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Full text of "Special appended reports ... 1907-8 [microform]"

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(716) *a2 - 0300 - Phon« 

(716) 28a- 5989 - Fo« 



SPECIAL 



APPENDED REPORTS 



BY 



PROFESSOR E. E. PRINCE 

Dominion Comnilnnimn'r nf Fisherif.s, Oltnirn. 



1. EGGS AND EARLY LUE HISTORT OF THE COD. HADDOCK AND MACKEREL. 
8. MIGRATIONS OF SEA FISH. 



1907-8 



OTTAWA 

GOVERNMENT PRINTINU BUREAU 

1909 



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SPECIAL 



APPENDED REPOKTS 



PROFESSOR E. E. PRINCE 

Dominion Commissioner of Fisheries, Ottawa. 



X..PTT OFE HISTORY OF THE COD. HADDOCK AND MACKBBEL- 
1. BOOS AND EABLT LIFE HlSluni v^r 

, MIGRATIONS OF SEA FISH. 



1907-8 



OTTAWA 

GOVERNMENT PRINTING BUREAU 

1909 



CONTENTS. 

I.— Tub Eoob and Lire Hmtoit or thi Cod, IIaddock and Mackiieu 

Prevtiling ignorance respecting the life hittory of important commercial fiihea — Digest 
of reaearchet by Prof. Mcintosh and Dr. Maaterman— Prof. O. O. Saru' rcaearchea 
— The fisbea named produce amall floating eggr, minute young, which come inihore 
—Later atages prefer diverse habitats— Six stages in each specie*— Cods' eggs 
described— Number of egga produced— Spawning areas— Warmer waters preferred 
— Embryonic development — Larval and post-larval feature* — 40-day cod inshore — 
Small cod 2-6 inches long on rocky shores— Mature in third year— Haddock 
resembles cod in development— How they differ— Haddock 1-3 inches long in 
mid-water — Later reroaii in open sea — 'Mark' on shoulders at IJ-inch stagr— 
Near the bottom at 4 inches — Later habits of haddock— Mackerel produces floating 
eggs containing an oil-globule — Quantity of eggs smaller than in cod and haddock 
— Size reached by mackerel — Spawning in May and June — Sch<H}lp decimated by 
purse-seines — Later the spent fish recover and are fnt in the fall — Si«e ol the egg 
— Appearance of fr, -First drawing made in Ireland — Mr. Holt's detailed 
descriptians — Larval and post-larval stages — Schools inshore — Abundance of 
' tinkers ' in bays — Adult stages. 

n.— The MraRATiONS or Sea Fish. 

Practical importance of fish migrations in the sea — Experiments planned at Marine 
Biological Station, St. Andrews— Bird migrations are analogous— Different type* 
of migration — Transportation of floating eggs and fry in the sea— Later move- 
ments of young fish — Curious anomalies in marked fish — Individual wanderers — 
Johnstone's and Schmidt's experiments with plaice in Irish Sea and Iceland — 
Long distances exceptionally traversed — Inshore and off-shore migrations — Views 
of Professor Mcintosh— Young cod larv» carried to colder areas and remain there 
— Cod of li inches descend to bottom — Cod under 2 feet wander little — Mature 
cod really local in habitat — Spencer Baird's and Nielsen's views — Mackerel form 
local varieties — Natural restoration after depletion i* not rapid- Food attracts fish 
to localities — Physical conditions are influantial — The Gurnard (Trigla) an excep- 
tion — Anadromous fishes wander little from their rivers, shad, salmon — Migration 
of birds and fishes compared — Fishes influenced by currents — Dr. Bell Dawson on 
compensating circulation in Gulf of St. Lawrence — Seines take fish which refuse 
bait — Main fishery for cod, mackerel, &c., should be after spawning, when the fish 
have recovered — Fish hatcheries of small avail for sea fishes generally. 



10364-1 



I.— THE EOOS AND LIFE HISTORY OF THE COD, HADDOCK AND 

MACKEREL. 



BY raoriUOB BOWABO B. PBIMOB. OOMMUaiOXBa or rnilBBlBa, OTTAWA. 

Complaint hat been made that publtthed inveatigationa on fiah Ufa and fith habitt, 
for popular information have been too exclusively devotnl to frpch water fish and to 
ansdromous ipeciea. The salmon, trout, whitefiah, black bass and pike-perch or doi* 
have been fully treated in reports and papers for general readers. The cod, haddock 
and mackerel are three examplea of fishes that are of the highest commeroial import- 
anne and about them rea<lily acceasible publications are wanting. It mnst also b* 
added that scientific and technical knowledge concerning the life history of fishes 
inhabiting the deep sea is leaa full and complete than ia the case with river and lake 
fiahes and species like the salmon that spend only a portion of their time in freah 
water. A considerable mass of information exists respecting the cod, mackerel and 
haddock, but to lea-n about the spawning peculiarities, habits of th(> young, rate of 
growth, food at different stages and migrations, it is necessary to conault difllcult 
technical treatises and to read scientific jrurnals which arc not readily acceasible. Ona 
of the very few books for general readers published in London in 1807 is the beautifully 
illuatrated work on Britiah Marine Food-Fishes, by ProfeMor W. C. Mcintosh and 
Dr. A. T. Maaterman. 

Little waa generally known about 'he eggs and life history, the growth and migra- 
tiona of sea fishes used for food when I began their special study in 1885 at St 
Andrews, Scotland, under the gruidance of Professor Mcintosh, though it was already 
known, and bad been known to specialists for nearly twenty years that cod, haddock 
and mackerel were wholly unlike the sea herring, and fresh water fishes, both in regard 
to the nature of their spawn, the features of their breeding, growth and early migra- 
tiona. 

Profeaaor O. O. Sa'-a had begun investigations in the course of which be secured 
■mall floating eggs, like minute pellets of glaas, but so light and buoyant 'Hat they 
floated near the surface of the sea. The waters surrounding the Lofoten Islands, the 
famous fishing grounds of the Norwegian cod-fishermen, were filled with these small, 
almost invisible, floating eggs. Later Dr. Sars discovered other egg* much resembling 
cod's eggs, which proved to be the very similar eggs of the haddi'>ck, and loter he obtained 
the eggs of the mackerel, also floating, rather larger than cods' eggs, and exhibiting a 
new feature, viz.: a glistening oil-globule. Dr. A. W. Malm, of Goteburg, likewise 
found the oggs of the haddock and mackerel and described them, while Alexander 
Agassiz, and the early scientific staff of the TTnited States' Fish Commission 'Dr. 
J. A. Ryder, Dr. R. E. Earll aud other:'*) confirmed previous discoveries and extended 
them very considerably. So inadequately was the importance of Sars' amazing dis- 
coveries realized by biologists and by the general public that at the Great International 
Fisheries Exhibition in London, in 18S3, his drawings and descriptions of these floating 
fcoa-fish eggs ottracteo little attention on the whole. On my many visits to that famoua 
and in some respects unsurpassed flsheries exhibition, I never failed to re-examine 
Dr. Sara' drawings with the accompanying detailed descriptions placed alongside, 
and on no occasion did I observe brother scientists or interested spectators paying 
much attention to that unique exhibit. The specimens and drawings were not only 
unique, they were, from a fisheries point of view, epoch-making. In the official 
catalogue of the exhibition it is interesting to note that they were carefully described. 

