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PROVINCE OF BRITISH COLUMBIA REPORT OF THE COMMISSIONER OF FISHERIES FOR THE YEAR ENDING DECEMBER 31ST,… British Columbia. Legislative Assembly 1920

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 PROVINCE OF BRITISH COLUMBIA
EEPOET
COMMISSIONER OF FISHERIES
FOR THE YEAR ENDING DECEMBER 31st, 1919
WITH APPENDICES
PRINTED BY
AUTHORITY  OF  THE   LEGISLATIVE   ASSEMBLY.
VICTORIA,  B.C. :
Printed by William H.  Cullin, Printer to the King's  Most Excellent Majesty.
1920.  To Colonel the Honourable Edward Gawler Prior,
A Member of the King's Privy Council for Canada,
Lieutenant-Governor of the Province of British Columbia.
May it please Your Honour:
I beg to submit herewith a report reviewing the operations of the Provincial
Fisheries Department for the year ending December 31st, 1919, with Appendices.
WILLIAM SLOAN,
Commissioner of Fisheries.
Provincial Fisheries Department,
Commissioner of Fisheries' Office,
Victoria, British Columbia, March 31st, 1920.  TABLE OF CONTENTS.
FISHERIES COMMISSIONER'S REPORT FOR 1919.
Page.
Standing with other Provinces  7
Species and Value of Fish marketed  7
The Salmon-catch of 1919  8
The Salmon-pack of the Fraser River  8
The Salmon-pack of Northern and Vancouver Island Districts 8, 9
Reports from Spawning-beds of Province in 1919  9
The Halibut-fishery  12
The Commissioner's Memorandum on the Salmon-fishery Regulations of the Province...... 15
Dr. Gilbert's Salmon Investigations of 1919  16
APPENDICES.
The Spawning-beds or the Feasee Rivee   21
The Spawning-beds op Rivees Inlet    24
The Spawning-beds of  Smith Inlet    27
The Spawning-beds of the Skeena Rivee   29
The Spawning-beds of the Nass Rivee   32
CONTBIBUTIONS TO THE LlFE-HISTOEY OF THE SOCKEYE SALMON.      (Paper No. 6.)      By Dr. C. H.
Gilbert  35
MemoejANdum eespecting Salmon-fisheey Regulations.    By William Sloan  69
The Feasee Rivee Salmon Situation :   A Reclamation Peoject.    By John Pease Babcock 76
Salmon-pack of 1919 in detail    82
Salmon-pack of Peovince, 1904 to 1919, inclusive   83  FISHERIES COMMISSIONER'S REPORT FOR 1919.
Value of Canadian Fisheeies and the Standing of Provinces.
The value of the fishery products of Canada for the year ending December 31st, 1918,
totalled $60,250,514, as against $52,312,044 for the preceding year, notwithstanding that the
latter was considerably greater than in any preceding year.*
During the year 1918 British Columbia contributed fishery products of a total value of
$27,282,223, or 45 per cent, of the total for the Dominion.
As in recent years, British Columbia again led all the Provinces of Canada in the value
of ier fishery products. Her output for the year 191S exceeded in value that of Nova Scotia
by $12,139,157, and exceeded that of all the other Provinces combined by $9,456,968.
The following statement gives in the order of their rank the value of the fishery products
of the Provinces for the year ending 1918 :—
Increase or Decrease
191S. compared with 1317.
(Inc. + ;  Dec.—.)
British Columbia   $27,2S2,223 +$5,763,628
Nova  Scotia     15,143,066 +     674,747
New Brunswick   6,29S,990 +     155,902
Quebec     4,568,773 + 1,154,395
Ontario  3,175,111 +     308,692
Manitoba     1,830,435 +     287,147
Prince Edward Island   1,148,201 —    638,109
Saskatchewan     447,012 +     126,774
Alberta     318,913 +     134,904
Yukon    37,S20 —      29,580
Totals     $60,250,544 $7,938,500
The Species and Value of Fish caught in British Columbia.
The total value of each species of fish taken in British Columbia for the year ending
December 31st, 1918, is given in the following statement:—
Salmon     $17,207,245 00
Halibut  5,196,539 00
Herring     1,742,757 00
Whales     1,382,278 00
Cod     426,239 00
Pilchards  413,853 00
Black  cod     285,034 00
Flounders    145.3S5 00
Soles     92,471 00
Crabs   54,660 00
Clams and quahaugs ■  48,200 00
Red cod, etc  43,422 00
Grayfish  29,607 00
Oysters    26,926 00
Smelt  26,075 00
Shrimps     23,930 00
Skate   16,565 00
Perch  11,252 00
Oolachans   8,476 00
Trout  5,025 00
Carried forward    $27,185,059 00
* The data used here are derived from the Dominion Bureau of Statistics, 1918.
7 Report op the Commissioner of Fisheries.
1920
The Species and Value of Fish caught in British Columbia—Continued.
Brought forward   $27,185,059 00
Fur-seals     3,320 00
Hake and cusk  3,097 00
Shad      2,700 CO
Octopus  2,321 00
Sturgeon     1,690 00
Whiting    '  1,451 00
Bass   249 00
Mixed fish (not including any kinds mentioned elsewhere)     168 CO
Eels    72 00
Tomcod  18 00
Fish-oil ".  53,380 00
Fish-offal    '  9,775 00
Scrap and fertilizer    8,423 00
Guano    10,500 OO
Total    $27,282,223 00
The Salmon-pack of 1919.
The salmon-pack in the Province for the year 1919 totalled 1,393,156 cases. It was 223,000
cases less than in the record year 191S. The catch of sockeye in all the waters of the Province
totalled 309,445 casesj as against 276,459 cases in 1918 and 330,209 cases in 1917. The catch of
red, white, and pink spring salmon totalled 100,551 cases, as against 107,354 cases in 1918 and
76,276 cases in 1917. The pack of pink salmon totalled 346,639 cases, as against 527,745 cases
in 1918 and 486.759 in 1917. The pack of chum salmon totalled 372,035 cases, as against
497,615 cases in 1918 and 476,273 cases in 1917.
The 1919 Salmon-pack by' Districts.
The Fraser River.—The total pack of all grades of salmon in the Fraser River District in
British Columbia waters in 1919 totalled but 163,123 cases, as against 210,851 cases in 1918,
402,538 cases in 1917, 127,472 cases in 1916, 320,519 cases in 1915, and 349,294 cases in 1914. The
catch of sockeye totalled but 34,068 cases, or 3S% per cent, less than that of its brood-year, 1915.
The season's pack of sockeye in the State of Washington waters of the Fraser River District
in 1919 totalled 64,346 cases, as against 87,465 cases in the previous fourth year, 1915.
The pack of sockeye in the entire Fraser River system in 1919 totalled only 9S,414 cases, as
against 178,595 cases in 1915, the brood-year of the 1919 run, a decline for that cycle of over
50 per cent., and an additional demonstration that the runs of sockeye to the Fraser River
system are " perilously near extermination."
The Salmon-catch of Northern Waters.
The Skeena River.—The salmon-pack on the Skeena River in 1919 totalled 39S.877 cases, or
24.561 cases more than the record pack on that river made in 1918. The principal gain was in the
pack of sockeye, the catch for the year being 184,945 cases, the largest pack of sockeye ever made
on that river, with the exception of the record pack of 1S7,246 cases made in 1910. The run of
sockeye to the Skeena this year is to be attributed to the hatches of 1914 and 1915, because it
has been demonstrated tha_t the runs to that river consist of both four- and five-year-old fish.
The sockeye-catch in 1914 consisted of 136,166 cases and that of 1915 of 116,533 cases, the catch
in both of those years being well over the average for that river. It is to be noted that the
reports from the spawning area of the Skeena in both these years indicated abundant spawning.
It has long been recognized that the nature of the fishing-grounds of the Skeena, due to numerous
reefs of rock and snags, affords the fish entering the river a greater natural protection than is
afforded the fish running to any other stream in the Province. The catch of springs and chums
on the Skeena shows slight increases over 1918.   The catch of pinks shows a decrease.
Rivers Inlet.—The catch of salmon on Rivers Inlet totalled S0,367 cases, the smallest made
there since 1913. The run of sockeye there this year, as usual, consisted of both four- and five-
year-old fish;  hence it is to he credited to the spawning of the years 1914 and 1915.    As in both 10 Geo. 5
British Columbia.
IT 9
of the latter years the catch was well above the average for the inlet and the reports from the
spawning-grounds indicated abundant spawning, the catch of sockeye at the inlet this year was
most disappointing. Weather conditions were favourable to good catches. Some close observers
at the inlet state that the fish were so much smaller than usual that they were enabled to pass
through the meshes of the nets, and that large numbers did so. Fishery Overseer A. W. Stone,
who has inspected the spawning-grounds of Owikeno Lake at the head of the inlet annually for
the past eight years, reports that in point of numbers the sockeye found there this year equalled
the average of good-year runs, but that in all sections the fish were smaller in size than usual.
The Nass River.—The salmon-catch in the Nass River District totalled 97,512 cases. It was
the smallest catch since 1914. The catch of sockeye produced a pack of 28,295, and, though
some thousands larger than in the two preceding seasons, it shows a decline 'from that made
in 1914 and in 1915. The catch in 1914 totalled 31,327 eases and in 1915 39,349 cases. The
operation of salmon-traps on the islands in American waters at the entrance of Portland Canal
and Observatory Inlet, through which the sockeye seeking the Nass River must pass, apparently
is a drain on the Nass sockeye run. The establishment of the traps has created conditions
there somewhat similar to those on the Fraser River system which destroyed the sockeye run
to the latter river. Hereafter their drain on the run of sockeye to the Nass River must be given
full consideration.
The Vancouver Island Section.
The pack of salmon from Vancouver Island waters, with the exception of the sockeye salmon
taken in the traps in Juan de Fuca Strait that are credited to the Fraser pack, since they are
known to be running to that river, totalled 272,114 cases, as against 389,815 cases in 1918 and
325,723 in 1917. Previous to the latter year the salmon-catch from Vancouver Island waters was
not shown separately, but included in the catch credited to outlying districts. The 1919 return
shows a remarkable decline from that of the two previous years in the catch of chums. In 1917
the pack of chums totalled 240,381 cases and that of 191S a total of 251,266 cases, while 1919
catch gave a pack of but 128,368 cases. The pack of pinks iu 1919 was 14,080 cases less than in
191S and 112,308 cases less than in 1917. The catch of springs in 1919 shows a material gain
over both 1918 and 1917. Owing to unusually rough seas off the west coast of the Island in 1919,
the fleet of trolling-boats engaged in salmon-fishing was unable to operate in the open sea as much
of the season as in the two previous years.    In consequence their catch was smaller.
Reports foem the Salmon-spawning Areas of the Province in 1919.
As usual, the Department conducted investigations of the spawning area of the Fraser, Nass,
and Skeena Rivers and Rivers and Smith Inlets. The detailed reports of the officers who
conducted the investigation are reproduced in the Appendix to this report.
The Fraser River.—The spawning-grounds of the Fraser River basin were again inspected
by John P. Babcock, Assistant to the Commissioner. He was assisted by Inspector of Fisheries
C. P. Hickman and Fishery Overseer Wm. Newcombe, who returned from France in time to
again take up the work. Iu the report made by Mr. Babcock it is shown that the number of
salmon that reached Hell's Gate Canyon, above Tale, was very much smaller than in any year
since annual inspections were inaugurated in 1901, and that in consequence there were less salmon
on all the spawning-beds north of that canyon, which includes the major portion of that vast
river-basin, than in any former year.
In order to obtain data as to the number of sockeye that reached the Thompson and Quesnel
Rivers, the Department attempted to catch sockeye in both those streams by means of anchored
gill-nets. Two nets were maintained in the Thompson near Spences Bridge from August ISth
to August 29th. The number of salmon taken by the nets totalled but six, all of which were
males. The officers iu charge of the nets kept a close watch at the rapids of the river both below
and above the nets, and record that they saw no salmon except three taken by Indians and those
secured by the set-nets. The nets were operated during the time that in former years the run
was at its height. A month later Officers Hickman and Newcombe, acting separately and on
different dates, inspected the waters of Shuswap and Adams Lakes and found no evidence of
sockeye having reached there, and but few were noted by others at later dates.
The record on the Quesnel River discloses a condition as disastrous in its results as that
on the Thompson.   Not a single sockeye was taken in the gill-net set in the Quesnel River from U 10
Report of the Commissioner of Fisheries.
August 28th to September 9th. Following the practice begun by the Department in 1903, a
watchman was placed on the dam at the outlet of Quesnel Lake, who acted throughout the past
season. He reports that but three sockeye, two males and one female, were seen in the clear
waters of the Quesnel River below the fishway and the dam at the outlet of the lake. Former
reports issued by the Department record that over 4,000,000 sockeye entered Quesnel Lake
through the fishway during the fall of 1909, and that some 557,000 sockeye entered that lake
in the fall of 1913. This year, as stated, but three sockeye were seen there during the entire
season. More conclusive evidence could not be produced to establish the practical extermination
of the runs of sockeye to the Fraser than is presented by these records from two of its largest
tributaries.
There was a larger run of sockeye to the Birkenhead River, at the head of the Harrison-
Lillooet Lakes watershed, this year than in any recent year. The run there was so much larger
than even in 1915 that Mr. Babcock concludes that it cannot altogether be attributed to the fact
that the Indians were not permitted to fish at the Little Portage at the foot of Lillooet. The
collection this year of 30,000,000 sockeye-eggs at the Pemberton Hatchery conclusively proves
that the run was unusually large. The collection of eggs in 1918 totalled 11,960,000; in 1917,
5,270,000; in 1916, 25,750,000; and in 1915, 25,250,000. The collection this year exceeded that
made in the brood-year of this season's run (1915) by 5,000,000. Mr. Babcock is convinced that
the run to the Birkenhead River this year was due to the successful operations of the hatchery
in 1915.
The run of sockeye to Harrison Lake and to the lower section of the Fraser River this year
was larger than in any year since 1915. Mr. Babcock also attributes this run to the successful
operation of the hatcheries.
The Situation in the Fraser River at Hell's Gate Canyon, above Yale.
Mr. Babcock in his report has this to say of conditions in the Fraser River at Hell's Gate
Canyon, above Yale:—
" Considerable concern has again been exhibited by those interested in conditions existing
on the Fraser River at Hell's Gate Canyon. The statement made that the river-channel there
is still so blocked as to prevent the passage of sockeye to the waters above, and that the sockeye
that reached there this year did not get through the canyon, is untrue. The rocks that blocked
the channel in 1913 were entirely removed in 1914-15 and the old channel fully restored. All the
sockeye that reached there this year passed through the canyon without more delay than often
occurred in the years before the slide of 1913. Conditions at Hell's Gate since 1914 have been
and are now as favourable to the passage of all species of salmon as they were previous to the
slides of 1913 and 1914. The Department has had the channel there under close observation
every season since 1901. The rapids at Hell's Gate are the first real obstacle which the sockeye
encounter in their ascent of the Fraser River. Until they reach there they have had no rapids
of importance to overcome, and consequently are inexperienced in passing through such swift
and broken currents. The result is that even at the most favourable stages of water they make
repeated attempts before they succeed in finding their way through the Gate. This year, as in
the years before the slide of 1913, there were short periods, in certain unfavourable stages of
water, during which few (if any) salmon passed. On two occasions this season the run was
delayed for several days, but all the salmon eventually succeeded in passing, so that the delay
was not of material importance. The rapids at Hell's Gate are not more difficult of ascent at
times than the rapids in the Fraser above the mouth of Bridge River, and are not nearly as
difficult at all times as the rapids and falls at ' the Hole' on the Chilko River, some miles above
the mouth of the Whitewater River, yet the sockeye on reaching those places experience less delay
than at Hell's Gate. At Hell's Gate and at the Bridge River Canyon all the sockeye apparently
make the ascent close to the surface on either bank, and the same is true at Fish Canyon on
the Chilcotin River, but at 'the Hole' on the Chilko all apparently hug the rocks on the bed of
the stream and none of them pass close to the surface. After viewing a run a-t Hell's Gate and
then observing the sockeye at Fish Canyon on the Chilcotin River one cannot help being impressed
by the certainty with which they attack and overcome the last-mentioned rapids. They show
much more expertness in overcoming rapids and falls by the time they reach the latter rapids.
From studying the conditions at Hell's Gate since 1901 I am of the opinion that the situation
there does not offer a serious obstacle to the ascent of sockeye." 10 Geo. 5
British Columbia.
U 11
Spawning-grounds of the Northern Section of the Province.
Rivers Inlet.—Fishery Overseer A. W. Stone again inspected the spawning-beds of the Rivers
Inlet sockeye run this year. It was his eighth consecutive annual inspection. This report
shows that the spawning-beds were as abundantly seeded as in 1914 and more abundantly seeded
than in 1915, the brood-years of this year's run to Rivers Inlet. The catch of sockeye at Rivers
Inlet has already been shown to have been far below the average of the past ten years. The
poor catch Mr. Stone attributes to the unusually small size of the fish that ran this year. He
found that the size of the fish on all the spawning-beds was much less than in former years,
and because he found the numbers on the beds as numerous as in the brood-years he concludes
that the run to the inlet this year was an average one, and that, in consequence of the beds
having been so abundantly seeded, the hatch of the 1919 spawning wall produce an average run
in the years of their return at maturity.
Smith Inlet.—Fishery Officer A. W. Stone also inspected the spawning-beds of the Smith
Inlet sockeye run. He found the beds as abundantly covered by spawning sockeye as in any one
of the last six years that he has inspected them. The number there this past season compared
favourably with the year 1914, when the numbers on the beds were greater than usual. Referring
to conditions on the fishing and spawning-beds at Smith Inlet this year, Mr. Stone says:—
" The comparatively small pack of sockeye salmon at the two canneries at Smith Inlet this
year, amounting approximately to 16,000 cases, and contrasting it with the big pack of 3S,000
cases in 1914 and 35,000 cases- in 1915, calls for some explanation as to why more fish were not
caught on the fishing-grounds this year, since the spawning-beds are shown to have been so
abundantly seeded. The poor catch this season was due to the fact that some of the gill-net
fishermen forcibly restrained the operations of the drag-seines in Qualla Creek, the entrance to
their spawning-grounds. I am reliably informed that during the four or five days the seines
were not in use a vast number of sockeye passed through the creek, all of which reached the
spawning-beds."
Because he found the spawning-beds of Smith Inlet were so abundantly seeded this year,
Mr. Stone anticipates a large number in that inlet in 1923.
Nass River.—An inspection of the spawning-beds of the Nass River was jointly made by
Inspector of Fisheries C. P. Hickman and Dominion Fishery Overseer J. Maxwell Collison. They
visited the Meziadin Lake section and the tributaries in the vicinity of Ayansh. They found very
few sockeye in Meziadin Lake or River or on the main spawning tributaries of the lake. In all
that section there were many less sockeye than had previously been found there. They found
very few sockeye in any of the tributaries of the Nass near Ayansh, but were told by the Indians
that the early run had been up to the average of recent years. Summarizing the results of their
inspection, Messrs. Hickman and Collison say:—
" We wTish to call attention to the very few sockeye on the Meziadin spawning-beds this year.
It is apparent that something very vital has happened to the sockeye of the Nass because of such
a shortage. As the pack at the canneries at the mouth of the Nass this season was only an
average pack, plenty of sockeye should have reached the spawning-grounds had there been an
average-sized run. The only explanation that we can give for such a shortage is the operation
of traps in South-eastern Alaska, there having been fourteen or more traps in operation between
Cape Fox and Tongas Islands. What number of Nass sockeye were taken in those traps we
are unable to say, but from reliable information we believe they intercepted Nass River sockeye."
The Inspectors found that the lower end of the fishway at Meziadin Falls had been seriously
damaged by high water; the lower end of the natural rock wall between the river's channel and
the channel of the fishway having been partly carried away, and the upper end shows signs of
giving way. The crib-work that guarded the upper end of the fishway had also been washed
out. The channel of the fishway was, however, but slightly interfered with and still afforded
a free passage for the fish that reached there. There is urgent need of taking additional steps
to prevent further damage to the outer wall and also to the crib-work on the land side of the
fishway, several of the supports that sustain the crib-work and that rested on the rock wall
opposite having been carried away, and the others need attention. Chief Inspector of Fisheries
Lieut-Colonel F. H. Cunningham has advised the Commissioner that steps will be taken to place
the fishway in working-order for the 1920 run of salmon, and that permanent repairs will be made
as soon as the trail leading from Stewart to Meziadin Lake permits of getting in cement. U 12
Report of the Commissioner of Fisheries.
1920
Skeena River.—Fishery Overseer W. A. Wisley inspected the principal area of the spawning-
beds of the Skeena River in September. He reports all the beds as being well covered. The
run to all sections is believed to have been as great as in any former year. The Babine Hatchery
was filled with sockeye and some 6,000,000 eggs were taken and shipped to the Stuart Lake
Hatchery, a tributary of the Fraser River. Mr. Wisley was advised that in July last vast
numbers of yearling seaward migrants of sockeye passed out of Babine Lake. Adult sockeye
entered Lakelse Lake this year as early as June 3rd to 9th, proving that an early run of sockeye
entered the Skeena River before the fishing season commenced.
The Halibut-fishery.
The halibut-catch landed at Provincial ports during 1919 totalled 19,198,565 lb., as against
16,697,000 lb. in 1918. Prince Rupert again leads in the landing, with a total of 16,476,270 lb.
to Vancouver's 2,722,395 lb.
As a result of the investigations and deliberations of the American-Canadian Fisheries
Conference of 191S, a treaty has been signed by the high contracting parties and is now before
the United States Senate awaiting action. Its important provisions include a closed season on
halibut-fishing by Canadian and American vessels from November 16th to February 15th and
reciprocal port privileges. The effect of such a closed season as that suggested is doubtful in
the judgment of William F. Thompson, the expert employed by this Department to investigate
the halibut-fishery and who in his report published in 1916 has this to say on the subject:—
Close Season.
" Recognizing tbe urgency of the situation, there has been, among fishermen and dealers, a
strong sentiment in favour of the imposition of a close season of two months, December and
January. This has been perhaps the most widely approved measure of any proposed, and in view
of the widespread adoption of closed seasons in conserving other species is worthy of careful
consideration.
" To be worthy of adoption, however, it is imperative that a measure be shown capable of
conserving the numbers of the species as a whole or in threatened areas, or adequate to increase
the number of spawning fish where it has fallen below the margin of safety. The question in
any case is simply one of ensuring the existence of a sufficient number of breeding males and
females in those large areas now lacking them.
" It is a serious question whether the closed season would not simply result in a more intense
fishery during the open portions of the year. It must be remembered that the cold-storage
facilities now available render it possible to deliver a supply of halibut all the year round,
with or without a close season. There is no question, then, of an interruption of the demand
from the consumer, with a consequent lessening of the total called for; and there is, as we shall
see, every reason to believe that this demand will be satisfied, whether there is a close season
or not.
" The cost of catching is but a small part of the cost of transporting, preserving, and
marketing. It could increase manifold before being felt greatly. If the fish may be purchased
on the docks in Seattle at 5 cents per pound, as has been done, and sold by the retailers at
25 cents, then an increase of 2% cents, or 50 per cent, of the original cost, would be but 10 per
cent, of the retail price. Something essentially similar to this has taken place in the fishery,
the length of a voyage, and with that the expense of obtaining a cargo, having increased by
about 1C0 per cent, in the ten years between 1004 and 1914. That means that the yield per vessel
has fallen to a half, yet the total catch landed by the fleet has steadily increased in response to
the demand. Such being the case, it is hardly to be expected that the reduction of the fishing-
time by a sixth would have much effect even if it were capable of being accepted at its face value.
" The apparent value of the close season during the winter is greatly modified by certain
considerations. One of the most prominent of these is the fact that during the two months of
December and January the catch is but half that prevailing during the summer months, as is
shown on the chart. That is, the effectiveness of such a close season would be half that of a
similar one in the summer. Furthermore, the decrease in total catch is in accordance with the
diminished catch per unit of gear, and indicates with it the fact that the two proposed months
are the most expensive. Providing the far greater consideration of the future of the banks were
not in question, there would be no possible objection to legislating away the unprofitable part 10 Geo. 5
British Columbia.
U 13
of a business year. But, aside from the fact that it is not the bona-f.de object of the proposed
legislation to increase the immediate prosperity of the industry, it can be shown to have a really
detrimental effect on the condition of the banks. The proposed close season would surely put
vessels on a better financial basis, encouraging the building of more and rendering them capable
of profitable operation on smaller summer catches than is now the case. This would mean the
enlargement of the fleet and the closer fishing of the banks, including those considered the least
profitable.
" Fishing on these more depleted southern banks off the coast of British Columbia is
prevalent mostly in summer, because the catch per unit of, gear is at that time highest, and
the reliance is on young fish almost entirely. It has been shown that it is these banks which
need protection, and if they are to have it, it must come while fishing is being done on them.
Instead of that, as has been pointed out above, a winter close season will intensify the fishery,
the more so as the most depleted banks are nearer to market than the less depleted.
" Cold-storage plants play an important part in intensifying this result of the closure. They
not merely maintain the demand, but tend to counteract the extensive natural increase in price
in winter and the decrease during the summer. This results from the absorption of surplus
fish in summer for freezing and its sale during seasons of scarcity. There is in the winter,
nevertheless, a considerable catch of fresh fish with which the frozen product must compete.
The elimination of this catch during several months would without the cold-storage plants
apparently stop the consumption, but with them could simply force the laying-by of" more extensive
stocks of fish frozen during the summer. It is obvious that this has a tendency to impel still
better prices in summer and poorer in winter. In other words, there would ensue a more profitable summer fishery, hence a more intensive one. It should be observed in this connection that
the near-by banks off the coast of British Columbia yield a medium of small-sized immature fish
('chicken halibut') very suitable for freezing. These banks are those fished most intensely in
summer and need better, not poorer, protection. A certain measure of the harm might, it is
evident, he averted by forbidding the sale of cold-storage halibut during the close season.
" The most generally held reason for supporting a winter close season is that it is designed
to protect the halibut during its spawning period. The assumption is that the fleet resorts to
' spawning-grounds' on which are to be found spawning fish congregated from other localities,
and that the catch consists to an unusual degree of such fish. However reasonable this may
sound, it is impossible to find any basis of scientific fact behind it. On the contrary, so-called
spawning-banks are those less depleted than others because less accessible, or because it pays
to resort to them only during the winter seasons. It has been demonstrated that at one time
the banks now characterized by small immature fish had a population of large, undoubtedly
mature, fish, and that their absence is due to the effects of commercial fishing. We therefore
come to the anomalous conclusion that protection is proposed for banks which show exhaustion
least, as they have a more nearly adequate supply of breeding fish.
" If, however, the claim had been that within the confines of each bank winter fishing was
carried on in areas characterized by spawning fish, more weight might be given it. As a matter
of fact, however, no proof of such congregation has been found, and observation has not yet
disclosed any annual change in average size in one portion of a bank which did not take place
in another. The shift in the fishing-grounds, according to season, is something entirely different
from this, being a removal of the fleet to other banks far distant. It is a fact worthy of every
emphasis that no such extensive movement on the part of the fish is to be found, whether there
is some possibility of a limited and local movement or not.
" It would seem certain that the closure would not protect spawning fish especially, and there
would be little utility in extending protection to halibut spawning and immature alike at the
cost of more intensive fishing during other seasons. As has been indicated, the depleted banks
are characterized by a lack of mature fish and a predominance of immature. If the latter are
caught, it is a matter of indifference at which season it is done, as all succeeding spawning
periods are eliminated, anyway. This is also true of the mature halibut. There is no reason
why capture a week before spawning-time should be more disastrous than capture six months
previously, all the remaining periods of spawning being eliminated, anyway. If the number of
fish caught by the fleet remains the same, prohibition of fishing during such a season would mean
naturally that of those fish usually caught during spawning the more intense fishery would cause
just as many to be captured before the season as would be caught later because of the protection. U 14 Report of the Commissioner of Fisheries. 1920
As a result the number of fish present each spawning-time would be unaltered. As a matter of
fact, the areas now needing protection are those in which halibut rarely have a chance to reach
maturity, and to allow them to do so the only method available is to give them a better chance
of escaping capture. It is not sufficient merely to alter the time of year at which they are
caught.
" Among other reasons advanced is one implying that fish caught during winter are of poorer
quality, with larger heads and leaner bodies, than those taken during summer. Regarding this
it should suffice to state that the observed difference is due rather to the fact that in summer
immature fish from banks with rapidly growing fish are utilized, while iu winter mature slow-
growing fish are obtained. These mature poor-quality fish come from undepleted northern, or
outside, banks naturally characterized by large-headed fish, and it is extremely improbable that
they change their appearance greatly with the season. It is just as well that these fish are
utilized to some extent at least. The difference between banks in so far as quality is concerned
is far greater than can be assigned to seasonal differences. It is not to be denied that there is
such a seasonal difference, but it cannot be assigned the importance given it. This is the more
true as it has no immediate bearing on the all-important objective of preservation of the banks."
An Extension of the Close Season.
