep-growing 
interest in the Commonwealth. While perhaps the damages 
by dogs may be overstated at times as the reason for the de- 
cline of the industry, it is a fact that dogs do much damage, — 
usually the cur-dog, having collie or bulldog blood in him. 
The nation is at war. One of the ways to win that war is by 
the production of food. Thousands of acres of land in this 
State can produce sheep where none are raised to-day. If it 
is necessary to put some restrictions on all dogs in order to 
control the bad ones, it is believed that the reasonableness of 
it will be apparent. 

The Legislature of 1917 enacted chapter 102, Resolves of 
1917, whereby in the interests of sheep raising in Massachu- 
setts a commission was appointed to make a thorough investi- 
gation of the dog problem and formulate the necessary recom- 
mendations for a new dog law. This commission was composed 
of Wilfrid Wheeler, Secretary of the State Board of Agriculture; 
William C. Adams, Chairman of the Fish and Game Commis- 
sion; Arthur Seagrave, Assistant Attorney-General, and Judge 
Sanborn G. Tenney of Williamstown. This commission is to 
report its findings and recommendations to the Legislature of 
1918. 

Fur-bearing Animals. 

Among the fur-bearing animals indigenous to Massachusetts, 
which are of value for their pelts, may be mentioned the 
raccoon, mink, skunk, muskrat and fox. Of these the muskrat 
perhaps has been too much underrated, and therefore it has 
not received all the protection to which by right it is entitled. 
By adequate protection and artificial propagation a valuable 
industry may be established. 



PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 43 



Bird Farms and Fish Hatcheries in General. 
The opinion is more or less general that the rearing of fish 
and game birds is a comparatively easy matter. Just the oppo- 
site is true. Few occupations call for more patience, perse- 
verance and closer attention to detail, and few have more 
latent possibilities of failure. A sudden change in temperature 
may destroy a great quantity of eggs or young fish. A storm 
or a heavy rain may kill a large number of young birds in the 
field. More than once have the superintendents seen many 
days of hard work and care come to naught in a brief time 
through causes entirely beyond their control. 

Changes in Operation. 
In the past the breeding of several species of fish or game 
birds has been carried on at each station. Likewise two or 
more stations have been producing like species of fish and 
game. Your Commissioners have come to the conclusion that 
wherever possible the breeding of a certain species should be 
consolidated in that station most adapted to the work, and 
that so far as practicable the superintendents should specialize 
in breeding a particular species. Many economies are likely to 
result. This plan has been put into operation as set forth in 
the reports on the several stations. Further changes will be 
considered, the object being to bring each plant which the 
State now owns up to the highest point of efficiency before 
establishing others. 

Distribution. 
When the stock is ready for distribution new conditions 
arise. To-day most of it is distributed on applications filed 
throughout the year. Lists are made up at the central 
office covering the names and shipping addresses of the appli- 
cants. These are sent to the stations, and at the proper time 
the distribution starts. Believing that the public should have 
more advance information as to the conditions under which 
stock may be received, all application blanks have this year 
been redrafted and standardized. Heretofore one form was 
used for a large number of species. Now there is a form for 



44 FISH AND GAME. 

each, carrying the appropriate information. The Commission- 
ers do not make definite promises to any one to ship stock. 
It is impossible to know in advance how much will be available. 
Very often at the last minute cancellation of orders already 
given becomes necessary. It is desired that the public become 
fully acquainted with these problems, that they may appreciate 
how many conditions may arise to defeat the desire of the 
Commissioners to supply each applicant. 

Stock is delivered to the applicants at the railroad stations, 
they to assume the expense of liberating or planting it. While 
it is aimed to have a deputy oversee the final step, that is 
many times impossible. Very full instructions as to planting 
are given in a pamphlet sent in advance of shipment. 

The ideal method would be to do away with individual appli- 
cations entirely, and for the department to distribute the stock 
in those waters and places best adapted to it, all work to be 
done by a corps of trained assistants. The cost, however, 
would be prohibitive, considering the sum now available for 
this branch of the work. 

Work at the State Game Farms. 

Marsh field State Bird Farm. — Until last fall this farm was 
operated at two locations. The stock of adult semi-wild mal- 
lard ducks was maintained on an area of bog land owned by 
Superintendent Sherman at a distance of one mile from the 
station proper. Here the birds were wintered and kept during 
the breeding season. While these birds were given a certain 
amount of freedom, they were wing-clipped and kept under 
sufficient restraint to enable the superintendent to collect the 
eggs. Under these conditions the mallard is a more or less 
promiscuous layer, very often dropping its eggs in the water, 
with the result that vigilance is required to insure the col- 
lection of all the eggs daily, and to see that they are kept in 
proper condition. 

The main part of the bird farm is located near the Marsh- 
field railroad station on a tract of about 50 acres. On March 
1, 1917, a lease of this land was taken by the Commissioners 
for a period of three years with an option of purchase. This 
was preliminary to consolidating the two branches of the work 



PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 45 

on this tract. At this farm a large duck yard was built, ex- 
tending nearly the full length of the tract and parallel with 
the railroad track, in order to take in a large portion of the 
meadow land. A never-failing brook runs through the meadow, 
and by partially damming it up a sufficient amount of water 
is obtained to give the ducks all they require. A shed 40 by 
16 feet, open to the south, was provided to house the ducks 
in the very cold weather. The floor was covered with a foot 
of straw and a bath provided for the ducks, where they would 
have sufficient water during the coldest season. In this pen 
was confined the flock of wild mallards acquired in the early 
winter, — all wild, trapped birds shipped from Louisiana. 
Every effort was made to give them as favorable conditions 
as would be possible through the winter. The birds were kept 
in this same large enclosure throughout the spring, and though 
every effort was made to put them in a good laying condition, 
no eggs were taken from the flock. While the result was dis- 
appointing, the experiment confirmed the opinions of various 
breeders that these wild ducks will not breed in captivity the 
first year. During the summer and fall they were kept in the 
large pen with access to the house if they desired it, but it 
was found that they stayed outdoors altogether after the 
weather began to break up. 

Owing to the late and very cold season the flock of semi- 
wild mallards did not lay the usual number of eggs, with the 
result that the whole year's breeding operations may be de- 
scribed as unsatisfactory. After the flock had practically 
finished laying, a number of ducks were allowed to locate 
their own nests in the meadows, and several of them success- 
fully raised small broods. 

One of the difficulties in breeding pheasants and quail, and 
a very great part of the expense of production, lies in the fact 
that hens must be used entirely to incubate the eggs. There- 
fore it is necessary to have for this purpose in the spring a 
large flock of hens at each station. Plans were laid in the fall 
to hatch at Marshfield a large number of chicks, mostly barred 
Plymouth Rock, white Plymouth Rock and Rhode Island Red, 
and force the growth in the brood house. In order to further 
this project, and to provide additional facilities for rearing the 



46 FISH AND GAME. 

ducks (which will be mentioned later), a cooling house 200 by 
15 feet, divided into 20 pens 10 by 15 feet, one to hold the 
heater, was constructed. This house is built in sections so 
that it can be relocated if at any time it should be considered 
advisable. It has a board floor, plenty of windows and a small 
heating system which enables the superintendent to keep the 
house warm or cold, as he desires. Here a large number of 
chickens were raised during the winter, and a substantial 
number of them were sent to the stations breeding pheasants. 
In addition, a very substantial amount of stock undesirable 
for hatching operations was sold. Owing to the rapidly in- 
creasing cost of grain it was decided not to repeat the opera- 
tion this fall, but to try the experiment of renting setting hens 
when needed. The house, therefore, will be used during the 
coming winter to care for the entire stock of ducks, both wild 
and semi-wild, so that they may be in prime condition to lay 
next spring. 

As part of the plan of consolidation the section of the farm 
heretofore located on Superintendent Sherman's land has been 
abandoned, the wire fences taken down and transferred to the 
main yards, and all the semi-wild stock transferred to the 
main plant. This reduces the time hitherto lost in traveling 
back and forth, in the handling of supplies, and gives the super- 
intendent opportunity for closer supervision. In view of the 
excessive cost of grain the flock has been reduced to 450 birds, 
— 200 wild and 250 semi-wild mallards. Duck rearing has been 
discontinued at all the other stations (with the exception of 
wood ducks and black ducks at the Sandwich Bird Farm), 
and all the work consolidated in this farm. 

Considerable improvement was made in the grounds around 
the buildings, a walk and flowerbeds being laid out, and a 
substantial amount of grading done. 

Sandwich Bird Farm. — The Sandwich Bird Farm was origi- 
nally situated on a bowl-shaped piece of land. In the bottom 
of the bowl some farming was done, and the pens were located 
in a heavy growth of red cedars and pitch pines around the 
sides of the bowl. The pens were so built as to take in most 
of the standing trees. 

The rim of this tract was through level country, part of 



PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 47 

which was cultivated in a growth of buckwheat, and on the 
rest of it were scattered coops. On this level stretch most of 
the hatching boxes were located, as well as the small pens 
containing the hens with broods of young quail. 

Realizing that the existing conditions at this farm could be 
much improved upon, it was decided in the fall of 1916 to 
seek a new location, and in the spring of 1917 the bird farm 
was removed to a comparatively level stretch of country about 
one-half mile from its former location, containing from 85 to 
100 acres, open for the most part, with groups of trees, as well 
as a complete fringe of thickets, shrubs and trees bordering 
the springy swamp land of the brackish marshes. These 
marshes, through which runs a brook or tide creek fed by 
springs from the adjacent swamp land, border fully one-half 
the upland of the entire bird farm. The swamp land gives 
ideal rearing places for wood ducks, and the adjoining fringe 
of thickets offers the best of inducements for the young quail 
as they come to maturity. On the westerly side of the farm, 
and partially enclosed by it, is a fine pond of clear water con- 
taining 15 or 20 acres, with two wooded swamps connected 
with it, all of which goes toward making ideal conditions for 
ducks and quail. 

The soil as a whole would be called poor, although certain 
sections with judicious use of fertilizing material will grow any 
crop, and the poorer portions will raise fine crops of buckwheat. 

This open pasture land, with the small shrubs and bushes 
scattered more or less throughout the whole area, taken in 
connection with the several strips and areas of buckwheat, 
makes the conditions for young quail nearly perfect. 

The quail breeding coops have been located on open land 
in rows, now so situated that the superintendent can survey 
most of his station at a glance, and is better equipped to fight 
vermin. The idea of relying on the natural growth of vege- 
tation as a protection to young birds has given way to some 
extent to the plan of growing this cover. The result is that 
tracts of the new farm are being cultivated and planted to 
timothy, clover, buckwheat and corn. In addition, the natural 
groups of bayberry and blueberry bushes were utilized, and for 
controlling the young quail and bantams for the first week a 



48 FISH AND GAME. 

wire netting (half-inch mesh) a foot and a half wide was staked 
out on the ground to make a pen about 30 feet in diameter. 
These pens were so arranged as to take in the clumps of 
bushes, and each bantam hen with a flock of young quail was 
placed in such an enclosure. Later this wire enclosure was 
removed, and the boxes containing the setting hens were 
placed on or near the cultivated areas and the young birds 
were allowed to work around through it. By cultivating the 
protective vegetation the ground will be sweeter, the vegeta- 
tion can be made of the most desirable kind, and it will serve 
two purposes, — protection and a supply of grain. 

Most of the farm is upland which makes off to the salt 
marsh on the northerly and easterly side. On the edge of the 
marsh the springs above mentioned are being collected into 
open spaces for duck pens. These pens make ideal breeding 
places for the wood duck. It is also a most favorable location 
for continuing experiments in breeding the pure wild black 
duck. 

The work at this bird farm has always been considered ex- 
perimental, for the reason that it has not as yet been demon- 
strated that young quail can be raised with the same degree 
of ease as young pheasants. It is difficult enough to raise 
large numbers of young pheasants, but even greater is the 
problem with the quail. It is with great satisfaction that your 
Commissioners say that the losses in the past year have been 
due not so much to infertile eggs or failure to rear a good 
percentage of the young, as to losses of the adult stock due to 
the inroads of vermin and other causes. It is surprising how 
many casualties due to most unexpected causes can take place 
in the brood stock of a bird farm. 

One time a great horned owl found an entrance in the top 
of a large wire-covered winter yard, where a tree swaying in 
the wind had opened up a small space between the wire and 
the tree trunk. Through this hole he came at will, and be- 
fore it was known, he had killed two-thirds of the flock. 

Another time a common small screech owl (protected by 
law for its desire to destroy only mice, insects and other small 
animals) entered one night through the top mesh (2-inch) and 
killed five adult quail, eating only the head and neck. There 



PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 49 

he was sitting in the morning, blinking at the mischief he had 
done. 

Once fifteen quail had been placed temporarily in a low 
down run. The next morning a Cooper's hawk had succeeded 
in killing ten of them by reaching through the 1-inch meshes 
on the sides and top, catching them as they struck against 
the wire. 

One season in July, as the quail were laying in good shape, 
a family of weasels suddenly showed up, and the next morning 
over twenty laying birds were found dead, and about as many 
more the next night. The six weasels were all shot or killed 
inside of three days; and so it goes. 

Below is given a record of the vermin destroyed at the farm 
in 1917. At first glance one might say, "Not much of a score," 
but when it is considered that certain of the most ferocious 
ones are killing something every day or night of the year, it 
changes matters. They know no closed season or bag limit. 
It is safe to say that the seven great horned owls in the course 
of a year, allowing one feed per night, would destroy over 
2,500 game birds or animals, including muskrats, skunks and 
ducks. The 26 Cooper's hawks would destroy in a year over 
10,000 birds ranging from a partridge down to a bird the size 
of a robin. The goshawks are specially fond of grouse. It 
is safe to say that if these hawks, owls, weasels, rats and 
black snakes had been allowed to live it would make a yearly 
loss of 25,000 birds ranging from the size of a duck to the 
smaller birds. 

This year the station suffered from an attack by a colony 
of weasels, and when the work of extermination was finished, 
seven had been killed. This colony of weasels, which appeared 
to be one family, although fully grown, was seen one day 
traveling together along the springy margin of the marsh in 
close proximity to some wood and black ducklings, and not 
very far from the coops of breeding quail. Every available 
trap was set and a dozen new ones were bought besides. 
Considerable anxiety was felt for several days until they be- 
gan to get into the traps, and until all had been caught. This 
was the only bunch that came together and was destroyed 
before they did any damage, so far as is known. The weasel 



50 FISH AND GAME. 

is probably the most persistent and deadliest foe to the quail 
farm. More has been said in regard to this animal as vermin 
in another part of this report. He is a most deadly enemy, 
the most difficult to handle, and appears to be on the increase. 
With the relocation of the farm in more open country, with 
the resulting better opportunities for fighting such causes of 
destruction, there will be a decreasing death rate from such 
causes. Hawks and owls are also great offenders. In the 
course of a year a surprising number are killed off. Records 
for the year 1917 show the following: — 
A total of 54 hawks and owls, including — 



2 red-tailed hawks. 


1 broad-winged hawk 


1 red-shouldered hawk. 


1 rough-legged hawk. 


2 goshawks. 


7 great horned owls. 


26 Cooper's hawks. 


5 short-eared owls. 


1 marsh hawk. 


1 screech owl. 


7 sharp-shinned hawks. 




The following animals were also taken : — 


13 skunks. 


31 chipmunks. 


26 weasels. 


2 red squirrels. 


99 rats. 


8 black snakes. 



In the breeding of quail much the same methods as here- 
tofore are being followed. In winter the adults are kept in 
large open pens with heaps of brush for shelter, not so much 
against the rigors of winter as to afford them seclusion which 
they much desire. In the breeding season they are kept in 
smaller pens, one pair to each pen. The eggs are collected 
regularly, each being marked with the date of taking and the 
number of the pen. They are hatched under bantam hens, 
which have been found to make the best mothers. x\t a very 
early age the young birds are placed in the open with the 
bantam hen in the sheltered places heretofore described, aim- 
ing to give them as much freedom as possible while still keeping 
them under reasonable control. In view of the fact that the 
birds are liberated when a little more than half grown, it is 
impossible to clip them. This need of considerable range and 
the lack of clipping often makes them hard to handle, but 



PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 51 

rapid progress is being made in the plan of giving them con- 
siderable liberty and of trapping them up when it is desired 
to make shipments. 

The breeding of the wood duck is a most interesting phase 
of the work, and results were better this season than hereto- 
fore in spite of the fact that the transfer of the bird farm 
interfered with several pairs. From 44 that hatched 22 were 
raised. If a sufficient number of these birds can be raised to 
justify the expense of production, the Commission will have a 
valuable bird for propagation purposes. The wood duck at 
one time bred in this State in large numbers, and a substantial 
number still breed here each year. The drainage of the swamps 
for cranberry bogs and other reclamation purposes, and the 
rapidity with which ponds have been built up with summer 
camps, have all combined to restrict the breeding area of the 
birds. However, there is still a large area over which they 
might breed if the numbers could be substantially increased. 
The object is not only to study the production of the birds 
under artificial conditions, but to see to what extent those 
so reared may be distributed in favorable localities. So far 
as is known these ducks would all migrate during the winter. 
But it may well be that some of the artificially propagated 
birds may be induced to winter in specially favorable localities, 
where special artificial conditions such as open water and 
shelter are maintained. 

The breeding of black ducks has been conducted on a limited 
scale. This work has consisted mainly in keeping a number of 
pairs of the pure wild stock clipped and in substantial sized 
pens where they have plenty of water and seclusion. The 
transfer to the new location (where most favorable spots are 
available for this work) was made too late last spring to con- 
struct the pens which are desirable for them. This work was 
started the past fall, and by another breeding season should 
be sufficiently completed to make available a full and practical 
test. 

Sutton Game Farm. — No substantial changes in the station 
were made in the past year except to enlarge some of the 
brood pens. During the early spring considerable work was 
carried on in blasting out the numerous stumps which stud 



52 FISH AND GAME. 

the main part of the station. The removal of these has done 
much to improve the general appearance. With it considerable 
grading was done. The pheasants and ducks were reared in 
the usual localities. 

In line with their belief that the activities at the various 
stations should be consolidated, and that each species of bird 
should be reared on that range most adapted to it, the Com- 
missioners are considering the removal of the bird-rearing 
activities from the Sutton Game Farm and discontinuing the 
breeding of game birds at this station. The land is so broken 
up and the colonies of young birds of necessity so scattered 
that the results of the work have not been considered suffi- 
cient to justify the continued expense. It is planned to ship 
the mallards to the Marshfield Bird Farm and the pheasants 
to the Wilbraham Game Farm, thus furthering the plan of 
consolidation. The facilities for rearing ducks are very lim- 
ited, and it is believed that unless all of the game birds handled 
can be produced at the stations on a comparatively large scale, 
the department will not be practicing those economies which 
are necessary in order to justify the work from a business 
point of view. 

Norfolk State Bird Farm. — The position of the Board rela- 
tive to the mallard duck has been stated in the general dis- 
cussion of game. Late in the past summer, after viewing the 
situation carefully, it was concluded that until a more satis- 
factory type of bird could be produced it would be advisable 
to limit the breeding of the mallards to one station. The 
most complete equipment for the purpose was located at the 
Marshfield station. Another factor was the rapidly increasing 
cost of feed. The ducks are heavy feeders, and it was felt 
that the existing price of grain represented another strong 
argument in favor of the consolidation. In line with this it 
was deemed advisable to suspend the operations at the Norfolk 
State Bird Farm. The young birds produced were distributed, 
and likewise the adult stock. The poultry was shipped to the 
Sutton Game Farm and the general equipment stored in the 
camp occupied by the superintendent. The entire tract of land 
formerly occupied by the bird farm, together with other parts of 
the hospital grounds, offers an attractive site for a bird reser- 





l^Ei * 




Old barns at Wilbraham Game Farm, on the place when the property was purchased by the State. 




New barn at Wilbraham Game Farm, constructed in 1917. Shows also the new cement 
incubator house. 



PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 53 

vation, and in the future it is planned to liberate a substantial 
number of birds each year in this locality. The marshes fur- 
nish an admirable breeding range for ducks, and should be a 
good place to continue experiments as to whether the semi- 
wild birds will produce still wilder offspring when breeding on 
such a natural range. 

Wilbraham Game Farm. — The past year at the Wilbraham 
Game Farm has been one of notable progress. The comple- 
tion and use of a new concrete incubator house; the construc- 
tion of a new type of rearing-coop; a new ice house built as 
an extension to the carriage house; the moving and remodel- 
ing of the former shop into a bungalow; and the erection of 
a large modern barn are among the improvements that have 
made this station an up-to-date game farm. 

It has been learned that in order to secure the best results 
the young pheasants must be reared on cultivated land, and 
as rapidly as possible the land has been gotten under culti- 
vation. About 10 acres were plowed and planted this year, 
giving now about 40 acres of cultivated land. 

The question of labor was quite a problem during the sum- 
mer, and this, coupled with the cold wet weather in May, 
and the extremely dry spell during July and August, was an 
important factor in reducing the output. Much of the time 
of the regular employees had to be given to work on the im- 
provements, but in spite of this fact the season was the best 
since the station was established, in 1912. Ringneck pheasants 
and mallard ducks were the only kinds of birds propagated. 

The ducks began to lay about the middle of March, before 
the snow and ice had disappeared. The pheasants began lay- 
ing April 6. Three thousand three hundred and seventy 
eggs were distributed to applicants throughout the State. The 
young pheasants, as soon as ready for the rearing fields, were 
placed in the new coops, which proved a great success. The 
high cost of grain has added a considerable amount to the 
expense of production. 

The new barn replaces the two old ones which were on the 
property when the State acquired it. This building is located 
some distance from the house, and is 38 by 48 feet in size, 
having a high basement with cement floor and walls. The 



54 FISH AND GAME. 

basement is large enough to take care of 600 to 800 nesting 
boxes when arranged in tiers of four deep, making it possible 
to hatch large quantities of eggs at one time. The main floor 
contains a harness room, a box stall, stalls for horses and a 
cow, and a storage place for farm tools. The hay loft is of 
such a size as to permit of holding enough hay to supply all 
needs of the station. Above this is another compartment 
which will admirably serve the purpose of a storage place for 
extra coops and articles used about the farm during the breed- 
ing season. It is expected with all its convenient features to 
add greatly to the efficiency of the station. 

During the last winter the employees made up about sixty 
of the new style rearing coops, and they proved to be the best 
ever used. They are 4 feet long, 2 feet wide, 18 inches high 
in front, and 15 inches in the rear, with a cleat fastened on 
each end to facilitate handling. A movable partition in the 
center separates the mother hen from the chicks when the 
young birds are first placed in the rearing field. Later this 
is removed to give the hen more room at the time the young 
birds are allowed to run out into the field. 

A considerable number of young birds were killed by hawks, 
particularly the marsh hawk, and by skunks, but the loss 
from rats has been reduced to a minimum. A persistent war 
is continually waged against all kinds of vermin. 

Visit of Legislative Committee. — Last spring for the first 
time in many years the legislative committee on fisheries and 
game secured an order to travel, and visited the State game 
farm at Wilbraham and the fish hatchery at Palmer. 

They spent the entire day at these two stations, examining 
the improvements that have been made during the past few 
years, and going over the plans for further extension of the 
work. 

The following were the members of the committee who made 
the inspection: Senator Charles S. Smith of Lincoln, chairman; 
Senator Charles W. Eldridge of Somerville; Representative 
Merrill E. Streeter of Springfield; Representative James M. 
Lyle of Gloucester; Representative Benjamin G. Collins of 
Edgartown; Representative G. Oscar Russell of Worcester; 
Representative George Penshorn of Boston; Representative 



PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 55 

George W. Bowman of Springfield; Representative John H. 
Parker of Marlborough and Messenger S. H. Tower of Hanover. 
The Commission also had the pleasure, on some of its trips 
of inspection to the plants under its direction, of having with 
it some of the members of the Legislature who gained con- 
siderable insight into the methods employed by the Commis- 
sion, and the condition of the various properties owned by 
the State under its management. 



56 



FISH AND GAME. 



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PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. * 57 



INLAND FISHERIES. 

Natural Abundance. 

Massachusetts possesses many beautiful lakes, ponds and 
streams capable of producing an abundance of food and game 
fish, and in most cases but a few of the many thousand acres 
of waterways are producing anywhere near their maximum or 
even normal possibilities. Therefore it is important, both in 
the interests of sport and as a source of food supply, that these 
latent assets should be developed for the benefit of the public. 

In colonial days, when a relatively small population was 
scattered along the seacoast, leaving the inland waters in their 
primitive uncontaminated condition, the abundance of both 
salt and fresh water fish was far in excess of the needs of the 
colonists, thus giving rise to the fallacy which has been zeal- 
ously handed down to the present generation, that "nature 
will always provide an abundance of fish." Even in this era of 
conservation this mistaken idea is still deeply rooted, especially 
among the marine fishermen of the shore towns, and can be 
corrected only by the lesson taught by complete exhaustion of 
the natural supply, or by the education of that part of the 
general public unbiased by special opportunities for personal 
gain. 

Decline. 

With the advance of civilization great changes have been 
made in our waterways. Many times the balance of nature 
has been overthrown and a new equilibrium established. With 
the increase in population the coastal streams were first in- 
vaded; cities were established on the larger rivers, and various 
manufacturing industries were likewise scattered along the 
smaller streams. In order to supply water power numerous 
dams were constructed, in most instances unprovided with 
suitable fishways, thus preventing the passage of fish such as 
the salmon, shad, striped bass, alewife, smelt and white perch 
up the coastal streams to their spawning grounds. In this way 
not only has the supply of these fish been depleted, but the sea 
fisheries have been indirectly affected by the destruction of a 
food supply which attracted the larger commercial fish to these 



58 FISH AND GAME. 

shores. Manufacturing wastes and sewage, particularly in 
central Massachusetts, have totally ruined many streams, and 
have seriously reduced or destroyed the supply of fish in others 
by rendering the water unfit for fish life. Numerous legislative 
measures were enacted in the past, but the decline steadily 
continued, since these laws were either inadequate, or, as was 
more often the case, not enforced. Likewise, overfishing has 
played its part, and in Massachusetts has accelerated the 
general decline which has been so marked in the Merrimack, 
Charles, Taunton and Connecticut rivers. 

Artificial Fish Food. 

The importance of an abundance of fish food has long been 
recognized by the Commissioners on Fisheries and Game, who 
have foreseen the uselessness of stocking the inland waters of 
the State with the larger species of fish unless suitable means of 
providing food are at hand. Primarily the productivity of any 
body of water depends upon the abundance of the microscopic 
floating life (plankton), for the reason that the small fish are 
dependent upon this food for their sustenance, and their pro- 
duction depends directly upon the abundance of the micro- 
scopic forms in the water. In turn, the larger fish prey upon 
the small fish, and an abundance of the latter is necessary for 
the existence of the former. Therefore, in stocking any pond 
with the larger predaceous fish, it becomes necessary to see that 
the pond is supplied with suitable small fish in such abundance 
as to provide sufficient food for the larger species. In certain 
ponds small fishes, chiefly shiners and minnows, are sufficiently 
abundant to furnish the larger fish with food, but in others 
there is a scarcity of these small species. It is proved beyond 
a reasonable doubt that a greater volume of fish life can be 
supported in a limited body of water supplied with an abun- 
dance of food than in a larger area of water poorly supplied with 
food forms. For this reason the problem of supplying a suit- 
able artificial food for the larger fish is fully as important as the 
proper selection of the waters for stocking. 

The Commissioners have selected smelt as the most adaptable 
fish for furnishing an artificial food supply to the larger ponds. 
So far results of experimental stocking have been especially 
gratifying in the case of the landlocked smelt. 



PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 59 

Fry v. Fingerlings. 
Though the convictions of experts differ widely, your Com- 
missioners are of the opinion that wherever possible, fish should 
be reared to the fingerling size before being planted. The term 
"fry" includes those small fish which either still carry the 
yolk sac or have but recently absorbed it, while fingerlings are 
those ranging from 1J inches up to yearling size. Fish in both 
stages are now distributed by the Commission, fingerlings being 
reared to the utmost capacity of the hatcheries. The fry 
which are put out are in the nature of a by-product in the 
rearing of fingerlings, since a greater number of eggs are hatched 
than the hatcheries have capacity to rear. The main argu- 
ments in favor of fry planting are the comparatively slight 
expense, the greater numbers which may be liberated, and the 
fact that the instinct of self-preservation is acquired at an early 
age. The existing prejudice against fry has resulted from 
improper methods of planting, or lack of judgment in the 
selection of waters. The great advantage of fingerling plant- 
ing consists wholly in their being of sufficient size to better 
protect themselves against their natural enemies. 

Artificial Pools. 
An excellent method for the protection of brook trout fry is 
by building a series of artificial pools in a stream by means of 
small dams of loose rocks, boards or logs placed a short distance 
apart. This insures a good water supply during the dry 
season, protects them from the larger fish, to a certain extent 
prevents the fry from being swept away by spring freshets, 
and provides a larger area for food supply. Similar pools may 
be formed on the larger streams by excavating suitable basins 
on shaded, wooded banks near the streams, and pumping 
water through them. If sufficiently large, these pools will 
provide enough natural food for a large number of fry. 

Yellow Perch. 
Not being able as formerly to secure yellow perch spawn 
from the Federal government, your Commissioners decided to 
procure their own eggs if possible. After several locations had 



60 FISH AND GAME. 

been examined, a field station was established on the Ludlow 
Reservoir (one of Springfield's water supplies). The eggs se- 
cured were hatched at the Palmer Hatchery, and 16,000,000 
fry distributed to applicants in different sections of the State 
a few days after being hatched. It is believed that the future 
supply of yellow perch eggs can be taken from this field 
station. 

Your Commissioners consider the yellow perch one of the best 
food fishes, since they make a rapid growth and are a splendid 
pan fish. The striking value of this class of fishes is brought 
home with added emphasis at a time when the food question 
has become so acute in this country. The yellow perch and 
other allied species will more than "do their bit" in helping to 
relieve the pressing demand for food. 

Chinook Salmon. 

Experiments with the Chinook salmon have been carried still 
farther during the last year, both in regard to establishing these 
fish in the Merrimack River and in stocking the inland lakes. 

Last fall 600,000 Chinook salmon eggs were received from 
the Oregon Fish and Game Commission, all of which were 
hatched at the Palmer Hatchery with the exception of 24,000, 
which were sent to the Sandwich Fish Hatcheries. 

All of the young fry from these eggs proved strong and 
healthy. When lJ/£ inches long they were sent to the rearing 
station at Andover, where they were placed in the small brook 
which furnishes water for the rearing station, instead of in the 
wooden pools as was done the previous year. The fish were 
liberated in the brook instead of the pools because the process 
of raising the water at the station had flooded the cellars of 
adjacent houses; and to avoid incurring liability for damages, 
or going to great expense in construction work, it was decided 
to try this plan. It proved a fairly satisfactory way, but there 
are reasons why it is not ideal, chief among them being the 
fact that the water cannot be controlled, and after a severe 
storm the young fish are subject to strong currents. Likewise 
it is impossible to clean the bottom of the surplus food that 
collects there, but the rains must be depended on to swell the 
stream and carry it out. 



PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 61 

The fish were fed twice a day on finely ground liver and 
allowed to go up and down the brook at will. A screen placed 
at the dam below the rearing station prevented their escape. 

Feeding of the fish was stopped about September 1, and they 
were allowed to go down stream when directed by natural 
instinct. At that time most of the young salmon were from 
3 to 4 inches long, and should have been well able to care for 
themselves when starting on their journey to the ocean. 
During the season 192,000 fry and 196,000 fingerling salmon 
were shipped to the Andover Rearing Station from Palmer. 

It is .needless to say that this experiment which your Com- 
missioners are conducting in trying to establish these Pacific 
salmon in New England is being carefully watched by fish 
culturists in all sections of the country. As stated before, it is 
known that shad and striped bass were taken from New Eng- 
land to stock the rivers of the Pacific coast, and that many 
other species of fish have been transplanted into foreign waters. 
Your Commissioners see no reason why this experiment will not 
be successful, and are determined to give it a thorough trial. 
If it succeeds it will mean a great deal to New England; but, 
on the other hand, if it fails it will not have cost much, and 
your Board will at least deserve credit for having tried* to 
increase the food supply. 

Chinook Salmon in Massachusetts Lakes. 

With a view to ascertaining which of the State waters are 
suited for the Chinook salmon, certain ponds have been lib- 
erally stocked for three successive years. A few fish have been 
caught in the following lakes: Big Alum Pond in Sturbridge, 
Onota Lake in Pittsfield, Cliff Pond in Brewster, Quinsigamond 
in Worcester, and Long Pond in Plymouth. 

A very authentic record is on file of the fish taken in 
Plymouth as to weight, size and the contents of their stomachs. 
The foregoing cannot fail to interest all anglers and fish 
culturists. 

Long Pond, Plymouth. 

One thousand fingerling Chinook salmon were liberated in 
this pond Oct. 28, 1915, at a season when the bass (which are 
quite plentiful here) had stopped feeding. This pond covers 



62 FISH AND GAME. 

240 acres and has a maximum depth of 93 feet. It has sandy, 
gravelly shores with very little grass or weeds along them. The 
pond is well stocked with landlocked smelts, which have a 
splendid spawning ground in the swift-running streams that 
enter this pond from Upper Long Pond, a few hundred feet 
above. There is no outlet to Long Pond. These smelts 
furnish food for the Chinooks, and from information received 
from persons who live near the pond they spawn in large 
numbers each spring soon after the ice goes out. 

On May 23 Mr. James Clark of Plymouth caught a salmon 
in Long Pond and brought it to the office of the Fish and 
Game Commission. It weighed 5| pounds, and was identified 
as a Chinook salmon. This fish was not more than twenty 
months old from the time it was planted as a fingerling. 

There are records of sixty fish caught during the season 
ranging in weight from 2\ to 7 pounds. The largest were 
caught by the following persons: Wm. Collingwood, 6 J 
pounds; George Squires, 6 \ pounds; James Clark, 5 J 
pounds; J. W. Davidson, 5 J pounds; and Edward Bassett, 
7 pounds. Eight salmon were taken July 27. Almost all of 
these fish were taken by trolling, either on the surface or deep, 
some with live and some with artificial bait. 

There are practically no pickerel in this pond, but large 
numbers of white perch and small-mouthed bass. On certain 
days the fishermen have seen numbers of the salmon in schools 
feeding on smelts which were near the surface, where the 
salmon could be readily observed. 

A careful record is being kept of the fish that are caught as 
to size, condition of stomachs and the fish in general, with the 
idea of learning everything possible as to their habits when 
confined entirely to fresh water. Several anglers testify as to 
the fighting qualities of these fish, and could see little difference 
from the Atlantic salmon. Every specimen caught has been 
in splendid condition. 

Permits to take salmon in Long Pond, Plymouth, for scien- 
tific purposes, were granted to the following persons: Homer W. 
Hervey, Esq., New Bedford, Mass.; Dr. W. H. Thayer, New 
Bedford, Mass.; and Ernest L. Bassett, Esq., Bournedale, Mass. 

Extracts from their reports follow. 



PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 



63 



Extract from Report of Homer W. Hervey. 
The following table gives, in reference to each fish, the day when 
caught, weight in pounds, length from tip of snout to tip of tail in inches, 
and the greatest girth in inches. 



Number. 



Date. 



Weight. 



Length. 



Girth. 



1, 

2, 

3, 

4, 

5, 

6, 

7, 

S, 

9, 

10, 

11. 

12, 

13. 



October 14, . 
October 14, . 
October 14, . 
October 27, . 
October 27, . 
October 27, . 
October 27, . 
October 27, . 
October 27, . 
October 28, . 
October 28, . 
November 3, 
November 11, 



3 
4 



VA 

m 

5 



20 

25 

23M 

19 

23 

24 

24 

27% 

25 

20 

28 

2VA 

24 



9H 
13 

UH 

10H 

im 

12 

12H 

ISH 

13 

VA 

15M 

13 

12H 



These fish were all of the genus Oncorhynchus or Pacific salmon. They 
were all of the Chinook species except No. 7. No. 7 was quite different 
from all the other fish in appearance. It had shining golden sides with 
intense black x-shaped spots, and its eyes seemed smaller than in the 
others. I counted fourteen rays in the anal fin and ten in the dorsal fin. 
The pyloric cseca were about sixty-five to seventy, and the branchiostegals 
were fourteen. This does not agree with the description given by Jordan 
and Evermann of the Chinook salmon, but does agree with that of the 
"Silver" salmon, which I consider this fish to be. 