& 

10364— li 



Owing to this epecial interest I quote from the catalogue the following notice: Pro- 
fewor O. O. Sars, development of cod {Oadua morrhua) eriilained by n aenea of fif^- 
aiz coloured drawings on seven plates, made by the exhibitor during his visits to the 
Lofoten Islands in the years 1866-69.' There were shown 66 accurately drawn figures, 
Nos. 1-24 showing the ovary, early ovum and first segmentation stages; Nos. 26-36, 
the formation of the young fish in the egg, and the features of the hatched larva and 
young cod up to one inch in length; Nos. 37-6!?, later stages of young post-larval cod, 
and Nos. 53 to 66, later codling up to adult cod, 20 and 33 inches in length. 

The collection was not an imposing display and was overshadowed by the larger 
and more striking objecU displayed in the various sections and galleries, and sent 
from all quarters of the globe. At the conferences, which were held frequently during 
the eight or nine months of the exhibition's existence, and which I attended diligently, 
in order to listen to the great masters in the science of fish and fisheries, very scant 
reference was made, so far as I can recall, to the astonishing and revolutionizing 
character of Dr. Sars' specimens, and their importance as practically bearing upon 
the preservation and welfare of the fishing industries in the sea. 

At the commencement of my researches I found that the field was regarded as 
virgin and practically untouched, so little was generally known about the eggs and the 
broeding peculiarities of the marine food fishes, which form the staple commodities 
in the great fish markets of the world. When Professor Mcintosh and myself read 
at the British Association and at the Royal Society of Edinburgh the results of our 
investigations, they were regarded by the biologists as very novel and of altogether 
peculiar interest and importance. Full and adequate studies, in continuation of the 
pioneer work of Dr. G. O. Sars and Dr. A. W. Malm, had not been made of the lilfe 
histories of the marketable food fishes in the sea. Indeed, until I studied mackerel 
eggs in the spring of 1893 on the s.s. Fingal, and made drawings of the young fry 
immediately after hatching, no one had seen or sketched the mackerel in its first 
stages, and those published subsequently by a very able English authority showed 
colouration and other features not observed by me in the Irish mackerel eggs obtained 
during the oflBcial fishery cruise under H. M. Inspector W. Spotswood Green, in the 
year named. 

The researches above referred to, with later investigations by other workers have 
shown that: 

(1) Cod, haddock and mackerel produce spherical eggs which are typically pelagic, 
i.e., small in size, extremely delicate in structure and appearance, of glassy transparency 
and so buoyant as to float freely near the „urface of the sea. 

(2) The young larvaj emerging from these eggs are as minute as mosquitos or 
midges, very buoyant and transparent, frequenting the superficial strnta of the open 
sea, and carried helplessly about by the tides and currents, during the earliest part 
of their life. 

(3) The young fishes, as soon as thoy cease to feed on their stock of food yolk, and 
actively capture food, migrate in schools incalculably vast, from the open waters, where 
they are first congregated and find safer areas inshore, often quite close to the shallow 
beach or the tidal rock-pools. 

(4) The later post-larval and adolescent stages are marked in each species by 
features in their migrations and habits which are not uniform but diverse, and 
distinctive of the several species. 

In the following summarized account I shall describe in each of the four named 
species : 

(1) The mature ovum and its deposition. 

(2) The hatching of the ovum and larval migrations. 

(3) The features characteristic of the early larval stages. 

(4) The post-larval or pre-adolescent stages, often embracing curious develop- 
mental transformations. 

(5) The maturer stages, not yet adult, and migrations. 
(8) The adult condition and habitat? in the sea. 



The egg of the cod is a spherical buoyant pellet 1-38 to 1-39 mm., or a little a /er 
three-fifths of an inch in diameter, nnd of such colourless transparency as to be 
practically invisible in the water. On the Banks of Newfoundland and off the Can- 
adian Labrador, as also off the Lofoten Islands and the southwest shores of Iceland, 
these doatinfr eggs may occur in quantities beyond the grasp of the human mind. 
Their incalculably vast myriads dancing like microscopic soap-bubbles in the sen may 
indeed impart a dull milky aspect to the surface waters as though a filmy stratum of 
mucilage floated along the surface of the sea, as described by Norwegian fishermen 
over forty years ago. 

Each female cod produces an enormous number of eggs. Indeed, M. Petit weighed 
the ovary of a specimen and calculated that at least nine millions of eggs wore con- 
tained in a single large fish. The female cod is, contrary to the rule in most fishns, 
smaller than the male when full grown. The fish congregate near the surface of the 
sea at the spawning time, which is during the months of midwinter. October to 
December, or even so late as February and May. Off the coast of Labrador nnd around 
the Magdalen Islands the spawning schools crowd so .'■ ickly that a vessel mny be 
impeded in her progress, striving to pass through them. No well defined areas in the 
sea can be distinguished as cod spawning groimds; but the regions in Canada and 
Northern Europe vary from two to two hundred milrs frnm the shore. Much df^pends 
on the nature of the coast and the character of the currents and tides ; but it has bren 
determined that the parent cod have a preference for wnrmer rather than colder areas, 
though the young fry are found to flourish, some months after hatching, in water of 
extreme frigidity as off the north coast of Iceland. The eggs scatter widely and in 
areas of low specific gravity they may descend to a depth of many fathoms, though 
the roost favourable areas are those in which they float within one or two fathoms of 
the surface, and in extreme calms may form a smooth film quite at the surface. All 
the eggs are not deposited at once, but those which lose the creamy white opacity of the 
maturing ef^s and acquire a clear glassy transparency like translucent gum, glide to 
the posterior end of the ovary and are shed. While the ripe female cod scatter their 
eggs near the surface, the male fish congregate below, and the streams of minute 
sperms which they eject like jets of creom. ascend and fertilize the eggs. Few eggs 
probably escape fertilization, as the tests in the Jfarine Laboratory, now the Oatty 
Marine Station, at St. Andrews, Scotland, proved. Dr. Schmidt, in a recent report m 
the cod in Iceland states that ' when maturity approaches, and the fish is preparing for 
reproduction, it becomes much more sensitive to external conditions. This results in 
the undertaking of the second great migration of its life, which having regard to the 
object may be called the spawning migration, and which ends in the warm water on 
the south and west coasts. The proportion of the sexes on the spawning grounds has 
not been determined, as has been done in the case of the salmon and certain other 
fishes; but Sars noticed in Norwegian waters more female fish near the surface than 
male fish. 

