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The biology, economic status and control of the harbour seal (Phoca vitulina richardli) in British Columbia,… Fisher, Harold Dean 1947

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THE BIOLOGY, ECONOMIC STATUS AND CONTROL OF THE HARBOUR SEAL (Phoea vitulina richerdli) IN BRITISH COLUMBIA,7 WITH PARTICULAR REFERERENCE TO THE SKEENA RIVER AREA. by Harold Dean Fisher, B.A. (British Columbia) A Thesis Submitted in Partial Fulfilment of the Requirements for the Degree of MASTER OF ARTS in the . Department of Zoology The University of Br i t i s h Columbia'' April 1947 ' TABLE OF CONTENTS. Introduction page I I. C l a s s i f i c a t i o n 6 Identity 6 The family Phocidae and i t s genera 6 Canadian subspecies of the Harbour Seal, and t h e i r ranges 7 I I * Description , 9 Size 9 Pelage. 10 Molting II Colouration..... 12 I I I . D i s t r i b u t i o n i n B r i t i s h Columbia 1^  General Ik Skeena River 17 IV. Numbers i n the Skeena River 21 V. Movements 22 Seasonal upriver movement. 22 Daily l o c a l movements... 26 Inthe Skeena estuary • • • • 27 In upriver areas.. 29 VI. Habitats page 30 Purely marine habitat.. 30 T i d a l sandbars at estuaries... 31 Fresh water 3I Environmental relationships •• 33 VII. M£e History... 36 Mating. .... .38 Time of mating.. 38 Age at maturation. 39 B i r t h . ^2 Time of b i r t h . . . . . . . . . Number of young.. 5^ Size of young... 5^ Appearance and behaviour of young..... h$ Adjustment of p a r t u r i t i o n to the t i d e . ^9 Care of young 50 Curious&ty. 50 Growth of young...... 51 Weight increase i n f i r s t summer....... 5^ Growth from pup to adult 5^ VIII. Parasites and disease.... 55 IX. Economic Status page 58 Damage to the Skeena g i l l - n e t f i s h e r y . . . 58 Damage to nets . . . . 5 8 Damage to salmon i n the nets 59 D i s c u s s i o n • 6^ Food h a b i t s 65 Discussion.. 70 X. C o n t r o l 7^ The bounty system... lh Advantages 7$ Disadvantages 77 A n a l y s i s of B.C. bounty r e t u r n s 78 Sources of e r r o r 82 D i s c u s s i o n . 83 E f f e c t of r a t e changes.... 83 E f f e c t s i n d i f f e r e n t areas 85 Disadvantages as a p p l i e d to s e a l control.8 8 A l t e r n a t i v e c o n t r o l methods .91 X I . Summary and conclusions 95 X I I .Acknowledgements I O 3 X I I I . L i t e r a t u r e c i t e d ABSTRACT D i s t r i b u t i o n of the -harbour seal i n B r i t i s h Columbia i s extensive and includes at l e a s t SO r i v e r s and 6 lakes. An estimated 450 i n d i v i d u a l s u t i l i z e 8 hauling out s i t e s i n the area at the mouth of the Skeena River. A seasonal upriver movement i n the Skeena River begins with the onset of the e eulachon run i n March, developing to a maximum i n the f a l l and apparently dependent i n i t s extent upon the available salmon supply. The extent and manner of d a i l y movements i s dealt with i n some d e t a i l . Harbour seal habitats are described . Mating i n the Skeena area takes place i n September and October. Sexual maturity^, i s i n f e r r e d to occur at the end of the t h i r d year. The b i r t h season i n the Skeena area begins i n the l a s t part of May at the e a r l i e s t and ends i n the l a t t e r h a l f of June. P a r t u r i t i o n i n upriver areas appears to be adjusted to the t i d a l exposure of the bars. The weight of the pups i s doubled i n the f i r s t 5 or 6 weeks of l i f e , and a weight decrease of about 20 per cent occurs during the weaning period i n the f a l l . Very few parasites or eases of disease were noted. Damage to g i l l -nets from seal action i n the Skeena estuary was found to be n e g l i g i b l e . The monetary l o s s suffered by fishermen from seal dlepredation upon salmon caught i n nets i s at i t s worst i n the early part of the spring salmon f i s h i n g saeson i n A p r i l and May, when i t may be I£ per cent or more of the money made. The contents of 20 adult seal stomachs ffrom B r i t i s h Columbia are recorded^ Rockfish (Sebastodes),and octopus, u n i d e n t i f i a b l e f i s h , salmon, herring and shrimp occurred, i n the above order of frequency. Salmon formed 28.5 per cent of the t o t a l volume, herring 20 per cent and r o c k f i s h 19 per cent. The only l o c a l i t i e s where seal predation upon salmon i s f e l t to approach s i g n i f i c a n t proportions are i n upriver areas. The bounty system f o r control of harbour seals i n B r i t i s h Columbia i s concluded to be i n e f f i c i e n t , the chief reason reason being that that the control exercised i s too widespread, the majority of k i l l s taking place i n marine areas where control does not appear to be e s s e n t i a l . I t i s suggested that the employment of one or more crews of trained hunters equipped with proper f a c i l i t i e s should accomplish f a r better r e s u l t s at control than does the bounty system. INTRODUCTION. Harbour seals (Phoca vitulina sp.) are widely dis t r i b -uted throughout the Northern Hemisphere. Phoca vitulina  richardii, the Pacific Harbour iSeal, is a common sight in the coastal waters and large estuaries from Oregon north to the Pri b i l o f ^ Islands and the Bering Sea. Like most predatory animals, i t has aroused the inev-itable conflict of interest between naturalists and those who are directly affected by the predatory a c t i v i t i e s of the animal, in this case, the fishermen and the fishing industry. Scheffer (1928) has deplored the attitude toward seals adopted by commercial fishing interests in the face of what he terms as the "prodigal wastefulness of the fishing industry."- The habit of the harbour seal in plun-dering the gill-net*, of salmon fisherman at certain times of the year has resulted in considerable persecution by fisheries interests^and the complaints of fishermen con-cerning i t s acti v i t i e s on the gi l l - n e t grounds have become almost legendary. The latter are mentioned by Allen (1880) in his. "Monograph of North American Pinnipeds.": "Despite the economic importance and common occurrence of the Pacific Harbour Seal, much is unknown concerning its l i f e history and food habits. The exact extent of predation on.salmon and other commercially important f i s h by this seal* and of the damage rendered toYgill net fishery have yet to be determined. Walker (1915) appears to have been the f i r s t to attempt scie n t i f i c investigation of any kind on the harbour seal of the Pacific coast. His work consisted of a preliminary investigation into the extent of damage rendered to the g i l l net fishery of the Stikine River, Alaska. The work/ however was not continued. Scheffer (192.8 a) noted the lack of knowledge and in-vestigation concerning the habour seal and presented (1928 b) the results of an analysis of. 35 seal stomachs from Washington State. Scheffer and Sperry (193$), contin-uing the investigation into food habits, give results, of an analysis of 100 additional stomachs from the same lo-cality, and representative of a l l seasons over several years. The major scientific study, to date, on the biology of the Pacific Harbour seal is presented by Scheffer and Slipp (1944) and is concerned mainly with behaviour and life-history studies in Washington State. Considerable taxonomic study has been devoted to the genus Phoca, the most recent work being that of Doutt(l942) and of Anderson (1942). An extensive taxonomic treatise of the entire order Pinnipedia is given by Allen (1880) and of the family Phocidae by the same writer (1902). Fo comprehensive study of any kind has been made in the past on harbour seals in B r i t i s h Columbia. Statements, have been published by non-scientific interests that "hair seals work havoc on the fishing grounds'* that they are a menace to the fishing industry, destroying vast quantities of salmon, each seal eating or destroying M:4000 salmon and cod annually," and mortally wounding as many as i t actually eats. 1 Such statements are unsupported by other' than verbal assertions of fishermen and general observations. They come under the public eye, however, far more often than do the results of investigation such as those of Scheffer and Sperry (193$) and Scheffer and Slipp (1944) which do riot deny predation by seals upon commercial f i s h and depre-dations upon the g i l l net fishery, but point out that current methods of dealing with the problem are ineffective The present study was undertaken by the writer during the summers of 1945 and 1946 as part of the Skeena River Salmon Investigation, which is being-conducted by the Fisheries Research Board of Canada. The work was confined in 1945 to a preliminary survey of the Skeena fishing area during the period June 12 to July 15. The study was con-tinued in 1946 from the middle of May to the end of August. 1 Western Fisheries, vol. 21, No. 3, Jan. 1941, pp. 8-9 4. v It was not expected that the results of the study-would be exhaustive. The main objects were to obtain figures on the amount of damage being rendered to the g i l l -net fishermen by seal depredation^ at the mouth of the Skeena, to gain some idea of the food habits of the seals and the position of salmon in the food relationship 1, and to study the life-history of 3 e a l s in the area, their distribution, numbers: and movements.. During the preliminary survey in 1945, hauling out sites of the seals were located and trips were made with individual fishermen to the fishing grounds, where the activities of seals were noted. The assignment to the project in 1946 of a small g i l l -net boat with an engineer helped greatly in keeping a close check on the activity of seals and on the damage which they caused. Early in May, mimeographed forms were dis-tributed to fishermen on which they could record, for each set made, the number of fi s h caught, the number of these which were seal-bitten, the percentage of body destroyed and the actual monetary loss suffered. Examination of the t a l l y sheets of packers was considered, but this method of determining damage was dropped owing to the fact that many fishermen did not s e l l damaged f i s h . Cooperation from fishermen in f i l l i n g out and .returning the forms proved on the whole to be poor. Collecting of adult specimens was done with a 30.06 5. r i f l e equipped with, telescopic sights, using soft-nose bullets, and of pups with a 12-gauge shot gup using BfBj shot. To get a large number of stomachs was impossible in the time available. Many seals, were shot and killed but most of them sank immediately in deep water. There were no bounty hunters:in the d i s t r i c t to whom appeals for co-operation could be made, and the fishermen rarely manage to recover those which they shoot. Twenty-eight specimens were recovered from the Skeena River, of which 4 were i adults., 4 were yearlings and 20 were pups. Each speciment was measured and weighed and the stomach contents were noted. Eleven stomach samples were obtained from Fisheries Officers and Haida Indians on the east coast of the Queen Charlottes and are considered as representative of salt water areas. Eleven stomachs were obtained from fishermen of the Fraser River and are considered for comparison with those of the Skeena During the fall,and winter of 1946^7 a thorough exam-ination was made of bounty claimiB.' turned in to the Dominion Department of fisheries since 1942, and an attempt has been made to evaluate the effect of the bounty system for control of hefbour seals in the light of present know-ledge concerning this mammal. Feasible alternative methods of control have been considered. A sincere effort has been made throughout the study to interpret data, from an unbiased and objective point of view. h. CLASSIFICATION. 6 Identity. Phylum Chorda ta. Subphylum Craniata Class Mammalia Order Pinnipedia Family Phocidae Genus Phoca. Species vilulina. Subspecies richardii (Gray) The order Pinnipedia contains three families, the Otoriidae or eared seals, the Odoboenidae or walruses f and the Phocidae or true seals. The Otariidae includes the fur seals, (Callorhinus) and the sea lions (Zalophus, Eumetopias) . These together with the walruses (Odobeonus), are characterized chiefly by the a b i l i t y to turn the hind limb forward for use in terrestial locomotion. The hind legs of the Phocidae are incapable of being turned forward and are useless, for terrestrial locomotion. The family is sometimes referred to as comprising the "earless" seals, because of the smaller prominence of the external ear pinna than in the fur seals and sea lions. Members of the family Phocidae are broadly referred to as the Hair Seals. Pour genera occur in Canada. 7. These are: 1. ) Erignathus, containing 1 species (E.» harbatus), the Bearded Seal or Square-Flipper of the Arctic. 2. ) Halichoerus, containing 1 species (H.grypus), the' Gray Seal or Horse-head of the Arctic. 3. ) Cystophora., containing 1 species (6. cristata..), the Hooded Seal or Bladder-Nose or Crested Seal of the Arctic. 4. ) Phoca, containing four species: a.) P. fasciata,, the Ribbon Seal of the Bering Sea • h.) P. groenlandica, the Greenland Seal, or Harp Seal or Saddleback Seal of the North Atlantic. c. ) P. hispida, the Ringed Seals of the Eastern Arctic, containing three subspecies. d. ) P. vitulina., the Harbour .Seals of the Atlantic and Pacific, containing six subspecies. Three subspecies of ghoca vitulina. occur in Canada. P.v. concolor, the Atlantic Harbour Seal, ranges from the Carolina coast north to Hudson's Bay, Baffin. Bay and Southern Greenland. P.v. mellonae, the Ungava Freshwater ' Seal, is restricted to Upper and Lower Seal Lakes in Ungava. •Peninsula^, east of Hudson Bay. P.v. richardii, the Pacific. Harbour Seal, extends, from Oregon north to the- P r i b i l o f f Islands and Bering Sea, intergrading at the northern limit Note: Anderson (.Catalogue of Canadian Recent Mammalsf Nat. Mus. Can. Bull-. 102,. 1946) l i s t s the genus Mirounga (sea-elephants) in the family Phocidae, with one Canadian species, M. angusti-rostris, the Northern Sea Elephant, ranging from'lower California north to Prince of Wales Island, Alaska. 8 of its range with P. v. largha, of the Asiatic area of the North Pacific, and at the southern limit of its. range with P.v. geronomensis, of lower California. The technical history of the family Phocidae is highly complex and contains an extensive synonymy, which is discussed in detail by Allen (1880). The original description of the Pacific Harbour .Seal was made from two Bri t i s h Columbia specimens in 1864.1 The systematic history of this subspecies i s dealt with f u l l y by Scheffer and Slipp (1944). Doutt (1942) was the f i r s t to use the combination Phoca vitulina richardii, for the Pacific Harbour Seals. 1 Gray, J.E. 1864, Proc. Zool. London, pt. 1. 28 9. II. DESCRIPTION.  Size. Adult habour seals weigh between 125 and 300 pounds and measure from 5 to 6 feet in length. Data for length and weight of adults from B r i t i s h Golumbia are available for only 5 specimens and are given in Table I. Table I. Date. -Weight Males, (lbs) Length (mm) Date. Females. Weight(• lbs) Length(mm) Augus t 14. '46 128 1355 Augus t 8. '46 140 1550 3. '46 Sept. 25. '46 200 300 1446 1690 July 12.'46 155 1440 Average 209 1479 148 1485 The males hsre average 41 per cent heavier than the females, but this difference in believed to be biased by the presence of the 300-pound male, a very old spedimeno from the Fraser River, heavier than any published record the writer has been able to locate. No females of a similar age were obtained^. Scheffer and Slipp(iL944) record a male from the coast of Washington weighing 256 pounds and measuring 1700mm. The same authors "give the mean weights of 20 of their largest males and 20 of their largest females at 160 and 129 pounds respectively, indic-ating that the adult males appear to be about 24 per cent 10. heavier than the adult females. Ta'ble II/ gives detailed measurements for 14 males and 15 females from British Columbia, the measured features being based on those used by Scheffer and S'lipp (1944). The means/4• of the measurements of the f i r s t summer pups reveal very l i t t l e difference in proportion and weight between the two sexes, and in this connection a discussion of the development of the young w i l l be found elsewhere in this report. A l l of the specimens obtained, with the exception of one starved pup, possessed a layer of blubber averag-ing 34 mm. in thickness for 7 adult and subadult specimens. A newly born young possessed a layer of blubber 28 mm. thick. By July and August this had increased in other f i r s t summer specimens to 35 - 40 mm. (Pig. 1/). pelage. The pelage of habour seals consists of a f a i r l y thick coat of coarse overhairs, with a sparse substratum of shorter, finer underhairs. The overhairs are shaped some-what like blades of grass, being f l a t in cross section and broad at the base, tapering to a fine point. In the light coloured areas of the pelage the overhairs are transparent, appearing to be devoid of pigment. In the dark regions the overhairs are light or dark brown with the exception of the tips, which are unpigmented over the entire pelage. 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I Female pup (No. 100) from the Skeena River, about k weeks old, s l i t open ventrally to show thickness of blubber mm. on b e l l y ) . Body weight 53 pounds. July 2, 1945. F i g . 2 Pelt of adult female (No. 122) from the Skeena River. Whitish areas are where h a i r Is beginning to molt. August 8, 19^6. i Fig. 2 their shorter length and finer texture. 11. The tanned hides of 3 specimens of f i r s t summer pups taken in the Skeena River in June 1946, possess a thick coat of overhairs averaging 11mm in length and a stratum of underhairs thicker than in adult specimens and half the length of the overhairs. One of these specimens was taken a few minutes after birth. It possessed at that time, a uniform yellowish coat of thin silky hairs (Fig. 35) which was being rapidly shed, revealing the normal pelage under-neath. The hairs of this foetal coat were about 23mm in length, and came away at the least touch, so that in a matter of 15 or 20 minutes after capture none of i t re-mained. The lengths of the overhairs, underhairs and foetal hairs agree closely with those given by Scheffer and Slipp (1944) in their description of the pelage of pups of Washington harbour seals.. In the pelt of a very old male seal, ttaken from the Fraser on September 25, 1946, the overhairs are mucth coarser to the touch than they are in young individuals, and average about 8-9 mm in length, &he yery; sparse under-hairs being about 4 mm long. In the region of the axillae and immediately in front of and behind this, area the pelage has been worn down to the skin. Very l i t t l e .data on molting was gained during the investigation. En early stage of molting however, was observed in one specimen taken in the Skeena River on 12. August 8, 1946. This was a. 140 pound female which, judging from the active condition of the mammary glands, had given birth earlier in the season. The underparts of this specimen were a dirty tan brown with a very few dark spots, merging into a darker brown on the back, sparesely flecked with elongate spots (Fig. 2/), The outer pelage could be easily removed with the thumband forefinger, leaving about 1.5 mm of new hair underneath, pure silvery in appearance. This would suggest that molting begins in early August. The hair would in a l l probability begin to sluff by the end of the month, though i t was found impossible to det-ermine this by returning to the' hauling grounds at that time. Scheffer and Slipp (1944) mention the molting of a harbour seal kept in an aquarium. The molt began to show on the hind parts at the end of August (1942) and was nearly completed by September 25. The same authors state that various stages of molting were observed in a heajd of seals on the coast of Washington on October 7, 1942. The extreme var i a b i l i t y of the colour pattern of the pelade of the harbour seal was long ago well described by Allen (1880) who wrote that the variations, are "almost endless, varying from almost uniform yellowish brown to almost uniform darK brown and even nearly black, with, between these extremes, almost every possible variation, 13. from dark spotted on a iight ground to light spotting on a dark ground. The markings vary in size from very small spots to large irregular patched and streaks."' The British Columbia specimens obtained during this study showed var i a b i l i t y in pelage colour and pattern from one extreme to the other, as noted by Allen (Pigs. 3~ 24/), As suggested by Doutt (1942), however, Alien's des-criptions, were probably made from dried skins, and were possibly affected by the discolouration from grease, for in many Brit i s h Columbia skins the lightest areas of the underparts in fresh specimens showed almost pure creamy white/ (Pig. 12). In-general the ventral surface is much paler than the dorsal, though two specimensrwere obtained from the Skeena in which the pelage, v/as almost black a l l over/ (Pigs. 15, 16/). In addition to the colours mentioned above, which are based on dried skins, a most attractive slate-bluish tint was noted on the back, in fresh wet specimens. This colour is apparent to the naked eye from some distance and is especially noticeable in river water, particularly on a sunny day, the slate blue contrasting most effectively with the muddy clayish colour of the water. This tint is lost when the pelage dries. While observing hair seals hauling out in the Skeena area during summer months, the majority of individuals F i g , 3 Ventral, L e f t , newly born male pup (No. 1 0 3 ) . Length 805 mm., weight 21 pounds. Right,female pup recently born. Length 805 mm., weight 26 pounds. Note umbilical stubs. E c s t a l l River, B . C . , June 8 - 9 , 19^6. F i g . k Dorsal, L e f t to ri g h t , Nos. 109 , 108 , 110 , 107 , 106 Pups from the Skeena River, B.C. Fi g . 