Mr. Thompson states: " Despite the fact that there are cogent reasons against the adoption
of a close season during two winter months, it is possible that certain modifications of it might
be feasible; for instance, an extension to four months. But if not disastrous to the fishery and
to the fishermen because of its length, the objection previously held that the already depleted
banks would be subject to a still greater strain would apply to an even greater degree. The
restraint on the fishery would be accomplished principally, perhaps, by forcing vessels and men
to lose a third of their time. It is possible that some other fishery could be developed to
supplement that for the halibut during that season, but at present none offers itself; and even
if such were the case, the objection to the changed concentration of the fishery still remains.
So it is hardly conceivable that such a measure could meet with unqualified approval.
•
A Summer Close Season.
" A course, on the other hand, which might obviate the most dangerous features of the close
season would be to place it in the summer. One summer month .would be the equivalent of two
winter months. Such action would result in discouraging the capture of small immature fish,
of which spring and summer catches mainly consist on the older banks, and would encourage
winter fishing. The influence of cold-storage firms would not in such a case be adverse. But the
serious question would still remain as to whether the total catch from any bank would be
sufficiently decreased. If the demand overcame the handicap of an increase of the voyage length
of 200 per cent, within ten years, would it not overcome one of a decrease in available fishing-
time of even 30 per cent.? Although it is probable that what the banks need is a total cessation
of fishing in view of the great rate of depletion, yet such a measure as closure during summer
months would be certainly effective in its nature, in contrast to the winter close season."
In lieu of a winter closed season for halibut-fishing, Mr. Thompson suggests that one for all
waters should be provided, and states:—
" I. The banks should be divided into districts of such areas as: (1) Those off the. Oregon
and outer Washington coasts; (2) the coast of British Columbia; (3) between Icy Strait and
Dixon Entrance; (4) between Icy Strait and Cape Cleare; (5) between Cape Cleare and the
entrance to Bering Sea; (6) any subsequently discovered banks not properly attached to the
foregoing, including Bering Sea.
" Areas 1, 5, and 6 are those least depleted; Area 2 has been shown to be badly exhausted.
Areas 3 and 4 are presumably also depleted, the latter less so.
" II. Areas 2 and 3 could be alternately closed and opened, 2 closed for five years, then
3 for the next five, and so on alternately. Areas 1, 4, 5, and 6 could be closed at the same time
as either 2 or 3, their closure being subject to the discretion of conferees appointed by the two
Governments; provided that, unless otherwise agreed upon by these conferees, Areas 1, 3, and
5 would be closed together, and Areas 2, 4, and 6. Each area would thus be closed five out of
every ten years. 10 Geo. 5
British Columbia.
U 15
" This arrangement would allow sufficient latitude of time to overcome any differences in
the productive power of the areas, and at the same time make the closures automatic if the times
of their inauguration were not agreed upon. It would also obviate any danger of placing any
particular port under a disadvantage.
" III. To cover the period of adjustment and to render protection immediately available to
the most badly depleted regions, a special programme for the first ten years might be formulated.
Thus Area 2 could be closed for five years, its opening to be simultaneous with the closure of
Areas 4 and 3. Subsequent to the first ten years, the provisions of section II. could apply. This
programme would be felt very slightly during the first five years, more in the second, and fully
in the third, allowing in the meantime the exploitation of the least-depleted banks and protecting
those in the worst condition. It would be advisable to close Area 2 for more than the five years
during this first decade.
" IV. There should be an emergency clause enabling a further closure of any area upon
mutual consent of the conferees, a closure solely in addition to the prescribed minimum.
" V. Provision could be made for the collection by each Government of data from the official
log-books of the fishing-vessels, it being made compulsory for the masters of such vessels to
supply in these books, over their signatures, the following information:—
"(a.)  Place and date of each fishing operation.
"(b.) Amount of gear utilized and its nature (size of net, or space between hooks on long
line.)
"(c.) Number and approximate dressed weight of halibut taken in each place. This should
be collected by each Government and placed at the disposal of the other at the conclusion of
each year, it being expressly stipulated that such data be placed in the hands of the scientific
departments of both Governments, and that it be formulated by them, and in a way mutually
agreed upon by the conferees. This should be the case in order that the latter could utilize the
information obtained in making their decisions regarding the times of closure.
" The discretionary power vested in the officers designated as conferees should lead tbe
fishermen to furnish this information willingly, in the interests of their trade.
" It appears to the writer that the principal objection which will arise will be one of
inadequate amount of protection, but it is difficult to see how any other precaution than the
granting of discretionary powers to the appointed officials could be taken. The objection is one
which would apply to any measure.
" There may be some injury worked to vessels unable to fish outside the three-mile limit,
or those with limited cruising radius. This might be greatly magnified by opponents of the
measure, but does not seem important in looking over the list of vessels. It must follow ou
the exhaustion of the banks in any case, or on the imposition of any other regulation."
The Salmon-fishing Regulations of the Province.
In December the Commissioner submitted a memorandum to the Hon. C. C. Ballantyne,
Minister of Naval Service, having in charge the Dominion Fishery Service, setting forth his views
as to the salmon-fishing regulations of the Province. After reviewing the history of the salmon-
fisheries of the Province and the reports of the many Royal Commissions that have investigated
their conditions, the Commissioner suggested " that the time has come for a complete and radical
change in the policy of handling our fisheries." " It is time," he stated, " that the Government
stepped in to seriously protect the fish, eliminate all useless competition, overequipment, and
waste, to the end that the people may be able to obtain at a fair price one of the natural food
products of the Province. To permit of utter depletion of the salmon-fisheries of the Province
would be a ' policy which could only be characterized as a criminal policy.' The fish of the
Province, notwithstanding the depletion of both the salmon and the halibut, are still one of its
greatest food assets. With judicious handling the fisheries can be maintained for all time.
The depleted fisheries can be built up, but they cannot be maintained if the present methods
are to continue. The Fraser River fishery demonstrates what will happen if things are to go on
as they have been going. We have overdone the thing. We have drawn, and are drawing, too
heavily upon our supply of salmon and halibut. What we need is a complete and radical change
of policy, a departure altogether different from past and existing methods. . . . Instead of
licensing existing and new companies and individuals to take and handle our salmon-fisheries
the Government should take them over and handle them.    By so doing the fish will be given full U 16
Report of the Commissioner of Fisheries.
1920
protection. There will be a radical reduction in equipment and consequent reduction in overhead
expenses that will materially reduce the retail price of both fresh and canned salmon. The
Governments of Great Britain and the United States took over the fur-seal industry because it
was essential to the preservation of the fur-seal. Corporate and individual enterprise was killing
them off. The Governments took them over and adopted a policy that has materially increased
the numbers in the herds of fur-seals."
The Commissioner suggests that the Government should assume the sole control of the entire
salmon industry and manage it in the interest of the people of Canada. " The policy proposed,"
he states, " is a practical and sane business thing for the Government to undertake. It is a
business that will pay dividends in a greater supply of fish, and at a cheaper price, not only
to the people of to-day, but to our people that are to come after. Government control and
operation is, in my opinion, the solution of this great economic question."
The Commissioner's memorandum will be found in the Appendix of this report.
Contribution to the Life-histoby of the Sockeye Salmon.
Dr. Gilbert's sixth contribution to the reports of the Department on the life-history of the
sockeye salmon, which is issued herewith, contains an analysis of the sockeye runs to the
principal waters of the Province for the year 1919. We now have a complete history of the
runs for eight years, and in consequence are enabled to make comparisons that are of economic
value.
The outstanding feature of the examination of the scales collected from the 1919 run of
sockeye to the Fraser was the remarkable series that passed in procession during the season.
Sockeye having a defined type of scale-structure made its appearance on a given date, would
occupy the stage for a time to the practical exclusion of any other type, and then, on another
date, would suddenly be supplanted by another type of structure, which was so sharply distinguished from the first that it could not conceivably be found in company with it on any spawning-
ground. The run in 1919 was peculiar in comparison with previous years in the distinctness of
these components of the run. Apparently fewer types were represented than has been the case
in other seasons, or if represented, then by fewer individuals, which could not confuse the
characteristics of the race which was dominant in that part of the run. Whereas during other
seasons it has been a rare occurrence to find in any iieriod of the run a race unmixed with any
other and appearing homogeneous, the impression during 1919 was a succession of such occurrences, in each of which one race strongly predominated, even if not wholly without mixture.
Apparent paucity of races can only find explanation in the practical extermination of the run to
certain tributaries, which even in the depleted condition of the river during the last decade have
until now furnished their quota. Not only did the migration waves exhibit each its characteristic
structural peculiarities, it possessed also its own- distinctive proportionate representation of
age-groups. The succession of. racial forms which appeared in the main run, either in the sea
approaches to the river or in the main channel of the latter, are most readily detected by
characteristics shown in the central or nuclear area of the scales. It is this area which records
the growth of fry and fingerlings in fresh water—a growth which takes place in a number of
lakes scattered widely through the river-basin, varying extensively in their climatic conditions
and in the character and amount of food which they offer. The growth in these lakes differs
materially, and the size of the yearlings, when they migrate seawards in the early spring, is
an index of the favourable or unfavourable conditions under which the different lots have been
nourished. The fingerling groups of smaller size will have at migration smaller scales, and these
will be marked by fewer rings. In the adult salmon, therefore, the size of the nuclear area,
which represents the entire scale of the fingerling migrant, and the number of rings which this
nuclear area contains, serves as a measure of the size of the fingerlings, and thus enables us
to sort out the races which have differed in amount of growth during the first year. Not all
races may have differed in this respect. But they frequently do so, and where this is the case
an examination of the nuclear area gives data of high value.
One fact which emerges clearly from the tables giving the lengths and weights contained
in the paper is the small size of the sockeye of each group of the 1919 run as compared with
previous years. The run of 1919 produced the smallest sockeye of which we have any record
on the Fraser. 10 Geo. 5
British Columbia.
U 17
In his analysis of the data collected at Rivers Inlet during the run of 1919, Dr. Gilbert finds
that the present conditions there are fast developing into one of pronounced danger. He shows
that the productivity of the river has fallen during the past four years to little more than half
its previous magnitude, and that we are no longer justified in classing the recent poor years
with those occasional fluctuations which occurred in previous cycles.
For comparison the history of the Rivers Inlet sockeye-catch is divided into successive four-
year periods, as follows:—
1904-1907, average pack of 9S,5S9 cases.
190S-1911,        „ „     99,142     „
1912-1915,        „ „     98,717     „
1916-1919,        „ „     53,948     „
In commenting on general conditions at Rivers Inlet, Dr. Gilbert states: " Unless the
intensity of the fishing is at once diminished, unless we decrease the total number of sockeye
taken annually from this watershed, we are in danger of repeating there on a smaller scale the
tragic history of the Fraser River."
The eight years of study of the sockeye runs to Rivers Inlet show that the average size of
the sockeye within their own group was so nearly constant during the first years of the
investigations that any considerable change in this respect becomes immediately apparent.
Such a change undoubtedly occurred in the runs of the last three years. There is no present
reason to allege in support of an assumption that there is a casual connection between the size
of the individual fish and the magnitude of the run. The coincidence during the last three
years may be only chance association. But against this hypothesis Dr. Gilbert states we have
our observations of other exceptionally poor runs in the rivers of the Province during the years
1913 and 1917, when, as stated in the Department's report for 1917, " We have extremely poor
packs of sockeye in all the large rivers of the Province, and we have these poor runs consisting
everywhere of undersized fish."
At present there is no explanation for the extensive annual fluctuation in the size of the
runs in our northern salmon-streams. Neither the Nass, the Skeena, nor in Rivers Inlet has it
been established that there was any relation between the size of the run in any given year and
the size of the broods from which it has been derived. How can this lack of relation between
the two be explained? Of course, it may be contended that the apparent lack of relation is
due to incorrect estimates of the size of the runs during some or all of the seasons. Estimates
have been made on the apparent abundance of the fish and the size of the commercial catches.
Failure by this method, due to exceptional conditions, may indeed occur now and then. But quite
generally it has been noted that seasons of good fishing correspond with successful seasons on
the spawning-grounds, as these are established by direct observation. So, while we may admit
occasional lapses of method, it must be agreed that years of apparent abundance are correctly
so characterized and correspond with seasons in which the spawning-beds are abundantly seeded.
As Dr. Gilbert submits, " the conclusion that the relative amount of seeding of the beds has
comparatively little influence on the size of the resulting runs becomes palpably absurd if pressed
to the limit. If the number of eggs deposited in the beds be sufficiently reduced, it must have
a paramount influence on the magnitude of the run. When the variation in the annual production of eggs is of lesser amount, no greater- than has occurred in the Nass, the Skeena, and on
Rivers Inlet in the last ten years, there is the possibility that other factors which limit the
production of salmon are of greater importance than egg production, within the limits of
variation of the latter, and have a dominating influence in producing the annual fluctuation so
evident even in streams that are not overfished. Where overfishing has occurred the case would
be different. By overfishing we mean that so great a reduction of the spawning stock has been
made that insufficient eggs are produced year by year to maintain the maximum of the run.
In pronounced cases of overfishing a correlation is well established between egg production in
a given year and the size of the resulting run. The relation has repeatedly been shown in the
decline in the Fraser."
Dr. Gilbert concludes his discussions of this question as follows: " Obviously, the occurrence
of undersized fish characterizing each of a series of conspicuously poor years does not exclude
the possibility of overfishing as a contributory cause for the decreased runs. When the experience
of a series of years indicates unmistakably that the productivity of a stream is declining to a
lower level, the common-sense treatment of the situation is to modify favourably the only factor
2 U 18 Report of the Commissioner of Fisheries. 1920
over which we exercise control. We should increase the spawning reserve and thus seek to
augment the egg production. Egg production must, after all, be fundamentally most important.
As a constant factor, in the long run it will dominate the situation."
In dealing with the run of sockeye to the Skeena in 1919, Dr. Gilbert points out that " the
catch of the year produced a pack of 1S4,945 cases, and was the next to the largest known in
the history of the river. It was exceeded only by the take in 1910, which reached the total of
187,246 cases. The occurrence of two favourable seasons in succession, those of 1918 and 1919,
bring a certain amount of needed reassurance concerning the general condition of the salmon-
supply in the Skeena River. The previous occurrence of two extremely poor years in succession,
1916 and 1917, had occasion for grave forebodings, lest they might indicate that the salmon-supply
of the river was being drawn on more heavily than in the long run would prove safe. This
question has not yet received a conclusive answer. Annual fluctuations often conceal the
sequence of events. Only by resorting to averages which cover periods of years can we ascertain
with some degree of certainty whether the supply is on the whole diminishing. With this object
in view, we have ascertained the average pack on the Skeena River in four-year cycles from
1903 until 1919:—
Average pack from 1903 to 1006   78,S68 cases.
1907 to 1910 130,851     „
1911 to 1914 101,664      „
1915 to 1919   91,477     „
" Considering these averages in connection with the fact that the -number of canneries and
the amount of fishing-gear employed in this district have been relatively constant during the
greater part of the period under consideration, and the further fact that latterly the increase
in canneries and the high price obtained by the fishermen has encouraged them to make every
effort, we cannot escape apprehension that we are slowly but certainly encroaching on our capital
supply of fish. It would seem that, on the average, the productivity of the river is declining.
Until this question has received a satisfactory decision the situation on the Skeena should receive
most careful and conservative treatment. The intensity of the fishing should be diminished and
not increased."
Dr. Gilbert's studies of the Nass River sockeye runs of the last eight years show that each
run is very complex, but that it is a well-ordered complexity: " Different age-groups appear and
develop in orderly sequence, and are marshalled as distinctly in assemblages with determinate
numerical ratios as though they had schooled separately at sea and were returning each under
migration laws peculiar to itself. Furthermore, the system pursued by the age-groups in 1919
is identical with that of former years . . . and testifies to the delicacy of the adjustments
which govern so rigidly the migration behaviour of the different age-groups. Adjustments of
this nature in other animals escape our observation, for we have ordinarily no means of grouping
individuals in accordance with the important facts in their life-history. The categories themselves are unrecognized and unsuspected, and no possibility is presented of delving far beneath
the surface. Formerly this condition obtained with the salmon also, for nothing in the external
appearance, the size, or the structure makes it possible to distinguish one group from another.
As they pass before our unaided eyes during the fishing season the impression is given of a
homogeneous assemblage. Not until we learn to decipher their autobiographies as inserted on
their own scales do we become aware of the play of forces and the responses, and aware of the
diverse elements, each governed by its own laws, and each articulating perfectly with the main
body of the run." 10 Geo. 5
British Columbia.
U 19
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Beport op the Commissioner of Fisheries.
1920
The  Sockeye  Salmon-pack*  or the  Feasee Rivee Disteict feom  1900  to  1919,  inclusive.
Year.
Fraser  River.
Puget Sound.
Totals.
1900	
229,800
928,669
293,477
204,809
72,688
837,489
183,007
62,617
74,574
585,435
150,432
62,817
123,879
736,661
198,183
91,130
32,146
148,164
19,697
38,845
228,704
1,105,096
339,556
167,211
123,419
847,122
182,241
96,974
155.218
1,005,120
234,437
126,950
183,896
1,664,827
336,251
64,584
78,476
411,538
50,723
64.346
458,504
1901	
2,033,765
1902	
1903	
1904	
633,033
372,020
196,107
1,684,611
365,248
1905	
1906	
1907	
159,591
1908	
229,792
1909	
1910	
1,590,555
384,869
1911	
1912	
189,767
1913	
2,401,488
534,434
1914 	
1915	
155,714
1916	
1917	
130,622
559,702
1918	
1919	
70,420
103,191
Given in cases—forty-eight 1-lb. cans to case.
Sockeye Egg-take at Feasee Rivee Hatchebies from 1901 to 1919.
1001   15,741,000
1902   72,034,000
1903   13,464,000
1904   9,469,000
1905   07,656,000
1906  51,121,000
1907 '  53,952,000
1908   40,709,000
1909   98,000,000
1910  37,343,000
1011  22,937,000
1912   3S,500,000
1913   80,000,000
1914  28,589,000
1915   08,476,000
1916  40,203,000
1917   31,004,000
1918  '  20,581,500
1919   61,004,500*
* 7,400,000 of these eggs were collected from the Skeena River and hatched at Stuart Lake. 10 Geo. 5 Spawning-beds of Fraser River. U 21
APPENDICES.
THE SPAWNING-BEDS OF THE FRASER RIVER.
Hon. Wm. Sloan,
Commissioner of Fisheries, Victoria, B.C.
Sib,—I have the honour to submit the following report of my annual inspection of the
salmon-fishing and of the spawning area of the Fraser River District during 1919:—
The catch of all species of salmon from the Provincial waters of the Fraser River District
this season produced a total pack of 163,123 cases, one of the smallest ever made. Of the thirty-
seven canneries heretofore operated in the district, but twelve were'operated this year. Their
combined pack consisted of 34,06S cases of sockeye, 39,253 cases of pinks, 39,223 cases of springs,
and 15,941 cases of steeiheads. The catch of sockeye this season was 57,067 cases less than it
was in its brood-year, 1915. The catch of pinks in Provincial waters was close to 100,000 cases
less than the catch of 1917, the brood-yeaT of this season's run.
The catch of both sockeye and pinks in the State of Washington waters of the Fraser
District was equally unsatisfactory and unproductive. The pack of sockeye totalled but 64,346
cases, as against 87,456 cases in 1915, the brood-year, and the pack of pinks totalled but 421,215
cases, as against 1,124,884 cases in the brood-year 1917.
The total pack of sockeye in the Fraser River District this year was but 98,414 cases, as
against 144,532 cases in 1915, and the total pack of pinks was but 460,468 cases, as against
1,256,326 cases in 1917. The fact that the prices paid this year for both sockeye and pinks were
considerably higher than in any former year, and the further fact that the amount of gear used
was as great as in 1917, leads inevitably to the conclusion that the small catches in the district
were due to the small run.
During the season I personally inspected the principal spawning area of the Fraser River
basin. It was my eighteenth annual inspection. I was again assisted by Inspector of Fisheries
C. P. Hickman and Fishery Officer W. A. Newcombe, the latter having returned from France iu
May. The result of our inspection conclusively shows that there were even less sockeye on the
spawning-beds of the Fraser River than in any former year, notwithstanding the fact that a
greater number of sockeye reached the waters at the head of Lillooet Lake than for many years.
The number of sockeye that reached Hell's Gate Canyon, above Yale, was very much smaller
than in any year since annual inspections were inaugurated in 1901; consequently there were
less sockeye on all the spawning-beds north of that, canyon, which includes the entire upper
section of that river-basin, than in any previous year.
The Dominion Government issued an order in July prohibiting the Indians from fishing for
sockeye above the commercial fishing boundary at Mission Bridge. Heretofore the Indians have
been permitted to fish for their own needs at any point they desired. They had conducted extensive operations at Hell's Gate, at Bridge River Canyon above the village of Lillooet, and at many
points on the Thompson, Chilcotin, and L'pper Fraser. In former seasons the Department
obtained valuable data as to the size of the run by counting the sockeye taken by the Indians
and hung on their drying-frames. Because the Indians were not permitted to fish this year no
such data could be obtained.
In order to obtain data on the number of sockeye that reached the Thompson and- Quesnel
Rivers, and because Dr. Gilbert especially desired scales from the families of sockeye that
frequent those rivers, the Department attempted to catch sockeye in both those streams by
means of nets. Two gill-nets of 5%-inch mesh were set in the Thompson River at Spences
Bridge, one on each side of the river, in water through which sockeye pass in ascending. These
nets were maintained there day and night from August 18th to August 29th. The number of
salmon taken by the nets totalled six and were all males. The officers in charge of the nets kept
a close watch on the rapids of the river both below and above the nets, and record that they
saw no salmon except three taken by Indians and those taken by the nets. Had there been
sockeye in numbers passing up the river at that time they would have been seen at the rapids, and no doubt many would have been taken iu the nets. These nets were operated during the
time that in former years the run was at its height. A month after they were removed Officers
Hickman and Newcombe, acting separately and on different dates, inspected the waters of
Shuswap and Adams Lakes and found no evidence of sockeye having reached there, and very
few were noted there by others at later dates.
The record on the Quesnel River discloses a condition as disastrous in its results as that on
the Thompson. Not a single sockeye was taken in the gill-net set in the Quesnel River from
August 28th to September Oth. Following the practice begun by the Department in 1903, a
wTatchman was placed on the dam at the outlet of Quesnel Lake who acted throughout the past
season. He reports that but three sockeye, two males and one female, were seen in the clear
waters of the Quesnel River below the fishway and the dam. Former reports issued by this
Department record that over 4,000,000 sockeye entered Quesnel Lake through the fishway during
the fall of 1909, and that some 557,000 sockeye entered that lake in the fall of 1913, notwithstanding the blockade at Hell's Gate Canyon that season, which blockade was illustrated and
described in the Department's reports of 1913 and 1914. This year, as stated, but three sockeye
w-ere seen there during the entire season. More conclusive evidence could not be produced to
establish the practical extermination of the runs of sockeye to the Fraser than is presented by
these records from two of its largest tributaries.
That there was but a small run to the Chilcotin River this year was established by an
inspection of that river by me and from reports from the Indians at the head of the river at
the outlet of Chilko Lake. At the time of my inspection I was told by Chilcotin Indians that,
notwithstanding the order prohibiting them from fishing for salmon, dip-nets were used at
several favourable points -without capturing any sockeye. Dr. Gilbert's examination of the
scales obtained from the run of sockeye at Hell's Gate Canyon by Overseer Newcombe in August
discloses that it consisted of a perfectly homogeneous lot that were bound for the Chilcotin.
(See Dr. Gilbert's report, page 47.)
Late in October and early in November a few' hundred sockeye entered Seton Lake. There
was no run there in August and September. Because a sufficient number of sockeye did not
reach Seton Lake to warrant the operation of the hatchery it again remained closed.
Unquestionably there was a larger run of sockeye to the Birkenhead River, at the head of
the Harrison-Lillooet Lakes watershed, this year than in any recent year. The run was so much
larger than even in 1915 that it cannot altogether be attributed to the fact that the Indians were
not permitted to fish at the Little Portage at the foot of Lillooet Lake. Fishery and Indian
Agent Grant, who is an authority on the subject, and who has been stationed at the portage
during the salmon run for a number of years past, states that a far greater number of sockeye
passed through the rapids at the portage this season than at any time in recent years. The
collection this year of 30,000,000 sockeye-eggs at the Pemberton Hatchery conclusively proves
that the run was unusually large. The collection of eggs in 1918 totalled 11,960,000; in 1917,
5,270,000; in 1916, 25,750,000; and in 1915, 25,250,000. The collection this year exceeded the
collection made in the brood-year of this season's run (1915) by 5,000.000 eggs. The fish came
early and ran late. I am convinced that the run there this year was due to the successful
operation of the hatchery in 1915. Conditions there are ideal for hatchery propagation. Superintendent T. W. Graham and the Department are to be congratulated upou such a satisfactory
showing.
The run of sockeye to Harrison Lake and to the lower section of the Fraser River this season
was larger than in any year since 1915. The number of sockeye that entered the trap at the
entrance of the small stream from the retaining-pond at the hatchery at Harrison Lake contributed 4,000,000 eggs to the collection made for that hatchery this year. As the stream is an
artificial one, consisting of the waters used in the hatchery, and no salmon have ever spawned
there, naturally the run this year must be credited to the fry incubated in the hatchery and
liberated through the retaining-ponds. The run to that small stream this year was far greater
than to any of the natural streams tributary to Harrison Lake, save the Lillooet River, and the
run to the latter passed on to the Birkenhead River. It is evident that the sockeye that entered
the creek at the Harrison Hatchery and also the Birkenhead River must be credited to the
successful operation of the hatcheries in past years.    It is a most satisfactory showing.
Considerable concern has again been exhibited by those interested in conditions existing on
the Fraser River at Hell's Gate Canyon.    The statement made that the river-channel there is 10 Geo. 5 Spawning-beds of Fraser River. U 23
still so blocked as to prevent the passage of sockeye to the waters above, and that the sockeye
that reached there this year did not get through the canyon is untrue. The rocks that blocked
the channel in 1913 were entirely removed in 1914-15 and the old channel fully restored. All the
sockeye that reached there this year passed through the canyon without more delay than often
occurred in the years before the slide of 1913. Conditions at Hell's Gate since 1914 have been
and are now as favourable to the passage of all species of salmon- as they were previous to the
slides of 1913 and 1914. The Department has had the channel there under close -observation
every season since 1901. The rapids at Hell's Gate are the first real obstacle which the sockeye
encounter in their ascent of the Fraser River. Until they reach there they have had no rapids
of importance to overcome, and consequently are inexperienced in passing through such swift
and broken currents. The result is that even at the most favourable stages of water they make
repeated attempts before they succeed in finding their way through the Gate. This year, as in
the years before the slide of 1913, there were short periods, in certain unfavourable stages of
water, during which few (if any) salmon passed. On two occasions this season the run was
delayed for several days, but all the salmon eventually succeeded in passing, so that the delay
was not of material importance. The rapids at Hell's Gate are not more difficult of ascent at
times than the rapids in the Fraser above the mouth of Bridge River, and are not nearly as
difficult at all times as the rapids and falls at " the Hole " on the Chilko River, some miles above
the mouth of the Whitewater River, yet the sockeye on reaching those places experience less delay
than at Hell's Gate. At Hell's Gate and at the Bridge River Canyon all the sockeye apparently
make the ascent close to the surface on either bank, and the same is true at Fish Canyon on
the Chilcotin River, but at " the Hole " on the Chilko all apparently hug the rocks on the bed
of the stream and none of them pass close to the surface. After viewing a run at Hell's Gate
and then observing the sockeye at Fish Canyon on the Chilcotin River one cannot help being
impressed by the certainty with which they attack and overcome the last-mentioned rapids.
They show much more expertness in overcoming rapids and falls by the time they reach the
latter rapids. From studying the conditions- at Hell's Gate since 1901 I am of the opinion that
the situation there does not offer a serious obstacle to the ascent of sockeye.
I have, etc.,
John Pease Babcock,
Assistant to the Commissioner..
Victoria, B.C., November 1st, 1919. THE SPAWNING-BEDS OF RIVERS INLET.
Hon. Wm. Sloan,
Commissioner of Fisheries, Victoria, B.C.
Sib,—I have the honour to submit my report on the inspection of the spawning-beds of the
Rivers Inlet watershed for the year 1919.
Since Dr. C. H. Gilbert's investigations have determined that the race of sockeye that
frequent the waters of Rivers Inlet and spawn in the tributaries of Owikeno Lake consist of
four- and five-year-old fish, the numbers of fish found there this year are compared with the
numbers found there in the years 1914 and 1915.
Leaving Rivers Inlet Cannery on September 19th, I proceeded to the head of the lake.
The three tributaries at this section are early-running salmon-streams, from which I am able
to record very satisfactory results.
In Indian River, which was examined first, the salmon showed up remarkably well. The
rapids all the way to the falls,, half a mile distant from the mouth, contained large numbers
of sockeye salmon corresponding very closely in numbers to the run here in 1914. In size
they were under the average. No log-jams or other obstructions interfered with the movement
of the fish up-stream.