The eggs are helplessly wafted about in the water, and in a period varying from 
one week to four weeks, according to the temperature, the young fish, less than one- 
sixth of an inch long (4 mm. or -lO in.) emerge into the open sea, floating back down- 
wards and exhibiting four black transverse bands along the slender worm-like body. 
Within two or three days the young fish have vigour enough to swim in the right 
position, progressing by sharp wriggling motions. A swollen ball of yolk protrudes 
from the under side and upon that fluid yolk the fry feeds. By the end of the first 
week the yolk-sac has nearly disappeared and the fish is slightly longer and appears 
deeper in the body owing to a long fin along the back having grown in height. About 
this time (being now over 5 mm. in length, or '195 in.) the eyes appear bright and 
silvery, a black patch appears at each side of the body and the two first cross bands 
of dark colour break up, but the second and third bands still remain, and the little 
fish descends to some depth to what is known as the mid-water habitat. Minute crab- 
life copepods now form the main food of the larval cod and these, when undergoing 



digestion, turn pinkish or red. Hence this red food visihle through the transparent 
walls of the young fish impart to it a reddish hue. Later, when 6-6 nun. long 
(•226 in.) the last two bars have disintegrated, black spote appear on the head and 
along the middle of the under surface, while a greenish yellow tint faintly appean 
oyer the little fish. All this time the breast fins have been actively used like delicate 
fans, but the second pair or ventral fins now bud out, yellowish tints appear, and a 
length of -332 in. or 8-26 mm. is attained at this time, viz., the third week. A little 
later, when the cod is -375 in. or 9-42 mm., hard rays appear and strengthen the back 
fin, the anal fin and the tail fin, and the shape of the head is no longer blunt and 
rounded, but more pointed and cod-like. The mouth opens to the front instead of 
upwards, as in the earlier stages, and a little barbule or feeler appears at the tip of 
the chin. Myriads of these baby cod now move shorewards, and a month or five weeks 
later, in May, June and July, when the fish are over 40 days old (-586 in. or 14-8 mm. 
long) they crowd the inshore waters. They rapidly reach a length of an inch, and in 
company with green cod, pollock, &c., form schools in the rock pools and in shallow 
inlets. The cod is distinguishable by the more marked reddish hue of the top of the 
head, by the pearly lustre of the sides variegated with eight or nine irregular dark 
blotches along the sides and back, while the belly is silvery. Black spots appear on the 
two back fins and on the first anal fin below, but none on the tail fin, though a U-shaped 
band occurs marking the root of the tail. 

Dr. Schmidt found that small cod in the North Sea, off the Scottish coast, were 
much paler in colour than the larval cod of more northern waters. Sars was the first 
to describe the cod at 2 inches (50-8 mm.) in early August amongst alpe along rocky 
shores, and states that by October they are 4 or 5 in. long, and a month later as much 
as 6 to 10 inches long. Their colour varied, being reddish yellow on rocky shores and 
greener or grey on sandy spots. When a year old, say in February or March, the young 
codling may be a foot in length (304 8 mm.) and in the coiirse of the season they 
forsake the shore and migrate seaward. In their third or fourth year the cod is mature 
and they are then two feet or more in length and develop spawn. 

HADDOCK. 

In many respects the haddock resembles its congener the cod, yet, a careful study 
of their eggs, life history, habits and external features shows innumerable differences 
and even contrasts. Their localities for spawning are much the same as those of the 
cod, being out in the open sea from five tc twenty, or even sixty, miles from land. The 
female haddock is universally smaller than the male, and the size of the egg is really 
the largest of the early pelagic or floating eggs. It is not readily distinguished from the 
spherical, transparent, buoyant eggs of the cod, biit is larger, viz., 058 in. in diameter, 
or 1 -458 mm., and the number produced is far less than in the case of the cod viz : a 
quarter of a million to two million eggs. Haddock scatter their ova in the sea from 
January to the end of May, and the time of hatching varies from one to three weeks. 
The newly hatched fry are smaller than Ihosc of the cod, viz., 14 in., or 3-5 to 4 mm., 
and they swim helplessly, ventral side upwards, being incommoded by the yolk sac or 
ball of fluid food which nourishes them for several days. There is no trace of the 
cross-bars so prominent in the cod, but irregular black spots occur about the shoulder, 
and a row on each side from the abdominal area to the tail and along the ventral line 
of the muscular body. After floating about for a week near the surface of the sea 
they appear to make for deeper water near the bottom and red-blood has been observed 
at that age. It is interesting to note that in these minute floating larval fish there is 
no red blood for some time, a delicate colourless fluid being driven by the heart over 
the transparent body. The jaw is turned sharply upward until the eleventh or twelfth 
day, when the movable lower jaw opens direct to the front. The lateral abdominal 
patch of colour is even more marked and dense and along the lower border of the fleshy 
tail a TOW of black stars is a marked feature. In May the young haddock from 1 inch 



•9^2172? 



to 8 inches in length abound in mid-water, neither at the bottcmi nor near the eurfaoe 
of the Bea. They remain 20 to 40 milsa out at sea, and do not migrate close inshore 
like the cod and the pollock and green cod. Sara described the haddock as stouter and 
more compact in form than the cod of the same age. The ventral pair of fins are first 
noticed in the fish at an inch in length, when the sides of the body are sparsely spotted 
with black dots, the head and shoulders included, and the specks of black colour extend 
over the fins; but the under surface of the fish is pale and silvery. When about one- 
fifth longer, i.e., m inch long (20 mm.) the larval haddock still keeps to deep water, 
and the two ventral fins appear exceptionally long, while the unpaired dorsal and anal 
fins are largely developed, but there is still no regular cross-bar or checker pattern 
similar to that of the cod. On reaching a length of H inches (39 mm.) minute scales 
appear, and the characteristic ' thumb ' mark or black patch behind the shoulder is 
quite distinctly visible. The barbule on the tip of the chin appears, but is shorter 
than in the case of the cod, and the mouth is smaller in proportion to the size of the 
fish. There is no dappled appearance ns in the cod, and no duaky or speckled colora- 
tion as in the green cod or pollock. When an inch longer (2| inch, i.e., 60-46 mm.) 
the haddock ' mark ' is darker and more definite, the pectoral fins are yellowish brown 
and speckled, uniform specks of black extend all over the head and body, the eyes 
are of a metallic silvery colour and tho lower jaw and the mental barbel are smaller 
than in the cod. In contrast to the cod, no haddock appear to frequent the shore up 
to this age. Specimens 80 mm., i.e.. 3i inches long, exhibit a warm copi>ery sheen 
such as is so frequently observed in the large full grown haddocK. Professor Mcintosh 
in his account of the haddock, states that the bottom trawl at the end of July has 
secured haddock of 4 inches (101-1 mm.), and they are taken also on baited hooks, but 
before that stage none have been secured otherwise than in the mid-water net or in 
the stomachs of predaceous fishes. At that size they are no doubt about five months 
old. Later specimens six or seven months old, 6 inches long, have been secured, and 
in November and December they measure over 7 inches in length, while the following 
May and June they reach a length of at least nine inches and cannot be less than 
thirteen to nineteen months old. Thus the haddock shows rapid growth during its 
first summer, no less than an inch per month ; but in winter its growth is slower. In 
the third year the haddock reaches the mature stage and is developing spawn. After 
spawning they are often found inshore feeding voraciously on eggs of other fishes 
attached to rocks, &c., and they are much more gregarious in their habits than cod, 
but are not abundant so far north as the related species named. 