Coloration. — All the fish had black or very dark green backs, and 
their sides varied in color from a light brassy bronze to a dark copper 
when taken from the water. After being left over night, however, all 
turned to a bright silvery hue, closely resembling the Sebago salmon I 
caught last spring. All the fish were well spotted with black spots. 

Contents of the Stomach. — The stomach of No. 5 was empty. No. 2 
contained the remains of three minnows, species of which could not be 
determined. No. 8 contained two half-digested smelt. No. 10 contained 
five small smelt. No. 12 contained two small smelt. The stomach of 
No. 9 contained a ball about 1 inch in diameter of green oak leaves and 
nothing else. The stomachs of Nos. 1, 2, 4, 6, 7, 8, 12 and 13 were full 
of shrimp. 



64 FISH AND GAME. 

Jaws. — Jaws in fish Nos. 1, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 10 and 13 were not hooked, 
but both jaws of Nos. 2, 6, 9 and 12 were slightly hooked, leaving an 
opening on the side of the mouth when the jaws were brought together 
of about one-fourth of an inch. 

Organs of Reproduction. — These organs were wholly wanting in No. 1 
and No. 10. They were slightly developed in Nos. 4, 5 and 6. They 
were well developed in Nos. 2, 3, 7, 8, 9, 12 and 13, the organs being 
white in color and between 4 and 5 inches long and 1 inch in diameter 
and having the consistency of liver. I examined these carefully with the 
aid of a magnifying glass, and also made sections, but could discover no 
signs of either milt or roe. In Nos. 2, 6, 9 and 12 I found a well-developed 
duct or vas deferens from each organ, and classify these four fish as males. 
The rest of the fish were females, I think. 

Gameness. — All the fish taken showed game qualities of a high degree. 
All made high leaps out of the water, and several made complete somer- 
saults in the air. Under water they showed two or three maneuvers 
new to me. On the average all required four minutes for each pound in 
weight to land, using a 10-ounce fly rod. 

Conclusions. — Taking into consideration the dates when caught and 
the conditions observed and the weight of the different fish, I think it is 
safe to say that the salmon will not spawn in this pond until the early 
spring, if at all. This means that the open season for this pond can 
safely be extended until November 1 to give the public the opportunity 
to fish during September and October, the two best months of the year 
for lake fishing. 

Extract from a Letter of Homer W. Hervey. 

I started out to fish by trolling in the approved fashion. I spent 
several days at it by an effort of will, as I have very little use for trolling 
as a sport. I tried smelt, preserved minnows, and a number of artificial 
baits, but had no success, although the pond was fairly alive with salmon, 
breaking, not in play but for food. I then determined to try out a theory 
that had gradually developed in my mind during the summer. I had 
examined the pond quite carefully, and having selected a place which 
seemed to fit in with my ideas I anchored my boat and went fishing with 
live shrimp. I used a regular fly outfit, but substituted in place of the 
fly. No. 6 hook baited with a single shrimp. This I cast as far as I could 
from the boat, and let the hook sink very gradually a few feet under the 
surface. Fishing this way I was very successful and have taken 13 
salmon ranging from 2\ to 1\ pounds in weight. It requires some 
little knack to get out the line without losing the shrimp, and this method 
of fishing is not so far inferior to fly fishing itself. 

On October 27, in two hours (from 12 o'clock to 2 p.m.) I caught 6 
salmon. I realized that this was the day of days, and not likely to ever 
happen again, but with my sixth fish I woke up to the fact that I had 
caught more than either sport or science required, and so took down my 



PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 65 

rod and went back to camp. I then made a rule that on each week-end 
trip I would limit myself to two salmon. I may add I had no tempta- 
tion to break that rule since, and have hardly been able to live up to 
one-half my contract. 

I do not think I have caught enough Chinook salmon to say whether 
they are more gamey than the Sebago, but they certainly gave me great 
sport and showed two or three maneuvers that were new to me. They 
had a way of coming just to the surface of the water and then spinning 
around in a circle as though on an axis apparently shaking their heads 
and whole body at the same time, sending a peculiar sensation along 
the rod into the hand, which is decidedly unique in my experience. Several 
of them came out of the water abreast of the boat, where I had a good 
opportunity to measure the height of their leap against the side of a 
bank, and I think I am safe in saying that in several instances I saw at 
least 2 and possibly 2\ feet between the fish and the surface of the water. 
In three separate cases the fish made a complete somersault in the air. 
The largest fish, weighing 7| pounds, took me exactly thirty minutes to 
land, and I estimate that it required about four minutes for each pound 
in weight to land each fish. 

To live up to my permit I thought it necessary to leave well enough 
alone, and so I did not use a fly. The fish seemed very hungry, and 
rose freely to floating leaves and other small objects on the water. 

In two instances they took the shrimp as it struck the water. I think 
they will take a suitable fly well, and next year anticipate great sport 
fishing that way. 

Extract from Report of Dr. W. H. Thayer. 
In October I caught one female salmon (Chinook) weighing 5| pounds; 
caught this fish trolling with a preserved smelt laced on a single hook; 
fish caught about 100 feet from shore in about 20 feet of water. At this 
time (about noon) there was no wind blowing, water was perfectly calm 
and there were many fish swirling on the surface. ... I have seen and 
caught many salmon in Maine and Canada, and I believe that I have 
seen salmon in this pond weighing over 10 pounds, though none this 
large have been taken. . . . The surface fish seem to me to be playing, 
not feeding. I have seen no small fish (salmon) this year. In May I 
saw two weighing about 3 pounds each; since then none weighing less 
than 5 pounds. The fish strike hard at the troll and fight as hard as any 
Sebago salmon I have ever landed. ... To sum up, I believe the salmon 
are not for the present going to spawn, though I do think it a future pos- 
sibility; that they are more easily taken than the Sebago salmon through 
being less erratic feeders; that they are a game fish in these waters, 
perhaps superior to all others; that they grow very fast; that they are 
found mostly over gravel bottom; that there is a slight current in the 
pond from some underground or water source, and the fish to some degree 
follow this current; that their flesh, while inferior to the Sebago salmon, 
is very fine; and that the fish, under wise legislation, are a success. 



66 FISH AND GAME. 



Extract from Report of E. L. Bassett. 
I have caught 7 salmon, 3 weighing 7 pounds, 1 weighing 6 pounds, 
1 weighing 5 pounds and 11 ounces (the one I sent you), one weighing 
4| pounds, and 1 weighing 3 pounds. The 7-pound salmon measures 
26 inches in length and 18 inches girth in widest part. . . . During 
October salmon were near the surface morning and night, jumping for 
flies and playing, and they could be seen in any part of the pond, but 
after November 1 they stopped coming to the surface and did not take 
the bait very readily. . . . The salmon I caught were near the top of 
the water, and one 7-pound salmon was extremely gamey, took about 
thirty minutes to tire him out, and then I rowed ashore and pulled him 
up on the same. They were fine eating. 

White Perch. 
The white perch is both a game and an excellent pan fish, 
and for all classes of fishermen is perhaps the most satisfactory 
pond fish. Your Commissioners feel that in stocking the ponds 
with this species they are contributing a large share toward 
increasing the value of the inland waters in the production of 
food fish. The white perch multiplies fairly rapidly, is readily 
taken with hook and line, and, all in all, is a most satisfactory 
article of diet. If satisfactory methods can be evolved for 
rearing this fish from the egg it will be of inestimable benefit. 

Life History. 

Description. — The white perch (Morone americana) is found 
in both fresh and salt water, and is frequently taken in large 
numbers in tidal creeks. It has a moderately bluish body, 
convex back and medium-sized mouth; head about one-third 
the total length, exclusive of the tail; upper parts grayish 
green in color, and the sides silvery. The young have pale 
longitudinal streaks. The average size of the adult white 
perch is about 9 inches, and its weight one-half pound or less, 
although numerous specimens measuring 14 inches and weigh- 
ing 2 pounds are taken. In seining operations in Falmouth it 
is not unusual to obtain from the brackish water ponds several 
hundred perch weighing between 2 and 3 pounds. The largest 
specimen in 1916 weighed 5 pounds and 4 ounces. 

Habitat. — The white perch is a lover of brackish water, and 
mav be found in tidal creeks in vast numbers associated with 



PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 67 

mummichaugs, silversides and eels. It is now being regularly 
introduced into ponds and streams throughout this State. 
This species is found from Nova Scotia to South Carolina, and 
is most frequently met with in brackish water, up which it 
passes with the ale wives to spawn. 

Food. — It feeds chiefly on small fishes and Crustacea, con- 
gregates in large schools, and is one of the freest biters among 
fishes. Shrimp is one of the most attractive baits, though 
worms, sturgeon eggs, minnows and strips of silvery skin cut 
from other fish are at times equally effective. 

Spawning. — The fish spawn in the early spring, passing for 
this purpose from the salt water to the brackish or fresh. The 
eggs are very adhesive, and on this account are difficult to 
hatch artificially. With water at 58° or 60° F. the eggs hatch 
out in six days. Work in the artificial hatching of the eggs 
has so far not progressed beyond the experimental stage, and 
no definite, practicable method has as yet been devised. 

White Perch Salvage. 

Adult white perch have been the subject of fish salvage for 
the past ten years in Massachusetts. At first they were taken 
from the brackish water ponds on Marthas Vineyard, and later, 
owing to the difficulties of transportation, from similar ponds 
at Falmouth. Most recently seining has been carried on at the 
Water Works Pond at Newport, in company with the Rhode 
Island Commission on Inland Fisheries. The increase in the 
number of white perch so obtained can be seen by a com- 
parison of past years. In 1913, the last year in which the 
perch were taken from Tashmoo Lake on Marthas Vineyard, 
15,500, the most ever secured up to that time, were shipped. 
In 1915, 105,000 were distributed among the inland ponds; 
in 1916 only 60,000; and in 1917, 77,100 (19,600 from Falmouth 
and 57,500 from Newport). The fish are taken in two seasons, 
— in the spring for a period of about ten weeks, from April 1 
to June 20, and in the fall from October 1 to December 1. 

The Falmouth ponds having been drawn upon during the 
past four years, it is now the part of wisdom to allow these 
nursery ponds to rest for a period of three years, which would 
necessitate returning to the Vineyard ponds for further stock. 



68 FISH AND GAME. 

To avoid any danger of seriously depleting these ponds, we 
are considering the possibility of forming nursery ponds in 
various parts of the State. This might be accomplished by 
stocking certain suitable ponds with approximately 10,000 
white perch each year, allowing the fish to propagate exten- 
sively under careful protection. Thence perch for transplanting 
to ponds in surrounding districts could be easily obtained, 
materially decreasing the cost of transportation. For this pur- 
pose comparatively shallow ponds with good bottom for seining 
are recommended. 

Falmouth. — Fish are taken in the town of Falmouth from 
Oyster and Salt Ponds, two large shallow, natural nursery 
basins of brackish water which are separated from Vineyard 
Sound by a sandy beach and connected during the spring by 
narrow inlets, up which the alewives and the white perch run. 
During the greater part of the year these openings are closed. 

Marthas Vineyard. — On Marthas Vineyard fish have been 
taken mainly from Tashmoo Lake, but there are several sources 
of supply which have proved equally satisfactory. The great 
difficulty with regard to the Vineyard ponds lies in the fact that 
all shipments must be made before 5 o'clock in the morning 
in order to make proper railroad connections. 

Newport. — The Newport Water Works Reservoir, which in 
1917 was jointly utilized by the Massachusetts and Rhode 
Island Fish and Game Commissions, covers an area of about 
90 acres. Originally it was a small natural body of water 
about 2 acres in area, known as Gardner's Pond, surrounded 
by marshland, but connected with the ocean by a small run- 
way through Third Beach. It was artificially raised to its 
present level to form the present Water Works Pond. Con- 
ditions are now such that no fish can run up from the salt 
water, but the original supply of perch had so increased that 
large numbers can be obtained for stocking purposes. The 
perch were from 4 to 5 inches long, and considerably smaller 
than the Falmouth fish, which averaged 3 to the pound. 
Massachusetts furnished the gear and the services of two 
deputies experienced in the work to direct operations, and the 
Rhode Island Commission two additional men. Rhode Island 
received one-third of the fish, Massachusetts two-thirds. 




Making the haul. 




Bunting in. 




Bunt staked. 




Sorting fish for shipment. 



PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 69 

Equipment. — The equipment for the white perch work of 
the past year consisted of an auto trailer 7 feet long and 3§ 
feet wide, capable of carrying 24 large cans, gear and a 14- 
foot skiff. The netting gear consisted of three sweep seines, 
110, 80 and 65 fathoms in length, respectively, and six holding- 
pockets measuring 8 by 4| by 3 feet, with a central partition. 
The pockets when staked out in the ponds were capable of 
holding 12 cans of fish. 

Method of Work. — The operations, which consisted of (1) 
seining, (2) pocketing, (3) counting, canning and shipping, 
required the services of four men. In addition, it was found 
necessary, to insure proper delivery, to have a messenger travel 
with the shipment of fish. 

1. The seine was operated after the usual manner, by placing 
it so that one end was attached to the shore and the other 
in the stern of the skiff, which was rowed in a semicircle from 
the shore. The seine was then hauled in equally from both 
ends, and on its approach to the shore was gathered so that 
the enclosed fish could not escape over at the surface, or be- 
neath the lead line on the bottom. The nature of the bottom 
largely determined the amount of labor in hauling the seine. 
Grassy bottoms, particularly when dead grass was present, 
made it especially hard, and at times necessitated pitching 
the grass out of the seine before the operation could be 
completed. Successful seining in a depth of over 10 feet has 
proved to be impossible. The strain of hauling the seine was 
made somewhat easier by the adoption of a pulling harness, 
which consisted of barrel staves attached with rope rigging to 
the backs of the men, so arranged that the pull upon the same 
by several persons was uniform. 

2. After the fish are seined they are placed in the pockets, 
where they are held about seventy-two hours before being 
shipped. This interval affords them ample chance to rest and 
become accustomed to confinement. Incidentally the weak fish 
die out, leaving only the strong for shipment. 

The main difficulty in holding fish in pockets is the forma- 
tion of fungus in from four to eight days, the rapidity of de- 
velopment depending upon the temperature of the water. 
Between 60° and 65° F. it forms quickly, while at 50° F. or 



70 FISH AND GAME. 

below, from eight to ten days are necessary. White perch are 
especially susceptible to fungus, particularly when handled or 
bruised in any way, giving the spores a chance to attack places 
of local injury to the skin from handling or dip nets. The 
most effective cure for this disease is a salt bath. In brackish 
water ponds, where the wild fish are taken, the amount of 
fungus is very slight, not over one-tenth of 1 per cent. In 
Newport Reservoir the average proved considerably higher, and 
the fish did not have the hardy, plump appearance of the 
bronze-colored fish from the brackish water ponds. The fish 
in large pockets are no less immune than those held in small, 
as was demonstrated by an experiment where one-fourth of an 
acre was screened. This fact is explained by the tendency of 
white perch, no matter how large the enclosure, to crowd to- 
gether at one end, where they are likely to injure each other 
sufficiently to make them susceptible to the inroads of fungus. 
3. Fish are taken from the pockets, counted and placed in 
the cans, 250 4-inch fish, or 70 of the 6 to 8 inch fish allowed 
to each can. In this way 3,000 of the 4-inch fish, or 840 of 
the larger fish, may be handled per day for one shipment of 
12 cans. The cans are so iced that the temperature is kept 
from 50° to 56° F., and the water has to be well aerated con- 
stantly. A messenger takes the fish on the train in the baggage 
car, through the courtesy of the railroad, and they are de- 
livered to the applicants who have been notified in advance 
by the deputy having charge of the white perch salvage work. 
In planting the fish care should be taken to see that the tem- 
perature of the water in the pond and that in the can are 
uniform before the fish are liberated. 

Artificial Culture. 
Experiments made in the artificial stripping and fertilization 
of the white perch have so far proved unsuccessful. The great 
difficulty has been in obtaining ripe fish. In attempts which 
have been made to hold spawning perch in enclosures in 
Oyster Pond on Marthas Vineyard, practically all of the fish 
succumbed to fungus before the eggs became ripe, and it has 
proved practically impossible to obtain any quantity of ferti- 
lized eggs. 



PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 71 

The experimental work in the artificial propagation of the 
white perch has been conducted by the department in two 
operations, as follows : — 

1. The holding of the spawning fish in pounds until ready 
to spawn, and stripping them. 

2. The hatching of the eggs at the Palmer Hatchery. 
Spawning Ponds. — On April 24 a dam was constructed 

across one end of Deep Bottom Cove of the Great Tisbury Pond 
to provide a small pond for holding the white perch until ready 
to spawn. This dam was equipped with a flume to give a 
free circulation to the pond, and a boat was used for trans- 
ferring fish from the nets to the spawning pond in good con- 
dition. On April 30 about 1,000 adult white perch were put 
into the pond for breeding purposes. On May 25 the fish 
were seined and 4 ripe females obtained, 2 of which spawned 
while held overnight, indicating that these fish do not hold 
their spawn long when ready to get rid of it. At this time 
the salt water began to back up into the enclosed pond where 
the fish were held. On May 30 the fish were again seined and 
3 ripe fish obtained. Conditions appeared promising and the 
outlook most favorable for a fine lot of eggs, but the fish did 
not ripen, and the eggs taken at this time were transferred 
to the Palmer Hatchery. On June 3 no ripe fish were found, 
and those in the pond were not in good condition as the beach 
had opened, letting the salt water run out of the pond. The 
fish at this time showed no signs of spawning, and as all the 
ripe fish obtained were taken from the salt water, it perhaps 
indicates that white perch will not always spawn if confined 
for any length of time in fresh water. On June 14 all the 
white perch were liberated from the small spawning pond into 
the large pond. 

The catches of the fishermen in the nets were also examined 
for ripe fish, but owing to the small number of fish caught 
in the nets none could be obtained. 

In future work it will be advisable to build a fence across 
one end of Deep Bottom Cove to hold the fish in salt water 
during the entire spawning season. Such a fence can be built 
so that the small shiners can enter the pond for the perch to 
feed on, and give a free circulation of water. In this way it 



72 FISH AND GAME. 

will be possible for the fish to thrive and the eggs to be ob- 
tained from the fish as they ripen. 

Hatching. — The handling and care of the eggs is one of the j 
hardest propositions that a fish culturist has to contend with. 
The eggs are adhesive, and as soon as taken they form in 
masses which it is almost impossible to separate, and once 
this has happened it is necessary to put the eggs through a 
screen, which often results in injury. However, by the use of 
a scrim (cloth) screen the eggs can be separated and properly 
prepared for hatching in jars. The few eggs that were obtained 
were hatched out in exceptionally good condition. 

Nursery Ponds. — The control of certain ponds as nurseries 
for white perch is highly desirable. The salt-water ponds at 
Falmouth, especially Salt Pond, are ideal for this purpose. 
First, they are located near a railroad, and at the same time 
afford a convenient place for the workers to stay. Secondly, 
the water is not deep, so that the ponds can be seined without 
great difficulty. Thirdly, it is brackish water which better 
protects the fish in the pockets against fungus, and the perch 
get more food, breed better and appear stronger, larger and 
more vigorous than in fresh-water ponds. Fourthly, Salt Pond, 
Falmouth, gives a catch of almost wholly white perch without 
the numerous red perch and shiners of other ponds. By 
screening the stream at Salt Pond, which is about 200 feet 
long and 3 feet wide, a large number of breeding perch could 
be transplanted from near-by ponds, and unquestionably in a 
short time appreciable results would be shown. 

Stocking. 
The method of stocking employed up to the present time 
with white perch has been that of diffuse general distribution, 
and results have been sought from small shipments distributed 
over a great many ponds. From an experimental standpoint 
intensive rather than extensive methods of stocking are recom- 
mended. By stocking each year about 10 ponds through the 
State with 10,000 white perch each, and closing them for a 
period of three years to all fishing, appreciable results should 
be obtained. Each year 10 new ponds could be added to the 
list, and in five years there would be excellent perch fishing 
in about 50 ponds. 









bM: 




Various forms of fish traps confiscated by deputies. 



PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 73 



Trapping. 
The deputies who have been in charge of the white perch 
work will attempt during the coming year to obtain the fish 
in the nursery ponds by means of small fish traps rather than 
seines. If successful this should prove an ideal method, for 
the trap will work continually, and eliminate the undesirable 
handling of the fish in the seines. The proposed traps will 
have a leader of 1-inch mesh from 50 to 75 feet in length, 
and a "heart" of J-inch mesh 20 by 30 feet. Fish will be held 
in pockets as heretofore, and there will be no other change in 
the present methods of handling. 

Fyke Nets. 
Large fyke nets, like traps, may be used successfully in 
perch salvage. In addition to the "wings" they should have 
a leader which would guide fish into the body of the net. 

Horned Pout. 

The horned pout is a valuable food fish, and should be 
protected by reasonable laws restricting the catch and the 
season. Its capture should not be allowed before June 20. 
The hours in which they may be captured in the early morning 
or late at night coincide remarkably with the hours of leisure 
of the working man, who can thus have the sport of fishing 
and provide food for his family without financial loss. Verily, 
the horned pout is a poor man's fish. 

For this reason the horned pout has been taken as an 
example of our valuable fresh-water food fishes. This fish is 
readily transported owing to its hardy nature, can be taken 
in fairly large quantities, and readily adapts itself to its new 
environment. 

Salvage. 
Salvage work has been extended to the horned pout, known 
also as the common catfish, bull pout, bullhead, and minister. 
In carrying on the work of transplanting, a trap similar to a 
wire eel pot was devised and used with much success by one 
of the deputies engaged in the work. This trap is cylindrical, 



74 FISH AND GAME. 

4 feet long and 2 feet in diameter. At the large end of the cone 
the opening measures 12 inches, and at the small end, 2 inches. 
Each wire cone extends into the trap a distance of 12 inches, 
the space between the outer end of the cone and the outer 
edge of the trap being 6 inches. The opening at the top is 
for the purpose of removing the captured fish. 

The quantity taken with this style of trap depends upon 
the time of year, how well the fish come to bait, and the num- 
ber and size of the traps used. During warm weather it is 
necessary to tend them every two or three days, or the fish 
thus confined may die in the warm water. At times traps 
have been pulled and found to contain not a single fish, while, 
on the other hand, the other extreme is occasionally reached, 
as many as 710 having been taken in one trap at a hauling. 
A small piece of lean beef, so suspended as to be readily seen, 
proves the best bait, although a piece of fish works very well. 
Unless very hungry few will venture near irrespective of the 
kind of bait used. 

The location of traps for best results depends also upon 
season. Inshore, in from 3 to 5 feet of water, during May 
and June, proved best, while later, from July to November, 
more fish could be taken in deeper water or in the channel. 
In a pond of 15 acres or over traps were placed in close prox- 
imity, while in the case of very small ponds scattering them 
about proved to be as effective. Leaving a few fish in a trap 
each time proved a lure to others. One means of securing 
practically all of the fish in a small pond was by the use of 
a netting fence stretched entirely across in a zigzag fashion, 
with two apices, at each of which a trap was set. In traveling 
in either direction the fish were bound to strike the net and 
thus be led into the trap. 

Smelt. 
Among the fish which frequent tidal streams to spawn the 
smelt is valuable not only as human food, but, when land- 
locked in inland ponds, furnishes important food for the larger 
fishes. Owing to the depletion in Massachusetts waters of this 
very valuable fishery, your Commissioners have laid plans to 
protect the spawning grounds, and to discover the best means 



PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 75 

of increasing the number of fish by natural and artificial 
hatching. "Work has been carried on simultaneously on the 
salt water, the fresh-water ponds and at the Palmer Hatchery. 
While the work is as yet in the experimental stage, results 
have been so promising that it is thought best at this time to 
present a preliminary report. 

A brief sketch of the life and habits of the smelt is given 
as a basis for a better understanding of the work later described. 

Life History. 

Names. — The smelt (small fishes frequenting the coasts of 
Europe and northern America, sometimes ascending the rivers) 
are delicate in flesh and considered valuable as food. The 
common North American species is most generally known as 
"smelt," although at Port Henry, N. Y., it is called the "ice 
fish." According to Bean another fish, Notropis hudsonius, a 
fresh-water minnow known as the "spawn eater," is some- 
times called a "smelt." 

Description. — The smelt is a small slender fish, the adult 
averaging about 7 inches and even attaining the maximum 
length of 1 foot. The long pointed head with projecting lower 
jaw carries a tongue armed with several fang-like teeth. The 
back is greenish in color, and a broad silvery band passes 
along the sides. 

Habitat. — Along the Atlantic coast the smelt is found from 
Labrador to Virginia, although essentially a cold-water species. 
In the spring it ascends the coastal streams to spawn, and is 
most frequently observed in the first stages of cold weather 
in the various Massachusetts harbors. 

The smelt has also become landlocked in various fresh-water 
ponds in the New England States. Although smaller in size 
it thrives almost as well as in the salt water. In recent years 
the range of the landlocked variety has been widely extended 
by the artificial introduction of fertilized eggs into the inland 
ponds of Massachusetts. 

Spawning. — In Boston Harbor spawning is during March 
and April, the exact time depending upon the temperature. 
In the fresh-water lakes, as Onota Lake, Pittsfield, the season, 
lasting seven days, varies with the time the ice leaves the lake, 



76 FISH AND GAME. 

since the fish start running up the brooks about ten days after 
the ice has gone. The fish lie around the mouth of the spawn- 
ing brook two to three days before starting their run, which 
occurs at night, the fish returning to the lake at daybreak. 
During the first three nights the large ones pass up, then for 
a few nights the medium sized, and finally the small ones, 
evidently yearlings. So many fish run up Parker Brook from 
Onota Lake that they actually force each other out of the water 
on the grass and gravel sides of the stream. The spawn is 
deposited, one layer of eggs upon another, to a depth of about 
2 inches, which inevitably results in millions of eggs being 
annually lost under natural conditions. When so covered the 
bed of the brook has the appearance of one large yellow 
sheet. 

A similar condition is found on the natural spawning beds 
of the salt-water species. At Weir River, Hingham, in 1917, 
the smelts were depositing spawn on the river bottom at the 
rate of a quarter of an inch each night when there was a good 
run. Eggs would be found in layers from 1 to 2 inches in 
depth, and in eddies, even from 4 to 6 inches. Under such 
circumstances the top layer only is exposed to the running 
water and properly fertilized, the remainder being wasted. The 
eggs are adhesive and attach readily to stones, gravel or other 
suitable objects. They measure one-twentieth of an inch in 
diameter, and count 496,000 to the fluid quart. The eggs 
hatch out in the fresh water, and the young fish later return 
to the salt water. At Weir River high course tides, flooding 
the lower spawning grounds, occasionally kill quantities of eggs 
by the action of the salt water. 

Value and Present Condition of Smelt Fishery. 
The smelt is highly prized as an article of diet. It is also 
considered of value as a bait, and has proved a most satis- 
factory and ideal food for the fishes of the inland lakes. The 
smelt fishery of Massachusetts, while never achieving a com- 
mercial importance like that of the New Brunswick fishery (an 
important winter fishery, carried on through the ice, and the 
product shipped frozen to market), is now of value to the 
recreational fisherman, and does represent a substantial food 



PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 77 

supply. The commercial possibilities should be the primary 
reason for its development, for conditions can be made favor- 
able to restoring the once abundant supply. 

The stocking of the fresh-water ponds with them as a fish 
food is now of great importance. Moreover, the rapid increase 
in the smelt thus established in fresh water encourages us to 
believe that in time some of them may be taken for food. 

Exact statistics of the decline of the smelt fishery in Massa- 
chusetts are probably not of much importance, but in former 
days quantities of smelt could be taken during the proper 
season. In the gradual reduction of the spawning beds the 
smelt as well as the other anadromous fishes became scarce on 
the Massachusetts coast. At the present time there are two 
spawning localities in Boston Harbor, — Weir River at Hing- 
ham, and the tributary streams to the Weymouth Fore and 
Back rivers. Here and in other localities their grounds have 
been restricted by dams and pollution. At Weir River there 
was formerly opportunity for the smelt to pass up the stream 
for several miles, whereas now they are limited to a stretch 
of about 120 feet. The pollution of other streams entering 
Boston Harbor has doubtless driven an excess of smelt to 
Weir River, which is comparatively free from foreign material. 
The oversupply of smelt for these limited areas explains why 
the eggs are deposited in such thick layers that the greater 
part perish. 

This year, to ascertain the magnitude of the smelt fishery 
and just what value it has as an asset of the Commonwealth, 
an investigation was conducted which resulted in some sur- 
prising revelations. On one Sunday morning along the coast 
at and adjacent to Hough's Neck no less than 2,326 persons 
fishing for smelt were actually counted, leaving out of con- 
sideration the number who were out during the very early 
morning. In notebooks which were placed at every pier and 
yacht club for the purpose of registration as a part of the gen- 
eral census, 144 persons reported their catch to be 1,095 dozens. 
Computed roughly, this averages more than 90 fish apiece, or 
6J pounds figured at the rate of 14 fish to the pound. Con- 
tinuing on this same basis the 2,326 persons observed in the 
act of fishing on this morning might easily have taken about 



78 FISH AND GAME. 

15,119 pounds, or 7| tons, of smelt, with an approximate 
value of no less than $3,023.80. But even this is not the full 
money value, for in addition to actual market value these fish 
surely must be considered as of some worth from the view- 
point of providing recreation. As a very conservative esti- 
mate let it be considered that the sporting value to the fisher- 
men of catching these fish averaged 10 cents per hour, and 
each person stayed out for three hours. This gives a total 
of 6,978 hours with a value of $697.80 to be added to the 
actual market value of the fish of $3,023.80. Such presenta- 
tion of facts would seem to be about the best possible argu- 
ment which may be advanced in favor of the Commission's 
comparatively new-born activity of artificial propagation of 
smelt with which to rehabilitate such coastal streams as still 
remain suitable. 

The Problem of Restoration, 

In general a fishway is not a practical contrivance for smelt. 
At Weir River smelt were observed to shoot some very sharp 
falls. If the fish could get over the first dam they could reach 
extensive spawning grounds. However, the return over the 
dam would probably injure these delicate fish, and therefore 
it would be necessary to screen the spillway. 

The real problem confronting the Fish and Game Commission 
is that of providing a spawning ground equal, as far as pos- 
sible, to that which the smelt enjoyed before the day of dams 
and pollution, and to institute methods of saving a large per 
cent, of the spawn wasted at present in such places as Weir 
River. To remove the pollution from the streams entering 
Boston Harbor will require considerable time, and probably 
never will be accomplished if present conditions are any cri- 
terion. The enlargement of the spawning grounds by removal 
of dams or installation of suitable fishways is likewise a work 
of years. The immediate relief of the smelt problem which 
will save this species from commercial extinction in Boston 
Harbor consists in saving the natural waste of surplus smelt 
eggs by artificially enlarging the spawning grounds to accom- 
modate the number of smelt which frequent them. 



PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 79 

Methods of Restoration. 
The general plan of work was laid out in four divisions: — 

1. At Weir River, Hingham, as regards methods of saving 
the great quantities of natural spawn annually wasted, and of 
catching and holding a part of the adult fishes. 

2. Ascertaining the most effective methods of handling and 
shipping the eggs and adults for the stocking of fresh-water 
ponds and tidal streams. 

3. Observations on the spawning habits of the landlocked 
smelt, and the collection of eggs at Onota Lake, Pittsfield. 

4. Artificial stripping and fertilization of the eggs, and the 
hatching of them in batteries at the Palmer Hatchery. 

The year's work aimed to realize four definite objectives. 
A detailed account of results in each is given. 

1. Protection of the adult smelt, especially on the spawning 
grounds during the breeding season, by the rigid enforcement of 
effective laws. 

Since 1911 the control of the smelt fisheries of Weymouth 
and Braintree has been vested in the towns (chapter 306, 
Acts of 1911), but nothing has ever been done by the local 
authorities, and the spawning grounds have never received 
adequate protection, despite the fact that the Commission has 
each year given a greater or lesser amount of attention to these 
brooks, depending on the number of men who could be spared 
from other work. This year the Commissioners determined to 
assume the responsibility of bettering conditions, seeing the 
towns would not act. When the fish began to run in the 
spring a sufficient force of deputies was detailed to patrol 
the Weir and W T eymouth rivers, day and night, during the 
spawning season, and the illegal taking of fish was stopped. 
When the citizens were informed of the purposes of the Com- 
mission as to patrol and propagation they immediately gave 
it their hearty support. 

2. Restocking depleted coastal streams by transplanting spawn- 
ing adults and fertilized eggs. 

The transplanting of the adult smelt from Weir River was 
attempted, but the brood fish proved too delicate to warrant 
it as a routine practice. The smelt were placed in small cars 
in the stream until the time of shipment. If injured by 



80 FISH AND GAME. 

handling, even in the slightest degree, the injured part would 
become covered with fungus, and the fish would soon die. 
Likewise fish injured in transit or during the canning process 
would either die en route, or shortly after reaching the desti- 
nation. However, successful shipments were made by train to 
Byfield, Rockport, Kingston, and by automobile to Brockton, 
in the regular shipping cans. 

Observations having shown that great numbers of eggs de- 
posited under normal conditions were lost either through smoth- 
ering or accident, the following effort was made to improve on 
the natural process. Pieces of coarse burlap, tacked on wooden 
frames and anchored on the bottom of the stream, made an 
artificial bed over which the spawning fish had to pass. Large 
numbers of eggs were deposited on these improvised beds, which 
were left in water long enough to harden, and then rolled 
up, packed in baskets of wet moss, and shipped. The re- 
ceivers staked them out in quick water in the brooks to hatch; 
62,750,000 eggs were thus distributed. 

3. Stocking inland ponds with smelt to furnish food for the 
predaceous fish. In this work both eggs and adults from the salt 
water and from certain fresh-water ponds, where the landlocked 
smelt have become numerous, are utilized. 

The method of handling the adult smelt work at Onota Lake 
is as follows. The fish, netted as they ran up stream, were 
kept in a box 6 by 2\ by \\ feet in size, to which they were 
carried in pails from the point of netting, a distance of 400 
yards. From this box the cans for transportation were filled. 
During the past four years about 60,000 adult smelt have been 
transplanted from Onota Lake to other ponds. 

If the eggs are allowed to remain in the tributary brooks 
of Onota Lake, millions are lost owing to the depth of the 
layers. When the eggs have attained the eyed stage they are 
ready to be transplanted. They are gathered by slipping the 
hand under the bottom layer, both good and bad eggs being 
placed in a basket lined with burlap which first had been 
soaked to hold moisture. The eggs are then ready for trans- 
portation and can be shipped for comparatively long distances. 
This year approximately 36,000,000 eyed eggs were shipped 
from Onota Lake. After the eggs have been placed in the 



PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 81 

baskets a strong odor is noticeable which would give one un- 
familiar with this work the impression that the eggs had 
spoiled, but this is not the case, since if examined microscopi- 
cally the eggs are found in good condition. 

4. Perfecting methods of artificial stripping, fertilization and 
hatching. 

Smelt can be stripped in the same manner as trout, but 
the fish do not survive the process, as they are sensitive to 
handling. The eggs are readily fertilized, but owing to their 
adhesive nature (they adhere to everything except glass) it was 
found necessary to strip only a few fish of each sex at a time, 
and to continually stir the mixture in water for an hour or 
more, and afterwards at frequent intervals, until it was placed in 
hatching jars in which the churn of the battery accomplished 
the same result. 

About eighteen days are required to hatch smelt by this 
process, but by the use of warmer water this may perhaps be 
reduced to fourteen days. With a hatchery at Weir River 
three lots of eggs could be hatched during the season. A 
portable building could be located on the bank of the stream, 
and water from the pond above could be piped with sufficient 
pressure to serve for hatching. Electricity and other con- 
veniences, such as city water, could be obtained near by. In 
regard to space and equipment it is estimated that 400 smelt 
can be hatched per jar, and that by placing the jars four high 
a 50-foot row would accommodate 400 jars and yield 160,000 
fish. 

Another method, which was less successful, was to take the 
eyed eggs from the fresh-water streams and hatch them in a 
trout-hatching trough with running water. 

Fish Salvage. 
This subject has been discussed to some extent in connection 
with the account of work on the white perch. Fish salvage is 
the prevention of natural waste, such as the rescue of stranded 
fish from streams in times of overflow or drought, and transfer 
from overstocked ponds to more suitable waters in which the 
natural supply of fish is low. It will play an important part 
in the future activities of the Commission. Plans are now 



82 FISH AND GAME. 

under way for extending the work of fish salvage to private 
waters, reservoirs and ponds where public fishing is prohibited, 
in order to place the fish in waters open to the public. 