5 Ventral view of, the same specimens. Nos. 109, 108 and 106 are Judged to be about one week old. Nos. IIo and 107 are recently born (note umbilical stubs). Emaciated condition of No. 106 i s inferred to have resulted from starvation. Note swelling of glands on right side of neck of No. 107. F i g . 4 F i g . 5 F i g . 7 Female y/earling (No. I l l ) from Skeena River, B.C. Length 1010 mm., weight 100 pounds. Note ear pinna. June 21, 19^6. F i g . 8 Ventral. Recently born female pup (No. 112) from De Horsey Passage, mouth of Skeena River, RC.C Length 8 ^ mm., weight 26 pounds. Note umbilical stub. June 23, 19^6. F i g . 9 Ventral. Female pup (No.100) about k weeks old. from the Skeena Rimer. Length 925 mm., weight 53 pounds. July 2 19^5• F i g . 8. F i g . 9 Fig. 10 Ventral. Male pup (No. 113) about k weeks old, from the Skeena River. Length 833 mm., weight 39 pounds. F i g , II Dorsal. L e f t , male pup (No.114-) about 6 weeks old, from-the Skeena River. Length 960 mm., weight 50 pounds. Right, male pup ( same as in f i g . 10^, note r e f l e c t i o n of l i g h t from dry pelage. Overhairs are curled forward. F i g . 12 Ventral view of No. 1$^, July 5, 19^6. H i F i g . I I F i g . 12 F i g . 14 Ventral view of same specimen. F i g . 15 Dorsal. L e f t , male pup (No. Il6) , and ri g h t , female pup (No. 115), 5-6 weeks old, from the Skeena River. No. Il6:- length 896 mm., weight 47 pounds. No. II5*» lengffib. 864 mm., weight 46 pounds. F i g . 16 Ventral view of same specimens. July 16- 17, 1946. Unusually dark specimens F i g . 15 F i g . 1 6 $ig. 17 Dorsal, Male pup (No.117) 6-7 weeks old, from the Skeena River. Length 985 mm,, weight 68 pounds. Pig. 18 Ventral view of same pup. July 1$, 1946, Fig. 17 F i g . 18 F i g . 19 Dorsal. Female pup (No. 118) 6-7 weeks old, from the E c s t a l l River. Length 980 mm., weight 55 pounds. Fig* 20 Ventral view of same specimen. July 19, 19^6. P i g . 19 F i g . 20 F i g . 21 Dorsal. Female yearling (No. 121) from the E c s t a l l River. Length 1010 mm., weight 52 pounds. F i g . F i g . 2 3 Dorsal. Male pup (No. 124) 10-12 weeks old, from the Gibson Islands, head of Grenville Channel. Length 9 4 3 mm., weight 3 0 pounds. 14. upon emerging from the water appeared quite dark, many almost black. When the pelage became dry, however, the ap-pearance of such individual was. different, ranging from light brown through yellowish tan to a silvery tan, accent-uated by sunlight. . The difference in appearance between wet and the dry pelage appears to be the result of the curling upwards and forwards of the non-pigm'ented tips, of the drying overhairs, which allows the light to reflect from their f l a t shiny surfaces. Thus the typical silvery or light tan colour of seals hauled out on a bar is caused in part merely by reflection of light, tending to mask the dark underlying colour, which becomes apparent when the pelage is wet and flattened out. !$Fig. 11 shows to a. certain extent the differBnce in appearance between the wet and dry pelage in fresh specimens.. III. DISTRIBUTION IN BRITISH COLUMBIA. Harbour seals are widely distributed along the coast of British Columbia, occurring around most of the coastal islands and in.practically a l l of the enclosed marine waters, including those of the Queen Charlotte Islands and of Vancouver Island. They are seldom seen more than 10 miles from land, being typically l i t t o r a l in their salt water distribution. They are numerous at the estuaries of large rivers and from spring to f a l l are distributed for some distance up these rivers. 15. Observations on the Skeena River and the examination of bounty claims reveal that the distribution of harbour seals in the rivers and lakes of B r i t i s h Columbia which drain into the sea is perhaps more extensive than is generally realized. It has long been known that hair seals habitually enter fresh water. According to Allen (1880) the Atlantic harbour seal has ascended the St. Lawrence River to the Great Lakes and has been taken in Lakes. Ontario and Cham-plain. S'oper (1944) records statements of Eskimos that the Atlantic harbour seal occurs in Tessikjuak and Ungmaluktuk Lakes which are connected by Moukjunil River with^common drainage by Kommanik River to Foxe Basin. They were also recorded from Aukbauya River, South of Bowman Bay. Doutt (1942) describes a fresh water race of hair seal which is landlocked in Upper and Lower Seal Lakes, in the Ungava Peninsula^. On the Pacific Coast, according to Allen (1880), hair seals have been reported from the Columbia River hear the Dallea"above the Cascades and about 200 miles from the sea." . Brown (1868) states that the Dog River, a tributary of the Columbia, takes it s name from a dog-like animal, probably a seal* being seen in the lake whence the stream rises. Walker (1915) reporting on harbour seals in southeastern Alaska, states that they are common in the Stikine River far above the boundary line between the United States, and Canada, and 16. that they at times "ascend the streams and rivers in greater or lesser numbers, sometimes becoming quite abun-dant far up the larger streams and also occasionally entering freshwater lakes near tidewater." Bonham (1942) reports the occurrence of two seals in Lake Union, Seattle, Washington. Scheffer and S'lipp (1944) state that harbour seals do not to their knowledge habitually enter any of the Washington Lakes but mention their occurrence in Harrison Lake, B.C., and in i t s tributary. The latter record in the only published information found on the occurrence of seals in fresh water in British Columbia. To date, fresh water records of harbour seals in British Columbia have been accumulated from 20 rivers and 6 lakes. Many of the rivers are quite small and most of the lakes are near tidewater. Many more freshwater occurrences would undoubtedly be revealed by further in-vestigation. The most important rivers from the standpoint of numbers of records of occurrence are the Naas, the Skeena, and the Fraser. The exact upriver distribution in the Naas Riser i s unknown, but probably extends for several miles above Aiyansh. In the Skeena River there are no obstacles to upriver distribution for many miles and harbour seals, are distrib-uted in the summer and f a l l along the entire length of the river up to and possibly above Hazelton, occurring also in Lakelse Lake. Groups of appreciable size haul out in the area around the mouth of the river, in upriver areas, within tidewater influence, and in other ^areas up to Terrace and above the influence^ of tidewater. .Seals are numerous in the sloughs and channels of the Fraser Delta and occur in Harrison Lake^- the year round and in i t s tributary, Silver Creek. Bounty records have been f i l e d from Hatzic Lake, which is above tide-water influence, and from Pi t t Lake. It is probable that when salmon are running in the spring, summer and f a l l , hair seals, range upriver as far as the f i r s t major rapids near Alexandria. Bounty k i l l s have occurred in other lakes and in many other smaller rivers. Records, liste d from south to north rare available from the Serpentine, Nikomekl, Indian, Capilano, L i t t l e Qualicum, Cypre, Squamish, Adams, Salmon, Keogh, Kitlope, Kitimat, Khutzemateen, Oona, Hamin, Yakoun and T l e l l rivers and from Kennedy, Nitinat and Nimpkish lakes. Skeena River Distribution. Since the present study was centred on the Skeena river area, considerably more data are available on harbour seal distribution for this area than for any other. Because the mouth of the Skeena River is the site * of an important salmon g i l l - n e t fishery, and because the seals 18. assume considerable economic importance with regard to this fishery, i t is pertinent to treat these data in some detail. Fig. 25 shows the location of the hauling out sites of hair seals in the area of fishing activity. Lamb Island, of the Gibson Island group at the head of Grenville Channel, is not shown -in Fig. 25-, being a few miles to the south, but should be mentioned since a group of at least 30 hair seals continually frequents the rocks of the island^ and apparently breeds and bears young there. Local seine fishermen report that at times the rocks are "com-pletely covered " with seals. The group may provide a. source of influx to the population in the area of the gillne t grounds a few miles further north. Other hauling out sites in the Skeena area are as follows: 1. .Sandbar, northwest corner of Kennedy Island. This area was not investigated by the writer but is apparently util i z e d by harbour seals. From local reports the small number of seals hauling out there is. augmented in the winter, apparently by some of the up-river population. 2. Genn Island, .south rocks. Harbour seals were not observed at this l o c a l i t y during the few times that the writer was present in the F i g . 2 5 Map of the f i s h i n g area at the mouth of the Skeena River, B.C. Dotted areas are sandbars, on which the hauling out s i t e s f o r seals are blacked i n . B r i f t l n g areas f o r g i l l - n e t s are c h i e f l y in Marcus Passage along the northeast shore of Kennedy Island, and along the east shore of De Horsey Island, continuing upriver to thebmouth of the E c s t a l l River. 19. summer of 1946. Reliable reports from local fishermen indicate that a small group of from 1 to 2 dozen hauls out on the rocks, more commonly at times when salmon are not running. 3. Sandbar between Croasdaile and De Horsey Islands. On this long low bar, which is covered at high tide, a group varying in number between 40 and 60 seals was observed hauled out during many v i s i t s in the summers of 1945 and 1946. 4. Rocky area, southeast coast of De Horsey Island. At the area of large smooth boulders shown in Fig. 25, seals frequently haul out during half tide periods. At low tide, the boulders are l e f t dry and the seals must proceed to the sand bar mentioned above. 5. Raspberry Island, mouth of the Ecstall River. A group of approximately 25 seals haul out in the spring and late falljwhen fishing boats are scarce in the river, on a large rock off the north end of the island/ (Fig. 26). 6. Sandbar 2 miles below Big Falls Creek, Ecstall River. This sandbar is about 14 miles from the junction of the Ecstall River with the Skeena (Figs. 30, 31) and is the only hauling out area found in the Ecstall aside from a few rocks opposite Big Falls Creek, which were frequented by £wo to six seals. The group on the bar varied in number from 20-50 seals during the summer of 1946. F i g . 26 Rocks o f f Raspberry Island, at junction of Skeena and E c s t a l l Rivers. Hauling out si t e f o r 20-30 seals. Taken at low t i d e . F i g . 27 Group of over 100 seals on a snow-covered bar above Kwinltsa in the Skeena River. March, 1939. Reproduced and enlarged from a former p r i n t . o 20. 7. Sandbars in the Skeena about 4 miles below Kwinitsa. The largest single group of seals observed by the writer hauled out at low tides on a sandbar situated crossways in the middle of the river, just below a small grassy island. The group usually numbered between 60 and 100. The largest group was observed on June 11, 1946, and was estimated by counting the tracks of the animals after they were flushed into the water, at between 150 and 200 animalsi: At "extremely low tides the shallowness of the water causes the group to shift to a position along the north shore of the small grassy island mentioned above. About 1 mile below the island is a long sandbar situated lengthwise in the river and about 300 yards from the south shore, on which about 25 seals were fre-quently seen hauled out in small scattered groups. 8. Mouth of Lakelse River. The Lakelse River, draining Lakelse Lake empties into the Skeena "about 50 miles from the mouth of the latter and about 10 miles below Terrace. On September 6, 1946, a group of over 45 seals was flushed into the water from the gravel bank of an island in the Skeena directly opposite the mouth of the Lakelse. In addition to the hauling out areas recorded above, several more must'exist among the maze of sandbars and islands in upriver areas which i t was found impossible to investigate during the study/ (Fig. 255,). Military personnel 21. stationed in the Skeena area during the war stated that they had observed sealB hauled out at several points in the Skeena up to Terrace and above.tidewater. Hair seals are widelyr.distributed from Hazelton down and i t is li k e l y that there are many areas in the river where individual animals w i l l haul out. They have been , reported from Lakelse Lake and Walter Wright, Chief of the Kitselas Indians, informed the writer that hair seals occur some miles up the Kisftox River, which empties into Babine River north of Hazelton. Seals w i l l journey up any stream entering the Skeena which is deep enough for them to be assured of.quick escape. The Lakelse River in places is barely deep enough yet seals occur in Lakelse Lake. In the upper area of tidewater influence individuals were observed by the writer several miles up both the Khtada and Khyex Rivers. Tworupups were observed \ mile up a narrow winding creek tributary to the I c s t a l l River, a mile or so above the hauling out bar. Whether any seals occur upriver during the winter, making use of breathing holes in the ice,is unknown. IV. NUMBERS IH THE SKEEJNA RIVER. An estimate of the population of any area was d i f f i -cult to make, but sufficient f i e l d work was conducted along the lower reaches of the Skeena River to make possible a f a i r l y reliable estimate of the seals in that 22. region. It was found impossible to v i s i t a l l of the hauling out sites in the area at the mouth of the Skeena during one low tide period when the majority of seals were hauled out. In almost every instance where seals were observed hauled out, a certain number were s t i l l in the water, usually close to the bar, but continually submerging and reappearing in different places, rendering impossible an attempt to count them from the distance at which i t was necessary to keep oneself without alarming them. Judging from estimates made at hauling out sites at various times during the summer of 1945 and 1946, 450 harbour seals is a conservative figure for the population of the area at the mouth of the Skeena River, from Kfcfrinitsa down, including the Ecstall River and Lamb Island, at the head of Grenville Channel. The figure represents an estimate for the summer months only. There must be at this time several hundred more distributed along the Skeena River up to and possibly above Hazelton. V. MOVEMENTS. Seasonal upriver movementft. Phoca vitulina richardii, like the other races of the species, is moreor less 'sedentary in i t a habits and is resident throughout the year in a l l areas of i t s extended- marine;habitat. During the Skeena River study, however, a definite 23. seasonal upriver movement became apparent, coinciding in general with the salmon run. This is not a mass migration but appears to take place gradually, the numbers upriver steadily increasing as the number of salmon rises. The time at which the seals begin to move upmthe river in un-known, but apparently^ they appear as soon as the ice breaks: in late February or March. Fig.27 shows a group of harbour seals hauled out on a sandbar covered with ice and snow in the Skeena River "somewhere above .Kwinitsa" The exact date of the photograph^ is unknown, but tifey wasa taken in March 193-9 by R. Suriol, a railroad employee. J. R. Brett ( personal communication) reported seeing a harbour seal in Lakelse Lake on A p r i l 14, 1944. From April on, seals begin to appear in increasing numbers, along the Skeena River up to and possibly above Hazelton. The movement appears to be at a maximum in September when seals are a common sight in the river from railroad and highway especially in that part of the Skeena up to Terrace. On September 8, 1945, the writer counted 13 seals in the river- from a train en route from Terrace to Prince Rupert, within 45 minutes after the train had l e f t Terrace. J. A. McConnell and P. Benoit, while driv-ing to Prince Rupert from Terrace on August 30, 1946, counted 32 seals in a total of about 1/8 of the river below Terrace. H. Stain, Port Essington fisherman, tola the writer that seals f i r s t become numerous in upriver areas, with 24. the onset of the run of eulachons (Thaieichthys pacificus.) This begins in March and lasts throughout A p r i l to May. Great numbers of seals are reported to appear off the Point Lambert, in the mouth of the Skeena, when eulachons are running. The end of the run overlaps with the onset of the spring salman (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) run, which is at its peak in late May and in June. It is during the spring salmon run that the seals probably begin to range upriver beyond tidewater influence. The extent of upriver distribution appears to be dependent upon the available salmon supply. Residents of Terrace stated that during a heavy run of salmon numerous seals appeared at Terrace and above this point, and that a poor run of salmon resulted in very few seals, reaching Terrace. In the summer of 1945, during which an except-ionally heavy run of pink salmon (Oncorhynchus gorbuscha) ascended the river, reports stated that harbour seals were numerous in the f a l l around Terrace and up to the entrance of the Babine into the Skeena, near Hazel ton. In 1946' by early September very few pink salmon had appeared in the river at Terrace and very few seals had been noted at this locality. Pinks were running into the Lakelse River on September 6, 1946, however, at which time a group of over 45 seals was observed at the mouth of this river. 25. A trapper who lives- in a cabin on the hanks of the Ecstall, some 30 miles upriver, stated that seals occurred at that point only when salmon were numerous in the river. The early phase of the upriver movement coincides with the onset of the pupping season. From May 18 to 20, 1946, very few seals were noted by the writer in the hauling out area of the Skeena River, just below I'Zwinitsa. On June 11, an estimated 200 were seen, many small pups were present and there were signs that the bars had been very recently occupied for bearing young. Whether the majority of the 200 had come down from upriver or had ascended from areas nearer the mouth is unknown. 