MACKKBEL. 



Widely differing from the cod and haddock in all the features which are regarded 
as important in the eyes of the naturalist, the mackerel ranks with the two valuable 
food-fish named on accoimt of its importance economically, and on account of its pro- 
duction of minute delicate floating eggs. The salmons' eggs arc large and heavy, and 
the eggs of the herring are dense and cling together like hard glassy i>ellets; but 
the eggs of the mackerel are extremely transparent and delicate and float buoyantly 
near the sea's surface. Professor G. O. Sars and Dr. A. W. Malm first described the 
egg, and it was my good fortune, as already stated, to be the first naturalist to hntch 
out and make scientific drawings of the young larval mackerel, when with Mr. Spots- 
wood Green, investigating the west Irish fishing grounds on the ss. Fingal. The 
female mackerel produces on an average probably a quarter of a million eggs. As 
Drs. Jordan and Evermann say : ' The mackerel egg is exceedingly small, it being 
only Vu of an inch in diameter. The eggs average about 40,000 to the fish, but 200,000 
have been taken from one fish. The largest mackerel would doubtless produce 1,000,000 
eggs each.' Yarrel regards fish 14 to 16 inches long as large average specimens, such 
weighing about 2 pounds; but he states that in 1849 a specimen 18 inches long and 
weighing 2} pounds was caught on the English coast, and in November, 1866, one was 



10 



■old in London weighing 2 pounds 10 ounces; but in Canadian water* much larger 
mackerel are frequent, and I myaelf aaw a Nova Scotia mackerel taken in May, 1898, 
which was 22) inches long and weighed no lesa than 4i pounds. In May and June 
the spawning schools move landward to spawn. They approach the Nova Sootian 
coast and move into the Gulf of St Lawrence from a southeasterly direction. Up to 
the middle of July they will not, as a rule take bait, and as Professor Hind pointed 
out they lose all desire for bait when engaged in spawning. The deadly purse-seine 
introduced into the Gulf of St. Lawrence by the American schooners captures these 
spawning schools in immense quantities. Almost without exception these fish coming 
into Pleasant Bay early in July and going up the north shore (Quebec) as far as 
Pointe do Monti! about the end of July, are spawning or partly spawned. June and 
July cover the period, though mackerel remain and feed in the Gulf and along the 
Canadian shores until the end of October. The spawning and spawned fish are very 
inferior, but the fall mackerel, having recovered and fed up, are firm and fat and 
incomparably superior in every respect. 

The eggs produced by the mackerel are small translucent spheres over %Bth of an 
inch in diameter (-038 in. or 1-22 mm.), and exhibit in the midst of the clear contents 
a cloudy, almost colourless globule ^oth of an inch in diameter (-32 or -33 mm.). No 
globule appears in the eggs of the cod or haddock, bat the ling, the gurnard and other 
fishes exhibit in the egg a so-called oil globule. In about six days the young fish 
hatches out and at first, a few sparse specks of yellowish colour are seen near the eyes. 
The yellow specks later appear mingled with black dots on the globule and over the 
head and body, and form an irregular lino along the back. These spot?, says the well 
known Irish fif hery authority, Mr. E. W. L. Holt, are blue black, not dead black. The 
younir mackerel which I had under observation for over a week until accidentally 
killc' Sy a cloud of hot soot showered upon them from the smoke stack of the steamer, 
sho .< •) } other colours excepting yellow and black, but it has been stated that bright 
grecii • ...inent occurs on the fifth day on the tail, and behind the eyes and on the 
globule. On the ninth day after hatching a length of -19 in. or 4-88 mm. is reached 
and the ball of food yolk is used up. The eyes have a bright blue metallic appearance, 
and on the sides, the upper abdominal pigment is very marked, but there are few spots 
on other parts, and no cross bands or serial patches. By the tenth or eleventh day the 
larval appearance is gone and the post-larval stage is fully attained. Mr. Holt com- 
pares the mackerel larva at this stage to the grotesque post-larval Cottus or sea- 
skulpin. At this time the schools of young come inshore and vast numbers may be 
seen in Northumberland Straits, off Prince Edward Island, and in the Bay of Chaleur 
off the Bonaventure coast in August and September. Dunn, the well known English 
observer, speaks of young mackerel 3 inches long in bays and shallow inlets. In 
November, when 6 or 7 inches long, they move into deeper water, and are not observed 
until they reappear as ' tinker ' mackerel, 8 or 9 inches long, abounding in harbours 
and bays. Sars held the opinion that a one-year old mackerel was as long as the finger, 
that at the end of the second year it wis the size of a herring, and that in the third 
jear it is full grown, though mai authorities give the mackerel another year and 
declare a mature spawning mac! be in its fourth year. For the first two years 

the young mackerel frequent opei. -ter near shore, and as Proffssor Mcintosh, of 
St. Andrews, Scotland, says, the lengths 4 inches, 8 inches and 11 inches probably 
correspond with successive years in the life of the mackerel. 

While the mackerel schools along the various portions of the lengthy Atlantic 
coast of Canada have not been separated into local races or such differences noted as 
in European seas, yet there is no doubt that each area on the coast has its own stock 
and that the mackerel does not migrate over long distances, but largely confines its 
movements to coming into shallow waters from deeper water and vice vena. 



n 






n.— THE MIGRATIONS OF SEA FISH. WITH SOME RESULTS OF MARK- 
ING FISH. 

BY PBOFESSOB EDWARD E. PRINCE, DOMINION COMMISSIONER OF FlSIIEttlES, OTTAWA. 

The migrations of sea fish' are of importance in connection with the commercial 
utilization of marine fishery resources. Their determination is beset by peculiar 
difiiculties, and the systematic marking of considerablo numbe.-s of the most valued 
food fishes on the plan adopted by the Marine Biological Board of Canada, to be carried 
out in successive seasons on the Atlantic coast of the Dominion with the Marine 
Laboratory at St. Andrews, N.B., as the principal station, is the first step towards 
deciding the seasonal movements of the schools of fish upon which Canadian fishermen 
depend for their catches. Just as the study of bird migrations occupied ornithologists 
for over a hundred years, and the accumulation of observations and the tabulation of 
ascertained facts has resulted in some approach to a satisfactory understanding of the 
remarkable movements of the feathered tribes over the surface of the earth, though 
much remains still to be discovered, so the thorough understanding of the wander- 
ings of the finny tribes taking place in an element which hides them more securely 
from continuous observation than the heights of the atmosphere hide the feathered 
tribes, is a subject that only the patient collection of facta, and their ascertainment 
both by ordinary practical as well as by scientific experimental methods can enable 
us to arrive at complete and adequate results. The movements of fishes in the sea 
vary according to the period of life of each species. Nay, even the epps, before giving 
birth to the young fish, are the subject of migratory movements and add to the com- 
plexity of the subject in many species. Shore fish, which produce floating eggs, like 
the cod, haddock, mackerel and many flat fishes, are distributed over wide areas before 
they hatch out. The young fish, after hatching, are under the influence of tides and 
currents which effect migratory movements and transport thorn over great extents of 
sea. Later, the effects of temperature, salinity, movements of the air (winds) and of 
the water, are felt by the schools of small post-larval fishes, and later still the occurrence 
of food is a most potent factor in leading fish to take long journeys, while at maturity, 
besides the quest for food, the spawning instinct is powerful in causing them to move 
from one area to another. 