Proceeding next to the Washwash River, situated on the other side of the lake, it was
satisfactory to note a big run of sockeye salmon. The spawning-beds for a distance of two miles
were literally crowded with fish. It is necessary to recall the exceptionally big run which
spawned in this tributary in 1914 and 1915—the brood-years from which the present run
resulted—to approach the numbers observed on these spawning-beds this year. The males and
females were equally represented and came well up to the average in individual size. A few
small grilse were seen.
The work of clearing the log-jams from the mouth of this river by Engineers of the Dominion
Department of Fisheries, under the direction of Mr. McIIugh, in the spring of this year calls
for most favourable comment. Where in former years it was difficult to follow the course of
the stream owing to the log-jams which obstructed the mouth, these have now been removed and
permit the salmon to reach the extended beds above. It is to be hoped that the good work
undertaken by them will be repeated each year. An example of how quickly a freshet will
destroy labour of this description is shown by a log-jam which completely obstructed a small
branch stream situated on the right side of the Washwash, leading into the main river above;
while thousands of sockeye salmon were spawning on the beds, a very large number were
congregated below the recently formed obstruction unable to proceed farther.
The Cheo River, lying midway between the Washwash and Indian Rivers, received its full
complement of sockeye salmon this year. The spawning-beds were thickly covered with spawning
fish. Judging from the numbers observed below the falls, the removal of the log-jam permitted
the sockeye to reach this part of the river. The run there this year compared very favourably
with the brood-years 1914 and 1915.    In size the fish were not, however, up to the average.
On returning from the head of the lake inspection was made of Sunday Creek. With the
exception of a few sockeye swimming around on the spawning-beds at the mouth, there was
nothing to indicate abundant seeding. The numbers did not compare favourably with the runs
of 1914 and 1915.   This creek had again changed its course.
There were no salmon to be seen as we proceeded through the Narrows, the high stage of
the lake preventing observations of the gravel-beds. The approach to the Sheemahant River, the
most productive salmon-stream of the lake, was crowded with sockeye and prepared me for the
unquestionably large run of fish which were making full use of the eighteen miles of spawning
area at their disposal. The males appeared to outnumber the female sockeye salmon in the
proportion of four to one, indicating that spawning had just begun. In point of size they were
'below the average. There are no obstructions of any kind in tHe stream1 to interfere w7ith the
movement of the fish. The inspection was conducted too early to arrive at any conclusion in
regard to the run of cohoe salmon. 10 Geo. 5
Spaavnixg-beds of Rivers Inlet.
U 25
The Dominion Department of Fisheries, in effecting a clearance of the log-jams in Jeneesee
Creek, are to be congratulated on the results achieved. The spawning-beds which have now been
opened up to the salmon permitted the remarkable run which came in to seed the beds to their
full capacity, the hatcherymen obtaining a total of 3,000,000 eggs from this creek.
In no other years, with the exception of 1913 and 1914, have so many fish been found
in Jeneesee Creek. As in 1915 few sockeye salmon entered this stream, it suggests a theory in
favour of a run of five-year sockeye; the salmon again were larger than those encountered at
other streams in the Owikeno watershed this year.
The number of sockeye salmon which reached the spawning-beds of the Machmell River
was again every difficult to estimate. This stream with its thick muddy water prevented all
efforts to observe the fish in the river-bed, but in the shallows farther up a few sockeye were
seen breaking water, indicating that- there were fish there. The quiet waters of the Nookins
River, a tributary to the Machmell, evidently attract the greater portion of the run of sockeye.
In the clear water for a distance of three or four miles the fish were seen spawning on the beds
in exceptionally large numbers, and in the lower portion of the river big schools were noted,
evidently waiting until they were in a ripe condition. The inspection revealed a run equal to
those of 1914 and 1915.    No log-jams obstruct this river.
In making the inspection of Asklum River every facility was afforded to obtain an uninterrupted view of the river-bed all the way to the falls, due to the low stage of the stream.
In the clear water thousands were observed spawning on the gravel-beds, but in estimating the
numbers of sockeye to be seen here it was noticeable that the run did not compare with the big
runs recorded in 1914 and 1915. There is no doubt, however, that the beds were being bountifully seeded. In size the fish were smaller than in former years, the males outnumbering the
females four to one. The log-jams referred to in previous reports have received attention from
the Department of Fisheries and no longer seriously interfered with the run.
The Dalley River, situated aliout six miles from the mouth of the lake and directly opposite
Quap, was well supplied with sockeye salmon. The spawning-beds did not contain many fish,
but large schools were observed waiting below in the clear water; in some places the river was
literally black with them. I have no hesitation in recording a run equally as great as the
number which made their appearance here in 1914 and 1915. In size the fish represented only
a fair average. No obstructions of any kind interfere with the spawning-beds, which should
produce a big run from this season's spawning.
From the Quap the hatcherymen secured 14,000,000 sockeye-eggs. They could, I am advised,
have taken double that number had they desired. After they stopped taking eggs a vast number
of fish were permitted to ascend the stream. The work of the Dominion Fishery Engineer, Mr.
McIIugh, in the removal of the log-jams from this creek's bed, cannot be too highly commended,
since it has restored the entire creek-bed to spawning fish.
The gravel-bars at the mouth of the lake and situated around the Indian rancherie were
not overstocked with salmon on ruy first visit, but an improvement was shown on my return;
the sockeye were beginning to cover the spawning-beds in large numbers. It is usual for these
fish to drop back from the lake when they are ready to spawn.
The Owikeno River was too discoloured to estimate the number of spring salmon, but
evidence'was not lacking that the run of this species of fish was well up to the average. The
cohoe run was exceptionally large in point of numbers, but they arrived after the fishing season
and too late for the canneries to reap the benefit.
Taking into consideration the comparatively poor pack obtained by the canneries at Rivers
Inlet this season, it is surprising that the spawning-beds did not show a correspondingly poor
seeding. The exceptionally large number of sockeye salmon observed spawning on the beds, and
noted in tens of thousands schooled up in the deeper portions of the various tributaries, precludes
the opinion generally expressed by the canning fraternity that the run this year was a small one.
My inspection showed that the spawning-beds were as abundantly seeded as in 1914 and more so
than in 1915. As the sockeye, generally speaking, did not reach an average standard in size,
the poor catch may be attributed to their having passed through the nets. Fishermen whom I
interviewed during the fishing season time and again deplored their luck in seeing hundreds of
salmon pass completely through their nets. U 2G
Report of the Commissioner of Fisheries.
1920
The extension of the weekly closed time had its effect. Because I found the spawning-beds
on the tributaries of Owikeno Lake so abundantly seeded this year, I look for a favourable
return in the runs four and five years hence.
In conclusion, I wish to express my thanks to G. L. Johnston, of Rivers Inlet Cannery,
Captain Hamer, of the Dominion Hatchery, and the various officials connected therewith, to
whom I am indebted for many attentions.
I have, etc.,
Arthur Stone,
Fisheries Overseer.
Rivers Inlet. B.C., November 8th, 1019. 10 Geo. 5 Spawning-beds of Smith Inlet. U 27
THE SPAWNING-BEDS OF SMITH INLET.
Hon. Wm. Sloan,
Commissioner of Fisheries, Victoria, B.C.
Sib,—In pursuance of instructions from the Department to make an inspection of the watershed at Smith Inlet, I have the honour to submit the following report for the year 1919:—
Proceeding to Smith Inlet at the conclusion of my visit of inspection to Lake Owikeno,
arrangements were made with Indians, after which departure was made for the spawning-beds
situated at Long Lake, four miles and a half from salt water.
The peculiar characteristics displayed by the Rivers Inlet race of soxkeye salmon, in that
they represent practically four- and five-year fish, is demonstrated in the race which return to
Smith Inlet to spawn; consequently, in making comparisons, it will be necessary to refer to the
1914 and 1915 runs—the brood-years from which the present run of sockeye resulted.
Long Lake is about sixteen miles in length and contains two rivers and one small creek,
which, with the exception of some fine gravel-bedsi situated along the shores at the head of the
lake, comprise the only spawning-grounds for the salmon.
The Docee River (the overflow to the lake) afforded every facility to estimate the number
of sockeye salmon, since the water was very low and clear. The run here is well up to the
average of former years, large numbers being noted both in the river and along the shores at
the mouth of the lake.
Arriving at Quay Creek, situated about seven miles from the mouth of Long Lake, an
inspection was made of the spawning-beds. The exceptionally big run which I am able to record
compares very favourably with the number seen here in 1914.
The spawning-beds both inside and outside the creek were well covered with spawning fish.
In a deep pool at the foot of the falls a very large number of salmon were congregated, making
futile efforts to surmount the insuperable barrier which at present bars them from reaching a
small creek above leading to a lake half a mile inland. If this barrier could be removed by
building a fish-ladder and blasting out a log-jam which has formed at the foot of the falls, great
advantage to the fish would result. It is apparent that this creek only receives the sockeye in
exceptional numbers every fourth and fifth year, the three following years having shown
comparatively poor returns, but this should not prevent an effort being made to clear the
obstruction referred to.
Conditions at the head of the lake, where the greater portion of the sockeye-spawning beds
are situated, was practically a repetition of that which was recorded in 1914 and 1915. The
gravel-bars at the mouth of the Geluch River (or Smoke-house Creek, as it is termed by the
Indians) was crowrded with sockeye salmon. Going up the river to the falls about three miles
and a half distant, the fish were observed in dense masses lining the beds; the small mountain
streams emptying into this river all bore the same tale; every, foot of available spawning-ground
had been utilized for the propagation of spawn. In numbers the males appeared to be in greater
proportion than the female salmon and in size attained a fair average. The river-bed is free
from any obstructions;. consequently the fish should experience no difficulty in providing
sufficient seed to produce a run four and five years hence equal to the present one.
The fine gravel beach which lies at the entrance of the Delabah River and along the shores
of the lake did not show anything like the number of sockeye salmon recorded here in 1914.
It will be recalled that a milling mass was the description applied to the vast numbers in that
year. The run of 1915 describes more accurately the situation here, although evidence was not
lacking that eventually a very big run would reach this section, since the lake appeared to be
well stocked with salmon to judge by the numbers breaking water.
From the mouth of the Delabah River to the falls one mile and a half distant tens of
thousands of sockeye crowded the spawning-beds, while in the deep pools schools were noted
bunched together waiting. The scene presented a close parallel to the extraordinary number
recorded in 1914. No log-jams or other obstructions prevented the fish enjoying full possession
of the spawning-beds at their disposal. The only drawback to successful propagation of spawn
would be in the nature of the river-toed, composed principally of rocks and pebbles; otherwise
I have no doubt the thousands which will seed the beds will provide for an equally big run when
the fish return as adults from this season's spawning. U 28
Report of the Commissioner of Fisheries.
1920
A number of small mountain streams were examined on the way back to the mouth of the
lake, and at the entrance to each small bunches of sockeye were in evidence.
One or two small schools of eohoe salmon were noted making their w-ay up the Docee River
to the lake; no comparison, however, can be made with the number seen last year, but this
may be attributed to their late arrival from salt water, since I noted large numbers breaking
water in Smith Inlet on our way back to the cannery. The humpback run was very small and
corresponded closely to the numbers recorded at Rivers Inlet this season. The dog-salmon, on
the other hand, arrived in considerable numbers, and from this species a good run may be
expected from the results of this season's spawning.
The comparatively small pack of sockeye salmon put up by the two canneries at Smith
Inlet, amounting to s^out 16,000 cases, when contrasted with the big pack of 28,000 cases in
1914 and 35,000 cases in 1915, calls for some explanation as to why more fish were not caught
on the fishing-grounds this year, since the spawning-beds have been shown to have been so
abundantly seeded. The answer may be summed up as follows: The action of some of the
gill-net fishermen in forcibly restraining the Wallace Fisheries from fishing their seine-nets
during the height of the sockeye run permitting tens of thousands to escape capture. I am
given to understand that during the four or five days the seines were not in use a milling mass
of fish occupied the seining-grounds which lie inside the gill-net fishing boundary, having successfully negotiated the large number of gill-nets distributed over the inlet; all these fish in
consequence reached the spawning-beds.
Summing up the results of the inspection to this watershed, I have every reason to look
forward optimistically to a big run which will return here as adults from this season's spawning,
since the spawning-beds received a run closely resembling the vast numbers recorded iu 1914.
I have, etc.,
Arthur W. Stone,
Fisheries Overseer.
Rivers Inlet, B.C., November 8th, 1919. 10 Geo. 5
SPAWNING-BEDS   OF   SKEENA   RlVER.
U  29
THE SPAWNING-BEDS OF SKEENA RIVER,
Hon. Wm. Sloan,
Commissioner of Fisheries, Victoria, B.C.
Sir,—In accordance with instructions, I made a tour of inspection of the spawning-beds of
the Skeena River, and beg to submit the following report thereon :—
On September 7th last I arrived at Donald's Landing, which is thirty miles from the head
of Babine Lake. The following day I went to 15-Mile Creek; here I met Mr. Crawford,
Superintendent of the Stuart Lake Hatchery, who was engaged in spawning sockeye-eggs
for the Stuart Lake Hatchery. He informed me that he had commenced spawning here on
September 2nd and up to this date he had obtained approximately 1,400,000 eggs; he intended
to get a supply of 3,000,000 eggs altogether from this creek. I was informed before I left
Babine that he was successful. Mr. Crawford also informed me that he had started spawning
at Pierre Creek on August 19th and had obtained approximately 3,400.000 sockeye-eggs. From
the two creeks he expected to collect his full supply for the Stuart Lake Hatchery, amounting
to 7,500,000 eggs.
There was a large run of sockeye in 15-Mile Creek, and from all reports obtained I would
say that they were up to the average of any-previous years. This creek will be seeded abundantly ; the males and females were evenly balanced. There were twelve Indian families from
Stuart Lake putting up their winter supply; they were having no difficulty in obtaining all
they wanted, as they were given a large number of the salmon that were spawned by Mr.
Crawford. Their racks and smoke-houses were well filled. The Indians catch rainbow trout,
which congregate at the mouth of this creek, feeding on salmon-eggs.
I then called in at 4-Mile Creek, which was almost dry, but there were a number of sockeye
at the mouth and some were spawning in the gravel that had been washed down when the water
was high. It was impossible for the salmon to get up owing to the lack of water. I was
informed by the Dominion Guardian that a few had been able to get up a short distance before
the creek subsided, and that in all probability the eggs which were left would be lost.
I then proceeded on to Beaver Creek. At the mouth the water was very dark and I could
not see any salmon, so went up the creek a considerable distance expecting the water would be
clearer. At times I could see sockeye, but not in large numbers. I was informed that the first
sockeye were seen here on July 25th, and that this is considered one of the early spawning
creeks of Babine. There are many obstructions of log-jams and beaver-dams. The Indians
informed me that when the water gets low the salmon have great difficulty in getting over these
obstructions, and when the dams are broken down the beaver rebuild them. Five Indian families
from Stuart Lake attempted to obtain their winter supply from this stream, but they were
unsuccessful and had to go to 15-Mile Creek to procure the quantity required.
On September 9th I visited Pierre Creek and saw very few live sockeye salmon, but large
numbers of dead ones, which I presume had been spawmed by Mr. Crawford. On going up the
creek the number of dead salmon increased and the. stench was unbearable. Mr. Crawford
informed me that there was a very large run of sockeye here when he was spawning on August
19th, and that it would be well seeded. This is the earliest creek on Babine Lake for the sockeye
spawning. There were no Indians putting up salmon at the time of my visit. This creek could
be improved greatly by clearing out a number of the log-jams. On returning to the mouth I saw
quite a number of 'sockeye, which were spawning in the fine gravel that had been washed out
from the creek. On proceeding down the lake I saw sockeye close inshore; the}7 were jumping
and playing around. I went over to see if there was any creek near by, but there was none for
miles on either side. From what I could observe through the dark water they were spawning
in the fine sand of the lake-shore.
I arrived at Salmon Creek on the afternoon of September 10th and proceeded up to the
Babine Hatchery, a distance of two miles and a half. In this creek I saw great numbers of
sockeye, also cohoes, which were beginning to run. There is a good gravel bottom the whole
length of the creek and several very deep holes. On arriving at the hatchery I met Mr. Gibbs,
the Superintendent, who showed me his barricade at the entrance to Morrison Lake, where eggs
are collected.   All along the barricade were large sacks of hay, placed there in order to protect U 30 Report of the Commissioner of Fisheries. 1920
the salmon when they jumped. In jumping they would strike the sacks and fall back into the
water uninjured. Mr. Gibbs informed me that he would easily get his supply of sockeye-eggs
there. He intended to take 8,000,000 eggs. Although the hatchery has a capacity of 10,000,000,
he finds better results are derived from giving them plenty of space. There are several retaining-
ponds where the fry are retained for three months, and sometimes longer, until they are well
fitted to protect themselves from their enemies. The sockeye appeared to me to be much larger
in size in this creek than in any other tributary of the lake. Upon mentioning this to Mr. Gibbs
he agreed with me, and said that there was quite a difference, but could not account for it.
There were three distinct runs to this creek; the first two the males and females were equal,
but on the third run Mr. Gibbs thought the males would be in excess by four to one. The run
to this creek will average as well as in any previous year. After the supply of eggs is taken
for the hatchery there will be sufficient left to seed the creek by natural propagation. Mr. Gibbs
further informed me that the hatchery had been in operation on this stream for fourteen years
and that he had never seen a larger run of sockeye there. On the morning of September 11th,
as I was leaving, the hatchery crew commenced to take spawn. On returning to the mouth I
saw a number of humpbacks jumping. There was one Indian family putting up their winter
supply, which they had almost secured.
On September 12th I went down the Babine River about eleven miles. On this stretch of
water, where there are good spawning-beds, the sockeye were not numerous, but there were
humpbacks in large numbers; the water was alive with them and especially at the old barricade
site. They were not endeavouring to go any farther up and were spawning in the river. It is
on this stretch of water that the Babine Indians get their principal supply of salmon. There
were ninety-five families represented here; all their smoke-houses and drying-racks were well
filled; they were able to secure their supply with little difficulty. Upon making inquiries as to
wdiat would constitute a reasonable supply for one family, I would estimate it to be from 1,000
to 1,200 salmon per family. The number of salmon that will be smoked this season by Babine
and Stuart Lake Indians will amount to approximately 130,000, which will consist mostly of
sockeye, and the number of cohoes that they secure for feeding their dogs. The Dominion Government supplies each family with 125 feet of gill-net; they stake their nets out in the evening and
take them up in the morning. There is a weekly close season from 6 a.m. on Saturday until 6 p.m.
on Sunday. The Indians are permitted to use nets there in place of the barricades formerly built
across the river. The substitution is a beneficial one. There is now no waste and an abundance of
sockeye are permitted to enter Babine Lake to stock all its tributaries. There are two Dominion
Fishery Guardians who patrol the lake and see that the Indians do not get their nets across
the creeks and prevent the salmon from going up. I was informed by the Fishery Guardians
that the first salmon appeared in Babine Lake on July 21st, which is one day earlier than last
year, and that between the end of July and the first week of August the Babine River was a
solid mass of fry on their journey to the sea. Nilkitkwa Creek is very small and runs into the
Babine River;  the humpbacks were in large numbers, also a few cohoes.
On September 13th I proceeded to Tachek Creek and arrived there on September 14th.
On going up the creek a considerable distance I saw sockeye in large numbers, all spawning.
This is a very fine tributary of the Babine Lake, as there are a few miles of fine gravelly
bottom. The sockeye were w7ell distributed all over the creek. I did not see many salmon at
the mouth, although the water was quite clear; I was informed they usually run up at night.
There were three Indian families here from Stuart Lake putting up their supply; they told me
they had about 800 per family, but were complaining of not catching many, as the w7ater was
clear and the salmon could see their nets. From information received I would say that the
run in this creek was up to the average of previous years. On questioning the Indians here
and elsewhere as to the general run of salmon to Babine Lake this year in comparison with
other years, they said:   " Lots of salmon this year."
This was the last point of interest on Babine Lake. I returned to Donald's Landing on
September 15th, leaving the next day for the Indian village, Awillgate, three miles from the
old town of Hazelton, arriving on September 19th. Twenty-five families reside there. I was
informed by the Indian Agent and also by the Dominion Fishery Guardian that 80 per cent,
of the Indians, who w7ere in the habit of catching salmon at the Bulkley Canyon, had now
abandoned the practice and have adapted themselves to living by cultivating their gardens and
other means.    On looking around the old smoke-houses in the vicinity I was able to substantiate 10 Geo. 5
Spawning-beds of Skeena River.
U 31
this report. I only saw four smoke-houses that had been in operation; two had a fair quantity
of dried salmon and from the other two the salmon had been removed. There were eight or
nine smoke-houses abandoned. At the time of my visit there were no Indians taking salmon;
their method of catching them here is basket-trap, dip-net, and spearing. They have platforms
on the side of the canyon, where they stand, and when the salmon endeavour to pass through
they spear them. I saw no salmon as the water was very discoloured, but was informed by the
Dominion Fishery Guardian that they were in large numbers about August 15th and that the
average was up to that of previous years.    .
I left Hazelton on September 21st and arrived at Lakelse Lake in the evening. I met Mr.
Catt, Superintendent of the new7 hatchery.
The following day I visited Blackwater Creek, but did not see many sockeye; Mr. Catt
informed me that they went up early in August. I saw evidence of dead salmon on the banks
which were taken out by bears and eagles. This creek has a gravelly bottom and I believe was
well seeded. On returning to the mouth I saw a number of humpbacks which were spawning.
I then proceeded to Williams Creek, which is a short distance from Blackwater; here I saw
humpbacks and a few sockeye. This is considered the important spawning creek of Lakelse
Lake and has a good gravelly bottom for a mile and a half. Mr. Catt also informed me that
the sockeye run up this creek early in August and in very large numbers; the males and females
were evenly balanced. The sockeye that enter Lakelse Lake stay in the lake for about six wreeks
until they are ready for spawning, and then proceed up the creeks to spawn. The first salmon
were seen in Lakelse Lake this year on June 3rd, which is earlier than in previous years, as they
generally appear on June 8th or 9th. A large number entered the lake this year before the
fishing opened on the Skeena River. In the afternoon of September 22nd 1 visited Lakelse River.
From the lake to the old hatchery the channel was literally filled with a mass of spawning
humpbacks. From the old hatchery to the Skeena River, a distance of twelve miles, I was told
there were vast numbers of spawning humpbacks. Lakelse River is a fine gravelly spawning-
bed ; the water is very clear and salmon are very easily seen, but I saw. very few sockeye there.
I went up Coldwater Creek ; the humpbacks were there in large numbers, but no sockeye. I was
informed that sockeye never go up Coldwater Creek.
On September 23rd I went up the four small tributaries of Granite Creek; they all branch
off about a mile and a half above the lake. There were no salmon above that point, as the
creek-bed is very rough and filled with large rocks and boulders. 1 saw a fair number of
sockeye below the forks. Bears do great damage to the salmon in these tributaries; it is not
the number they eat, but the number that they destroy, as they generally take one bite and
then fish for another one. The salmon are at their mercy, as the creeks are narrow and shallow;
I was told the bears destroy thousands.
I then proceeded to Scallabuchan Creek; the sockeye run here early In August. I saw a
fair number spawning, but from information received I believe this creek was well seeded.
Mr. Catt expects to take all his spawn here next year, as the new hatchery will then be ready
for operation. The new hatchery is situated a mile and a half from the lake on Granite Creek,
just above where the four small tributaries branch off. The water there is very clear and cold.
At present the foundations are laid; they are of concrete, 120 feet in length and 40 feet w7ide,
including a drain in the centre, 6 feet wide and IS inches deep, running the whole length. It
will be used as a retaining-pond for young fry. The hatchery will not be built until spring
and is expected to be in operation in September, 1920. The delay in construction was caused
by the strike last summer. Its capacity will be 10,000,000 eggs. The Dominion Government has
built a road from the hatchery to the lake in order that they may have easy access to either end
when collecting their eggs.
I wish to express my appreciation of the kind assistance proffered me by the Hatchery
Superintendents and also Mr. Norrie, Dominion Overseer, to whom I am indebted for valuable
information and assistance. From the facts at my disposal I have without hesitation to say-
that the tributaries of the Skeena River were well seeded this year, fully up to the average of
any previous years.
I have, etc.,
William A. Wisley,
Fisheries Overseer.
Prince Rupert, B.C., September 17th, 1919. Report of the Commissioner of Fisheries.
1920
THE SPAWNING-BEDS OF THE NASS RIVEE.
Hon. Wm. Sloan,
Commissioner of Fisheries, Victoria, B.C.
Sib,—In  obedience  to instructions from the Department to inspect the salmon-spawning
beds of the Nass River, I beg to inform you that in company with J. Maxwell Collison, of the
Dominion Fisheries Department, I visited the Meziadin Lake basin and the salmon-streams in
the Ayansh District.    We respectfully submit the following report:—
Meziadin Lake District.
We left Arrandale, at the mouth of the Nass River, on the Dominion Fisheries patrol-boat
" Thos. Crosby " for Stew7art on September 11th, taking with us two Indian packers. Arriving
at Stewart on the night of the 11th, we proceeded to get our outfit together and left that place
on the morning of the 13th, having pack-horses to take our outfit as far as possible. The outfit
was packed to the Government cabin on the west side of the Bear River Glacier, and we
shouldered our packs for the trip into the interior. We encountered many difficulties and
obstacles on the way in owing to the trail being overgrown with dense brush and all of the
bridges having been washed away. The trail at the side of the Bear River Glacier is also in
very bad shape, it having entirely disappeared for about a distance of 400 or 500 yards, which
compelled us to get right on to the ice to get across. This is rather dangerous work when you
have a heavy pack on your back, as the ice is smooth and shelving. After overcoming the
difficulties of the glacier we proceeded on down the Beaver River, which empties into Meziadin
Lake at its westerly end. The trail down the Beaver is in very bad shape owing to the river
having changed its course and washing out the trail completely in places, and compelling us to
cut our way through the dense brush. We also had to ford the Surprise River, which empties
into the Beaver about four miles from its mouth. Surprise River was very high at the time of
our visit, and in fording it we were w7aist-high in the water. On reaching the head of Meziadin
Lake we had to build a raft to take us down the lake, there being no canoe to be found. After
completing the raft we started dowoi the lake along the north shore. For a distance of about
a mile and a half from the head a few spawning sockeye salmon w7ere to be observed, but w7ere
much less in numbers than were seen on previous trips at this particular place. Very few
salmon were leaping in the lake. We reached McBride Rapids, Meziadin River, about a quarter
of a mile below the outlet of the lake, in the evening; unloading our outfit, wTe run the rapids
with the raft, then camped for the night. It rained hard. In the morning w7e continued on
our way. At the foot of McBride Rapids there is a splendid spring-salmon spawning-ground,
but there were not as many spawning spring salmon there this year (as we noted in previous
years. We also run the second rapids in the Meziadin River with the raft. These rapids are
about a mile above the fishway. We arrived at the :fishway and falls at noon on September
19th. We inspected the waters in this vicibity in the afternoon. Very few salmon were to be
seen at any place here, either in the basins of the fishway or immediately below the lower or
upper falls. As it was a very cloudy day we were not able to take any photos. The next
morning was very fine and we proceeded to make a thorough inspection of conditions. At the
falls and fishway there was a great scarcity of salmon, very few to be seen at any place, and
during the w7hole time that we w7ere there we only saw one salmon try to leap the fall. There
were not more than ten salmon in the pockets of the fishway at any one time. It has been usual
in the past, and at this time of the year, to see at least 200 salmon in the pockets of the fishway,
and also to see hundreds congregated below both the main and second fall, and continually leaping in their eagerness to reach the waters above, but this season there were so few salmon that
only a trained eye would know that it was a salmon-stream. On our return trip up the lake
we inspected 'McLeod Creek and Hanna River for a considerable distance, but did not see a
single salmon. We next crossed over the lake to the south side, following this shore up. For
a distance of about four miles a few spawning sockeye were to be observed in places. At the
extreme head of the lake at the south-west corner a considerable number of spawning sockeye
were to be seen; in fact, this was the only place in the Meziadin watershed where salmon were
to be observed in anything like the numbers as reported on previous visits of inspection. At
the time of our visit the waters of the lake were very high, much higher than usual. 10 Geo. 5
Spawning-beds of Nass River.
U 33
Conditions at the Fishway.—In making an inspection of the fishway we noticed that some
great changes had occurred since last we were here two years previously. The large dump of
rock that was on the outer side of the retaining-wall of the fishway has all been washed away,
also the retaining-wall for one-third of its length and 10 feet in width has gone. At the present
time the retaining-wall is 40 feet in length and 5 feet in width. The outer part of the retaining-
wall is composed of rock in formation and gravel, and the inner side is of rock. The nature of
the rock is slate and is very badly checked for its entire length. The main river is now running
alongside of the outer wall, and the river is seeping right through the wall into the fishway in
places. The wing-dam that was in the main river above the intake of the fishway has- been
displaced and is now lying along the river-bank. There are two trees resting on the wing-dam,
and right across the intake of the fishway. The main wall of the fishway, where the crib-work
is, has also suffered by flood. Two of the braces that shored up the crib-work two years ago
are gone. They were toed into the retaining-wall and carried away w7hen its lower end was
destroyed.