3?rom the very few signs of pups in the De Horsey area during the birth season, the writer is inclined to believe that the pregnant females had ascended the river earlier and had congregated at the hauling out areas to bear their young. It would be interesting to ascertain how far up-river seals, are born, and how far pups w i l l range up river in their f i r s t summer. A 90 pound male obtained from the mouth of the Lakelse River on September 6, 1946, was judg-ed to be in its second summer. ITo f i r s t summer pups were seen at that time. An interesting note on upriver distribution w.as ob-tained from W. Wright, Chief of the Kitselas Indians of the Skeena. According to him,. i t is.only within the last 40-50 years that seals have become numerous in the Skeena 26. above the mouth of the Lakelse. Before this time tribes of Indians lived along the Lakelse River, and in various other lo c a l i t i e s in the Skeena area,'including the Kispiox River. The harbour seal at that time was an important factor in the welfare of the Indians. The Lakelse tribes made considerable use. of the seals which congregated up-river and which therefore were subjected to harassment from hunting effort, a fact which kept upriver distribut-ion at a minimum. It was very seldom that seals were seen as far inland as the Kispiox River, and they never entered Lakelse Lake» since Indian tribes were encamped along the shallow stream.which drains i t . It is only since the tribes disbanded that seals began to appear in the lake and in anywhere near the numbers which are now seen during the summer in a survey of the Skeena River from the highway. The cessation of hunting effort in upriver areas, therefore, coupled with the considerable and comparatively recent increase of hunting pressure exerted on the coast as a result of the development of the fishing industry and the installation of the bounty system of control, may be a cause of the present upriver distribution of harbour seals. This distribution may be slowly increasing in extent. / Daily Local Movements. In the area of tidewater influence of the Skeena, 27. the tide appears to be the chief factor in determining the daily movements of harbour seals. While the animals can be termed as loosely gregarious when hauled out, they are solitary in their foraging habits. It is very seldom that adult seals were observed in close company in the water, unless they were playing at the edge of a 'sandbar during a hauling out period. Dispersal for feeding activ-it i e s is exceedingly rapid and a group of seals w i l l , on a flood tide,become widely scattered in the lo c a l i t y of their hauling grounds. In the Skeena Estuary. Daily or seasonal ranges of individuals are unknown. Prom observations, in the area of the Skeena gill - n e t grounds, the writer would estimate daily movements from a hauling out site to vary from a few hundred yards to several miles. ' Por example, of the group of seals hauling out on a sandbar near De Horsey Island (Pig. 25/,)? from 12 to 25 individuals were seen, when the group was under observation to extend with the flood tide into the general area between De Horsey and Croasdaile Islands^and would remain in the area un t i l the next low tide. A favorite site of exploration was the bay of De Horsey Island, which, dry at low tide, is under 10 to 18 feet of water at high tide. At least 7 or 8 seals could invariably be seen 28. scattered at various points in the bay, and extending right into the edge of the shore at the head of the bay. Ji few always appeared with the flood tide in the slough between De Horsey and Smith Islands and one was seen on one occasion to make its. way slowly into Inverness Passage and return toward the De Horsey sandbar area with the ebb tide. Many seals from the above mentioned sandbar d i s t r i b -ute themselves at high tide along the southwest shore of De Horsey Island, especially frequenting the rocky area shown in Pig. 25. Here, seals frequently haul out on the rocks during the last part of the flood tide and the -earlypart of the ebb. Other individuals frequent the gi l l - n e t d r i f t i n g areas along Marcus Passage and the east shore of De Horsey Island. During the salmon fishing season, from spring to late f a l l , gill-nets are set, usually at low water slack, and allowed to d r i f t up the river mouth with the flood tide. Seals w i l l at times frequent the nets and eat salmon caught in the meshes. With the increase in numbers of boats when sockeye fishing begins at the end of June, activities of seals around the •nets are reduced and feeding a c t i v i t i e s appear to be carried on in the shallows* adjacent to the sandbars. A few seals in the Skeena estuary were frequently seen in the fishing areas at low tide periods, .when the majority were havuled out, so that feeding activities are 29. not entirely confined to high tide periods. In upriver areas. In upriver areas s t i l l within tidewater influence, the tide appears to be a stronger factor s t i l l , in con-troll i n g daily movements. In the Skeena for some 20 miles from the mouth, and in the Ecstall for about 30 miles of i t s length, the direction of flow, at least on the surface, is reversed by the flood tide, which pushes water back from the mouth. The current on both the flood and the ebb tide may attain a spefed 6f from 3-4 knots in the Skeena and of from 5-6 knots in the Ecstall, the speed varying according to the size of the tide. Obesrvations of the groups of seals hauling out on the sandbars beiow I'Kwinitsa and in the Ecstall River indicate that, while some individuals, stay in the general area of the bars during periods when these are under water, many allow themselves to be carried upriver for some miles by the flodd tide, apparently feeding as they go, and then drifting back with the ebb tide, arriving at the hauling out bars as thes-e are uncover-ed. This drif t i n g with the flood and with the ebb tide was most pronounced in the Ecstall River. At the height of a flood tide, seals would be noticed at scattered points up to 10 miles beyond the hauling out bar, but none or very few would be seen in the v i c i n i t y of or below the bar. During low tide periods, however, very few seals were seen more than 2 miles above the bar on which many would be hauled 30. out. In.the Skeena River some seals would extend with the flood tide to both sides of the river, staying near shore. Some were frequently seen in the Ehyex River. Others appear to d r i f t upriver towards . Kwinitsa. Feeding acti v i t y was occasionally noticed during flood tide periods. Seals were twice seen devouring salmon at the mouth of the Khyex River. During a swift flood tide, one seal was noted just above the Ecstall bar devouring a salmon drifting upstream with the flood tide for nearly half a mile before finishing its meal. VI HABITATS. Harbour seals are generally thought of typically as inhabitants of the saltwater areas around coastal islands and of the coastal bays and inlets; and adjacent enclosed marine waters. While many seals, occupy such areas» harb-our seal habitats can be separated, chiefly on the basis of studies in the Skeena area, into 3 quite distinct types, each with a differing environment, as follows? Purely Marine Habitat. The purely marine habitat as concerned in this study constitutes the saltwater reefs, rocky islands, spits, bays and inlets characteristic of the coast of B r i t i s h Columbia and of the Queen Charlotte Islands. The large inlets of 31. B r i t i s h Columbia, such as Douglas Channel, Gardner Channel and Dean Channel abound with seals, at a l l times of the year, as do the small rocky islands and reefs, such as those on the east coast on the Queen Charlottes,, in the v i c i n i t y of Browning Entrance, and in the Gulf of Georgia Islands, especially Tumbo Island. Hauling out sites in the marine habitat laaaally con-s i s t of low reefs or rock's of such a nature as to provide ready access to deep water and escape (Dig. 28). They may consist of sand spits, such as Rose Spit on the north-ern tip of Graham Island. Tidal Sandbars at Estuaries. The estuaries, of rivers such as the Skeena and the Fraser, where the water is a mixture, of s a l t and fresh are characterized by the presence of numerous mudflats and sandbars which become exposed at low tide. On those bars, which slope quickly into water deep enough to provide good escape f a c i l i t i e s , harbour seals w i l l haul out, some-a times, in groups of several hundred. The daily movements: of seals in this type of habitat are governed to'a great extent by the tide. Fig. 25 shows a typical habitat of the estuary tidal sandbar at the mouth of the Skeena River. Freshwater (Rivers, Lakes and Streams). The fresh water habitat may be further subdivided into three types, namely: upriver areas s t i l l within tide-water influence, upriver areas above tidewater influence F i g . 28 Rocks off Lamb Island of the Gibson Islands, high t i d e . Seals haul out on these rocks at any stage of the t i d e . August 13, 19^6. Pig. 29 Hauling out bar in the E c s t a l l River at low ti d e . Bar i s under 10-15 feet of water at high t i d e . June 10, 19^6. 32. and lakes. In upriver areas within tide-water influence, the water is practically entirely fresh, the flood tide mere-ly backing up water.from the mouth of the river. The hauling out sites consist usually of sandbars in the middle of the river, either isolated or extending from small islands. They are covered at high tide and bared on the ebb. Ho hauling out sites were found in this portion of the freshwater habitat which can be ut i l i z e d during flood -tide periods. Seals therefore can only haul out on selected bars, on the ebb tide to rest and digest their food, or, during the birth season, 'to bear their young. Only sandbars sloping quickly on one side into deep water are u t i l i z e d (Figs. 29, 30, 31, 32). Many other bars.are present in the same areas, in both the Skeena and the Ecstall, but the slope at the edges, is too gradual to allow immediate escape f a c i l i t i e s . In the Ecstall, there is no road or t r a i l on either side of the river, the banks, being steep and mountainous.. The only source of danger from man therefore is by .boat, and the bar commands an excellent view of the river for at least a mile on either side, i t s strategic position rendering i t impossible to approach a group hauled out to within effective gunshot range. Both of the hauling out bars in the Skeena. River are out of effective gunshot, range from either shore. Pig. 30 Same sandbar as i n F i g . 29, viewed from the west shore of the r i v e r at low t i d e . Two seals are hauled out. Fi g . 31 Main hauling out bar i n the Skeena River at dead low t i d e . Depressions are MbedsNmade by seals while hauled out. Bar is not u t i l i z e d when water i s t h i s low. F i g . 32 J Tracks of a seal on the Skeena River sandbar. Note marks made by f o r e f U p p e r s . 33. Hauling out sitesy above tidewater consist of exposed rocks, sand or gravel bars, or in isolated spots may be on the actual banks of the river. An area considered typical for this type of habitat is located at the mouth' of the Lakelse River, which empties into the Skeena about 12 miles, below Terrace. Small islands prevent a view of the mouth of the Lakelse from the highway and railroad on the opposite side of the Skeena. The banks of one island directly opposite the mouth of the Lakelse are of coarse rounded gravel and slope down into deep swift-running water affording an ideal hauling out site for the seals. Here, as in marine areas, seals probably feed and haul out whenever they feel the urge and are not forced by tid a l movement to definite'.periods, for hauling out. The harbour seal is known to habitually enter several British Columbia lakes. Practically nothing is known of their habits' in the lakes. A man who had logged in Nimkish Lake informed the writer that seals haul out on the log booms in the lake, chiefly at night. J. C. Williams, of Pitt Lake, B. C. (personal communication) states that seals are common in P i t t Lake, being numerous during the salmon run in the f a l l . A few are present during the winter. The seals frequent the rocky c l i f f s and the islands.. Environmental Relationships. The differences in the environmental conditions of 34. of the habitat types described illustrate the adaptability of the harbour seal to a variety of surroundings. Contrast for example the conditions under which seals liv e in the marine, estuary and upriver habitats. In the purely marine habitat there is no access to fresh water. It has been demonstrated by Irving and others (1935) that the seal kidney has no unique a b i l i t y to excrete salt, the urine containing an ingignificant amount of chloride, as well as the faeces. Seals therefore can-not drink salt water, but sufficient water for urine formation and excretion is gained from the food. The necessary conservation of water is accomplished by a delicately adjusted water balance which has been demon-strated by Irving et a l / , (1935) and Hiatt and Hiatt, (1942). In fresh water areas, however, the necessity for a. water balance for conservation of water from food would appear to be obviated. While the concentration of salt in estuarial waters may at times be too great to allow seals to drink i t , i t is highly probable that they drink fresh water in areas farther upriver, though they were never actually observed to do so by the writer. Irving>-et a l j , (1935) state that a group of harbour seals shipped . overland in an express car greedily drank freshwater after the journey. A. seal in fresh water therefore,, is probably able to 35. /go without food . for a much longer time than one in a marine habitat where i t is dependent upon food for i t s water. If the above fact is true, i t would explain why seals appear in upriver areas at dates in the early spring when there is apparently l i t t l e or no available food supply. It was established during the study that suckling of f i r s t summer pups extended into August in upriver areas within tidewater influence. At that time there was no evidence of milk in the stomachs taken from pups takan in the marine habitat of the Gibson Islands, and from the stomach contents and presence of ascarid parasites in these pupa and of one from the Queen Charlottes taken in July, i t was inferred that they had been weaned for some time. The possible fact that suckling occurs over a greater period of time in upriver areas may be correlat-ed with the ava i l a b i l i t y of fresh water. Lactation must demand a considerable supply of water, and in marine areas would be a definite strain on the water balance mechanism of the mother seal who depends upon her food: for fresh water. In marine areas hauling out sites are usually avail-able at any state of the tide, which would therefore have a minimum effect on the movements of hair seals. Since they may, under such conditions, haul out at any stage of the tide, they can feed whenever they feel the urge, though l i t t l e or nothing is known of the comparative 36. activity of hair seals at night and during the day in marine areas. In the region of t i d a l mudflats and bars, typical of %n estuary, however, the tide appears to assume a greater role in controlling the daily movements of seals. Areas upon which to haul out and rest are available only at low tide. In the estuary of the Skeena River, a. certain num-ber of seals are active at low tide periods, but the maj-ority, i f l e f t undisturbed, haul out at low tide, regard-less of whether this occurs during the day or at night and remain there u n t i l the bar is covered by the flood tide. In upriver areas/ within tidewater influence, daily movements appear to be governed entirely by tidal condit-ions.. If seals were undisturbed while under observation, i«-H^r-i-v-e-r—areas, none were ever noted to be active at low tide except a number playing in the water in front of the bars. It is not implied that the animals are compelled to haul out by low tide periods, but since hair seals, cannot sleep in the water after the manner of fur seals, they must come onto land in order to do so, and the only times when suitable areas are available upon which to haul out are during low .tides when the sandbars are uncovered. In upriver areas above tidewater influence, seals can, as in most marine areas, haul out at any time of the day or night. 37. Harbour seals are probably exposed to greater natural hazards in the marine habitat than in any other. Heavy storms may take a t o l l . Wilke (1943) describes a serious injury to a young harbour seal on the Pribilof Islands, apparently the result of (Being dashed against boulders during a gale. K i l l e r whales (Orca) are confined to the marine habitat and almost certainly constitute the most important natural predator of seals. Hamilton (1939) cites an instance where the stomach of one k i l l e r whale contained 24 seals, while another had eaten 13 porpoises and 14 seals. Scheffer and Slipp (1944) cite an experi-ence of the lightkeeper at Port Simpson, Bri t i s h Columbia, who, with another witness, watched a harbour seal chased from the water by a group of k i l l e r whales. C. J. Guig*et (personal communication) watched a group of k i l l e r whales, at the very head of Dean Channel, in July, 1939, cause a number of harbour seals to come right up to the edge of the shore, despite the presence of human onlookers. Other instances of predation on seals by k i l l e r whales, are numerous. Large sharks, according to Scheffer andSlipp are also known to devour seals. In estuarial waters natural hazards are lessened and in upriver areas probably obviated altogether. The close relationship with man in estuaries and other gil l - n e t fishery areas place an economic importance 38. upon harbour seals:, since they become active in raiding the fishermen's nets for food. In upriver areas when the salmon are running to their spawning grounds the natural predation by seals upon the salmon may present a sizeable problem in general predation on salmon. The sconomic status i s discussed in greater detail in a later section of this report. Seals may be able to hunt their prey by sight in marine areas of clear water or in clear fresh water. Some other sense must be employed in areas such as. the Skeena' estuary, however, and especially upriver, for the water is so heavily charged with mud that v i s i b i l i t y is restric-ted to not more than a few inches. VII LIFE HISTORY. Mating. Studies were terminated during both summers of the investigation without gaining firsthand data on mating habits. Local fisherman reported that in the Skeena River breeding appeared to take place in September and October, with mating acti v i t y greatest in September. The latter information agrees with that obtained by Scheffer and Slipp for Washington State. The examination of the testes of 4 adult seals, by these authors in the summer months reveal that spermatogenesis starts,at Nesqually, Washington State, in early July. The testes of a 300 pound male taken in the Fraser River am September 25, 1945, were found to be sexually 39. active. They measured 75 x 36 mm, and a smear from the epididymis showed many sperms. Though no signs of sexual activity were noticed after . a 15 minute observation of a group of seals hauled out on Lamb Island on August 14, 1946, i t appeared to be dev-eloping on the hauling out bar in the Skeena River, just below Il&winitsajon August 8, 1946. Here, although no actual mating acts were observed, the amount of restless-ness, and of squalling, grunting, barking and fighting had noticeably increased from earlier periods in the summer and was taken to indicate the onset of sexual activity. According to Allen (1880) Newfoundlanders state that the Atlantic Harbour seal also mates in September. No positive data has beer^as^ to the age at which male harbour seals mature sexually. Very l i t t l e devel-opment in the testes and baculum takes place during the f i r s t year as evidenced from the size of these organs in a second summer pup/ (Table III). It is inferred that males do not mature at least until the third autumn. Asdell (1946) citing B. Havinga, states, that the young of the harbour seal of Holland is believed to reach puberty at the end of i t s third year, at which time a sudden growth of the baculum occurs. One might guess that a similar situation exists for the Pacific Harbour seal. Data for the body weight and length, testes measure-ments and baculum size of 6 male adult seals from British Columbia are given in Table III. The data is graphically portrayed in <Fig. 33 and the bacula are photographed in Fig. 34. Table III. Field Standard Body Testes. Baculum Number Age. length of weight 1. (mm), depth. l(mm) wt(gms) body in mm. in pounds  log Newly born . 805 21 24 X 10 40 0.191 First summer pup 985 55 25 X 11 43 0.200 128 Second summer 1206 90 25 X 13 41 0.230 126 Young adult 1355 128 58 X 31 108 8.0 120 Adult 1446 200 68 X 34 139 19.5 102 .Old adult 1690 300 75 X 36 133 22.5 Notes baculum a£ No. 102 chipped off at one end. The average dimensions of the testes of 9 f i r s t summer pups was 25 x 11 x 9 mm., the average length and weight of the bacula. of 2 of these being 41.5 mm and 0.196 gms. The baculum size of f i r s t summer pupa is somewhat larger than values obtained by Scheffer and Slipp. For 3 f i r s t summer pups from Washington State these authors obtained an average baculum length of 33.9 mm and an average baculum weight of 0.140 gms. Very l i t t l e difference is seen in testes and baculum size of a yearling as compared with those of f i r s t summer pups. It would seem that the testes and baculum sizes for ^ ^ ^ t % o I Q O -ZiO 34Q [JoOY W E I G H T <»-<"-^ . . Fig»33 Graph showing approximately the change in proportions of the baculum and testis in the Pacific Harbour Seal with the increase in body weight (and therefore age). The sudden Increase is inferred tp take -place at the end of the third summer. Data taken from T a b l e l l l . 1 0 6 1 Z 8 ONE: WEEK E.IGHT WEEKS SECOND SUMMER VoUN& ADULT OLDER ADULT 102. *3 0HCJM™cRS= t METER VERY OLP ADULT T DBCAMETEg .00 MBtiSS» I : 3 E : / a t J E C l W l E T E R . T< = i KILOMETER !