By this means thousands of adult fish may be annually 
provided for public waters in addition to the output of the 
hatcheries. Although once a mere side issue, fish salvage has 
become of equal importance to the other branches of fish cul- 
tural work. During the past ten years with the white perch, 
and more recently with the horned pout, the Commission has 
worked out some efficient methods of fish salvage. 

Satisfactory work can be accomplished only by trained men 
provided with necessary equipment. Its proper performance 
will require the services of two crews of five men each, who 
can devote to it their entire time for several months each year. 
One crew would be assigned to the salvage of white perch from 
the brackish ponds near the coast, and the other to distributing 
various species of fish from pond to pond, according to the 
needs of the different localities. Each crew should be equipped 
with an automobile truck carrying the requisite apparatus. 

With the necessary equipment and men the possibilities for 
the extension of the work of fish salvage are alluring. The 
double crew of highly trained men with the additional equip- 
ment can accomplish efficiently twice the amount of work that 
is being done at the present time. Greater stress can be placed 
upon the work in the fresh-water ponds with species other than 
white perch, as the entire time of the extra crew can be de- 
voted to such fish as bass and horned pout. It can be readily 
realized that millions of fish, both young and adult, can be 
preserved by extending work along this line. 

In addition to rescuing fish from overflowed and dried-up 
streams, or where pollution has suddenly become too great to 
allow of their existence, the work of transferring fish from 
water supplies and other ponds in which the public are not 
allowed to fish is perhaps the most important part of fish 
salvage. Massachusetts has within its bounds approximately 
175 ponds used as reservoirs, and several hundred artificial 
ponds in which public fishing for one reason or another is not 
permitted. For this reason, wherever fish can be economically 
and satisfactorily removed from these ponds and placed in 



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Outlet of Big Pond, Otis. Showing abutments and frame, ready for screen. 




Screen at the outlet of Big Pond, Otis. Showing screen placed in position. 




Screen at the outlet of Big Pond, Otis. Showing rear view of screen and abut- 
ments. 



PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 83 

waters which are open to public fishing it should be done. 
In this way the water supplies and private ponds can be re- 
lieved of their surplus fish, to the benefit of the public waters. 

Screens. 

Much money has been wasted in the past by stocking the 
lakes of IVlassachusetts with migratory species of fish -such as 
Si.lmon, rainbow trout and white perch without first placing 
screens at the outlets. It is the nature of these fish to seek 
the salt water when they arrive at a certain age, and if they 
have a free passage they will drift down the streams never to 
return. This has proved to be the case with many fish that 
have been planted in the State waters. 

Several instances are known where white perch have been 
taken in streams below the lakes in which they were liberated, 
when none had ever been caught in the lake. The same is 
true of black bass. It has been impossible to get results from 
planting any species of salmon in lakes that have free outlets. 
If there were no dams the fish might come back to some 
extent, but if salmon fishing is to be established in our lakes 
it will be much better to have the outlets screened and thus 
keep the fish landlocked. 

During the past year representatives from this department 
have advised persons, interested in having screens installed, 
as to how the work should be done, going so far as to plan 
the kind best suited for the particular place. Among the 
sites thus investigated were Lake Attitash in the town of 
Amesbury, where a screen is being installed by Ralph S. Bauer, 
Esq., at his own expense, and at the outlet of Big Pond, Otis, 
where one has been installed by the Westfield Camping Club, 
of which James F. McPhee, Esq., is president. The outlet to 
this lake is only 10 feet wide, and does not have a very swift 
current. Abutments were built of rock and cement, and a 
frame of 8 by 8 inch oak timbers made for the iron screen to 
rest on. This screen was 10 by 6 feet, built in three sections 
to insure easy handling. When in place it rests upon the frame, 
which has a slant of 45 degrees. This pitch allows the screen 
to be easily raked whenever it gets clogged up with debris, 
such as grass and leaves. 



84 FISH AND GAME. 

It would seem advisable for the work of installing all screens 
to be in the hands of the Commissioners, with a fund provided 
for this purpose. As it is now this work if done at all, must 
be undertaken by individuals. 

The iron screen that was placed at Stringer Dam in Lake 
Quinsigamond has caused so much trouble each year, by 
getting clogged up with leaves and other refuse during the fall, 
that it was thought best to remove the same and have it in- 
stalled at the lower dam near the mill at North Grafton. 



Work at the State Fish Hatcheries. 
Palmer Hatchery. 

The working plan of all the hatcheries is to so systematize 
the various operations that there will be no periods of idleness. 
This can be effected only in those hatcheries having facilities 
to raise several kinds of fish. During the winter the hatch 
house contained salmon and trout eggs; in the spring the 
batteries hatched perch and smelt eggs; and during the sum- 
mer the bass were bred in the open ponds. 

The two new bass ponds built last season were used for the 
first time, and although not well covered with vegetation they 
were of considerable help in furnishing a place to hold the young 
fish. 

As early as possible the pond system should be extended on 
both sides of the stream to give more room for rearing the 
fish to fingerlings, also to furnish ponds for breeding other fish, 
such as crappie, blue-gill, sunfish and bullheads. There is 
water enough not utilized to-day to supply a number of addi- 
tional ponds. 

The 600,000 Chinook salmon eggs were shipped from the 
Oregon Fish and Game Commission, and came by express 
packed in cases of 100,000 eggs each. It took six days to 
cross the continent, and they were in splendid condition when 
received in November, 1916. The fry from these eggs proved 
to be strong and healthy, and when they were ready to ship, 
a large portion were transferred to the rearing station at 
Andover for liberation in the Merrimack River. 

Fifty thousand brook trout eggs were taken from wild trout 



PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 85 

in the hatchery stream and hatched out, the fry being sent 
to the Sandwich Hatcheries as an addition to the brood stock. 

In former years the supply of perch spawn has been re- 
ceived from the United States Bureau of Fisheries. This year 
they gave notice that it would be impossible to furnish any. 
On receipt of this information a supply was located in this 
State, which is referred to in the article on yellow perch. 
Sixteen million fry were distributed. 

Very little was done this year in the way of improvements 
at the station, except to grade the grounds and build a gravel 
road around the hatchery buildings and ice house, mostly by 
the regular employees at intervals during the summer. 

The superintendent and his assistant were obliged to be 
away for a considerable time in looking after the work at other 
places. The superintendent had charge of building the rearing 
stations at Montague and Amherst, besides investigating other 
propositions which occupied a considerable amount of his time. 

This station is being developed as fast as funds can be 
secured to do it, and as experience shows that it is safe to 
branch out further in certain directions. 

Sutton Fish Hatchery. 

No changes of importance were made in the station during 
the past year except to carry on the work of clearing out use- 
less equipment and of gradually working over the grounds, 
bringing them into a better physical condition. Trout eggs 
were hatched in both of the hatcheries with the usual degree 
of success. 

Early in the spring experiments were started to see whether 
it would be practicable to ship the early hatched fry from the 
Sandwich Hatcheries to this station, to be reared here and 
distributed in the western part of the State, the idea being to 
apply the rearing station principle to this hatchery. A sub- 
stantial number of the Sandwich fish were sent to Sutton and 
placed in pools opposite similar pools containing the Sutton 
fish. Efforts were made to have the fish from each station 
receive the same quality and quantity of water and the same 
food. By reason of being hatched earlier, the Sandwich fish 
made more rapid progress and appeared to take kindly to the 



86 FISH AND GAME. 

experience. These experiments were made with a view to 
further consolidation of the work in line with that described 
in connection with the Sandwich Hatcheries. The plan during 
the coming year is to do away with the hatching of fish at 
the Sutton station, and to distribute the stock of adult trout 
heretofore maintained there. Both of the hatchery buildings 
are poorly constructed, and one especially is very old. It 
is planned to turn the hatchery into a rearing station, that 
is to say, the old hatchery buildings will be torn down, the 
bird-rearing equipment will be removed, and the grounds will 
be cleaned up and laid out in an attractive manner. 

As funds become available it is planned to build such addi- 
tional rearing pools as can be constructed, in order to fully 
utilize for rearing purposes all the available water. Each spring 
a sufficient number of fry will be sent from the Sandwich 
Hatcheries to fill the requirements of the station, and the fish 
will be reared here, to be distributed in that part of the State 
within easy carrying distance of the station. Such a change 
your Commissioners believe will result in a very substantial 
financial saving, and at the same time make it possible to in- 
crease the annual output of fingerlings from this station. 

Adams Hatchery. 
During the past three years experiments have been made 
with the water available at this station to determine if it were 
possible to raise a large number of fingerling brook trout. A 
stream which flows near the hatchery building was leased, and 
the water brought over to the hatchery grounds and mixed 
with the spring water which supplied the nursery ponds, in an 
attempt to secure as much water as possible for the hatchery 
work. This plan, followed for three years, has shown such 
meager results that the Commissioners have discontinued this 
hatchery. 

Sandwich Hatcheries. 
The work at these stations throughout the year has followed 
very closely the lines of preceding years. Owing to the lack 
of funds no reconstruction work or new work has been at- 
tempted. The house held under lease at the East Sandwich 



PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 87 

branch was altered to a slight extent and some of the rooms 
repapered to permit housing two of the assistants and their 
families', whereas heretofore but one assistant had occupied the 
premises. It is found that much better results are obtained 
from employees if they are comfortably located near the sta- 
tions. From this house one can see the entire hatchery 
grounds, thus making it possible at all times to keep the plant 
under observation. 

A great deal of work must be done at the East Sandwich 
branch within the next few years to replace the present pools 
which are simply earth-bottomed pools walled with heavy 
planks. The planks are gradually rotting out, it is very diffi- 
cult to keep the pools tight, and it is remarkable to see how 
many small trout will wedge into the smallest hole and suffo- 
cate. The small wooden nursery pools, into which are placed 
a large number of the fry when first taken out of the hatchery, 
are in an even worse state of repair, requiring constant work 
to keep them reasonably tight, and some may have to be 
abandoned during the coming year on this account. Some 
progress has been made in cleaning up both stations, grading, 
clearing out underbrush and putting the grounds in more 
attractive condition. 

The principal attention has been given to more intensive 
development of the plant as it now stands. With this in mind 
a new type of hatching trough is under investigation, the same 
being, in brief, a large deep trough in which may be arranged 
a number of trays, one on top of the other, each containing a 
substantial number of eggs, and so arranged that the water 
may flow through all the trays, thus making it possible to 
hatch a large number of eggs in the present hatchery building 
and with the same water supply. In addition to this, other 
arrangements are being tried, such as a second series of hatch- 
ing troughs under the present set. 

Your Commissioners believe that the Sandwich plant is the 
one at which to hatch all of the brook trout eggs taken. Owing 
to the temperature of the water the eggs can be hatched much 
earlier than at any other station. It is with this in mind that 
attempts are being made to double up the hatching arrange- 
ments as above indicated, in order to develop every possible 



88 FISH AND GAME. 

economy at the plant. If the present experiments prove a 
success the outlook is hopeful that during another year all of 
the brook trout eggs can be hatched in the present hatchery 
building. 

This is also the logical place to keep the entire brood stock 
of adult trout. It is highly beneficial for the fish to have 
access to salt water from time to time, and this is rendered 
possible by the fact that the stream at the East Sandwich 
station (where the adult fish are kept) connects with the ocean, 
the tide coming up to the hatchery grounds. By liberating a 
limited number from time to time in this brook the fish can 
run to salt water. The most of them return, and it is a simple 
matter to recapture them. With the adult stock maintained 
at the East Sandwich branch, and all the brook trout eggs 
hatched at the Sandwich station, the program of general con- 
solidation will be furthered. Your Commissioners hope that 
some time the real hatchery building of this plant can be 
established at the East Sandwich station. There the water can 
be utilized in varying degrees from the pond, which is the 
main water supply. It is a small but deep pond, and by taking 
the water from the bottom in one set of pipes, and from the 
top in another, the hatching of the eggs can be regulated much 
more successfully than at present in the hatchery building at 
the Sandwich station. The only hatching building to-day is a 
small plant at the Sandwich station where artesian water is 
used. This water is so warm that the fish hatch very early, 
comparatively speaking, and often it is a problem to know 
how to take care of the excess number of fry when the fish 
have grown to the size when thinning out is imperative. When 
the fry are ready to be distributed from this station the streams 
in the middle and western part of the State are often so frozen 
up that it is impossible to satisfactorily distribute the fry. It 
is a pleasure to be able to say that with the establishment of 
the rearing stations described in another part of this report 
it is hoped during the coming year to care for all the stock 
of fry without being obliged to make premature distributions. 

The object in view is to consolidate at the Sandwich Hatcheries 
all the hatching and the first steps in the rearing of the annual 
supply of brook trout. From there the fish will be sent when 




Montague Rearing Station in operation. 




Montague Rearing Station. Intake pipe and raceway below the dam. 



PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 89 

small to the rearing stations established in various parts of 
the State. It will be necessary to operate the rearing stations 
only during a portion of the year, thus doing away with the 
upkeep and expenses of large hatchery plants. 

The work of hatching landlocked salmon was continued with 
a substantial output from 100,000 eggs received from the Maine 
commission. These fish, however, grow very slowly, and it is 
a question whether they should be distributed before they are 
at least a year old. The Commissioners have great faith in 
holding the fish until they attain a substantial size and are 
thus better able to care for themselves. 

The firm from which rainbow trout eggs had been ordered 
was unable to supply them, with the result that late in the 
spring 75,000 fry were purchased from the Plymouth Rock 
Trout Company. These were distributed in nearly equal num- 
bers to the Sandwich, Sutton and Palmer hatcheries. The fish 
made a fair growth at Sandwich and a substantial number 
were liberated. 

Rearing Stations. 

Your Commissioners are convinced that the best results will 
be obtained if it is possible to plant the output of brook trout 
as fingerlings rather than as fry. 

In the past it has been necessary to send out the largest 
part of the trout soon after the egg-sac was absorbed, and it 
has been possible to hold to the fingerling stage only a small 
part of the fish hatched. 

In order to supplement the rearing facilities at the stations 
and reduce the cost of distribution by raising the fish in the 
locality where they will be planted, your Commissioners have 
inaugurated a system of rearing stations. 

Such stations have been built at Montague and Amherst. 
By establishing more such rearing stations the hatchery output 
of fish for the inland waters will be greatly increased. It is 
planned to extend this work during the coming year, and if 
funds are provided other stations will be established in different 
parts of the Commonwealth to handle the increased production 
of the State hatcheries. In this work every sportsman should 
have a vital interest. 



90 FISH AND GAME. 

The value of the rearing stations in fish culture consists in 
(1) relieving congestion at the hatchery as the fish increase in 
size, thereby permitting a greater output; (2) lowered cost of 
transportation, since the fish are reared near the places of dis- 
tribution; (3) less damage to fish from long-distance trans- 
portation; and (4) greater production at less cost. 

The establishment of a rearing station is a more important 
problem than is commonly supposed or appears at first sight. 
A number of conditions have to be considered, since upon 
proper selection and development depends its future productive 
capacity. The proposed site of a rearing station should be 
first carefully inspected by an expert. Detailed plans should 
be drawn and estimates made as to the exact cost of the work 
before any steps are taken. 

The location of a station has an intimate bearing upon the 
ultimate success of the project. The distance from a railroad 
station, as well as the character of the roads, are both impor- 
tant factors, as these govern the cost of transportation of fish 
and supplies. Good roads are a necessity, and this expense 
should be included in a consideration of the cost of production. 
In addition there should be a suitable and convenient place for 
loading and unloading fish at the station. 

The water supply is perhaps the most important considera- 
tion of all, for an unfailing supply of known capacity must be 
found. The minimum amount of water to be depended upon 
must be known, and for this reason sand springs are to be 
preferred to side hill or rock springs, which are more dependent 
upon rainfall. Surface water, which brings down silt into the 
hatching troughs, is to be avoided. The amount of water to 
be used naturally depends on the number of fish and the num- 
ber of hatching troughs or pools to be used. Before a location 
is taken the amount of water should be approximated either 
by a meter or by building a small weir and measuring the 
width, depth and rate of flow. 

It should be continually borne in mind, when establishing 
such a station, that it is not to be a temporary contrivance, 
but is to be built for permanent use, and after a preliminary 
trial has shown the possibilities to be promising, all work 
should be made of permanent construction, which should in- 



PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 91 

elude dams, rearing pools and satisfactory buildings for tools, 
storage, workshop, and living quarters for help. 

As a rule, rearing stations are one-man stations except when 
fish are being distributed. 

As an illustration of what has been accomplished during the 
past year with the first series of rearing stations, the work at 
the Montague and Amherst stations is described in detail. 

Montague Rearing Station. 

The Commissioners leased 80 acres of land in the town of 
Montague from John Bitzer and Joseph Fournier for a period 
of three years with an option of purchase. If the rearing 
station proves of value it can be continued as a permanent 
possession of the Commonwealth; and, if found to be un- 
satisfactory, it can be abandoned without appreciable loss, — 
a policy which has been consistently followed in the establish- 
ment of all hatcheries, game farms and other enterprises. 
After a most careful examination by experts as regards water 
flow and possibilities of rearing trout, a rearing station was 
erected during the spring and operated from June 13 to October 
15. 

The station is located on the highway running between 
Montague and Greenfield, 1^ miles from the Boston & Maine 
Railroad station. From this location it should be possible to 
supply the northern, western and central parts of Massachu- 
setts with fish at less than it formerly cost. 

The water supply is derived entirely from sand springs, and 
the flow scarcely varies during the year. The temperature of 
these springs ranges between 45° and 50° F., and remains prac- 
tically constant the year round. During the summer the water 
in the pools ranges about 53° F., rising to about 58° F. in the 
afternoon. At all times there was more than sufficient water, 
and it was estimated that 350 gallons per minute flowed through 
the rearing pools. 

About 1,500 feet below the first springs a dam 6 feet high, 
consisting of earth with a core of matched planking 2 by 6 
inches, was constructed to control the water supply and regu- 
late the temperature. It was thought advisable not to make a 
permanent construction, as the location had not been thoroughly 



92 FISH AND GAME. 

tried out. From this reservoir water was taken by means of 
two galvanized iron pipes which passed under the dam into a 
wooden raceway. One took water from the bottom, the other 
from the top or at any point necessary to give the desired 
temperature, the water at the bottom averaging during the 
month of July about 6 degrees colder than the water at the 
surface. 

The raceway conducted the water to a trough that supplied 
32 nursery pools 16 feet by 3 feet by 18 inches, set in tandem 
fashion at right angles to the feed trough. Pipes 1^ inches in 
diameter took the water into each tier of pools. The main 
stream from the spillway in the dam was straightened and 
deepened for about 300 feet below to a point where it joined 
the other stream just below the nursery pools. 

A building 10 by 20 feet was erected, containing two rooms, 
one for the preparation of fish food, the other for a sleeping 
room for the superintendent. The requirements for the future 
development of the station comprise an ice house and a fence 
around the entire property to keep out cattle. The number of 
rearing pools can be increased to the maximum capacity of 
the water. 

A road was constructed to facilitate the delivery of fish and 
supplies, by means of which transportation in the future will 
be greatly improved. Further work will be in the nature of 
making another road from the main one, thus saving a quarter 
of a mile, or putting the present road, which is not safe for 
auto trucking, into better condition. For a one-man station 
an auto truck will be necessary, since during the past summer 
it has taken practically all one man's time to look after the 
trucking by team. 

The past year, although the first and therefore the hardest 
in many respects, has proved satisfactory. The fish made rapid 
growth and were distributed in fine condition. By reason of 
the location in the center of the territory where fish are annu- 
ally planted, it was possible to lighten the strain of transporta- 
tion, which is always a benefit to the fish. The first fish, a 
lot of 10,000 shipped from the Sandwich Hatcheries, were placed 
in the pools on June 3. From that time until June 26 ship- 
ments came every day, and by July 2, 84,500 fish had been 



PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 93 

received at the station. These fingerlings were fed twice daily 
with carefully prepared liver. The screens of the pools were 
cleaned three times daily and every ten days the pools were 
cleaned out and fresh sand put in. On August 9 distribution 
was started, and by September 8, 46,000 No. 3 and No. 4 
fingerlings had been shipped from the station, leaving about 
20,000, which were distributed later. The losses during the 
summer were from ordinary causes. 

It may be of interest to note that 900 people from all over 
the United States registered in the visitors' book, and were 
keenly interested in observing the methods used in the rearing 
of the fish. 

Amherst Rearing Station. 

A tract of land in the town of Sunderland, bordering on the 
State highway running from Amherst to Sunderland, was leased 
by the Commissioners from Fred Graves for a term of three 
years with an option of purchase. 

On this tract are several large springs which have an even 
flow and an unchanging temperature of 45 degrees all the year 
round. There is no watershed to send down flood water, and 
the location appears to be ideal for a rearing station. A trolley 
line passes the property, and there are two railroad stations in 
Amherst and one in South Deerfield where fish and supplies 
can be shipped. 

The same general plans of construction as at the Montague 
station were followed here, to supply a system of twenty-four 
nursery pools. 

The station was sufficiently finished to receive fish on Sep- 
tember 1, and 18,000 trout were shipped here from the Sutton 
Hatchery. Twice a day the fish were fed on liver, until on 
October 25 and November 2 they were distributed in the 
streams in Hampshire County in good condition. 

The establishment of this station, like that of Montague, is 
more or less experimental. . A thorough test of each will be 
made. At least two years' experience is desired with each 
station. 

Andover Rearing Station. 
The work of the Andover rearing station is covered in the 
discussion of Chinook salmon. 



94 



FISH AND GAME. 



Fish Distribution 





Brook Trout. 


u 

s S 

£S 

1 
d 

I 


3 

< 

1 

o 
Ph 
o 

i 


*>> 
a 

1 

is 

5* 


Small- 
mouth Black 
Bass. 


as 

60 

u - 
~& 

is 

60 


Land- 
locked 
Salmon. 


COUNTV. 


>> 

L 


0D 

a 

a 

a 
n 


1 
< 


& 


03 

Eg 

a 
1 

bfi 

a 
E 


7? 

< 


SI 

0) 

c 


Barnstable, 


- 


- 


900 


16,000 


1,000 


- 


4,800 


11.975 


17,400 


- 


5,000 


Berkshire, 


159,000 


44,950 


1,000 


2,400 


7,600 


3,400,000 


- 


16,950 


14,900 


225 


5,000 


Bristol, . 


- 


33,000 


200 


6,000 


2,940 


750,000 


9,000 


4,500 


- 


- 


- 


Dukes, . 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


24,000 


800 


1,200 


- 


- 


Essex, 


144,000 


50,750 


1,000 


- 


6,000 


2,100,000 


28,000 


1,975 


2,400 


450 


7,000 


Franklin, 


170,000 


26,200 


200 


1,350 


3,720 


500,000 


16,000 


500 


4,200 


- 


- 


Hampden, 


- 


26,450 


300 


7,500 


8,170 


2,400,000 


28,500 


.4,140 


- 


225 


- 


Hampshire, 


- 


45,800 


450 


- 


5,720 


1,000,000 


- 


600 


2,100 


- 


- 


Middlesex, 


351,000 


97,550 


600 


- 


9,720 


200,000 


32,000 


,2,600 


7,800 


- 


- 


Nantucket, 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


Norfolk, . 


24,000 


25,350 


400 


- 


6,000 


1,500,000 


16,500 


600 


3,200 


- 


- 


Plymouth, 


- 


25,250 


- 


6,000 


6,500 


750,000 


35,000 


- 


3,210 


225 


6,000 


Suffolk, . 


- 


- 


- 


- 


720 


. " 


4,500 


- 


- 


- 


- 


Worcester, 


471,000 


268,650 


1,245 


5,000 


18,360 


3,400,000 


45,500 


1,500 


4,200 


- 


5,000 


Other distribu- 
tions, i 


- 


- 


- 


- 


720 


- 


550 


- 


275 


- 


- 


Totals, 


1,319,000 


643,950 


6,295 


44,250 


77,170 


16,000,000 


244,350 


46,140 


60,885 


1,125 


28,000 



Indicates lots which have been shipped to other 



PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 



95 



during 


the Year 1917. 
















Chinook 
Salmon. 


Fresh-water 
Smelt. 


Salt-water 
Smelt. 


03 
bfi 

c 




Totals. 


>> 


.2 

M 

C 


03 

M 

be 


"3 

< 


03 

bfi 

bfl 


>> 

L 


Bo 
a 

a 

o 

H 


03 


9 


.2 


- 


33,000 


7,000,000 


1,000 


13,500,000 


300,000 


- 


- 


20,500,000 


391,075 


- 


29,575 


- 


300 


- 


600,000 


- 


150 


- 


4,282,050 


- 


- 


5,000,000 


- 


5,000,000 


- 


- 


- 


10,000,000 


805,640 


- 


- 


1,000,000 


- 


3,000,000 


- 


- 


- 


4,000,000 


26,000 


192,000 


196,000 


11,000,000 


5,000 


11,250,000 


- 


- 


- 


22,250,000 


2,734,575 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


722,170 


- 


- 


- 


35,000 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


2,510,285 


- 


- 


- 


- 


2,000,000 


- 


- 


- 


2,000,000 


1,054,670 


- 


- 


8,000,000 


6,000 


5,000,000 


- 


1,100 


- 


13,000,000 


708,370 


- 


- 


- 


- 


1,500,000 


- 


- 


- 


1,500,000 


1,576,050 


- 


20,500 


3,000,000 


4,500 


14,500,000 


- 


- 


- 


17,500,000 


857,185 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


5,220 


- 


40,000 


1,000,000 


10,200 


5,000,000 


150,000 


900 


- 


6,000,000 


4,421,555 


- 


- 


- 


- 


2,000,000 


- 


- 


- 


2,000,000 


1,545 


192,000 


319,075 


36,000,000 


62,000 


62,750,000 


1,050,000 


2,000 


150 


98,750,000 


20,096,390 



State commissioners as an interchange of courtesies. 



96 FISH AND GAME. 



ENFORCEMENT OF LAWS. 

One of the beneficial effects of the present war conditions 
may be described as the literal forcing on the general public 
of a better-balanced understanding as to how important a part 
of our national assets is the stock of wild life. We have 
wakened to the fact that as we work for our livelihood there 
is going on around us the reproduction of a vast number of 
wild forms which, under the guidance of reasonable laws, may 
be appropriated to our use for entertainment, clothing and 
food, to say nothing of many other purposes. To-day com- 
paratively little is done to assist this reproduction. This is 
all the more reason why we should broaden out our efforts, 
proceeding on the theory that what we now have is our brood- 
stock. Our problem will be in a large measure the deter- 
mining of such restraint or guides as will enable us to keep 
that stock intact, but at the same time to utilize a substantial 
part of the yearly increase. This argument suggests what we 
believe to be true, — law enforcement is very largely a matter 
of education. The Commission would much rather be instru- 
mental in convincing a man that the regulations are for his 
benefit, and thus make him a worker in the cause, than in 
arresting and subjecting him to a heavy fine for refusal to 
observe the regulations. For this reason a special appeal is 
made directly to every resident of Massachusetts, asking him 
to assist the local deputies in the enforcement of the laws, to 
give him every encouragement in carrying on his work, to 
get acquainted with him personally, and not believe every 
slanderous story which is circulated by his enemies to injure 
his reputation. 

The Commissioners take this occasion to recognize the fine 
spirit in which the deputies have taken hold of the changes 
in the present administration. It is this spirit of mutual co- 
operation which each individual warden feels toward the Com- 
mission as a whole, and particularly the special pride which 
he takes in his own district, that is stimulating and benefiting 
the whole work. Nevertheless, there is abundant room for 
improvement. Special study has been given to the effective- 



PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 97 

ness of a merit system among the deputies whereby the men 
will receive certain credits for all work accomplished, and in 
this way a premium will be placed on individual initiative. 

The table of classified arrests on the pages following sum- 
marizes the year's work. The total number of apprehensions 
was 384, of which 355 resulted in convictions, an increasing 
proportion over previous years, and a silent tribute to the 
efficiency of the workers. 

Deputy Force. 

During the past year a system of keeping track of the 
location of the deputies at all times has been tried with 
beneficial results, although the problem has not as yet been 
fully solved, and certain changes are necessary before the 
system will operate smoothly. 

The changes in the personnel of the force during the past 
year have been as follows: Elisha T. B. Ellis of North Easton, 
formerly an unpaid deputy who had done special work for the 
Commission, and who stood highest on the list of eligibles 
presented by the Civil Service Commission, was appointed to 
the position of district deputy. The resignations of Deputy 
Allan Keniston of District No. 2, and Deputy William Day 
of Marthas Vineyard, who enter other fields of work, were 
accepted with regret. It is a pleasure to report that Deputy 
Peter P. Monahan has entirely recovered from a serious frac- 
ture of the spinal vertebrae, received in the performance of his 
official duties. On Aug. 13, 1917, occurred the death of Irving 
O. Converse of Fitchburg, Mass., who had been in the service 
of the Commission as district deputy for over ten years. Mr. 
Converse leaves behind a record for faithful, honest and intel- 
ligent work in his chosen field, and a host of friends in his 
district who join with his fellow workers in expressing their 
regard, esteem and friendship for one whose life was well spent, 
and whose influence will long be felt. 

Problems. 
Some of the problems of increased efficiency in the appre- 
hension of violators on land and water are still unsolved. The 
automobile on land and the fast power boat on the water enable 



98 FISH AND GAME. 

violators to escape from deputies who are unprovided with 
means to cope with them. The principal need at the present 
time is a "flying squadron" equipped with an automobile, 
which can be sent into the various districts as occasion demands. 
Ultimately it will be necessary to thus equip every deputy, 
but at the present time the services of even a few machines 
would be invaluable. Many times the use of an automobile 
makes possible the speedy cleaning up of jobs on which it 
would be too late to secure evidence if the deputies were 
obliged to depend upon the ordinary modes of> travel. A case 
in point occurred in the Berkshires just before the opening of 
the deer season. Information was secured that a deer had 
been killed. By use of the telephone assistance was summoned, 
an automobile procured and deputies were soon on the scene. 
So secure did the violators feel that the deputies found them 
working by lantern light, and were able to get near enough to 
hear the conversation. The offenders were arrested, tried next 
morning and paid fines of $200. In addition two non-resident 
and two resident hunters' licenses were revoked. It is needless 
to say had the deputies waited for ordinary means of trans- 
portation there would have been no chance of securing direct 
evidence and the resulting convictions. The department of 
law enforcement possesses two Ford cars at the present time. 
Unfortunately, an act of the Legislature, passed in 1917, re- 
quires that cars owned by the Commonwealth shall bear on 
special number plates, in letters If inches high, the words, 
"The Commonwealth of Massachusetts," and, in the case of 
this department, "F. &. G." Thus heralded and announced 
the deputy starts his work under a handicap, as violators may 
be warned of his approach either by actual sight or by the 
kindly disposed friends with telephones, so numerous in the 
country. If automobiles are ever to be of full value in law 
enforcement, a special waiver of this act must be made in so 
far as it affects the Fish and Game Commission. It is a well- 
known fact that when deputies appear in a district word is 
passed ahead, and for that reason the greatest secrecy is neces- 
sary in all the department's work. As an illustration of the 
difficulty arising from a conveyance becoming too conspicuous 
may be cited the recent instance of a motorcycle and side car, 



PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 99 

which, as a result of becoming too well known in one district, 
had to be transferred to another. 

A speedy shallow-draft power boat of the semi-cruiser type 
would make possible the arrest of numerous violators. To 
illustrate the importance of the violations on salt water may 
be cited the instance of 22 Italian fishermen who were fined 
$100 each in the Quincy courts, or a total of 82,200, the largest 
fine ever imposed in a fish and game case taken before the 
Massachusetts courts. It is this type of violator of laws per- 
taining to the commercial fisheries that must be restrained if 
we are to preserve the natural supply for future generations, 
and in certain cases this can be effectively done only through 
the agency of a fast power boat. 

Annual Meetings. 
The annual meetings of the deputy force, at which the local 
and general problems of law enforcement and the recommenda- 
tions of the various deputy commissioners are discussed, have 
proved very satisfactory. Semi-annual meetings of this sort 
would prove even better for purposes of instruction and for 
bringing about a greater degree of co-operative service. 

Town Wardens. 
Approximately the same number of town wardens as last 
year have been in service. The value of this branch of the 
service is rather in the moral effect on the community, and 
the resulting tendency of the chronic violators to give up their 
illegal work, than in the actual arrests. While good reports 
have been received from these wardens, but few arrests have 
been recorded. 

Federal Wardens. 
Eight of the district deputies of the Commission have re- 
ceived appointments as Federal wardens. To the list published 
in the last report should be added the name of Deputy William 
W. Sargood of Lee. 



100 FISH AND GAME. 



The Game Warden as an Educator. 

The work of the game warden does not necessarily consist 
in making numerous arrests, but rather in so organizing his 
district that violations of the fish and game laws are made 
more difficult by reason of fear of detection, and also by 
guiding the sentiment of his community toward a proper appre- 
ciation of their importance. In the latter respect the district 
deputy is an educator in fish and game conservation. His 
position is a responsible one in his community, and upon him 
rests the responsibility of teaching the boys and girls to be- 
come preservers and not destroyers of nature. Certain district 
deputies have shown considerable talent for lecturing, and have 
given numerous talks upon the work before various local 
clubs, schools and Boy Scout associations. In addition to 
these lectures the district deputies are always ready and 
willing to explain by personal interview matters relating to 
fish and game. 

Between January and May the chief deputy delivered 25 
stereopticon lectures before bird clubs, Boy Scouts and fish 
and game associations. These lectures, mostly at night, in 
various parts of the State, required considerable traveling and 
late night work. The greater part of these talks were of a 
general nature relating to the various activities of the Com- 
mission. 

Exhibits. 
The district deputies have always been greatly interested in 
the various exhibits which have been given by the Commission 
from time to time in their districts, and of which they have 
usually had charge. During 1917 the number and size of these 
exhibits had to be curtailed owing to the fact that quail and 
grouse do not stand confinement in exhibition cages, and 
pheasants are not in good plumage during the exhibition 
season. 

Posters. 
The demand for posters and law books becomes greater each 
year. More people are desirous of obtaining correct informa- 
tion regarding the regulations on fishing and hunting. The 



PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 101 

deputy in each district serves as a clearing center for the 
distribution of posters and law books. In 1917, 50,000 post 
cards, 7,000 posters and 15,000 books, giving the full changes 
in fish and game laws made from 1916 to 1917, were distributed. 

Licenses. 

Each year the reasonableness of the combination hunting 
and fishing license becomes more evident. In fairness to the 
hunter the fisherman should help bear the burden of contribut- 
ing to the support of the cause. Other States have adopted 
some such a measure as the combined hunting and fishing 
license, and the time is not far distant when Massachusetts 
will follow their lead. 

Under chapter 614, Acts of 1911, as amended by chapter 
379, Acts of 1912, chapters 249 and 479, Acts of 1913, and 
chapter 212, General Acts of 1915 every resident native or 
naturalized citizen can obtain from any town or city clerk a 
hunting license for the amount of $1. The influence of the 
license system on law enforcement is especially beneficial from 
the standpoint of the deputies, for the reason that the alien 
hunter is more readily handled and the prospect of losing a 
license is a greater check upon the potential violator than the 
fear of arrest and fine. 

Recent Legislation. 
The principal changes in the laws are briefly: — 

1. The licensing of lobstermen in the shore towns, beginning 
Nov. 1, 1917, will prove of assistance to the deputies and a 
protection to the lobstermen. 

2. Limiting the catch of trout to 25 to any one person in 
a day's catch will have a beneficial effect on the well-stocked 
streams, where greater numbers might readily be taken. 

3. The open season on upland birds and game will commence 
November 1 instead of October 12. 

Needed Legislation. 
The following changes would be beneficial : — 
1. Laws regarding the catching of herring in Boston Harbor 
by torches and seines should be made uniform for the entire 



102 



FISH AND GAME. 



harbor. At the present time at least seven sections of the 
coast have different regulations. 

2. Uniform lobster laws in the Atlantic coast States and 
Canada would be of great assistance in handling the shipments 
at Boston, and would tend to conserve the supply of small 
lobsters. 

3. Further legislation is needed to protect the smelt streams, 
particularly the Weir and Weymouth rivers, and a hatchery 
should be established to furnish smelt for stocking the inland 
waters. 

Classified Court Records, 1917. 





Fines. 


43 

3 

o 

O 

*s 

m 
E 
o 
O 


Disposition of Case. 


9 


Violation*. 


T3 

■ 

o 
A 
S 

t-H 


•v 
'3 

p4 


o 
M 

e3 
| 




1 

o 

a 

6 


■d 

'3 

a 

< 




03 

a 

£ 


Alien, 


SI, 110 


$760 


- 


- 


33 


5 


8 


33 


Assault on officer 


5 


- 


- 


1 


3 


3 


- 


4 


Interfering with officer, 


5 


5 


- 


- 


1 


- 


- 


1 


Birds. 


