The methods of marking fish are important, but owing to the variety of devices 
adopted by different observers in Europe and on this continent I shall deal with the 
subject of modes of marking fish in a special paper in the journal of the Biological 
Stations of Canada, Part III. of which appears at an early date. The mode of marking 
is one of more serious moment in the work of deciding the migrations of fishes than 
may, at first sight, appear. Observers have found, for example, that while a large 
number of fish have been found to move over a limited area in some definite directior 
single individuals or three or four individuals have taken to roaming, and in a sho' 
time have migrated to very long distances in the most diverses directions.* Thus in Mi 
James Johnstone's experiments in the Irish sea, with the valuable flat fish the plaice 
(,Plalessa), out of 35 fishes marked and liberated on the Lancashire coast, about 40 
miles northwest of Liverpool, one wandered past the Isle of Man round the Mull of 
Galloway to Corsewall Point, near the southwest comer of Ayrshire, a distance of 110 
miles, while another was recaptured near Dundalk, in Ireland, having traversed a 



•The irritation caused by the tag may in some cases keep the fish continually on the 
move, just 89 the minrabing herds of Barren Ground caribou, annoyed by the constant at- 
taciw of large deer flies in suuiiiier, never c^ase tu move uuward over long Jistaucar. 



distance of more than 120 miles, the former occupying over 14 months in the journey, 
while the latter took between nine and ten months to cross the Irish sea, whereas most 
of tliem were recaptured within a few months at distances of eight to twenty or thirty 
miles from the spot where they were marked and placed in the sea. Similar peculiar 
wanderings have been noticed in the United States' experiments with lobsters, rare 
examples wandering upwards of a hunudred miles from thee locality of liberation.f Dr. 
Johs. Schmidt, in his experiments with Icelandic plaice, foimd that moet of them in 
10 or 11 months (July, 1905, to May and June, 1906), moved 200 miles; one plaice 
reached a point about 280 miles, one about 250 miles and two about 220 miles from 
Vopnafjordhr, where they had been placed in the water, the one travelling the longest 
distance (from July to January following) in six months time. There is, however, an 
inshore and offshore movement, apart from definite lengthy linear migrations, mainly 
connected with spawning. Thus small flat fishes which very early in the yeav frequent 
the shallow inshore grounds move with the approach of summer and, as they grow 
larger, move into deeper water. Most fish in their early life after their larval life is 
over ii»id they have assumed the form of the adult, though their dimensions are small, 
exhibit this habit of leaving the shallows. This movement is no doubt connected with 
a change in feeding habits as well as with a view to greater security and protection 
from enemies. In all experiments with marked fish there is a preponderance observed 
in the fish taking some definite direction. Johnstone's experiments showed, in the 
North Woles plaice, a movement westward along the northeast shore of Anglesey, a 
migration similar to that observed at two stations further north, viz. : off the Kibble 
Estuary and off Lancaster Bay, where the migration west and southwest was marked. 
Professor Mcintosh was the first observer to indicate the main facts, viz. : the migration 
of the floating eggs innards, the hatching of the young and their distribution over the 
inshore shallows, after drifting it may be for over a month in the same direction as 
the eggs, and then after reaching maturity, moving into deeper water. In the deeper 
waters the plaice move as in the Irish sea, or off the Scottish shores, westerly; but 
must, of course, vory on other shores with the geographical contour of the different 
localities. Indeed, as Schmidt shows, adult plaice liberated on the north coast of 
Iceland moved westward more than a hundred miles, while other batches of adult 
plaice, deposited on the east coast of Iceland, all migrated southwards. Tho authority 
named decided that the reason of this definite migration was to reach areas of warmer 
water ' with the exception of the few retaken close to where they were liberated, none 
of the plaice were retaken on the east coast. It is only right down in the south .... 
that the most were retaken.' Moreover the plaice from the north moved much slower 
than those from the eastern station, due, it may be, to the rougher and more irregular 
nature of the shore and the bottom. A similar west and south movement of the cod 
was also observed by the Danish authority referred to. By this movement of the adult 
cod warmer areas are reached suitable for the hatching of the floating eggs. But after 
hatching the small cod, not more than Wh or %th of an inch in length, are borne by 
currents north and east so that these cold northern areas are crowded with cod fry 
and pass their first winter in those trigid surroundings. Schmidt found as early as 
April (in 1904) vast swarms of young cod ' whilst the south and southwest coasts of 
Iceland are washed throughout the whole year by warm Atlantic water, this is not the 
case on the caai; and north coasts, where the influence of the polar water is felt.' Few 
cod fry are found in the warmer south and southwest waters where the spawning 
takes place, but they abound in the cold northern areas where the temperature rarely 
rises for most of the year above freezing point There they remain until a year old or 
even two years old. Young cod when 1} or li inches long are no longer found 
swinmiing at the surface, but seek the bottom, and when from IJ inches to 2 inches 
in length crowd inshore and abound in rock pools, and when 8 or 9 months old (6 to 10 
inches lonp move out agoin to greater depths.- When about a year old they are a foot 
long, and di not migrate until they are mature and ready to breed, usually when nearly 

tSee my spnoinl B»pcrt, 1967, p. Izi. 



tt 



2 feet in length. Up to that time they are stationary and only migrata to warmer areai 
in the early part of the year, January to April, for spawning purposes. 

The recent experiments of the Marine Biological Association, England, shows that 
in the cod marked on the steamer Huxley most of them appeared not to have wandered 
far, these being below 2 feet in length. As the brief note in the recent journal of the 
association states : — 

' The report is based on tlio 252 cod marked on the Iluxley and the 42 recaptures 
recorded up to the date of writing. Mfjst of the recaptures, constituting 13 per cent 
of the healthy fish liberated, took place within six months of liberation. 

'The fish below 60 om. (24 in.) in length remained in water of depth similar to 
that in which they were first caught, and had not travelled far. Most of those which 
Lad moved some distance from the liberation point were recaptured south or west of it.' 