\ B»*1***AnkiniTHWiiiiiTi;i!iiH 3^ Photograph of the bacula of six male seals from B r i t i s h Columbia, of varying ages. Data f o r the lengths and weights of these are given in Table III, 41. the old adult^in Tatole III approach the limit of develop-ment. Scheffer and S'lipp present evidence that the female does not mate in her second autumn and must attain an age of at least two years before so doing and of at least . three years before bearing her f i r s t young. Data on the body length and weightJ^ovary dimensions of 11 f i r s t summer females, 2 second summer females and 1 adult female are given in Table IV. Table IV. Field Standard Body Dimensions, of Number Age. length (mm), weight (lbs). ovaries (mm.) Average of 11 F i r s t specimens summer 900 40 23 x 12 x 10 111 Second summer 1010 100 25 x 13 x 6 121 " " 1010 52 23 x 9 x 13 122 Adult 1530 140 30 x 11 x 18 Scheffer and Slipp give ovary dimensions of a 51-pound second summer fema^ as 19 x l l x 4 mm., and of a 94-pound third summer female as 27 x 17 x 8 mm. Allen (1880) gives the4 gestation period of the Atlantic Harbour Seal as approximately 9 months. This would appear to be so for the Pacific Harbour Seal as well, the birth season occurring from May to July, depend-ing oh the lo c a l i t y . . 42. As far as the writer was able to establish, the pro-portion of sexes in the Skeena River are equal. Of 28 seals taken in the Skeena area, 13 were males and 15 were females. Mating ig probably propiloououo* Birth. It was definitely established that the birth season in the Skeena area begins during the last part of May at the earliest and terminates during the latter half of June;;. This was concluded from the following observations. On May 18, 1946, the area about De Horsey Island was investigated. In a herd of seals hauled out on the sandbar, no pups were present. On May 19, a trip was, made to the area of the hauling out bars in the Skeena below K'ivinitsa. Only three adults and no pupswere seen. On May 20, the hauling out bars themselves were thoroughly investigated at low tide. Only 2 seals were seen in the water near the bar, but there were no signs of any seals hauled out or having very recently hauled out. A few more adults were noticed half a mile below the bar. The De Horsey area was re-visited on May 2.1, .at which time an estimated 60 seals were hauled out at low tide. ITo pups could be seen. The area was again visited from Junejl to June 4, during which no pupa were present. It was concluded that birth had not begun by June 4 in the De Horsey Island area. 43. On June. 8, the hauling out bar in the E c s t a l l River was visited. Upon approaching the bar by boat, about 12 adult seals were flushed into the water, each accompanied by a small pup. One adult was reluctant to leave the bar until the investigators, had approached to within 50 yards, when i t f i n a l l y entered the water, keep-ing at a distance of about 100 yards from the boat.. .The writer alighted on the bar and discovered a newly born pup, s t i l l attached to the placental afterbirth. On June 9, one more recently born pup was captured on the bar. On June 10, only 3 adults, each accompanied by a small pup, would approach the bar. On June 11, the Skeena River bar below IKwinitsa was re-visited at low tide, Twenty-eight seals^about 12 of which were pups^were hauled out in scattered groups below the main hauling out bar. On the latter, an estim-ated 150-200 were present, many of them pups. ISfo more specimens were obtained, but about a dozen afterbirths were noted, none of which appeared to have been deposited more recently than several days beforehand. A few fresh afterbirths were found on June 20}. when 5 pups were taken. Three of these which had umbilibal stubs were judged to t be not more than, a week oldy (Fig. #3/). On June 23, a 26-pound male pup was taken by hand while i t was swimming in De Horsey Passage. It bore an umbilical stub about 3 inches longy (Fig. 9). 44. It was concluded, therefore, that the birth of pups-begins during the last of May at the very earliest, and extends into the latter half of June, being at i t s peak in early June. The young are born on sandbars regularly used throughout the year aa hauling out sites. Pups were always scarce in the De Horsey area, as compared to their number upriver. It appears that the majority of births;- in the Skeena area take place upriver on the Skeena and Ecstall sandbars.. A somewhat earlier birth date is indicated in the 'observation by C. J . Guiguet of a small pup at the south end of Langara Island, Q,. C . l . on May 22, 1946. Scheffer and Slipp established that the pupping season in Washington State begins in May in the coastal bays and, perhaps along the ocean shore i t s e l f , and pres-ent evidence that the season is from 1-2 months later in Puget Sound and adjacent waters. G. M. Allen (1942) states that the birth season of the Atlantic hair seal extends from late Mardh to early June, but offers no data in support of this. J. A. Allen (1880) states that the birth season of the Atlantic hair seal in Newfoundland occurrs in the last two weeks of May and early in June. In the British Isles, Cowley (1941) reports on the capture of a very young "common seal" (Phoca vitulina  vitulina) on June 24, 1939. Sartlett flB68) reports .45. on the capture of a pregnant s e a l ( c a l l e d by him a Ringed S e a l (Phoca f o e t i d a ) but l a t e r e s t a b l i s h e d by J . A. A l l e n to be a common s e a l ) on May 23, 1868jand of the b i r t h of i t s pup on June 9. The b i r t h season would appear t h e r e f o r e to occur a t much the same time f o r the A t l a n t i c harbour s e a l and the P a c i f i c harbour s e a l . Number of Young. The w r i t e r was unable to o b t a i n evidence t h a t a femal*harbour s e a l may bear more than one pup. S c h e f f e r and S l i p p , however, s t a t e that a female w i l l on' r a r e oc-ca s i o n s bear two pupa and c i t e bounty hunters' r e p o r t s that i n odd i n s t a n c e s , two foe t u s e s may be found i n a female. N S i z e of Young. The weight of the newly born male pup from the E c s t a l l (no. 103) taken on June 8, 1946 was 21 pounds and i t s l e n g t h 805 mm. The female pup taken on June 9J. • 1946 (no. 104) weighed 28 pounds and measured 805 mm. D e t a i l e d measurements of these and of subsequent specimens are g i v e n i n Table I I . A d i s c u s s i o n of the growth of pups d u r i n g the summer w i l l be presented., s h o r t l y . Appearance and Behaviour of Young. I t i s of i n t e r e s t to r e c o r d a t t h i s p o i n t the appear-ance and behavioua? of the newly born male pup^ which was d i s c o v e r e d "in the E c s t a l l R i v e r , and the circumstances 46. of i t s discovery. Its birth was estimated to have taken place not more than 15-20 minutes previous to its cap-ture. The pup. bore a coat of yellowish foetal hair which was almost dry (Fig. 35) and the umbilical cord was s t i l l attached to the placental afterbirth. The pup was lying on i t s back about 20 feet from the water and was very s t i l l , appearing to be asleep. 5o well did the colour of the foetal coat blend with the colour of the dried sand, that i t was at f i r s t not recognized as a seal pup. It was discovered when the mother seal, the reason for her form-erly noted reluctance to leave the sandbar upon the approach of the hoat\ now being obvious, come onto the sandbar for her pup, after the writer had passed and was some 50 yards distant. .She was noticed before reaching her pup and quickly entered the water when the writer turned to investigate. When the pup was touched, i t immediately opened it s eyes, rolled over and attacked the writer, hissing and biting. Within 2 minutes i t began a steady, plaintive, sheep-like bleating. The hairs of the foetal coat, which were about 23mm in length, came out at the least touch and as the pup squirmed around on the sand, much of the coat came away in large patches, forming a mat. After about 15 minutes handling of the pup, practically a l l of the'foetal coat had been divested, revealing the normal shorter spotted coat underneath. The pup became quite tame in a few minutes and attempted to Fig» 35 Dorsal view of newly born male pup from the E c s t a l l River (No. IO3). Whitish fuzz on the back i s loosely attached f o e t a l h a i r . June 8, 19^6. I 47. follow the writer, issuing i t s plaintive cry. The mother seal in the water, meanwhile, viewed the proceedings from a safe distance. The pup was kept alive on the boat for several hours before being ki l l e d , during which time i t became extremely affectionate, wailing loudly unti l i t was picked up. One interesting fact noted was the remarkably prehensile property of the foreflipper. The pup was able to flex the phalanges of the foreflipper to almost precisely the same degree as a human, and could grasp one's ginger or clothing with a grip surprising in its tenacity. If the writer refused to pick up the pup as i t lay crying on the deck of the boat, i t would vig-orously flap f i r s t one foreflipper and then the other on the deck, and then pull i t s e l f part way up the writer's trouser leg. There appears to have been some conjecture as to the length of time which the foetal coat persists after birth or as to whether or not i t is shed before birth. Accord-ing to Scheffer and Slipp, the foetal coat may, in some parts of North America, probably in the colder waters, persist for a few days after birth. They conclude, how-ever, from their own studies and from information supplied by seal hunters, that the hair seal in Washington is normally born with the short, spotted coat. Bartlett (1868) reporting on the birth of a common seal (Phoca vitulina vitulina), which he thought was 48. Phoca foetida , at the time of writing, states that the pup, within a few minutes of birth, had divested i t s e l f of i t s foetal coat by i t s bodily movements, data which is in accord with those obtained by the writer. Mathews(1936) describes,and presents photographs of, a young common seal (Phoca vitulina•vitulina) captured in the British Channel on June 19, 1935. It was clothed in a "white woolly coat" with the normal spotted coat underneath. The hairs of this foetal coat measured about 30 mm., and were loosely attached, though many per-sisted throughout the dressing process of the hide. Prom the condition of the 5 inch umbilical cord on the pup i t was judged to be not more than a few days old. Cowley (1941) describes a young "Common Seal" taken in Great Britain on June 24, 1939. This specimen likewise was judged to be only a few days old, since a 2§- inch umbilical cord persisted^ feut in this instance, there were no traces of a woolly birth coat. Very young pups seem to be i n t i a l l y possessed of l i t t l e or no sense of danger. The second pup obtained from the Ecstall bar was estimate^ from the condition of its umbilical stub, to be not over 2 days"old. It was observed on the bar with its mother, about 20 feet from the water, for some minutes before being approached. The mother seemed to be having d i f f i c u l t y in coaxing i t into the water and showed some agitation upon the approach of the investigators, humping hurriedly hack and forth 49. between the edge of the water and the pup. A shot was fired at the female in an attempt to collect i t . It missed and the female swam off underwater un t i l out of r i f l e range. The pup showed no concern when the shot was fired, nor did i t take heed of the approach of the writer u n t i l i t was touched, whereupon i t snarled and attempted to bite for a few minutes, then tried to escape into the water. It seemed very active and healthy and soon became quite tame, behaving much as did the pup captured on June 9. ^ Hauling out bars which are frequent-ed by seals in the Skeena area are uncovered during the ebb tide and are covered by the flood tide some 3 to 5 hours later. The interval between the time of the birth of seals and the time at which they must enter the water is, therefore, never more than a few hours. There is no evidence that the young can be born in the water and i t would seem,then, that parturition must be adjusted to the tidal exposure of bars, as no alternative hauling sites are available, though i t is d i f f i c u l t to imagine the mechanism of adjustment. The recently born pupswhich were flushed.with their mothers from the Ecstall bar on June 8, 1946, seemed to experience no d i f f i c u l t y in swimming and submerging, except that they appeared to be unable to stay submerged for more than about a minute. The newly born pup captur-ed on the bar immediately submerged and swam swiftly under-5 0 . water when the writer tied a cord around the hindflipper and put i t into the river. For the f i r s t week or so the mother seal remains very close to the pup, ensuring that i t keeps out of danger from human observers. Frequently a pup separated from its mother and approached the boat to within 20 feet, gazing intently at the boat and its occupants. On such occasion, the mother seal would frequently surface suddenly beside the pup, and in a flash grasp i t by the back of the neck with her teeth and pull i t under in the middle of its typical cry, in which,case a distinct gargling sound ensued. Pups often became separated from their mothers for some time, especially when the investigators had been harrassing a group in the water in an attempt to secure specimens. At such times a pup would keep up a steady bleat u n t i l , on many occasions, the gargling sound indicated that i t s mother' had located i t . On two occasions a pup was seen resting on its mother's back in the water, holding firmly to her sides with i t s foref Uppers. The intense curiosity exhibited by pups at the pres-ence of humans either in a boat or on shore persisted well into August, by which time very l i t t l e association with the mother seal, while in the water, was noticed. Adult seals, while also possessed of a curious nature, are very quick to sense danger and are more careful to keep at safe distance than are the pup's. While hunting the latter wi&h shotguns, i t was noticed that they soon learn to keep out of gunshot range during the immediate hunting period but the following day are as guileless as ever. Growth of the Young. Of the 22 f i r s t summer pups collected, 9 were obtain-ed in June, 8 in July and 3 in August. In addition 4 yearlings (second summer) and 5 adults were secured. Detailed measurements of a l l specimens were madey (Table II). Prom grouping the data chronologically and taking means, i t is f e l t that the resultant indications on general development and rate of growth are of some sig-nificance. It must be borne, in.-.imind that the measurements of the 20 f i r s t summer pups probably do not represent a perfect series, in sequence of time. Some of the later specimens may have been born earlier or later in the birth season than were the f i r s t pups obtained, so that the rate' of growth shown for the f i r s t summer may be either great-.er or less than what they actually are. Furthermore, 5 specimens obtained in August 1946, from the head of Grenville Channel are included 'with the Ecstall and Skeena specimens in a consideration.of growth rate. While the evidence now on hand is. perhaps too meagre to make any definite statements, certain differences in size and in feeding habits between the pups from the head of Grenville Channel 52. and the others indicate either a later birth season for the marine area, or a slower i n i t i a l growth rate, or a combination of both, coupled with earlier weaning of pups from marine areas. Of the 5 speciments obtained at the head of Grenville Channel on August 13 and 14, 1946, one 70-pound male is considered to be a yearling. Three were f i r s t summer pups and these, as well as a number seen near the rocks of-Lamb Island, seemed noticeably smaller than specimens taken and seen in July and early August in the Skeena area. The most conspicuous difference was a smaller circumference due to a thinner blubber layer. This seems due to the probable fact that the pups from the head of Grenville Channel are weaned earlier than are those in the Skeena River. The above was evidenced by the presence of large nematodes in the stomach of the marine pups,, along with stomach contents such as octopus beaks, numer-ous shrimp.and small rockfish, and by the absence of milk in the stomachs. The stomaGhs of the Skeena and Ecstall pups obtained were entirely free from parasites up to July 20, a l l containing appreciable quantities of milk. On August 5, the stomach of a 52-pound yearling, taken at high tide, contained, beside nematodes, only the back-bones of two tiny fish, i n d i c a t i n g that food supply in the river aside from salmon is scarce. It is safe to conjecture that upriver pups are s t i l l suckling in August. The stomachs of 3 obtained in the Fraser River on September 5 3 . 1, .1945, contained only milk. The milk of the mother seal is very nourishing, judging from the rapid weight increase in June and July specimens. Bertram (194$ writing of the Weddell seal (Leptonychotes weddelli) of the Antarctic, states that the weight of the pup, which is 60 pounds at birth^may double i t s e l f after a fortnight on the nourishment of the maternal milk^and that the pup may gain weight at the rate of 7 pounds per day while suckling. The maternal milk in this species according to Bertram begins to f a i l in about 6 weeks when a marked decrease in the pup's weight occurs u n t i l i t learns to catch fish and squid. Weaned pups of the hair seal turning to such marine items as mentioned above, from the stomachs of the speci-mens from the head of Grenville Channel, would probably lose a certain amount of the blubber accumulated during suckling, unti l their food habits include more and larger fish,and this could explain the smaller size of the marine specimens as compared with that of the Skeena and Ecstall pups. As previously mentioned, the longer suckling period in upriver areas may be correlated with-the av a i l a b i l i t y of fresh water. Lactation must be a considerable strain on the water balance cf the mother seal in marine areas, and the lack of fresh water in such areas may hasten the weaning process. 54. The rapid gain in weight while suckling is perhaps the most remarkable factor of the early growth rate of the pups. As seen from Table V. the body weight is doubled in the f i r s t 6 or 7 weeks of l i f e during which the young seal is nourished by maternal milk. The chief factor in the weight increase is the production of blubber, the average thickness of the blubber of 3 pups, taken in the f i r s t half of June being 30mm., as against an average of 42 mm. for July 8 specimens-. The increase in blubber thickness appears to be at a maximum by July, at which time the pups are round and tight-skinned in appearance, (Figs. 10, 15, 19/). Scheffer(1945) found a similar weight increase in sea-lion pups (.Emetopias jubata) the body weight doubling within the f i r s t 7 weeks of l i f e . A comparison of the growth rates of male f i r s t summer pups with females of the same age (Table V^) shows l i t t l e significant difference between sexes in the f i r s t summer. Two yearling males averaged 80 pounds in weight and 1159 mm. in length, as compared with 2 female yearlings averag-ing 76 pounds in weight and 1010 mm in length, indicating that size differences between the sexes may exist at one year of age. July specimens of f i r s t summer pups show an increase of 8 per cent in body length over June specimens,: and of 38.5 per cent in circumference. Table V. Averages of measurements of f i r s t summer, second, summer, and adult harbour seals from F i r s t summer pups, males and females combined Second summer. June July Aug. Jun-Aug. Males Females Aver. (9) (8) (3) (20) (2) (2) (4) Weight (pounds) 26 51 41 39 80 76 78 Standard length (mm. ) 8^8 927 949 899 1159 1010 1085 Length t a i l 6.4 62 61 63 83 70 76' Length f o r e f l i p p e r 167 170 179 170 182 I 8 5 I83 Length h i n d f l i p p e r 1'91 199 206 196 214 210 212 Expanded width f o r e f l i p p e r 120 122 119 120 121 126 124 Expanded width hindflipper 247 253 260 251 - 293 283 289 Circumference behind f o r e f l i p p e r s ' 512 709 652 617 738 745 750 Tip of nose to insertion of f o r e f l i p p e r 275 290 313 286 384 555 363 Centre navel to t i p t a i l 272 286 288 . 280 348 535 341 Centre anus to t i p t a i l 82 85 86 84 94 95 95 Centre navel to centre anus 200 230 234 217 268 260 264 Centre navel to t i p lower jaw 569 629 657 606 794 740 767 Distance between mammae 55 66 64 61 X 64 64 From l i n e between mammae to centre navel 32 44 43 38 X 42 42 Centre eye to centre ear 41 42 43 42 52 50 51 Penis opening to centre navel 108 132 130 123 146 X 146 Penis opening to centre anus 105 98 111 102 131 X 131 Thickness.of blubber on b e l l y 50 42 31 55 38 32 38 Longest nasal v i b r i s s a 86 93 102 91 77 86 84 Longest supranasal v i b r i s s a 17 18 16 17 13 . 