Birds protected at all times, 


180 


115 


- 


2 


14 


1 


3 


17 


Quail, closed season, 


20 


20 


- 


- 


1 


- 


- 


1 


Partridge, closed season, . 


90 


90 


- 


- 


5 


- 


- 


5 


Pheasants, closed season, . 


20 


20 


- 


1 


2 


- 


- 


3 


Waterfowl, closed season, . 


60 


40 


$9 87 


- 


11 


- 


6 


11 


Unlawfully dealing in trade with 
game birds. 


240 


- 


- 


2 


1 


1 


1 


3 


Game. 


















Deer, closed season, . • . 


365 


315 


- 


2 


10 


- 


2 


13 


Carrying rifle in closed season on 

deer. 
Unlawfully selling deer, . 


20 


20 


- 


1 


1 


- 


; 


1 
1 


Rabbits, closed season, 


15 


15 


- 


- 


3 


- 


- 


3 


Squirrels, closed season, . 


50 


50 


5 00 


1 


6 


- 


i 


7 


Exposing poison for birds and 
animals. 


20 


20 


- 


- 


1 


- 


- 


1 


Hunting. 


















Hunting without license, . 


525 


435 


29 80 


2 


52 


3 


10 


55 


Hunting on posted land or reserva- 
tion. 
Hunting on Lord's Day, . 


80 
245 


80 
200 


15 60 
17 80 


4 


12 
20 


1 
1 


1 

6 


14 

26 


Hunting with use of motorboat, 


- 


- 


- 


1 


- 


- 


- 


1 


Hunting with use of automobile, 


10 


10 


- 


- 


1 


- 


- 


1 



PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 



103 



Classified Court Records, 1917 — Concluded. 





Fines. 


3 
O 

rj 


Disposition of Case. 


S 








s 


•d 






03 


\ IOLATION. 


"8 

en 
O 
ft 

a 


•6 

I 


13 

1 


eg. 
A 
a 
5 

5 


2 

6 


$ 

< 


E 


IS 

i 


Trapping. 


















Failure to visit trap once in twenty- 
four hours. 
Trapping without permit, 


15 
5 


15 
5 


1 90 


_ 


2 
2 


_ 


l 


2 
2 


Taking by illegal traps, snares, etc., 


55 


40 


- 


- 


4 


i 


- 


4 


Transferring license 


- 


- 


- 


i 


- 


- 


- 


1 


Carrying firearm without permit, . 


100 


- 


- 


- 


2 


i 


- 


2 


Fish. 


















Bass, closed season, .... 


25 


25 


- 


- 


3 


- 


- 


3 


Bass, short, 


23 


23 


- 


- 


3 


- 


- 


3 


Herring, without permit, . 


3 


3 


- 


- 


1 


- 


- 


1 


Herring, destroying 


- 


- 


- 


i 


- 


- 


r 


1 


Lobsters, short, .... 


2,379 


1,530 


6 00 


i 


42 


i 


8 


44 


Lobsters, egg-bearing, 


244 


244 


- 


- 


6 


- 


l 


6 


Interfering with lobster traps, . 


- 


- 


- 


i 


- 


- 


- 


1 


Illegal marking of lobster car, . 


60 


45 


- 


- 


5 


- 


- 


5 


Setting lobster trap by a person not 

a citizen. 
Perch, short, 


. 20 
65 


20 
65 


- 


- 


1 

7 


- 


- 


1 

7 


Mackerel, seining, .... 


40 


- 


- 


- 


5 


- 


- 


5 


Mackerel, underweight, 


100 


- 


- 


- 


5 


- 


- 


5 


Smelt, closed season, 


30 


30 


20 00 


- 


16 


- 


3 


16 


Trout, short, 


120 


100 


- 


- 


13 


i 


1 


13 


Clams, without permit, . 


- 


- 


3 72 


- 


3 


- 


3 


3 


Fishing other than by hook or line, 


300 


300 


10 00 


- 


17 


- 


- 


17 


Seining, 


2,880 


60 


- 


- 


34 


30 


- 


34 


Torching 


100 


- 


- 


- 


2 


2 


1 


2 


Maintaining fish trap without permit, 


100 


- 


- 


- 


2 


1 


1 


2 


Fishing with more than ten hooks, . 


40 


40 


- 


- 


2 


- 


- 


2 


Larceny of auto used for State work, 


- 


- 


4 50 


- 


1 


- 


1 


1 



S u m in ary . 

Number of cases, 384 

Fines imposed, $9,764 00 

Fines paid $4,740 00 

Costs of court, $124 19 

Cases discharged, 21 

Cases convicted 355 

Cases appealed, 52 

Cases filed 58 

Number of laws violated 46 



104 FISH AND GAME. 



FISHWAYS. 

Merrimack River Fishways. 

The success of the introduction of the Pacific salmon (Chi- 
nook) into the coastal waters depends upon the presence of 
fishways at Lawrence and Lowell. In addition, this great 
river system should be made a great breeding ground for other 
anadromous fish, particularly the alewife. This can never be 
realized until means are provided to enable the fish to sur- 
mount the dams at the above cities. There are fishways at 
both points to-day, but they are in such a dilapidated con- 
dition or so inadvisedly located as to be of no help to the 
fish. 

During the past few years the Board has had under 
consideration the question of rebuilding and relocating t these 
ways, which has been a subject of much discussion among 
the fishermen and sportsmen of the Merrimack Valley. The 
Lowell Fish and Game Association has earnestly advocated 
it. Without going into the history of these fishways, all of 
which appears in the reports of the department, it is sufficient 
to say there has been much legislation and some litigation in 
respect to the one at Lawrence. It turns mostly on the extent 
to which the Essex Company (which owns the dam) is obli- 
gated to build and maintain a fishway. The records indicate 
that the Essex Company has always been ready and willing 
to do all that could be reasonably asked of them. As to the 
one at Lowell, it appears that the Locks and Canal Company 
is obligated to maintain a way, and that this company has 
likewise been ready at all times to do its part. 

The Board has now started to effect the location at these 
points of fishways of the most effective type now known. As 
the first step it seemed advisable to ascertain beyond question 
the legal obligations of all parties in interest. The Board 
laid the matter before the Attorney-General on June 21, 1917, 
and the following correspondence resulted: — 



PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 105 



Boston, June 21, 1917. 

Hon. Henry C. Attwill, Attorney-General of the Commonwealth, State 
House, Boston, Mass. 

Dear Sir: — According to chapter 289, Acts of 1856, it appears that 
the Essex Companj', which operates the Lawrence Mills at Lawrence, 
Mass., was obligated to maintain in and around its dam at Lawrence a 
suitable and sufficient fish way for a certain period of each year. 

We herewith request your opinion as to whether or not previous or 
subsequent legislation on this point has modified in any respect this 
obligation on the part of the Essex Company to maintain said fishway. 

Should it appear from your investigation that tins company is still 
bound by this act, may we ask whether the Fish and Game Commission, 
pursuant to section 12, chapter 91, Revised Laws of 1902, is the proper 
agent to institute proceedings, if necessary, to see that this fishway is 
restored (the same being now in decay and of no practical value), or 
whether the proceedings should be instituted by you on behalf of the 
Commonwealth. 

Thanking you for your attention to the foregoing in due course, we 
are, 

Very truly yours, 

William C. Adams, 
Chairman. 



Boston, June 21, 1917. 

Essex Company, Laurence, Mass. 

Gentlemen : — We have this day applied to the Attorney-General for 
instructions relative to the existing legal obligations on your part to 
maintain a fishway around the dam at Lawrence. After this matter has 
been fully decided as to what are the existing legal requirements, we will 
take the whole subject up with you. 

We aim during the coming period of low water to make a thorough 
investigation of the situation to see what is the most desirable thing to do 
in the establishment of a fishway at this dam. 

Our object by this letter is to keep you in touch with the situation, 
and to assure you now that it is not our intention to invoke any legal 
measures whatever until our board and your company have had an oppor- 
tunity to carefully consider the matter to see what is the best thing to do. 

If it appears that you are under a legal obligation to instal this fish- 
way by reason of special legislation passed years ago, or if it appears that, 
without such legislation, in the opinion of our board it is advisable that 
this fishway be established, we will endeavor to co-operate with you to 
the fullest extent possible in the construction of such a fishway, in order 



106 FISH AND GAME. 

that an effective and satisfactory one can be put up at the minimum 
expense to you. 

We feel satisfied that we will receive a hearty response from you in 
our efforts along this line, and we will keep you in touch from time to 
time with our plans as they mature. 

Very truly yours, 

William C. Adams, 

Chairman. 



Department of the Attorney-General, 
Boston, Oct. 2, 1917. 

Mr. William C. Adams, Chairman, Commissioners on Fisheries and 

Game. 
Dear Sir: — I beg to acknowledge your favor of June 21, 1917, in 
which you ask my opinion on the following facts : — 

According to chapter 289, Acts of 1856, it appears that the Essex Company, 
which operates the Lawrence Mills at Lawrence, Mass., was obligated to main- 
tain in and around its dam at Lawrence a suitable and sufficient fish way for a 
certain period of each year. 

We herewith request your opinion as to whether or not previous or subsequent 
legislation on this point has modified in any respect this obligation on the part 
of the Essex Company to maintain said fishway. 

Should it appear from your investigation that this company is still bound by 
this act, may we ask whether the Fish and Game Commission, pursuant to section 
12, chapter 91, Revised Laws of 1902, is the proper agent to institute proceedings, 
if necessary, to see that this fishway is restored (the same being now in decay 
and of no practical value), or whether the proceedings should be instituted by you 
on behalf of the Commonwealth. 

The Essex Company was created a corporation by St. 1845, c. 163, for 
the purpose of constructing a dam across the Merrimack River and building 
one or more locks and canals in connection with said dam for the purpose 
of creating a water power to use or sell or lease to other persons or cor- 
porations to use for manufacturing and mechanical purposes, and for 
constructing a main canal for navigation. 

Section 5 of this act required the company to make and maintain in 
the dam so built by it across said river suitable and reasonable fishways, 
to be kept open at such seasons as are necessary and usual, for the passage 
of fish. 

Section 7 of this act required the company to build such fishways in 
the mode prescribed by the county commissioners, after due notice and 
a public hearing of all parties interested, with power to the commissioners 
to examine and determine whether the fishways had been built accord- 
ing to such mode prescribed, and if so to accept the same. 

By St. 1848, c. 295, the company was authorized to increase its capital 
stock, but upon an express condition, which is as follows : — 



PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 107 

That said company shall be liable for all damages which shall be occasioned to 
the owners of fish rights existing above the said company's dam by the stopping 
or impeding the passage of fish up and down the Merrimack River by the said 
dam. 

This act contained a further proviso that nothing contained in the 
seventh section of the act of incorporation — the section requiring the 
company to make and maintain fishways — should be deemed to be a 
bar to such claim for damages. 

St. 1848, c. 295, further provided that it should take effect whenever 
the stockholders of the company at a legal meeting should accept the 
provisions of section 1 of the act. 

By St. 1856, c. 289, the company was required to make and forever 
maintain in and around its dam in Lawrence a suitable and sufficient 
fishway for the usual and unobstructed passage of fish during certain 
months in every year. Heavy penalties were prescribed for failure to 
comply with the provisions of this act. Complaints frequently arose, 
and the company was indicted for failing to comply with the provisions 
of this statute. The case was carried to the Supreme Judicial Court on 
exceptions, and is reported under the title of Commonwealth v. Essex 
Company, 13 Gray, 239. 

The exceptions were to the refusal of the court to admit certain evi- 
dence offered to be proved by the defendant, which would show, among 
other things, that the Essex Company had applied to the county com- 
missioners, under the original act of 1845, requesting them to prescribe 
a mode in which it should construct fishways in its dam; that notice was 
thereupon given and a hearing held, and the commissioners prescribed 
the mode and plan in which the company should construct fishways; 
that thereafter the company constructed the fishways in its dam in 
accordance with the method prescribed by the commissioners, but that 
said fishways, as constructed, proved to be unsuitable and insufficient to 
provide a convenient passage for the fish; that at the time of the passage 
of St. 1848, c. 295, the character of said fishways, as not affording a usual 
and unobstructed passage to fish, was well known, and was brought to 
the notice of the Legislature; that immediately after the passage of said 
act the Essex Company paid, under said act, the sum of about $26,000 
to the owners of fish rights above said dam as damages for hindering or 
impeding the passage of fish by said dam with the fishways. 

In an exhaustive opinion by Chief Justice Shaw it was held by the 
court that if the facts offered to be proved by the defendant should appear 
to be true, St. 1848, c. 295, constituted a contract between the Common- 
wealth and the Essex Company, by which it was not required to main- 
tain fishways other than those previously prescribed by the county 
commissioners, and that the Legislature could not thereafter require 
the company to make different fishways, notwithstanding R. S., c. 44, 
§ 23, reserving to the Legislature the right to amend, alter or repeal 
charters granted by the Legislature. 



108 FISH AND GAME. 

No attempt thereafter was ever made by the Commonwealth to retry 
the case, and so I think it is to be assumed that the Commonwealth at 
the time was satisfied that the facts offered to be proved by the defendant 
were true. Furthermore, several statutes later were passed in which 
the Commonwealth seemed to recognize that a contract existed between 
the Commonwealth and the Essex Company, authorizing the Essex 
Company to maintain its dam as originally constructed. 

Among these are St. 1866, c. 238, which authorized the Governor and 
Council to appoint two commissioners, to be known as Commissioners 
of Fisheries in the Merrimack and Connecticut rivers. These commis- 
sioners were authorized to determine the mode and plan by which fish- 
ways were to be erected in the dams of the Merrimack and Connecticut 
rivers, and in case of the neglect or refusal of a proprietor to build a 
fishway in accordance with the plan prescribed by the commissioners, 
they were empowered to contract for the building of the fishway in ques- 
tion at the expense of the proprietor of the dam. 

By section 10 of this act the commissioners were authorized to con- 
tract with the Essex Company for the construction of a fishway, as 
prescribed by said commissioners, over the dam of the company at Law- 
rence, by said company, at an expense to the Commonwealth not exceeding 
$7,000, the said Essex Company to pay the expense of such building over 
and above the amount so to be paid by the Commonwealth. A trough- 
way on Foster's plan was put up to care for the passage of the fish at a 
cost of $8,500, whereof $3,500 was paid by the Essex Companj^, with a 
further agreement to pay one-half the cost of maintenance for five years. 

St. 1869, c. 384, entitled "An Act for encouraging the cultivation of 
useful fishes," increased the number of commissioners to three, to be 
known as the Commissioners on Inland Fisheries. This act gave the 
commissioners substantially the same powers as were given the com- 
missioners appointed under St. 1866, c. 238, in dealing with proprietors 
of dams who were required by law to build and maintain fishways in their 
dams. 

St. 1869, c. 422, gave the Supreme Judicial Court jurisdiction in equity 
to compel the proprietors of dams in Massachusetts on the Merrimack 
and Connecticut rivers to construct and erect fishways on, over and 
around dams where said proprietors had failed to comply with the pro- 
visions of St. 1866, c. 238. 

St. 1876, c. 50, extended the provisions of St. 1866, c. 238, and St. 
1869, c. 422, to the tributaries of the Merrimack and Connecticut rivers 
within this Commonwealth. 

These various statutes to which I have referred appear substantially in 
R. L., c. 91, § 12, as amended by St. 1904, c. 365, which is as follows: — 

If, in the opinion of the commissioners, a passage for edible fish should be 
provided, or if any one of the commissioners finds that there is no fishway or an 
insufficient fishway in or around a dam where a fishway is required by law to be 
maintained, any one of the commissioners may, in his discretion, enter with work- 



PUBLIC DOCUMENT — Xo. 25. 109 

men and materials upon the premises of the person required to maintain a fishway 
there, and may, at the expense of the commonwealth, if in the opinion of the com- 
missioners the person required by law to construct or maintain such fishway is 
not able to afford such expense, improve an existing fishway, or cause one to be 
constructed if none exists, and may, if necessary, take the land of any other person 
who is not obligated by law to maintain said fishway; and if a fishway has been 
constructed in accordance with the provisions of this section, the commissioners 
shall not require the owner of the dam to alter such fishway within five years 
after the completion thereof. 

In the report of the Commissioners on Inland Fisheries for the year 
ending Jan. 1, 1876, entitled Senate Xo. 24, the matter of altering the 
fishway at Lawrence was discussed at some length, as it appeared that 
the fishway must be relocated to be of any use in assisting fish in the 
passage of the dam. Apparently, the commissioners were doubtful as 
to their authority to compel the Essex Company to do this work or to 
contribute to the cost of the same. This is evident from the following 
language in the report: "The State, having by unwise legislation parted 
with more or less of its rights in the charter granted to the Essex Com- 
pany, it followed that whatever expenses were incurred in this alteration 
must be borne by the Commonwealth." 

It appears that substantial alterations were made, as the expenditures 
of the commissioners for the year ending Jan. 1, 1876, show that the sum 
of SI, 848.28 was spent for improvements at the Lawrence fishway. From 
the commissioners' report for the year ending Jan. 1, 1877, entitled Senate 
Xo. 8, it appears that the sum of $1,906.33 was spent in further improve- 
ments at the Lawrence fishway. The commissioners' report states that 
owing to the generosity of the Essex Company, which contributed S500 
towards the fishway, the work was completed. 

Subsequent reports of the commissioners show that from time to time 
the Commonwealth expended various sums for labor and repairs at the 
Lawrence fishway. In at least one instance one-half the expense for 
repairing the fishway was borne by the Essex Company. 

By the Resolves of 1897, chapter 53, a sum not exceeding §2,500 was 
appropriated, to be expended under the direction of the Commissioners 
on Inland Fisheries, for the payment of one-half the expenses of repairs 
on the fishway over the Lawrence dam. In the report of the Commis- 
sioners on Inland Fisheries for the year ending Dec. 31, 1898, entitled 
Public Document Xo. 25, it appears from the following language that 
improvements were made at the Lawrence fishway: — 

Two years ago the old fishway had been carried away by freshets. The Legis- 
lature appropriated $2,500 in part payment for rebuilding the Lawrence fishway, 
the Essex Company paying the other half. Upon consultation with Mr. Mills, 
chief engineer of the Essex Company, it was decided to build it on the opposite 
side of the river from the old one, as being less likely to be affected by freshets 
and not so expensive to keep in repair. The work has been well and thoroughly 
done, and the fishway is in good working order at less cost than was first estimated. 
Of the $2,500 appropriated, about SI, 000 reverts to the State. 



110 FISH AND GAME. 

The case of Commissioners on Inland Fisheries v. Holyoke Water Power 
Company, 104 Mass. 446, is to be distinguished from Commonwealth v. 
Essex Company, 13 Gray, 239. 

The Holyoke Company derived its charter from St. 1859, c. 6, and was 
the owner, by purchase, of the dam at Holyoke, which it bought from 
the Hadley Falls Company, a corporation which erected the dam in 
accordance with the authority conferred upon it by its charter (see St. 
1848, c. 222). 

In differentiating between these two cases the court said, in the Holyoke 
case, that — 

It not only appears that there are fishing rights below, which are injured by 
the dam, and for the injury to which no compensation has ever been made or 
provided; but no fishway whatever has been constructed; and the Legislature 
has never, before passing the statute now sought to be enforced, exercised the 
power of defining what fishway defendants should make; nor has it ever author- 
ized or approved, by any expression or implication, the construction or maintenance 
of a dam without a fishway. In all these respects this case differs from that of 
the Essex Company. 

In view of the foregoing history of proceedings in relation to fishways 
at the Essex Company's dam, I do not think that it could now be suc- 
cessfully contended by the Commonwealth that the facts offered to be 
proved by the defendant in the case of Commonwealth v. Essex Company 
were not true. 

Accordingly, I feel constrained to advise you that I am of the opinion 
that the provisions of St. 1856, c. 289, have no application to the dam of 
the Essex Company, nor do any acts subsequently passed requiring fish- 
ways have any application thereto unless the Essex Company has volun- 
tarily bound itself by contract to construct or maintain at its dam fishways 
other than those required by St. 1845, c. 163. So far as I am advised no 
such contract exists. Whether the Essex Company can now be required 
to reconstruct and maintain fishways as prescribed by the county com- 
missioners under the provisions of St. 1845, c. 163, I deem it unnecessary 
to determine, as I understand such fishways would not now be satisfactory 
if reconstructed and maintained. 

Very truly yours, 

Henry C. Attwill, 
A ttorney-General . 

Boston, Oct. 24, 1917. 
Board of County Commissioners, Salem, Mass. 

Gentlemen: — On June 21, 1917, we wrote a letter to the Attorney- 
General relative to establishing the responsibility for constructing and 
maintaining fishways in the Merrimack River around the dams at Law- 
rence and Lowell. We have also received a reply from the Attorney- 
General on the same proposition. 



PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. Ill 

• 
We enclose herewith for your information copies of this correspondence. 
The Attorney-General seems to think there may have been some contract 
or agreement between the county commissioners of Essex County and 
the Essex Company as a result of which the liability of the Essex Company 
may be fixed. Or it is barely possible by these negotiations the Common- 
wealth has released the Essex Company from any obligations to install 
and maintain such fishways. 

We would appreciate it if you would consult your records during and 
subsequent to 1845, and advise us as to what they disclose relative to any 
negotiations with the Essex Company on this point. 

In view of the fact that this is the period of low water, it would be 
desirable to have this information from you as early as you can con- 
veniently work it up. 

Very truly yours, 

William C. Adams. 

Chairman. 

Office of the County Commissioners, 
County of Essex, Salem, Oct. 29, 1917. 

Hon. William C. Adams, Chairman, Commissioners on Fisheries and 
Game, Boston, Mass. 
Dear Sir: — Acknowledging yours of October 24 regarding the fish- 
way at the dam in Lawrence, I have to advise you that I am unable to 
find anything in our records that sheds any further light on the subject- 
matter than is already referred to in the enclosure on page 3 thereof, i.e., 
that the company applied to the commissioners requesting them to pre- 
scribe the mode and plan; that the fishways were constructed in accord- 
ance with the methods prescribed by the commissioners, etc. 
For the commissioners, 

Yours very truty, 

Moody Kimball, 
Chairman. 

Boston, Oct. 30, 1917. 

Hon. Henry C. Attwill, Attorney-General of the Commonwealth, State 
House, Boston, Mass. 

Dear Sir: — We are enclosing, for your information, copy of a letter 
just received from the county commissioners of Essex County, in reply to 
our request that they search their records for data relative to any nego- 
tiations with the Essex Company. 

From this it appears that we are unable to obtain for you any addi- 
tional data relative to the effect that contracts may have had on the 
status of the Essex Company with relation to its obligations to the 
Commonwealth to maintain the fishway. 



112 FISH AND GAME. 

May we ask you to make such additional investigation as you can and 
give us your opinion as to who is obligated to install and maintain the 
fishways around the dams at Lawrence and Lowell. This is the period 
of low water, and we would like to have this matter in shape so that we 
can take such action as appears to be advisable at an early date. 

Very truly yours, 

William C. Adams, 
Chairman. 

It is obvious that a considerable amount of investigation 
and research will have to be made by the Attorney-General in 
order to collect all the facts. Several conferences have been 
held with representatives of the Essex Company, and they have 
assured the Board of the desire of the company to co-operate 
in this undertaking. 

Nothing substantial can be done until the opinion of the 
Attorney-General has been received, and until the Legislature 
has provided funds. In the budget for the coming year an 
appropriation of SI 5,000 has been asked with which to do this 
work. 

The East Taunton Fishway. 

As a definite accomplishment in the development of the ale- 
wife fisheries the building of a new fish w r ay by the Connecti- 
cut Mills Company, Inc., at East Taunton is cited. The famous 
old fish passage dates back to 1830, when it was first built, 
and has remained almost without alteration since that time. 
Of an old-fashioned Brackett type, the flow of water through 
it was so great as to prove a serious tax upon the energy of 
the ascending fish. Repairs were required annually to keep it 
working. 

The obligation of maintaining the way rested upon the Con- 
necticut Mills Company. Early in the year, as a result of 
certain construction work carried on at the plant, the river 
was lowered practically to the channel, leaving the fishway 
high and dry to one side, with the spring run of alewives almost 
at hand. The Board laid the situation before the officials of 
the company, stating w T hat should be done to take care of the 
coming run, and outlining plans for a permanent fishway. A 
prompt response assured the Commissioners of the co-operation 
of the company. 




Old fishway at the dam of the Connecticut Mills Company, Inc., East Taunton. 





i 1 i * 




1— ^pr\ 








L^ 



Fishway at the dam of the Connecticut Mills Company, Inc., East Taunton. Showing fishway 

as rebuilt in 1917. 



PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 113 

The old fishway was temporarily put in repair, which en- 
abled the fish to make their ascent of the river, and in the sum- 
mer work was started on the permanent structure. As the 
result of a number of experiments upon the water flow made 
by representatives of the department, a modified and improved 
type of Brackett fishway was designed. A new arrangement 
of buffle boards provides a greatly increased number of rest 
pockets, an increase in depth of water of at least a foot, and a 
much less rapid flow. With these improvements it is believed 
that the fish can traverse the necessary distance in one-half 
the time formerly required. The company officials voluntarily 
laid plans to erect a set of screens across the intake leading 
to the turbine wheels, so as to prevent the passage of the 
young that way, with consequent injury, as they return to the 
sea. All the cost of the fishway and screens was paid by the 
company. 

It is with pleasure that the Commissioners acknowledge the 
interest taken by the officials of the Connecticut Mills Com- 
pany in this work, and it is sincerely to be hoped that their 
attitude will serve as a precedent to other owners of dams 
upon whom it may devolve to render like service. The many 
courtesies of Superintendent O'Gara deserve special mention. 



114 FISH AND GAME. 



MARINE FISHERIES. 

Remarkable under the unusual conditions prevailing have 
been the results of the deep-sea fisheries of the State for the 
year past, both as regards catch and value. Not only was 
the fleet catch greater than last year, but the values to the 
fishermen and fish shipping and curing concerns have not, with 
a few scattering exceptions, been exceeded in present memory. 

That the catch should have been larger and prices also an 
advance over previous years would seem not a little paradoxi- 
cal, but an analysis of conditions gives the answer. 

In the first place, it should be borne in mind that the im- 
ports of staple lines of fish, such as have been received in large 
quantities from European maritime countries, are cut off. It 
should also be considered that of all fishing sections of the 
United States, Massachusetts was the only State in a position 
to report, at a recent fish dealers' conference at Washington, 
an increase in catch. Others reported a decrease of 15 and 
25 per cent, in the catch of staple fish in their localities, and 
some a shortage of fully 50 per cent. 

To the above statements add the fact that the consumption 
of fish in this country, which has for several years been rapidly 
growing, has recently been further increased by the "two-fish- 
days-a-week" propaganda of the Food Administration, and it 
at once becomes evident that, even if the fish landings of 
Massachusetts have increased some 10,000,000 or 15,000,000 
pounds, such excess cannot in any appreciable measure make 
up for loss of importations and the large decrease in catches 
of other sections of the country. As in the case of other food 
lines, the increased demand with this isolated increased supply 
has made for higher prices. 

Other reasons have also contributed to the increase in prices. 
Everything connected with the building or equipping of a 
fishing vessel, from hull to fishing gear, has advanced abnor- 
mally. The fishermen are now strongly unionized, and wages 
of all workers on fish, from wharf men to office help, have 
become higher. In some cases two and three raises of 10 per 
cent, each in a year have been made, not to mention an addi- 



PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 115 

tional "bonus" of 10 per cent, paid, and all in addition to 
shorter working hours. 

These statements are not made with the idea of justifying 
the present very high retail prices of fish of all kinds in some 
quarters, but merely to state some facts from which the reader 
may draw his own deductions. It must be evident, however, 
that with short supply and greatly increased demand the ex- 
vessel price of fish — as with the production price of practi- 
cally all other food commodities — should be somewhat higher 
at present than when conditions are normal. 

Let us consider some of the unusual conditions which have 
prevailed in the fisheries and fish business in this the first of 
the war years of this country. 

Some Problems of the War axd the Fleet. 

In the first place, the declaration of President Wilson that 
a state of war existed against Germany found the Massachu- 
setts fishing fleet considerably depleted in numbers on account 
of the large number of fine fishing crafts that had been sold 
to Newfoundland and Nova Scotia at unusually high figures 
since England entered the war. This, notwithstanding the 
fact that during the past two years every available shipyard 
in Maine and this State, fitted for fishing vessel building, has 
been turning out crafts to the extent of their capacity and 
speed. As an indication of the great boom in the fisheries 
it is stated, by those in position to know, that the fishing- 
vessel shipyards now have contracts ahead that will keep them 
busy for almost two years. 

On top of this shortage of sailing fishing craft the fish-pro- 
ducing industry in the early days of the war received another 
severe blow when four of the large steam otter trawlers hail- 
ing from Boston were sold to the Russian government. This 
was followed quickly by the action of the United States gov- 
ernment in commandeering five more from the same steam 
otter trawling fleet, thus leaving to fishing uses but four of a 
fleet of thirteen large-trip, quick-fishing craft, which, when all 
thirteen were in fishing commission, it is estimated landed nearly 
40 per cent, of all the fresh ground fish brought in at the Com- 
monwealth Fish Pier at Boston in 1916. This shows at a glance 



116 FISH AND GAME. 

what condition the fishing fleet of Massachusetts was in to meet 
Mr. Hoover's edict that the fish catch of the country must be 
increased 50 per cent. 

Nor was this all. In late years one of the greatest problems 
facing the vessel owners has been the fact that the number 
of fishermen has been insufficient. In fact, at times the past 
two years the fleet has been " men-shy." Since England entered 
the war many of the fishermen of Newfoundland and Canadian 
birth have gone home to enlist, while others enlisted in Boston. 
On the entry of the United States into the war many more 
fishermen, seized with the spirit of patriotism, as fishermen 
always have been when the United States went to war, enlisted 
at Boston and Gloucester in the navy or the Naval Reserve. 
Even many leading master mariners, imbued with the spirit 
of the sea, which combines pride of country with unrivaled 
fearlessness and daring and bravery, voluntarily answered the 
call to the colors, and are now in service as boatswains, quarter- 
masters, ensigns and lieutenants in Uncle Sam's sea-fighting 
ranks. 

These, then, are the unusual conditions under which Massa- 
chusetts essayed to increase its fish landings. That it did not 
fall far short of an average year is to be wondered at. That 
it actually was able to show an increase is truly remarkable. 

Figures of the Catch. 
The total figures for the year of the fish landings at Gloucester 
were, in spite of all handicaps made necessary by the war, 
but little less than the total for 1916, while the landings at 
Boston for the year were also, under similar war conditions, 
but little behind the previous year. 

Gloucester. 
The following statistical bulletin shows the fish landings at 
the port of Gloucester for the year ending Dec. 31, 1917: — 



PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 



117 



Gloucester Total Catch. 








1917. 


1916. 




Pounds. 


Pounds. 


Salt cod, 


6,439,642 


7,856,606 


Fresh cod , 


'20,666,852 


13,946,630 


Halibut, 


875,977 


1,799,964 


Haddock, 


2,790,801 


6,715,216 


Hake, 


863,758 


2,976,489 


Cusk, 


597,756 


1,589,252 


Pollock 


9,095,363 


10,424,632 


Flitches, 


41,002 


89,702 


Not products of American fisheries, 


32,209,601 


28,353,748 




73,580,752 


73,752,239 




Barrels. 


Barrels. 


Fresh mackerel, 




6,621 


Salt mackerel, . . . 


24,349 


25,503 




Barrels. 


Pounds. 


Fresh herring, 


50,229 


4,090,350 




Barrels. 


Ban-els. 


Salt herring, 


41,268 


38,897 




Pounds. 


Pounds. 


Frozen herring, 


487,946 


2,816,680 




Quintals. 


Quintals. 


Cured fish, 


43,569 


63,560 



Miscellaneous. 

Pounds. 

Small boats 8,250,000 

By rail, 13,260,000 

Flounders, 480.C00 

Total, 1917 131,026,356 

Total, 1916 132,252,572 



Boston. 
The year has been a profitable one to those engaged in the 
fishing industry, although cost of supplies, etc., has increased 
from 50 to 300 per cent. The yield of the various fisheries 
were, as a rule, light. The strike in the spring of the year, 
the taking over of steam trawlers for war purposes, and bad 
weather in the fall of the year were factors in reducing the 



US 



FISH AND GAME. 



supply. These trawlers would ordinarily land about 25,000,000 
pounds of fish in a year. The catch of all kinds of fish on 
Cape Cod, except whiting, herring and squid, was very light. 

The receipts of fish at Boston direct from the fishing fleet, 
compared with the year 1916, were as follows: — 



Pounds. 



1917. 



1916. 



Codfish, large, . 
Codfish, markets, 
Codfish, scrod, . 
Haddock, . 
Haddock, scrod, 
Hake, . 
Hake, small, 
Pollock, 
Cusk, . 
Halibut, 

Mackerel, large, . 
Mackerel, medium, 
Mackerel, small, 
Swordfish, . 
Tilefish, 
Miscellaneous, 
Totals, . 



267,024 
513,385 
758,978 
090,015 
440,323 
390,405 
434,336 
057,119 
033,750 
490,514 
839,801 
572,192 
933,099 
959,771 
176,650 
226,070 



7,649,811 

9,599,973 

1,071,917 

34,351,565 

14,199,920 

2,233,257 

5,420,587 

3,792,169 

3,657,429 

1,141,955 

5,191,392 

2,341,095 

891,095 

1,773,452 

873,142 

4,065,879 



97,183,432 



98,254,638 



The Views of a Leading Fish Dealer. 

The Board is privileged to quote, in connection with this 
report, from a letter from Thomas J. Carroll, general manager 
of the Gorton Pew Fisheries Company, in relation to the effect 
of the present world war upon the fisheries. 

Mr. Carroll writes : — 



In reply to your request for my opinion as to the effect of the war on 
the fisheries, would say that I have given the matter some thought, with 
the following result: — 

Practically all branches of the fisheries have been stimulated by the 
war, but in no branch has this been more in evidence than in the mackerel 
fisheries. On account of the failing off in importations of Irish and Nor- 



PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 119 

wegian mackerel, the demand for salt mackerel has been greatly in- 
creased, and the price is exceedingly higher. This year small salt 
mackerel are selling at more than double what the same quantity would 
sell for previous to the war, and this is due entirely to the fact that there 
are no small mackerel coming from foreign countries. 

The herring business has also been benefited on account of the falling 
off in importations from Holland, Norway and Scotland. The demand 
for American-packed goods has been great, and the price extremely high, 
with the result that the fishermen are getting much higher prices for their 
catches than ever before in the history of the business. 

The codfish business has been benefited by the inability of the Nor- 
wegian packers of codfish to ship their product to Cuba and South America; 
also on account of the fact of the great demand for codfish in Italy and 
Greece, which has given the Newfoundland shippers a market for their 
product, and taken it out of competition with our goods. 

Another part of the business which has been greatly benefited by the 
war is the canning. The American packers are successfully putting up 
goods for the American market, which was formerly supplied by foreign 
packers. Many articles are being put in cans now that were never con- 
sidered before by the American canner, as he was unable to meet the 
foreign competition; and in addition to that the consumer called for the 
foreign article. The American packer has so successfully packed com- 
peting goods that the consumer now accepts them, and is perfectly sat- 
isfied; so much so, that we all believe that we have a business that will 
last even when the war is over, and conditions are again normal. 



Resume of the Doings of the Fleet. 
A brief resume of the activities of the fishing fleet for the 
year shows that the codfish ing and mackerel fleets fared ex- 
ceedingly well, as did the fall and winter fresh fishing fleets, 
with haddock as a staple. With the codfishermen it was what 
is known as a "Quero" year, because on Quero bank the 
vessels were able to fish uninterruptedly from spring to fall, 
and so plentiful were the fish that all the fleet were able to 
make an unusually large number of trips, most of which were 
limited in size only by the capacity of the vessels. The early 
months of 1917 found the haddock fleet bringing to Boston 
many and large fares for which high prices were paid, and 
again this fall, when haddocking was recommenced by the 
large fleet, even larger catches and higher prices were the rule. 
The catches of some of the steam otter trawlers w r ere almost be- 
yond belief. Fishing "to the eastward" on the banks off Nova 



120 FISH AND GAME. 

Scotia they brought home many fares of from 150,000 to 250,- 
000 pounds, and almost unbelievable stocks were made on them 
so great was the demand for fish and so high the prices offered. 
Several stocks of from $8,000 to $12,000 were made by these 
crafts. 