There is also a quantity of rock displaced, which has dropped into the third pocket of the
fishway. It has made quite a gouge in the wall and has taken away the support for the crib-
work at this place. The old crib-work is also showing signs of decay and dry-rot. At the time
the fishway was built there were four pockets. The first or lower pocket is pretty well filled
up with rock from the washed-out dump. Below the fishway there is a quantity of rock deposited
in the river, which was a part of the dump before mentioned. It is possible that the high water
that caused the damage to the fishway came shortly after our trip of inspection in 1919, as all
of the Upper Nass was visited with great floods in the fall of that year, washing some of the
Indian villages completely out of existence.
After finishing up our inspection of the Meziadin watershed we had to repair to the Ayansh
District. As all of the bridges and cables for crossing rivers had been washed away between
Meziadin and Ayansh, it was necessary for us to go into this district by way of the mouth of
the Nass; therefore returning, we arrived at the town of Stewart on September 24th. Owing
to the uncertainty of means of travel in these unsettled districts it was necessary for us in
order to get to Arrandale to take a steamer to Prince Rupert, then change boats for Arrandale.
Arriving there we paid off the two packers that we had, procured some (more provisions, and
obtained passage on an Indian's motor-boat for Ayansh. The distance from Kincolith, at the
mouth of the Nass, to Ayansh is over seventy miles, and the waters are very swift, making very
slow travel on the upward journey. We left Kincolith on the afternoon of September 30th, and
after a slow and tedious trip arrived at Ayansh on the evening of October 2nd.
Ayansh District.
On Friday, October 3rd, we obtained an Indian guide and inspected the Saskinisht River
on the 3rd and 4th. This river empties into the Nass two miles above Ayansh. We went up the
Saskinisht as far as the falls. The salmon that enter this stream are spring, cohoe, dog, and
steelhead. Humpback have been seen here, but there were not many this year. It is impossible
for salmon to ascend above the falls. At the time of our visit there w7ere no salmon congregated
below the fall, but from information gleaned from the settlers in this district there was a good
run of spring salmon this year. In the lower reaches of the river there w7as quite a Mir number
of cohoe and dog salmon, and for the size of the stream we consider that it was well seeded by
the specie of salmon that enter it. The distance of the river from its mouth to the falls is about
seven miles, and some splendid spawning-grounds w7ere to be seen for the whole distance.
Seaks River.
On Monday, October 6th, we commenced our inspection of the Seaks watershed. This river
empties into the Nass about four miles above the canyon and about the same distance below the
village of Ayansh. We started our inspection at the mouth of the river and continued our way
up to the falls, which by the irregular course of the river is a distance of some ten miles. The
salmon that enter this river are sockeye, spring, cohoe, dog, and steelhead. The sockeye do not
continue on up the Seaks to the falls, but head off up a creek known to the Indians as the
Ginglith Creek, which flows into the Seaks about two miles from its mouth. We followed the
Ginglith up for several miles and no spawning salmon were to be seen at the time of our visit,
but there was considerable evidence that there had been a fairly good run, as quite a number
3 	
U 34
Report of the Commissioner of Fisheries.
1920
of dead .fish were strewn along the creek-banks. From information obtained from the Indians,
this stream in former years had been a good sockeye-stream, but in later years the run had
greatly diminished; however, the conditions this season were much better, they said, and compared favourably with the good runs of former years. We were also informed that the sockeye
that enter this stream are the first that come into the Nass, which statement was practically
verified by the fish having all been spawned out by the time we reached there. It is an ideal
spawning-ground for sockeye salmon and was free from any obstruction.
After having inspected the Ginglith we continued our way up the Seaks, arriving at a small
lake about six miles from the mouth, this lake being formed by the flow of lava, which forced
the river against a high bank of rock, thus forming a narrow canyon with a lake at the upper
end. This lake, known as the " Tamdeathal," was literally alive with cohoe salmon, which were
on their upward journey. There were numbers of spawning spring salmon in the river and at
the outlet of this lake. Continuing up, we finally reached the falls, they being from 15 to 20
feet in height, making it impossible for the salmon to ascend any higher. The nature of the river
above the fall is not in our opinion suitable for spawning salmon, as the river-bed is formed of
lava and rock. We did not at the time of our visit see any salmon at the foot of the fall, it
being too early for the cohoe, which w7ere then w7orking their way up. From information from
the Indians of the district, the salmon go up the river as far as the fall, remaining there for a
short while, then return to the lower reaches of the river, which are exceptionally good for
spawning.
Summary.
In making a summary of our inspection, we wish to call your attention to the very few
sockeye salmon on the Meziadin spawning-beds this season. It is apparent that something very
vital has happened to the sockeye of the Nass to cause such a shortage. As the pack at the
canneries at the mouth of the Nass this season was only an average pack, plenty of sockeye
salmon should have reached the spawning-grounds had there been an average-sized run. The
only explanation that Ave can give for such a shortage is the operation of trails in South-eastern
Alaska, there having been this season fourteen or fifteen traps in operation betAveen Cape Fox
and Tongas Island. What number of Nass sockeye Avere taken in those traps we are unable to
say, but from reliable information they intercepted Nass sockeye.
The salmon-streams in the Ayansh District appeared to have a fair amount of spaAvning
fish in them, and the Avatercourses Avere in good condition up to the falls, which is as far as
salmon can get up. There was also a good supply of fresh-run cohoe and dog salmon coming
up the Nass River while Ave were there. It is impossible for us to compare the run of salmon
to these streams this season with former years, as this is our first inspection of this watershed.
In reference to the present condition of the fishAvay, it is important that steps should be
taken to put it into good condition as soon as possible. A considerable amount of Avork will
have to be done here, and we Avould advise that Avork of a permanent nature be put in, so that
the fishAvay Avill hold for all time. Before any permanent work can be commenced on the fishAvay
it Avill be necessary to haA'e the trail put into condition, so that an outfit can get in on pack-
horses to the head of the lake from SteAvart. At present it is not possible to take horses any
farther than the Government cabin on the west side of the Bear River Glacier.
Tours obediently,
Chas. P. Hickman,
Inspector of Provincial Fisheries.
J. Maxwell Collison,
Dominion Fishery Officer.
New Westminster, B.C., November 6th, 1919. 10 Geo. 5
Life-history of Sockeye Salmon.
IT 35
CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE LIFE-HISTORY OF THE SOCKEYE SALMON.
(No. 6.)
By Charles H. Gilbert, Ph.D., Professor of Zoology, Stanford University.
I.    THE  FRASER  RIVER  SOCKETE  RUN  OF  1919.
(1.)  The Age-gboups and the Succession of Races.
Noav that the Fraser River sockeye run has apparently established itself in a state of
decline, it is interesting to ascertain Avhat effect (if any) this impoverishment of the school will
have on its internal structure. During the period of violent oscillations betAveen relatively good
years and bad, there were, as we have noted previously in these reports, corresponding fluctuations in the composition of the runs. Good runs in this basin usually have been signalized by
a high percentage of four-year fish, and conspicuously poor years by a high percentage of five-
year fish. But whenever the run becomes stabilized, at a Ioav level, the reasons for these
fluctuations have disappeared, and the average percentages of four-year and five-year fish
re-establish themseh'es in the relations they occupied before the run had suffered impairment.
In this discussion we give consideration only to the prevailing Fraser type of sockeyes,
Avhich are characterized by the fact that after hatching, and before seeking the sea, they spend
one year and only one year in fresh Avater. Our method of determining percentages of age-groups
during the run lacks strict accuracy, but can be (depended on for approximate results, Avhich
are available for purposes of comparison betAveen the years. Samples are taken at nearly
uniform intervals throughout the run. The earlier and later samples represent few fish, as
the run was then weak, Avhile comparatively few samples in the middle of the series may
represent a majority of all the fish of the season. We cannot obtain data which w7ould enable
us to weight our figures in accordance with the state of the run when they were obtained, but
commonly reach results which are very similar to the conditions obtaining at the height of the
run.    As long as this is the case we cannot go far wrong.
In 1919 the loAvest percentage of four-year sockeyes running at any time Avas 23 per cent,
and the highest Avas 100 per cent. The midway point betAveen these Avas reached (as shoAvn in
Tables I. and II.) during the latter half of July, just prior to the period when usually the Fraser
run of sockeyes is at its maximum. During the next period, from August 1st to 15th, the
percentage of four-year fish had risen from 65 to 82. Somewhere betAveen these two must lie
the true percentage of four-year fish for the year, and inasmuch as the August sockeyes Avhich
run during the first half of the month are ordinarily more abundant than those appearing
during the latter half of July, the true percentage lies doubtless nearer to 85 than to 65.
FolloAving the usual sampling method Avhich Ave have employed, Ave reach the result 76 per cent.
for the seasonal proportion of four-year sockeyes (one-year-in-lake group) and 24 per cent, for
the five-year sockeyes of this group. It Avould seem that these figures must closely approximate
the true values.
Comparing them with previous years, Ave find the results very similar to those obtained in
1916 (see Report for 1917, page 34), when 76 was the percentage of four-year fish running
during the height of the season, from July 27th to August 10th. In both of these years the
runs were sadly depleted, Avith a total pack on both sides of the boundary of little more than
100,000 cases. Another season, belonging to the recent precipitous decline of the Fraser fisheries,
and Avorse than either 1916 or 1919, was 1918. During this year, Avhen less than 72,000 cases
represented the total pack of Fraser sockeyes, the percentage of four-year fish Avas 77. The
results obtained during these three years, therefore, are practically identical, and can be
contrasted with those similarly obtained during 1912, 1914, and 1915, which are the initial
years of the four-year cycles, to Avhich belong 1916, 1918, and 1919.
Cases. Per Cent.
1912      325,451 .    90
1914      555,557 85
1915    155,714 61
1916    116.7S3 76
1918        71,572 77
1919       103,200 76 U 36
Report of the Commissioner of Fisheries.
1920
Another instance of extreme variation was in 1911, Avhen with a pack of 155,714 cases the
four-year fish Avere present in only 54 per cent, of the total run of their group. The experience
in 1919 serA7es as further confirmation of the following conclusion, stated in 191S (see Report
for 1918, page 37) : " Striking changes in the relative proportions of age-groups in successive
years accompany violent alternations of good and bad years. In such cases Ave find the poor
years in such a series are signalized on the Fraser by a high percentage of five-year fish. But
when the runs have declined almost uniformly to a low level, as seems now to be the case, the
age-groups regain their normal relations and remain about the same from year to year."
We give below the proportion of the two principal age-groups on the Fraser for each of the
dates on Avhich samples were taken in 1919.
Table I.
6-
CD
IO
CM
■a
■*
to
OS
1-1
Ol
ci
H
Ol
CI
CI
CO
■*
0(5
rH
tH
CI
Ol
CM
CI
CJ
G>
>t
>,
>,
to
>>
S»
M
w
tc
M
M
M
til
ba
£
0
33
3
3
3
3=
3J33
33
0
r-5
(-3
f-s
•-=
f~s
Ha
IS
Hs
<
<
<
<
-^
02
Per cent.
four-yeai
fish  	
23
43
85
73
(Jl
64
57
64
77
67
82
87
87
97
98
97
100
94
Per cent.
five-year
fish	
77
57
15
27
39
36
43
36
23
33
18  13
13
3
2
O
Oj   6
An interesting comparison can be made between the above table and a similar table prepared
for the run of 1916 and included in the Report for 1917 (Table II., page 34). The earliest dates
recorded by us in 1916 (May 26th to June 8th) were characterized by the presence of a certain
element in the run, no trace of which occurred in any of our samples taken in 1919. This
element consisted of a race of very small sockeyes, with light-coloured flesh, poor in oil, bound
for spaAvning-grounds unknown to us. The nuclei of their scales were of -small size, containing
but few rings, which averaged about ten in number. Whether this race failed entirely in 1919,
or whether it had already passed at the time our first sample Avas taken, Ave cannot know.
It was characterized in 1916 by a very high percentage of four-year fish, Avhich ran uniformly
88, 88, and 80 during the three days of record in Avhich this race Avas running. When it gave
place to another form, as shown by the sample taken June 15th of that year, the percentage of
four-year fish dropped suddenly to 24, and remained near that level during the latter half of
June. It is interesting to observe, in our 1919 table, that 24 per cent, of four-year fish were
found in the run of June 9th.
Careful inspection of our table for 1919 shows that the run can be divided roughly into
certain periods on the basis of the percentages which characterize them. Thus the latter half
of July, with four-year percentages ranging from 57 to 64, stands sharply distinguished from the
week of August 8th to 15th, when the percentages reached 82 to 87; and this period in turn
gives way abruptly to the condition obtaining during the last ten days of August, when the
percentages ran from 97 to 100. The change is not a gradual and continuous one. On the
contrary, for a week or two a certain level is maintained with remarkable regularity, then,
either abruptly or Avith one or more days of transition, a neAV level is reached, and again
continues unmodified for a longer or shorter period. The impression received is strongly that
of a succession of migration waves, differing in the relative proportions of their age-groups, the
vanguard of one mingling more or less with the rear-guard of the preceding one.
That this impression is justified appears in evidence derived from another source—in the
grouping of our samples on a wholly different basis, which was performed in total disregard
of any considerations derived from the relative abundance of age-groups.
While passing in review under the microscope the scales of all the Fraser River samples
collected in 1919, taking them up in the order of their appearance in the run, I was again struck
by the remarkable series that passed in procession. A certain type of scale-structure would
make its appearance on a given date, would occupy the stage for a time to the practical exclusion
of any other type, and then, on another date, would rather suddenly be supplanted by a second
type of structure, which Avas so sharply distinguished from the first form that it could not
conceivably be found in company with it on any spawning-grounds. The season of 1919 was
peculiar in comparison Avith previous years in the distinctness of these components of the run.
Apparently, fewer types  were represented than  has  been the  case in  other  seasons,  or if 10 Geo. 5
Life-history of Sockeye Salmon.
U 37
represented, then by few individuals, which could not confuse the characteristics of the race
Avhich Avas dominant in that part of the run. Whereas during other seasons it has been a rare
occurrence to find in any period of the run a race unmixed with any other and appearing
homogeneous, the impression during 1919 was of a succession of such occurrences, in each of
which one race strongly predominated, even if not wholly without admixture. The apparent
paucity of races can only find explanation in the practical extermination of the run to certain
tributaries, which even in the depleted condition of the river during the last decade have until
now furnished their quota.
Dividing the run into a number of sections or periods, each of which w7as characterized by
the predominance of a certain race, we have the following: June 9th and 17th; June 26th and
July 2nd; July 15th, 20th, 25th, 28th, and 30th; August 4th, 8th, 12th, and 15th; August 21st,
24th, and 26th; August 29th and September 3rd. Examining in view of this group our
previous table of percentages, a series of remarkable correspondences is shoAvn to exist. Not
only did the migration waves exhibit each its characteristic Structural peculiarities, it possessed
also its own distinctive proportionate representation of the age-groups. Some of the spaAvning
districts, Avhen these races reached them, must have found themselves populated almost
exclusively by four-year fish; Avhile in other districts a much heavier proportion of the older
and larger fish were present.
Rearranging our table of percentages in accordance Avith this approximate racial grouping,
we have the following:—
Table II.
Per cent, four-year fish
Per cent, five-year fish
June 26,
July 2.
77
23
July 15,
20, 25.
28,  30.
Aug. 4, 5
12,   15.
Aug.  21,
24,  26.
65
35
82
18
96
4
Aug.  29,
Sept. 3.
97
June 9,
17.
31
69
The significance of this grouping as conditioning the size and more particularly the number
of nuclear rings will appear in later tables.
The succession of racial forms Avhich appeared iu the main run, either in the sea approaches
to the river or in the main channel of the latter, are most readily detected by characteristics
shoAvn in the central or nuclear area of the scales. It is this area Avhich records the growth of
fry and fingerlings in fresh water, a groAvth which takes place in a number of lakes scattered
widely through the river-basin, varying extensively in their climatic conditions and in the
character and amount of food Avhich they offer. The growth in these lakes differs materially,
and the size of the yearlings, Avhen they migrate seawards in the early spring, is an index of the
favourable or unfavourable conditions under AA7hich the different lots have been nourished. The
fingerling groups of smaller size will have at migration smaller scales, and these will be marked
by fewer annular rings. In the adult salmon, therefore, the size of the nuclear area, which
represents the entire scale of the fingerling migrant, and the number of rings Avhich this nuclear
area contains, serves as a measure of the size of the fingerling, and thus enables us to sort out the
races Avhich have differed in amount of groAvth during their first year. Not all races may have
differed in this respect. But they frequently do so, and where this is the case an examination
of the nuclear area gives data of high A7alue.
In the folloAving table the number of nuclear rings found on the scales of all four-year
individuals are grouped according to the period of the run in which they appeared, these periods
having been first determined by a general study of the succession of events Avithin the run. It
will be noted in the table that the sockeyes running during the first period were characterized by
small nuclear areas in their scales and by few nuclear rings. Evidently they were nourished
in some spawning district relatively unfavourable for fingerling-growth. When they left the
lake to descend the Fraser to the sea, they were notably smaller than the fingerlings from other
districts with which they found themselves associated.
During the second period, June 26th to July 2nd, there Avas no v7ery sharp distinction from
the first period. But the range of number of nuclear rings was greatly increased, and there
Avere other minor characteristics Avhich made it seem advisable to tabulate separately the
individuals running on those dates.   They obviously do not represent a transition period betAveen U 38
Report of the Commissioner of Fisheries.
the second and third groups, for if individuals of the third group had been included it is not
credible that they would have been limited to such as had the smaller nuclei. Furthermore, in
other respects they did not resemble the strongly marked third group.
An interval of nearly tAvo Aveeks elapsed, from July 2nd to July 15th, during which no
samples were secured. During this interval an entirely neAV race had made its appearance and
was running practically unmixed with other forms. The nucleus Avas large, regular, and sharply
defined, recalling the characteristics of the Morris Creek and Harrison Lake form. A few
individuals were present Avhich resembled the preceding lot, having small, poorly defined nuclei,
and frequently a small second year's growth during the first year at sea; but these Avere not at
all numerous.
With August 4th, which has been considered the starting-point of a neAV group, another
element became eyMent. The prevailing form of the preceding period continued to run strongly,
but Avith it there occurred a form with small scale nucleus, less sharply set off from the
sea-growth surrounding it, and with the first year of this sea-growth relatively small in amount.
The resemblance was so close to the Pemberton or Birkenhead race that I entertained no doubts
concerning its identity. The numbers increased from August 4th to 15th, until on the latter
date there were fe\v of the Morris Creek type remaining. This period was then a mixed one,
but with the two types strongly contrasting and easily distinguished.
By August 21st the transition period has passed and only the form with small nuclei
remained. An occasional individual of the previous type straggled along Avith the others, but
even these had disappeared by August 29th.
Table III.—Nuclear Rings in Fraser River Sockeyes, Four-year Males and Females, One-year-in-
lalce Group, from South Shore of Vancouver Island, arranged by Dates of Capture.
Number of Individuals observed.
Number of Rings.
July   15,
20,  25,
28.   31).
June 9,
June 26,
Aug. 4, 8,
Aug.  21,
Aug.  29.
17.
July 2.
12,  15.
24,   26.
Sept. 3.
6   	
4
7	
■ >
2
2
1
3
8   	
2
4
1
5
5
7
9	
5
7
8
7
5
10   	
1
9
2
5
8
4
11   	
2
2
8
14
4
7
12   	
5
5
12
21
6
2
13   	
2
3
9
13
11
1
14   	
4
12
16
5
15   	
1
5
9
14
1
2
16   	
IS
7
3
1
17   	
1
10
11
2
1
18   	
3
8
11
3
19   	
6
9
1
20	
6
6
2
21   	
1
2
1
22   	
5
6
2
23   	
3
3
1
24   	
2
1
1
10.8
11.3
15.6
14.5
13.1
10.3 10 Geo. 5
Life-history of Sockeye Salmon.
U 39
Table IV.—Nuclear Rings in -Fraser River Sockeyes, Five-year Males and Females, One-year-
in-lake Group, from South Shore of Vancouver Island, arranged by Dates of Capture.
Number of Rings.
6 	
7 	
8 	
9 	
10 	
11 	
12 	
13 	
14 	
15 	
16 	
17 	
18	
19 	
20 	
21 	
22 	
23	
24 	
Average number
Number of Individuals observed.
June 9,
IT.
9.6
June 26,
July 2.
11.4
July 15,
20, 25,
28,   30.
1
1
3
2
2
1
2
5
6
7
4
6
7
1
1
Aug. 4, 8
12,   15.
14.2
15.6
Table V.—Nuclear Rings in Fraser River Sockeyes, One-gear-in-lake Group, from South Shore
of Vancouver Island, during Entire Season, 1919.
Number o£ Nuclear Rings.
Number  of  Individuals.
Foui' Years old.
Five Years old.
6	
4
11
24
32
29
37
51
39
37
33
27
25
25
16
14
4
13
7
4
3'
7   	
5
8  	
10
9  	
14
10  	
16
11  	
5
12    	
11
13   	
9
14  	
9
15  ..   . .	
13
10     	
16
17  	
9
18  	
11
19  	
3
20  	
5
21 	
1
22          	
1
23  	
94                  '   ,	
1 U 40
Report of the Commissioner of Fisheries.
1920
We include also the following two tables, in which are given for four- and for five-year
individuals the lengths segregated Avithin the period of the run in Avhich they belonged. In
general, the average length increases throughout the season, although near its close there is a
noticeable falling-off, due to the disappearance or reduction in numbers of the exceptionally
large individuals. All the data concerning average lengths and Aveights of sockeyes running
during the periods Ave have outlined are giA7en in Table VIII.
Table VI.—Fraser River Four-year Male Sockeyes, One Tear in Lake, from Vancouver Island
Traps, 1919, arranged by Dates and by Lengths.
Length in Inches.
June 9,
17.
June 26,
July 2.
July 15,
20, 25,
28,  30.
Aug. 4, S
12,   15.
Aug.  21,
24,  26.
Aug.  29,
Sept. 3.
20   	
2oy2 	
21   	
21% 	
22   	
22%   	
23   	
23%   	
24   	
24%   	
25   	
25%   	
26   	
26%   	
Average length
23.1
23.1
6-
1
5
3
19
10
10
12
9
21
31
23
10
3
3
23.9
24.4
1
1
8
9
8
16
12
2
2
24.1
24.3
Table VII.—Fraser River Four-year Female Sockeyes, One Year in Lake, from Vancouver Island
Traps, 1919, arranged by Dates and by Lengths.
Length in Inches.
June 9,
1'7.
June 26,
July 2.
July 15,
20, 25,
28,   30.
Aug. 4, S
12,  15.
Aug.  21,
24,  26.
Aug.   29,
Sept. 3.
20   	
20%   	
21   	
21%   	
22  	
22%   	
23   	
23%   	
24   	
24%   	
25  	
Average length
22.1
1
1
2
15
S
10
3
3
1
22.5
5
15
9
18
14
3
3
22.4
23.3
3
3
13
18
16
12
7
1
1
22.8
23.0 10 Geo. 5
Life-history of Sockeye Salmon.
U 41
Table VIII.—Average Lengths and Weights of Fraser River Sockeyes, One-year-in-lake Group,
from South Shore of Vancouver Island, grouped by Dates of Capture.
Length in Inches.
AVeight in Pounds.
Dates, 1919.
Four   Years  old.
Five Years old.
Foui'  Years  old.
Five Years old.
Males.
Females.       Males.
Females.
Males.
Females.
Males.
Females.
June 9, 17	
June 26, July 2..
July  15,  20,  25,
28, 30	
Aug. 4, 8, 12, 15
Aug. 21, 24, 26..
Aug. 29,  Sept. 3
23.1
23.1
23.9
24.4
24.1
24.3
22.1
22.5
22.4
23.3
22.8
23.0
26.2
25.3
26.1
26.5*
26.6*
None
24.8
24.9
25.2
25.4
24.5*
25.3*
4.4
5.1
5.7
6.5
6.1
6.4
4.3
4.8
4.8
5.6
5.2
5.1
6.7
7.1
7.2
8.0*
8.3*
None
5.6
5.9
6.9
6.7
6.5*
5.0*
* Numbers too limited to give reliable estimates.
Another subject of interest in connection Avith the changes that occur in the constitution of
the run during the course of the season is the relative numbers of males and females in the
different portions of the run. In other river-basins Ave have usually found that the males precede
the females to the extent of running in largest numbers at the beginning of the season, and in
the same manner the five-year fish take precedence over the younger members of their tribe.
The following table indicates that the above-mentioned order of precedence is not adhered to in
the Fraser:—
Table IX.—Percentages of Four-year Males and Females, Fraser River Sockeyes, One-year-in-lake
Type, running on Southern Shore of Vancouver Island on a Succession of Dates.
June  9
to  17.
June   26
to July 2.
July 15
to  30.
Aug.   4
to 15.
Aug. 21
to 26.
Aug. 29
to Sept. 3.
Four-year males .
Four-year females
Five-year males  .
Five-year females
32
68
56
44
44
56
43
57
54
46
60
40
62
38
5S
42
44
56
33
67
60
40
50
50
(2.)  Lengths and Weights of the One-year-in-lake Type.
During the season of 1919 material to determine the constitution of the main run Avas
obtained from the southern shore of Vancouver Island and from Steveston, at the mouth of the
Fraser. The Vancouver Island series is the most extensive, covering a succession of dates at
frequent intervals from June 9th to September 3rd. The Steveston series is limited to the
period of heaviest run, betAveen July 23rd and August 14th.
In Tables X. and XI. are given the length-distributions of the one-year-in-lake group from
these two localities, comprising all the material gathered during the season. The differences
between the two tables are striking, especially so as regards the four-year group. The Steveston
series form a symmetrical frequency curve, but Avholly lack the smaller sizes, which form so large
a part of the Vancouver series. From Steveston there are no four-year males less than 23%
inches long. In the Vancouver series 21 per cent, of the four-year males are belOAv 23% inches.
The discrepancy is even more striking with the female four-year-olds, as 49 per cent, of the
Vancouver material is smaller than any of the individuals examined at Steveston. There is
a similar but less-marked difference in the five-year group, as will be seen on comparing the
average lengths at the foot of the columns in the tAvo tables. U 42
Report of the Commissioner of Fisheries.
1920
Tavo possible explanations of these differences suggest themselves. The Vancouver series
represents approximately the entire run, with early-running as well as late-running fish, Avhile
the Steveston lot are composed exclusively of late-running fish, which average larger in size,
as we have already seen. But in column five of Tables VI. and VIII. of this report Ave find
segregated the males and females of this group, Avhich were running along the Vancouver Island
shore during the same period which is covered by the Steveston material. The Vancouver males
and females were larger than those running at any other date in this locality, the males
averaging 24.4 inches and the females 23.3. But they were decidedly smaller than the Steveston
fish running on the same dates, for in these the males averaged 25.1 and the females 24.1 inches.
Another possible explanation lies in different methods of capture in the tAvo localities, the
fishing in the VancouA7er District being carried on by pound-nets of fine mesh, and in the
Steveston District by gill-nets Avhich permit the smaller sizes to escape.
Table X.—Fraser River Sockeyes from Vancouver Island Traps, Run of 1919, One Year in Lake,
grouped by Length, Age, and Sex.
Number of
Individuals.    .
Length in Inches.
Four   Years   old.
Five  Years  old.
Males.
Females.
Males.
Females.
20  	
20%   	
21   	
21%   	
22  	
22%   	
23  	
23%   	
24  	
24%   	
25  	
25%   	
26  	
26%   	
27  	
27%   	
28  	
Total individuals	
Percentages of each group
Average size in inches
3
1
13
10
43
42
69
70
54
18
13
4
342
41
24.1
3
3
13
11
55
65
65
49
30
6
7
308
37
22.8
4
2
18
7
27
11
15
9
5
99
12
26.1
3
8
11
16
20
19
5
2
8S
10
25.1 10 Geo. 5
Life-history of Sockeye Salmon.
TJ 43
Table XI.—Fraser River Sockeyes from Steveston, Run of 1919, One Year in Lake, grouped by.
Length, Age, and Sex.
Length in Inches.
Number of Individuals.
Four  Years  old.
Males.        Females.
Five  Years old.
Males.       Females.
20   	
20%   	
21  	
21%   	
22 .:	
22%   	
23   	
23%   	
24  	
24%   	
25  	
25%   	
26  	
26%   	
27  	
27%   	
28  	
28%   	
29  	
29%   	
Average length
9
18
24
26
30
23
6
0
25.1
12
15
24
18
15
2
1
24.1
26.9
3
7
9
13
7
4
1
1
25.9
Table XII.—Fraser River Sockeyes from Vancouver Island Traps, Run of 1919, One Year in Lake,
grouped by Weight, Age, and Sex.
Weight in Pounds.
Number of
Individuals.
Four   Years   old.
B7ive  Years  old.