10 12 Longest brow v i b r i s s a 50 47 52 49 44 31 39 Dimensions of ovaries - length 27 22 21 23 X 27 27 thickness 15 12 10 12 X 10 13 depth 10 11 12 10 X 16 10 Dimensions of testes - length 27 24 24 23 26 X 27 thickness 12 10 11 9 - X 14 width 8 11 11 14 X — B r i t i s h Columbia Adult Males (3-) 209 1497 95 239 267 163 373 1043 508 477 113 397 1000 x x 57 202 185 29 103 13 53 x x X 67 34 27 Females Aver. (2) (5) 148 185 1485 1492 98 96 225 234 275 270 156 160 313 349 1048 1045 485 499 485 480 112 113 400 318 964 986 88 88 80 80 61 58 X 202 X 135 34 31 91 97 12 12 43 48 30 30 18 11 11 18 X 72 X 27 X 34 55. August specimens increased an additional 2.3 per cent in body length over July spec iemensbut show a dec.rev.se of 20 j.er cent in body weight and of 8 percent in circumfer-ence, due^ apparently to the decrease in blubber accompany-ing the weaning process. The 4 yearling specimens show an increase of 14 per cent in body length over the August f i r s t summer series accompanied by a 90 percent weight increase and a 15 per. cent increase in circumference. The adult series shows an increase .of 37 per cent . in body length and of 39 per cent in circumf erencer with a 104 per cent increase in body weight over the^ yearling ' series. From birth to the adult size in the series under con-sideration, an increase of 74 per cent in body length takes place and of 104 per cent in circumference, with the body weight increasing 7 times. Of the 74 per cent increase in body length about 49 • per cent ia in the region anterior to the navel and 25• per cent in posterior to this region. Data for the change with age in other body proportions are given in Table V. VIII. PARASITES AED DISEASE. Parasites. ' • ' Less than 48 species of internal and external parasites have been recorded from harbour seals. Ascarids are of a &&. most common occurence, these being present in every stomach examined except in those of pups. They varied in number in each stomach from a few to several hundred, being most numerous in the pylorus, but none being found beyond the pyloric valve. The only genus: determined was Porracaecum which Scheffer and Sperry (193$) record as being numerous, from seals of Washington State. Further study would most certainly reveal other genera and species. Several hundred acanthocephalans of the genus Corynosoma, probably of the species strumosum, (Scheffer and. Slipp, 1944) were found in the ileum of an adult male seal from the Fraser River/ (No. 102). None of these were found in the Skeena River specimens examined. Several dozen mites of the genus Halarachne were collected from the naso-pharynx of an adult male seal from the Gibson Islands (No. 120) and of a male yearling (No. 123) from the same loc a l i t y . Scheffer and Slipp record the mite Halarachne halichoeri from 2 adult males from. Washington State. About 2 dozen sucking l i c e (Anophura) of the family Echinopthiriidae, apparently representing an undescribed species, were collected from seals of the Skeena area. Roundish in shape and about 3mm. in length, they were most common on the dorsal and ventral surface of the web of the hind foot, though they were found also on the sides of the body and on the belly. They were taken from 2 pupa 57. about one month old (Nos. 113, 114) from the Skeena River, from a pup about 6 weeks old (No. 118) from the E c s t a l l River and from a yearling (No. 123) from the Gibson Islands. In no instance did a parasite infestation seem to be heavy enough to cause apparent detrimental effect to the health of the seal. Diseases. Harbour seals appear to be remarkably free of disease. The factor ?i.s mentioned here however, since one pup (No. 107) from the Skeena River, judged to be less than a week old, was afflicted with a considerable swelling of the lymphatics on the right side of the neck(Fig. 4, 5/). The swelling was quite hard to the touch, and the glands were suppurating, a clear liquid discharge issuing from an opening in the skin. ,The pup seemed more lethargic than normal healthy specimens and was captured by hand on the Skeena hauling bar. The blubber on the belly was 25 mm. in thickness, compared to an average of 33 mm. for 3 other pups captured at the same time. Brown (1868) describes an identical condition occurring in pupa of the Harp Seal (Phoca groenlandica) in the Spitzbergen and Greenland Seas and states that the disease is. analogous to i f not indeed true scrofula. Another pup obtained at the same time (No. 106) was in an exceedingly emaciated condition, being almost without 58. blubber except for a trace on the belly (Fig. 4, 5/). The pup was found on a sandbar at low tide and had barely sufficient strength to hold up i t s head. It was inferred that the condition was the 'result of starvation rather than of disease. Several adults had been shot in the vi c i n i t y over a week prior to the capture of the pup in question and one may have been the mother. IX ECONOMIC STATUS. Damage to the Skeena River Gill-net Fishery. The damage rendered to the g i l l - n e t fishery would be phenomenal i f the verbal assertions of the fishermen were true. The majority of fishermen interviewed by the writer stated that they are of the firm belief that seals take as many salmon from the Skeena as does the commercial f i s h -ery and that in the spring and early summer each fisherman loses f u l l y half of his catch as a result of seal depred-ation. According to the Dominion. Department of Fisheries s t a t i s t i c s , the catch of spring salmon alone (Oncorhynchus.  tschawytscha) from the Skeena area in 1946 was 1,713,300 pounds, not including 31,500 pounds of "jack Msprings. Damage to nets. Damage to the nets, from seal action was found to be small. On odd occasions, a seal may become entetgled in a. net and cause wide tears., but, in the over-all picture this is not too serious.. The usual extent of'damage amounts to a few strands of the net broken 59. salmon caught in the mesh. Damage to Salmon in the Nets-. Considering the number and severity of complaints by fishermen concerning depredations by seals on salmon in their nets, the small number of men who bothered to turn in the forms with which many were issued, recording the damage in actual figures, is rather surprising. The few forms which were turned in, however, may be considered as f a i r l y representative of the loss during the spring salmon (Oncorhynchus tschawutschft) season, since by the middle of May,l©46, only 28 boats were fishing on the Skeena. The nature of the damage usually consists of a few mouthfuls of meat torn from the throat region of the salmon. In numerous cases the entire head i s eaten away, (Fig. 36), and in theprocess strips of skin may be torn from the body, rendering the f i s h worthless. In some instances noted, the entire body of the salmon was miss-ing ronly the head being l e f t hanging in the net.(Fig. 37). Sometimes, the lower jaw is torn away (Fig. 38/). Seal activity in the fishing area is, invariably indicated by the presence of a skiff towed behind each gill - n e t boat. Normally fishermen prefer not to take a skiff with them, as its presence is a nuisance while setting and picking up a net. The majority of sets, are made at low water slack. The net is then allowed to §t*aHrt Fig. 36 Three spring salmon taken from a gill-net at the mouth of the Skeena, with the heads bitten off by seals. June 15, 1945. F ig» 37 Spring salmon taken from a gill-net off De Horsey Island, with body eaten entirely away by a seal. June 20, 1945. Fig. 36 Fig. 37 F i g , 38 Damage by seals to spring salmon caught in a g i l l - n e t . L e f t , approximately a l l that was l e f t of one salmon. Right, lower jaw and some of the g i l l s torn away, minor damage f o r which price i s not reduced. 60. d r i f t with the flood tide for up to an hour, after which i t is "picked up"' and the salmon are removed. In many-cases the net is immediately re-set and allowed to d r i f t again. The net i s uaually l e f t un^tended in the water, but when seal depredation is taking place, i t becomes necessary for each fisherman to "skiff" the net, i;e., to maintain a ceaseless patrol of the entire 300-fathom length of the net in his skiff, carefully watching the corkline for signs of salmon striking a portion of the net, then rowing immediately to the spot to pull up that portion and to remove the salmon. If this is not done, many salmon may be mutilated by seals, before the net is picked up. The seals are reported to become quite bold at night and to snatch at a salmon in the net while i t is being reeled onto the net drum of the boat. No defense action other than patrolling the net seems feasible. The use of firearms is dangerous because of the presence of other boats in the v i c i n i t y . In the majority of instances when seal damage occurr-ed while the writer was present, the seal or seals had never been seen near th£§€ net and had apparently carried out the whole attack while submerged. Actual figures of amounts of damage done by hair seals are recorded in Table VI. They concern spring salmon (Oncorhynchus tschawfttschft) fishing only . TABLE VI» RECORD NO. 1  RECORD PER SET OF (RANDOM SETS) SEAL DAMAGE Species being f i s h e d - Sp r i n g . Record of each set Percentage of body destroyed C r e d i t per l b . given Date State of t i d e when set No. of f i s h caught No. of f i s h b i t t e n Colour O r i g i n a l weight Weight of remains Loss May 7 24 2 90$ each Red 1) 2) 20 15 2 2 0 0 / $4.00 3.00 9 low s l a c k 18 3 1) 20$ 2) 60$ 3) 80$ Red it H 1) 2) 3) 15 35 20 12 18 9 6j* 60 60 2.28 5.92 3.46 13 low 12 1 20$ . Red 20 16 60 3.04 20 21 1 2$ Red 18 16 60 2.64 27 15 2 1) 24$ 2) 13$ white Red 1) 2) 25 15 19 13 0 60 2.00 2.22^ . 29 - ' 14 . i 10$ Red 20 18 60 2.92 TABLE V I . Cont'd. - RECORD NO. 2 RECORD PER SET OF (RANDOM SETS) SEAL DAMAGE Species being f i s h e d - Spring. Record o f each set Sta t e of t i d e Date when set - One set/day No. of No. of f i s h f i s h caught b i t t e n Percentage of body O r i g i n a l destroyed Colour weight Weight of remains C r e d i t per l b . given Loss May 20 21 22 23 24 27 28 29 30 31 June 3 I 7 10 11 12 13 J u l y 1 2 3 4 "5 8 Low t i d e n II II it II it u n n u it it II H N n II II II u II u a n n n II H Low t i d e II B N II n II II H II II i 54 10 3 3 2 4 2 3 4 7 13 10 4 14 10 16 19 8 7 12 24 29 22 2 1 1 1) 100% 50% 100% 25% Red Red White Red Red 25 34 25 23 20 17 19 16 6t 6t 6t ^ each Red 45 l b s . 20 f o r the 2 $5.00 5.78 1.36 4.36 3.04 6j* 7.80 TABU 71. (Cont'd.) RECORD* NO. 2. Date S t a t e of tide when set No. of fi s h caught No. of fish bittteft Percentage of body destroyed Colour Original weight Weight of remains Credit per lb. given Loss July 9 Low tide 11 _ 10 n H 14 — 11 n n 20 1 3/4 Red 24 6 60 4.44 12 tt 11 55 1 total Red 30 — 0. 6.00 . 15 N n 35 ' - — - MB -16 N u 24 - — — — — — -17 a 11 34 — — - — - - -18 N it 47 — — — — — — 19 n H 44 - — — — mm •* -22 N it 19 - - - — - — — 23 n 11 12 .» _ _ 24 H M 31 1 100$ Red 18 just 0 3.60 head 25 n n 12 _ _ — 26 11 11 13 — — — — — — — RECORD NO. 3 Record each set - 2 sets each day. May 30 Every low 5 1 40$ Red 19 11 60 3.14 tide 31 tt n - 2 — — — — — — — June 3 u 11 7 i it 11 3 1 60$ Red 17 7 60 2.98 5 M it 4 1 100$ Red 20 Just 0 4.00 head 6 II n 9 1 20$ Red 24 19 60 3.66 7 II n 7 1 100$ Red 18 just 0 3.6O (about) head 10 II n 16 _ — _ . — _ TABI VI, .(Cont'd. ) J1COHD No. 3 State No. of No. of Percentage of tide f i s h f i s h of body Date when set caught bitten destroyed Colour June 11 Low-High 4 1 100 Red 12 u 11 _ _ it 19 1 100 Red 14 17 II 8 1 60. Red Low 12 2 50(each) l)Red 18 n 2)White 10 _ 19 H 19 9 20 II 7 _ «_ 21 II 5 1 75 Red 24 II 2 1 100 Red ? 25 n 3 _. _ 27 u 17 28 u 17 •* July 1 II 7 _ July 2 n 3 1 50 white ? Low^High 4 — mm 4 H 22 1 50 Red 5 n 49 — 8 Low 3 _ _ 9 Low-High a 19 1 25 Red 10 5 _ 11 Low 12 12 Low-High 38 - — Original Weight Weight of remains Credit per lb. given Loss June 3 -10 10-17 48 24 8 5 22 (about) 19 (about) 21 1) 21 2) 15 19 19 21 20 RECORD NO. 4 20 each 20 each 12 11 6 6 0 8 11 15 discarded discarded 60 60 60 60 0-60 60 60 4.40 3.48 4.25 2.64 3.44 3.80 1.20 3^54 3.10 $32.00 20.00 TABLE 1, (Cont'd.) RECO- ^  NO. S Date St a t e of t i d e when set No. of f i s h caught No. o f f i s h b i t t e n Percentage of body destroyed Colour Weight C r e d i t O r i g i n a l of per l b . Weight remains g i v e n Loss e 9 Low 7 3 100 f o r a l l Red 60. 30 60 $10.20 High 2 1 20 N 22 21 60 3.24 s k i n s t r i p p e d -10 Low 9 0 - — - — — — 10 High 1 0 - - - - - -10 Low 1 0 — — — — — -i o : High - - - - - - - -10 Low 1 — — — — — — — 10 High, 3 1 — - - — — 11 H a l f 1 1 100 Red 35 head 0 7.oo 11 Low 1 1 0 12 n 5 0 0 12 High l 0 0 4.00 12 H a l f l 1 100 white ? f i n s & 0 meat estimate 13 Low 8 1 30 Red 27 25 60 3.90 High 2 1 40 Red 25 23 3.62 14 Low 6 0 — — — — — -14 High 3 . 0 — mm - — -16 Low 5 0 - — — — - -17 High 4 0 - - - - - -17 K.W. 3 0 — — — — — -17 Low 9 2 50$ both Red 50 t o t a l 18 60 8.92 17 High 2 0 - — — -. -17 • H.W. 3 — — — — — — — 18 Low 7 2 50$ Red 57 t o t a l . 33 60 9.42 18 High 1 0 - — - - — . -19 Low 4 2 100$ Red 25 . head 0 5.00 19 High 2 2 20$ Red 40 t o t a l 32 60 7.08 20 Low 4 0 — — - — . — 20 High 2 0 - — — — — -21 Low 5 2 100$ — 45 t o t a l 0 (heads) 0 9.00 21 Low 4 0 — — _ — _ — TABLE V I . (Cont'd.) RECORD NO. 5 (Cont»d.) State No. of No. of Percentage O r i g i n a l . ^Weight C r e d i t of t i d e f i s h f i s h of body Weight of per l b . Date when set caught b i t t e n destroyed Colour remains given Loss June 23 Low 7 mm mm 24 n 16 2 1) 50% Rea 15 8 60 2.52 2) 30% Red 2P ' 14 — -24 High 4 - - * - - - - -24 Low 10 - — — — - -24 High 1 — - - - - - -25 Low 4 — - - - - - — 25 High 2 — - — - — — -26 Low 4 2 50% each Red 35 t o t a l 17 60 5.91 26 High 1 - - - - - -27 Low 5 — - — — • — - -27 High 0 - - - • - - - -27 Low 1 — — - — — — -27 High 0 - — - — . - - -28 Low 4 •* — — . RECORD NO. 6 -June 4 Low 6 2 1) a l l Red 20 head 0 - 4.00 2) 50% n 20 10 60 3.-40 High 2 0 40 60 Eow 5 1 Red 25 15 4.10 High l 0 6 Low 8 — High 2 2 50 1  22 each 22 60 7.45 7 Low 6 — 1/3 . 10 Low 3 1 Red 27 18 60 4.32 High - -11 Low 3 1 a l l 1  25 head - 5.00 High 3 -122 Low 1 — High 3 1 25 1 30 22 100 3.80 Low 3 1 50 n 25 13 60 4.22 TABLE VI. (Cont'd.) Date State of tide when set No. of f i s h caught No. of fish-bitten RECORD NO." 6 (cont'd.) Percentage Colour of body destroyed Original Weight Weight Credit of per l b . remains given Loss June 12 13 13 11 . 14 14 16 17 17 18 18 18 19 19 19 19 20 20 20 20 21 23 24 24 24 25 25 25 25 High Low High Low High Low High Low High Low High Low High Low High Low High Low High Low High Low High Low High Low Low High Low High 3 I 1 3 2 1 3 4 8 2 4 5 o 3 1 2 2 7 2 17 5 20 5 7 6 1 5 9 1 1 1 3 1 1 0 1 0 3 a l l 50 25 20 20 a l l a l l a l l a l l 20 Red II Red Red Red Red Red Red Red 30 25 28 30 60 head 12 21 24 55 head 25 20 mm mm 20 . 2 0 -100 total 61 0 60 100 100 100 0 0 0 100 6.00 4.28 3.70 3.60 7.50 £ f 0 0 4 . 0 0 4 . 0 0 4 . 0 0 8.90 61. Record No. 1/ of Table VI/ shows figures of loss for individual sets, obtained at random during v i s i t s made to individual fishermen in 1946. Records No. 2-6 are presented in Table VI/ as they were recorded by each fisherman who turned them in. They are reduced for convenience to the form shown in Table VII. Record No. 1 is omitted from Table VII since the sets are random samples, each taken from a different fisherman. The majority of springs caught were of the red-meated variety. For these the fishermen received 20 cents per pound undressed, in 1946. The price granted for white-meated springs was 8 cents per pound. For individual salmon partly damaged, e.g., with a mouthful of meat torn per from the belly, the price dropped to 6 cents # pound whether the meat was red or white. If mutilation was ex-cessive, the f i s h was rendered entirely worthless. It should be borne in mind that seals, frequently re-move salmon completely from the nets. Such cases were not recorded, since i t was impossible to t e l l how many were removed. The loss as shown therefore is probably below that which actually occurred. Of the 1,713,300 pounfd of spring salmon recorded at the Head Office of the Dominion Department of Fisheries as being landed from the Skeena Area, 968,700, or bl% were red-meated and 744,600, or 43$ were white-meated. Neither the proportions of red and white, nor the individ-Table VII. Data from Seal Damage Records Nos.2-6, to show Monetary Loss in Percentage of Money Made in the Period May 20-July 31, 1946, by Five Gill-net Fisher-. men of the Skeena Area  Record No. Period Fished Number Caught Number Bitten Total money made LOss Loss ln % of money made 2 May 20-31 58 11 $ 172.12 $ 19.81 12$ June 50 0 148.40 0 0 July 473 5 1729.28 21.84 1 3 May 30-Jun.8 187 12 555.04 43.19 7 3!ul.l-12 199 3 590.68 7.84 1 4. • Jun.3-17 72 13 213.72 52.00 24 5 June 166 24 492.64 79.88 16 6 June 189 23 567.00 87.27 15 2-6 inc ,May 20-31 65 12 193-76 22.95 12$ June 657 71 1935.16 255.20 13 b July 672 8 1994.52 29.68 1.5 Total May 20-July 3] 1394 1 . . I 91 $4468.88 $311.83 7$ 62. ual weights of the salmon recorded on the forms are available. Therefore the proportion of 57 per cent red springs and of 43 per cent white springs, with an arbit-r a r i l y set value of 20 pounds for each salmon iis used in estimating the loss in percentage of money made. Prom Record Mo. 1, i t is seen that of 104 springs-caught in May, 1946, 10, ©r 9.5 per cent were seal bitten with a resultant loss of $31.98, or.10 per cent of the estimated $308.72 made. Record No. 2. (Table VII.":) shows that in the period May 20-31, 1946, of 58 springs caught, 11 or 19 percent were damag§d, resulting in a loss of $19.81, or about 12 per cent of the estimates $172.12 made during the 10 days. During the period June 3 to July 2.6, the number of boats increased, especially from June 30, the opening day -f-fih for.the sockeye season, and the number of bitten Adecreased. No damage is recorded in Record No. 2 for June, though according to the fisherman i t was necessary to tend the nets with a skiff, since a few seals were in the vic i n i t y . During July, 5 salmon or 1 per cent, were seal bitten out of a total of 473 caught, resulting in a loss, of §21.84, or 1 per cent of the estimated $1,729.28 made. Record No. 3, shows that of 187 salmon caught from May 30 to June 28, 1946, 12 or 6.4 per cent were seal-bitten, resulting in a loss of $43.19, or 7 per cent of the estimated $555.00 made in the 21 days. From July 1 • 63. to July 12, 3 springs or 1.5 per cent of 199 caught were seal bitten, resulting in a loss of $7.84 or about 1 per cent of the estimated $590.68 made. Record No. 4. shows that during the period June 3-17, 13 salmon, or 18 per cent of the 72 caught were seal bitten, resulting in a loss of $52.00 or 24 per cent of the estimated $213.72 made. The fisherman f i l l i n g out Record 5 caught 166 salmon during June 1946, of which 24 or 14.4 per cent were dam-aged resulting in a loss of $79.88 or about 16 per cent of the estimated $492.64 made. Record No.m6, shows a Jtine catch of 189 springs, of which 23, or 21.1 per cent were damaged resulting in a loss of $87.27 or about 15 per cent of the'estimated $567.00 made. Lumping the data by months, Records 2-6 show that of 65 springs caught by the 5 men from May 20-31, 1946, 12 or 18.4 per cent were seal bitten, with a loss of $22.95 or about 12 per cent of the estimated $193.76 made. Of 657 springs caught in June, 71, or 10.8 per cent were seal, bitten, with a loss of $255.20 or about 13 per cent of the estimated $1,935.16 made. Of 672 springs caught in July, 8 or 1.3 per cent were seal-bitten, with a loss of $29.68, or about 1.15 per cent of the estimated $1,994.52 earned. In the entire period May 20 to July 12, then,of 1394 64. spring salmon caught by 5 fishermen, 91 or 6.5 per cent were seal bitten with a loss to the fishermen of $311.83" or about 7 per cent of the estimated $4,468.88 earned. Discussion. JLlthough the figures indicate that seal depredation in May and June is about equal, many reports from fisher-men indicate that the damage appears to be at its worst in A p r i l and May, when few boats, are on the river. With the great increase in numbers of boats out occurring on and after the beginning of the sockeye season on the last Sunday in June, the activity of seals has diminished con-siderably on the fishing grounds and damage becomes neglig-ible in the commercial fishery. Whether the decrease in depredation is correlated with the onset of the pupping season , or whether i t is due to the increase ifi numbers of running salmon, creating a more available food supply for seals without their having to resort to net-raiding, is unknown. The large number of boats, out/ (about 600) during the sockeye season may tend to scare the seals, av/ay. Manyboats. fishing sockeye were visited by the writer and instances of seal-bitten sockeye were few. The l i t t l e damage occurring in July appeared to be centred on spring salmon rather than on sockeye. No forms record-ing damage to sockeye salmon were turned in. Walker (1915 ) recording damage from seal depredation 65. from May 12-29, 1915, at the mouth ofnthe Stikine River, Alaska, found that of a total of 1,462 springs taken in the nets visited, 348, or 23.8 per cent were seal-bitten. The amount of damage later in the season or on other species of salmon was not ascertained. The time at which fishermen appear to be jus t i f i e d in their demands for control of seals in the Skeena River is during the early part of the spring salmon fishing, when the percentage of seal-bitten f i s h is probably 20 per cent of the catch or more. If the spring salmon run is large, the money made in spite of seal damage may be considerable. If the run is small, the monetary loss, could well .become a matter of concern. Many fishermen depend upon the money made.during summer fishing to support them for the entire year. Seals, moreover, are reported to be more active in raiding the nets when fishing is poor. This could possibly be due to the fact that salmon are then more d i f f i c u l t for the seals to catch under natural conditions -than when they are numerous and the nets offer a. readily obtainable meal. Verbal reports., f a i r l y well substantiated, indicate that seal damage increases again during the coho season when the number of boats becomes reduced. This, could not be confirmed by records in 1946. Food Habits. 