One Craft stocked $85,000. 
The banner stock of the whole year is credited to the Prov- 
incetown haddocker "Josephine DeCosta," Capt. Manuel San- 
tos, which landed her fish at Boston. The stock claimed for 
this vessel reaches the magnificent total of $85,000, a mark 
never before attained in the history of the fisheries of the 
State, — by a sailing vessel at least. The crew's share was 
$2,200 per man. 

Remarkable Mackerel Stock. 

What is probably the most remarkable stock ever made in 
the Massachusetts fisheries, however, is that of schooner "Mary 
F. Curtis," Capt. Lemuel E. Firth, one of the Gloucester 
mackerel seining fleet, which in just six months rolled up the 
great total stock of $82,509.21, and on which the members 
of the crew each shared $1,898.04 "clear," — that is, clear of 
their share of the expenses and their living aboard. 

The craft sailed on her first trip south April 26, and thus 
her season was just six months to a day. Her stock is in- 
disputably the greatest ever made at mackerel seining, and in 
well-informed fishing circles it is also hailed as the largest 
stock ever made in actual fishing by any fishing vessel in any 
line of fishing in the same length of time. 

The record is one over which Captain Firth and his men 
have every reason to feel proud, and it will be some time to 
come, it is believed, before the feat is duplicated, if ever. 

For years Captain Firth has been one of the leading skippers 
of Gloucester, and at the end of each seining season has been 
up among the leaders. This season he started at a record- 
breaking pace, which he has kept up to the very end. Captain 
Firth is a skipper of unusual energy, practically tireless, and 
has surrounded himself with a splendid crew of hard workers. 
He is also possessed of an extra amount of good judgment, 






PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 121 



has been a close student of the habits and movements of 
mackerel schools, and his reward is seen in the great world's 
record he has just achieved. 

The Season's Mackerel Catch. 
The season's total mackerel catch is 144,094 barrels, of 
which 32,162 barrels are salt and 111,932 barrels fresh. In 
1916 the catch was 134,296 barrels, of which 32,066 barrels 
were salt and 102,230 barrels fresh. The salt catch for the 
two seasons, it will be seen, is about the same. 

" Good Old Days" surpassed. 

Congratulations should be extended to all engaged in the 
mackerel fishery of 1917 for producing the best catch in recent 
years. Prices received for the fish, whether landed fresh or 
salt, were such that it is figured no mackerel fishing season, 
not even in the "good old days," when fish were so plentiful 
that the catch was two and three times as large, ever pro- 
duced such a large financial return to the fleet. 

The mackerel fleet was late in getting away in the spring, 
owing to the fishermen's strike, and the season out south was 
partly over when the matter was adjudicated and the crafts 
sailed. This was offset, however, by an unusually prosperous 
season on the " Cape Shore," as the Nova Scotia coast is called, 
in late May and early June, followed by a most prosperous 
summer on the Massachusetts coast in South Channel, on 
Nantucket Shoals and in the vicinity of Marthas Vineyard and 
No Man's Land. 

The fresh halibut fishery was followed by a smaller fleet than 
in 1916, and the catch materially reduced, but most unusual 
financial returns were realized on account of prices well sus- 
tained throughout the whole season, even in the summer 
months. 

The various shore fisheries, pursued in season by the large 
fleet of gill netters and the large number of Italian gasolene 
powered craft, were also successful to a degree probably never 
equaled. 

Altogether the fishing year of 1917 can be said to be one of 
the most prosperous on record for all engaged, whether fisher- 
man, master mariner, vessel owner, fish dealer or shipper. 



122 FISH AND GAME. 



The Fishermen's Strike. 

One of the most significant events of the fishing year was 
the strike of the Fishermen's Union of the Atlantic at Boston 
and Gloucester. As the union included in its membership 
nearly all of the fishermen at these ports, the tie-up was practi- 
cally complete. The strike began on March 1 and continued 
for nearly eight weeks, an agreement between the union and 
the vessel owners being arrived at on April 20 "for the dura- 
tion of the war," after Governor McCall had taken a hand in 
the matter, designating a subcommittee from the Committee 
on Public Safety to confer with both sides and urge upon them 
the seriousness of the situation. 

Attempts of both interested parties to get together had 
failed, and offers of its good offices by the State Board of Con- 
ciliation and Arbitration to bring about an agreement were 
not accepted. 

The committee (comprising Henry B. Endicott, Charles S. 
Baxter, John F. Stevens and J. Frank O'Hare) held its con- 
ferences with both sides at Gloucester, and the agreement, 
outside of a few minor points which were quickly agreed upon, 
was reached at 2 p.m. April 20, as follows : — 

First. — The masters and owners hereby accept and agree to carry 
out Resolutions Nos. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 of the resolutions submitted to 
them by the Fishermen's Union. 

Second. — As to Resolution No. 7 it is mutually agreed as follows: — 

Hoisting Engines. — Whenever hoisting engines are used there shall be 
a charge made therefor, but the crews may decide that no use of such 
engines shall be made. 

Propelling Engines. — All vessels now having engines, and charging 
therefor, may continue to make such charge as heretofore. All vessels 
now having engines not making such charge shall not hereafter begin such 
charge. On any vessel hereafter installing an engine the lay shall be 
adjusted between the captain and the crew. 

Third. — As to Resolution No. 8, it is mutually agreed as follows: — 

The captain or owner will furnish the gear and collect 10 per cent, of 
the share of each member of the crew on each trip until the original cost 
of the gear is paid, then the gear shall be "free gear," so called. No charge 
is to be made for the use of the gear. Lost and condemned gear, and the 
general upkeep of the gear, shall be paid for out of the gross stock. 

This settlement between the owners and masters and members of the 



PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 123 

crews shall continue for the period of the present war, and shall not be 
modified except by agreement of all parties. 

Owners and captains will not discriminate between union and non- 
union men in shipping their crews, or in the employment of members of 
unions that struck in sjTnpathy with the Fishermen's Union. 

Demand for Fish greatly increased. 

As illustrative of the greatly increased demand for salt fish 
it need only be cited that the landings of salt fish this year 
at the port of Gloucester from Canadian, Labrador and New- 
foundland waters will be in the neighborhood of 40,000,000 
pounds. This large amount is brought to the fishing ports in 
American as well as Canadian and Newfoundland vessels. 

While strictly speaking, perhaps, considerable of this is 
foreign fish, still, in a measure much of it is half American. 
The large Massachusetts firms have fishing stations all along 
the treaty coast of Newfoundland and Labrador, where the 
United States has "in common" treaty rights, so that fish 
from these localities can properly be classed as product of the 
American fisheries; also large concerns have fishing stations 
dotting all along the non-treaty coasts of Canada and New- 
foundland, where buyers and working crews representing the 
firms spend the summer and fall months buying and attending 
to the curing of the trips of boats and larger vessels brought 
in from time to time. The fish are paid for in the American 
way of doing business, by quick cash settlement, which is 
highly pleasing to the fishermen of the Canadian and New- 
foundland coasts. 

A Record for One Day's Fish Receipts. 
One of the notable occurrences of the fish year was the 
arrival at the port of Gloucester of 5,000,000 pounds of fish 
in one day. This was on Aug. 20, 1917, when some 35 vessels 
arrived in the harbor to take out their fares. The fish were 
mostly salt cod, but there were some fares of fresh and salt 
mackerel. The range of the trips was from the large crafts, 
bringing trips of from 300,000 to 462,000 pounds of salt cod- 
fish, down to the shore boats with small fares of fresh or salt 
mackerel. This, as far as all available records go, is the 



124 FISH AND GAME. 

largest amount of fish to arrive at an Atlantic fishing port 
in one day, and the same statement is believed to apply to 
any American fishing port. 

The Lobster Fishery. 

It would be chanting the old refrain to say that the lobster 
industry is on the decline. For too long a time all those 
States interested in the fishery, either past or present, have 
been contented to accept this as a fact, while making little 
effort of a constructive nature to either hold the present con- 
ditions or to improve them. 

Various conferences have been held throughout the country 
in relation to the lobster industry, and certain general propo- 
sitions have been agreed upon, as, for instance, the necessity 
of having a uniform length of lobster and a uniform plan upon 
which restoration will be worked out. All parties in interest 
seem agreed that the ideal plan would be to take lobsters 
only of a given size, thus giving the short ones an opportunity 
to mature, while at the same time preserving the very large 
ones as a brood stock. But the great practical difficulty seems 
to be in agreeing on what shall be the marketable size of 
lobsters. The dealers in Massachusetts, for example, repre- 
sent that the public demand a lobster of about the 9-inch length, 
and that to make the minimum size 10 to 10| inches would 
be working a great hardship on the public, and would seriously 
cut into the business. Most of the other States have adopted 
as the legal measure 4 J inches on the back (carapace), which 
is equivalent to an uncooked lobster at 9 inches or a cooked 
one of 8J inches, while Maine has a limit of 8f inches carapace 
measure, equivalent to a lOj-inch lobster. The Provinces to 
the north are more or less indifferent, taking anything they can 
catch. 

Unquestionably the chief causes of the decline in the fishery 
are overfishing and the neglect of suitable artificial propaga- 
tion and effective closed seasons. It appears that artificial 
propagation has advanced to the point where it can be profit- 
ably resorted to. The Commissioners are so impressed with 
this fact that in maturing plans for a large salt-water fish 
hatchery, which we hope some day to have built on the shores 



PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 125 

of Massachusetts, a very substantial unit of it is to be devoted 
to this work. Moreover, your Commissioners believe that 
some concerted action must be adopted by the several States 
and countries within whose territorial waters lie most of the 
spawning grounds to adopt some measures by which the shorts 
and the adult breeders can be protected. 

The enforcement of laws will not be of any lasting benefit 
unless those laws are more or less uniform throughout the 
range, varied, of course, to suit local conditions, but always 
directed to adequately protecting the lobster; for example, 
when the lobsters are received by the Boston dealers, all the 
shipments are carefully inspected by the deputies of this de- 
partment. " All short lobsters are collected and are planted 
alive in the coastal waters of Massachusetts. Last year over 
37,000 shorts and over 200 seed lobsters were seized. These 
lobsters were systematically planted from Cape Ann to Prov- 
incetown. Also, 1,300 egg-bearing lobsters were purchased and 
liberated in our waters. These were lobsters which the dealers 
had bought and paid for in shipments from outside the State, 
which arrived at the egg-bearing stage while in storage cars and 
unless purchased by the department would in many cases have 
been destroyed. It may be argued that Massachusetts benefited 
substantially by these operations and, on the other hand, it 
represented an economic loss in the localities where these 
shorts and seeders were taken. It is not the wish of Massa- 
chusetts to profit by the misfortune of her neighbors and the 
above fact is related to give weight to the claim that uniform 
laws must be adopted and enforced. 

By this statement we have no intention of indicting the 
lobster dealers of Boston as being a party to the illegal trans- 
actions. The Commissioners believe that in the majority of 
cases they are the victims of the shippers in the Provinces, 
who, by including a certain number of shorts in their shipments, 
literally try to force the Boston dealers to accept them and 
dispose of them somehow. 

During the past year practically nothing has been done by 
this Board in relation to the lobster industry except to rigidly 
enforce the law in respect to short lobsters, especially as re- 
lates to outside shipments. There is no question but that a 



126 FISH AND GAME. 

certain amount of illegal traffic in short lobsters is still taking 
place on our shores. This, as all other problems in law en- 
forcement, involves the element of education. The public is 
being given more fully to understand how penny-wise and 
pound-foolish is the attitude of the man, who, engaged in the' 
industry or possibly living on the shores as a summer resident, 
wishes to maintain and increase the fishery, and yet wittingly ! 
or unwittingly is killing it by not giving the lobsters a chance. 

During the past three years the fishermen in all branches of 
the fisheries have formed associations for their own protection, 
and to-day a large part of the lobstermen are organized. These j 
associations have proven of benefit both to the members and 
to the industry. The men are closer allied with one another, 
and matters of common interest are acted upon by them as a 
body. Every member who lives up to the rules (as most of 
them apparently do) is made to feel that he has a distinct 
part in restoring the fishery. The co-operation which the depu- 
ties have received from members of these associations has made 
it possible for the force to keep a much closer line on the 
situation. 

As a further evidence of the value of these associations it 
may be mentioned that, largely through their agency, the last 
Legislature enacted the lobster license bill (chapter 312, Gen- 
eral Acts of 1917), requiring every lobster fisherman to take 
out a license at a cost of $1. A person twice convicted of 
violation of any of the lobster laws loses his license for one 
year. This law cannot fail to be of benefit to the fishery. 

Shad. 
As indicated in the last annual report this Board, in con- 
junction with the Fish and Game Commissions of California 
and Connecticut, has erected a station for taking shad eggs 
on the Feather River, a tributary of the Sacramento River in 
California. Hopes of receiving a shipment of shad eggs in 
the spring ran high, but circumstances were such as to pre- 
vent it, as set forth in the following letter of May 4, 1917, 
from the California Fish and Game Commission : — 

Your letter of April 21 received. We regret that we are not in a posi- 
tion, this season, to collect shad eggs. Owing to the rush of work on 



PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 127 

other lines, and the passing of a law by the Legislature that has just 
adjourned that we hope will protect the shad next season, so that the 
spawning shad can reach the spawning grounds, we have decided not to 
do any shad work this year. 

Last season the market fishermen caught so many shad on the bays 
and lower reaches of the river that the schools were scattered to such an 
extent that it was difficult to get enough fish at one time or place to justify 
the expense. At this session of the Legislature a bill was passed making 
a closed season on shad from June 6 to August 1. We hope that this will 
give the spawning fish a chance. Our plans are to wait for this season 
before beginning operations on shad work in this State. Under the laws 
of this State, an act passed by the Legislature does not go into effect until 
ninety days after the adjournment of the Legislature. The Legislature 
has just adjourned, so the law will not go into effect until June, 1918. 
We intend to get ready in the meantime to carry on the operations this 
coming season. We do not deem it advisable to open a shad hatchery 
until the new law goes into effect. We will be pleased to furnish you the 
eggs when we are properly equipped for egg collecting, next season. 

Enclosed find photo of shad egg collecting station operated by Cali- 
fornia Fish and Game Commission at Yuba City, Cal. 

We are disappointed in not being able to do some shad work this season, 
but after studying the conditions we feel that we will be in a better posi- 
tion to operate next season, when the spawning fish will be protected and 
we will be fully equipped to do the work right. 

Connecticut has wisely repealed some of its laws relative 
to the seining of fish in the tributaries of the Connecticut 
River, and it is believed that this action will have far-reaching 
effects, inasmuch as it will permit more fish to reach the 
spawning grounds at South Hadley Falls. 

Efforts of this Commission will be continued. It would be 
an odd commentary on things if Massachusetts, which gave 
the shad to California, should be assisted by California in 
bringing back what is now almost an extinct fishery. 



128 FISH AND GAME. 



ACTIVITIES IN CONNECTION WITH NATIONAL FOOD 
REGULATION AND CONSERVATION. 

Fish Men at National Food Administration Conference.- 
On Sept. 24 and 25, 1917, there took place a conference of 
the leading fish producers and shippers of the country and of- 
ficials of the National Food Administration at Washington, 
D. C, the session being called for the purpose of thoroughly 
learning the present condition of the industry, and, in the face 
of war conditions, to consider plans and methods for increasing 
production and suggest how better and more expeditious 
transportation of fish shipments might be attained. 

The two days' convention was attended by 68 of the 
country's notable fish men, all the way from the Pacific coast, 
the Great Lakes, Gulf of Mexico ports, places along the Miss- 
issippi River and the Atlantic seaboard. The importance of 
such a gathering was early sensed by His Excellency Governor 
McCall, who delegated one of the members of the Fish and 
Game Commission to attend as official representative of the 
State of Massachusetts. The conference met at the Food 
Administration building, being presided over by Mr. Kenneth 
Fowler of New York, chief of the fish division of the Food 
Administration, who, in opening, called attention to the critical 
condition of the country's food supply, and the necessity of 
" speeding up" the fisheries, in order that the greatly needed 
increased supply might be secured. In the course of its sessions 
the members were honored by a personal visit of Food Ad- 
ministrator Hoover, who delivered such a straightforward talk 
as left its impression on every man present in the form of a firm 
determination to do all possible to increase the fish supply of 
the nation. 

For two days those in attendance went carefully over every 
phase of the fisheries question, and it was decided without 
dissension that the greatest factors standing in the way of 
largely increasing the catch of fish were the numerous State 
laws covering, limiting or prohibiting the catching of fish in 
waters under State jurisdiction, and that these laws should be 
suspended or modified for the duration of the war. 



PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 129 

On September 26, following the two days of general dis- 
cussion and testimony, which closed harmoniously with the 
slogan of "Catch 'em for Uncle Sam," a conference was held 
in the Food Administration office on the subject of State laws 
restricting fishing operations at various points on the Atlantic 
coast, at which the following named persons were present: 
Dr. Hugh M. Smith, United States Commissioner of Fisheries; 
Mr. Arthur L. Millett of the Massachusetts Fish and Game 
Commission, delegate officially representing the State of 
Massachusetts; Mr. Gardner Poole, representing the fish 
industry at Boston; and Mr. Kenneth Fowler, representing the 
Food Administration. 

Reporting on this conference, Commissioner Millett says 
Mr. Fowler, on behalf of the Food Administration, stated: — 

Within the last three weeks we have had very emphatic complaints 
and appeals from various producing sections along the Atlantic coast 
that all restrictions on the free operation of the salt-water fisheries be 
entirely removed for the duration of the war. Summarized, these appeals 
are as follows: — ■ 

From various points in North Carolina, including particularly Beaufort 
and Moorehead City, appeals and petitions by a great many fishermen 
and producers, telegrams from various sources in the North Carolina 
district, including wires from the Beaufort, N. C, Chamber of Commerce, 
and a special petition from that Chamber of Commerce. The situation 
particularly emphasized in North Carolina is in the nature of a request 
that the State law restricting all purse-seining operations within the 3- 
mile limit be entirely removed. The Chamber of Commerce of Beaufort 
is on record as saying that, since the purse-seining laws have been in 
effect, the catch of food fish in this district has fallen off 90 per cent., and 
that unless immediate action is taken the fishing industry will be entirely 
destroyed. The petition from this Chamber of Commerce cites the 
following: — 

Prior to the enactment of the law aginst purse seining the shipment from Beaufort 
of salt fish (mullet) amounted to much more than a million pounds per season, that 
is, from August to December 1, while the shipment of fresh fish, under ice, during 
the same time was in excess of 3,000,000 pounds. The shipment of these fish 
was in solid car lots, and at times in solid steamer lots, to the markets north and 
the State markets. Since the purse-seining laws have been in force the shipment 
of salt fish daring the same season has now dwindled down to approximately 
150,000 pounds, and many of the largest fish packers in the business have closed 
their business on account of not being able to get fish for their trade. The 
appeals from Moorehead City and other points in North Carolina are equally 
emphatic. 






130 FISH AND GAME. 

The situation in the State of New Jersey is emphasized by many letters 
and petitions from fish producers at various points along the Jersey coast, 
calling particular attention to the operation of the law against purse 
seining within the 3-mile limit on the coast of that State. Letters and 
appeals from Atlantic City cite a number of instances within the last few 
weeks where purse-seining vessels have actually had their seines around 
large bodies of food fish, principally weak fish, and were called upon by 
the game wardens patrolling the coast to liberate their catches. A mes- 
sage from one producer is as follows: — 

Our boat caught about 200 barrels of weak fish, and the game warden made us 
let them go, as we caught them inside the 3-mile limit. This catch of weak fish 
weighed about 40,000 pounds, and, as I know you are interested in the food problem 
of the country, and as we would have sold these fish for 2\ cents per pound, that 
would greatly help a lot of poor people who must pay 30 cents per pound for meat. 
In addition to our boat, another boat was compelled to turn out 20,000 pounds of 
fish of the same kind, and I think you will agree with us that it was a sin and a 
shame to practically waste that food under present conditions. There are about 
15 such boats as ours fishing with purse nets from Atlantic City alone. These boats 
take a crew of 10 men each, all from local neighborhoods, and do you not think 
there could be some way or means that we might be allowed to catch such fish when 
we have the opportunity? 

Many similar letters in our files can be cited to emphasize these con- 
ditions further. 

Data in possession of the Food Administration as regards the stand 
taken by the British Isles in connection with the salt-water fisheries and 
war measures are as follows : — 

By a very recent order the Food Controller of Great Britain has wiped out all 
restrictions of any nature or description on salt-water fishing in any of the terri- 
torial waters of Ireland, and we are advised the same action has been taken as 
regards all the waters of Great Britain. This action by the Food Controller, 
briefly quoted, is as follows: — 

"In exercise of powers conferred upon him by the Defense of the Realm Regu- 
lations, and also of all other powers enabling him in that behalf, the Food Con- 
troller hereby orders as follows: — 

" (1) The Department of Agriculture and Technical Instruction for Ireland 
may by order authorize (a) the use in tidal or territorial waters, for the purpose of 
taking sea fish, of any method or appliance the use of which would otherwise be 
unlawful; (b) the use in territorial or tidal waters, for the purpose of the afore- 
said, of any method or appliance at times and places in circumstances at and in 
which the use of such methods or appliances would otherwise be unlawful; and 
(c) the fishing for or removal of fish in tidal or territorial waters, or the possession, 
sale, exposure or consignment for sale or purchase of any sea fish at time otherwise 
unlawful." 

At the conference of representatives of the fish industry from the 
different sections of the United States, held September 24 and 25 at 
Washington, D. C, at the request of the Food Administration, the reports 
rendered from producing districts in the different parts of the country 






PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 131 

clearly indicate that, with the exception of the fisheries for ground fish, 
such as cod, haddock, etc., in the New England district, the present 
production of salt-water fish, and particularly the pelagic or migratory 
varieties, is from 25 to 50 per cent, below the normal average; also that 
the catch of the fresh-water fish is considerably below normal. That is 
further emphasized by reports from the Pacific coast, which show a rela- 
tively short production of halibut and an extremely short production of 
the various varieties of salmon, especially as regards these varieties enter- 
ing into consumption as fresh frozen salmon. 

Resolutions adopted by Fish Men. 

At the conference above referred to the following resolution was 
offered by Mr. George T. Moon of New York City, and was unanimously 
adopted: — 

To sum up the question of State laws, it seems to me, from expressions made 
by gentlemen representing every section, that this should be in our minds, — that 
our opportunities for speeding production are restricted by the various State laws 
now on the statute books with reference to fish and game. It would therefore 
seem to be in order for this conference to place itself on record that it is the sense 
of this conference that the Food Commission investigate and inquire into the 
various State laws covering the catching of fish, and do their best, by action in 
the various State Legislatures, to have these laws suspended or so modified during 
the present war as to bring about the results we desire, always keeping in mind 
the conservation of the supplies in the various States. I would like to have that 
put on record as being the wish of this convention, if the gentlemen agree with me 
and think it is proper. 

Deductions and Recommendations. 

Under all the circumstances, the Eood Administration be- 
lieves that every effort should be made, as a war measure, 
to speed up the salt-water fisheries on both coasts, and that 
in this campaign of speeding up it is highly essential, and, 
in fact, vital, that in so far as possible the restrictions em- 
bodied in these State laws be removed for the duration of 
the war. To this end the following specific resolutions were 
adopted. We would particularly recommend the removal of 
all restrictions on the purse-seining operations within the 
3-mile limit on the shores of all the Atlantic coast States where 
restrictive laws are now in force, and we are prepared to 
recommend that torching restrictions, wherever present, be 
fully removed. 

We strongly advise prompt action in each State, predicated 
on the foregoing facts, and that everything standing in the w T ay 



132 FISH AND GAME. 

of quick and complete results be suspended during the period of 
the war. The laws of some of the States already give sufficient 
power to the fish and game commissions to act in the premises, 
and in the remaining States, where this power does not rest 
with the executive, a special enabling act may be necessary. 

We have requested Mr. Millett to deliver to Governor 
McCall a special message from the Food Administration, out- 
lining the recommendations heretofore set forth, and suggest 
that prompt action by the Executive of the greatest fish State 
of the Atlantic coast will act as a most emphatic message to 
the Executives of the other Atlantic coast States. 

Supplementing the above, Dr. Hugh M. Smith stated: — 

I would like to say that, in view of the urgency of the food situation 
and the necessity of producing the largest possible quantity of food fish, 
the commissioner is of the opinion that local laws restricting commercial 
fishing operations could very properly be suspended for the duration of 
the war without fear of any permanent effect on the supply. 

Commissioner Millett said : — 

I coincide and concur in every particular with the statement of Dr. 
Smith, and I also am absolutely in favor of the recommendations made 
by Mr. Fowler. I believe that the urgency of the situation demands any 
sacrifice at the present time, and I also believe that the sacrifice will not 
be too great. 

The Fish and Game Commission Concurs. 
On the morning of September 27 the Board of Commissioners 
on Fisheries and Game convened, at which time the member 
returning from the conference made a verbal report of the 
Washington meetings. The report as presented received the 
unanimous approval of the full Board, and steps were im- 
mediately taken to put the recommendations into practical 
operation. 

The Governor's Proclamation. 
Later in the day the following proclamation was issued by 
Governor McCall, requesting all local authorities having juris- 
diction over salt-water fisheries, in the interest of national food 
regulation and conservation, in so far as practicable, to carry 



PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 133 

out the suggestions contained in the following statement by 
him: — 

On recommendation of Mr. Henry B. Endicott, Food Commissioner 
for Massachusetts, Mr. Herbert C. Hoover, Federal Food Administrator, 
Dr. Hugh M. Smith, United States Commissioner of Fisheries, and the 
Massachusetts Fish and Game Commission, it seems essential, in view of 
the existing food shortage, that no unnecessary restrictions be imposed 
on fishing for herring either for use as bait or food. It is not desirable, 
however, that any restrictions should be removed so as to permit any 
additional use of these fish for oil or fertilizer, or any other purpose except 
bait or food. 

There are numerous laws of the Commonwealth forbidding any person 
to fish for herring by torches, and in certain instances by seines, in local 
waters which are designated in these laws. In most cases the local city 
or town authorities are authorized to grant permits to fish by these means 
in the waters under their jurisdiction. I respectfully urge upon these 
local authorities the necessity, during the present emergency, of granting 
such permits liberally, both to the inhabitants of their own towns and to 
outsiders, so far as necessary to assure a full catch of fish. 

Report to the Governor. 
The following report of the two-day meeting at the Food 
Administration at Washington, D. C, and the conference 
which followed was made to Governor McCall by the member 
of the Board who attended as official delegate representing the 
State : — 

Sept. 27, 1917. 

To His Excellency Governor McCall, State House, Boston, Mass. 

Dear Sir: — Having returned from Washington, where I went by 
your appointment to attend the national conference of fish producers and 
shippers, called by and held at the request of the National Food Adminis- 
tration, of which Mr. Hoover is director, I feel that a brief report of the 
sessions which were held on September 24, 25 and 26 may be proper as a 
matter of record, the event being unprecedented in the history of the 
fishing interests of the country. 

On assembling, the gathering, consisting of 68 representatives of the 
great fishing concerns of the country, all the way from Seattle, St. Louis, 
Kansas City, Chicago, Erie, Portland, Gloucester, Provincetown, Boston, 
New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington, Norfolk, Galveston, 
Savannah, Miami, Pensacola, Chincoteague, Palm Beach, Punta Gorda, 
and other places, was met by Air. Kenneth Fowler, in charge of the 
fisheries division of the Food Administration work, who addressed it 



134 FISH AND GAME. 

briefly on the purposes of the meeting, which were to consider the present 
condition of the business with regard to supply as compared with normal 
years, how best to "speed up" and increase the supply, and to improve 
and facilitate transportation so as to reach the largest possible number 
of the peoples of the country. 

Under these various heads the fish men from each of the above sections 
were heard in turn, and the session was most orderly in character and 
serious in tone. Both Gloucester and Boston, as befitted this the greatest 
fishing State of the Nation, sent large and very representative delegations, 
the members of which took a very prominent part in the proceedings. 
It seems to me to be a matter for congratulation that, in spite of the 
drains made by the service call of the Nation in commandeering many of 
our largest fish crafts for naval uses, and also the taking of many of our 
master mariners and fishermen into the navy and Naval Reserve, Massa- 
chusetts was the only section of the country able to report an increase 
in catch over last year, to date, in nearly every branch of her fisheries. 
One most important fact brought out, however, was the present lack of 
bait supply for our large fishing fleet operations this coming winter, when 
most extensive fishing will be done, when fresh bait is an impossibility 
and the freezer supply must be depended on and therefore should be most 
ample. 

The Massachusetts men also expressed themselves in the most patri- 
otic strain, as being ready and willing to do everything in their power to 
assist the Food Administration in its plan to "speed up" and increase 
the fish output of the country by 50 per cent. A big contract truly, but 
these men were told that it must be done; that the conditions demanded 
it. 

The Boston delegation comprised Messrs. Gardner Poole, William K. 
Beardsley, John Burns, William Rich, Fred M. Kimball and A. L. Parker. 

The Gloucester delegation comprised Messrs. Fred L. Davis, Thomas 
J. Carroll, Henry F. Brown and Charles Andrews. 

Mr. W. I. Atwood attended from Provincetown. 

One of the notable events of the conference was the appearance before 
the members of National Food Director Hoover, and his address to the 
fish men assembled. It was brisk and businesslike, clear-cut and crisp, 
sober, serious; even solemn. It brought forcibly to the minds of the men 
present the actual food conditions confronting the United States and her 
Allies, the extra burden which the former must bear for the latter on the 
food end in order to "win the war," and left no doubt in their minds that 
their patriotic duty was to increase the fish supply. The address teemed 
with cold, hard facts, deliberate expressions of responsibility, and left 
nothing to imagination. It had its effect. 

Besides Mr. Hoover, the conference had the pleasure of listening to 
addresses, all along serious lines, by Mr. Hoover's chief assistant, Dr. 
Hugh M. Smith, United States Commissioner of Fisheries, and Dr. Pen- 
nington of the Department of Agriculture. 



PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 135 

In the discussion what to do to " speed up" and increase the fish supply, 
the story from every section of the country was the same, — hampered 
by restrictive State legislation, — and it was the sense of the meeting, 
expressed in a resolution offered by Mr. George T. Moon of New York, 
that action be taken by the various State Legislatures to have these laws 
suspended or modified for the duration of the war. For further action on 
this subject I refer you to the report of the conference following the two 
days' meeting, which I transmitted to your office on the morning of Sep- 
tember 27, and which practically tells what was accomplished as a result 
of the bringing together of the fish men from all over the country. 

In closing I desire to say that both Mr. Hoover and Mr. Fowler ex- 
pressed their gratification that you so keenly sensed the gravity and 
seriousness of the situation as to have Massachusetts officially represented 
at the conference, and it may be pleasing to j r ou to know that your rep- 
resentative was called also to sit in the official conference at the close of 
the two days' hearing, which mapped out and decided upon a plan of 
action. 

Briefly, this plan, which I have already transmitted to you in full, 
and which aims to "speed up" and increase the fish supply of the Nation, 
was to advise prompt action in each State that in so far as possible the 
restrictions of the various States on the salt-water fisheries be removed 
for the duration of the war, on the ground that such action is highly 
essential, and, in fact, vital. Under this head of restrictions to be removed 
should come the herring torching regulations, so called, in force in this 
State. 

At this official conference j-our representative was requested to deliver 
to Your Excellency a special message from the Food Administration, 
outlining the recommendations set forth in the official report I have 
already delivered to 3'our office, and also to suggest that prompt action 
by you, the Executive of the greatest fish State of the Atlantic coast, 
will act as a most emphatic message to the Executives of the other At- 
lantic States. 

In conclusion may I be permitted to express my appreciation of being 
able through your appointment to have been officially present at such 
a notable gathering where such important war-emergency legislation was 
recommended. 

Arthur L. Millett, 
Member, Massachusetts Fish and Game Commission. 



Board notifies City and Town Officials. 
Later the Fish and Game Commission sent the following 
notice to city and town officials of Massachusetts having juris- 
diction over the granting of permits to take herring in the 
coastal waters at different points along the shore : — 



136 FISH AND GAME. 

Gentlemen : — The Massachusetts Fish and Game Commission at its 
meeting this week considered carefully the request of Governor McCall, 
recently made public, requesting all local authorities having jurisdiction 
over salt-water fishing laws in the interest of national food regulation | 
and conservation, in so far as practicable, to see to it that no unnecessary 
restrictions be imposed on the fishing for herring for use as bait or food. 
The Governor's proclamation is as follows: — 

On recommendation of Mr. Henry B. Endicott, Food Commissioner for Massa- 
chusetts, Mr. Herbert C. Hoover, Federal Food Administrator, Dr. Hugh M. 
Smith, United States Commissioner of Fisheries, and the Massachusetts Fish and 
Game Commission, it seems essential, in view of the existing food shortage, that 
no unnecessary restrictions be imposed on fishing for herring either for use as 
bait or food. It is not desirable, however, that any restrictions should be removed 
so far as to permit any additional use of these fish for oil or fertilizer, or any other 
purpose except bait or food. 

There are numerous laws of the Commonwealth forbidding any person to fish 
for herring by torches, and in certain instances by seines, in local waters which are 
designated by these laws. In most cases the local city or town authorities are 
authorized to grant permits to fish by these means in the waters under their juris- 
diction. I respectfully urge upon these local authorities the necessity during the 
present emergency of granting such permits liberally, both to the inhabitants of 
their own towns, and to outsiders, so far as necessary to assure a full catch of fish. 

In connection with His Excellency's proclamation we take the liberty 
of quoting the following from an opinion of Dr. Hugh M. Smith, United 
States Commissioner of Fisheries, given in Washington recently, at a 
conference of the Food Conservation Commission, relative to the food 
problems in so far as they relate to making available without delay the 
largest possible supply of fish both for bait and food. Dr. Smith said: — 

I would like to say that, in view of the urgency of the food situation, and the 
necessity for producing the largest possible quantity of food fish, the commissioner 
is of the opinion that local laws restricting commercial fishing operations could 
very properly be suspended for the duration of the war, without fear of any per- 
manent effect on the supply. 

On consulting the statutes it appears that the authority lies in the 
hands of the selectmen of the towns and mayors and boards of aldermen, 
and in certain instances the boards of health, to grant such permits as 
may be required to give force and effect to the above proclamation. 

In order that some uniform basis of action may be established and the 
maximum efficiency be given to the movement, we respectfully invite 
your consideration of the following suggestions, bearing in mind that 
this Board is fully in accord with His Excellency's proclamation. 

1. That such permits as are granted be for a period of three months, 
with a provision for a renewal for a further period of three months in 
those cases where the operations of the licensee appear satisfactory to 
the granting board. 






PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 137 

2. That the right of revocation at all times be retained by the granting 
board. 

3. That in said permits it shall be stipulated that no licensee shall use 
a net of a mesh less than 1§ inches. 

4. That the contents of torches shall not be dumped at such time or 
in such places as to be a menace to shipping or property in general. 

5. That no herring shall be dumped or discarded in such a way as to 
become a menace to public health. 

The Board, appreciating the fact that the jurisdiction in this matter 
rests in your hands, has taken the liberty of calling your attention to the 
foregoing as a result of its great desire to co-operate with you in removing 
such restrictions as may delay in getting action. We are alive to the 
gravity of the situation, and are suggesting the above to you as a war 
measure. The fish are now off our shore, and delay in action may result 
in the loss of the whole supply of bait for the winter's fishing, and in 
addition represent the loss of a tremendous food supply. We urge upon 
you to take immediate action in the premises. 

Very truly yours, 

William C. Adams, 
George H. Graham, 
Arthur L. Millett, 
Commissioners on Fisheries and Game. 



As far as can be ascertained, officials of the various localities, 
the waters of which are frequented by herring, have responded 
to the request of the Governor and this Board with a truly 
patriotic spirit. Once more Massachusetts has gained the 
honor of being first in a movement of national importance, — 
in this case one which means much in increasing the food 
supply of the people of the United States at this critical time. 
Other States, after learning of the action of Massachusetts, 
hastened to fall in line in removing or suspending such re- 
strictions as prevented fruition of the Food Administration's 
plan of " speeding up" the fisheries of the nation. 



138 FISH AND GAME. 



THE GRAYFISH HAS COME TO STAY. 

