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PROVINCE OF BRITISH COLUMBIA REPORT OF THE COMMISSIONER OF FISHERIES FOR THE YEAR ENDED DECEMBER 31ST,… British Columbia. Legislative Assembly [1924]

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 PROVINCE OF BRITISH COLUMBIA
EEPOET
OF   THE
COMMISSIONER OF FISHERIES
FOR THE YEAR ENDED DECEMBER 31st, 1923
WITH APPENDICES
PRINTED   by
AUTHORITY OP THE LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY.
VICTORIA, B.C.:
Printed by Chaei.es P. Banfield, Printer to the King's Most Excellent Majesty.
1924.  To His Honour Walter Cameron Nichol,
Lieutenant-Governor of the Province of British Columbia.
May it please Your Honour:
I beg to submit herewith, the Report of the Provincial Fisheries Department
for the year ended December 31st, 1923, with Appendices.
WILLIAM   SLOAN,
Commissioner of Fisheries.
Provincial Fisheries Department,
Commissioner of Fisheries' Office,
Victoria, British Columbia, December 30th, 1923. TABLE OF CONTENTS.
FISHERIES COMMISSIONER'S REPORT FOR 1923.
Page.
Value of Fisheries and Standing with other Provinces  5
Species and Value of Fish marketed  5
The Salmon-pack of 1923  6
The Salmon-pack hy Districts  6
Contribution to the Life-history of the Sockeye Salmon  7
Reports from Salmon-spawning Areas, 1923  13
APPENDICES.
Contributions to the Life-history of the Sockeye Salmon.    (Paper No. 9.)   By C. H.
Gilbert, Ph.D '.  16
The Spawning-beds of the Fraser River  41
The Spawning-beds of the Skeena Rivee  43
The Spawning-beds of the Nass River  40
The Spawning-beds of Smith Inlet  49
The Spawning-beds of Rivers Inlet'  50
The Salmon-pack of 1923 in detail  53
The Salmon-pack of the Province, 1908 to 1923, inclusive    55
The Sockeye-salmon Pack of the Fraser River System, 1908 to 1923, inclusive   58
The Sockeye-salmon Pack of the Province, by Districts, 1908 to 1923, inclusive  58 FISHERIES COMMISSIONER'S REPORT FOR 1923.
Value of Canadian Fisheries and the Standing of Provinces.
The value of the fishery products of Canada for the year 1922 totalled $41,800,210, as against
$34,931,935 in 1921 and $49,241,339 in 1920.
During the year 1922 British Columbia produced fishery products of the value of $18,849,65S,
or 45+ per cent, of the total fishery products of Canada. British Columbia again led all the
Provinces of Canada in the value of her fishery products. Her output for 1922 exceeded that
of Nova Scotia, the second in rank, by $8,640,400, and it exceeded that of all the other Provinces
combined by $12,741,294.
The capital employed in fishing and fish-curing in Canada in 1922, Including value of lands,
buildings, equipment, vessels, boats, and gear, totalled $47,764,988, of which $22,763,S13, or 47+
per cent., was employed in British Columbia.
The capital employed in agencies of fishery production in British Columbia in 1922 totalled
$22,763,813, of which $15,994,036 was invested in plants, $4,992,462 in vessels and hoats, and
$1,777,315 in fishing-gear.
The persons engaged in actual fishing in Canada in 1922 totalled 57,880 and those employed
in fish packing and curing totalled 16,577, a grand total of 74,457 persons, of whom 15,813, or
21+ per cent., were engaged in British Columbia.
British Columbia in 1922, with but 21 per cent, of the total persons engaged in the fisheries
of Canada, produced 45 per cent, of the total value of the fishery products of Canada.
In 1922 there were 6,318 persons engaged in fish packing and curing plants in British
Columbia and 9,495 in fishing, a total of 15,S13. There were 149 fish packing and curing establishments, valued at $15,994,036, and their 6,318 employees received in wages and salaries
$2,152,743.
The following statement gives in the order of their rank the value of the fishery products
of the Provinces of the Dominion for the years 1919,1920, 1921, and 1922 :—
Value of Fisheries by Provinces. 1919, 1920, 1921, and 1922.
Province.
1919.
1920.
1921.
1922.
British Columbia - -	
$25,301,607
15,171,929
4,979,074
3,410.750
4,258,731
1,536,844
1,008,717
475,797
333,330
8,800
$22,329,161
12,742,659
4,423,745
3,306,412
2,592,382
$13,953,670
9,778,623
3,690,726
3,065,042
1,815,284
924,529
1,023,107
243,018
408,868
28,988
$18,849,658
10,209,258
4,685,660
2,858,122
Quebec   ..	
2,089,414
1,612,599
908,816
Saskatchewan ..,. - - -	
2,108,257
245,337
331,239
10,107
Total -	
$41,800,210
The Species and Value of Fish caught in British Columbia.