0 One essential to reaching a decision on the effect 66. of seal (predation on the natural run of salmon in a given area is to collect a series of stomachs from the area representative of a l l seasons of the year and in this way to gain a definite idea of the importance of salmon in the diet of the seal and of the seasonal variation in the food relationship. Scheffer and Sperry (1931) assembled a collection of 100 stomachs from Puget Sound and in the semi-enclosed and coastal waters of Washington State from December 1927, to August 1930. Localities included were the mouth of the Nisqually River and Willapa Ba^tf, areas where salmon are running at certain seasons of the year. Pishes were found to comprise 93.6 per cent of the food, molluscs 5.8 per cent and crustaceans 0.6 per cent. The chief species of fis h were torn-cod, flouders, Pacific herring, hake, sculpions., cod, blue-cod, pollack and shiners. Salmon were found in only two stomacha. Squids were eaten in winter and octopi in summer. Shrimps were occasionally taken in quantity. Smaller forma of crustaceans, were present probably occurring as secondary food. Scheffer, (1928) records the contents of 35 harbour seal stomachs taken at a l l seasons of the year from Puget Sound, chiefly at.Nisqually Plats. Thirteen, being paps contained milk. Of the others, 2 contained salmon, while the remainder held relatively unimportant food items such as herring, tom-cod, shiners, sculpina, shrimps, crabs, 67. squid, octopus, skate, starfish and flounders. F i f t y harbour seal stomachs were obtained from British Columbia during the present study, from September 1945 to November 1946. The great majority of these were obtained during summer months. Of the 50 stomachs, 10 were empty, 10 contained milk only and 20 contained food. The frequencies of the individual items found in the 20 stomachs containing food, with the percentage of total volume of each item is given in Table VIII. Identifiable items occurring most frequently are rockfish (Sebastodes) and octopus, or the beaks of octopus, each being present in 7 stomachs. The percentage of total volume for both of these items (24.2^) is considered to be lower than i t should be owing to the fact that in some stomachs, much or a l l of the meat had been digested from both items, leaving the bones of the rockfish or the beaks of the octopus.. One stomach contained 19 rockfish otoliths. Unidentified f i s h occurred next in frequency being present in 6 stomachs. Salmon occurred in 5 stomachs, forming 28.5 per cent of the total volume. Though this item occupied the high-est percentage of the total volume, much more meat was. present than in the case of the other fish, which were more thoroughly digested. Pacific herring occurred in 2 stomachs out of 20, each stomach being f i l l e d to capacity and forms a 20 per cent TABLE VIII. Frequency of I .terns in Stomahha of Twenty Adult Harbour  Seals from the Fraser River, Queen Charlotte Islands and  the Skeena River, August 5, 1945 to September 1, 1945  and July 4, 1946 to November 6, 1946 and percentage of  Total Volume Occupied by each Item. Item No.of stomachs in Approximate which item occurred' percentage of total volume. Rockfish (Sebastodes)sp) Octopus or their beaks Salmon Herring (Clupea Pallaaii) Shrimp (Crago) Small crabs Lamprey Snail opercula. (Thais) Unidentified f i s h 7 7 5 2, 2 2 1 1 19.0 5.2 28.5 20.0 2.5 2.5 0.04 trace (not salmon) Unidentifiable material ' 6 12 16.6 6.0 68. of the total volume. Shrimp and small crabs each occurred in 2 stomachs and each formed 2.5 per cent of the total volume. Many of the small crabs are believed to have been present as secondary food. The unidentifiable material occurring in 12 stomachs, forming 6 per cent of the total volume, is believed to have been mainly well-digested f i s h items. Of the areas represented by a l l 50 stomachs obtained, 18 were obtained from the Skeena River. Of these, 13 were of f i r s t summer pups, 12 containing milk and 1 being empty. ' Of 5 adult or subadult stomachs, 3 were empty. One obtained at De Horsey Island on August 3, 1946, con-tained parts of 2 salmon. Another from the mouth of the Lakelse River, September 6, 1946, contained almost an entire coho. salmon. Five stomachs were obtained from the Ecstall River in the summer of 1946. Of these, 4 were pups, 3 contain-ing milk'and one being empty. One stomach of a yearling contained the backbones of 2 very small fi s h , believed to be flounders because of their abundance in the area. Eive stomachs were obtained from the Gibson Islands, August 13-14, 1946. One, that of an adult, was empty, save for many ascarids.' In the remaining four stomachs, which were of pups, shrimp (Crago) was the mest prominent item, one stomach containing 51. Small rockfishes, octopus 69. beaks and two lampreys were also present. Of 11 stomachs from the east coast of the Queen Charlottes, 8 were taken from July 4, to July 10, 1946' and 3 were taken on November 6, 1946. Of the former series, rockfish (Sebastodes) occurred in 5 stomachs, being the chief item of diet in each case. Octopus, or the beaks of octopus, occurred in 7 stomachs. Also present in lesser quantities were small crabs, probably occurring secondarily as rockfish food, opercula of the marine snail Thais, believed to occur as secondary food of octo-pus, and small unidentified f i s h . Of the three stomachs secured in November, 1 was empty save for many ascarids. Two from Sedgewick Bay, Lyell Island, each contained parts of 1 chum salmon. Eleven stomachs were obtained from the mouth cf the Fraser River from August 16 to September 25, 1945. Of these 6 were of pups, 5 containing milk and 1 being empty. Of the remaining 5, 2-were f i l l e d with herring, 1 contained, an entire humpback salmon (Oacorhyfachus gorbuscha) and 2 were empty. In addition to the stomach analyses, the testimonies, of 3 men contacted by the writer are f e l t to be reliable. According to William Leask, seine fisherman, hair seals feed heavily on spawning herring of Metlakatla, near Prince Rupert, each year in A p r i l . Helmar Stain, gi l l - n e t fisherman who has resided for 70. years near Port Essington, at the'mouth of the Skeena, states that in March eulachons are running into the river mouth, and with their appearance, hair seals occur in numbers off Point Lambert and follow the eulachons up the Ecstall River. The eulachon^ run apparently marks the beginning of the seasonal upriver movement of seals. By the end of the eulachon run .in April, spring salmon are ascending both the Skeena and Ecstall, and probably form part of the diet of seals. J. G. Williams, of Pitt Lake, B.C., who has shot several seals in the lake, states that he has observed seals chasing trout under the surface of the water. Discussion. Prom the nature of the stomach contents of harbour seals examined in the present study, and in previous in-vestigations, by other writers., one fact may be definitely concluded, naemly, that the harbour seal is a "chance"' predator. That is to say, i t preys upon anything that comes up, with no specific predilection upon any one item other than what happens to be most readily obtainable at a given time. A contrasting type of predation is found in the Ringed Sea (Phoca hispida) of the Canadian Eastern Arctic, which has been shown to be a habit predator, concentrating its attention of planktonic amphipods and schizopods (Dunbar 1 9 4 1 ) , fluctuations in the abundance of the plankton food 71. species resulting in corresponding scarcity of the seals. Local fluctuations mn numbers of hair seals on the Pacific coast appear at times to be based to a great ex-tent on fluctuations in the abundance of any one or more species of the wide variety of prganisms upon which they have been shown to feed. Por example, numbers of seals are reported to occur <a£f Hetlakatla, Br i t i s h Golumbia, during the herring spawning season and off Point Lambert, in the mouth of the Skeena River, during the eulachon run 4 and .in upriver areas during the salmon run. In the majority.of areas, however, fluctuations in abundance of food organisms appear to result merely in changes of food habits. Por example harbour seals are present a l l year at the De Horsey Island mudflats at the mouth of the Skeena. At the height of the salmon run, seals possibly prey chiefly upon salmon. In winter, how-ever, they must concentrate on other food organisms. There appears to be a seasonal occurrence of squid and octopus in the food of seals, squid occurring in winter months and octopi in summer months. (Scheffery 1935). Octopi were common in stomachs of hair seals taken in the present study during the summer of 1946, from the Gibson Island area and from the east coast of the Queen Charlottes, but no squid were found. Furthermore, a l l indications resulting from food habit studies of Phoca vitulina richardii point to the fact that 7 2 » in marine areas this seal preys upon relatively unimport-ant items such as rockfish, (Sebastodes) tomcod, flounders herring, sculpins, squid, 6ctopus and the like, even dur-in the salmon fishing season. In the Canoe Pass of the Praser River on August 16, 1945, when salmon were running, the stomachs of 2 adult seals obtained were f i l l e d with herring. " Great care must be exercised in' forming any definite conclusions on the effect of hair seal predation in reduc-ing the salmon run of Brit i s h Columbia, especially in view of the scarcity of stomachs, obtained. Though i t may have been possible to assess with a f a i r degree of accur-acy the extent of predation on salmon in certain areas of the coast of Washington State (Scheffer and Sperry 1935), (Scheffer and Slipp, 1944^ i t must not be inferred that conditions determined for a given area are similar to those on any other area. Errington (1946) after a com-prehensive study of predation and vertebrate populations, concludes. that A only quantitative data bearing upon predation pressures in vertebrate populations^ which are li k e l y to repay close study, are, as a rule, those small proportions resulting from investigations continued year after year on the same areas. Having obtained such data, their validity must be "appraised according to variables introduced by the size of the area and the mobility of the resident species, emergency crises, and other factors. which i f not considered, may distort analyses." Consider-ing the wide distribution of the harbour seal of the Pacific Coast, its mobility and i t s adaptability to various environments, conditions in any local area should be thoroughly investigated before definite conclusions are drawn and policies adjusted accordingly. In spite of the limited amount ef data on hand concerning predation pressure on the .Skeena River salmon run, analysis of existing data coupled with others****tions in the f i e l d suggest that the most serious depredations in numbers of salmon.by seals take place in upriver areas above the mouths of rivers. In such areas they undoubtedly feed on salmon, since they were observed on occasions during the study up both the Skeena and Ecstall Rivers struggling with salmon at the surface of the river. The stomach of a yearling col-lected from a group of over 45 seals, at the mouth of the Lakelse River on September 6, 1946, contained several large pieces of a salmon. At the time, salmon, mostly pinks with a few cohos, were rising to the surface of the Skeena and ascending the Lakelse River in a slow steady stream. The seals were undoubtedly feeding on them. Scheffer and Slipp (1944) record daily amounts of fish eaten bynhair seals in captivity. A pet 2-year-old male hair seal consumed about 8 pounds of smelt a day. Each of four adult hair seals in the National Zoological • 74. Park, Washington D. C. were e a t i n g about 15 pounds of f r e s h f i s h d a i l y i n the summer of 1942. I f one assumed t h a t each a d u l t s e a l i n the Skeena R i v e r d e s t r o y e d 10 pounds of salmon d a i l y , a f a i r l y s e r -ious problem i n p r e d a t i o n would present i t s e l f . Nothing i s known however of the extent to which the s e a l s feed on other f r e s h water f i s h which may be present i n the r i v e r . A beach-seine h a u l , made on June 28, 1945, i n a shallow p o o l on a bar uncovered a t low t i d e , j u s t below the h a u l -i n g out grounds near K v y i n i t s a , n e t t e d s e v e r a l dozen D o l l y Varden t r o u t 6-8 inches long and many s t a r r y f l o u n d e r s 2-6 inches l o n g . S t e e l h e a d t r o u t were a l s o seen to be p r e s e n t i n small numbers i n sh a l l o w d e p r e s s i o n s on sandbars. These c o n s t i t u t e a v a i l a b l e s e a l f o od. F u r t h e r i n v e s t i g a t i o n i s necessary, t h e r e f o r e , i n both e s t u a r i a l waters and i n u p r i v e r areas, b e f o r e a d e f i n -i t e statement can be made on the extent of p r e d a t i o n by harbour s e a l s on salmon i n the Skeena R i v e r . CONTROL. The Bounty System. The Dominion Department of F i s h e r i e s i s m a i n t a i n i n g a bounty system of c o n t r o l of h a i r s e a l s , a system which has been e f f e c t f o r 21 of the years i n the p e r i o d 1914-1947. The pr e s e n t amount of the bounty i s $5.00. Claimants a re r e q u i r e d to present the nose of each harbor s e a l f o r which c l a i m i s made, with data as to the date and l o c a l i t y of 75. the k i l l , to an officer of the Dominion Department of Fisheries. The claims are forwarded to the Head office of the Department, and the snouts are destroyed by the officer in the presence of one or more witnesses. In view of the fact that complaints from fisherment in the gillnetting areas of British Golumbia concerning hair seal depredation on salmon appear to be as severe . as they ever were, the writer considered i t pertinent to examine the results of the bounty system in as detail-ed a manner as possible, with a view to evaluating the effects of the system in controlling the numbers of harbour seals on the British Golumbia coast. The question as to the advisability of applying the bounty system to predator control in general has evoked contoversies which have attracted considerable attention in scientific c i r c l e s . It would be well, before making anaanalysis of the results of the bounty system on harbour seals in British Columbia, to consider the essential features of any bounty scheme for control of predators in general and the advant-ages and disadvantages of such a system. Ka-rtchner (194L) Ger&tell (1941) and Jacobsen (1945) present some of the latest trends of thought of the majority of trained b i -ologists with regard to the bounty system for predators control. According to the modern viewpoint, a bounty 76. system should include the f o l l o w i n g f a c t o r s : (1) I t must be a p p l i e d over a wide area p r a c t i c a l l y covering the range of the s p e c i e s , otherwise the a n i -mals w i l l increase i n the unprotected r e g i o n . (2) The r a t e s should be uniform i n a l l l o c a l i t i e s and should be high enough to provide inducement f o r c a r r y -ing out the system's p r o v i s i o n s , yet not so great that the cost w i l l exceed the l o s s e s which i t seeks to a v e r t . (3) The en'tire r e s p o n s i b i l i t y f o r i t s operation should be vested i n a q u a l i f i e d conservation agency^ not an e l e c t i v e law-making body. (4) The operating o r g a n i z a t i o n alone should possess power to place any species on the predator l i s t or to remove i t , to 3et r a t e s of payment, to d e c l a r e areas f o r and periods of e f f e c t i v e n e s s , and should possess power with a s p e c i f i c o b l i g a t i o n ; to pass upon . the v a l i d i t y of the claims presented. (5) The system should provide so f a r as p o s s i b l e • against fraud and there should be adequate l e g a l p r o v i s i o n to a l l o w f o r j u s t prosecution of any attempt a t f r a u d . Two f a c t o r s of the bounty system considered by G e r s t e l l (1941) as advantageous are: ( l ) E d u c a t i o n a l . "Through the d i r e c t and u s u a l l y p l e a s a n t a s s o c i a t i o n of the conservation agency wi t h the 7 7 . claimants, the organization is best able to win approval of i t s general program. Such association furthermore fiould lead to the development on the part of the public of a wider range of animal i d e n t i f i c a t i o n ? (2) Investigative, k bounty system of control could be made^with some organization,a source of supply of material for research on subjects such as d i s t r i b u t i o n , reproduction and food habits, r e s u l t i n g in production of sorely needed data. The disadaantages of bounty system, which in almost every instance appear to have outweighed the advantages^ are presented as follow; (1) . One i n e f f i c i e n c y of the system i s that i t is: impossible to d i f f e r e n t i a t e between those animals k i l l e d s p e c i f i c a l l y f o r the bounty and those k i l l e d otherwise. Many predators are k i l l e d regardless of whether or not a •for bounty is placed on them. Claims paid«such individuals represent wasted money. (2) Unless, the system i s extremely well devised, i t ^encourages attempts at fraud, such as the presentation of counterfeit scalps, or the submission of claims f o r k i l l s made in areas where the bounty rate i s less or where there i s no bounty. (3) The expense i s frequently out of a l l proportion to the benefit gained. (4) I t has usually been found impossible to maintain 78. equal rates of payment in a l l areas within the range of the species under control. (5) It is seldom that overall control is justif i e d or feasible and a bounty system cannot be made specific as to local i t y . With the above points in mind, the results of the bounty system for harbour seal control on the coast of (British Columbia w i l l be considered for the period 1914 to December 1945. From Table IX, i t is seen that in the 21 years since 1914 in which the bounty system has been in effect, 55,703 seals were bountied up to December 1946 with a cost to the Dominion Government of $143,901.50. The number of seals bountied probably represents about 60 per cent of the actual k i l l , in view of the d i f f i c u l t i e s concerned with recovery. Not a l l of these were harbour seals, as fraudulent submission of sea-lion noses is known to have i taken place. However, assuming that the claims, were from harbour seal k i l l s , a possible total of nearly 93,000 seals were k i l l e d . This does not take into consideration the years in which no bounty was placed upon seals., but in which a number were undoubtedly shot by fishermen. A noticeable decrease in numbers of claims accompany-ing the reduction of the bounty rate from $3.50 to $1.00 occurred during the period 1914-1918. A sudden decrease in annual claims, occurred in 1928-29, one year after a Table IX Bounties on Hair Seals - B r i t i s h Columbia 1914-47 Year Rate Number of Claims Amount Paid 1914-15 3.50 2237 1 7,829.50 1915-16 1.00 749 749.00 1916-17 1.00 785 785.00 1917-18 1.00 748 748.00 1918-27 no bounty 567 1,984.50 1927-28 3.50 1928-29 3.50 3209 11,231.50 1929-30 2.50 5944 14,860.00 1930-31 2.50 6308 15,770.00 1931-32 2.50 6084 15,210.00 1932-33 2.00 4300 8,600.00 1933r34 1.50 400 600.00 1934-35 no 1935-36 bounty no bounty 2,899.50 1936-37 1.50 1933 1937-38 2.50 4295 10,737.50 1938-39 2.50 4569 11,422.50 1939- 40 1940- 41 2.50 3546 8,865.00 no bounty 5,699.50 1941-42 2.50 3282 1942-43 2.50. 1168 2,920.00 1943-44 2.50 1001 2,502.50 1944-45 2.50 961 2,402.50 9,890.00 1945-46 5.00 1978 :: 1946-47 5.00 1639 8,195.00 Total 55703 $ 143,901.50 x Up to December, 1946. 4 79. 