It looks as though the grayfish, formerly known as the dog-| 
fish, also called "pest" and other names, and cordially hated j 
by every fisherman who ever set a trawl, has come into its 
own as a food product of flavor and value. It was only a' 
few years ago that there was a general movement in fishing; 
centers seeking to hit upon some plan for the extermination of 
this fish, which is, at the present time, in such popular favor 
with the fish-eating public that the demand exceeds the supply, i 

Numerous plans were proposed, such as the establishment, j 
as has been done in Nova Scotia, of reduction works, where 
the fish could be turned into fertilizer and oil. Other plans 
were to pay the fishermen a bounty for evidence of every dog- 
fish caught and put hors de combat, and ream after ream of 
arguments and innumerable tables of figures were produced to 
show in dollars the extent of the damage done the fishing fleet 
by the depredations of this fish. It remained for the National 
Bureau of Fisheries to solve the question, which it did in a 
most sensible and natural way, when one comes to think of 
it in the proper light. For some time the Bureau experts had 
declared that the dogfish was highly edible and nutritious and 
of good flavor, but that old name "dogfish" just could not be 
got over in the public mind. Dogfish for food as " dogfish" 
was simply impossible. 

Then came the solution. Why not change the name? Sure 
enough, why not? And it was done, and "grayfish" came 
into official being. Its success was assured from the start. A 
grayfish dinner attended by notables was actually held in Wash- 
ington. Secretary Redfield of the Department of Commerce 
became a sponsor for the much maligned fish, and ladies of 
the Cabinet circle took so much interest in launching this new 
fish food that they furnished the Bureau of Fisheries with 
numerous recipes for serving it. 

The Bureau at once launched an extensive publicity cam- 
paign, and the recipes were sent broadcast throughout the 
country, so that grayfish soon became well known. It could 
not very well be said that grayfish was in everybody's mouth, 
because there was not enough to go around. 



PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 139 

This publicity campaign was begun in 1916, and that same 
year the Gorton-Pew Fisheries Company of Gloucester, realizing 
the value of the fish as a food product, entered upon the work 
of securing trips of grayfish and canning the fish. This venture 
met with such success that the total pack was sold long be- 
fore winter was over. 

This year the company continued the canning of grayfish, 
taking in the fish caught by the boats right along the shore 
and landed almost alive every day; and, despite the fact that 
every available boat and fisherman was secured, and the land- 
ings far in excess of the previous season, it was the same story 
as far as supply and demand was concerned, for the latter was 
overwhelming, and the former not sufficient to meet the calls 
for "more." 

In addition to this, the vessels of the tilefishing fleet, which 
make their market in New York at Fulton Market, saved some 
of the dogfish which they caught on their trawls, and which 
abound in the region where they fish, about 100 miles off New 
York, and these have found a ready and increasing market 
at that place. Indeed, there are those who have observed 
closely, who claim that in time the demand for fresh dogfish 
in New York will outgrow the supply. 

Be that as it may, the fact remains that grayfish as an 
article of fish food is now firmly fixed in public favor, and 
that an increased supply will be needed next year to supply 
the demand. Of course, the chief call for the fish at present 
is in the canned state. In this way it certainly hands a hard 
knock to the high cost of living, for in spite of the increase in 
almost every article of food since the war began, this fish is 
put up in pound cans and marketed by the producers so that 
they can be sold by the retailer at "two cans for a quarter," 
— really a cheap article of food when one stops to think of it. 

In January, 1917, the Fish and Game Commission reported 
to the Legislature, in obedience to an order from that body to 
investigate and report on the necessity and expediency of 
adopting measures for the destruction of the dogfish in the 
waters of the State, that it was inexpedient to attempt the 
destruction of the fish. The Board at that time was in accord 
with the plan of the National Bureau of Fisheries to exploit 
the fish as a worthy fish product, and, in the face of facts 



140 FISH AND GAME. 

brought out by a two-season trial of the idea, sees no reason 
for changing its mind. Indeed, the Board feels that the gray- 
fish is destined to fill a very large niche in the food supply 
market as a nutritious and cheap fish food product; for ex- 
ample, during the season of 1916 the Massachusetts landings 
of grayfish aggregated a little over 200,000 pounds. For the 
present season, 1917, the landings up to the latter part of 
October were over a million and a half pounds, and practi- 
cally the whole of this, representing 20,000 cases, with 48 
1-pound cans to a case, is already (in November) sold out of 
first hands. Surely the grayfish has come to stay. The 
marked increase in sales over the first year of the venture 
shows that the aversion of the public for a too suggestive or 
repulsive name can be overcome by the combination of changing 
the cognomen and showing that the fish is "realty good to eat." 
In other words, there is now no such fish as the " dogfish,'' 
and the public has come to know "grayfish" as a clean, whole- 
some, nutritious, well-flavored and cheap article of fish diet. 

It may be of interest to know how and where the grayfish 
are caught, and how they are handled from the time the 
Italian fishermen haul them from the water and slat them off 
their trawls into the boat until they start off for the train or 
boat, canned, labeled and boxed, and all ready to be opened 
and served on the table in full twenty or more different ways, 
as the fancy of the housewife dictates. 

Let us go down to the wharf in Gloucester — an early 
morning stroll to greet the rising sun — to one of the ' piers 
where the great fleet of Italian boats makes headquarters. 
Here the scene is one of great animation. Down the pier 
come some of the fishermen bringing their trawls with them, 
all baited, while others are already on board baiting up. You 
must not expect to understand what they say, for they are 
speaking their native Italian, and all seem to be talking at 
once; but should you speak to almost any one of them your 
reply would almost invariably come in very good English. 

Gradually the crafts get away in one's and two's and three's, 
and the chugging of their motors falls sharp on the still air. 
These Italian fishing boats are decked-over crafts of the most 
staunch design, and all of them are fitted with gasoline engines 
of much power. Your Italian is proud of his craft, and keeps 



PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 141 

her in the best of shape; indeed, as the fleet gets away it is 
somewhat like a glimpse of old Italy, for each blunt, high-out- 
of-water craft is resplendent in a paint dress of brilliant blues 
and reds and yellows, in sharp contrast to the prim, black, 
silky-looking sides of the sharp speed vessels of the "Yankee" 
fleet. 

Out beyond the western point the crafts go. The fishing is 
done from June or July to October, or while the fish are on 
the near-by coast, the fishing grounds extending from the 
lightship in Boston Bay out to Stellwagen Bank and off 
Thatcher's Island, and also around in Ipswich Bay. 

Once on the fishing ground no time is lost by the from three 
to five men that each craft carries, and soon the six or seven 
tubs of trawl of each boat — they range in size from a little 
under 5 tons to up to 15 — are in the water and fishing. Each 
of these tubs of trawl consists of 9 or 10 lines of 50 fathoms' 
length each, thus giving each boat a fishing radius of fully 
4 miles. The hooks being set about 6 feet apart present 3,500 
baited hooks for the inspection and acceptance of Mr. Grayfish. 

After hauling the trawls and tossing the catch into the hold 
the boats head for the home port, generally arriving all the 
way from 2 to 5 o'clock in the afternoon, and the hustling 
get-ready scenes of the morning are repeated in the discharging 
of the fares at the Gorton-Pew Wharf. Right here it might 
be stated that in twenty minutes from the time the fish are 
hauled up from the boat to the wharf they are ready to be 
canned. 

The fish are hoisted to the wharf in baskets, pitched into the 
scales and weighed, and are then ready for the skinner. There 
are six of these, each located at a table in the open air on the 
wharf. Each skinner fills his table full of the fish, with the 
exception of the extreme left-hand end. Here is a raised board 
2| feet long and 8 inches wide, at the end of which, farthest 
from the workman, is a big protruding spike set at a slight 
angle, canting away from the worker. On this board the dogfish 
is laid back up, the sharp spike through the head holding the 
fish in position. The back fins are first cut off, and then the 
tail. Next a swift stroke is made just through the skin from 
the back fin nearest the tail to the head; another dexterous 
flash of the knife severs the skin at the gills, and with a "hand 



142 FISH AND GAME. 

hold " thus secured on the skin on each side by the latter move 
the worker with a quick haul and a slat separates at one 
movement the skin, entrails, liver and all from the white 
gleaming flesh of the fish. The head is quickly severed and 
the carcass is dropped into a barrel filled with filtered salt 
water, while the liver, which is later tried out for oil of fine 
quality, is dropped into another barrel near by. The skins 
are saved and salted for use later in experiments as to possible 
use as leather. The rest is refuse. 

The skinned fish, after a careful hand-cleaning by keen-eyed 
men, is now ready for the cutter, — a cylindrical arrangement 
of knives which cuts the body into just the lengths to fit the 
can. The whole fish is fed into this machine by another man, 
the work of the skinner being ended when the body and liver j 
are dropped into their respective barrels. 

It might be noted in passing that these skinners are men ! 
of unusual skill and celerity in the use of the knife, and their 
wages during the season vary from $30 to $77 a week, accord- 
ing to the amount of fish landed. The latter amount is of 
course unusual, but was actually made by one of the splitters, 
who also made a week's wages of $70 and in that vicinity. 
Fifty dollars a week is said to be, however, about the usual. 
The pay earned is cited to show that every effort is made to 
have the fish in the cans with the least possible delay, and that 
these expert knifemen really work "like lightning." 

As the fish emerge from the cutter in can lengths the pieces 
drop into the cleaner, — a large, long metal cylinder bored full 
of holes of various sizes, — which revolves rapidly while the 
filtered water rushes through with considerable force, thus 
cleansing every place thoroughly. From this cylinder as it 
revolves the pieces emerge at the farther end and drop into 
what are known as sanitary baskets so woven that they can 
be thoroughly cleaned after every trip to the canning room. 
These baskets are of the "braided" type, 1J feet square and 
only 6 inches deep. 

As they are filled, men take them a short distance to where 
an endless chain, fitted every 2 feet with lags from which de- 
pend hooks, runs constantly over a pickling tank about 70 
feet in length and filled with a pickling solution in which 




The removal of the "pelt. 




Cleaning before entering the cutter. 




Chopping to can lengths, and elevating. 




Metal basket, with sealed cans filled with the meat of the dogfish, entering the steam cooker. 



PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 143 

filtered sea water is again used. On every hook as it comes 
along a basket is hung, the hook being of just the right length 
to allow the basket with its contents to move fully submerged 
through the pickling bath. The baskets move through the 
bath slowly, taking just long enough in the passage to give 
the fish the proper treatment to assure its preservation and 
also its holding its natural flavor. 

At the farther end of the pickling tank the endless chain 
carries the baskets of fish to the second story, where they are 
taken off as soon as they arrive, and the fish dumped on a 
broad traveling belt, the empty baskets being returned on the 
chain hooks to the point whence they started, there to be filled 
and take the journey over again. 

The fish on the belt or conveyer run along to the packing 
machine, where the whole process of packing is done auto- 
matically. The packing machine is the same as used on the 
Pacific coast for the packing of salmon. Following the packing, 
the filled cans being thrown out on a revolving cylinder where 
they are sealed, the cans are taken in great baskets of steel 
hoops, capable of holding 1,400 cans, on a traveling overhead 
arrangement to the cookers or retorts, where they are cooked 
in the steam bath. There are five of these cookers. 

Following the cooking which is timed to a nicety, as is every 
other part of the process, the steel baskets and their contents 
are hoisted out, and on the same overhead railway are shunted 
along to a sort of bin, where they are subjected to a cooling 
process, this being effected by sprays of water which jut with 
great force through the small holes in several pipes so arranged 
that the water strikes evenly over all the cans. 

Thoroughly cooled, the cans are then loaded on small trucks, 
and after being subjected to rigid testing to see that every 
can is perfect — any not so being condemned — the cans are 
fed on to an endless belt which conveys them to the packing 
room, where a labeling machine works at the rate of a case in 
thirty seconds, and from which the girls take them and pack 
them into boxes, each containing 48 cans. Shippers soon have 
the covers on, a stencil places the address of the customer, 
and the grayfish, untouched by hands from the time of leaving 
the cleaner, is ready for the consumer's table. 



144 FISH AND GAME. 



RECOMMENDATIONS FOR LEGISLATION. 

The Board of Commissioners on Fisheries and Game respect- 
fully recommends the passage of laws designed to accomplish 
the following purposes : — 

1. To provide for exhibitions and other means of interesting 
and educating the public in the conservation and propagation 
of birds, fish and game in the Commonwealth. 

2. To provide for the purchase of land on Marthas Vine- 
yard for the establishment of a permanent reservation for the 
heath hen and other game, song and insectivorous birds. 

3. To provide for additions and replacements at the hatch- 
eries and game farms under the control of the Board of Com- 
missioners on Fisheries and Game. 

4. To provide for the construction or re-establishment of 
fish ways. 

5. To so amend the trapping laws as to avoid conflict with 
the laws relating to the observance of the Sabbath. 

6. To empower the Governor and Council to suspend the 
laws relative to fish and game during closed seasons. 

7. To reimburse Peter P. Monahan for sums expended in 
consequence of injuries received while in the performance of 
his duty in the service of the Commonwealth. 

8. To authorize the Board of Commissioners on Fisheries 
and Game to take land by right of eminent domain. 

9. To repeal chapter 138 of the Acts of the year 1902, rela- 
tive to the inspection of fish. 

10. To embody the trout laws in one act. 

11. To separate the salmon law from the trout law and 
embody it in a separate act. 



Respectfully submitted, 



WILLIAM C. ADAMS. 
GEORGE H. GRAHAM. 
ARTHUR L. MILLETT. 



APPENDIX 





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hn Johnson, 
s. E. Kelley, 
m. B. Lewis, 
fred Mayo, 
L. Mayo, . 
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150 






FISH AND GAME 


• 










Number of Pounds of Fish taken , 


Town. 


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3 


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Annisquam, 


- 


- 


39,237 


6,428 


11,187 


4,200 


40,880 




Barnstable, 






- 


- 


- 


86,105 


- 


4,885 


1,575 


- 


Bay View, 






- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


Beverly, . 






- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


Bournedale, 






- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


Brewster, 






21,815 


232 


1,228 


25,773 


- 


1,300 


- 


- 


Chatham, 






4,700 


127 


8,250 


97,069 


- 


420 


150 


1,900 


Chilmark, 






- 


50,150 


7,091 


53,531 


- 


- 


- 


20,542 


Chiltonville, 






- 


- 


- 


1,900 


- 


- 


- 


- 


Cohasset, 






- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


Cuttyhunk, 






- 


- 


553 


1,070 


- 


1,575 


181 


- 


Dennis, . 






- 


- 


- 


450 


- 


- 


- 


- 


Dighton, . 






1,300 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


Duxbury, 






- 


- 


- 


41,985 


- 


- 


- 


- 


East Gloucester, 




- 


- 


- 


9,500 


- 


49,000 


1,950 


- 


East Mattapoisett, 




- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


Fairhaven, 




600 


1,213 


508 


2,664 


80 


- 


50 


444 


Gay Head, 




- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


_ 


Gloucester, 




5,000 


- 


- 


11,300 


- 


175,000 


- 




Gosnold, . 




- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


Green Harbor, 




- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


Hyannis, 




- 


- 


102,720 


17,037 


- 


- 


- 


- 


Hyannisport, . 




- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


Kingston, 




- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


Lanes ville, 




- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


Manchester, 




2,696 


- 


- 


18,168 


- 


21,614 


370 


3,217 


Manomet, 




- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


Marblehead, 




126 


- 


3,722 


180 


- 


- 


4,500 


- 


Minot, 




- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


Nahant, . 




- 


- 


- 


686 


- 


- 


- 


- 


Nantucket, 




74,000 


- 


5,550 


140,500 


- 


12,470 


- 


600 


Newbury port, 




- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


North Chatham, 




- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


Oak Bluffs, 




- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


Orleans, . 

c 




- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


3 



PUBLIC DOCUMENT — Xo. 25. 



151 



in Pounds, Xets, Traps, 


etc., 1917. 












1 


Sea Herring. 


| 
53 


6 

! 
1 

a 
zc 


6 
M 


'3 

02 


M 

3 

3 
c3 


ii 

a 
j.H « 

2 h ° 
50'S 

C 


s-. 

■ 

9 


i 

"3 

o 


i 

> 


1,148 


230,200 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


333,280 


$6,490 35 


- 


54,550 


405 


- 


- 


231,550 


715 


679,222 


- 


1,059,007 


11,962 59 


_ 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


1,491 


1,491 


355 82 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


5,077 


5,077 


1,020 00 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


16,266 


16,266 


2,832 73 


- 


160,635 


736 


- 


- 


6,349 


421 


26,252 


- 


244,741 


5,235 98 


- 


58,500 


470 


- 


- 


271,775 


1,500 


59,980 


2,040 


506,881 


10,161 98 




- 


- 


130 


32,800 


400 


- 


112,297 


24,565 


301,506 


13,094 65 




- 


- 


- 


- 


12,300 


250 


3,040 


9,190 


26,680 


2,112 70 


~ 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


561 


35,602 


36,163 


6,134 25 


- 


- 


- 


- 


528 


- 


- 


226,670 


38,392 


268,969 


5,290 15 


" 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


1,200 


7,981 


9,631 


1,352 65 




- 


24 


- 


- 


- 


- 


1,607 


- 


2,931 


211 45 


- 


752,300 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


1,270 


795,555 


8,091 00 


" 


2,000 


- 


- 


- 


15,000 


- 


31,100 


- 


108,550 


1,537 50 




- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


628 


628 


125 99 


200 


- 


1,004 


9 


- 


1,834 


125 


3,383 


14,164 


26,278 


2,397 37 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


21,729 


21,729 


3,390 77 


- 


17,000 


- 


- 


- 


6,000 


- 


1,368,000 


12,897 


1,595,197 


7,760 75 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


11,250 


11,250 


1,400 00 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


22,882 


22,882 


3,708 00 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


119,757 


4,307 79 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


1,027 


1,027 


263 67 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


6,949 


6,949 


1,387 44 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


7,162 


7,162 


853 86 


- 


112,596 


333 


- 


- 


14,459 


- 


139,494 


12,817 


325,764 


6,354 63 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


39,439 


39,439 


5,878 58 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


75,070 


83,598 


16,485 51 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


4,197 


4,197 


990 33 


- 


232,250 


- 


- 


- 


1,190 


- 


299,888 


2,086 


536,100 


3,904 80 


- 


13,000 


200 


- 


6,000 


- 


9,000 


40,500 


27,130 


328,950 


18,385 42 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


17,784 


- 


17,784 


552 30 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


1,884 


1,884 


545 84 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


578 


- 


578 


97 27 


t 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


2,020 


2,020 


538 80 



152 



FISH AND GAME. 



Number of Pounds of Fish taken 



Town. 


S 

> 

1 
1 


pq 


m 

ffi 

q 

o 

E 


"3 

! 


c 
I 

a 

B 


1 


•d 

o 
O 




Pigeon Cove, . 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


Plymouth, 




" 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


Province town, 




- 


- 


924,871 


158,285 


- 


20,690 


5,000 


- 


Raynham, 




24,558 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


Rockport, 




- 


- 


- 


700 


- 


- 


- 


- 


Sagamore, 




- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


Salem, 




- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


Sandwich, 




- 


- 


- 


2,238 


- 


- 


- 


- 


Scituate, . 




- 


• - 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


Segregansett, . 




23,200 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


Somerset, 




24,156 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


South Boston, 




- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


South Duxbury, 




- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


South Yarmouth, 




- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


Tisbury, . 




3,770 


90 


22,757 


82,313 


- 


150 


- 


9,202 


Vineyard Haven, 




11,900 


- 


2,150 


7,800 


- 


- 


- 


725 


Wellfleet, . 




17,600 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


West Brewster, 




70,000 


- 


30,000 


- 


- 


- 


- 


6,000 


West Dennis, . 




53,769 


- 


- 


35,179 


- 


- 


- 


200 


Westport Point, 




1,818 


32 


1,421 


8,411 


- 


11 


700 


24 


West Tisbury, . 




30,000 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


Weymouth, 




- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


White Horse Beach, 




- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


Woods Hole, . 




- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


Yarmouth, 




- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


Yarmouthport, 




- 


650 


- 


60,000 


- 


7,200 


77,600 


- 


Totals, 


371,008 


52,494 


1,150,058 


869,272 


11,267 


298,515 


132,956 


42,854 



PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 



153 



in Pounds, Nets, Traps, 


etc., 1917 — Concluded. 








^4 
o 
O 

"0 

03 

w 


fab 

a 

'u 

w 

03 
1 


a 
co 


oi 

bO 
03 
<D 

0> 

C 

co 


6 
M 

03 

w 


'3 

a* 

CO 


i 

03 


Oj 1 

& & 
^co 

H.-S 

c3 
^W a 

O 


5 


'a 
o 


d 

o 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


345 


345 


$64 89 


- 


" 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


33,183 


33,183 


6,228 50 


- 


175,200 


- 


- 


- 


332,085 


- 


679,322 


1,629 


2,297,082 


51,510 92 


- 


- 


5 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


24,563 


650 47 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


68,433 


69,133 


2,123 39 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


1,644 


1,644 


305 00 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


14,481 


14,481 


4,085 74 


- 


23,000 


105 


- 


- 


97,678 


349 


117,055 


6,997 


247,422 


3,692 25 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


4,680 


4,680 


645 54 


- 


- 


48 


- 


- 


- 


- 


2,000 


- 


25,248 


1,429 60 


- 


- 


3 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


24,159 


604 50 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


4,425 


4,425 


1,032 00 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


1,327 


1,327 


491 50 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


58,416 


- 


58,416 


10,408 00 


40 


150 


150 


1,880 


- 


11,600 


2,817 


8,484 


1,827 


145,230 


7,839 73 


- 


- 


25 


550 


- 


- 


470 


2,250 


3,844 


29,714 


1,906 21 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


100 


- 


17,700 


448 00 


- 


- 


- 


- 


500 


- 


- 


89,000 


- 


195,500 


5,609 00 


.- 


20,000 


4,500 


- 


- 


13,085 


960 


- 


- 


127,693 


2,858 41 


- 


986 


95 


7 


- 


110 


15 


42,346 


15,016 


70,992 


3,660 21 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


9,465 


39,465 


1,430 18 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


8,086 


8,086 


2,434 81 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


8,788 


8,788 


1,426 50 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


13,596 


13,596 


1,842 16 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 1 


- 1 


720 52 


- 


127,400 


- 


- 


- 


- 


800 


8,800 


720 


283,170 


9,488 26 


1,388 


1,979,767 


8,103 


2,576 


39,828 


1,015,415 


17,422 


4,019,329 


603,691 


10,615,943 


$278,149 21 



Number and weight not reported. 



154 



FISH AND GAME. 



as 



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CO 




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CO 




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PUBLIC DOCUMENT — Xo. 25. 



155 



- O b S o 
S3 -. — 

3«JJ fc -O 



_- * C H 



( 2{rj' M 



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E o • 



;<;u 



L. Ashley 
)ougla8S, 

archmont, 
Mohlman 


c 


Delano, 

eone, . 

. Englostea 
Peterson, 
Peterson , 
Peterson, 

in. Soars, 


i S^ 


PL| 




££££ 


«j 



156 



FISH AND GAME. 



c^ 



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as 


IQ 


C5 












co 


CM 


CO 










£oj 9 














CM 










co 


o 






OC' 






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co 


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c 


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3 


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' s^cc "id ' ' iB • : 


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g ^ 5 c 1 1"5 H 


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PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 157 



m ce •*}« 



s a o t- a 

£ £ fc C E 




158 



FISH AND GAME, 



6h 



Number 
of Egg- 
bearing 

Lobsters. 






















cm 












© 










3 












e«9 












CM 














































o 












■* 












© 












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s 
























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© 












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© 


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3 










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Public Document No. 25 



FIFTY-FOUKTH ASNUAL EEPOET 



COMMISSIONERS 



Fisheries and Game 



Year ending November 30, 1919 




BOSTON 

WRIGHT & POTTER PRINTING CO., STATE PRINTERS 

32 DERNE STREET 

1920 



STATE LffifiiRiqflAttACHUS 
MAY 21 19910 

STATE HOUSE, BOSTO 



Publication of this Document 

approved by the 
Supervisor of Administration. 






COMMISSIONERS OX FISHERIES AND GAME. 



WILLIAM C. ADAMS, Newtonville {Chairman). 
GEORGE H. GRAHAM, Springfield. 
ARTHUR L. MILLETT, Gloucester. 

Secretary. 

Miss L. B. RIMBACH. 

Chief Deputy Commissioner. 

ORRIN C. BOURNE. 

Supervisor of Fish and Game Distribution. 

W. RAYMOND COLLINS. 

Biologist. 

DAVID L. BELDING. 

Office: Room 321, State House, Boston, Mass. 






CONTENTS 



General Considerations, .... 
Organization, ..... 
Finances, ..... 

Activities outside the State, 

Inspection of Migratory Bird Areas 
United States Fisheries Association, 
American Game Protective Association, 
International Association of Fish and Game 
American Fisheries Society, 
Education, 

Exhibitions, 
Enforcement of Laws, 
Personnel, 
Work of the Year, 

Classified Court Records, 
New Legislation, Session of 1919, 
Recommendations for Legislation, 
Biological Department, 
Wild Birds and Animals, 
Breeding Season, 
Forest Fires, . 
Posted Land, . 
Effect of the War on Hunting, 
Migratory Birds, 

Song and Insectivorous Birds, 
Ornithological Conference, 
Migratory Game Birds, 
Upland Plover, . 
Black-breasted Plover, 
Golden Plover, 
Killdeer Plover, 
Piping Plover, 
Woodcock, 
Wilson or Jacksnipe, 
Dowitcher or Red-breasted Snipe, 
Summer Yellow Legs, 
Winter Yellow Legs, 
Sandpipers, 
Willet, 
Curlew, 
God wit, 
Rail, . 

Wood Duck, 
Mallard Duck, 
Red Head Duck, 
Canvas-back Duck, 
Black Duck, 



Commissioners 



VI 



CONTENTS. 



Wild Birds and Animals — Continued. 
Migratory Birds — Concluded. 

Migratory Game Birds — Concluded. 

Scaup or Blue Bill, 

Sheldrake, . 

Scoter, 

Geese and Brant, 

Swan, 

Lighthouses v. Migratory Birds, 

Migratory Bird Situation, . 
Migratory Non-game Birds — Gulls and Terns, 

Chatham Colony, 

Katama Beach Colony, 

Monomoy Colony, 

Gull Island Colony, 

Nauset Harbor Colony, 

Nantucket Colonies, . 

Marthas Vineyard Colonies, 

Ram Island Colony, . 

Truro Colony, 
Upland Game Birds, 
Pheasants, 
Ruffed Grouse, 
Quail, • 
New Species, 
Game Animals, 
Deer, 

Squirrels, . 
Rabbits and Hares, . 

White Hares, 

Cottontail Rabbits, 
Fur-bearing Animals, 

Muskrats, .... 

Raccoons, .... 

Foxes, ..... 
Winter Feeding Work, 

Upland Birds, .... 

Water Fowl, .... 

Bird Enemies, .... 

Cats, ..... 

Lynx, 

Starlings, .... 
Hawks, Owls and Other Vermin, 
Eagles, ..... 
Reservations, ..... 
Millis Reservation, 

Sconticut Neck Reservation, Fairhaven, 
Andover Reservation, 
Pittsfield Reservation, 
Marshfield Reservation, 
Great Island Reservation, Yarmouth, 
Taunton Reservation, 
Mansfield-Foxborough Reservation, 
Marblehead Neck Reservation, . 
Hingham Reservation, 
Bare Hill Reservation, Harvard, 
Tyngsborough Reservation, 



PAGE 



CONTENTS. 



vn 



Wild Birds and Animals — Concluded. 
Reservations — Concluded. 

Lynnfield Reservation, 

Hubbardston Reservation, . 

New Reservations under Chapter 410, 

Marthas Vineyard Reservation, 
Breeding Season, 
Cultivation of Land, . 
Vermin, 
Fires, 
Fall Conditions, . 

Myles Standish State Forest, 

Moose Hill Bird Sanctuary, 
Inland Fisheries, .... 
Fishing License Law, 

Trout, 

Chinook Salmon, 

In the Merrimack River, . 

In Inland Waters, 
Large-mouth and Small-mouth Bass 
Pickerel, .... 
Pike Perch, .... 
White Perch, .... 
Smelt, 

Salt-water Smelt, 

Fresh-water Smelt, . 
Horned Pout, .... 
Winter Fishing, 
Ponds stocked and closed, 
Great Ponds leased, 
Screens, ..... 
Fishways, . . 

Standard Fishways, . 
David Fishway, . 
Straight-run Fishway, . 

East Taunton Fishway, 

Lawrence Fishway, . 

Lowell Fishway, 
W'ater Pollution, 

Forms of Water Pollution, . 

Work during 1919, . 
Propagation of Fish and Game, 

Report of the Sandwich Fish Hatcheries 

Brook Trout, . 

Rainbow Trout, 

Chinook Salmon, 

Atlantic Salmon, 

Ale wives, .... 
Report of the Palmer Fish Hatchery 

Chinook Salmon, 

Brook Trout, . 

Yellow Perch, . 

Pike Perch, 

Lochleven Trout, 

Small-mouth Black Bass, . 

Salt-water Smelt, 



Acts of 191 



Vlll 



CONTENTS. 



Propagation of Fish and Game — Concluded. 
Report of the Sutton Fish Hatchery, . 

Trout 

Report of the Amherst Rearing Station, 
Report of the Montague Rearing Station 
Report of the Pittsfield Rearing Station, 
Report of the Marshfield Bird Farm, 

Mallard Ducks, 

Pheasants, 

Quail, .... 
Report of the Sandwich Bird Farm, 

Native Quail, . 

Mexican Quail, . 

Wood Ducks, . 

Black Ducks, 

Mallard Ducks, 

Vermin, .... 
Report of the Wilbraham Game Farm 

Pheasants, 

Vermin, . 
Fish and Game Distribution, . 
Table of Fish distributed, 
Table of Game distributed, 
Marine Fisheries, . 

The Deep-sea Fisheries, . 

Gloucester Fish Report, 

Boston Fish Report, . 

Some "Prosperity Trips," 

Electrically Driven Otter Trawler, 

Locating Fish Schools by Aircraft, 

State Inspection of Fresh and Frozen Fish, 

Need of an Experimental Fishery Station, 

United States Fisheries Association 
The Lobster Situation, 
Shad, 
Ale wives, 

Importance of Alewife Fishery 

Survey, 

Remedial Measures 
Fish ways, . 
Stocking Methods 
Shellfish, 

Clams, 

Oysters, . 

Quahaugs, 

Scallops, . 

Mussels, . 
Appendix: — 

Returns from the Shore Net and Pound Fisheries for Year 1919 
Number of Pounds of Fish taken in Pounds, Nets, Traps, etc., for 

1919 

Returns from the Lobster Fisheries, 1919 



Year 



179 

182 
186 



Ql\)t CommontDealtt) of ittassactyuBette 



To His Excellency the Governor and the Honorable Council. 

The Board of Commissioners on Fisheries and Game respect- 
fully submit their fifty-fourth annual report. 

GENERAL CONSIDERATIONS. 

During the war our Board believed it to be its duty to resist 
the efforts of certain elements to exhaust the wild-life resources 
of the State to help relieve certain conditions which had arisen, 
namely, shortage and high cost of food. Such utilization of 
these resources would have been of little assistance, but would 
have resulted, had the wishes of some people been met, in 
consuming the brood stock on which the hopes of the future 
must rest. We have only to survey the wild-life resources of 
the nations most affected by the war to realize what this means. 
By reason of the withdrawal of food supplies, the reduction of 
gamekeepers and others who exterminate vermin, the consequent 
rapid increase of vermin, and the almost complete failure to 
continue restocking operations, the wild life in these countries 
to-day has been set back so far that it will require long years 
to restore even the pre-war conditions. The realization that 
the Commonwealth has been protected from such ravages should 
be a matter of great thanksgiving among the people of the State. 

The mounting costs of materials and the scarcity of labor re- 
quired that during this period our various enterprises should be 
operated at the economic minimum rather than the maximum, 
though a comparison of figures for the past few years will show 
that, despite the various handicaps, a reasonable production was 
kept up at all our stations. 

Shortly after the beginning of this fiscal year the signing of 
the armistice seemed to presage more normal conditions, but our 
experience was that the difficulties of the work increased rather 



2 FISH AND GAME. [Nov. 

than diminished. It was necessary to constantly revise our 
financial program and to postpone many replacement and repair 
matters, which, though reasonably inexpensive and calculated 
to bring very substantial returns, funds would not permit us to 
make. Every effort was put forth to prevent depreciation in the 
property under our control, though little new construction was 
undertaken. 

Appreciating the great demands on the taxpayers of the Com- 
monwealth we placed in our budget for the year only such items 
of new construction as were regarded as emergencies. 

The one outstanding feature is, that we have preserved the 
wild life of the Commonwealth, and we should all be enthusi- 
astic to go forward with a program calculated to further pro- 
tect, and annually to substantially increase it. This will call for 
certain further restrictions in the taking of fish and game. In 
the light of our new Americanism it should appear reasonable to 
withhold from the aliens in our communities the privilege of ex- 
ploiting the natural resources of the Commonwealth until they 
have resided with us long enough to understand conditions, and 
until they have assumed the responsibilities of citizenship. 

Organization. 

Chapter 350 of the General Acts of 1919 provides for the re- 
grouping of all the commissions into not to exceed twenty de- 
partments. It provides for a Department of Conservation, in 
which will be grouped the forestry, fisheries and game and 
animals industry activities, headed by a State Forester, a Direc- 
tor of Fisheries and Game, and a Director of Animal Industry, 
respectively. The act further provides that the Governor shall 
designate one of these three officers to serve as the Commis- 
sioner of Conservation at the head of the department. The 
two remaining heads of divisions shall act as an advisory council 
to the commissioner. The act takes effect on Dec. 1, 1919. 

Finances. 
We have not found it necessary to make any substantial 
changes in our methods of handling the finances of the depart- 
ment, our experience confirming the wisdom of laying out a 



1919.1 



PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 



thoroughly considered financial program at the beginning of the 
year, with sufficient reserves in all branches to meet emer- 
gencies. The results achieved by placing the several branches 
of the work in charge of representatives who are held person- 
ally responsible for results has proved the advisability of retain- 
ing this form of organization. 

The appropriations for the fiscal year 1919 and available 1918 
balances, together with the amounts expended, are shown in the 
following table : — 



Name of Appropriation. 



Available 

1918 
Balances 

and 
Amounts 
appropri- 
ated in 

1919. 



Expended 
1919. 



Balances 
Nov. 30, 

1919. 



Personal services of Commissioners, .... 

Personal services of office assistants, .... 

Office expenses, 

Enforcement of laws, 

Propagation of game birds, animals and food fish , 

Exhibitions, 

Chapter 375, Special Acts of 1917: — 

Additions to house at [Marthas Vineyard (balance for- 
warded from 1918). 
Additions to house at Palmer (balance forwarded 
from 1918). 
Construction of Lawrence fishway: — 

Chapter 161, Special Acts of 1918 (balance), 

Chapter 211, Special Acts of 1919, 

Chapter 242, Special Acts of 1919, 

Chapter 153, Special Acts of 1919: — 

Rearing stations, 

Constructing pond at Palmer, . 

Constructing head trough at East Sandwich, 

Purchase of land at Montague, . 

Construction of ice house at Montague, 

Construction of road at Montague, . 

Extending pond at Montague, . 

Construction of ice house at Amherst, 

Construction of ice house at Pittsfield, 

Construction of road at Pittsfield, 



87,500 00 
7,600 00 
11,600 00 
63,700 00 
72,000 00 
1,000 00 

78 90 
389 10 

8,934 17 
5,000 00 
11,000 00 

2,500 00 
500 00 
1,100 00 
1,850 00 
300 00 
200 00 
300 00 
300 00 
300 00 
150 00 



8196,302 17 



$7,500 00 
7,194 79 
11,547 32 
62,840 75 
71,965 59 
999 73 



78 62 



9,802 25 



84 08 



8172,013 13 



8405 21 

52 68 

859 25 

34 41 

27 

78 90 
310 48 



15,131 92 



2,500 00 
500 00 
1,015 92 
1,850 00 
300 00 
200 00 
300 00 
300 00 
300 00 
150 00 



$24,289 04 



4 FISH AND GAME. [Nov. 

The amount of money received as a result of the activities of 
the department, and turned into the general treasury of the 
Commonwealth, was $72,794.39, as follows: — 

Nonresident hunters' licenses, at $10, $2,428 50 

Nonresident hunters' licenses, at $1, 151 25 

Resident hunters' licenses, at $1, 65,308 00 

Alien hunters' licenses, at $15, 1,770 50 

Lobster fishermen's licenses, at $1, 776 50 

Nonresident fishing licenses, at $1, . . . . . 58 65 

Nonresident fishing licenses, at $0.50, 1 75 

Resident fishing licenses, at $0.50, 952 30 

Alien fishing licenses, at $1, 47 60 

Receipts from game farms and fish hatcheries, . . . 476 48 

Game tags, 7 10 

Sale of forfeited deer, 598 51 

Lease of Chilmark Pond, 75 00 

Rent of Monomoy shanty, 10 00 

Unclaimed deposits on bids for building Lawrence fishway, . 9 25 

Sale of forfeited guns, 123 00 



$72,794 39 



A new source of income has been provided in the combined 
hunting and fishing licenses, the act providing for which went 
into effect on Oct. 10, 1919. The purpose of the legislation is to 
require those who fish certain inland waters of the State to pro- 
cure a license such as has been required of the hunters for a 
number of years past. The indications are, judged from the 
short time that the law has been in effect, that it will result in 
a substantial annual revenue. 