Males.
Females.
Males.
Females.
3  	
i
12
18
43
42
83
54
40
29
17
2
1
1
4
38
72
77
51
42
12
8
2
i
7
10
16
18
24
13
6
2
1
1
1
3%     	
4     	
1
4%   	
3
5  	
4
5%   	
14
6  	
16
6%     	
12
7  	
18
7%   	
12
8  	
5
8%   	
3
9  	
9%     	
10  	
1 m/„                      . 	
6.1
5.1
7.2
6.5 U 44
Report of the Commissioner of Fisheries.
One fact that emerges clearly from the preceding tables of lengths and weights is the small
size of the sockeyes of each group for the season of 1919 as compared Avith the previous year.
In 1918 much material was obtained from traps along the Vancouver Island shore, samples being
taken at short intervals throughout the season. Measurements Avere made by the same observer
during both seasons, and the results should be open to strict comparison. The averages for the
two years follow :—
Table XIII.
Four-year males .
Four-year females
Five-year males  ..
Five-year females
Length in Inches.
1918.
24.9
23.8
26.3
25.4
1919.
24.1
22.8
26.1
25.1
Weight in Pounds.
1918.
6.5
5.7
7.5
6.7
1919.
6.1
5.1
7.2
6.5
Previous records show that 1918 was Avholly normal in the size of the fish. Table XL, page
.45, of our Report for 1915 gives average lengths for the four years from 1912 to 1915. With the
exception of 1913, these years show average sizes slightly larger even than 1918. The year 1913
was recognized generally as an unfavourable season, in which salmon sizes were abnormally
low. Yet the lengths of four-year males and females for 1913 were 24.5 and 23.S inches, decidedly
larger, therefore, than the fish of 1919. The latter year must noAV be regarded as having produced
the smallest sockeyes, class by class, of w7hich Ave have any record in the Fraser Avatershed.
(3.) The Two-yeabs-in-lake Type.
Our previous discussion has limited itself to the one-year-in-lake type, which comprises a
very high percentage of the annual runs to the Fraser. The two-years-in-lake type is of varying
importance in different years. In 1916 (Report for 1917, page 51) sockeyes of this type ran
numerously during the latter half of June, AA7hen they comprised from 10 to 15 per cent, of the
run; they almost disappeared during July, and became again numerous after August 10th (9 to
10 per cent). In 1919 they were conspicuously present during June and the early half of July.
After July 15th only stragglers appeared until August 8th, and after this date they were wholly
lacking. The percentages are as follows: June 9th, 10 per cent.; June 17th, IS per cent..;
June 26th, 16 per cent.; July 2nd, 11 per cent.; July 15th, 10 per cent. After July 15th a single
individual only Avas observed in our material on each of the following dates: July 20th, 25th,
and 30th;   August 4th and Sth. 10 Geo. 5
Life-history of Sockeye Salmon.
IT 45
Table XIV.—Fraser River Sockeyes, Two Years m Lake, from Vancouver Island Traps, 1919,
grouped by Length, Age, and Sex.
Length in Inches.
Number of Individuals.
Five Years old.
Males.        Females.
Six Years old.
Males,     j   Females.
20  	
20%   	
21  	
21%   	
22  	
22%   	
23  	
23%   	
24  	
24%   	
25  	
25%	
26  	
26%   	
Average length
1               '.
2
1               '.
1
4
i
1
3
l
1
3
4
1
i
4
1
i
3
1
1
1
1
1
24.2
22.7            25.8
23.5
Table XV.—Fraser River Sockeyes, Two Years in Lake, from Vancouver Island Traps, 1919,
grouped by Weight, Age, and Sex.
Weight in Pounds.
Number of
Individuals.
Five Years old.
Six Years old.
Males.
Females.
Males.
Females.
o
2
1
5
4
2
i
i
4
6
3
2
2
2
au,   	
4 	
i%   	
1
5 	
1
51/,  	
1
6  	
1
6%   	
7  	
7jY,	
Average
5.7
4.5
6.5
5.3
(4.)  The Sea-type.
The only remaining group of Fraser River sockeyes are those which proceed to sea shortly
after hatching, instead of remaining for one or more years in fresh Avater. AVe have designated
this the " sea-type," since practically the entire life is spent in the ocean. The omission
of the year in the lake hastens the development and maturity by one year. Instead of maturing
at the age of four and five, as in the case of the one-year-in-lake type, sea-type individuals
mature at the age of three and four. The four-year class is usually more numerously represented
than the three-year group, and the latter often contains a disproportionate representation of
males, while the four-year group contains a corresponding excess of females. But in 1919 the
three-year individuals of this group outnumbered the four-year class, and it consisted of males
and females in about equal numbers. U 46
Report of the Commissioner of Fisheries.
1920
In our Report for 1917 (page 50) and for 1918 (page 30) we haA7e discussed the
appearance of sea-type individuals in different parts of the run, and have shoAvn that they are
largely confined to the period between the middle of July and the middle of August, being most
numerous during the first week in August. The earliest date on A\7hich any were obseiwed in
1916 Avas July 17th, and in 1918 on July 14th. In 1919 one three-year individual appeared June
9th, and this must be considered a highly exceptional occurrence. None others were included
in our collections of June 17th and 26th, nor on July 2nd. One was found among fifty other
specimens on July 35th, which is the regular time for them to appear, and they were present
throughout the remainder of Jul}7 and during all of August, being most numerously represented
in our collections of July 30th and August 4th. The sea-type appeared in larger numbers during
1919 than in other recent years, the percentages of their occurrence being as follows:—
June 9
July 15
,, 20
„ 25
„ 28
„ 30
Aug. 4
Per Cent.
. . . 2
2
... 6
... 8
...12
...16
...15
Aug
8
12
15
24
26
29
Per Cent.
.. 6
. . 6
. . 6
.. 2
.. 3
.. 2
The only spaAvning-grounds for the sea-type sockeyes known to us within the Fraser basin
are found in a slack-water stretch of the Harrison River below Harrison Lake and a short
distance below7 the mouth of Morris Creek. No lake exists below these spaAVuing-beds, either in
the Harrison or in the Fraser River.
Table XVI:—Fraser River Sockeyes,  " Sea-type,"  Vancouver Island Traps, 1919, grouped  by
Length, Age, and Sex.
Length in Inches.
Number of Individuals.
Three Years old.
Four Years old.
Males.     !   Females.  I     Males.
20  	
20%   	
21   	
21%   	
22  	
22%   	
23   	
23%   	
24  	
24%   	
25  	
25%   	
26   '..
26%   	
27  	
27%   	
Average length
1
1
1
2
2
3
1
4
3
1
4
1
1
1
1
1
22.6
22.2
25.0
24.3 10 Geo. 5
Life-history of Sockeye Salmon.
U 47
Table XVII.—Fraser River Sockeyes, " Sea-type," Vancouver Island Traps, 1919, grouped bg
Weight, Age, and Sex.
Weight in Pounds.
3  	
3%   	
4  	
4%   	
5  	
5%   	
6  	
6%   	
7  	
7%   	
8  	
Average* Aveight
Number of Individuals.
Three Years old.
Four Years old.
Males.       Females,  i    Males.       Females
4.8
1
4
1
2
2
4
1
1
6.8
6.1
(5.)  The Fkaser Rivek Canyon.
An interesting collection of scales Avith data concerning sex and length of the individuals
was made in the Ciinyon of the Fraser River at Hell's Gate during the first half of August and
on September 25th and 26th. Inasmuch as undoubted changes occurred in the constitution of the
run within that period, we have divided the material by date of capture into three groups: the
first extending from August 1st to the 11th; the second from the 12th to the 17th; and the third
including the September fish. No doubt could exist concerning the distinctness of the latter
group. As shoAvn in Table XVIII., the nuclear areas of their scales Avere larger and Avere
furnished with more numerous rings than Avas the case With the August fish. If the run to Seton
Lake and the Quesuel had not been practically exterminated, I should have considered seriously
the possibility that they Avere bound for one or both of those tributaries. They were certainly
not headed for the Chilcotin. On the other hand, the August run presented all the characteristics
of Chilcotin fish.
Table XVIII.—Nuclear Rings in Sockeyes from Fraser Rwer Canyon at Hell's Gate, One-year-in-
lake Group, Age undetermined, arranged by Dates of Capture.
Number of Nuclear Rings.
Number of Individuals
OBSERVED.
Aug. 1 to 11.
Aug. 12 to 17.
Sept. 25, 26.
6
10
9
5
8
7
4
3
4
4
3
4
3
2
2
2
1
1
8   	
1
9   	
1
10   	
11   	
2
0
12   	
7
13   	
8
14   	
12
15   	
11
16   	
8
17   	
3
18   	
19   	
3
9.7
10.9
14.1 U 48
Report of the Commissioner of Fisheries.
Table XIX.—Sockeyes from Fraser River Canyon at Hell's Gate, 1919, grouped by Date, Length,
and Sex (Age undetermined.).
Length in Inches.
Number of Individuals observed.
Aug.  1  to 11.
Males.
Females.
Aug. 12 to 17.
Males.       Females.
Sept. 25 and 26.
Males.
Females.
19%   	
20    f.
20%   	
21   	
21%	
22   	
22%   	
23   	
23%   	
24   	
24%   	
25	
25%   	
26   	
26%   	
27   	
27%   	
28   	
Average length	
24.0
23.1
23.9
22.8
25.1
2
5
20
9
4
22.9
(6.) The Cultus Lake Race.
The run to Cultus Lake appears to ha\_e been larger than usual during the season of 1919.
Certain it is that the size of the individual fish was far larger than Ave have observed it in
previous years. The Cultus Lake race has been counted one of the most diminutive in the Fraser
basin. The tables of measurements given on pages 47 and 48 of our Report for 1917 show this
distinctly. But in 1919, as indicated in Table XX., AA7hich follows, the males especially were
among the largest fish of Avhich we have record during this year. Comparing Table XX. Avith
Table X. of this report, it Avill be seen that the Cultus Lake males range in length very closely
with the five-year fish from the Fraser basin. We have no means of determining the age of the
Cultus Lake specimens, as the scales are too seriously eroded. But Ave have doubtless represented
in Table XX. both four- and five-year individuals, Avith the five-year-olds, perhaps, quite largely
in excess. It may be that in 1916 the smaller size depended on the practical absence of five-year
fish.
Table XX.—Fraser River Sockeyes, Run of 1919, from Cultus Lake Spawning-grounds, grouped
by Length and Sex (Age undetermined).
Length in Inches.
Number
OF
Individuals.
Males.
Females.
21  	
"2
19
58
58
12
1
1
22 	
20
23	
77
24 	
49
25 	
5
26                       	
1
27                                   	
5>8                                 	
Average length . .
25.4
23.3 10 Geo. 5
Life-history of Sockeye Salmon.
U 49
Table XXI.—Number of Nuclear Rings on Scales of Fraser River Sockeyes from the Cultus Lake
Spawning-grounds, 1919.
8        9
6        7
10
9
11
9
12
12
13
4
14   1   15
6        3
16
2
17   1   18
2        1
Average, 11.5.
(7.) Fingerling Migrants in the Quesnel.
A valuable series of migrating fingerlings Avas obtained in the outlet to Quesnel Lake from
April 19th to May 16th, 1919. Much credit is due to Fisheries Overseer A. W. Stone for the
efficient manner in which he performed the difficult task of securing this material.
Two hundred and fifty-seven specimens were obtained. Five of these, taken in April, were
fry of the year, ranging from 26 to 35 mm. (1 to 1.3 inches) in length, and in none of these Avere
any traces of the scales to be found. Had they survived, scales Avould have developed after
reaching the sea, and w7ould have represented in their markings the method of groAvth
characteristic of sea-life. But as Ave have failed to detect above the Fraser River Canyon any
adult sockeyes which had gone doAvn to the sea as fry, we are compelled to assume that practically
all up-river fry w7hich migrate at this diminutive size perish early.
The remainder of the Quesnel specimens are fingerlings w7hich have completed their first year
and are descending the river in their second spring. When these should reach maturity the
minute scales with which they are now covered would constitute the centres or nuclei of the
adult scales. The size of the adult nucleus will be precisely the size of the present scale, and the
fine rings Avith which the fingerling-scales are marked will be unaltered in number and character
during subsequent growth of the scale in salt water. Fingerlings of this character, Avhen they
return to the river at maturity, constitute the one-year-in-lake type, which always predominates
in the Fraser River drainage.
Males and females were in about equal numbers throughout the month when the collections
were being made. The total numbers are 122 males and 130 females. The males range in
length from 66 to 105 mm., with the average at 87 mm. Females range from 70 to 101 mm.,
Avith the average at 87.4 mm. This difference is too slight to possess any significance. We are
justified in stating that at this time males and female fingerlings were in equal numbers and of
equal average size.
An interesting comparison is uoav possible between the 1919 migrants and those obtained in
1915. An account of the latter is found in our Report for 1915, page 39. In 180 specimens
examined in 1915 61 per cent, were males, while in 1919 only 48 per cent, were males. The
average size is almost identical, the range in both sexes in 1915 being from 74 to 114 mm., the
males averaging 89.5 and the females 87.7 mm. During two years, then, Avhich were four years
apart, Quesnel Lake produced two schools of fingerlings of identical size.
In other respects, also, complete agreement was found in the product of these two years.
No fingerlings of the two-year type were present in either lot, while a limited number were
found in 1915 among fingerlings from an adjacent tributary, the Chilcotin. But it w7ill be
recalled that Chilcotin adults often include a considerable percentage of individuals of the tAvo-
year-in-lake type. We have unfortunately no adequate data from adults running in the Quesnel.
We have attempted to obtain such data, but the run to the Quesnel is now nearly extinct.
Another respect in which Quesnel fingerlings of 1915 and 1919 stand in agreement is in their
failure to initiate the new growth of the year prior to migrating. Doubtfully, in a fe\v
individuals in 1919, the outer ring on the scale shoAved a slightly Avidened interval separating it
from the preceding ring, and possibly indicating a reneAval of growth. In 1915 some 5 per cent,
of the Quesnel fingerlings shoAved traces of growth, w7hile in the Chilcotin migrants of the same
year more than 50 per cent, had begun the new growth of the season when they Avere captured.
The Quesnel fingerlings obtained in 1915 and 1919 agree closely in another very important
respect. The number of rings on the scales—and these will constitute the nuclear rings of the
adult scale—were alike in their range and in their average. The range in 1915 was from 10
to 22, with the average at 14.6. The range in 1919 is from 9 to 19, with the average at 14.9. No
tAvo lots during the same year could be expected to show more complete agreement than do these
two series taken four years apart.
4 U 50
Report of the Commissioner of Fisheries.
1920
The following tables give the length-distribution of males and females and the number of
scale-rings for both sexes:—
Table XXII.—Lengths of Quesnel Migrant Fingerlings in 1919.
Length in Millimetres.
Males.
Females.
Length in Millimetres.
Males.
Females.
66  	
1
S6  	
9
9
70  	
1
1
2
87   	
7
5
71	
88  	
12
72  	
1
1
89  	
8
12
73   	
1
90  	
9
6
74   	
i
91  	
11
1
75   	
l
4
1
2
92  	
4
2
r-
76   	
93  	
7
77	
1
1
1
3
94  	
95  	
3
6
6
78   	
7
79  	
3
1
96  	
3
3
80   	
2
6
3
2
97  	
3
2
1
81   	
98	
2
82  	
3
8
99  	
3
83   	
12
7
101  	
3
84  	
85  	
4
4
6
9
Average length   ....
87
87.4
Table XXIII.—Scale-rings of Quesnel Lake Yearling Fingerlings, 1919.
Number of rings  	
Number of individuals
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
1
2
3
8
15
28
27
31
18
9
19
2
Average rings, 14.9.
In order to ascertain whether any changes occurred in average size of fingerlings during
the month in which the migration Avas under observation, w7e have divided this period as
follows:—
Table  XXIV.—Average  Lengths  of  Quesnel Lake  Migrant  Fingerlings  on   a  Succession  of
Dates, 1919.
Dates,  1919.
Length in Millimetres.
Males.
Females.
April 19th to 23rd  	
April 24th to May 2nd	
87.5
87.4
88.5
82.9
84.3
87.7
89.1
84.1
(Average scale-rings,  14.2).
May 5th and 6th 	
May 7th to 16th	
(Average scale-rings,  13.6).
There is a slight but progressive increase in size from the beginning of the migration to
April 5th and 6th, w7hen it Avas at its height. Then at the latter end of the migration smaller
sizes prevail, and the average drops sharply to below the level of the initial stages of the run.
The scale-rings follow the size and are a delicate index of it. 10 Geo. 5
Life-history of Sockeye Salmon.
U 51
Table XXV.—Number of Scale-rings in Quesnel Lake Yearlings, grouped according to Lengths
of Individuals.
Length in Millimetres.
Number
of Scale-rings.
01
M
QJ    . a
9.
10.
11.
12.
13.
14.
15.
16.
17.
18.
19.
20.
60 to 69 	
1
1
4
7
1
8
8
6
21
34
4
i
20
13
13
25
3
18
i
6
2
2
i
9.0
70 to 79	
11.7
80 to 89 	
14.3
90 to 99 	
16.1
100 to 109	
18.0
Note.—This table may be compared with a similar table in our Report for 1915, Table XXL, page 40.
II. THE RIVERS INLET SOCKEYE RUN OF 1919.
The Rivers Inlet sockeye run of 1919 produced a pack of only 56,258 cases and was no
improvement over the three very poor years which preceded it. The average for the four years,
1916 to 1919, is 53,948 cases. For comparison we divide the history of the Rivers Inlet District
into successive four-year periods, and present below the average sockeye-pack for each of these
periods:—
1904 to 1907, average pack of 9S,589 cases.
1908 to 1911,       „ „        99,142      „
1912 to 1915,       „ „       98,717     „
1916 to 1919,.      „ „       53,948     „
The present situation is fast developing into one of pronounced danger. The productivity
of the river has fallen during the past four years to little more than half its previous magnitude.
We are no longer justified in classing the recent poor years Avith those occasional fluctuations
which have occurred in previous cycles. Such fluctuations have been exceptional occurrences
and have been preceded and followed by runs of normal size. ' Thus the pack of 64,352 cases in
1908 was associated with packs of 87,874 and of 89,027 cases, and the phenomenally poor record
of 1913 (61,745 cases) was preceded by 112,884 and followed by 89,S90 cases. The averages for
the four-year periods permit no doubt on this score. But the present condition of the Rivers
Inlet sockeye run properly gives cause for serious uneasiness. Unless the intensity of the fishing
is at once diminished, unless we decrease the total number of sockeyes taken annually from
this watershed, we are in danger of repeating here on a smaller scale the tragic history of the
Fraser River.
(1.)  The Age-groups.
The Rivers Inlet run of 1919 Avas composed almost exclusively of two age-groups, which had
had the same early history during their single year's residence in their native lake, and differed
only in the number of years they had spent in the sea before becoming mature. Both of these
groups spent something more than a year in fresh water, and migrated seawards as fingerlings
in the spring of their second year. One group became mature and sought its spaAvning-grounds
during its third summer in the sea, while in the fourth year of its age. The other group delayed
its spawning until in its fifth year.
The four- and five-year fish Avith the above history always constitute the great majority of
the Rivers Inlet run. An occasional individual is found which remained as fingerling two years
in fresh water before migrating. Three such individuals were included in our 1919 material,
all of them captured on July 7th. Each of these had remained over three years feeding at sea,
and re-entered the Owikeno River when in its sixth year.
Another type, always sparsely represented in this basin, passes to sea immediately on the
absorption of the yolk, and thus has practically its entire history in the sea. One individual of
this class was taken July 10th, having returned to spawn in its fourth year.
The two principal classes, four- and five-year fish that spent one year in the lake after
hatching, are present during different years in widely varying proportions at Rivers Inlet. We
have determined these proportions for the runs of the last eight years, from 1912 to 1919, during
Avhich time the four-year age-group has varied from 13 to 80 per cent, of the whole. But the
five-year group is nearly always in the majority in this river-basin, the average for the eight -
U 52
Report of the Commissioner of Fisheries.
1920
years being 39 per cent, belonging to the four-year class and 61 per cent, to the five-year group.
A tendency Avas early apparent toward an increase in the relative numbers of five-year fish
during the seasons of the largest runs. Thus in 1912, when the season's pack amounted to
112,SS4 cases, there were 21 per cent, four-year-olds and 79 per cent, five-year-olds; and in 1915,
with a pack of 130,350 cases, the corresponding percentages w7ere 13 and 87. These are the two
years Avith largest packs since our investigations began, and it is noteAvorthy that they also have
the largest percentages of five-year fish. And while this rule does not hold rigidly and presents
some marked exceptions, it is yet true that the three low7est percentages of five-year fish, 20, 43,
and 54 per cent., occurred during 1913, 1918, and 1919, three of the poorest seasons of which we
have record.
In the follOAving table Ave give the percentages of four-year and of five-year sockeyes for each
of the eight years during Avhich the Rivers Inlet runs have been examined. In the right-hand
column are indicated for each season the tAvo brood-years, one of which produced the four-year and
the other the five-year fish of that year. Thus in 1919 the five-year fish had been hatched from
eggs deposited in 1914; and in 1914 the run appears to have been of normal size, inasmuch as
it produced a pack of 89,890 cases. Similarly, the four-year fish, running in 1919, had developed
from eggs laid down in the fall of 1915, a year notable as having furnished the largest pack
(130,350 cases) known in the Rivers Inlet District. We see from this that the antecedents of
the 1919 run were in appearance highly favourable, and if such evidence could be depended on
as a basis for prediction, we should have been justified in anticipating more than an aA'erage
pack in 1919. But it is clear from the failure of 1919, and from other similar occurrences
indicated in the follOAving table, that evidence of this nature has thus far been Avholly unreliable
in Rivers Inlet. We noAV know that we cannot form any estimate of the probable size of the
run in 1920, although we knoAV, that the four-year fish Avill be descendents of the run of 1916
(44,936 cases), and the five-year fish Avill be derived from the run of 1915 (130,350 cases). We
are not even certain that these facts will give us reliable indication concerning the relative
proportions of four-year and five-year fish which will be observed during the season of 1920.
But the results during 1920 will possess more than usual interest, for in the two brood-years of
that season Ave find contrasted, as above indicated, the very poorest and the very richest years
of which Ave have record. It Avill be most interesting to observe Avhether the five-year age-group
will appear in 1920 in overwhelming proportions.
Table XXVI.—Percentages of Four- and Five-year Rivers Inlet Sockeyes in Runs from 1912 to
1919, with the Broods from which they were derived.
Run of the Year.
1912- (112,884 cases)    j
1913 (61,745 cases) /
1914 (89.S90 cases)    /
1915 (130,350 cases)    j
1916 (44,936 cases)    j
1917 (61,195 cases) j
* 1018   (53,401  cases)     j
1919   (56,258 cases)    (
\
Percentage.
Four and Five
Years old.
5 yrs. 79%
4 yrs. 21%
5 yrs. 20%
4 yrs. 80%
5 yrs. 65%
4 yrs. 35%
5 yrs. 87%
4 yrs. 13%
5 yrs. 76%
4 yrs. 24%
5 yrs. 67%
4 yrs. 33%
5 yrs. 43%
4 yrs. 57%
5 yrs. 54%
4 yrs. 46%
Brood-j'ear  from  which
derived.
1907 (87,874 cases).
1908 (64,652 cases).
1909 (S9,027 cases).
1910 (126,921 cases).
1911 (88,763 cases).
1912 (112,884 cases).
1913 (61,745 cases).
1914 (89,890 cases).
1915 (130,350 cases).
* The relative proportions of four- and five-year fish for the year 1918 Ayere by accident reversed in our
previous report.    The correction is here made. 10 Geo. 5
Life-history of Sockeye Salmon.
U 53
In previous reports we have pointed out that the relative sizes of the four-year group and
the five-year group are not constant throughout any season, but vary widely Avhen a succession
of samples are taken on different days during the run. This variation is ordinarily not a chance,
haphazard affair, but proceeds in orderly sequence throughout the season. In 1915 (see Report
for 1915, page 42) the five-year group Avas smallest at the beginning of the season and increased
regularly in a succession of dates from 79 to 94 per cent. In 1916 and 1917 (Report for 1917,
pages 58 and 68) the sequence of events was the reverse of the above. The five-year group in
each of these years appeared in greatest relative numbers at the opening of the season, the percentages decreasing in a series of dates rather uniformly from 93 or 94 at the beginning to 53 or
44 at the close. In 1918 (Report, page 43) another complete reversal occurs. The five-year
group Avas almost absent at the opening of the season, increased from 7 to nearly 70 per cent,
near the middle of the run, and then declined slightly towards the end. Similar data for the
year 1919 are given in the following table:—
Table XXVII.—Percentages of Five-year Rivers Inlet Sockeyes occurring at Different Dates
in the 1919 Run.
Dates, 1919.
Percentages of
Fivejjear Fish.
Number of
Specimens
examined.
July     7	
65
47
66
67
52
55
55
32
71
10   	
74
74
18 	
„    22 	
26	
31  	
74
The year 1918 was signalized in a previous report as highly exceptional in its age-groups.
It had not only the lowest average percentage of five-year fish observed since 1913, but the
sequence of events with regard to this group was the reverse of Avhat had been observed in 1916
and 1917. A comparison Avith 1919 is of special interest, as during this year also the percentage
of five-year fish was extraordinarily low. The early records are unfortunately lacking for 1919,
so we have no knowledge Avhether, as in 1918, the five-year group was markedly deficient at the.
beginning of the run. The data for the two years are combined in the follOAving table and may
be directly compared.    It is evident that they Avere strikingly similar.
Table XXVIII.—Comparison of 1918 and 1919 in the Percentages of Five-year Sockeyes
appearing at Different Dates.
Date.
1918.
1919.
.Tune 27 	
7
19
25
32
37
64
59
69
44
59
54
29 	
July
2
4  	
"
7  	
65
10  	
47
12 	
"
15 .
66
16  	
18 	
67
19 	
22 	
52
23  	
26  	
55
30	
31	
55
Aug.
2 	
32 U 54
Report of the Commissioner of Fisheries.
1920
(2.)   DlSTEIBUTION   OF  THE   SEXES.
The year 1919 furnished no exception to the rule at Rivers Inlet, according to which four-
year males are greatly in excess of the four-year females, while the conditions are reversed in
the five-year group. A striking agreement in these proportions for the last four years is shoAvn
in the follOAving table. The four-year males are about three times as numerous as the four-year
females, and the five-year females half again as numerous as the five-year males. Usually the
total males in the run are in excess of the females, and this was notably true in 1918. But in
1919 the females were slightly more abundant.
Table XXIX.—Average Percentages of Males and Females, Rivers Inlet Sockeye, throughout the
Seasons from 1916 to 1919.
Year.
Four Years old.
Five Years old.
Total
Total
Males.
Females.
Males.
Females.
Males.
Females.
1916	
1917   	
1918  	
1919   	
74
75
74
77
26
25
26
23
40
42
49
41
60
58
51
59
52
53
66
49
48
47
34
51
We have shown in the above table that the average proportions of the sexes in each of the
two year-groups are fairly constant during a series of years. But that is true only of the average
for each season. The proportions for different parts of the same season vary Avidely. As a rule,
males are relatively most abundant in the early part of the run and decrease with some regularity
as the season advances. This is equally true in the case of the four-year males, which compose
the greater part of their age-group, and of the five-year males, where the reverse is the case.
Thus in 1915 the four-year males decreased from 76 per cent, of their group at the opening
of the season to 60 per cent, at the close; while the five-year males during the same period
decreased from 53 to 24 per cent, of the total five-year fish. A similar sequence of events was
recorded in 1916 and 1917, the four-year males decreasing from 100 per cent, at the beginning to
61 and 56 per cent, at the close; and the five-year males from 67 and 59 per cent, in the early
season to 23 and 19 per cent, at the end. The year 1918, exceptional in so many respects, was
unusual also in the appearance of the sexes. Both four-year and five-year males exhibited
relatiA7e increase toward the middle of the season, to be followed by the usual reduction toward
the latter end of the run.
The following table shoAvs again a marked similarity between 191S and 1919 in their exceptional features. In 1919 the maximum number of four-year males was not reached until past
the middle of July, beyond which point there was a rapid decline. The five-year males show
less regularity in their occurrence, but the maximum percentage recorded was on July 15th,
w7hence there Avas a consistent decrease until July 31st, to be followed by a spasmodic increase
on the last date of record, August 2nd. The four-year males also shoAved an increased percentage
August 2nd, after having reached their loAvest ebb on July 31st.
Table XXX.—Percentages of Males and Females in Rivers Inlet Sockeyes occurring on Different
Dates, Season of 1919.
July  7.    July 10.    July 15.    July IS.    July 22.    July 26.    July 31.    Au,
Four-year males .
Four-year females
Five-year males  .
Five-year females
84
16
48
52
82
IS
43
57
12
55
45
100
42
58
92
42
58
76
24
39
61
53
47
20
80
58
42
71
29 10 Geo. 5
Life-history of Sockeye Salmon.
U 55
(3.) Lengths and Weights.