9-year lapse in the system. A reduction of the rate of $2.50 to $2.00 in 1932-33 was accompanied by a decrease of 1784 claims for that year and a further decrease of 3900 claims accompanied the reduction of the-rate in l933-34 to $1.00. After a 2-year non-bounty period, the system was resumed in 1936-37 at a rate of $1.50, the increase to $2.50 the following year being accompanied by an increase of 2362 claims for that year as compared to 1936-37. The annual numberof claims is seen to have decreased steadily from 1938-29 to 1944-45 the number of claims in the latter year being 3608 less than in the former. The bounty rate in 1945-46 was increased from $2.50 to $5.00, resulting in an increase of 1017 claims submitted over the number for 1944-45. The date and locality of k i l l for each bounty claim were available for the period 1942 to December 1940, only... Table X. shows the annual k i l l by d i s t r i c t s , for each loc-a l i t y which was found to provide consistently 10 or more k i l l s per year, or which showed an appreciable increase from a number lower than 10. Table XI shows the percent-age composition of the k i l l s from each locality. Pig. 39 shows the location of the main areas of bounty k i l l s , and their percentage of the tofa.1 k i l l for the 3 d i s t r i c t s . The numbers of k i l l s listed by "Remainder of D i s t r i c t " were widely distributed throughout each fishing d i s t r i c t of British Columbia. Table XII shows for the period 1939 Table X." H a i r S e a l Bounties I n Areas w i t h i n Each D i s t r i c t . 1942 - Dec. 194€. D i s t r i c t No. 1  Area 1942-43 19^3-44 1944-45 1945-46 1946-47 T o t a l s 4/ _ F r a s e r R i v e r 45 42 61 85 62 295 Remainder of D i s t r i c t 20 33 • 36 46 36 171 T o t a l s - 65 75 97 131 98 466 D i s t r i c t No.2 Naas R i v e r 37 44 60 70 46 257 Skeena R i v e r 36 40 21 93 160 350 Banks I s l a n d 32 39 10 21 21 123 K i t k a t l a h Area 53 8 8 43 26 138 K i t i m a t Area 18 46 13 33 11 121 Dean Channel Area 44 22 56 64 14 200 Dundas I s . Area 31 71 26 41 39 208 Queen C h a r l o t t e s 8? £8 269 250 705 T o t a l s - 334 328 239 634 567 2102 Remainder o f D i s t r i c t 230 134. 110 250 247 971 D i s t r i c t T o t a l s 564 462 349 884 814 3073 D i s t r i c t No. 3 Klngcome I n l e t 18 17 14 17 7 73 Knight I n l e t 13 7 16 45 13 94 Pender I s l a n d 54 49 23 44 24 194 B a r k l e y Sound 25 5 1 14 37 82 Sechelt Area 16 51 40 46 13 166 (continued) Table X* Distr i c t No. 3 (continued)/ Area 1942-43 1943-44 Blunder) Harbour 26 31 Seymour Inlet Area 37 14 Smith Inlet 17 20 Nitlnat Lake 15 20 Bute & Toba Inlets 20 15 Quatsino Sound 19 23 Seal & Hornby & Denman: Is. 42 15 Totals 302 267 Remainder of District 234 194 District Totals Grand Totals 461 998 19^-45 1945-46 1946-47 Totals 32 31 44 164 18 26 25 120 18 17 33 105 2 28 18 83 22 56 73 186 20 44 16 122 14 36 27 134 219 404 330 1523 235 502 3?7 1562 455 906 727 308£ 901 1921 1748 6624 TABLE: XI . Bounties on Harbour Seals, Br i t i s h Columbia, 1942-4t?.  Percentage Composition of Bounty K i l l s for the Main Areas of Each D i s t r i c t . Percentage of Percentage of Area. Dis t r i c t K i l l Total K i l l . D i s t r i c t Ho. 1. 7.'1 Praser River 63.3 4.5 Remainder 37.6 2.6 D i s t r i c t No. 2. 46.5 Haas River 8,4 3.9 Skeena River 11.4 5.3 Banks Island 4.0 1.9 Kitkatlah Area •i4.5 2.1 Kitimat Area 3.9 1.9 Dean Channel Area 6.5 3.0 Dundas Is. 6.8 3.1 Queen "Charlottes 22.9 10.6 Remainder 31.6 14.7 Dis t r i c t Ho. 3. 46.4 • Kingcome Inlet 2.4 1.1 Knight Inlet 3.0 1.4 Pender Island 6.3 2.9 Barkley Sound 2.7 1.2 Sechelt Area 5.4 2.5 Blunden Hbr. 5.3 2.5 Seymour Inlet 3.9 1.6 Smith Inlet 3.4 1.6 Hitinat Lake 2.7 1.3 Bute and Tofea Inlets 6.0 2.8 Quatsino Sd. 4.0 1.8 Seal and Denman and Hornby Is.4.3 2.0 Remainder 50.6 23.6 Table X l l T o t a l H a i r Seal Bounties, B r i t i s h Columbia, 1939 - Nov. 194$. Tabulated f o r Each D i s t r i c t Per Month (The p e r i o d Dec. to Mar. i s omitted f o r 1947 i n a l l instances) D i s t r i c t Apr. May Jun. J u l . Aug. Sep. Oct. Nov. Dec. Jan. Feb. Mar. T o t a l 1. T o t a l s Average / y r . 24 3 7 .6 78 M l 155 22 123 18 39 7 22 3 14 2 15 3 zl 745 2. T o t a l s Average 349 50 584 1073 83 153 810 116 .801 115 564 81 560 80 210 30 213 38 217 36 300 50 628 105 6309 3. T o t a l s Average 202 29 374 705 53 101 484 69 727 104 656 94 535 76 426 61 261 37 273 46 272 45 359 .52 5274 T o t a l s f o r a l l d i s t r i c t s 575 1004 1817 1372 1683 1385 1218 675 496 504 587 1012 12328 Average 192 335 606 457 561 462 409 225 165 168 196 337 Blacked areas are those providing consistently over 10 bounty returns per year in the period 1942 to December I9«+6. Percentages are of the total bounty k i l l for the period. Pig.40 Blacked areas are those i n which c o n t r o l of s e a l s I s considered necessary. Percentages are of the t o t a l bounty returnee f o r the period 1942- December 1946. 80. to and including November 1947, the total monthly k i l l for each d i s t r i c t . While assembling the data in the above fashion, the exact lo c a l i t i e s of some bounty k i l l s were found to be uncertain. Such claims were ommtted from the considerat-ion. The yearly totals for the 3 d i s t r i c t s therefore may • not exactly equal those recorded from the Annual Reports, of the Dominion Department of Fisheries, but the di f f e r -ence in each case is considered insignificant. From Tables X. and XI i t is seen that of a total of 6624 bounty claims examined from the 3 d i s t r i c t s for the period 1942 to November 1947, 7.1 per cent of the kills, occurred in D i s t r i c t 1, 46.5 per cent in D i s t r i c t 2 and. 46.4 per cent in D i s t r i c t 3. In D i s t r i c t 1, well over half the k i l l in the period under consideration came from the Fraser River in the area between the lightship of Sandheads. to Harrison River. Of the total k i l l for the 3 d i s t r i c t s , 4.5 per cent came from the Fraser, the third highest percentage for a spec-i f i c area. In Di s t r i c t 2, 22.9 per cent of the d i s t r i c t bounty k i l l s occurred on the east coast of the Queen Charlottes Islands, forming 10.6 per cent of the total k i l l , the highest percentage for any one area. The Skeena River, with 11.4 per cent of the d i s t r i c t k i l l or 5.3 per cent of the total k i l l , is the locality with the second highest 81. percentage f o r any one area. The Skeena R i v e r , w i t h a percentage of 11.4 of the d i s t r i c t k i l l or 5.3 per cent of the t o t a l k i l l i s the l o c a l i t y w i t h the second high-est percentage. The Haas R i v e r , w i t h 8.4 per cent of the d i s t r i c t k i l l or 3.9 per cent of the t o t a l k i l l , provided the f o u r t h highest number of bounty k i l l s , f o l lowed by the Dundas Islands w i t h 3.1 per cent and the Dean Channel area w i t h 3.0 per cent of the t o t a l k i l l . In D i s t r i c t 3, the l o c a l i t y w ith the hi g h e s t number of bounty k i l l s was Pender I s l a n d , w i t h 6.3 per cent of the d i s t r i c t k i l l or 2.9 per cent of the t o t a l k i l l , f o l -lowed by Bute and Toba I n l e t s w i t h 6.0 per cent of the d i s t r i c t k i l l or SSper cent of the t o t a l k i l l , and the Sechelt area and Blunden Harbour each w i t h 2.5 per cent of the t o t a l k i l l . A s ide from the abotee mentioned l o c a l i t i e s i n the 3 d i s t r i c t s and those l o c a l i t i e s i n a d d i t i o n to these l i s t e d i n Tables X and XT and Pig. 39, the remainder of the t o t a l k i l l showed no concen t r a t i o n i n any area, but was widely s c a t t e r e d along the e n t i r e B r i t i s h Columbia c o a s t l i n e . An examination of the t o t a l bounty k i l l , by months, f o r the period 1939 to and i n c l u d i n g November 1946,(Table X I l J shows f o r D i s t r i c t s 2 and 3 a decided increase from A p r i l to June. In May the k i l l f o r the 7 year p e r i o d i s nea r l y double t h a t 0 o f A p r i l , and InnJune the k i l l i s n e a r l y doubled again and i s maintained a t a f a i r l y h i g h l e v e l 82. through the summer and f a l l , generally decreasing with the onset of winter. The rapid increase in the spring is almost certainly correlated with the pupping season which occurs-at the same time and the majority of noses submitted with the claims from May to August or September were probably f i r s t summer pups. The number - ofv claims for D i s t r i c t 1 show no appreciable increase u n t i l August and September reaching ajpeak in the latter month.' The increase in this case appears to be correlated more with the sockeye salmon fishing season and the majority of claims come from fishermen who shoot the seals while gill-netting in and off the mouth of the Fraser River. Sources of error. One of the chief sources of error liable to distort the figures for hair seal bounty claims is the possibility that sea»lion noses were at times passed off as. hair seal noses. Although the difference in appearance of the whiskers between the hair seal and-sea-lion is quite distinct attempts to substitute the sea-lion noses, for those of hair seals are common and furthermore are known to have succeeded. In one case which the writer actually 'witnessed 81 sea-lion noses had been dried thoroughly in salt, pounded f l a t with a mallet, had the longest nasal vibrissae pulled out and had been altered in appearance with a knife to make them vaguely resemble hair seal noses, a ruse which very nearly succeeded. 83. A further possible source of error is the fact that hair seal noses may have been imported from United States areas of the Pacific Coast at times when the Canadian bounty exceeded the American. Such may be the case at the present time. Discussion. Effect of the changes in the bounty rate. The amount of the bounty rates appear to have had considerable effect in determining the annual number of claims submitted, but there is evidence that at lower bounty rates many seals were shot but not turned in for payment of bounty. The noticeable decrease in claims, accompanying the reduction of the rate from $S.'50 to $1.00 during the period 1914-18, however was possibly due in part to the scarcity of bounty hunters, and of ammunition in World War I. The sudden decrease in claims for 192.8-29 over those for 1927-28 was probably due to the fact that the re-instigation of the bounty system after a 9-year lapse was not realized by fishescmen and bounty hunters, in time to submit claims for 1927-28. The progressive reduction of claims from 1932 to 1934 was seemingly brought about by lowering of the rates, though a decreased popu-lation of seals may have had some effect. On the other hand, the comparatively large annual number of claims submitted from 1928-29 to 1932-33 may have been correlated with the depression, when many men, having nothing else 84. to do, may have turned to bounty hunting, the number of men hunting decreasing as the rate decreased in 1932-33' and in 1933-34. The writer feels certain that the decline in the annual number of claims submitted from 1938-39 to 1944-45 is the result nSt of a significant decrease in the hair seal population, but rather of the onset of more prosper-ous times in the fishing industry with the advent of war. The writeywas. closely associated with many fishermen of the Skeena area during the summers of 1945 and 1946 and the evidence was strong that the majority of men, making fa i r money at fishing^did not on the whole consider i t worth their while to make special efforts to hunt seals for the $5 bounty or to recover seals shot in the ordin-ary course of events. The increase of•the bounty rate from $2.50 to $5.00 in 1945-46 does appear to have offered greater inducement for the submission of bounty claims. Most fishermen stated however that they always, shoot a hair seal when they oppor-tunity arises and that with the $5. bounty rate they made greater efforts to recover seals forjftthe noses than they did with the rate of $2.50. Furthermore, the decrease in annual claims in the period 1939-40 to 1944-45 may have been broflght about in part by the scarcity of ammunition in that period. In view of the fluctuations in economic trends and in.bounty rates, therefore, accompanied by the resulting 8 5 . variation in hunting effort, i t is not f e l t that the annual numbers of claims submitted represent to any significant degree an index to the abundance of hair seals during the period under consideration. The above fact can be regarded as one of the disadvantages of the bounty system as applied to the control of hair seals. Some index as to the annual abundance of hair seals would be a most useful item of data in determining effects' of control. Comparative effects of the bounty system in various areas. It has been suggested on the basis of indications considered in the .previous section of this report, that the most serious depredations in numbers of salmon by hair seals take place at the deltas of rivers and in upriver' areas above the commercial fishing boundaries.. The major lo c a l i t i e s in British Columbia representative of such areas would appear to toe the Eraser River, the Skeena River, and the Baas, River. There are in addition many smaller rivers^into which salmon run^ located along the entire length of the British Columbia coastline. Some of these, as an example, are the Kitimat River at the head of Douglas Channel, the Kitlope River at the head of Gardner Canal, the Kimsquit River at the head of Dean Channel, the Bella Coola River at the head of North Bentinck Arm, and Klinaklini River at the head of Knight Inlet, the Yakoun at TlellRivers. on the Queen Charlottes, 86. and, on Vancouver Island, the Mimpkish River, Salmon River and Nitinat River. Although none of these areas has been investigated, hair seals, have been reported from a l l of them, and i t is reasonable to assume that the chances of predation on salmon by hair seals in such areas, when salmon are schooled and are running upriver to spawn, are far greater than in more outlying saltwater areas, where i t is indicated that'seals do not feed to too great an extent on salmon. Aside from the important gil l - n e t drifting areas at the mouth of the Prasejf Skeena and Uaas Rivers., complaints of depredations on salmon in nets are numerous from the gill-net areas of Fitzhugh Channel and Rivers. Inlet, rep-orts indicating that depredations were'especially serious in these areas in the summer of 1946. There is also a small gill-net fishery in Nitinat Lake which is concerned with an early summer ruujh. of sockeye into Kitinat River. Control measures therefore should be centred in , the rivers and about their deltas and in the areas of gill - n e t fishery, such as those mentioned above. From Table XI i t is seen that while the Skeena, Fraser and Naas Rivers are loca l i t i e s providing the second third, and fourth highest percentages of the to&al k i l l , these percentages, however, are small, totalling only 13.7 per cent of the entire k i l l . The 10.9 per cent of the total k i l l from the Queen 8 7 . C h a r l o t t e s occurred mainly along the small offshore i s l a n d s and r e e f s of the west coast. The bountyr'system appears therefore to have a serious detriment i n that the k i l l which i t -supports i s too wide-spread and does not concentrate upon those areas where the presence of s e a l s i s i n i m i c a l to salmon. Apparently h a i r s e a l s , by breeding and p o s s i b l y by i n f l u x from surrounding areas are m a i n t a i n i n g t h e i r numb-ers i n r i v e r areas and i n g i l l - n e t f i s h i n g areas, d e s p i t e the bounty. Many l o c a l i t i e s p r o v i d i n g bounty k i l l of 10 or more per year are i n the marine h a b i t a t e.g., West coast of the Queen C h a r l o t t e s , Banks I s l a n d , Pender I s l a n d , Blundan Harbour, Quatsino Sound, and S e a l , Denman and Hornby Isla n d s , where the chances are s l i g h t that salmon c o n s t i t u t e s a s i g n i f i c a n t item of d i e t . The great major-i t y of claims lumped under the heading "Remainder of D i s t r i c t " forming 40.9 per cent of the t o t a l k i l l , were from widely s c a t t e r e d areas i n the marine h a b i t a t . P i f t y per cent of the t o t a l bounty k i l l may occur i n areas where c o n t r o l i s not r e a l l y needed. The remaining k i l l i s spread to such an extent that i t appears to be having l i t t l e e f f e c t i n accomplishing i t s purpose. F i g . 40 shows the l o c a t i o n of the areas where the c o n t r o l -of h a i r s e a l numbers appears to be necessary. The disadvantages, cf the bounty system f o r c o n t r o l of harbour s e a l on the B r i t i s h Columbia coast are consid-88. ered as follows: (1) The majority of bounty k i l l s are taking place in Marine areas where control does not appear to be essential. From a l l evidences, the concentration of k i l l s in areas where control _is needed (i.e. in gi l l - n e t fishing areas and in rivers and at their mouths) is not nearly sufficient to adequately reduce the numbers of hair seals in such areas. That portion of the bounty money, therefore, which is being paid for claims from saltwater areas such as the Dundas Islands and the West Coast of the Queen Charlottes and others represents wasted money, in view of the fact that such areas are remote from fishing grounds and from the schools of salmon passing through these fishing grounds. In otherwords, the expense appears to be out of proportion to the benefit gained. (2) A certain number of hair seals are kil l e d by fishermen regardless of whether or not a bounty is set on the seals. Claims paid for such individuals represent wasted money. (3) The system appears to be encouraging attempts at fraud, such as the presentation of counterfeit snouts. There is no way, moreover, of checking the import of snouts from American waters of the Pacific Coast. (4) Equal rates of payment are not maintained in a l l areas within the range of the species under control. 89. The American bounty has d i f f e r e d from the Canadian, or else hair seals have been protected i n American waters while being bountied i n Canadian waters. (5) There i s no adequate legal provision to allow for prosecution of attempts at fraud. (6) The entire r e s p o n s i b i l i t y f o r the operation of the system is vested not i n a q u a l i f i e d conservation agency but i n an e l e c t i v e law-making body. The system cannot be operated e f f i c i e n t l y by a body which has not the f u l l r e a l i z a t i o n of the b i o l o g i c a l aspects of the problem. No attempt has been made to determine the results of the bounty system; no research has been carried on with regard to determination of the damage from seal a c t i v i t y in f i s h i n g areas 5 no research has been car r i e d on with regard to food habits and l i f e h i s tory, knowledge of which i s e s s e n t i a l to the adequate control of any animal. Such research can only be carried out by a qu a l i -f i e d conservation agency. (7) The bounty system as practiced at present does not lend i t s e l f well to investigative methods. Most fishermen have shown l i t t l e or no desire to send portions' of seals recovered by them f o r the nose, since they are too busy f i s h i n g at such times. There are few or no f u l l time seal hunters in B r i t i s h Columbia from whom cooperat-ion could be s o l i c i t e d . Furthermore, the bounty system does not provide an "index to the annual abundance of 90. seals in a given area, for the hunting effort or recovery effort cannot be relied upon to remain constant or to be evenly distributed. In any system involving control of an animal, i t is desirable to have f a i r l y accurate indic-ations of the effect of the control upon the numbers of the animal in the area, under consideration. The writer can think of nothing which can truly be classed as an advantageous factor of the bounty system, as i t is practiced on the British Golumbia coast, unless i t be the educational advantage as considered by G-erstell (1941) namely, that through direct and usually pleasant association of the agency with the claimants, the organiz-ation is best able to win approval of its general program. The argument may well be brought up that the harbour seal is an animal with a wide range and that individuals, k i l l e d in outlying marine area's are at least prevented from entering rivers, and gi l l - n e t areas and rendering damage to salmon. Nothing whatever i s known of the indi-vidual seasonal ranges of hair seals, and the extent to which intermingling, between different areas- takes place. The fact remains, however, that hair seals are breeding in the river areas such as the Fraser, Skeena and the Naas and in other areas close by the gill - n e t fishing grounds and that the proportion of bounty k i l l from such areas is. apparently allowing the seals to maintain themselves, at numbers, which constitute a nuisance to the fishery. 