Now in the Atlantic waters of Canada the cod taken in June and July and on to 
September or later are the cod which have spawned in deep water and resort to 
shallow inshore waters for food or find it on the rough and rich ground known as the 
banks. The fishermen speak of the cotl moving north after the capelin and the 
swarming of immense schools of large cod on the Labrador shores is due to the presence 
of the smelt-like capelin upon which they feed and grow fat. These coast migrations 
during the summer months are limited and, we may almost say, with the late Professor 
Hind, that the 'schools of cod frequenting a particular coast may be said to be 
indigenous to it.' The late Professor Spencer Baird came to the same conclusion: 
' The cod ' he says (U. S. Comm. Rep., 1889) ' is a local fish, nnd the different schools 
have their different habitats.' Nielsen, in his report (Rep. Newfoundland Fish Comm., 
1889), expresses the opinion that the cod is a local fish as well as the salmon, and 
indicates with some detail that each group has its local resort and the local varieties can 
be readily distinguished, a George's Bank fish being known from any other kind of cod 
on the other ' banks.' So can a Cape St. Mary's fish be distinguished from any other 
kind of cod in Newfoundland, and a Trinity Bay fish from a Placentia fish.' The ^iew 
has even been expressed that in the sea, as in salmon and shad rivers, each area or 
locality has its own local variety of the same ppecies, and Professor Baird went so far 
as to assert that deep sea fisheries depleted in any particular locality will rot be 
restored. ' No fish ' he ventured to declare ' will come from surrounding localities to 
take the vacant place. Fish bear a particular relation to particular spots and fishing 
out one locality is thus like emptying a keg of lard, the space left does not become 
again occupied.' Valid objection may be justifiably raised to a view so extreme as 
that, but it is nevertheless tnie that in different localities the same species of fish may 
exhibit distinctive features, and demonstrate the existence of local races. Even so 
migratory a fish as the mackerel, if we accept Professor Garstang's views, shows marked 
local variations, so that different areas may be said to be peopled by different local 
races. 

The floating eggs of most sea fishes of value for food purposes may be earned over 
great distances as already pointed out, end the young larval and post-larval stages 
are similarly transported from one area to another so that local varieties must cross 
each others' borndaries and interdignte or intermingle, nevertheless the fact is that in 
some localities valuable fish have been so persistently destroyed that their almost total 
depletion has been accomplished and their former abundance, even after many years, 
has never been restored. The cod fisheries on many parts of the Atlantic coast of 
Canada have been destroyed, an<? the mackerel, once abounding all along the eastern 
shores of the Dominion, have become largely a thing of the past, while the once 
maivellous shad fisheries of the Bay of Fundy are not one-thousandth the value and 
extent they were 30 or 40 years ago. The disappearance of fish may be the result of 
many and various causes, but the restoration by incoming schools from other non- 
depleted areas is either very slow, or does not take pl-ce to any appreciable degree. 
Fish may migrate from an accustomed locality to another new locality, attracted there 
by more abundant food, and the disappearance of fish and decay of important fisheries 



may often be traced to that caiwe. It has even been claimed that the decline 18 or 20 
year* ago of the Gulf of St Lrwrence mackerel fisheriea ia due not merely to the whole- 
sale destruction of the schools of fish just before spawning, but to the increasing 
scarcity of the food which brought them into the inshore waters. Lobsters were form- 
erly incredibly abundant and each summer the inshore waters were alive with incredibly 
vast numbers of the surface swimming fry of the valuable crustacean. Those crowded 
young lobster fry were the chief food of Ihe mackerel, and with the destruction of the 
lobsters and consequent scarcity of the free swimming young, the mackerel found their 
food gone and they sought food elsewhere. This may be true in a certain degree, and 
the svdden and unexpected appearance of large schools of mackerel last season supports 
it. The balance of nature once seriously disturbed has wide and lasting effects. But 
the physical conditions in the sea may change, currents and particular peasonal streams 
may so vary as to affect the salinity and temperature of the water. Tcmpcrnture is a 
potent factor in determining the movements of fish.* Thus, as Dr. Wemvss Fulton, ten 
or eleven years ago announced, the gurnanl (Trigia), an esteemed food fish in Britain, 
moves inshore from deeper water about the end of March and in April and especially 
in. Jfay. Most of them are breeding fi-oh and they spawn from April until July or 
August, thus seeking the warmer inshore waters at the spawning time. Temperature 
brings in these adult fish, but large numbers of small immature gurnards also move 
inshore from May onwards. With them it cannot bo the spawning instinct, but must 
be due to the increasing temperature and possibly also to a greater nlenitudo of food. 
The gurnard thus presents a feature quite the reverse of that of the cod. in the young 
stage!", for the small gurnards appear to be moat sensitive to a higher temperature and 
forsnke the deeper, colder water; whereas the cod, in its young stages, spends its first 
year at least in the most frigid surroundings in the waters of northern Iceland. While 
cod, linddoek, plaice, Ac, seek the deeper waters and spawn offshore, the gurnard moves 
closer into shiillower water to commence spawning in April and Mav. But nnndromous 
fishes, winch annually ascend rivers, like the smelt, stri|)ed bass, shnd. alewife or 
gnpperemi mid snlmnn. nro not content to move into shallow inshore areas of the sea 
they pass up into the brackish waters of rivers, like the smelt, or useend. like the 
striped l).ias, (o tidal limits, or move further up entirely above the influence of the 
tide, like the shnd and gaspereau, or like the salmon migrate hundreds or even thousands 
of miles to the head-waters of the noblest and longest continental rivers. ' L.-nving 
their home m the far deep, the shad, in beginning their annual piljrrimape.' savs a 
popular writer on the migration of the shad, ' rise to the surface, and then direct their 
course landward, the earliest emigrants l)eing those in which the propagntive function 
19 n-ost advanced. Pursuing their way over the comparative shallowa tlmt widely 
fringe our continent, and joined by oth^r communities bent upon the same devoted 
errand, they giither in our estuaries and cbout the mouths of our rivers, and there they 
linger until the effluent waters are warmer than those of the sea.' The opinion prevails 
that the schools of shad resorting to a certain river are the fish originallv hatche<l in 
that river, and attracted by some peculiarity in the water flowing out of the mouth of 
their native slrenm, and influenced by the degree of temperature favourable for their 
entrance into fresh water, return once more to the upper waters. Thus in the Bay of 
Fundy the spawning fish in the St. John river are not the schools native to the 
Annapolis or the Avon of Minas Basin, nor are any of these fish which were hatched 
from eggs deposited by parent fish in the Stewiacke, Shubenacadie or the Petitcodiac 
nvers. WTien shad were taken from the Atlantic to the Pacific bv the United States 
Fisheries Bureau, certainty was felt that the shad planted in the Sacramento would 
return to that river only. As the writer already quoted says:— 




were 
«>mp 
sever 

a failure. 



u 



' Until the Pacific coast plantings it was assumed that the shad inrnriably returned 
to the stream that gave them birth, and this, as a rule, is perhaps correct. The con- 
diti.ms of the California coast evidently operate, however, to the diffusion of the fish, 
they having in many instances established themselves in rivers far from the Sacra- 
mento. This movement may be due to the balmy Japanese current, the Gulf Stream 
of the Pacific, which laves its northeastern shore and agreeably tempers its climate. 
Influenced by its genial flow and pursuing its track, the shad have wandered northward. 
and, if they maintain their advance, as they probably will, their ultimate establishment 
in the river system of Asia may be regarded as assured. Owing to various favourable 
conditions, the shad not only multiplies rapidly in its new abode, but in some localities 
has modified its habits, being found in varying abundance throughout the year. More- 
over, it attains an exceptional size; seven and eight pound fish are common in Cali- 
fornia, but are almost unknown with us, and there have been exposed for sale in the 
Ban Francisco market shad of a weight as high as twelve and thirteen pounds. This 
superiority in size is not unlikely due mainly to a less actively prosecuted fishery, for 
shad of equal weight were known to our fathers. The heaviest fish are probably the 
growth of a number of years, and an exhaustive fishery that each season leaves but few 
survivors necessarily tends to eliminate the larger individuals.' 