The tables which follow give the length and weight distribution of all the individuals
examined, grouped by age and by sex. As in similar tables, prepared for previous years, it
appears that the females average smaller than the males of their own age and exhibit a narrower
range of variation. Thus, although the females average less in size, a few of the males of the
same age are smaller than any of the females, while some, of course, are larger.
The five-year always average larger than the four-year fish, but the overlapping is considerable. On the table of lengths the overlap includes slightly more than half the range in size for
each age. All the individuals examined during the season of 1919 which Avere less than 22 inches
long were four years old, and all in excess of 25 inches were five years old. The relative proportions of four- and of five-year fish observed Avithin the scope of the overlap—that is, from 22 to
25 inches long—is shoAvn beloAV:—
Table XXXI.
Length in Inches.
Proportion.
Four Years old.
Five
Years old.
22	
Per Cent.
98
86
65
34
19
5
8
Per
Cent.
2
22y2	
14
23  	
35
23%  	
66
24  	
81
24%   	
95
25 	
92
Table XXXII.—Rivers Inlet Sockeyes, Run of 1919, grouped by Length, Age, and Sex.
Length in Inches.
Number of Individuals examined.
Four Years old.
Males.       Females.
Five Years old.
Males.       Females.
19%
20 .
20%
21 .
21%
22 .
22%
23 .
23%
24 .
24%
25 .
25%
26 .
26%
27 .
27%
28 .
1
3
8
18
29
38
39
35
22
12
1
1
14
15
17
10
3
1
1
6
9
17
16
14
16
14
14
14
5
3
1
3
15
31
38
38
33
15
8
6
2 U 56
Report of the Commissioner of Fisheries.
1920
Table XXXIII.—Rivers Inlet Sockeye, Run of 1919, grouped by Weight, Age, and Sex.
AVeight in Pounds.
Number of India'iduals examined.
Four Years old.
Five Years old.
Males.       Females.       Males.       Females
3 .
3%
4 .
4%
5 .
5%
6 .
6%
7 .
7%
8 .
8%
9 .
1
1
25
64
52
32
12
2
1
17
6
2
4
12
19
20
16
18
9
7
2
1
2
30
44
34
32
16
4
2
The average size of RiA'ers Inlet sockeyes writhin their oavii group was so nearly constant
during the first years of our investigation that any considerable change in this respect becomes
immediately apparent. Such a change has undoubtedly accompanied the reduction in the size
of the runs during the last three years. We have no present reason to allege in support of
an assumption that there is a casual connection between the size of the individual fish and
the magnitude of the run. The coincidences during the last three years may be only chance
associations. But against this hypothesis Ave haA7e our observations of other exceptionally poor
runs in the rivers of the Province during the years 1913 and 1917, when, as stated in our Report
for 1917 (page 77), "We have extremely poor packs of sockeyes in all the large rivers of the
Province, and we have these poor runs consisting everywhere of undersized fish."
This is a subject w7hich Avill well repay further investigation. At present we are without
any explanation for the extensive annual fluctuations in the size of the runs in our principal
salmon-streams. Neither in the Nass, the Skeena, nor in Rivers Inlet have we been able to
establish any relation betAveen the size of the run in any given year and the size of the broods
from which it has been derived. Hoav can we explain this lack of relation between the twoV
We may contend, of course, that the apparent lack of relation is due to incorrect estimates of
the size of the runs during some or all of the seasons. Our estimates are based on the apparent
abundance of the fish and the size of the commercial catches. Failures by this method, due to
exceptional conditions, may indeed occur now and then. But quite generally it has been noted
that seasons of good fishing correspond Avith successful seasons on the spawning-grounds, as these
are established by direct observation. So while we may admit occasional lapses by our method,
we must agree that years of apparent abundance are correctly so characterized and correspond
with seasons in which the spaw7ning-beds are abundantly seeded.
Are we then forced to the conclusion that the relative amount of seeding of the beds has
comparatiA7ely little influence on the size of the resulting runs? Such a conclusion becomes
palpably absurd if pressed to the limit. If the number of eggs be sufficiently reduced, no one
can deny that this will have a paramount influence on the magnitude of the run. But Avhen the
variation in the annual production of eggs is of lesser amount, uo greater in fact than has
occurred in the Nass, the Skeena, and on Rivers Inlet in the last ten years, Ave must now, in
view of all the facts, contemplate the possibility that other factors Avhich limit the production
of salmon are of greater importance than egg production, within the normal limits of the variation of the latter, and have a dominating influence in producing the annual fluctuations so evident
in the salmon-supply, eA7en in the case of those streams which are not overfished.
Where overfishing has occurred, obviously the case would be different. This is apparent
from the very definition of the term. By overfishing we mean so great a reduction of the
spaAvning stock that insufficient eggs are produced year by year to maintain the run at its
maximum productivity.   In pronounced cases of this kind a correlation may AA7ell be established 10 Geo. 5
Life-history of Sockeye Salmon.
U 57
betAveen egg production in a given year and the size of the resulting run. Such correlation has
been repeatedly demonstrated during the decline of the great Fraser River fishery.
Our failure to find such correlation in the Nass, the Skeena, and in Rivers Inlet possibly
may be due to the fact that these streams, during the period when those broods have been
produced whose progeny we have later examined, have not been seriously overfished. It may
be that even during their poorer years there was approximately adequate egg production, while
during some of their better years there may have been even useless excess of eggs. The fluctuations in the size of the runs Avould then be due to other causes than the annual variations in
the number of spaAA7ning fish. Conceivably, the poor runs may be due to unfavourable conditions
during the groAVing period in fresh water or in the sea—unfavourable conditions Avhich Avould
cause Avidespread mortality and a stunting of the remnant of the brood. Any evidence, then, of
habitual or frequent stunting during years of diminished supply will throw much-needed light
on this question.
Obviously, the occurrence of undersized fish characterizing each of a series of conspicuously
poor years does not exclude the possibility of overfishing as a contributory cause for the
decreased runs. When the experience of a series of years indicates unmistakably that the
productivity of a stream is declining to a loAver level, the common-sense treatment of the
situation is to modify favourably the only factor over which Ave exercise control. We should
increase the spaAvning reserve and thus seek to augment the egg production. Egg production
must, after all, be fundamentally most important. As a constant factor, in the long run it wall
dominate the situation.
Undoubted evidence, in this direction is furnished by the runs of the last three years in
Rivers Inlet. Both males and females of four- and five-year fish show corresponding decreases
in both length and weight. Prior to 1917, AA7e could state that the lengths of four-year males
aA7eraged 22.9 inches, with such inconsiderable variations in successiA7e years that these might
well be attributed to imperfections of our method. In similar manner, the four-year females
averaged 22.8 inches, the five-year males 25.9 Inches and the five-year females 25.1 inches. But
the averages for 1917, 1918, and 1919 have been for four-year fish 22.4 and 22.3 inches, and for
five-year fish 24.9 and 24.4 inches. In similar manner, the average Aveights preceding 1917 were
for four-year fish 5.4 and 5.1 pounds, and for five-year fish 7.4 and 6.7 pounds; while during
1917, 1918, and 1919 the averages have been for four-year fish 4.9 and 4.9 pounds, and for flA7e-
year fish 6.5 and 6.3 pounds.   The data for the last eight years are given in the follOAving table:—
Table XXXIV.—Average Length in Inches of Rivers Inlet Sockeyes for Eight Successive Years.
1912.
Four-year males .
Four-year females
Five-year males   .
Five-year  females
23.2
22.8
25.8
24.6
1913
22.9
23.0
25.9
25.2
1914.
23.0
22.8
25.9
25.2
1915.
22.9
22.8
26.0
25.1
1916.
22.9
22.8
25.8
25.0
1917
22.5
22.3
25.0
24.4
1918.
22.3
22^5
24.9
24.5
1919.
22.4
22.3
24.8
24.4
Table XXXV.—Average Weight in Pounds of Rivers Inlet Sockeyes for Six Successive Years.
Four-year males .
Four-year females
Five-year males  . .
Five-year females
1914.
1915.
1918.
5.4
5.2
5.3
5.1
5.5
5.0
7.3
6.8
7.3
6.6
7.6
6.7
1917
1918.
1919.
5.0
4.9
6.6
6.2
4.9
5.1
6.7
6.7
4.9
4.8
6.3
5.9
The fishing season at Rivers Inlet lasts for about six Aveeks, and this is practically
coextensive with the run, as is shown by the very limited boat-catches at the beginning and
at the end of the season. The latest fish to appear may Avell have had six weeks longer in
w7hich to feed and grow than have those which Avere first to arrive. A comparison of the
average sizes in each group is given below for a series of dates. The number of individuals
in our samples was too limited to furnish wholly reliable results, especially in the four-year U 58
Report of the Commissioner of Fisheries.
1920
females and the five-year males, Avhich on certain dates Avere present in very small numbers.
But in each of the groups a small but unmistakable groAvth is evidenced during the season until
at the latter end, when the average size in all groups again diminishes.
Table XXXVI.—Average Lengths and Weights of Rivers Inlet Sockeyes on a Succession of Dates.
Length in Inches.
Weight in Pounds.
Four Years old.
Five Years old.
Four Years  old.
Five Years old.
Males.
Females.
Males.
Females.
Males.
Females.
Males.    [  Females.
July    7, 10	
„    15, 18 ....
„    22, 26	
„    31	
Aug. 2   	
21.9
22.4
22.6
22.9
22.4
22.0
22.3
22.7
22.6
21.9
24.3
24.9
25.0
25.3
24.3
24.5
24.6
24.8
24.0
23.7
4.6
5.0
4.9
5.1
4.8
4.6
4.7
5.1
4.8
4.5
5.6
6.4
6.7
6.3
5.7
5.9
6.1
6.2
5.7
5.3
III. THE SKEENA RIVER SOCKEYE RUN OF 1919.
(1.) General Characteristics and_ the Age-gboups.
The commercial take of sockeye salmon' in the Skeena River in 1919 amounted to 184,945
cases, and was the next to the largest knoAvn in the history of the river. It was exceeded only
by the take in 1910, which reached the total of 187,246 cases. The occurrence of two favourable
seasons in succession, those of 1918 and 1919, bring a certain amount of needed reassurance
concerning the general condition of the salmon-supply in the Skeena River. The previous occurrence of tAVo extremely poor years in succession, 1916 and 1917, had been occasion for grave
forebodings, lest they might indicate that the salmon-supply of this river was being draAvn on
more heavily than in the long run would prove safe. This question has not yet received a
conclusive ansAA7er. Annual fluctuations often conceal the sequence of events. Only by resorting to averages which cover periods of years can we ascertain with some degree of certainty
whether the supply is on the Avhole diminishing. With this object in vieAV we have ascertained
the average pack on the Skeena River in four-year cycles from 1903 until 1919.
Average pack from 1903 to 1906     78,868 cases.
1907 to 1910   130,851     „
1911 to 1914  101,664     „
1915 to 1919     91,477    „
Considering these averages in connection with the fact that the number of canneries and
the amount of fishing-gear employed in this district have been relatively constant during the
greater part of the period under consideration, and the further fact that latterly the high price
obtained by the fishermen has encouraged them to make every effort, Ave cannot escape apprehension that we are slowly but certainly encroaching on our capital supply of fish. It would seem
that, on the average, the productivity of the river is declining. Until this question has received
a satisfactory decision the situation on the Skeena should receive most careful and conservative
treatment.   The intensity of the fishing should be diminished and not increased.
We have elseAvhere called attention to the insuperable difficulties Ave have encountered in
attempting to correlate seasons of scanty supply Avith poor brood-years from which they had
been derived. We are unable to establish any relation between the two. No basis for prediction
as to the size of the pack in any given year can be found in the apparent size of the runs four
and five years before, yet practically all the individuals which will comprise the run will have
deA7eloped from eggs deposited in those two seasons. Our estimate of the relative abundance of
fish during the brood-years is based on the number of cases packed during those years. While
this method is not strictly accurate, there is no reason to be alleged Avhy in general it should
not furnish reliable data. We have reason to believe that, on the average, commercially successful years are characterized by a relatively large number of salmon escaping to the spawning-
grounds and by a relatively large deposition of eggs. That increased egg production should not
result in recognizably larger runs under such conditionsi as have obtained in the Skeena River
basin is a conclusion that has been forced on us by such evidence as is presented in the following
table:— 10 Geo. 5
Life-history of Sockeye Salmon.
U 59
Table XXXVII.—Percentages of Four- and Five-year Skeena River Sockeyes that spent One Year
in Lake, in Runs of Successive Years.
Run of the Year.
1912 (92,498 cases)    /
1913 (52,927 cases) j
1914 (130,166 cases)    j
1915 (116,553 cases)    /
1916 (60,923 cases) [
1917 (65,760 cases)    /
1918 (123,322 cases)    [
1919 (184,945 cases)    i
Percentage.
Four and Five
Years  old.
Brood
-year from which
derived.
5 yrs.
43%
1907
(108,413  cases).
4  yTS.
57%
\
J
1908
(139,846 cases).
5  yrs.
50%
4   yrs.
50%
\
1909
(87,901 cases).
5  yrs.
75%
)
4 ■ yrs.
25%
\
f
1910
(187,246 cases).
5  yrs.
64%
4  yrs.
36%
1
J
1911
(131,066 cases).
5  yrs.
60%
4  yrs.
40%
\
1912
(92,498 cases).
5  yrs.
62%
)
4  yrs.
38%
I
f
1913
(52,927 cases).
5 yrs.
59%
4  yrs.
41%
\
1914
(130,166 cases).
5  yrs.
69%
1
4  yrs.
31%
1915
(116,553 cases).
As we have sIioavii on previous pages in connection with Rivers Inlet, there is also in the
Skeena an apparent relation between the siise of the run in any year and the proportion of five-
year fish of which it is partially composed. In general, but w7ith many exceptions, the larger
the run; the greater the preponderance of five-year over four-year fish. Arranging the eight
years from 1912 to 1919 of the preceding table in the order of their size, as shown by the pack
figures, beginning with the largest, we have the corresponding percentages of five-year fish
appearing in the following order: 69, 75, 59, 64, 43, 62, 60, 50. It will be noted that all but
one of the first four percentages are larger than any of the last four.
The preceding table includes only the one-year-in-lake class, which in the Skeena basin
always comprises the greater part of the run. But a variable number of fingerlings in this
basin always linger for a second year's residence in the lake. What causes the wide variation
in this respect is not known. During certain years practically all the brood of the previous year
pass down to the sea on the approach of spring. In other years as high as 25 or 30' per cent,
may tarry until their second spring. The percentages of this class occurring in the runs of the
last six years are here shown: 1914, 7 per cent.; 1915, 15 ; 1916, 27; 1917, 14; 1918, less than
1 per cent.;  1919, 13.
The following table indicates the relative abundance of the age-groups belonging to the two
classes. It will be noted that the four-year group that had spent one year in the lake increase
in relative abundance toward the latter end of the season, while the five-year fish of the same
class are most abundant at the opening of the run. The two-years-in-lake class agrees with the
five-year fish above mentioned in becoming less abundant throughout the greater p*art of the
season. But at the close of the run, during the month of August, a sudden increase appears and
characterizes all the final days of the run. This was first observed in 1916 and in 1917 (Report
for 1917, page 73), when on August 4th (1916) and on August 3rd (1917) remarkable increases
in the fish of this class became apparent. In 1918 we have no August record, and the two-years-
in-lake class becomes less and less numerous throughout the month of July. In 1919 our series
is unusually complete, with five records in August. The change manifests itself sudderRy on
August 1st. U 60
Report of the Commissioner of Fisheries.
1920
Table XXXVIII.—Percentages of Different Age-groups, Skeena River Sockeyes, found to
constitute the Run on a Succession of Dates, Season of 1919.
Dates, 1919.
One Year in Lake.
Four Years old.     Five Years old
Two Years in Lake.
Five Years old.  Six Years old.
June 23 	
„  27 	
„  30	
July 4 	
„  7 ......
„  11 	
„  14 	
..  18 	
,,  21 	
„  25	
„  28 	
Aug. 1 	
5	
8 	
„  13 	
„ 15 	
Totals
12
14
20
15
20
22
22
22
37
39
32
23
38
40
39
36
75
65
68
71
63
71
69
72
53
55
57
58
50
46
45
41
8
17
10
9
12
5
4
4
9
4
6
16
9
7
10
15
60
The preceding table confirms a generalization Ave have previously stated concerning the effect
of the extra year spent in the lake on the individuals comprising the tAA7o-years-in-lake group.
The effect is not in the direction of increasing their size, for, as will be shoAvn later, the five-,
year fish of this group are no larger than the four-year fish of the one-year.-in-lake group; and,
similarly, the six-year fish of one are no larger than the five-year fish of the other group. But
the extra year of life in the Skeena race, as has been previously noted elsewhere, exercises a
certain influence in accelerating development. Were this not the case we should find the same
numerical relations between the five- and six-year fish of one group that we find between the
four- and five-year fish of the other. If five-year fish of the one-year-in-lake type greatly
exceeded in numbers the four-year fish of this group, as is constantly the case in the Skeena,
Ave might expect the six-year fish of the two-years-in-lake type similarly to outnumber the
five-year fish of the same class. But this is what we never find. The accelerating effect of age
strongly modifies the results. The tendency of the Skeena race to spend four seasons feeding
and groAving at sea is met by an opposing tendency to mature at the age of five. The final
outcome is well illustrated by the statistics of the 1919 run. The sea-feeding habit so far
triumphs that no individual of the two-years-in-lake group mature at the age of four and the
ages at which individuals of this group may mature is advanced an entire year. The sea-feeding
habit thus predominates in its effect. But the age-maturing habit is not wathout an appreciable
influence. For in 1919, whereas in the one-year-in-lake group 3.1 per cent, matured after three
years sea-feeding and 69 per cent, after four years in the sea, the proportions were reversed in
the two-years-in-lake group, in which 69 per cent, matured after three seasons in the sea, while
only 31 per cent, had tarried at sea for an additional year.
The same tendency is manifest in those individuals which spend three years in fresh water.
While the sea-feeding requirements prevent the maturity of these fish in either their fourth or
their fifth years, the age requirement almost wholly prevents the continuation of life into their
seventh year. Fish of this class mature almost exclusively in their sixth year. Only in streams
which enter Bering Sea have we found many seven-year individuals of this class. But the
retarding influences of the cold north on development are well knoAvn. 10 Geo. 5
Life-history of Sockeye Salmon.
U 61
Table XXXIX.—Relative Numbers in One-year-in-lake and Two-years-in-lake Groups, Skeena
River Sockeyes, 1919, on a Succession of Dates.
Dates, 1919.
June 23, 27, 30  . . .
July 4, 7, 11   	
July 14,  18, 21   . ..
July 25, 28, Aug. 1
Aug. 5. 8, 13   	
Aug.  15   	
One Year in Lake.
Tavo Years in Lake.
85
15
88
12
92
8
86
14
86
14
77
23
Table XL.—Percentages of Skeena River Sockeyes on- Different Dates during the Season of 1919,
having Equal Number of Years on the Sea-feeding Grounds.
Dates, 1919.
June 2.3, 27, 30  . ..
July 4, 7,  11   	
July 14,  18, 21   ...
July 25, 28. Aug. 1
Aug. 5, 8, 13   	
Aug.  15   	
Three Years in  Sea,
Four Years in Sea,
Four and Five
Five  and   Six   Years
Years old.
old.
27
73
26
74
33
67
40
60
48
52
51
49
The above table divides the run according to the length of time spent at sea, where the
major part of the growth occurs. Those individuals that had spent four years at sea showed
a marked tendency to enter the river early in the season. Some of these are five years old,
having spent but one year in fresh Avater; others are in their sixth year, having lived tAVO
years in the lake before migrating seawards.
(2.) Relative Numbers of Males and Females.
During the season of 1919 samples were examined on sixteen different days, about eA'enly
spaced throughout the run; 1967 sockeyes were included in these samples, 49 per cent, being
males and 51 per cent, females. While the proportions of the sexes vary widely during different
portions of the run, sometimes the males and at other times the females being largely in excess,
the total numbers during the entire run are always approximately equal. There seems to be no
constant total excess of males or of females, the apparent slight disparity of numbers being in
some years in favour of the males and in others in favour of the females.
Table XLI.—Percentage of Males and Females, One-year-in-lake Group, Skeena River Sockeyes,
1919, on a Succession of Dates.
Dates, 1919.
Four Years old.
Males.        Females.
Five Years old.
Males.        Females.
June 23, 27, 30 . . .
July 4, 7, 11	
July 14, 18, 21
July 25, 28, Aug. 1
Aug. 5, 8, 13  	
Aug. 15  	
58
65
59
55
44
40
42
35
41
45
56
60
46
49
46
46
43
47
54
51
54
54
57
53
Although the total number of males in any annual run approximately equals the total number
of females, this is by no means true for each of the age-groups w7hich together comprise the run.
The four-year males of the dominant type (one-year-in-lake class) always exceed the four-year
females of their'group, but the disparity in numbers of four-year males and females in the Skeena
basin is less pronounced than in Rivers Inlet. The average percentages in the Skeena for the
past eight years are 61 per cent, four-year males and 39 per cent, four-year females.    The Rivers U 62
Report of the Commissioner of Fisheries.
1920
Inlet averages for the past seven years are 72 per cent, four-year males and 28 per cent, four-year
females.. This difference in the two basins may stand related to the fact that in Rivers Inlet a
larger percentage of individuals mature at the age of five than is the ease in the Skeena, the
average for seven years in Rivers Inlet being 67 per cent.; for eight years in the Skeena, 60 per
cent. Theoretically, we should expect to find that a race maturing largely at the age of five
would retard the development of the precocious males from their third to their fourth year.
In such a race we might anticipate an almost total absence of three-year male grilse and a
correspondingly larger proportion of four-year males. We have been unable to examine the
occurrence of grilse in Rivers Inlet and the Skeena, as fishing in these waters is carried on
solely by gill-nets, through the coarse meshes of which the grilse would readily pass.
Table XLII.—Relative Nitmbers of Males and Females in Different Year-groups, Skeena River
Sockeyes, in a Series of Years.
One Year in Lake.
Two Years in Lake.
Years.
Four Years  old.
Five Years old.
Five Years old.
Six Years old.
Males.
Females.
Males.
Females.
Males.
Females.
Males.
Females.
1912   	
54
69
60
55
70
65
63
53
46
31
40
45
30
35
37
47
42
47
47
45
43
48
46
46
58
53
53
55
57
52
54
54
56
65
61
52
44
35
39
48
54
58
56
45
1913   	
1914   	
1915   	
1916   	
1917   	
1918   	
1919   	
46
42
44
55
(3.)  Lengths and Weights.
The lengths of the Skeena River sockeyes in 1919 were so close to the averages for the
previous seven years that'the fish must be considered normal in that respect.    The four-year
males and females of the predominating one-year-in-lake type were slightly larger than the
previous averages, and the five-year males and females of the same type were slightly smaller.
Four Years old.
Five Years old.
Males.
Females.
Males.
Females.
24.0
24.3
23.3
23.4
25.9
25.7
25.0
24.8
The differences are so small in amount they might be considered due to errors associated
with our method of sampling, but it may be significant that the two classes vary in opposite
directions, while the males and the females of each class vary together. Using the averages
from 1912 to 1918, it is seen that the four-year males increase their length by 7.9 per cent,
during the next year and the females increase their length by 7.3 per cent.
Comparing in the same way the average weights for five years, from 1914 to 1918, we find
that during their fifth year males of the dominant Skeena type increase their Aveight by 22 per
cent, and females by 20 per cent.
Table XLIII.—Average Lengths of Skeena River Sockeyes, One Year in Lake, for Eight
Successive Years.
1912.
1913.
1914.
1915.
1916.
1917.
1918.
1919.
24.6
23.5
26.4
25.2
23.5
22.9
25.5
24.7
24.2
23.4
26.2
25.1
24.2
23.5
25.9
25.0
23.9
23.6
26.2
25.0
23.6
23.2
25.5
24.7
24.1
23.3
25.9
25.0
24.3
23.4
25.7
24.8 10 Geo. 5
Life-history of Sockeye Salmon.
IT 63
Table XLIV.—Skeena River Sockeyes, Run of 1919, One
Age, and Sex.
Year in Lake, grouped by Length,
Length in Inches.
Number of Individuals examined.
Four Years old.
Males.
Females.
Five Years old.
Males.
Females.
21   	
21%   	
22   	
22%  	
23   	
23%   	
24   	
24%  	
25  	
25%  	
26  	
26%  	
27   	
27%  	
28  	
28%   	
29  	
Totals	
Average length
1
1
1
13
29
35
55
53
46
28
13
4
1
17
32
53
55
47
.25
13
1
1
27
43
93'
109
114
79
41
21
1
1
1
280
246
545
4
19
37
105
123
152
112
59
17
5
2
635
24.3
23.4
25.7
24.!
The following table gives average lengths of sockeyes which remained two years in the lake
before migrating seawards. Like the one-year-in-lake group, these spend three and four seasons
in the sea before maturing and seek the spawning-grounds when in their fifth and sixth years
instead of in their fourth and fifth years, as in the previous group. But the extra year spent in
the lake has not increased their final stature.    The 1919 average lengths compare as follows:—
One-year-in-lake four-year males, 24.3;  four-year females, 23.4.
Two-years-in-lake five-year males, 24.3;  five-year females, 23.4.
One-year-in-lake five-year males, 25.7;  fiAre-year females, 24.8.
Two-years-in-lake six-year males, 25.8;  six-year females, 24.7.
Table XLV,
-Average Lengths of Skeena River Sockeyes, Ttvo Years in Lake, for Four
Successive Years.
1916.
1917
191S.
1919.
Five-year males  .
Five-year females
Six-year males  ..
Six-year  females
24.1
23.8
26.2
24.8
23.9
23.8
25.4
25.0
23.9
23.4
25.2
24.7
24.3
23.4
25.8
24.7 -
U 64
Report of the Commissioner of Fisheries.
1920
Table XLVI.—Skeena River Sockeyes, Run of 1919, One Year in Lake, grouped by .Weight,
Age, and Sex.
Weight in Pounds.
3%   	
4  	
4%   	
5  	
5%   	
6 	
6%	
7  	
7%   	
8  	
8%   	
9  	
9%   	
10  	
Totals 	
Average weight
Number of Indlviduals examined.
Four Years old.
Males.
Females.
1
2
7
33
51
78
61
25
19
2
1
280
6.1
3
26
67
66
53
22
6
3
246
5.5
Five Years old.
Males.
1
1
7
27
81
115
125
85
66
2a
7
3
1
545
7.0
Females.
1
3
40
97
199
153
94
39
7
2
635
6.2
Table XLVII.—Average Weights, Skeena River Sockeyes, for Six Successive Years.
One year in lake—
Four-year males .
Four-year females
Five-year males  .
Five-year  females
Two years in lake—
Five-year males  .
Five-year females
Six-year males   . .
Six-year females
1914.
1915
5.9
5.3
7.2
6.3
5.7
5.2
6.8
6.2
5.9
5.2
6.6
6.0
1916.
5.4
5.1
7.1
6.3
5.8
5.4
7.1
5.9
1917.
5.3
5.0
6.4
6.0
5.5
5.2
6.3
5.8
1918.
5.8
5.3
6.9
6.4
5.7
5.3
6.6
6.1
1919.
6.1
5.5
7.0
6.2
6.1
5.4
6.9
6.3
IV. THE NASS RIVER SOCKEYE RUN IN 1919.
(1.)  General Considerations.
In our discussion of the Nass River run of 1916, Ave said (Report for 1917, page 76) :
" While there is reason to fear that the other principal streams in the Province are beginning to
experience the effects of overfishing, the lower levels of the fluctuations in the runs becoming
loAver and the higher levels less high, there seems to be no indication so far that the Nass River
has suffered." That statement is still valid after the season of 1919, though with less certainty
concerning favourable conditions on the Nass. Dividing the period in the history of the river
since 1903 into groups of four years each, we find the total pack of sockeyes from 1903 to 1906
to be 70,060 cases; from 1907 to 1910, 104,453 cases; from 1911 to 1914, 128,265 cases; and
from 1915 to 1918, 114,764 cases. During the war period, from 1915 to 1918, when every effort
w7as being made to increase food production to the utmost, the output of the Nass in sockeye
salmon was distinctly less than for the preceding four-year period. For tw7o years within the
Avar period, 1917 and 1918, the sockeye-packs were less than they had been since 1917, while the
average for the four years is less than that for the last decade. This unfavourable history
gives cause for uneasiness, but does not yet furnish demonstration that injury has been done to
the Nass River run.   It does, how7ever, counsel extreme caution in the handling of this industry. 10 Geo. 5
Life-history of Sockeye Salmon.
U 6c
The 1919 pack of 28,259 cases of sockeyes, while a gratifying improvement over the two very
poor years Avhich preceded, is again not equal to the average for the last decade. Extreme
interest Avill attach to the history of the next three or four years on this river.
(2.)  The Age-groups.