91. Even i f the bounty system did possess the five essential factors outlined at the beginning of this section, there is no indication that i t could exert ade-quate control where the control is required. Alternative Methods of Control. The necessity for some type of control over the numbers of hair seals, populating g i l l - n e t fishing areas and river areas is not denied. During the writer's study on the Skeena River, meth-ods of control other than by bounties were considered. While hunting seals near the sandbars in the Skeena, i t was found possible to secure pups f a i r l y easily by using a shotgun from a s k i f f . The young, are very vulnerable just after birth since they are exceedingly curious and furthermore, have to come to the surface more often than older specimens. Ar:30.06 r i f l e fitted with a telescopic sight.worked well on adults at long ranges though the majority sank in deep water before they could be reached. • In most areas under the study' i t was found possible to approach a. group hauled out, with care, to - within r i f l e ranges (about 300 yards). In such cases, i t appeared that machine guns such as Brens might be effective, but no opportunity for a test was available. Soft pointed or other mushrooming ammunition should be used^ as military ammunition frequently does not k i l l . Dynamiting of a hauling out bar has been tried in tiie Fraser River. McHugh (1918) describes an experiment involving a hauling out site "located approximately half way between Point Grey and the north light on the Fraser River, about 2 miles south of the Vancouver Cannery1*. It was found impossible to approach closer than half a mile to a herd of "between two and three hundred" seals which at that time utili z e d the bar at low tide periods. • Dis-turbances on the sandbar caused by digging were found to be obliterated by the next incoming tide, the seals, hauling out on the bar on the low tide following. Fourteen mines, made of- coal o i l cans;were la i d , each with about 14 pounds of 40 per cent low freezing dynamite and forcite gelatine. The explosive was covered with a layer of wet sand on which was laid a heavy layer of broken chunks of iron. Eight of the mines were placed in a straight line along the crest of the ridge of the sandbar and the remaining six were distributed in semi-circular fashion on both sides of the ridge. The mines were laid just deep enough to prevent exposure by the wash of the tide. The mines were interconnected and a connection, was made to lead wires half a mile in length which were laid along the shore of the channel and anchored to a float where they could be picked up and connected with a battery. At the earliest opportunity, when seals were' hauled out on the bar, the mines were exploded. No entire 3eal bodies were recovered. Many, apparently were blow to pieces, 9 3 . since many portions not larger than 2 inches square were found. McHugh gave no estimate of the number of seals ki l l e d , but was confident that "every seal within the radius of the explosion, both in and out of the water was k i l l e d . ". The total Qost'.of the experiment was #150, the major .portion being for leading and connecting wires which would have served for use in further work. It had been hoped that some of the bodies could have been secured whole, for investigation into the value of the blubber o i l and hides. According to McHugh, continuance of such work should be made with a view to recovery of bodies. To the writer's knowledge, this type of experiment-ation was not continued, but i t would seem that further research along such lines is desirable. A l l of the sand-bars located in the Skeena and Ecs-tall Rivers are admirably suited to dynamiting experiments, such as the one described and further investigation would undoubtedly reveal that other suitable hauling out sites exist within areas where-hair seal control is needed. Employment of one or more conscientious crews of trained hunters with suitable firearms, and materials for experimentation, and a good riverboat and skiff, should accomplish far better results at hair seal control than the present bounty system. The amount of money spent on hair seal bounties during the last 2 years (#9,890 for 1945-45, and over $8,195 for 1946-7) should prove suffic-9 4 . ient to cover the cost of maintaining say two good hunt-ing crews with proper f a c i l i t i e s for their work. They could take advantage of the vulnerable periods such as the pupping season and try other methods mentioned above. Advantages of employing the method of regulated paid hunting crews would be as follows: (1) The system could be operated by direct control, giving necessary elas t i c i t y to the set up. Control methods could be concentrated on spots where they were most needed e.g., in the Fraser, Skeena and Haas Rivers, and in other rivers, i f predation upon salmon occurs there in, and in the gill-netting areas of FiizHugh Channel and Rivers Inlet. (2) .The system should result in much needed knowledg on numbers, distribution, and reproduction. (3) The possibility of fraud such as that of the type previously mentioned would be obviated. D i f f i c u l t i e s . The main d i f f i c u l t y would appear to be in obtaining a suitable crew. The men would have to be conscientious and f u l l y aware of the general biological aspects of the problem which they would be attacking. The transition from a bounty system to a "paid 95. • hunter'* system probably could not be made complete immediately. Por psychological reasons, i f nothing else, i t would perhaps be best to maintain a low bounty.rate for a time, in addition to employing hunting crews, since a bounty system does have a certain psychological, .effect in that i t i s ^ k i l l i n g seals, though many people do not realize that such k i l l i n g can be totally inadequate. XI. SUMMARY AND CONCLUSION'S. The Pacific Harbour Seal, Phoca« vitulina richardii, (Gray), one of 6 subspecies, ranges from Oregon north to the Pribilof Islands and Bering Sea, its distribution overlapping * i t h the ranges of 2 other subspecies. Adult Pacific Harbour Seals weigh between 125 and 300* pounds, the males averaging slightly heavier than the females. The' colour pattern of the pelage is shown to be highly variable. Molting of the pelage is apparent* in the Skeena River by early August. Distribution in British Columbia is extensive and includes, at least 20 rivers and 6 lakes. Harbour seala-are numerous at the estuaries of the Naas, Skeena and Fraser Rivera. Eight hauling out sites in the Skeena river are 96. described from the estuary inland to the mouth of the Lakelse. River and including the Ecstall River. Seals are widely distributed in the Skeena River up to and possibly above Hazelton. A conservative estimate of 450 harbour seals is given for the population of the area at the mouth of the Skeena from Kwinitsa' down, a number which is representat-ive for the summer months only. A seasonal upriver movement in the Skeena River begins with the onset of the eulachon run in March, developing to a maximum in September and apparently dependent in i t s extent upon the available salmon supply. A. suggestion is put forth that the cessation of upriver hunting effort with the disbanding of Indian tribes over 40 years ago, coupled with the hunting pressure exerted on the coast as a result of the development of the fishing industry and the instigation of. the bounty system for control, may be a cause for the increase in upriver numbers, noted within the last 40 years by an Indian Chief of the Skeena River. Though loosely gregarious while hauled out, the seals are s o l i t a r y i i n their feeding habits. Daily local movements appear to vary from a few hundred yards to several miles. They are controlled to a large extent by the tides in the estuary of the Skeena and appear to be. completely governed by the tides in upriver areas 9 7 . within tidewater influence. The extent and manner of daily local movements is dealt with in some detail. Harbour seal habitats are divisible into three distinct types, namely, purely marine, estuarial, and freshwater. The latter is subdivided into freshwater habitats within tidal influence,.those above tidal influ-ence and lakes. The adaptability of the.harbour seal is illustrated in the varied conditions of environment in the three types of habitat. The tide has considerably more effect on movements and feeding activities in- estuaries than in marine areas and is seen to have a maximum effect in upriver areas within tidewater influence. Freshwater be-comes available in upriver areas, and would obviate the necessity for the water-balance mechanism existing in marine areas. An apparent longer suckling period in fresh-water areas may be correlated with the ava i l a b i l i t y of fresh water. Seals are exposed to greater natural hazards such as storms, and predation by k i l l e r whales and sharks in the marine habitat than in any other. Mating in the Skeena area is repo'rted to take place-' in September and October. Development of the baculum length and weight and of testes dimensions increases suddenly with sexual maturity which is inferred to occur at the end of the third year. The proportion of sexes in the Skeena area appears to be equal. 98. The birth season in the Skeena area begins during the last of May at the earliest and ends in the latter half of June. No evidence of more than one pup per female was apparent. Newly born pups measured between 805 and 915 mm., and weighed from 21 to 26 pounds. The seal at birth bears a coat of soft yellowish foetal hair, about 23 mm.* in lengthy loosely attached and rapidly shed. Pups i n i t i a l l y show l i t t l e fear of man and are easily tamed. In estuaries and in upriver areas of tidewater influence, they must bear immersion within a few hours . after birth. They show no d i f f i c u l t y in swimming and submerging upon f i r s t entering the water. Parturition would appear to be adjusted to the tid a l exposures of the bars. The mechanism of the adjustment is unknown. The mother seal stays close to her pup for the f i r s t week or so of l i f e and attempts to keep i t out of danger from humans. Pups show an intense curiosity throughout their f i r s t summer and are less cautious than are adults. L i t t l e association of the mother with the pup in the water is apparent by August. Pups in marine areas,such as at the Gibson Islands at the head of Grenville Channel, appear to be weaned earlier than are those in upriver areas. The greater length of the upriver suckling period may be correlated 9 9 . with the av a i l a b i l i t y of fresh water. The weight of. ipupa is doubled during the f i r s t 5 or 6 weeks of l i f e , during which, i t is nourished by maternal milk. A weight decrease of about 20 per cent occurs dur-ing the weaning period, which takes place from August to September. No size difference between the sexes, is apparent in the f i r s t summer, but may exist in yearlings. From birth to adult size, the body length increases about 75 percent, the circumference over 100 percent and the body weight 7 times. Parasites taken from specimens examined included ascarids. from the stomach (Porrocaecum. being the only one identified), Acanthocephalans from the.ileum, of the genus Gorynosoma, a nasal mite of the genus Halarachne, and sucking li c e (Anoplura) of the family Echinophthiriidae J representing an undescribed species. No infestations of parasites were observed to be heavy enough to be apparently detrimental to the health. A considerable swelling of the lymphatics of the neck was observed in one pup, discharging a clear liquid from anriopen sore in the skin. The a f f l i c t i o n is ident-ical with a scrofula-like condition described by Brown (1868) in pups of Phoca groenlandica, the Harp Seal. 100. . One pup was found in an exceedingly emaciated and weakened condition, starvation being inferred as the cause, rather than disease. Damage to gill-nets from seal action in the Skeena estuary was found to be. negligible. The nature of damage by seals, to spring salmon caught in nets varies from a small bite to complete mutilation of the fi s h . For a partially mutilated salmon the price is considerably reduced. The monetary loss rendered to 5 fishermen by seal damage in the period May 20 to July 31,. 1946, is> recorded. Using the proportions, of red-meated to wh.ite-meated spring salmon of the total pack from the Skeena area, and setting an average of 20 pounds for each salmon caught, the mone-tary loss is figured in percentage of money made. The loss is estimated to be 12 per cent of the money made during May. Seal damage decreases with the increase in the number of boats with the beginning of the sockeye season, and is practically negligible from July on. Reports that damage increases during the coho season in the f a l l were not confirmed. Fishermen appear to be justified in demands for seal control by reason of the amount of damage occurring from seal action during the spring salmon fishing season. The contents of 20" adult seal stomachs, from B r i t i s h Golumbia are presented. Rockfish (Sebas.todes„») and 101. octopus occurred most frequently. Unidentifiable fish, salmon^ and herring and shrimp^were next in order of frequency. Salmon formed 28.5 per cent of the total volume, herring formed 20 per cent and rockfish 19 per cent. The latter is inferred to be of greater percentage volume than recorded because of the greater amount of digestion which had taken place with this item than with others. While no definite statements are made on the extent of seal predation upon the Skeena River Salmon run, indications are that upriver predation may be f a i r l y heavy. After a review of the advantages and disadvantages of a bounty system in general, the areas of heaviest k i l l resulting from the bounty on Harbour 3eals in British Columbia are presented for the period 1942 to December 1946. The bounty system on seals in British Columbia is concluded to be inefficient, the chief reason being that the majority of k i l l s are taking place in marine areas v/here control does not appear to be essential. Other disadvantages of the bounty system as applied to seals in British Columbia are given. It is suggested that the employment of one or more conscientious crews of trained hunters equipped with 102. proper f a c i l i t i e s should accomplish f a r better results: than the bounty system. ACKNO WLEDGEMENT S. The present work was carried out under the direction of the Fisheries Research Board of Canada, Pacific Biological Station, Nanaimo, B.C., i n i t i a l arrangements being made by Drs. R. S. Foerster, and A. L. Pritchard, Pacific Biological Station, and Drs. W« A. Clemens and I. McT. Cowan", Department of Zoolbgy, University of Briti s h Columbia, Vancouver, E. C. The writer wishes to make grateful acknowledgements, for the arrangements, and f a c i l i t i e s provided for this study. His thanks are extended particularly to Dr. A. L. Pritchard, in charge of the Skeena River Investigation, who did his utmost to keep the needs of the study supplied and whose kindly and cheerful attitude in the face of many set-backs, has been most encouraging; and to Dr. R. E. Foerster, Director Pacific Biological Station, who at a l l times, gave the maximum possible support.to the investigation. The assistance in the f i e l d in 1946.of Mr. Ralph Wilson, technical assistant at the Pacific Biological Station, was an invaluable asset and is greatly apprec-iated by the writer. For much and varied assistance, sincere thanks are extended to the following: Dominion Department of Fisher-ies, Head Office at Vancouver, B.C., and d i s t r i c t offices at Prince- Rupert and Queen Charlotte City, particularly to D i s t r i c t Supervisor I. Urseth, and to Inspectors W. Strachan and G. S. Reade; Mr. A. E. MacMillan, Manager of Cassiar Cannery, and Mr. T. Wallace, Manager of Sunnyside Cannery, on the Skeena River; Mr. Walter Johnson, Mr*. Barney Kristmanson, and Mr. Bruce Webb,. Skeena River; Mr. T. Moody and' Mr. M". Collins, Skidegate Mission, Queen Charlotte Islands; Ur. v , 0Scheffer, United States Fish and Wildlife Service, Seattle, Washington, U.S.A\; Mr. Eolden, Crescent, B. C; Mr.'B. ST. Williams, P i t t Lake, B. C , Mr. A. V. Lehman, Mr. S. Parrington and Mr. V. Duplisse, Skeena River; Mr. J. Cooper, Terrace, B. C ; British Columbia Packers Ltd.; United Fishermen and A l l i e d Workers Union, Vancouver B.C. Sincere thanks are extended to Dr. I. McT. Cowan, who, during the course of preparation of the manuscript by the writer, offered valuable and constructive advice, and who has been ever ready to offer assistance and advice when approached by the. writer. Much interest has been shown by members, of the staff of the Skeena River Investigation and by fellow students at the University and the assistance offered from time to time has been greatly appreciated. LITERATURE CITED 1.) Allen,G. M. 1942 2.) Allen,J.A. 1880 3.) Allen, J.A. 1902 4.) Anderson, R.I 1942 5.) Asdell, S.A. 1946 The Harbour Seal New Eng. Nat. 15, p.9. History of /North American Pinnipeds. A monograph of the walruses, sea-lions, sea-bears, and seals of North America. U.S. Geol. Survey Misc. Pub. XII, Washington Gov't. Printing Office. The Hair Seals (family Phocidae) of the Pacific Ocean and Bering Sea. Bull. Amer. Mus. Nat. Hist. 16, pp.459-499. Two new seals from Arctic Canada with Key to the Canadian forms, of hair seals (family Phocidae). Extract Ann. Rep. 1942 Provancher Soc. Quebec, pp. 23-34. Patterns of Mammalian Reproduction. Comstock Pub. Co. Inc. Ithaca New York. 6.) Bartlett, A.D. 1868 7. ) Bertram, C. 1940 8.) Bonham, K. 1942 9.) Brown, R. 1868 Notes upon the birth of a Ringed Seal in the Societyfis Gardens. Proc. Zool. Soc. London, pp. 402-403 Seals Breeding Habits. Discovery, new Series, Vol. I l l , No. 22 pp. 8-15 Records of Harbor Seals in lakes J.-Washington and Union, Seattle. Murrelet 23 (3) p. 76 Notes ofi the History and Geographic Relations of the Pinnipedia frequenting the Spitzbergen and Greenland Seas. Proc. Zool. Soc. London, pp. 405-440.'. 10. ) Cowley, L. P. 1941 Pelage and Ear Pinna of a very young Common 'Seal (Phoca vitulina L.), Proc. Zool. Soc. London, vol. 110, pp. 315-316. t 11. ) Doutt, J.K. 1942 A review.of the genus Phoca . Annals Carnegie Mus. vol. 3Q5TIX, Art. IV pp. 61-125. 12. ) Dunbar, M.J. 1941 On the food of seals in the Canadian Eastern Arctic. Can. Journ. Res. 19, pp. 150-155 13. ) Errington, Paul L. 1946 Predation and Vertebrate Populations. Quart. Rev. Bi o l . Vol. 21, No. 2, pp. 144-177. 14. ) Gerstell, R. 1941 The advisability of paying bounties for the k i l l i n g of predators. Trans. 6th Norths Amer. Wild. Conf. pp. 273-276. 15. ) Hiatt, E. P. and Hiatt, R. B. 1942 The effect of food on the glomerular f i l t r a t i o n rate and renal blood flow in the harbour seal (Phoca vitulina L.) Journ. cell. comp. Physiol. Vol. 7, Ho. 1 pp. 137-151. 16. ) Hamilton, W. J. Jr. 1939 American Mammals, their Lives, Habits, and Economic Reactions. McGraw-Hill Book C.o. Inc. Hew York and London. 17. ) Irving L., Fisher, K. C, and, Mcintosh, F. C. 1935 The water balance of a marine mammal, the seal. Journ. cell. comp. Physiol. Vol 6, Ho. 3 pp. 387-391. 18. ) Jacobsen, W. C. 1945 The Bounty System and Predator Control. Calif. Fish and Game. Vol 31, Ho. 2 pp. 53-63 19. ) Kartchner, K. C. 1941 • Desirability for control of predators in wildlife management as experienced in Arizona. Trans. 6th North Am. Wild. Con.pp.273-276. 20. ) McHugh, J. 1918 He Destruction of Seals in: F i f t i e t h Ann. Rep. Fish Branch. Dept.of • Naval Service, 1916-17, pp. 235-237. (CanadajDom. Dept. Fish.) 21. ) Mathews, L.H. 1936 The Pelage and Ear Pinna of a newly born Common Seal (Phoca v i t u l i n a L.)„ Proc. Zool. Soc. Lond. 1936, p. 315. 22. ) Scheffer, Theo. H. 1928a Dealing with the seals and sea-lions of the Northwest. Murrelet, Vo. XI, pp. 57-59. 23. ) 1928b The precarious status of the seal and sea-lion on our Northwest coast. Jounn. Mamm. Vol.9, No.l, pp. 10-16. 24. ) SchefferyffinH. and C. C. Sperry, 1931 " Food Habits of the Pacific Harbor Seal, Phoca richardii. Journ. Mamm. vol.12, No.3, pp. 214-226. 25. ) Scheffer, V. B. and J. W. Slipp 1944 The Harbor Seal in Washington State. Am. Mid. Nat. Vol. 32, No.2, pp. 373-416 26. ) Scheffer^V.B. 1945 Growth and behaviour of young sea-lions. Journ. Mamm. Vol.26, No.4, pp.390-392. 27. ) Soper, J.D. •1944 Mammals of Southern Baffin Island., Northwest Territories, Canada. Journ. Mamm. Vol.25, no. pp. 221-254. 28. ) Walkerj E. P. 1915 Destructiyeness of hair seals in the salmon fishery, in: Alaska Fisheries and Fur Industries in 1915, App. I l l , Rep. U. S. Comm. Fish. 1915. pp. 47-51. 29.) Wilke, F. 1943. Unusual injury to a young harbour seal. Journ; Mamm. vol. 24, no? pp. 401-402 

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