It is reported that some of the shad resulting from the stock originally p'.aced in 
the Sacramento have been captured in Alaska, and certainly in the Frawr river. Rivers 
inlet and even the Skeena river, in British Columbia quite a number of shad have 
been taken by the salmon fishermen, several hundreds in all. How does this affect 
the prevalent theory that such fish are true to their own native river? There is 
abundant evidence that salmon return to their own rivers. This is seen in the 
differences almost sufficient to justify the establishment of sub-species, difference not 
only of external form, and of internal characteristics of the flesh (texture, colour. &c.), 
but of anatomical and skeletal features. A Godbout salmon of the north shore ia 
distinguishable at once from the typical Restigouche salmon, while neither resemble 
in size and conformation the salmon of the Miramichi. The Peticocliac salmon are 
different from the St. John River fish, so that one may say of the Canadian salmon 
rivers of the Atlantic shore that a different variety of Salmo solar is characteristic of 
each of these rivers. Certainly, as Professor Starr Jordan has said, nearly all salmon 
return, as a general proposition to the region in which they were spawned, but that 
famous authority qualifies the opinion by indicating that the schools may also resort to 
other rivers to which they were not native, and adheres to his original view expressed 
in 1880. He says: ' It is the prevailing impression that the salmon have some special 
instinct which leads them to return to spawn in the same spawning grounds where 
they were originally hatched. We fail to find any evidence of this in the case of the 
Pacific coast salmon, and we do not believe it to be true. It seems more probable that 
the yonng salmon hatched in any river mostly remain in the ocean within a radius 
of twenty, thirty or forty miles of its mouth. These, in their movement about in the 
ocean may come into contact with the cold waters of their parent rivers, or perhaps 
of any other river, at a considerable distance from the shore. In the case of the 
quinnat and the blueback, their 'instinct' seems to lead them to ascend these fresh 
waters, and in a majority of cases these waters will be those in which the fishes in 
question were originally spawned. Later in the season the growth of the reproductive 
organs leads them to approach the shore and search for fresh waters, and still the 
chances are that they may find the original stream. But undoubtedly many fall salmon 
ascend, or try to ascend, streams in which no salmon was ever hatched. In little brooks 
about Puget Sound, where the water is not three inches deep, are often found dead or 
dying salmon, which have entered them for the purpose of spawning. It is said of the 
Russian river and other California rivers, that their mouths, in the time of low water 
in summer, generally become entirely closed by sand-bars, and that the sahnon, in their 
eagerness to ascend them, frequently fling themselves entirely out of water on the 
beach.' 



M 

Tha oonclMion is thm lUtod that it i» rather • Mreh for frnh water •imply 
ratter than a desire to -reach their natire head-waters which impels the salmm to aot 
-!l. M *P[J** , °' ~""^ ***" '• ^ •n«logy of the migration of other animals. 
V^S^Alt ^if":f?* *" '''*•?'* ^ ^^ Profes«)r Alfred Newton, of Cambridge. 
iLngland, dUd not hesitate to speak of the ' pertinacity with which birds return to their 
accustom^ breedinff places and the force of this passionate fondneM for the old home.' 
tIJiot of Birds. IK 666). No doubt the parenU are in most cases the birds which return, 
"r^iTi^'V' •*'"*"•" ^ understand the case of a pair of stone-curlews ((Edicnemiu) 
wbicb bred for many years on the same spot, as Newton stated, even after the surround- 
ings had bron completely changed, an original barren rabbit warren having become a 
thick end flourishing bush or planUtion. That it is the same pair of birds which 
return in such cases is difficult to prove, but as Newton pointed out. the altematire 
raises much greater difflcnlty ' for then we have to account for some mode of com- 
municating precise information by one bird to another.' But the young as well as the 
parents are prone to return to the orijfioal haunts, as it has long been known that 
birds of prey drive away their offspring from their own haunU. ' The practice, how- 
ever. «aid Newton. ' is not limited to birds of prey alone, but is much more universal 
(op. ctt. p. 654). There is much ground for believing that one of the main causes 
of migration in fishes is due to an hereditary tendency, an ' instinct' it may be called, 
for want of a better term, which is so strong, that even temperature of the surrounding 
water is less potent as a stimulus, and apart from the question of food and of breeding 
this tendency to move over geographical areas with unerring certainty as to time and 
direction is one of the most perplexing and powerful that the scientific student can 
contemplate. It is true that, as Profeswr Hind stated, 'the question of inshore and 
off^ore mackerel fishing grounds becomes, in a great measure, reduced in the Gulf 
of St. Lawrence, to the different conditions of marine climate which prevail where the 
Labrador current is the controlling agent, or where the Gulf stream asserts its power 
and iiifliipnce during the summor season,' but an iiihorent tendency exists also. 

Dr. W. Bell Dawson has for successive seasons covering a number of years carried 
on elaborate and accurate investigations in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, and though it is 
early yet to attempt any generalizations between the results of these current and tide 
observations, and the movements of the great schools of fish in the Gulf, such as cod 
haddock and mackerel. The general result, however, is to show that the outflow from 
the Gulf 18 compensated by an inflow both in the Stroits of Belle Isle and Cabot 
straits and that the changes effected by this compensating circulation are what may be 
called superficial rather than deep-water. At greater depths than 60 or 60 fathoms 
these important currjnts have probably little or no effect. As Dr. Dawson has reported • 
' In reviewing the movements of the water, with a view to tracing the general circula- 
tion of the Gulf, it is the principle of the balance of flow which is the moat evident 
Wherever a current of a constant character occurs, there is a corresponding retuni 
current to make up for it. Thus in Cabot strait, the outflowing water in the Cane 
Breton current is balanced by the inflow at Cape Ray; the northeastward current on 
the west coast of Newfoundland is balanced by the contrary direction of the move- 
ment on the opposite shore; and we have fairly good indications of a return flow to 
compensate for the Gaspe current. 