The wide diversity in type in Nass River sockeyes is a continuing feature and is a definite
constant characteristic of the race which inhabits this Avatershed. Every, run since 1912 has been
analysed by us and the results put on record. In no season have Ave failed to find four main
groups represented: (1) The sea-type (three and four years old) ; (2) the one-year-in-lake
type (four, five, and six years old) ; (3) the two-years-in-lake type (five and six years
old) ; (4) the three-years-in-lake type (six and seA7en years old). We haA7e then one
three-ygar age-group; two of four years; two of fiA7e years; three of six years; and one
of seven years. Thus nine different age-groups occur in this river-basin. Several of them
are subsidiary and comparatively of little commercial importance. From the following table,,
giving the distribution of all the individuals examined in 1919, the relative importance of
the different groups is seen at a glance: These individuals, it is believed, giA7e us a fair cross-
section of the entire run. They Avere taken at random, without selection, from piles of salmon
oil the cannery floor, and samples of this kind were taken on the average every other day
throughout the fishing season from June 30th to August 18th. The total number of Nass River
sockeyes for the season of 1919 thus examined and assigned to their appropriate groups is 1,724. U 66
Report of the Commissioner of Fisheries.
1920
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Life-history of Sockeye Salmon.
D 67'
It will be noted in the table that the great majority of the Nass sockeyes, in 1919 as in all
former years, fall within the first and second types—they spent either one year or they spent
two years in their native lake before undertaking the downward migration to the sea. Four
different groups are included under these two types. Taken together, they always constitute
the bulk of the run, but among themselves they exhibit through the years considerable variation
in their relative importance. Always the two live-year groups greatly exceed in numbers the
other two, and usually the five-year group which belongs to the two-years-in-lake type is more
numerously represented than the five-year group of the one-year-in-lake type.
Considering only the four groups above mentioned and disregarding for the moment the
other groups of inconsiderable commercial value, we find the run of 1919 consisted of the
following: Four-year fish (one-year-in-lake type), 7 per cent.; five-year fish (one-year-in-lake
type), 22 per cent.; five-year fish (two-years-in-lake type), 65 per cent.; six-year fish (two-years-
in-lake type), G per cent.
The following table contains similar data for each of the eight years during which the
sockeye run of the Nass has been under investigation. The percentages for 1919 diverged
remarkably little from the average percentages for the eight years.   .
Table XLIX.
Percentage op Individuals that spent
Year.
One Year In Lake.
Two Years in Lake.
Four Years old.
Five Years old.
Five Years old.
Sis Years old.
1912   	
1913  	
1914  	
1915  	
1916  	
1917  	
1918  	
1919  	
8
15
4
19
9
10
30
7
27
12
41
14
17
15
16
22
63
71
45
59
66
71
45
65
2
2
10
8
8
4
9
6
13
21
60
6
In Table L., which follows, we present the percentages of the different year-groups that were
present in 1919 during each of the dates on which the run was sampled. The percentages for
any given day are of necessity based on very limited material, and many of the minor variations
in these percentages from day to day are to be ascribed to this fact. The table indicates, however,
beyond question, during what part of the run any given group had its maximum representation,
when it began, and when it ended.
It appears from the table not only that the run is very complex, but that it is a well-ordered
complexity. The different groups appear and develop in orderly sequence, and are marshalled
as distinctly in assemblages with determinate numerical ratios as though they had schooled
separately at sea and were returning each under migration laws peculiar to itself. Furthermore,
the system pursued by the age-groups In 1919 is identical with that of former years. A
comparison with similar tables which we have presented in previous years makes this evident,
and testifies to the delicacy of the adjustments which govern so rigidly the migration behaviour
of the different age-groups. Adjustments of this nature in other animals escape our observation,
for we have ordinarily no means of grouping individuals in accordance with the important facts
in their life-history. The categories themselves are unrecognized and unsuspected, and no
possibility is presented of delving far beneath the surface. Formerly this condition obtained
with the salmon also, for nothing in the external appearance, the size, or the structure makes it
possible to distinguish one group from another. As they pass before our unaided eyes during
the fishing season the impression is given of a homogeneous assemblage. Not until we have
learned to decipher their autobiographies, as inscribed on their own scales, do we become aware
of the play of forces and the responses and aware of the diverse elements, each governed by its
own laws and each articulating perfectly with the main body of the run. *
U 68
Report of the Commissioner of Fisheries.
1920
Table L.—Percentages in each Class of Nass River Sockeyes running at Different Dates in 1919.
June 30.
July     1.
Aug.
10.
11.
12.
14.
15.
17.
19.
21.
26.
28.
1.
5.
8.
9.
11.
13.
15.
18.
21.
One Year in Lake.
Four
Years old.
4
6
14
13
18
8
4
3
6
Five
Years old.
30
37
42
41
48
44
36
44
58
56
•48
63
51
37
17
10
5
0
6
1
9
Two Years in Lake.
Five
Years old.
52
56
50
56
45
56
58
50
40
44
48
28.
29
45
61
75
87
82
83
83
85
77
67
74
77
83
Six
Years old.
o
4
6
3
9
5
13
6
16
19
20
18
17
Three Yrs. in Lake.
Six Seven
Years old.   Years old.
Sea-type.
Four
Years old.
14
5
6
3
■  7
2
2
<w —•
Ortrj
1.   3 OJ
is!
ion
tut-\ o
50
4S
50
39
■   46
45
50
50
50
50
50
35
99
60
130
120
130
123
124
70
35
95
88
50
22
12
Table LI.—Nass River Sockeyes, Average Lengths of Different Classes from 1912 to 1919.
1912    (inches)
1913
1914
1915
1916
1917
1918
1919
One Year in Lake.
Two Years in Lake.
Four Years old.
Males.
24.6
24.1
24.6
24.0
24.5
23.4
25.0
24.9
Females.
23.3
23.5
22.7
23.5
23.3
23.2
24.3
24.1
Five Years old.
Five  Years   old.
Males.
26.5
25.6
26.1
25.9
26.4
25.5
25.7
26.2
Females.
Males.
25.1
24.S
25.1
25.2
25.0
24.7
24.7
25.2
26.2
26.0
26.3
26.5
26.5
25.3
25.9
26.5
Females.
25.4
25.2
25.5
25.9
25.6
24.7
25.0
25.8
Six  Years  old.
Males.
Females.
27.0
25.6
26.0
20.6
26.9
25.6
26.6
25.3
27.9
25.7
26.5
25.5
27.2
25.2
27.9
26.7
Table LII.—Nass River Sockeyes, Average Weights of Different Classes from 1912 to 1919.
One Year
in Lake.
Two Years in Lake.
Four  Years old.
Five Years old.
Five
Years   old.
Six  Years  old.
Males.
Females.
Males.
Females.
Males.
Females.
Males.
Females.
1913   (pounds)..
j
5.5
I
3.3
6.5
6.7
1914
6.2
5.0
7.4
6.5
7.2
6.5
7.9
6.8
1915
5.6
5.2
6.9
6.4,
7.0
6.6
7.2
6.5
1916
6.0
5.3
7.2
6.3
7.2
6.2
8.1
6.4
1917
5.3
5.3
6.8
6.2
6.3
5.8
7.3
6.4
1918
6.3
5.8
7.2
6.3
7.2
6.4
8.3
6.7
1919
6.0
5.5
6.6
5.9
6.7
6.1
7.8
6.7   *mm^^^^mmm*
Three-years-in-lake type of Nass River sockeye in sixth year.  *l^^
m w*
:
Sea-type of Fraser River sockeye in fourth year. 5?r::^^^S:^^-NN^\\ -v '■   \\     3
Fraser River sockeye in fifth year. 10 Geo. 5 Memorandum re Salmon-fishery Regulations. U 69
MEMORANDUM   RESPECTING   SALMON-FISHERY   REGULATIONS   FOR
THE PROVINCE OF BRITISH  COLUMBIA.
By Hon. William Sloan, Fisheries Commissioner for Province.
The question of .conserving the supply of salmon in our waters has long been one of keen
interest. The 1905-07 Dominion Fisheries Commission, aftei* a long investigation, recommended
that " effective measures for securing some limitation of the exploitation of the northern waters
of British Columbia be adopted." Acting on that report the Minister at Ottawa in 1908 set
forth that no additional canneries would be licensed and that the number of boats in each
section would be limited. The Dominion-Provincial Boat Rating Commission of 1910 reported
against any increase in canneries or boats, and no increase was made until 1912, when an
additional cannery licence was granted on the understanding that only white labour would be
employed in operating the plant and in catching the fish; an understanding that was never
carried out. Further cannery licences were granted in 1913, 1916, 1917, and 1918. There are
now some ten more salmon-canneries in the North than there were in 1908, and many more
gill and purse nets, and the deadly drag-seines are being operated, and traps have been installed
in some localities. In 1917 the Dominion Commission, following hearings held throughout the
North, reported that in their judgment " neither the ambitions of an individual nor the business
strategy of a company is in itself sufficient ground for a change of public policy, and we do not
regard the general result of the Department's change in policy which began in 1912 as having
improved the situation from the public point of view, and we believe that the removal of all
restrictions, under the present conditions as to the supply of salmon, would only open the way
towards inefficiency and loss."
It should be the first policy of the Government to prevent depletion, to ensure continuance,
and at the same time to eliminate useless competition and excessive overhead charges. The policy
suggested by me is a move in that direction. If adopted it will conserve the supply and increase
the earnings of the individual fishermen. There is abundant evidence that the salmon of the
North and of Vancouver Island are rapidly being depleted. Unless they are given far more
protection than is now afforded them they will go the way of the salmon of the Fraser. There
is no doubt of that. The Fraser was once the greatest salmon-river of the world. The vast
schools of salmon that used to seek its waters annually have been fished out. (See statement
made to the American-Canadian Fisheries Commission, pages 53 and 54, British Columbia
Fisheries Report, 191S; copy attached—Exhibit 1.) As a salmon-stream it is now in the third
or fourth place in the salmon-streams of this Province. There has been no limitation placed on
the fisheries of the Fraser, except a modest weekly closed period. They have been open to all
that wished to engage. There are thirty-two canneries on the Fraser, but twelve of which have
opened their doors this year, and combined they packed but 34,000 cases of sockeye salmon, and
in almost every case they operated at a loss.
At the present time the canning plants on the Skeena and Nass Rivers and Rivers Inlet
could have this year put up the entire pack in less than twelve days of eight hours each, whereas
they were operated for over sixty-five days. Fijced charges were .needlessly heavy because of
the numerous plants, and 'have resulted in such high prices as to seriously affect the public
interest. A further increase in the number of plants and the amount of gear employed on those
waters will not better conditions.
I believe that the withdrawing of restrictions in the fishing regulations, as proposed, will
most certainly have a disastrous effect upon the runs unless at the time of amendment most
drastic additions are made to the present weekly and annual closed seasons. If the fishing is
to be throwm open to all-comers, it will result in placing on the fishing-grounds of the North and
A'ancouver Island the now unused Fraser River fleet of fishing-boats. Depletion will surely
result unless the present weekly close season of forty hours is extended to at least seventy-two
hours, and to a further and material restriction of the present commercial fishing areas. To
provide such an extension of closed hours will make it extremely difficult for fishermen to earn
a weekly living wage without such a material increase in the price paid for fish as will add
greatly to the cost of the product.
I suggest that the time has come for a complete and radical change in the policy of handling
our fisheries.    It is time that the Government stepped in to seriously protect the fish, eliminate U 70 Report of the Commissioner of Fisheries. 1920
all useless competition, overequipment, and waste, to the end that the people may be able to
obtain at a fair price one of the natural food products of this Province. To permit a further
depletion of the salmon-fisheries of the Province would be a "policy Which could only be
characterized as a criminal policy." The fish of this Province, notwithstanding the depletion of
both the salmon and the halibut, are still one of its greatest food assets. They are one of the
greatest assets the Province possesses. With judicious handling the fisheries can be maintained
for all time. The depleted fisheries can be built up, but they cannot be maintained if the present
methods are to continue. The Fraser River fishery demonstrates what will happen if things are
to go on as they have been going.
We have overdone the thing. We have drawn, and are drawing, too heavily upon our supply
of salmon and of halibut. (See attached excerpt from House of Commons Debates, January 19th,
1907, page 1722—Exhibit 2.) What we need is a complete and radical change of policy; a
departure altogether different from past and existing methods. The time has come when the
Government should step in and take over our salmon-fisheries and administer them for the benefit
of the people as a whole and for all time. They should step in and take over the salmon-fisheries
just as the British and United States Governments have taken over the fur-seal fisheries of the
North Pacific. Instead of licensing existing and new companies and individuals to take and
handle our salmon-fisheries the Government should take them over and handle them. By so
doing the fish would be given full protection. There will be a radical reduction in equipment
and a consequent reduction in overhead expenses that will materially reduce the retail price of
both fresh and canned salmon. And at the same time the Government, being serious in its desire
to help returned men, can do so by taking control of the salmon-fisheries and install returned
men to operate them.
The Governments of Great Britain and the United States took over the fur-seal industry
because it was essential to the preservation of the fur-seal. (See excerpt from Hansard,
February 27th, 1908, page 3954, attached—Exhibit 3.) The fur-seal was threatened with
extinction. Corporate and individual enterprise was killing them off. The Governments took
them out of the hands of corporations and individuals and adopted a policy that has materially
increased the numbers in the herds of fur-seals.
There is no inherent difficulty in taking over the salmon-fisheries. The existing operating
companies in the salmon-fisheries have no operating rights beyond those granted them from year
to year. The Government is under no obligations to renew the licences formerly granted to them.
1 suggest that the Government should assume the sole control of the entire salmon industry,
even though that may mean compensation where it can be shown that compensation is due.
Many of the salmon plants on the Fraser are at present a liability and not an asset of the owning
companies. The plants of Northern British Columbia will in a short period be as valueless as
the plants on the Fraser if the existing policy of depletion is continued. The history of the
Fraser will be repeated. The salmon-fisheries of British Columbia will be depleted as Alaska
is being depleted. (See attached statement of Charles D. Garfield, Alaska Fish Commissioner,
Fishing Gazette, New York, December, 1919, page 28—Exhibit 4.) The Government should bear
this in mind in taking over existing plants that may be found necessary for the work under
Government control. The Government can, by combining its efforts, reduce overhead expenses
by several hundred per cent. It can in consequence sell cheaper. It can put up as good, if not
a better and more uniform pack. Being a Government-guaranteed product, it will be in greater
foreign demand. And what is of greater importance, it will ensure the continuance of the
salmon runs.
Government owned and operated fisheries, and I do not confine the suggestion that
Government ownership be confined to the salmon-fisheries alone, for I would include trawl-caught
fish, which together with the salmon would prove a valuable adjunct to the two transcontinental
railway-lines owmed and operated by the Government. (See report of Select Committee appointed
to deal with schemes and suggestions made with a view of rehabilitating soldiers, Journals of
British Columbia Legislature, pages 172-4, 1919; copy attached—Exhibit 5.) By the addition
of large freezing and cold-storage plants at or near Prince Rupert and Vancouver, the Pacific
terminal ports of Government-owned railway-lines, the Government will be in a position to supply
the North-west Provinces and Eastern Canada with fish at cheap prices, employ returned men,
and to dominate the local fish-food markets, to the immediate and lasting benefit of the fish
and the people. 10 Geo. 5
Memorandum re Salmon-fishery Regulations.
U 71
The fish of the Province belong to the people of Canada. They constitute one of their
greatest natural assets. When our minerals and our timbers are drawn upon they are lessened
to that extent. Minerals cannot be replaced. Our forests may, at great expense, be restored by
reforestation, but they then will not.be available for several generations. Our fisheries, on the
other hand, will last for all time if they are properly handled. Depleted runs can be restored.
The runs of former years may even be enlarged. All that is necessary to maintain our salmon-
supply is to ensure that a sufficient number of fish reach the spawning-grounds. If the beds are
well seeded there will be a certain return. The fish will do all the work necessary, provided the
Government gives them a chance to do so. They will perpetuate themselves without cost. They
will entirely disappear if left to corporate and individual control.
The policy here advocated will meet with the approval of the people of Canada, since it
means that the fisheries will be maintained in their interest, and that they may have fish at a
cheaper price. .   .
The policy proposed is a practical and sane business thing for the Government to undertake.
It is a business that will pay dividends in a greater supply of fish, and at "a cheaper price, not
only to the people of to-day, but to our people that are to come after. Government control and
operation is, in my opinion, the solution of this great economic question.
The Privy Council decided that the right to administer the fisheries of this Province rested
with the Dominion, and that the right to fish was a public right subject to regulation by the
Dominion. Provided the Dominion Government is not prepared to accept the policy here
advocated, and operating our fisheries, I maintain that the Dominion should surrender that
right to British Columbia.
We are facing rapidly changing conditions, and the time is opportune to assure the conservation of the Pacific Coast fisheries for the present and the future benefit of the whole people of
Canada rather than sacrifice this great Provincial and national asset to satisfy the shortsighted
greed of a small minority.
Victoria, B.C., December 29th, 1919,
(Exhibit 1.)
STATEMENT SUBMITTED TO THE AMERICAN-CANADIAN FISHERIES COMMISSION
BY THE HON. WILLIAM SLOAN, COMMISSIONER OF FISHERIES, AT THE
VANCOUVER MEETING, 1918.
Gentlemen of the Commission,—As the Commissioner of Fisheries for the Province of
British Columbia, I desire to comment briefly on the present precarious condition of the sockeye-
salmon fishery of the Fraser River. The watershed of that river and its channels lie wholly
within the Province. From its watershed have came all but a fraction of the sockeye that have
been taken in the waters contiguous to the International Boundary-line which separates the
Province of British Columbia and the State of Washington. From that watershed must continue
to come the seaward migrants of sockeye which produce the commercial runs of sockeye to
those waters, because there is no other watershed tributary to those waters which affords
sufficient spawning and rearing waters for sockeye salmon. The vast runs of former big years
demonstrate the extent and the value of the runs that that watershed can produce. It is the
greatest sockeye-producing watershed known. No other watershed has produced such vast
numbers of sockeye. That watershed is to-day as capable as ever of producing the vast run
of the past. It has not been contaminated. Settlement, power, and irrigation have not injured
it in any way. It needs only to be protected to produce the great runs of the past. Its produce
has been lessened—almost destroyed—because a sufficient number of spawning sockeye has not
been permitted to reach it. The runs in the three last years have steadily decreased because
too few of the adult salmon have escaped capture in Dominion and State waters; because of
excessive fishing too many have been captured. The run of the big year was further destroyed
by a rock-slide blocking the river-channel at Hell's Gate in 1913.
That the runs in the three last years have been almost wiped out by commercial fishing and
that the run in the big year has been alarmingly decreased has been ably demonstrated by
statements already submitted to you. It is unnecessary here to more than call -your attention
to the evidence of depletion already in your hands.   I do, however, accentuate the fact that the •
U 72
Report of the Commissioner of Fisheries.
1920
evidence submitted to you by our Department is founded upon scientifically ascertained facts.
The watershed of the Fraser and the fishing areas supplied by it have been under close scrutiny
since 1901. No other has been so carefully observed. The history of the race of sockeye that
frequent the Fraser is better known than that of any other district. The facts are no longer
questioned. The run of sockeye to the Fraser is perilously near to extermination. They will be
exterminated if conditions remain as they are, and in so short a period as to wipe out all interests
of both fishermen and canners. In view of the evidence there is, in my judgment, but one thing
to do. Adopt measures that will ensure to the watershed all the sockeye that still survive. To
that end I would suggest that the toal prohibition of sockeye-fishing in the waters frequented by
those produced in the Fraser River until such time as they have recovered from their depleted
condition. I suggest this though it does involve compensation to resident fishermen and canners
who can establish that they are entitled to compensation by their respective Governments. It is
fruitless to rely upon concurrent regulations in British Columbia and the State of Washington
waters. That has been tried and failed. Such efforts will continue to fail. Present commercial
and monetary considerations must be eliminated. It must be in an international way, because
it is an international question. It is one of the greatest fishery questions in which Canada and
the United States are now concerned. The only adequate, the only permanent solution of this
question, I submit, is the acquisition by Canada and the United States of all the rights in this
fishery of which they may not now be in possession. That being established, the waters should
be closed to sockeye-fishing for such a period of time as is necessary to restore the runs to the
abundance of former big years. When that has been accomplished, let fishing be resumed under
supervision and for the benefit of the two nations until such time as they have been recouped for
their expenditures, and thereafter in such manner and to the end that the supply may not
again become depleted.
I submit, gentlemen, that the Governments of Canada and the United States should recognize
that the conditions confronting them demand such treatment. There is no gainsaying the
evidence. The watershed of the Fraser River will, when adequately protected, produce more
sockeye salmon than any known watershed. It produced in 1913 2,300,000 cases. In the three
following lean years it produced an average of but 267,000 cases per year. Being in possession
of a watershed capable of producing 2,300,000 cases a year, can any Government be content
with conditions by which but 267,000 cases are produced, and the continuance of which will
entirely destroy any production whatever? The evidence in the case is conclusive—it is
undisputed; the fishery is in a precarious condition. There is, however, a difference of opinion
as to the remedies to be applied. I submit that those best qualified to speak have made it plain
that no temporary measures will produce desired results. The races of sockeye that frequent
the Fraser cannot be restored by any half-way measure. To allow the destruction of the
sockeye-fisheries of the Fraser River would be an unnatural, immoral, and unpatriotic policy.
The questions here involved are similar to those in the fur-seal case. They are international
in character, and not Provincial or State questions, and must be dealt with upon broad national
lines and in the interests of the people of Canada and the United States.
Faithfully yours,
Wm. Sloan,
Commissioner of Fisheries for British Columbia.
[Note.—Since the above representations were made we have had two seasons' fishing on
the Fraser River and results have shown the decline in pack to be even more serious than
predicted.    The run of 1918 produced but 70,000 cases and that of 1919 will not be greater.]
(Exhibit 2.)
HOUSE OF COMMONS DEBATES.    Mr.  SLOAN, COMOX-ATLIN.    *
(Hansard, January 18th, 1907, page 1722.)
" Dixon Entrance, more especially that portion to the south of the line and approaching
Graham Island, is the most valuable halibut-fishery ground which we have, is being daily invaded
by American fishermen, and unless prompt measures are taken to effectively patrol these waters
the constant inroads will seriously deplete this very valuable territory. The halibut-fishing in
Dixon Entrance is carried on without regard to the spawning season or the observance of
conditions necessary to a continuous supply, and it is being urged that regulations be enacted and 10 Geo. 5 Memorandum re Salmon-fishery Regulations. U 73
enforced with a view to prolonging and maintaining unimpaired the present commercial value
of these very important fisheries."
[Note.—No special consideration was given to this warning at that time, with the result
that Dixon Entrance is now valueless, being completely denuded of halibut. The halibut-catch
of 1918 was 14,000,000 lb. less than that of 1917, and not a pound of the 1918 catch was caught
in Dixon Entrance.]
(Exhibit 3.)
HOUSE OF COMMONS DEBATES.    Mr.  SLOAN,  COMOX-ATLIN.
(Hansard, February 27th, 1908, page 3957.)
" I have shown the value to the world of the fur-seal fisheries of the North Pacific Ocean.
" 1 have pointed out the urgency of action being taken to save this valuable animal from
total extinction.
*' 1 have suggested the Hague Tribunal as competent and unbiased to deal with this question.
" In conclusion, Mr. Speaker, the destruction of the fur-seal species would be unwarranted;
furthermore, it would be an unnatural, immoral, and unpatriotic policy.
" The protection and conservation of the fur-seals of the North Pacific Ocean is an obligation
due posterity by the nations of to-day, ivho are directly responsible and directly interested.
" This question is not one that can be settled on lines 'of selfish consideration. It can only
be settled by compromise and generous broad patriotic statesmanship."
[Note.—This long-outstanding and contentious question was finally adjusted without
reference to the Hague Tribunal, and mainly along lines indicated at that time, and with
most satisfactory results to the preservation of the fur-seals.]
(Exhibit 4.)
EXCERPTS FROM THE FISHING GAZETTE, NEW YORK,  DECEMBER,  1919, PAGE 28.
" Charles D. Garfield, Alaska Fish Commissioner, recently told cannerymen that the fishing
industry in the territory would be completely demoralised within a very few years unless drastic
restrictions are immediately placed in effect to allow sufficient fish to escape to the spawning-
streams. Mr. Garfield's address was given at a hearing conducted in the assembly-room of the
Seattle Chamber of Commerce by the Department of Commerce on proposed legislative measures
designed to exclude fishing in all of the streams and lakes of Alaska and in waters tributary to
their mouths.
" For the last fifteen years the Government has been endeavouring to replenish the supply by
building hatcheries and distributing salmon-fry. So far not a single instance has been recorded
where these fish return to propagate in the waters in which they were released, and the fact
seems well established that the efforts of the Government have proved a failure.
" It took 100,000,000 salmon to complete the packs of Alaska's 135 canneries during the
years 1917 and 1918. Within a few years these institutions will for the most part be scrapped
and the industry ruined unless strict protective measures are adopted."
(Exhibit 5.)   '
Nos. 32 & 33.
VOTES AND PROCEEDINGS OF THE LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA.
Friday, 14th March, 1919.
Mr. McGeer presented an interim report from the. Select Committee appointed under
Resolutions of the 20th and 24th days of February, 1919, to deal with schemes and suggestions
made with a view to rehabilitating soldiers, as follows:—
Mr. Speaker :
Your Select Committee was attended by Deputy Commissioner of Fisheries Babcock; and
upon hearing Mr. Babcock and upon making further investigation, your Select Committee is of
the opinion that in formulating measures for the rehabilitating of soldiers full consideration
should be given to the fisheries, for two main reasons, the first being that your Committee .
U 74 Report of the Commissioner of Fisheries. 1920
believes that the fishing industry, if properly developed, would provide employment for a large
number of returned men, and the second was that by the proper development of that industry
the high cost of living problem would be solved in a measure in at least one of its many phases.
While your Committee made some investigation into the possibilities of the returned soldier
engaging in what is known as the " salmon-fishing industry " in such places as the Fraser River
and elsewhere, your Committee is not of the opinion, in view of the condition of that industry,
that it presents the best possibilities for the successful employment of returned men, the reason
for such conclusion being that it is the opinion of your Committee that a policy of conservation
is at once necessary to re-establish that industry so that it may be made one of profitable
possibilities for those engaging in it. For instance, your Committee ascertained the fact that
in 1918 the total catch of sockeye salmon in the Fraser River was 75,000 cases, as compared
with 553,000 cases which were captured in 1914, the brood-year of the 1918 run. It is the
opinion of your Committee that similar depletions are being made on the Nass River, Rivers
Inlet, and most of the minor sockeye waters.
Your Committee also ascertained that in connection with the halibut-fishing carried on on
this Coast the 1918 catch shows a decrease of 14,000,000 lb. Your Committee, in view of the
provisions of the " British North America Act" and subsequent legal interpretation of that
Act, making it obligatory that the Dominion Government assume the full protection and
encouragement of the fisheries of this Province, and in view of the fact that a direct revenue
during the past ten years has been collected by the Dominion Government of between $45,000
and $50,000 a year, and under the new provisions as provided in the regulations recently issued
by the Dominion Government that revenue is to be increased to $250,000 a year, deems it
advisable that the Government of the Province of British Columbia should recommend to the
Dominion Government in definite terms the necessity of developing the fishing industry in the
Province of British Columbia along lines which will mean the engaging of large numbers of
returned men, and at the same time amply protect that industry from depletion and ultimate
destruction.
With reference to deep-sea fishing, your Committee ascertained that deep-sea trawling had
been conducted out of the ports of British Columbia in 1917 and 1918 on a profitable basis,
and that the ■ operations afforded evidence of an ample wealth of food-fish to provide the
possibilities of the development of an industry as yet practically unexploited. The extent of
possible profitable employment in such an Industry is evidenced by the facts shown by the
operation of a trawler known as the " James Carruthers." This trawler was operated out of
Prince Rupert in 1918, and made a total of forty-nine trips, making in all 151 days. The
approximate catch was 2,000,000 lb., consisting of flounders, sole, witch, brill, and other fish.
The amount which each fisherman received for the season's work was approximately $2,000
during the operation of the boat. It is understood that the boat was inactive for a period of
six weeks owing to the fact that no cold-storage facilities were available to handle the catch.
Your Committee also found that a considerable amount of training is necessary before a man
should engage in this particular occupation, and that more vessels of a suitable type would be
necessary.