Activities outside the State. 

Inspection of Migratory Bird Areas. 
In January the chairman visited various parts of Alabama for 
the purpose of continuing his inspection of the wild-life condi- 
tions in that portion of the country which may be described as 
the wintering zone. He is a member of the Federal Migratory 
Treaty Act Advisory Board, and it is obvious that, as one of the 
two members of the Board from the New England States, he 



1919.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 5 

must have first-hand knowledge of the conditions which obtain 
in other parts of the country in order to satisfactorily discharge 
these duties. 

United States Fisheries Association. 
Commissioner Arthur L. Millett represented the Board at the 
meeting of the United States Fisheries Association in New York 
City from February 13 to 17, when representatives of the com- 
mercial fisheries interests met to organize into an association to 
be known as the United States Fisheries Association. The re- 
sults of this and of the meeting on September 26 and 27, at 
which he was also present, are fully discussed in the section on 
"Marine Fisheries." 

American Game Protective Association. 
At this meeting, held March 3 and 4 in New York, Commis- 
sioner George H. Graham represented the Board. 

International Association of Fish and Game Commissioners. 
At this meeting, held at Louisville, Ky., October 6 and 7, the 
Board was represented by two members and the biologist. 

American Fisheries Society. 
Two members of the Board and the biologist attended the 
sessions of this society at Louisville, Ky., October 8 to 10. The 
contribution from Massachusetts was a paper on pollution of 
waters. 



FISH AND GAME. [Nov. 



EDUCATION. 

There were no new features this year in the educational work, 
which was curtailed to some extent by reason of the illness of 
the chief deputy during the lecture season, and his absence 
from the office while serving in the State Guard during the 
period when exhibition work at the agricultural fairs was at 
its height. Even under these circumstances, however, a con- 
siderable amount of lecture work was done throughout the year, 
and the members of the Board covered a number of lecture 
assignments. 

Exhibitions. 

At the Eastern States Exposition in West Springfield, Feb- 
ruary 14 to 20, an exhibition was made of the various species of 
fish and birds that are being propagated. 

Nine other exhibits were made at fairs, but owing to the lack 
of funds it was necessary to disappoint a number of agricultural 
societies that desired our co-operation along this line. The work 
of perfecting a standard exhibit, into which annually new features 
will be incorporated, was continued. The visualizing of the work 
of the department through this means has shown results in the 
hearty interest in our work exhibited by people all over the 
State. But it is a question to what extent this branch of the 
work can be kept up, owing to the great difficulties of trans- 
portation and the increasing cost of preparing and handling the 
exhibits. 

During the past year reels showing certain phases of the work 
at the Marshfield Bird Farm and at the Sandwich Fish Hatch- 
eries have been added to the collection of moving pictures. 



1919.1 PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 



ENFORCEMENT OF LAWS. 

Personnel. 

Sergt. Orin D. Steele and Corp. Edward A. Backus, upon re- 
turning from overseas service, resumed their duties in the de- 
partment. One new appointment was made — Edward Babson 
of Gloucester — soon after his return from duty with the mine- 
laying fleet of the United States Navy in European waters 
during the war. 

The department has met with a great loss in the passing of 
Deputy Allen A. David of Taunton. His heart was ever in his 
work, and all his thoughts were directed to the problem of how 
he could best serve in protecting and conserving our wild life. 
He had few thoughts or ambitions that did not include some- 
thing to further the work. His personality had won for him a 
host of friends, and among these were numbered men whom, in 
the course of his work, he had taken to court for violations of 
the fish and game laws, for his was the ability to win men to 
see the justness of the laws which he was sworn to uphold. 

Work of the Year. 
The annual conference of the Commissioners and deputies was 
held in February. Papers were read on various subjects, 
planned to bring out special phases of the work in the various 
districts. These papers, and the discussions which followed, dis- 
pelled misunderstandings, gave better understanding of the con- 
ditions in "the other fellow's" district, and renewed the men's 
enthusiasm for the work. Conditions vary considerably in the 
different localities, and the discussion of these local problems 
often gives the men new ideas and a different angle of vision on 
old problems. Moving pictures of the fish hatcheries and game 
farms were shown, visualizing the details of these activities to 
the men who live too far from the hatcheries to make more 
than an occasional short visit. The meeting gave the deputies 
a broader view of the conditions in the State as a whole than 
they could get in any other manner. 



8 FISH AND GAME. [Nov. 

The two new Ford touring cars purchased in the spring have 
been of great assistance to the deputies and to the biologists, 
for the constantly deteriorating train and trolley service makes 
it very difficult to get into the outlying districts. The effect of 
equipping even a small part of the force with automobiles is al- 
ready evident. Violators, who in past years knew the beaten 
lines of travel which the deputies were obliged to use, can no 
longer keep track of the men who, equipped with automobiles, 
can get into their districts at any time of the day or night; 
hence they are much less willing to "take a chance." Some 
frankly tell us that, as our men can get about so easily, they 
have given up illegal methods, and now want to see every 
one else play the game squarely. Some, going further, have 
agreed to report violations to the nearest deputy who has an 
automobile at his service, in the hope of taking the violators 
red-handed. More machines are needed to bring this branch of 
the work to the highest efficiency. In using automobiles in the 
work we have secured the best results by sending at least two 
men together; and further, in those cases (of which we have quite 
a number) where it comes to a question of veracity between the 
accused and our deputies, if corroborative testimony can be fur- 
nished, the court will more often feel justified in convicting. 
The motor cycle has also rendered effective service, and addi- 
tional machines could be used to good advantage. 

Notwithstanding the diversion of deputies for substantial 
periods throughout the year to work on fish distribution, fish 
salvage, emergency work at rearing stations, and other lines of 
activity outside the patrol of their districts, many court cases 
have been handled, the number comparing very favorably with 
the records of other years. 

The table of court cases follows: — 



1919.1 



PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 



Classified Court Records, Dec. 1, 1918, to Nov. SO, 1919. 





Fines. 


-•J 


Disposition op Case. 










3 










s 








o 

o 


-% 


d 






tfj 


Violation. 


■d 

0> 
m 




*o 


c3 




"e3 









O 
G 


d 


(0 






4> 

a 


d 






g 


'3 


O 




o 


0. 










Cm 


O 


Q 


O 


<3 


En 


a 


Aliens with firearms, .... 


$800 


$550 


$10 


- 


19 


5 


4 


19 


Birds: — 


















Protected at all times, 


214 


214 


- 


- 


10 


- 


- 


10 


Partridge, closed season, 


60 


40 


- 


- 


4 


- 


1 


4 


Pheasants, closed season, . 


65 


15 


- 


- 


4 


" 


1 


4 


Woodcock, closed season, . 


20 


20 


- 


- 


4 




1 


4 


Waterfowl, closed season, . 


40 


40 


- 


- 


4 


- 


1 


4 


Game: — 


















Exposing poison for birds or animals, . 


10 


10 


- 


1 


2 


- 


1 


3 


Deer, closed season, .... 


85 


40 


- 


- 


4 


- 


2 


4 


Deer, illegally bringing into State, 


35 


35 


- 


- 


1 


- 


- 


1 


Rabbits, ferreting, .... 


20 


20 


- 


- 


2 


- 


- 


2 


Rabbits, removing from hole, 


20 


10 


- 


- 


7 


- 


- 


7 


Squirrels, closed season, 


30 


30 


- 


- 


3 


- 


- 


3 


General: — 


















Hunting without license, . 


438 


428 


- 


3 


46 


- 


11 


49 


Hunting on posted land, . 


35 


35 


- 


- 


7 


- 


1 


7 


Hunting on State reservation, . 


62 


37 


- 


- 


6 


1 


- 


6 


Hunting on Lord's Day, . 


138 


128 


- 


5 


14 


1 


1 


19 


Hunting with motor boat, . 


85 


85 


20 


- 


10 


- 


2 


10 


Transferring hunting license, 


25 


25 


- 


- 


2 


- 


- 


2 


Securing license by fraud, . 


15 


15 


- 


- 


1 


- 


- 


1 


Trapping with illegal traps or snares, 


35 


35 


- 


- 


2 


- 


- 


2 


Trapping with illegal bait, 


- 


- 


3 


- 


1 


- 


- 


1 


Fish: — 


















Bass, closed season, .... 


30 


30 


- 


- 


3 


- 


- 


3 


Bass, short, 


4 


4 


- 


- 


1 


- 


- 


1 


White perch, short, .... 


30 


30 


5 


- 


5 


- 


1 


1 


White perch, bag limit, 


20 


20 


- 


- 


1 


- 


- 


1 


Trout, closed season 


8 


8 


- 


- 


4 


- 


- 


4 


Trout, short, 


122 


122 


- 


- 


8 


- 


1 


8 


Pickerel, closed season, 


10 


- 


- 


- 


1 


- 


1 


1 


Pickerel, short 


9 


9 


- 


- 


2 


- 


- 


2 



10 



FISH AND GAME. 



[Nov. 



Classified Court Records, Dec. 


1, 1918, to Nov. 


30, 1919 - 


- Concluded. 


• 


Fines. 


5 

o 

o 
1 


Disposition of Case. 


0) 


Violation. 


s 

m 
O 

a 
| 


'3 


O 

M 

s 

o 

m 

Q 


T3* 

a> 
> 

c 
o 
O 


a 
a 

< 




■8° 

B 

S5 


Lobsters : — 


















Lobsters, short 


$547 


$492 


- 


1 


20 


2 


2 


21 


Lobsters, egg-bearing, 


70 


45 


- 


- 


4 


- 


- 


4 


Lobsters, interfering with pots or traps, 


60 


- 


- 


- 


3 


3 


- 


3 


Lobsters, taking without a license, 


80 


80 


- 


2 


9 


- 


1 


11 


Lobsters, illegally taking in Massa- 
chusetts. 
Shellfish: — 


50 


50 


- 


2 


3 


- 


- 


5 


















Scallops, seed, 


240 


130 


- 


1 


16 


3 


- 


17 


Scallops, taking without a permit, 


50 


50 


- 


- 


3 


- 


1 


3 


Clams, taking without a permit, 


75 


75 


- 


1 


15 


- 


- 


15 


General: — 


















Fishing in closed ponds, 


20 


20 


- 


- 


2 


- 


- 


2 


Fishing in fresh waters other than by 

hook and hand line. 
Torching, 


20 
100 


20 
60 


; 


; 


2 
2 


_ 


- 


2 
2 


Trawling, 


35 


15 


- 


i 


4 


1 


- 


5 


Maintaining fish traps, 


- 


- 


- 


i 


- 


- 


- 


1 


Fishing with more than ten hooks, . 


- 


- 


- 


i 


- 


- 


- 


1 


Total 


83,812 


S3, 072 


S38 


19 


261 


16 


33 


275 
... 1 



Summary. 

Number of cases 275 

Fines imposed, $3,812 

Fines paid to Nov. 30, 1919, - $3,072 

Costs of court paid to Nov. 30, 1919 38 

Cases discharged 19 

Cases convicted, 261 

Cases appealed 16 

Cases filed, 33 

Number of laws violated, 43 



Among those brought to account this year were some who 
have been persistent violators, and who were convicted of fla- 
grant violations of law. Typical of these are the following 
cases: — 

Romolo Adrower of Winthrop, Mass., a naturalized Italian, 
who was apprehended by Deputy James E. Bemis at Ashland 
on October 22, with 4 robins and 1 fox sparrow in possession. 



1919.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 11 

His Honor Judge Willis A. Kingsbury of the Framingham court 
fined this man $50, which was paid. Henry Yanaco of Boston 
was apprehended on October 13 in Ashland by Deputies James 
E. Bemis, Jay Snell and Elmer A. Maeker, and was found to 
have 7 robins and 4 vesper sparrows in his possession. In this 
case Judge Kingsbury imposed a fine of $25. Upon complaint 
of Deputy Thomas L. Burney for the illegal killing of a pheas- 
ant on September 21, Judge Henry T. Lummus of Saugus fined 
Lewis Goldani of Boston $50. 

Leon E. James was taken by Deputy Dennis F. Shea in the 
act of killing a wood duck (protected at all times in this and in 
almost every other State in the Union, as well as by the Federal 
law), and Judge Henry C. Davis of Ware imposed a fine of 
$10, which was paid. Walter K. Chapman of Ipswich was 
arrested on September 9 by Deputy Edward E. Babson for kill- 
ing a black duck before the season opened, and Hiram N. Currier 
of Beverly was taken by Deputies Carl E. Grant and Edward 
Babson for shooting black ducks on February 22, over a month 
after the season closed, a violation of the Federal as well as of 
the State law. 

Horace E. Elliott of Beverly was arrested by Deputy Carl E. 
Grant and Edward Babson, and was convicted on April 16 for 
placing poisoned baits for killing foxes. Judge Geo. B. Sears of 
Salem imposed a fine of $10 for this offence. This amount is 
too small, as the price of one fox pelt will pay this fine twice 
over. In addition to this fine the defendant paid over $75 to 
the owners of five dogs that had been killed by picking up the 
baits which he admitted having put out. 

The law pertaining to deer gives them but small protection. 
On only an occasional case can sufficient evidence be secured to 
convict a person for taking deer out of season, but on Novem- 
ber 7 Deputy James E. Bemis and Mr. Charles W. MacNear, 
a deputy serving without compensation, brought Robert L. 
Hebden of Ashland before Judge Kingsbury at Framingham for 
killing a deer in closed season, and he was fined $75. Much 
credit in this case is due to Mr. MacNear, who was in a posi- 
tion to get full information and to point out the guilty party. 

Robert Cushman of Duxbury was taken before the court by 
Deputy Charles E. Tribou, charged with the possession of 21 



12 FISH AND GAME. [Nov. 

uncooked lobsters less than 9 inches long. Some were as small 
as 6J inches. A fine of $63 was imposed, which was paid. On 
September 13 the John Nagle Company, dealers in lobsters at 
the Fish Pier, South Boston, was charged by Deputies F. W. 
Goodwin and Edward E. Babson with selling 48 uncooked 
lobsters less than 9 inches long. A fine of $96 was imposed by 
Judge Edward L. Logan in the South Boston court. 

Deputy William H. Seaman, assisted by Messrs. W. A. 
Pierce and Edward F. Bowen, found Joseph Bourque fishing 
with more than 10 hooks in Emery Pond, Raynham. Judge 
W. S. Woods of Taunton found him guilty and imposed a fine 
of $20. He was using 26 floats with hooks attached. On June 
5 Fred W. Bridges of Holyoke was taken in Plainfield by 
Deputy L. E. Ruberg with 27 short trout in his possession. 
Although he was charged with the possession of only 3 of the 
above number, Judge John B. O'Donnell of Northampton im- 
posed a fine of $50. It may be mentioned that this type of 
violation is getting less common. 

Considerable trouble has been experienced by certain deputies 
through the illegal taking of scallops from the waters of Buz- 
zards Bay. With the assistance of Messrs. Walter K. Perry 
and Paul Blankinship, and others interested in the preserva- 
tion of this valuable fishery, Deputies S. J. Lowe and W. H. 
Seaman last January brought Albert Bessette before Judge 
James P. Doran at New Bedford for taking "seed" scallops. 
"Seed" scallops are those which have not reached the age of re- 
production and on which the future scallop fishery depends. A 
fine of $25 was imposed. On September 10 Arthur Bessette, 
brother of the above defendant, was before Judge Bert J. 
Allen of Wareham on complaint of Mr. Blankinship for a 
similar offence, and was fined $25. Louis Baillargeon of Fair- ! 
haven was arrested by Messrs. Perry and Blankinship at 
Mattapoisett, and paid a fine of $25 on conviction before 
Judge Nathan Washburn at Wareham. He was charged with 
opening seed scallops in a boat. This was done to destroy the 
evidence, as, if landed, the size of the scallops would have 
proclaimed them to be illegal. Messrs. Perry and Blankinship, 
who assisted in the foregoing cases, are deputies serving without 
compensation. 



1919.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 13 

It was reported to this department early last year that George 
H. Cummings of Shrewsbury, an unpaid deputy, had been 
guilty not only of conduct unbecoming an officer, but of direct 
violations of the law. Inquiry discovered witnesses who 
claimed that Mr. Cummings had accepted a bribe to refrain 
from bringing to court a case where short pickerel had been 
taken, and the case in question had never been presented to 
court. In several other instances he had accepted amounts 
equal to the fines which might have been imposed, and had 
kept the cases out of court. Deputy Jay Snell of the regular 
force placed this man before Judge Samuel Utley of the lower 
court on April 5. He was tried in the Superior Court on May 
29 by Judge Joseph O'Connell of Worcester and fined $100. 

During the year 40 hunting licenses were revoked, and the 
city or town clerk notified, in accordance with the law, that the 
holders would not be entitled to another certificate for a period 
of one year from the date of conviction. 

Hunting by aliens is one of the most frequent violations. 
Conviction for this offence carries with it forfeiture of firearms. 
Fifty such forfeited guns and rifles were sold during the year in 
accordance with the provisions of the law, and the proceeds 
turned into the treasury of the Commonwealth. These firearms 
are of the lowest grade in almost every instance, and bring but 
a small price. Some turned over to us were in such condition 
that they were as dangerous to the hunter as to the quarry. A 
small caliber gun, taken from a man in the woods, had a twist 
in the barrel, and if discharged would probably have exploded. 
Alien hunters go afield with the intention of throwing away the 
gun if apprehended, and consequently use cheap guns so that 
the loss will not be so great. That this and not lack of money 
is the real reason for use of cheap guns is borne out by the fact 
that our court records show that in almost every instance the 
$50 fine is paid on the spot. 

Concerted drives by squads of deputies in automobiles, di- 
rected against the violators of the lobster laws, inaugurated last 
year with such satisfactory results, were continued this year and 
kept up pretty continuously through the lobster fishing season. 
Forty-four cases were brought into court and $807 in fines im- 
posed, of which $667 was paid. An interesting case is that of 



14 FISH AND GAME. [Nov. 

E. S. Publicover of Duxbury, convicted of having short lob- 
sters in possession. Mr. Publicover made the statement before 
Judge Harry B. Davis of the third Plymouth District Court 
that if the sentence in this case were suspended, he believed 
he could induce the lobster fishermen of that locality to form 
an association. Judge Davis accepted his proposition, taking 
pains to explain to Mr. Publicover and to the local lobster 
fishermen that he was opposed to the practice of dealing in 
short lobsters, and that he would impose increasingly heavy 
fines in all cases brought before him for this offence. He ex- 
pressed his willingness to attend a meeting of the lobstermen 
and explain his views on the subject, in the hope that they would 
form an association and realize the benefits to be derived from 
observing the laws. A meeting of the lobster fishermen was 
arranged by our Board, and was held on November 12, in 
Ocean Hall, Brant Rock. Judge Davis came before the men 
and gave them a very stirring talk. A member of the Board 
and the district deputies were present, and representatives of 
other associations. We take this occasion to commend the 
public service of Judge Davis in this connection, and we believe 
that the results will be far-reaching in that locality. When 
such an association is formed in a community where the word 
has always been "to go and get all there is to be had, and take 
a chance on getting by," we find that it bears fruit within a 
short time, and the fishermen reap the benefit of increased 
catches of legal lobsters. 

There is a real need for the development of a corps of trained 
fish messengers, one for each hatchery, to relieve the district 
deputies of the responsibility for this branch of the work, and 
to give them the opportunity to care for their districts without 
interruption. One of our district deputies has traveled a dis- 
tance of 17,000 miles this season in fish distribution. There are 
many persistent violators who can never be apprehended unless 
our men are free to follow them up at the time when something 
is going on. At present it frequently happens that, when con- 
ditions are about right for securing conclusive evidence which 
would bring a conviction, a deputy may receive notice to deliver 
a shipment of fish, with the result that by the time he returns 
and tries to pick up the trail again the opportunity is past. 



1919.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 15 

We have noted that during the past year more stringent regu- 
lations concerning deer have been put into effect in some of the 
near-by States. This is the result of fifteen cases brought be- 
fore the courts of this State and the Federal courts last year for 
violation of interstate commerce regulations in the shipment and 
sale of game. Deputies F. W. Goodwin and Carl E. Grant 
aided the Federal officers materially in the prosecution of the 
cases before the Federal courts. The persons concerned have 
discontinued this traffic to a great extent, and the convictions 
have had a deterrent effect on others who might have been 
tempted to do likewise. 

Our work is still hindered by the lack of a proper boat for en- 
forcing the laws along shore, particularly those in regard to 
lobsters, torching and seining by alien fishermen, and the hunt- 
ing of migratory water fowl on the Lord's Day. At some sea- 
sons of the year practically the whole length of the coast from 
Newbury port to Westport needs to be patrolled. It is next to 
impossible to hire a boat for law-enforcement work except at 
a very high rate, and unless the owner is guaranteed against 
any damage to the boat, for there is a general fear on the part 
of boat or automobile owners that by letting us use their boats 
or cars they will incur the enmity of the persons convicted. 
The value of a fast boat was demonstrated this fall, when a 
public-spirited citizen loaned a swift boat to our Deputy Orin 
D. Steele for use in Boston Harbor. In three days' time vio- 
lators were apprehended and substantial fines paid, exceeding 
the expense of the boat and the deputies. Still better, word 
was circulated that the Commission had the upper hand of the 
situation, and those who otherwise would have taken chances 
abandoned their methods. This, we notice, is apt to be the 
case wherever our men have demonstrated that they are mas- 
ters of the situation. 

New Legislation, Session of 1919. 

The General Court of 1919 enacted fifteen laws relating to 
fisheries and game. 

Chapter 8, General, prohibits the taking of alewives for five 
years in the Weweantit River. 

Chapter 33, General, makes it lawful to spear eels and carp. 



16 FISH AND GAME. [Nov. 

These species are of practically no value for food. They suck 
from the bottom of ponds the material on which fish feed, and 
undoubtedly take in the eggs of other valuable fish. It has been 
found that where the carp are plentiful in our local waters the 
other fish are very scarce, and the people who originally in- 
troduced them now recognize the unwisdom of having done so. 

Chapter 39, General, extends the time in which the Commis- 
sioners may lease Tisbury Great Pond. 

Chapter 40, General, establishes a close season on quail, until 
1922, in Essex, Dukes and Nantucket counties. The almost 
total extinction of the quail in these localities makes such action 
necessary. 

Chapter 57, General, authorizes the Fish and Game Commis- 
sion to permit the taking of smelt in inland waters, subject to 
rules and regulations to be approved by the Governor and 
Council. 

Chapter 65, General, extends to all wild birds and quadrupeds 
the protection formerly accorded to game birds only, against 
trapping, snaring, netting, pursuit by power boat or taking by 
swivel or pivot gun. 

Chapter 66, General, establishes a close season on raccoons 
from January 1 to September 30. 

Chapter 83, General, increases the penalty for taking wild 
birds and animals by illegal methods. 

Chapter 153, General, changes the open seasons on ruffed 
grouse, woodcock, quail and gray squirrels from the month of 
November to October 20 to November 20; establishes the open 
season on hares and rabbits from October 20 to February 28; 
and further, provides a close season on ruffed grouse until 
Oct. 20, 1920. 

Chapter 200, General, provides a bounty on seals. Seals have 
multiplied undisturbed since the repeal in 1908 of chapter 139 
of the Revised Laws. They destroy such quantities of fish as 
to make extermination desirable. 

Chapter 296, General, requires that persons be licensed to fish 
in all inland waters of the Commonwealth which have been 
stocked by the Fish and Game Commission since Jan. 1, 1910. 
The provisions and purposes of this act are fully discussed in 
the section of this report on "Inland Fisheries." 



1919.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — Xo. 25. 17 

Chapter 334, General, permits this Board to make rules and 
regulations governing the taking and sale of seed and adult 
scallops in certain instances. 

Chapter 351, General, creates the office of inspector of fish, 
and provides for the regulation of the sale and storage of fresh 
food fish. 

Chapter 73, Special, revokes certain rights formerly held by 
Alexander K. Crocker for taking alewives from Mill River, 
Sandwich. 

Chapter 201, Special, authorizes the Board of Commissioners 
on FisheriejS and Game to lease Bartlett's Marsh Pond and 
White Island Pond, Wareham, for the artificial propagation of 
alewives. 

Recommendations foe Legislation. 
The Board of Commissioners on Fisheries and Game respect- 
fully recommends the passage of laws designed to accomplish 
the following purposes:- — 

1. To allow the Commissioner of Conservation to make rules 
and regulations to control the taking of salmon. 

The Commissioners believe that the taking of salmon may be best 
regulated by rules and regulations as the conditions may indicate changes 
needed, and the matter of seasons, etc., can best be regulated in this 
manner. 

2. To extend the close season on black bass and establish a 
catch limit thereon. 

Many fishermen do not use judgment in this regard, and in the excite- 
ment of catching bass take more fish than they need or can use. Others 
make a business of fishing for market, and some bag limit is necessary to 
conserve our bass supply. The close season during the winter is asked 
to conserve the bass for the next breeding season. 

3. To stop the sale of pickerel and establish a catch limit 
thereon. 

This is imperative because market fishermen are rapidly killing out the 
breeding fish in many of our great ponds, and they must be checked if 
we are to continue to have pickerel. 



18 FISH AND GAME. [Nov. 

4. To establish a catch limit on homed pout and yellow 
perch, and establish a close season on horned pout. 

Our waters are being sadly depleted by many heedless fishermen, and 
unless the small fish are given a chance to reproduce they will soon be 
killed out. Horned pouts care for their young, and if the adults are 
taken during the breeding season many schools of small fish are lost. 

5. To allow the Commissioner of Conservation to screen 
certain ponds and streams. 

Many times it seems as if all efforts to stock certain waters are without 
result. Many species of fish adapted to pond life are salt-water seeking 
at certain times of the year, and will leave ponds and rivers if not retained 
by screens, which many times may be erected at a small cost, and con- 
serve large quanticies of small fish at flood times. 

6. To repeal chapter 312 of the General Acts of 1917 and 
chapter 212 of the General Acts of 1918 (concerning the licens- 
ing of lobster fishermen), and enact a new law carrying the 
essential features of the above acts, and annulling certain 
inconsistencies and adding new sections to make it more con- 
sistent with the needs of the fishermen. 

This is in conformity with the suggestions of deputies and fishermen 
after having given it two years' trial. 

7. To correct an unintentional error in chapter 20 of the 
General Acts of 1917, which is for the protection of wild or 
undomesticated birds. 

In this act the words "or having in possession" were omitted in the 
first line. These words are very necessary to the proper enforcement of 
this act, as a person seen coming from the woods with one of these pro- 
tected birds would not be liable unless it could be proven (often times 
difficult to do) that he had " taken or killed" the bird. 

8. To extend the close season on ruffed grouse. 

The breeding season of ruffed grouse in 1919 seems to have been fairly 
good, and more birds are in our covers, but we do not think that the 
danger point has been more than temporarily covered, and that a longer 
period of protection is needed. Birds which are legally taken in other 



1919.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 19 

States and countries, and are the property of hunters who have legally 
taken them, should be allowed to be brought in if not in violation of the 
laws of the States whence they came. Five days should be allowed to 
come from some of the back woods of Maine and New Brunswick. 

9. To allow the sale of the skin and body of raccoons and 
other fur-bearing animals. 

As the law does not seem to be clear about the sale and possession of 
the bodies and skins of raccoons and other fur-bearing animals, this new 
law is necessary to definitely state that they could be taken and sold 
legally. The principal object of the law was primarily to be sure that the 
fur was in prime condition, and to insure better pelts and prices. 

10. To prohibit cats on certain areas which are noted as 
breeding grounds for birds. 

The law relative to cats on the island of Muskeget has been very bene- 
ficial to the summer bird colonies, and the further extension of this law is 
asked to cover other islands that are especially noted for bird colonies. 
It will be a hardship on no one to order that cats shall not be taken onto 
these areas. 

11. To dispose of certain property not at the present time 
used by the department. 

The Adams Hatchery was established under chapter 60 of the Resolves 
of 1898, and had been used until the winter of 1918. The results have 
been poor compared with other stations, and the water supply is inade- 
quate and cannot be supplemented. Fish hatched at this station are not 
strong, fry cannot be kept for a reasonable length of time after hatching, 
and the hatchery is too expensive to maintain for the amount of fish 
which are reared. We consider that it is not an economical proposition 
to try to continue this station. 

12. To clarify the provisions of section 8 of chapter 296 of the 
General Acts of 1919, which has confused both the clerks and 
the deputies as to the meaning and scope of this section. 

A more concise wording must be given so that there will be no con- 
fusion or misinterpretation as to who is entitled to a trapping license. A 
fee is necessary to compensate the town and city clerks for their work in 
issuing these trapping certificates. 



20 IISH AND GAME. [Nov. 

13. To shorten the open season and place a bag limit on 
rabbits and hares. 

This is necessary so that our hares and rabbits will not be exterminated. 

14. To provide for exhibitions and other means of interesting 
and educating the public in the conservation and propagation 
of birds, fish and game in the Commonwealth, $2,000. 

The publicity work conducted for several years past has been pro- 
ductive of results which make it very desirable that this line of endeavor 
be continued. 

15. To provide for investigation and preliminary plans for the 
establishment of a salt-water fish hatchery, $2,000. 

This Commonwealth has off its shores one of the most valuable coastal 
fisheries of any State in the Union. It has been demonstrated that 
certain species of salt-water fish which frequent our shores can be success- 
fully propagated. In order to maintain and increase the present supply, 
eventually the State should own and operate a fully equipped, large- 
sized hatchery for propagating these species. 

16. To provide for additions and replacements to the build- 
ings and equipment of the hatcheries and game farms under the 
control of the department. 



Montague Rearing Station. 
Road, 8200; Fence, 8200; Construction of Additional Rearing Pools, 
82,500. — The road is a new one, running over soft ground. To put it in 
condition to stand the heavy teaming necessitated by the work, the sum 
asked will be necessary. A fence is needed to keep out stock grazing on 
the land, and to better control visitors, to whom no opportunity should 
be given to go near the pipe valves regulating the water system. More 
rearing pools are needed to increase the capacity of the plant and utilize 
it to the limit. 

Amherst Rearing Station. 
Enlarging Water-supply Pond and Construction of Additional Rearing 
Pools, 81,000; Road, 8200; Fence, 8200; Purchase of Land, 8875.— The 
enlargement of the water-supply pond and construction of additional 
rearing pools is necessary in the development of the station. The same 
reasons which make road and fence necessary at Montague Rearing 



1919.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — Xo. 25. 21 

Station apply also at Amherst. The land on which the work is carried 
on is now held under lease with option of purchase, which expires in June, 
1920. The sum asked for is for taking up the option. 



Palmer Hatchery. 
Building, $4,000; Additional Rearing Pools, 83,000; Extension of 
Pipe Line, $1 50; Repairs to Tenement House, S800. — A building is 
necessary to house a large and a small truck. A second story would pro- 
vide for the storage of fish cans, special screens used in bass culture, gear 
for use in salvage work, tools and other bulky equipment. Additional 
rearing pools are needed for salmon, trout, horned pout and perch culture, 
as well as bass. The pipe line should be extended from the superin- 
tendent's house to the tenement house, and certain much-needed repairs 
made on the latter. 

Sandwich Fish Hatcheries. 

Sandwich Station. 
Cement Head Trough for Nursery Ponds, $300; Driven Wells, $100; 
Fence, $750. — The wooden head trough has been in use for a number of 
years, and is now in a state of decay, making it imperative that it be re- 
placed. Should it give way at any time, through lack of repair, the loss 
of all the fish in the hatchery might easily follow. Twelve additional 
driven wells to supplement the water supply would add to the efficiency 
of the hatchery; and a portion of the station grounds along the State 
highway should be fenced off. 

East Sandwich Station. 
Six Cement Ponds, $2,500; Building, $4,000; Erlargement of Stripping 
House, $1,500; Three Nursery Ponds, $500; Six Driven Wells, $100; 
Road, $750; Purchase of Land, $75. — The six cement ponds are needed 
to replace ponds of wooden construction, which are now so rotted as to 
be dangerous to the fish in the ponds, and of limited rearing capacity. 
A building is needed which will house a large and a small truck, with a 
second story for the storage of fish cans, special gear used in salvage work, 
tools and other bulky equipment. The house in which stripping of fish 
is done should be enlarged, and equipped with batteries for the batching 
of perch, smelt aud alewife eggs. In the development of the station three 
additional nursery ponds for rearing fingerling trout, and six additional 
driven wells, are needed. A road should be constructed from the main 
road around the pools and back to the main road by way of the office 
building. A portion of the land included in the East Sandwich Station 
is now held under lease, with option of purchase which expires in 1920. 
It is desired to add this land to that alreadv owned here bv the State. 



22 FISH AND GAME. [Nov. 



Sutton Hatchery. 
Reconstruction of Rearing Pools, 82,000; Reconstruction of Hatchery 
Building, $3,000; Grading, Drainage, etc., $500. — It is very desirable 
that the rearing pools be reconstructed to eliminate much wooden con- 
struction which has rotted out and cannot be repaired, thus increasing the 
rearing capacity of the water supply. The hatchery building is in a very 
dilapidated condition. The sills have rotted away, and in its present 
condition it is unfit for use. An appropriation is needed for rebuilding it. 
In connection with the work of making this over into a rearing station 
considerable work needs to be done in grading, drainage and the removal 
of discarded pens formerly used in bird rearing. 



Marshfield Bird Farm. 
House, 8500; Additional Coops and Yards, 8500; replacing Floors in 
Brooder House, 8500; Purchase of Land, 82,500. — There is no place at 
present where grain can be stored, and a proper place is an absolute 
necessity to prevent spoilage. Additional coops and yards are needed for 
taking care of the brood and adult stock, owing to the extensions which 
have been made in the rearing activities, and with a view to enlarging 
the work of hatching and rearing pheasants. The floors in the brooder 
house have been so thoroughly riddled by rats as to make it unsafe to 
keep birds there, and cement floors should be put in. The land on which 
the bird farm is located is held under lease, with option of purchase ex- 
piring in 1920. It is desired to purchase this land for a permanent bird 
farm. 

Sandwich Bird Farm. 
Additional Coops and Houses, 81,000; Building, 81,500: Purchase of 
Land. 81,700. — -These coops and houses are needed for better housing 
the stock. There is no place now where materials can be stored except a 
very small shed, which is wholly inadequate for caring for the grain, tools, 
shipping crates and other equipment which is in constant use. A proper 
building should be provided, with a workshop where coops, etc., could be 
built and repair work done. The lease on a portion of the land on which 
the bird work is carried on expires, as does the option of purchase, in 
1920, and it is desired to take up the option at the proper time. 



WlLBRAHAM CtAME FARM. 

Repairs on Superintendent's House, 8500: Repairs on Tenement House, 
8300; Completion of Camp, 8200; replacing Fences, etc., $1,000. — Both the 
superintendent's house and the tenement house require repairs to make 
them comfortable for the occupants. The partly completed camp on the 



1919.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 23 

grounds should be finished for use, during rearing season, of the man in 
charge of the stock. Considerable replacement work is needed during 
the coming year of worn-out wire fences, bird runs and pens. 

Marthas Vineyard Reservation. 
Repairs on Barn, 8300; Storage House, S100; Work on Superintendent's 
House, 8250; Shed, 8500; Reforestation Work, 8300; Fire Stops, 82,500. — 
The barn on the reservation is no longer safe, and the repairs which have 
been required for some time should be no longer delayed. The floor needs 
to be replaced, foundations relaid, windows replaced and portions of the 
wall rebuilt. This building is used, not only for the housing of tools, hay 
and stock, but for the automobile as well. A small building near the 
house, designed for office and workshop, but never .completed, could by a 
small outlay be used to good advantage. A porch is needed on the super- 
intendent's house for the comfort of the occupants. There is no porch 
or piazza whatever at present. The shed asked for is for the storage of 
farm implements and general storage purposes. Reforestation work on 
this area should be continued. There is a substantial portion of the land 
suitable for reforestation, which would add to its value as a bird sanctuary 
by providing wintering cover for the birds, as well as a cleaner forest 
floor for breeding and feeding purposes. The main object of the reserva- 
tion is the preservation of the heath hen, and the greatest danger to be 
guarded against are the fires which in the past have swept its covers at 
intervals. The fire stops broken out in past years should be plowed out 
and extended. In their present condition they would not perform their 
function in case a fire should start. 