' It is this balance of flow which points to the nature and direction of the circula- 
tion of water in the Gulf. If we begin to trace it from Cabot strait, where the balance 
between the gulf and the ocean takes place, the inflow at Cape Ray appears to diffuse 
itself more or less widely over the central part of the gulf, but it regains its strength 
further north on the west coast of Newfoundland, and makes a deep bend into the 
northeastern angle of the gulf, and returns westward along the north shore On 
reaching Cape Whittle, it still makes westward; and, whether as an actual set or bv 
displacing water which comes more directly from Cape Ray, it appears to work around 
the eastern end of Anticosti, and so compensates for the outflow of the Gasp^ current 
from the eatuary of the St. Lawrence. This current after rounding the Qasp6 coast, 



17 

inakM MotheMtward m • general Mt or drift aeroM the gulf to the wcatem side of 
Cabot atrait; and iU waters there leave the gulf in the outflow of the Cape Breton 
eurrrat. 

' It alto appears that the whole of the balance or compensation in the gulf currents 
takes plaoe at the surface and in ordinary underniurrents, which do not probably 
extend to a greater depth than some 50 or 60 fathoms. There is nothing, therefore, to 
show tho nncesiity for any appreciable moTement in the deep water from 60 to 80 
fathoms downward, which lies in the deep channels of the gulf. Wheiv direct observa- 
tions hare been obuined, this deep wster appears to lie quiescent, without any move- 
ment that can be detected.' 

But to the ordinary mind the outflow of such a vast river as the St. Lawrenoe, the 
largest river in North America, must appear to profoundly affect the gulf waters, both 
aa to salinity, temperature, 4c.; but Dr. Dawson has pointed out that the 'volume 
discharged by the St. Lawrence has been measured above Lake St. Peter at different 
aeasong; and with the addition of the Richelieu, St. Maurice, Soguenay, and other 
tributaries along its estuary, the total volume of fresh water di»oharge would probably 
amount in all to 340.000 cubic feet per second. This volume of fresh water will mingle 
with sea water for which we may assume a density of 10340, as this may be taken to 
represent either the mean density of Atlantic coast water to a moderate depth, or the 
density of the Salter water in the gulf itself. Under these conditions!, the fresh water 
of the St Lawrence would be sufficient to furnish a stream of water reduced to the 
lower density of 10230 which would be twelve miles wide and 68 feet deep, and moving 
with a speed of one knot per hour. This would represent the average density of the 
Gaspfi current, and would probably be an approximation to its average speed and its 
volume;' but the outflow known as the Gssp<g current is immenoely greater than the 
volume of the St. Lawrer.ce river outflow. As Dr. Dawson has estimated ' such a 
current has n volume forty-three timus greater than the St. Lawr- .'•e river. The 
volume of the Cape Breton current also, is probably much the sa hese outflows 

must therefore be replaced by a return movement at the entranci the lower St. 
Lawrence; somewhere in the Anticosti region, and also by a return flo.v from the ocean 
into the gulf area ; as the discharge of the St Lawrence furnishes less than 3 per 
cent of the amount required in either case.' 

The north shore current as well as the current flowing direct from Cabot strait 
must bo taken into account in explanation of this vast volume of outflow. Dr. Dawson 
indeed has pointed out that while ' the volume of fresh water from the St Lawrence' 
as already explained, may be sufficient to dilute the sea water to the low density found' 
in the Oaspfi current or in the corresiionding current flowing outward through Cabot 
strait, the total volume of water which actually leaves the gulf is vastly greater than 
the volume of fresh water which it receives from the St. Lawrence river. The volume 
so leaving the gulf must, therefore, he replaced by water which enters it from the ocean 
' The current which usually makes inwards on the east side of Cabot strait, may be 
sufficient to compensate for the outflowing water of the Cape Breton current; although 
It w also possible that the outflow from the gulf may be partly made up for, by the 
difference of flow in the inward direction through Belle Isle strait; which in some 
years may be considerable in the early spring. The relation of the current in this 
strait to the gulf as a whole, has already been explained; as well as the probable 
amount of inflow at Cape Ray, in continuation of the general westward tendency of the 
water along the south coast of Newfoundland. The quiescence of the deep water in 
Cabot strait has also been pointed out, in this connection.' The general result of these 
counter currents, as affecting the distribution of floating ova and young of cod, had- 
dock and mackerel, would appear to be that the spawn is kept inside the gulf limits 
and not swept out into the open ocean, while the young fish are probably carried in 
circular courses in local areas, never very distant from the hatching areas. 

I have the materials well advanced for a report on the results of this 
sysUm of currents on the distribution of floating ova which vast schools of cod and 



m^^rcl dapodt in tha inrfM* waton. Th« moroBMito of tha aarly fiy mnat of 
naeaidty tw monoMajpin and Taatly laia aaaj to aaoartaln than ia tha eaaa on tha aorth 
and waat ahona of loaland or tha oomapondinc Noraa ihoiaa in both of whioh ladooa 
alaborata aeiaaUflo raaulta hara bean publiahad. 

It la wdl known that apawnin* flah rafuaa to laadily taka bait and tha aarlj 
aehoola of cod oaptunNl in Juna hara alraady apawnad, lonia of tham prababb a month 

?h-'liK*!?! ?''''*r"7'*['* ^./'" '^' ••P*''*ny ^ «*«P wat., lUh. ai« undoubtadly 
tta Ml that hara taft tha ahallowar watara aud tha aurfaoa waton to faad on tha ri^ 
fauna on th. floor of tha laa. Nor ia it rary diflarant with tha macltaral which aarir 
in Juna are distended with ripe apawn, and refuaintf to taka bait, aa aU apawninc »A 
do, were merc.JeMly ilaughtered by purte-teinea, ke. By the end of July apawninc ia 
orer. and the fiah commence to feed up from that period, thoufh their condition U not 
larourable for a month or more, or not until the flrat ten or twelre daya of Aucuat 
Such being the fact, rcfardin* the gulf mackorel and cod it is eaty to aea that both 
ttoeaeflaheriei can be restore.! where decaye<l. or presenred permanently when the 
5.i!!l'Tn li*^/]'".^ maintained by a. far a. poasibla securing that tha main 
flahery shall be after the spawning is over, and if poasibla •♦tar the flah hare been 
feeding for three or four weeks and hare recorered their condition. Inahore flahing 
for cod rery early in the scMon ia not to be encouraged, and early deatruetion of the 
apawn.ng schooU of mackerel is likewise unjustifiable. The millions of spawn produced 
by one female cod or mackerel indicates how easy restoration is, if only a .uffldent 
number of .pawners be allowed undiaturbed to perform their spawning function™ The 
eggs and yminflr aiv of courw dwitroyed in quantity by their natural enemiea. and theae 
are, therefore produced on a large sc^le. but the balance of nature is such that if not 
too aenouily disturbed by .uch extorminatinir instruments as the c«hau.ting nurse- 
seme swwpmg lu complete "chool. of spawning fl,h. there ia no fear for the wntinued 
abundance of such marine fish. The aid of fish culture and the operation of mariw 
flah hatchene. being too problematical and uncertain to aolre the difliculty the m«. 
taction of the breeding «,hoola when they migrate and reach their sinS Z^7. 
the only sure and safe step on which reliance can be placed. 'P"^"* «>«" i»