In the light of the above facts, your Committee humbly recommends that the Government of
the Province of British Columbia urge upon the Dominion Government the establishment on the
Pacific Coast of a trawling-school for the training of men to engage in deep-sea trawl-fishing by
providing a number of suitable vessels equipped for deep-sea fishing officered by experienced
navigators, engineers, and fishermen, who would act in the capacity of instructors, and to whom
returned soldiers could be apprenticed for instruction in navigation, the operation of steam and
gas engines, care, casting, and hauling of trawling-nets, and the dressing, storing, curing,
packing, and shipment of fish; the men during their apprenticeship to be paid a proper living
wage and to be given a bonus from the ship's earnings after capital expenditure had been
provided for. It is believed by your Committee that, well managed, such an operation would
be sufficiently profitable to furnish the means of operation and maintenance, and create a
sinking fund that would reimburse the Government and permit the vessel to be transferred to
organizations of the men who would be desirous of operating on their own behalf in the course
of time. It is the opinion of your Committee that at the present time there is room for ten
such training-ships on the Pacific Coast of Canada, each of which could provide training for
at lease twenty-five apprentices. Such a school, it is believed by your Committee, could be
directed  and   operated   in   connection   with   the   Naval   Training   School   now   established   at 10 Geo. 5 Memorandum re Salmon-fishery Regulations. U 75
Esquimalt. In further connection w7ith the deep-sea fishing industry, it is the opinion of your
Committee that the Dominion Government should establish at suitable places in the Province,
such as Prince Rupert, Vancouver, and Victoria, fish curing, packing, and marketing schools
for the practical training of overseas men in the curing, packing, and marketing of fish, and
through which the catches of the trawlers could be distributed. Your Committee is of the
opinion that such a proposal, if established, would mean the development of an industry through
which it would be possible to distribute fish not only in the Province of British Columbia, but
throughout the North-west, as far as and including the Province of Manitoba.
Your Committee further recommends that, in the event of the Dominion Gover-nment not
seeing its way clear to inaugurate and maintain such a training-school or to lay down some
broad lines for the development along lines of conservation, the Dominion Government be
requested to turn over the entire fisheries of the Province of British Columbia to the Government
of the Province of British Columbia, by way.of leasing such fishing grounds or areas to the
Province; and in the event of such being done by the Dominion your Committee humbly
recommends that the Government of this Province take into its consideration the advisability
of laying down a policy embracing the putting into effect and the carrying-out of the recommendations hereinbefore made.
G. G. McGeer.
The report was received.
Ordered, That the report be considered on Tuesday next.
[Note.—This important resolution received unanimous support of the British Columbia
Legislature. It points out urgent necessity for conservation, deals with inadequate cold-storage
facilities, lays down proposals to assist returned soldiers by engaging in trawling industry. So
far as known, no consideration has yet been given this resolution.] ,
U 76 Report of the Commissioner of Fisheries. 1920
THE FRASER RIVER SALMON SITUATION:   A RECLAMATION PROJECT.
i Br John Pease Babcock.
The sockeye-salmon fishery of the Fraser River system was formerly the world's greatest
salmon-fishery. The run of salmon in those waters was greater every fourth year than in any
other waters. This fishery is no longer a great fishery. A discriminating study of the significant
facts in the development and decline of this fishery demonstrates the necessity of dealing with
them at once in an international way. These facts have been fully established, are uo longer
questioned, and should be more generally understood.
The restoration of the sockeye-salmon fishery of the Fraser River system is the greatest, and
at the same time the least expensive, reclamation project in which Canada and the United
States can jointly engage, and if adequate measures are adopted its success is certain.
It is the purpose of this paper to briefly set forth what the sockeye-salmon fishery of the
Fraser River system was, what it is to-day, and what it may again become by judicious
conservation.
The prominent facts In the history of the sockeye-fishery may be stated as follows:—
(1.) The waters of the Fraser River system as defined in the treaty between Great Britain
and the United States include all the fishing-waters in the Province of British Columbia and in
the State of Washington which are frequented by sockeye salmon in their migration from the
Pacific Ocean to the spawning-beds of the Fraser River basin. They include Juan de Fuca,
Rosario, and Haro Straits, and the other American estuary waters leading into the Gulf of
Georgia, and the waters of that gulf as well as the channels of the Fraser River up to Mission
Bridge in British Columbia.
(2.) Fishing for sockeye began commercially in the channels of the Fraser in British
Columbia in 1876. It was extended to the waters of the Gulf of Georgia immediately outside
the mouths of the river in 1890. Fishing for sockeye began in the State,of Washington waters
in 1891, with the installation of traps in the^viciuity of Point Roberts. Traps became an
important factor in 1897. Purse-nets came into use in American waters in 3901 and in recent
years have greatly increased in number. During the period of 1900 to 191S, when the industry
was at its height, the catch' of sockeye in Canadian waters produced a pack of 5,030,730 cases.
During the same period the catch in American waters gave a pack of 7,382,343 cases. A combined
total pack of 12,413,073 cases, of which the Canadians produced 40 per cent, and the Americans
00 per cent.
(3.) Dr. C. H. Gilbert, of Stanford University, in his " Contributions to the Life-history of
the Sockeye" (see British Columbia Fisheries Reports, 1913 to 1918), has demonstrated by
scale-reading that the sockeye that.run in the Fraser River system are hatched in the watershed
of that river in British Columbia, live for the first year or more of their lives in its lake
waters, then migrate to the sea, where they remain and grow until the summer of their fourth
year, and then seek to return to the Fraser River basin in order to spawn, and after spawning
die.*    Dr. Gilbert's findings are unquestioned by any authority.
(4.) The Fraser River basin formerly produced more sockeye salmon every fourth year—
known as the " big year "—than any other known river-basin, and even in the following years—
known as the " small years "—produced runs of commercial importance.
* There are, however, exceptional cases in which fish   proceed   to   sea   immediately  on   hatching,   and
there are certain proportions which  return in their third and fifth year. I
10 Geo. 5
Fraser River Salmon Situation.
IT 77
The following statement gives the entire pack of sockeye in American and Canadian waters
of the Fraser River system for the years 1891 to 1919, inclusive:—
Sockeye-salmon Pack of Fkaser River System, 1891 to 1919, inclusive. .
Year.
Canadian Waters.
American Waters.
Total.
1891   	
L892   	
Cases.
176,954
79,715
457,797
363.967
395,984
356,984
860,459
256,101
480.485
229.800
928,669
293,477
204,809
72,688
837,489
183,007
62,617
74,574
585.435
150,432
62,817
128,879
736.661
198,183
91.130
27.394
148.164
19,697
34,068
Cases.
5,538
2.954
47,852
41,791
65,143
72^)79
312.048
252,000
499,646
22S.704
1.105.096
339,556
167,211
123.419
847.122
182.241
96,974
155,218
1,005,120
234,437
126,950
183.896
1.664.S27
336,251
64,584
78,476
411.538
50,723
64,346
Cases.
182,492
82,669
505 649
1893   	
1894   	
1895   	
1896   	
1897   	
1898   	
1899   	
1900   	
1901   	
1902   	
405.758
461,127
429,963
1,172.507
508,101
980.131
458,504
2,033.765
633,033
372,020
1903   	
1904   	
1906   	
1907   	
1908   	
L909   	
1910   	
1911   	
1912   	
1913   	
1914   	
1915   	
1916   	
1917   	
196,107
1,684,611
365.248
159,591
229,792
1,590.555
384,869
189,767
307,775
2,401,488
534,434
155,714
105,870
559,702
1918   	
1919   	
70,420
98,414
Totals    	
8,493,436
8,766,640
17,260,076
The foregoing table gives a complete record for six four-year cycles and for the first two
years of the present cycle. The outstanding features therein shown are: (1) The great packs
made every fourth year; (2) the comparatively small packs made in the three intervening
years; (3) the gradual but pronounced decline iu the runs in the small years; and (4) the
startling decline in the pack in the last big year, 1917.
As far back as written records exist, a phenomenally big run of sockeye to the Fraser is
shown every fourth year. All the early explorers record it, and quote the Indians as saying
it had always existed. It has been a characteristic peculiar to the Fraser and unknown in any
other river. Up to 1917 the Fraser River District produced more sockeye every fourth year
than the combined catches made in Alaskan waters during all but one of those years, as the
following statement shows:—
The Sockeye-salmon Pack or the Fraser River System and in Alaska.
Year.
Alaska.
Fr
aser River System
1901  	
Cases.
1,319.335
1,574.428
1,705,302
2,484,881
Cases.
2,033,765
1,684,611
1,590,555
559,702
1905 	
1909  	
1917 	
(5.) The sockeye-salmon runs to the Fraser River system in the big years have been
alarmingly depleted, and the runs in the small years are no longer of commercial importance.
Both are threatened with extinction. U 78 Report of the Commissioner of Fisheries. 1920
Complete records exist of conditions on both the fishing and the spawning grounds of the
Fraser system since 1900. The record of the pack shows the catch, because the entire catch is
marketed in tins. The number of fishermen employed and the amount of gear used are also
recorded. There are adequate data also for a comparison of conditions on the spawning-beds
since 1900. Dr. Gilbert, in " The Sockeye Run on the Fraser River,"* says: " No other sockeye-
stream has received such close and discriminating study. Annual inspection has been made of
the spawning-beds of the entire watershed, and predictions of the run four years hence have
been fearlessly made. It is a matter of record how consistently these prophecies have been
fulfilled." The observations of conditions on the spawning-beds have been made by the same
observer since 1900.
The records for the fishing-grounds show that the runs of sockeye to the Fraser River
system in the big years 1901, 1905, 1909, and 1913 produced an average pack of 1,927,602 cases,
and that in 1917, the last year in the cycle of big years, it produced a pack of but 559,732 cases,
or 70 per cent, less than the average of the four preceding big years. The startling decrease in
1917 is due to the fact that the great spawning runs of 1913 did not reach the spawning-beds
of the upper section of the Fraser basin, for the reason that the river's channel at Hell's .Gate
was blocked by a great slide of rock following the construction of the Canadian Northern Pacific
Railway through the canyon of the Fraser. A tunnel was driven through the rock cliff that
overhangs the narrow channel immediately above Hell's Gate. During the spring of 1913 the
action of frost caused a section of that cliff, including a portion of the tunnel, to slide into the
river's channel, which formed an obstruction that the main portion of the run of fish could not
get over. After frantic and continued efforts to surmount the obstruction the fish became
exhausted, and were swept down-stream by the rapid current, where they died in the channels
below without having spawned.
The British Columbia Fisheries Report for 1913 states that the number of sockeye that
escaped capture on the fishing-grounds, and that later reached Hell's Gate that year, was fully
as great, if not greater, than in the four preceding big years. The conditions created at the
principal spawning-beds of the Fraser by the obstruction is told in the following excerpt from
the report of John P. Babcock, in the British Columbia Fisheries Report for 1913:—
" I feel fully justified from my investigations in concluding that the number of sockeye which
passed above the fishing limits was as great this year as any preceding big year of which we
have a record, and I think even greater. The sockeye made their appearance in the canyon above
Tale in June, and during the high waters of that month and July large numbers passed through
to Quesnel and Chilko Lakes. The greater proportion of the run of sockeye in late July, and in
August and September, was blockaded in the canyon by rock-obstructions placed in the channel,
incident to the construction of the Canadian Northern Pacific Railroad, so that few were able .
to pass through during that time. No humpbacks succeeded in passing through the canyon.
The blasting of temporal-}7 passage-ways enabled a large proportion of the sockeye run of
October and November to pass through the canyon. In August sockeye were seen drifting
down-stream, between Hell's Gate and Yale; the movement was very pronounced in September,
and continued until the middle of October. The streams which enter the Fraser between
Hell's Gate and Agassiz were filled with sockeye from the middle of August until the end of
October, while they had not been observed in those streams in previous years. Very few sockeye
spawned in any of these streams and most of them died without spawning. Great numbers of
dead sockeye, which had died without spawning, were found on the bars and banks of the Fraser
between Yale and Agassiz in September and October. The number which reached Quesnel Lake
was little more than an eighth of the number which entered that lake in 1909. The run to
Chilko Lake was equally small. The sockeye run to Seton Lake was 30,000, as against 1,000,000
in 1909. The August and September run of sockeye to Shuswap and Adams Lakes was much
less than in any former big year, and the Octobej- and November run was also less. The
sockeye-eggs collected there this year totalled but 9,000,000, as against 27,500,000 four years
ago and 18,000,000 in 1905. The run to Lillooet Lake was less than in any recent year. Finally,
the run to Harrison Lake was slightly better than in 1909.
" These facts, in my opinion, warrant the conclusion that the number of sockeye which
spawned in the Fraser River watershed this year was not sufficient to make the run four years
hence even approximate the runs of either 1905, 1909, or 1913."
* British Columbia Fisheries Report,  1917. 10 Geo.
Fraser River Salmon Situation.
The disastrous effect of the 1913 blockade was manifested on both the fishing and spawning
grounds in 1917, since the run in the latter year was the product of the 1913 spawning. The
catch of 1917 produced a pack of but 559,732 cases as against 2,401,488 cases, or 76 per cent,
less than in 1913, notwithstanding the fact that more fishermen and more gear were employed
than in 1917 and the'price paid for fish was higher.
Small as was the catch of 1917, too great a proportion of the run of that year was captured.
That is, a sufficient number of fish were not permitted to reach the spawning area. In place
of the millions of sockeye that reached Hell's Gate in 1913, only hundreds of thousands reached
there in 1917. The obstructions having been removed, the fish had no difficulty in passing
through to the spawning-beds above. The numbers that passed through in 1917 were far less
than in 1913, notwithstanding the blockade of the latter year. In place of the 4,000,000 that
entered Quesnel Lake in 1909 and the 552,000 that entered its waters in 1913, less than 27,000
passed into that great spawning area in 1917, and the numbers that reached all the other great
lake sections were proportionately less than in 1913.* The number of sockeye that reached the
Fraser basin in 1917 was not, in most sections, greater than in some recent small years. The
result of the spawning in 1917 will not produce in 1921 a run even approximately as great as
that of 1917. In other words, it may be expected to be very much less. The great run of the
big years was destroyed by the 1913 blockade. The remnant of that run cannot withstand the
drain made upon it in 1917. It is already so small that it must hereafter be classed with the
runs in the small years. And like the runs in the small years it will be completely wiped out
if present conditions shall continue.
The runs of sqckeye to the Fraser system iu the small years are no longer of commercial
importance.   Dr. Gilbert, in his article entitled "The Sockeye Run on the Fraser River,"f says:—
"The history of the Fraser River sockeye runs show unmistakably that the three small
years of each four-year cycle were overfished early in the history of the industry. During the
early years, when fishing was confined to the regions about the mouth of the river and drift-nets
alone were employed, no evidence exists of overfishing. The last cycle in which these conditions
obtained was 1894-96. During each of the small years of that cycle (1894, 1895, and 1896)
there were packed approximately 350,000 cases on the Fraser River and about 60,000 cases in
Puget Sound. During each of those years, therefore, about 5,000,000 sockeye were taken
from the spawning run and used for commercial purposes. It should have been considered
at that time an open question whether enough salmon to keep the runs going had been permitted
to escape to the spawning-grounds. Apparently, however, a third of a million cases a year
could be safely spared, for the following cycle shows no decrease. If from the beginning tile
pack had been limited to a third of a million cases for each small year, apparently the runs
would still have continued in their primitive abundance.
"During the following period of four years (1897, 1898, 1899, and 1900) the traps on Puget
Sound became an important matter. While the British Columbia pack shows little or no
reduction, it was met by a pack on Puget Sound which nearly equalled it. The total captures
during the three off-years of this cycle nearly doubled those of the preceding years and exacted
an average toll of about 10,000,000 fish from the spawning run of those years. The total pack of
the three small years of this cycle was over 2,000,000 cases.
" The result was quickly apparent. If 5,000,000 fish could be safely spared, this figure
nevertheless must have been near the upper limit of safety, for when 10,000,000 fish were
abstracted the small years of the following cycle showed such a marked decline as to indicate
that we had far overstepped the line of safety. It was then during the cycle of 1897-1900 that
the first serious damage was done to the sockeye run of the Fraser River. By doubling the
pack of the three small years, not only was the surplus fully taken, but the necessary spawning
reserve was seriously encroached on, with the result that in the small years of the following
cycle (1902, 1903, and 1904), in spite of the increased amount of gear employed, the pack was
cut in half, while tbe spawning-beds at the same time were but sparsely seeded.
" The inevitable and disastrous trend of events should have been evident to the dullest. But
the parties in interest refused to hold their hands and proceeded with the slaughter of the
spawning remnant. The result was quickly apparent. In 1902, 1903, and 1904 the total
sockeye-pack of the Fraser (river system) was cut to 1,200,000 cases, and in succeeding years
* British  Columbia  Fisheries Report,  1917, page  21.
t British Columbia E'isheries Report, 1917, pages 113-14. U 80
Report of the Commissioner of Fisheries.
1920
it has suffered still further reduction. The pack of the three small years never again equalled
1,000,000 cases. In 1986-8 it was 750,000 cases; 1910-12. 880,000 cases; in 1914-16, 796,000.
And with each year the amount of gear employed has increased by leaps and bounds. The small
years of the present cycle may be expected to register a smaller total than any which have
gone before."
The total catch of sockeye in the Fraser River system in the past two small years of the
present cycle demonstrates the correctness of Dr. Gilbert's forecast. The catch of 191S produced
a pack of but 70,420 cases, as against 534,434 cases in the preceding fourth year; and the catch
in 1919 gave a pack of but 84,003 eases, as against 155,714 cases in 1915.
The evidence of the decline in the runs of sockeye in the Fraser River system is overwhelming. The runs in all years have already become so depleted that it is evident that under
existing conditions the sockeye will be exterminated within a short period.
(6.) The Fraser fliver basin has an area of 90,903 square miles. It contains sixteen great
lakes that have a total area of 2,351 square miles. No other river on the Pacific Coast drains
so extensive an area of lake-water adapted to the propagation and rearing of sockeye. In the
past it has produced greater runs of sockeye than any other river because this great spawning
area was abundantly seeded every fourth year. It has been shown that sockeye spawn in
streams tributary to lakes and on the shoals of lakes, and that their young remain in the
lake-waters for a year or more after hatching and then migrate to the sea. Knowing that the
sockeye were bred in the watershed of the Fraser, we therefore know that the great runs of
sockeye in the big years 1901, 1905, 1909, and 1913 originated there. The runs of those years
produced an average pack of 1,927,602 cases and at the same time afforded in the first three
named years a sufficient number to seed the entire spawning area. Therefore the amount of
the average pack of the big years 1901, 1905, 1909, and 1913 may be safely taken from the run
without an overdraft, whenever the spawning-beds are as abundantly seeded as they were in
1901, 1905, and 1909. The spawning area of the Fraser has not been lessened or injured. Its
spawning-beds have not been damaged or interfered with by settlement, factories, mining, or
irrigation. Its gravel-beds and shoals are as extensive and as suitable for spawning as they
ever were. Its lake-waters are as abundantly filled as ever with the natural food for the
development of young sockeye. The channels of the Fraser are open and free to the passage
of fish. All that is required to reproduce the great runs of the past Is a sufficient number of
spawning fish to seed the beds as abundantly as they were seeded in 1901, 1905, and 1909, and in
former big years.    The fishery cannot be restored in any other way.
Neither Canada nor the United States acting singly can provide measures that will ensure
the seeding of the spawning-beds of the Fraser. That can only be done by concurrent action.
Joint and uniform regulations that will afford free passage for the fish through both Canadian
and American waters must be provided and made effective. Sufficient fish must be permitted to
pass through the fishing-waters and to reach and seed the beds. The interests of both Canada
and the United States in this question are great. It is not alone a Canadian question. It is
not alone an American question. It is an international question, and cannot be dealt with
except in au international way. Recognizing these facts, both Great Britain and the United
States, as far back as 1908, signed a convention dealing with the Fraser River situation. This
convention failed to receive the approval of the United States Senate and was withdrawn. But,
as we have already seen, in the years that followed matters went from bad to worse, and in
1918 an International Commission was established, consisting of the Honourable Sir J. D. Hazen,
Chief Justice of New Brunswick, G. J. Desbarats, Deputy Minister of Naval Service, Ottawa,
and "William A. Found, Superintendent of Fisheries for the Dominion of Canada, representing
Great Britain; and the Honourable Wm. C. Redfield, Secretary of Commerce and Labour of
the United" States, Edward F. Sweet, Assistant Secretary of Commerce and Labour, Washington,
D.C., and Dr. Hugh M. Smith, Commissioner of Fisheries for the United States, representing the
United States. The Commission held sittings in Seattle, Wash., and Vancouver, B.C., during
the summer of 1918, and in the fall of that year embodied in a report to their respective
Governments their unanimous findings, which resulted in the convention of 1919. That
convention provides for " the times, seasons, and methods of sockeye-salmon fishing in the
Fraser River system " and for " the conduct of investigations into the life-history of the salmon,
hatchery methods, spawning-ground conditions, and other related matters " by an International
Fisheries Commission, to consist of four persons, two to be named by each of the high contracting - £
fl o
2 —
E  c
fl   to
?  ^
fl     QJ H 2,400,000
CATCH OF SOCKEYE.
1S91      170,954             5,538         182,402
1892 79,715            2,954           82,669
1893 457,797           47,852         505,049
" 1804      363,967           41,701         405,758
1895      395,984           65,143         461,127
189G      356,984           72,979         429,963
_ 1897      860,459         312,048      1,172,507
1898 256,101         252,000         508,101
1899 480,485         499,646         980,131
1900 229,800         228,704         458,504
- 1901      928,609      1,105,096      2,033,765
1902 293,477         339,556         633,033
1903 204,809         167,211         372,020
1904 72,688         123,419         196,107
" 1905      837,489         847,122      1,684,611
1906 183,007         182,241         365,248
1907 62,617           96,974         150,591
1908 74,574         155,218         229,792
1909 585,435      1,005,120      1,590,555
1910 150,432         234,437         3841869
1911 62,817         126,950         189,767
- 1912      123,879         183,896         307,775
1913 736,661      1,664,827      2,401,488
1914 198,183         336,251         534,434
1915 91,130           64,584         155,714
£
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1917 148,164         411,538
1918 19,697           50,723
1919 34,063         "50,000
559,702
70,420
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CATCH  OF  SOCKEYE  SALMON.
Fraser River System, 4891 to 1919, inclusive.  10 Geo. 5
Fraser River Salmon Situation.
U 81
parties, and that the convention shall remain in force for fifteen years, and thereafter for two
years from the date when either shall give notice of desire to terminate it. The convention has
been signed by both Governments, approved by the Canadian Government, and is now awaiting
the approval of the United States Senate.
The American Government up to 1918 had expended $125,000,000 on capital account to
reclaim 1,100,000 acres of arid lands. The 100,000 persons that lived on the 25,000 farms of that
area in 1917 produced a crop worth $50,000,000. The lake-waters of the Fraser River basin
cover an area of 1,514,000-acres that when seeded by spawning sockeye as abundantly as they
were seeded in 1897, 1901, 1905, and 1909 will produce annually a run of sockeye salmon from
which may be taken sufficient fish to fill 1,927,002 cases, worth $30,000,000, without an overdraft
on the run. The 1,514,000 acres of spawning area of the Fraser River basin are now almost
as non-productive as were the 1,100,000 acres of arid lands of the United States before that
Government expended $125,000,000 to bring them under cultivation. The spawning area of the
Fraser basin requires no expenditure to bring it into bearing. Appropriations for capital
expenditure and upkeep are not required. The workers do not require dwellings or implements.
Cultivation is unnecessary. If permitted to reach the beds the fish will seed them, the young
will feed themselves, furnish their own transportation to and from their feeding and maturing
ranges in the open sea. The fish will do all the work necessary to produce a crop worth
$30,000,000 a year, provided the Governments of Canada and the United States will furnish to
a sufficient number of them safe passage through the fishing-grounds of the Fraser River system.
We repeat, in conclusion, that the restoration of the sockeye-salmon fisheries of the Fraser
River system ifs the greatest reclamation project in which Canada and the United States can
jointly engage, and that, too, with the least expense and most certain results. U 82
Report of the Commissioner op Fisheries.
1920
PACK OP BRITISH COLUMBIA SALMON, SEASON 1919.
Compiled prom Data furnished tot
Department by the B.C.
Salmon Canners'
Association.
Names.
Sockeyes.
Red
Springs.
8,073
762
767
090
997
297
734
40
589
1,580
14,519
Pink and
White
Springs.
Bluebacks
and
Steelheads
Cohoes.
Pinks.
Chums.
Grand
Totals
(Cases). $
*Fraser River District—
J. II. Todd ii Sons	
J. 11. Todd & Sons (Esquimalt)
Gulf Islands Fishing-& Can. Co., Ltd.
Sidney Canning Co., Ltd	
Scjoke Harbour F'g-. & Pk. Co., Ltd.
14,274
2,015
4,405
1,613
618
801
1,789
3,859
1,442
1,693
1,535
1,491
147
1,029
1,043
3S,854
36,689
28,680
10,949
13,140
15,377
10,919
11,780
24,002
10,597
16,206
2,870
77
1,025
36
7S
10
200
5,633
332
175
1,047
717
7,318
335
384
11,478
2,048
5,870
501
5,854
3,335
3,148
41
0,239
1S9
14,065
4,524
2,131
669
4,174
1,932
3,300
129
2,1U
5,725
45
1,410
7,S20
210
409
18
1,103
4,703
15,718
57,038
12,358
4,405
1,613
61.8
801
1,789
21,047
Glen Rose Canning Co., Ltd	
12,018
8,104
9,082
Canadian Fishing Co., Ltd	
11,009
14,174
4,296
15,941
39,253
39,363
23,508
14,755
12,092
6,040
11,004
11,884
0,074
10,852
7,141
14,353
167,944
Skeena River District—
Anglo B.C. Packing Co., Ltd	
4,271
1,538
7,305
596
1,331
9S8
702
019
1,602
759
2,266
1,024
1,026
169
261
332
299
804
99
1,177
353
231
100
315
238
252
10,424
2,390
12,025
1,150
3.S04
1,505
448
1,031
1,085
1,425
7,200
8,598
874
910
542
1,501
353
802
2,932
7.6S5
86,595
57,350
44,871
21,842
32,485
33,304
B.C. Canning Co., Ltd	
Canadian Fish & Cold Stor. Co., Ltd.
24,101
40,779
1S4.945
19,661
0,280.
2,672
2
30,559
1,428
54
202
3,078
1,325
1,255
0
1,030
117,303
383
40
109
1,440
30
5
289
4,230
31,457
2,400
70
79
1,741
519
1,204
353
717
398,877
Rivers Inlet District—
15,510
5,489
6,883
.6,387
7,247
5,187
4,262
7,293
288
12
363
79
110
40
58
S5
204
55
43
10
50
20,067
6,744
6,345   -
12,634
9,404
7,804
4,908
13,401.
Anglo B.C. Packing Co., Ltd	
J. H. Todd & Sons	
B.C. Canning Co., Ltd..'.	
56,258
5.S93
8,399
0,232
4,092
3,043
DOT
093
286
472
900
57
2,408
5,075
1,808
022
66
1,010
404
88
451
775
9,446
7,004
212
915
28,476
806
667
75
404
71
59
3,058
800
1,308
475
442
236
354
134
1,100
1,170
343
425
09
S7
752
195
208
'      344
1,072
1,553
533
1S6
7,537
3,886
2,522
19
249
224
718
7,618
2
9,038
6,538
2,197
9,760
4,478
11,342
2,172
7,089
901
8,313
2,779
10,610
1,378
80,367
Nass River District—
Anglo B.C. Packing Co., Ltd	
Northern B.C. Fisheries, Ltd	
Western Salmon Packers, Ltd	
280
200
221
88
1,488
1,265
2,331
4,521
1,295
10,900
11,954
28,459
16,867
32,065
8,167
Totals	
28,259
2,498
1,379
2,605
10
789
29,949
24,041
97,512
Vancouver Island District—
J. H. Todd & Sons	
4,191
479
95
1,034
2,246
12,000
7,552
3,004
155
1,220
170
1,352
1,161
3,231
303
3,179
2,088
8,295
1,214
44,984
8,391
4,647
2,714
1,127
747
7,578
6,508
358
256
3,010
34,930
14,900
3,871
10,407
1,216
696
3.4S8
09
28
8,514
37
2,200
38,030
7,024
1,896
3,353
7,411
4,050
1,719
3,744
11,356
35,042
6,889
1,729
2,371
35,345
50,231
19,137
14,511
8,235
7,676
10,008
6,005
11,122
12,916
Clayoquot Sound Canning Co., Ltd.
Nanaimo Canning & Packing, Ltd..
Redonda Canning & Cold Storage Co.
Gulf Islands Fishing & Can. Co., Ltd.
Lummi Bay Packing Co.. Ltd	
Sooke Harbour F'g. & Pk. Co., Ltd.
18,102
19,283
4,723
6,452
20,016
821
2,892
1,201
7,109
8,010
13,902
8,645
43,186
15,233
7,432
26,694
2,704
786
18,220
38,104
039
422
128,013
9,629
26,741
21,772
13,709
3,643
33,757
10,533
25,012
16,287
4,634
165,717
Outlying Districts—
19
32
283
370
63
767
5S.580
42,163
54,671
19,238
12,749
68,267
68,106
28,996
16,045
1,056
10,092
Anglo B. C. Packing Co., Ltd	
Kildala Packi ng Co., Ltd	
Ocean Packing Co., Ltd	
H. B. Babbington	
Preston Packing Co., Ltd	
Totals	
54,677
369,445
7,148
73,179
110,300
346,639
381,103
27,372
28,816
175,670
372,035
1,393,156
* Pack of sockeye credited to Fraser River run. 10 Geo. 5
Statement showing Salmon-pack of the Province.
U 83
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