24 FISH AND GAME. [Nov. 



BIOLOGICAL DEPARTMENT. 

The biological work, which has been at a standstill owing 
to the fact that the biologist, Dr. David L. Belding, and his 
laboratory assistant, Mr. Leslie J. Gilbride, were in the serv- 
ice during the war, was actively resumed upon the return of 
Dr. Belding in May. As the results of the work on various 
lines have been set forth in appropriate places throughout 
the report, only brief mention is made here of the ground 
covered. 

Mr. James A. Kitson entered the service as assistant biologist 
in May, 1919. His chief duty will be to conduct field investiga- 
tions. Mr. Gilbride resumed his position as laboratory assistant 
in September, 1919. 

As in the past, no laboratory facilities were available at the 
State House, and the former quarters at the Evans Memorial 
Hospital were unobtainable. Without funds for renting outside 
quarters the necessary laboratory work has been conducted in 
quarters supplied by friends of the biologist, and by means of a 
portable laboratory. The rear compartment of a five-passenger 
Ford car was fitted with two strongly built trunks, one resting 
between the seats, the other upon the seat. These trunks con- 
tain compartments for essential laboratory apparatus. Thus a 
useful laboratory can be quickly set up for use in any part of 
the State, proving of special advantage in field work. It is 
hoped that quarters for a permanent laboratory may be avail- 
able in the ensuing year, as the nature of the proposed work 
emphatically demands permanent quarters, as well as a port- 
able laboratory. 

Much of the time of the biologist is taken up in routine 
matters, — answering numerous inquiries and letters, identifying 
specimens, examination of ponds, streams or coastal waters, 
determining the cause of death of fish and game at the hatch- 
eries or bird farms, and any other special matters which should 
be investigated from a biological standpoint. 

A survey of the present condition of the alewife fisheries in 
all of the coastal streams was completed. Likewise our experi- 
ments were continued in connection with the breeding of ale- 



1919.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 25 

wives, which is more fully set forth in connection with the 
work of the Sandwich Fish Hatcheries. 

In the installation of fishways it is very essential to have the 
biological problems studied before any construction work is 
started, in order to be sure that, given the mechanical arrange- 
ment by which to ascend the stream, the fish will not be held 
back by such other considerations as pollution and disturbance 
of spawning grounds. The run of fish must be followed, the 
spawning habits studied, and likewise the period when the 
mature fish return to the sea and the time when the young 
alewives go back. It is only by conducting these field investi- 
gations that the data can be compiled for future improvements 
in the work. 

Comparatively little work has been done in connection with 
the important subject of fish and bird diseases. The most 
interesting specimen this year was a fibroid tumor from the 
peritoneal cavity of a white perch taken from Waban Lake, 
Wellesley. Substantial progress has been made in collecting 
available information on fish and bird diseases and collating it 
for reference in further studies of these subjects. 

Very often a large amount of time is devoted to the working 
out of the details of a plan which may not be put into operation 
until the following year or years. This is true of the subject of 
pollution this year. Much time was given to a study of the 
subject, with a view to establishing a plan upon which this 
work can be more effectively followed in the future. Some 
action was taken in reference to individual cases of pollution, as 
more fully set forth under that subject. 

A standard method of recording pond and stream surveys has 
been perfected during the year and adopted for use in the 
States of Massachusetts, New Jersey and New York in a meet- 
ing of representatives from the commissions of those States held 
at Hackettstown, N. J., in November, 1919. 



26 FISH AND GAME. [Nov. 



WILD BIRDS AND ANIMALS. 

Breeding Season. 
The remarkably mild winter which obtained over the whole 
State assisted greatly in insuring high vitality in the brood 
stock, both in animals and birds. With certain local excep- 
tions the conditions during the breeding season were exception- 
ally favorable to all wild life. 

Forest Fires. 
The number of forest, brush and grass fires was smaller, and 
the total area burned over considerably less than for the last 
few years, due to a certain extent to the large amount of rain- 
fall. Not many large tracts were burned over, the most ex- 
tensive being 1,300 acres in North Attleborough on May 29, 
and 1,500 acres in Gloucester on August 12. This can be a 
source of serious injury to wild life, for a fire in the nesting 
areas during breeding time will mean a large loss of eggs> young, 
and, to some extent, adult birds. This evil has been greatly 
minimized in recent years by the equipment of towns with 
motor fire apparatus, the more general use of the telephone, and 
the increasing efficiency of the State forest fire service. 

Posted Land. 
We believe that a better understanding is coming to exist 
between the sportsmen and fishermen of the Commonwealth 
and the owners of the land. The solution of this problem lies 
very largely in the hands of the sportsmen and fishermen them- 
selves. It will never be solved until the citizen who goes onto 
the land of another will respect the property rights of the 
owner, and will treat the land and the fences, the gates, build- 
ing and other equipment thereon with the same care and con- 
sideration that he would use if the property were his own. The 
development of this sense of responsibility and accountability 
in the mind of every sportsman and fisherman is the first 
requisite. 



1919.1 



PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 



27 



Effect of the War on Hunting. 

The question occurred to us over a year ago as to what 
would be the effect of military training on the young men of the 
country in the way of stimulating a larger interest in the use of 
firearms and in the outdoor sports of hunting and fishing. We 
have looked into the records of the civil war in vain for any en- 
lightenment on this point. It is true that at the end of the war 
there was a vast new country west of the Mississippi River 
whi 4i appealed to numbers of adventurous young men, and 
many of them migrated to it. On the other hand, there is 
nothing to show that greater numbers took up the sports who 
had not prior to the war been interested in firearms as a sport- 
ing proposition. 

We have been especially interested this year to see what 
would be revealed in the number of hunting licenses issued as 
compared to a similar period last year. We find that during the 
period Jan. 1, to Nov. 30, 1918, 58,529 hunting licenses were 
issued, and during the same period for 1919, 73,480, showing 
an increase of 25 per cent. 

The figures of the actual number of hunting licenses issued in 
certain representative towns and cities in each county for three 
years past are interesting : — 



Comparative Table of Hunters' Licenses issued during the Years 1917, 

1918 and 1919. 





Jan. 1 to 
Nov. 30, 1917. 


Jan. 1 to 

Nov. 30, 1918. 


Jan. 1 to 
Nov. 30, 1919. 


Barnstable County: — 

Barnstable, 

Falmouth, 


328 
261 


129 
275 


378 
272 


Berkshire County: — 

Pittsfield, 

North Adams 


1,045 
549 


1,062 
576 


1,079 
642 


Bristol County: — 

Taunton, 

New Bedford 

Fall River 


596 
725 
551 


627 
843 
514 


804 

1,186 

671 


Dukes County: — 

Edgartown, 

Tisbury 


121 
113 


103 
113 


97 
136 



28 



FISH AND GAME. 



[Nov. 



Comparative Table of Hunters! Licenses issued during the Years 1917, 
1918 and 1919 — Concluded. 





Jan. 1 to 
Nov. 30, 1917. 


Jan. 1 to 
Nov. 30, 1918. 


Jan. 1 to 
Nov. 30, 1919. 


Essex County: — 

Lawrence, 

Gloucester, 

Lynn, 


587 
410 
639 


573 
442 
609 


677 
478 
767 


Franklin County: — 

Greenfield, 


639 


672 


770 


Hampden County: — 

Springfield 

Holyoke, 


1,715 
649 


1,807 
612 


2,191 

698 


Hampshire County: — 

Northampton, 

Ware 


631 
267 


591 
256 


700 
252 


Middlesex County: — 

Lowell, 

Marlborough, 


921 
309 


772 
312 


925 

337 


Nantucket County: — 

Nantucket, 


130 


158 


222 


Norfolk County: — 

Dedham 


375 
197 


431 
175 


574 
222 


Plymouth County: — 

Brockton, 


511 
801 


560 
830 


628 
1,050 


Suffolk County: — 

Boston 

Revere, 


2,819 
168 


2,795 
181 


3,700 
204 


Worcester County: — 

Worcester, 

Fitchburg, 


2,529 
890 


2,422 
886 


2,793 
972 




19,526 


19,326 


23,425 



The figures indicate that we w r ere reasonably accurate in our 
surmise that at the close of the war a great many men who 
before had led sedentary lives would turn to the outdoors for 
recreation. All of this will mean a greater drain on the wild- 
life resources of the State, which must be met by increased 
artificial propagation, and, in some cases, increased restrictions 
in the taking. We believe that the time has gone by w T hen any 
form of w T ild life in this State can stand an annual open season 
of four and one-half months, as is the case to-day, for example, 
w T ith respect to rabbits. 



1919.1 PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 29 



Migratory Birds. 

Song and Insectivorous Birds. 

A survey of conditions throughout the State, based on obser- 
vations of the district deputies, shows that the song and in- 
sectivorous birds are either on the increase or holding their own. 
This is especially true of the central section. 

As a whole, the conditions in the spring were favorable, with 
the exception that on March 27 there was a blizzard in the 
western part of the State during which, and in the week follow- 
ing when drifts were 6 to 12 feet high, hundreds of bluebirds, 
robins, ground sparrows and other small birds perished. 

Many species which frequent Marthas Vineyard are becoming 
more numerous. Here, as also throughout the State generally, 
many people are taking an interest in the welfare of the birds, 
and have set up feeding boxes, planted food, and fed the birds 
in the severe weather. The schools, too, have helped by teach- 
ing the economic importance of birds, and egg-collecting is 
getting to be a thing of the past. On Nantucket they are 
maintaining their numbers, and the meadow lark, which was 
hard hit by the winter of 1918, is regaining lost ground. 

Mr. F. Seymour Hersey mentions the breeding of the slate- 
colored Junco at Taunton as the outstanding feature of the 
season from a scientific standpoint. It breeds regularly north 
of Massachusetts and to some extent in the higher parts of the 
western portion of the State. 

Ornithological Conference. — For a considerable period of years 
past the Board, both under the present organization and under 
its predecessors, followed a conservative policy in granting per- 
mits for the collecting of birds and eggs for scientific purposes, 
feeling that the number of specimens taken should be kept to 
the minimum. With the passage of the enabling act of 1918, 
which put the so-called migratory bird law into operation, be- 
gan the issuance of permits by the Biological Survey for the 
taking and possession of migratory birds and their eggs for 
scientific and for propagating purposes. There were several 
forms of permits: — 



30 FISH AND GAME. [Nov. 

1. To take, possess, buy, sell and transport migratory birds, their 
nests and eggs, for scientific purposes. 

2. To possess, buy, sell and transport migratory birds, their nests and 
eggs, for scientific purposes. 

3. To take, possess, buy, sell and transport migratory water fowl and 
their eggs for propagating purposes. 

4. To possess, buy, sell and transport migratory water fowl and their 
eggs for propagating purposes, and to sell and transport their carcasses 
for food purposes. 



These Federal permits, however, are not valid until a corre- 
sponding permit has been issued by the State in which the 
holder intends to operate. 

This brought up, with pressing insistence, the question of 
what policy should be followed in regard to the issuance of 
scientific permits in this State in the future, for an increase in 
the number of applications for permits to collect in Massachu- 
setts was immediately noticed. It was apparent that there was 
a considerable difference of opinion, among the various persons 
interested in bird problems, as to whether a liberal or a con- 
servative policy in granting collecting privileges should be 
followed, one side advocating, as the Commission had done, 
that the killing of birds should be carefully restricted, and the 
other side contending that the study of ornithology required the 
taking of specimens, and that the -interests of science could be 
safely served without undue injury to bird life. 

The question of how to handle the applications from taxi- 
dermists, to collect protected birds for the purposes of sale, 
came up in acute form at this time, owing to the fact that the 
Biological Survey had issued such permits, and applications for 
State sanction were being received. 

The time seemed ripe for the various parties in interest to get 
together for an exchange of ideas and to find out what, in the 
opinion of the best sentiment of the State, was the proper course 
to pursue. Accordingly the Board set February 25 as a date 
for such a conference, and invited the officials of the National 
and State Audubon Societies, the officials of the Biological Sur- 
vey, the State Ornithologist, representatives from the Boston 
Society of Natural History and various museums, the Commis- 
sioner of the New York Conservation Commission, the holders 



1919.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — Xo. 25. 31 

of ornithological permits, and persons who have been active in 
the interest of bird life in various ways. Invitations were also 
sent to the best-known taxidermists in the State. 

Chairman Adams opened the meeting by explaining its pur- 
pose, and saying that the Board had not come with any hard 
and fast ideas, but was there to receive enlightenment, as it 
wished to approach the matter in the way that would give the 
largest possible results for the cause. He asked that persons 
having any difference of view would state it frankly, and called 
on Dr. E. W. Nelson of the Biological Survey to begin by ex- 
plaining how far the Federal government planned to go in 
granting permits, both for scientific purposes and for taxider- 
mists. 

Dr. Xelson stated that the Federal permits are really con- 
trolled by State action, inasmuch as they are ineffective unless 
backed up by a State permit. If there were no State laws, 
however, permits would be given to every one desiring to collect 
specimens for scientific purposes whose interest he considered 
would warrant it. This would include any young man of six- 
teen or eighteen years who appeared to have a sufficiently 
serious interest in the study of birds to make it probable that 
he had in him the making of an ornithologist; for to hamper de- 
serving young men is to put the extinguisher on the future 
development of ornithology in this country. It is his opinion 
that it is necessary for students of birds to have actual speci- 
mens, and collections are not always available to them. A 
scientific collector, taking pride in his specimens, which are 
easily destroyed, would hesitate to permit them to be freely 
used by inexperienced young students. He went on to say that, 
reviewing in his mind the list of men who have made a study 
of ornithology in the United States, he did not recall a single 
man who would have been an ornithologist if his interest had 
not first been stimulated by the knowledge gained in taking 
specimens. He had discussed this point with Mr. William 
Brewster and some eight or ten other ornithologists, and they 
had agreed without exception that to stop young ornithologists 
from collecting would practically end scientific ornithology in 
this country. He recommended care, however, and did not 
favor the indiscriminate issuance of licenses, for in some cases 



32 FISH AND GAME. [Nov. 

such privileges have been abused. As a case in point he men- 
tioned the experience of Texas, where, under such permits, 
game was killed out of season to such an extent, and so out- 
raged the feeling of the people, that at the next meeting of the 
Legislature the law authorizing the issuance of scientific licenses 
was repealed. It is for the issuing authorities to see that only 
the really deserving receive permits. 

He illustrated the necessity of encouraging young students by 
recalling the history of ornithology in this country. In Massa- 
chusetts in the early days and until the 70's there were few 
game laws, and these were practically dead letters and rarely en- 
forced up to 1885. Along in the late 70's some young fellows 
in Cambridge — William Brewster, H. W. Henshaw and others 
■ — became interested in birds. They began to collect, and this 
group gradually developed into the Nuttall Ornithological Club. 
The interest spread from Massachusetts to other parts of the 
country, and resulted in the formation of the National American 
Ornithologists' Union. One of the first acts of this organization 
was to form a committee on bird protection, and another on 
bird distribution and migration. The committee on bird pro- 
tection, in the course of a few years, developed into the Na- 
tional Association of Audubon Societies. Dr. C. Hart Merriam 
was made chairman of the committee on distribution, and as the 
work grew he took it on to Washington, secured a Federal 
appropriation of $5,000 a year to carry it on, and developed the 
work into the organization now known as the Bureau of Bio- 
logical Survey. Probably no one would dispute the claim that 
the work of the Audubon Society and the Biological Survey has 
been very largely responsible for the development of bird con- 
servation in the United States. Thus those sixteen-year-old 
boys in Cambridge were the fathers of the present bird laws 
and of the sentiment for game conservation which has grown so 
tremendously in this country. To-day the United States is a 
leader in the world movement for the conservation of wild life. 
Canada is working with us, and just before the war started a 
Russian official visited the Biological Survey to learn how wild- 
life conservation was conducted in this country. Australia, New 
Zealand, South Africa and Japan have likewise come to us for 
suggestions. This bit of history seems sufficient to show that 



1919.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — Xo. 25. 33 

young men who have the proper spirit and proper desire for the 
serious study of ornithology should be helped to develop. 

On the question of how the taxidermist should be handled, 
Dr. Xelson admitted that the problem was more difficult, and 
that the taxidermist's activities should be restricted in some 
way, and that permits to collect commercially on a wholesale 
scale should not be given. But the taxidermist is nevertheless 
necessary to properly preserve specimens, and there is no ob- 
jection to mounting birds killed in open season. Xeither did he 
think that a reasonable amount of commercial collecting should 
be prevented, since without this, study specimens for schools, 
and in many cases for scientific investigations, could not be 
obtained. The Massachusetts Commission has always granted 
special permits for the preservation of specimens accidentally 
killed in close season by storms, striking against wires, etc. It 
was Dr. Nelson's opinion that in such cases the birds should 
be mounted at the discretion of the Commissioners. He ex- 
plained that the Federal taxidermist permits are in two forms, 
— one giving the privilege of receiving and handling the ma- 
terial without the right to collect, the other carrying permission 
to collect. The issuance of the latter class would be more 
limited than the former. 

Very interesting discussions followed, of which only the gen- 
eral trend can be given. 

It was interesting to note that all the ornithologists present 
testified to having begun collecting at a very early age. They 
agreed that if their interest had not been first aroused, and then 
gradually developed and strengthened through the taking, 
handling and possession of the specimens, they would never 
have been ornithologists. An ornithologist is the result of a 
gradual development; he is not born ready-made. The interest 
first awakened by a specimen is rather vague. Then they learn 
to save what they are interested in; they handle specimens 
every day; and the beauty and the variety of characters pre- 
sented attract attention more and more and lead to more de- 
tailed study. It is a gradual process of evolution and requires 
everyday contact. As an illustration, Mr. C. J. Maynard's 
interest dates back to the time when he was three years old. 
He remembers it distinctly, when his mother laid his first speci- 



34 FISH AND GAME. [Nov. 

men before him, — a screech owl, and he has been working on 
birds ever since. When the State Ornithologist called for all 
those to rise to their feet, who began collecting when they were 
boys, every man stood up. 

It seemed to be the general opinion that it would be better to 
err on the side of liberality in the granting of permits rather 
than to risk checking the development of the science, for it is 
growing increasingly difficult for the museums, for instance, to 
get young men for field work, since there are so few who are 
trained for it. It was pointed out that Massachusetts has al- 
ways been a leader in conservation and in promulgating and 
enforcing good game laws, and whatever Massachusetts does 
will be followed by the western States. Rather than risk 
strangling ornithology over the whole country, it would be 
better to err on the side of liberality, for the belief was ex- 
pressed that, after all, there are not enough birds killed by 
collectors to harm the stock. Undoubtedly far more are killed 
every year by sportsmen for food, which is perfectly legitimate. 
Dr. Nelson believes that at the outside not more than from 
40,000 to 60,000 specimens are taken in this country by orni- 
thologists in a whole year, so if, as estimated, there are 2,000,- 
000,000 birds in the United States, that means but 1 in every 
40,000 taken, which is a mere drop in the bucket. It is known 
that even where birds suffer tremendous losses, if they have a 
fair opportunity they will recover. For instance, a few years 
ago a spring storm killed off a large part of the bluebirds from 
Washington to Massachusetts, but they have since come back. 
One storm can kill off more birds than collectors would take in 
a century. 

Mr. Winthrop Packard, Secretary of the Massachusetts 
Audubon Society, said that his feeling, on the whole, is, that 
while it would be a great pity to place hindrances in the way of 
a young man who is going to become a second Brewster or For- 
bush, he believes it to be wrong to provide opportunity to 
shoot birds throughout the State for collections, since there are 
many places where access may be had to collections. In his 
opinion it is not necessary for an earnest student to shoot birds 
for study. The amateur collector may do great harm, for 
instance, in this way. Some of the southern birds are reported 



1919.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 35 

to be slowly moving north, like the mocking birds. There is 
always the impulse on the part of the young collector to rush 
out and get the bird for his collection, whereas if it had been 
left to breed, the range of the species would have been definitely 
extended. It was his feeling that the Commission would do well 
to use the utmost discretion in issuing permits. In the cam- 
paign of education that the Audubon Society is carrying on, 
they lay stress both on the economic standpoint and on the 
right of dumb animals to live. They believe that young people 
should be taught that the needless destruction of bird life is a 
very wrong thing. 

Prof. Dallas Lore Sharp sums up his feeling thus: bird pro- 
tection and not collection is now the concern of the State. 

C. Emerson Brown, Esq., of the Zoological Society of Phila- 
delphia (writing his views) was strongly on the side of those who 
would strictly limit the permits. 

On the contention that studies can be made in the museums 
as well as in the field, Mr. A. C. Bent covered one angle of the 
question by saying:- — 

Here is a wholesome, outdoor recreation, which is absolutely harmless. 
There is no more harm in killing a robin or a bay-breasted warbler than 
there is in killing a duck. We should develop in the young man a good, 
health -giving, outdoor spirit, besides making an ornithologist, because we 
want all of the outdoor interest developed in the young men. Several 
times it has been said that there is no need of a young student making a 
collection of his own for study because there is sufficient material in 
museums. I grant that there is a vast amount of duplicate material in 
museums, but, since I have been preparing for the Smithsonian Institution 
my work on plumage changes, I have been astonished to find how much 
is really lacking, especially in young birds, and I have been through nearly 
all the large museums in California, Washington, New York, Boston and 
Philadelphia. I have also been through many big private collections, 
and I venture to say that there is not a single collection anywhere in this 
country that contains 50 per cent of the material that should be there to 
show what I want to know about birds. That is my experience. The 
material is not in the collections. But let us suppose the material were 
there. Going to a museum to study, the young man finds the room more 
or less dark, the birds are unattractive, and very soon he gets tired of it 
and gives it up; but let him go out into the fields and get his own material, 
and you build up the necessary enthusiasm to make him an ornithologist. 



36 FISH AND GAME. [Nov. 

As to. the problem of the taxidermist, he said: — 

I was very glad to welcome what looked like a return of the privileges 
to the commercial collector. I looked at it from an ornithological stand- 
point. I have always thought that the commercial ornithologist is a 
necessary evil. A dealer is a natural clearing house. I do not see any 
reason why, just because a commercial dealer makes his living out of the 
buying and selling of specimens, he is any different from an ornithologist 
. who accepts a salary from an institution, or in any way different from a 
man whom we send out to collect birds. This commercial element in 
ornithology is absolutely necessary if you are going to get the material 
you want, and I have been able to get specimens only by commercializing, 
by making it an object to the man I am sending after it. If ornithology is 
worth anything it is worth doing well. I think it would be safer to err 
too much on the side of overliberality than on the side of conservative- 
ness. As to the question of permits to dealers, I think the abuse of privilege 
can be checked by requiring reports to be made of material bought and 
sold. 

In the foregoing Mr. Bent expressed the sentiments that 
seemed to be commonly held by the ornithologists present. 

Mr. F. Seymour Hersey of Taunton submitted his views by 
letter, saying: — ■ 

I think it is generally admitted that scientific collecting in this country 
has not usually shown any injurious effect on the bird life of the locality 
in which it has been carried on. 

If permits were given to dealers (or taxidermists) under proper re- 
strictions I believe it would cause no material decrease in bird life. I see 
very little difference between buying a bird skin from a dealer, and send- 
ing a collector into the field to obtain it; but museums and individuals 
regularly employ collectors, and most States will issue permits to such 
collectors. I think dealers should be required to submit sworn statements 
of the material handled and to whom sold. Dealers would not collect, or 
cause to be collected, more specimens than they could dispose of, and 
there is not a large destruction if his activities are limited to specimens 
for scientific purposes. 

It is true, perhaps, that if dealers were allowed to regularly handle bird 
skins and eggs, it would stimulate interest in collecting to some extent, 
and there would be some increase in collectors, particularly among the 
younger men. However, most men engaged in advanced scientific work 
started as young collectors, and unless some encouragement is given to 
the younger generation it looks as if scientific ornithology would die out 
within a short time. 

It is also true that some men who collect contribute nothing to science, 



1919.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 37 

their collections being simply a source of recreation. Still, we admit that 
it is justifiable for men to hunt game as a means of promoting health or 
for recreation, and regulations are made so that all may enjoy this sport 
and that the game supply of the future may not be exhausted. Therefore 
I cannot see why the man who gets similar health and recreation from 
collecting should not, in all fairness, be allowed the same privilege, under 
proper regulations, of course, so that he will not exceed a reasonable quan- 
tity of birds. I am, therefore, forced to believe that permits should be 
issued to such people as have an interest in ornithology, even if they are 
not really advanced ornithologists, but they should first be vouched for 
by responsible and well-known scientists, and their activities should be 
regulated by restrictions based on the use they are likely to make of the 
specimens they collect. 

Regarding your suggestion of a sort of clearing house for specimens, I 
might state that it is customary with owners of collections and museums 
to loan any desired material to those engaged in advanced research work 
along any line. It seems to me that the young beginner, who perhaps 
may be in some locality far from any museum, has a need as real as any 
for the privilege of collecting. He is usually without ornithological friends 
to whom he can turn for information, and his problems are therefore 
very real, although his work is only in the nature of self-education. In 
this connection I vividly recall my own early experiences. 

William Brewster was absent on account of illness, and 
though unable to write at length, he said: — 

My personal feeling always has been that if permits are granted to any 
one they should not be denied to either amateur collectors or professional 
taxidermists of good repute. Those men serve the museums usefully and 
accumulate much valuable information that is permanently recorded in 
ornithological journals and books. 

The State Ornithologist expressed the belief that a man, to 
know birds, must collect them. He himself is handicapped in 
his work for lack of a collection. 

For handling the very young boy the suggestion was made, 
that he should be taken under the wing of an older ornitholo- 
gist, who would keep an eye on him and direct his efforts. This 
seems to be a very practical way to handle the situation, and 
met with approval. 

Commissioner Pratt of New York stated that his state has 
been conservative in the past, but believes Dr. Nelson is right 
in saying that the only way to get a new crop of ornithologists 



38 FISH AND GAME. [Nov. 

is by encouraging those young men who are taking it up 
seriously, but not the ordinary youngster who is taking it up 
for the sake of shooting; and the future policy in New York 
will be somewhat more liberal. 

It was the feeling of those present, as expressed to the Board, 
that more frequent meetings of this sort for exchange of ideas 
would have a wholesome effect, bring the State officials and the 
public together, and serve to break down many barriers of mis- 
understanding. 

The Commissioners were pleased to have heard the question 
discussed so thoroughly, pro and con, and feel disposed for the 
present to encourage the young men in the study of scientific 
ornithology and to help them in researches along biological 
lines. On the other hand, they will, as in the past, endeavor to 
make sure that this interest is of a genuine character, and that 
it is more than a passing fancy. In those instances where per- 
mits are given to young men, the Board will undoubtedly insist 
that they operate more or less under the oversight of well-known 
ornithologists, or under the direction of some one qualified to 
help them pursue their studies. 

As to advanced ornithologists, the Commission will co-operate 
in all efforts to advance the scientific study of birds. 

Commercial taxidermists of responsibility will on application 
be given permits to take such specimens as they may receive 
orders for from time to time, but under regulations which will 
inform the Board of specimens taken. 

In 1919, 48 permits to take birds and eggs were issued; 46 
reports received; 330 birds reported taken; 763 eggs taken; 7+ 
average number of birds taken per person, based on number of 
reports; 16+ average number of eggs taken per person, based on 
number of reports. 

Migratory Game Birds. 
Upland Plover. — On Marthas Vineyard and Nantucket the 
spring flight of upland plover was very small, and a very few 
bred. This condition has prevailed for a number of years, and 
each year the numbers decrease. The largest breeding colony 
in that vicinity is to be found on No Mans Land, though there 
are fewer nests than two years ago. Throughout the entire 



1919.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 39 

State they are scarce, and decreasing in the sections where years 
ago they were abundant. Here and there a few breed, but in 
no' great numbers. The fall flight was very light. They are 
hunted very little. 

Black-breasted Plover. • — On the Cape the spring flight started 
May 22 and lasted until June 18. At Chatham and all along 
the marshes on the lower part of the Cape it was the heaviest 
in six years. There was also a very good flight in Bristol 
County, but none were seen in the inland districts of Plymouth 
County. On Nantucket there was a fairly good flight about the 
same time as last year, but they did not stop as long as usual. 
On "Marthas Vineyard they are seen in smaller and smaller 
numbers as the years go on. In the northeastern section very 
few were noted. Some passed over Gloucester and vicinity, but 
did not stop. Very few were reported as traveling inland. 

The fall flight on Nantucket was fair, and they were far more 
plentiful on Marthas Vineyard this fall than last. On the Cape 
the flight was normal. They were hunted on the Cape about 
as usual, but not to any extent in the rest of the southeastern 
section. Very few were seen in the district lying between 
Boston and Cape Cod, but in northeastern Essex County they 
were observed in good numbers, showing possibly an increase 
over previous years. 

Golden Plover. — There was no fall flight of golden plover on 
Nantucket or on Cape Cod, but on the Vineyard they were 
present in greater numbers than last fall. A flock of 40 was re- 
ported from Edgartown Plains. 

Killdeer Plover. — We are of the opinion that more killdeer 
plover were seen in the State this fall than for a number of 
years. In all probability this was due to the excessive rains 
and the resulting attractive area for the birds, which usually 
does not exist in the fall. 

Piping Plover. ■ — Piping plover nested along the coast of 
Cape Cod and on the islands, and are reported as having been 
unusually numerous at Dartmouth the end of June, at which 
time the young were as large as their parents and flying strongly. 
It seems certain that here this plover had a very successful 
season. On Marthas Vineyard more pairs bred along the south 
shore of the island than the previous year; on Nantucket, 



40 FISH AND GAME. [Nov. 

about the same as last year. In other parts of the State a few 
nests were reported, and the numbers remained about the same. 
The smaller species of shore birds generally have shown some- 
what of an increase over the preceding year. 

Woodcock. — The spring flight of woodcock in the State 
appeared to be about normal. The reports indicate that the 
number of birds nesting in the State was slightly on the in- 
crease. 

The breeding season was favorable. While there are occa- 
sional severe storms at some period or other during the breeding 
season, the woodcock seems remarkably well equipped to suc- 
cessfully weather these periods. It is interesting to state that a 
brood of young woodcock was reported on June 9 in Mashpee, 
and one in Harwich. Xo breeding birds have been reported on 
the Cape for many years. 

The closing of the season on ruffed grouse had the effect of 
turning the attention of many of the gunners to woodcock, and 
in general they were more heavily hunted than usual. 

Sportsmen commonly argue that the native birds generally 
have left the covers by the 10th to the 15th of October, de- 
pending a great deal on* the weather conditions. It is also 
customary to speak of the weather as regulating, to a great ex- 
tent, the migrations of these birds. It seems that, in so far as 
this State is concerned, at any rate, there is a wide field for 
further observation to determine the extent to which the 
movements of the birds are controlled by weather conditions. 
There is no doubt that most of our native birds had left by the 
time of the opening of the season this fall, but on the other 
hand, conditions could not have been more favorable for keep- 
ing them here. The general opinion of observers seems to be 
that at least the usual number of birds was found this fall 
during the usual flight time. The flight was somewhat "spotty," 
in some localities being heavier than usual, and in other locali- 
ties lighter. Sportsmen are in the habit of hunting only those 
localities in which they have always found birds, and concluding 
that few have passed if the birds are not found in the old 
haunts. As a matter of fact, woodcock cover changes very 
greatly in a few years, and many sportsmen would be rewarded 
if, from time to time, they would seek new grounds. 



1919.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 41 

Wilson or Jacksnipe. — There was nothing unusual about the 
spring flight, the birds appearing in about usual numbers. 

The fall flight of snipe throughout the State was one of the 
most remarkable that has occurred in many years. It is im- 
possible to say whether this was due to a favorable breeding 
season or to unusually favorable conditions. The large amount 
of rain rendered attractive to the birds parts of the State which 
are seldom frequented. Not only were the birds found in un- 
usual numbers on some of their natural ranges, such as along 
the Concord, Charles, Sudbury and Neponset rivers, in the 
usual wet meadows in the middle and western part of the State, 
and in certain favorable areas along the Connecticut River, but 
they were found in such localities as damp places in cornfields 
where the corn was in the shock, and on extensive areas of the 
salt marshes which had been rendered more or less brackish by 
the heavy rainfalls. 

Dowitcher or Red-breasted Snipe. — A gradual increase in this 
species is reported by Mr. Charles R. Lamb (who holds an 
ornithological permit from us) as having taken place during the 
past five years. Whereas five years ago he saw but an occa- 
sional bird, on Aug. 19, 1918, he saw a flock of 12 at East 
Orleans, which were seen again on the 20th; 6 others on the 
19th; and at other times several more, single birds, and two's 
and three's. Though rather rare on Marthas Vineyard there 
were more this fall than last. 

Summer Yellow Legs. — In the spring of 1919 there was quite 
a large flight on Cape Cod. More than usual were seen in 
southern Plymouth County, and greatly increased numbers in 
western Norfolk County, where there were large flights over 
Norton Reservoir. There was a good flight over the north- 
eastern section. On Nantucket there were more summer than 
winter yellow legs, and quite a number — more than last year 
— stopped for a few days. On Marthas Vineyard this species 
has never made much of a showing in the past ten or more 
years, and usually but a few small flocks and single birds come. 
None at all were seen this year by the deputy. 

On the return migration large numbers of yellow legs were 
shot on their natural range during the early part of the open 
season, which began on August 16. An unusually large number 



42 FISH AND GAME. [Nov. 

of birds was taken on the marshes of Essex, Plymouth and 
Barnstable counties. The flight was not of long duration, but 
unusually heavy while it lasted. 

Winter Yellow Legs. — In the spring the district deputy on 
Nantucket saw but few, though they were heard passing over in 
the night. Most of them passed outside of the island, and as 
the weather was excellent but few stopped. On Marthas 
Vineyard the flight grows smaller and smaller each year; but 
few birds were heard of this year. The last flight over this 
island which amounted to anything was in 1902. On Cape Cod 
a few were seen this spring, — far fewer than for a long time. 
The birds which passed over the southeastern section of the 
State seemed to have stopped on their spring migration, for re- 
ports from our deputies indicate that they were present in in- 
creased numbers. Large flights were seen over Norton Reser- 
voir. On the west side of Buzzards Bay there was a large 
spring flight, which started exceptionally early and lasted un- 
usually long. One flock of approximately 150 birds was re- 
ported. There were good flights, and the birds were seen in 
increasing numbers around Kingston and Duxbury. They 
passed over the northeastern part of the State in large numbers, 
but did not stop. There was a large flight in northeastern 
Essex County between May 25 and June 10, and in south- 
eastern Essex County the flight was heavier than for many 
years. A large flight was noted at Hingham and Weymouth. 

On the return migration the birds came along at the usual 
periods, but the flight seemed to last a little longer into the fall 
than usual. Good flights were reported on most of the marsh 
areas along the shore. Fewer birds than usual stopped inland. 
It is interesting to note that on some of the areas around a few 
of our inland ponds it is usual to note a substantial flight of 
both summer and winter yellow legs. 

Sandpipers. — On Cape Cod a good many were seen, but 
they are not increasing as fast as they should under the protec- 
tion afforded by the Federal law. In the southeastern section 
there are larger and larger flocks every spring, and the birds 
are undoubtedly on the increase. On Nantucket the flight was 
small. On Marthas Vineyard, as time goes on, sandpipers show 
a very marked loss in numbers. Only a very few have been 



1919.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 43 

seen in the past three years in comparison with a few years 
ago, when one could see them by the hundreds along the shore 
beaches. This spring only spotted sandpipers were seen on the 
island. Over the State as a whole there is a pretty general 
increase in the abundance of the solitary and the spotted sand- 
pipers. More were seen in Berkshire County this spring than 
at any time in the past ten years. 

Willet. — According to the observations of Mr. Charles R. 
Lamb the willet, like the dowitcher, has gradually increased 
during the five years past. 

Curlew. — There were few seen this spring, — four or five at 
Nantucket; two sicklebill curlew at Kingston; and a few were 
seen in flight in May around Gloucester. 

An unusually large sicklebill was seen on Chappaquiddick on 
September 18. The bird skulked through the grass, rail-fashion, 
and was not found, after having been observed light