The total value of each principal species of fish taken in British Columbia for the year
ended December 31st, 1922, is given in the following statement:—
Salmon '  $13,073,927
Halibut      3,918,441
Herring  .'  850,734
Pilchards         106,055
Cod             212,871
Black cod          119,026
Flounders, brill, etc  18.220
Carried forward.  $18,299,274 H 6 Report of the Commissioner of Fisheries. 1924
The Species and Value of Fish caught in British Columbia—Continued.
Brought forward   $18,299,274
Soles  59,505
Crabs    60,765
Clams and quahaugs   68,206
Red cod    .'  23,479
Oysters  33,081
Perch  16,404
Grayfish  10,085
Shrimps     8,201
Smelts    4,414
Octopus    3,297
Sturgeon  6,440
Skate   2,709
Oolachans   1,212
Fur-seals   18,600
Shad     232
Hake and cusk   49
Whiting        1,012
Whales     158,814
Fish-oils     22,655
Fish-meal  34.270
Fish-fertilizer     14,656
Miscellaneous  2,298
Total   $18,849,658
From the above statement it will be noted that the value of_ the salmon-fishery of British
Columbia for 1922 totalled $13,073,927, or 69 per cent, of that year's total fishery products.
The increase over 1921 in the value of salmon products was $4,496,325. The halibut-fisheries
also show an increased value over that of the previous year of $2S2,365, notwithstanding that
the total catch was not as large.
The foregoing data are derived from the " Fisheries Statistics of Canada," issued by the
Dominion Bureau of Statistics.
The Salmon-pack of 1923.
The salmon-pack of the Province in 1923 totalled 1,341,677 cases, as against 1,290,336 in
1922, 603,548 cases in 1921, 1,187,616 cases in 1920, and 1,393,156 cases in 1919. The gain in
the pack of 1923 is largely due to an increase in the catch of pink and chum salmon. Seventy
per cent, of the total pack consisted of these two species. The total pack consisted of 334,647
cases of sockeye, 27,142 cases of red and white springs, 440,932 cases of pinks, 418,055 cases of
chums, 112,044 cases of cohoe, and 8,857 cases of bluebacks and steelheads.
The 1923 Salmon-pack by Districts.
The Fraser River System.—The pack of all species of salmon in the Fraser River system in
the Province totalled 226,869 cases, and consisted of 31,655 cases of sockeye, 8,133 cases of red
and white springs, 20,173 cases of cohoe, 63,645 cases of pinks, and 103,24S cases of chums. The
pack of pinks and chums constituted 74 per cent, of all grades.
The pack of sockeye in the State of Washington waters of the Fraser River system in 1923
totalled but 47,402 cases and was the smallest ever made in that section of the system.
The pack of sockeye in the entire Fraser River system in 1923 totalled but 79,057 cases, as
against 100,398 cases in the preceding year, again showing that year after year the catch of
sockeye declines.
The Skeena River Pack.—The catch of salmon from the Skeena River in 1923 totalled
338,863 cases, as against 477,915 in 1922, 234,765 in 1921, 332,8S7 in 1920, and 398,877 in 1919.
The pack was made up of 131,731 cases of sockeye, 12,247 cases of springs, 31,967 cases of cohoe,
145,973 cases of pinks, 16,527 cases of chums, and 418 cases of steelheads. The total pack of
1923 was 139,052 cases less than in 1922.    There was a gain of 35,454 cases of sockeye and a 14 Geo. 5 British Columbia. H 7
loss of 155,682 cases of pinks. There were 900 gill-nets used on the Skeena this year, as against
1,109 in 1921 and 1,091 in 1922.
Rivers and Smith Inlets Pack.—The pack at Rivers Inlet, including 50 per cent, of the
'sockeye-catch at Smith Inlet, in 1923 totalled 132,274 cases, as against .80,367 cases in 1919 and
103,155 cases in 1918. The pack of sockeye totalled 116,850 cases. The pack of sockeye has
only been exceeded since the record high pack of 1915 by the pack of 125,742 cases in 1920.
As is usually the case at Rivers Inlet, almost the entire pack consisted of sockeye. There were
975 gill-nets engaged at Rivers Inlet in 1923, as against 1,000 in 1921 and 1,012 in 1922.
Nass River Pack.—The catch of salmon in the Nass River District produced a total pack
of 99,580 cases, consisting of 17,821 cases of sockeye, 3,314 cases of springs, 44,165 cases of pinks,
25,791 cases of chums, 7,894 cases of cohoe, and 595 cases of steelheads. The sockeye-pack was
the third smallest made in that district. It was 7,134 cases less than the average for the last
ten years. There were 244 gill-nets used on the Nass in 1923, as against 338 in 1921 and 304
in 1922.
The Mild-cured-salmon Pack of 1923.—The four mild-curing fish-packmg establishments
operated in the Province in 1923 produced 1,S19 tierces of salmon, totalling close to 1,465,200 lb.
The pack was 700 tierces less than in 1922, owing to the fact that the bulk of the catch of
springs made on the west coast of Vancouver Island was purchased by buyers who marketed
the fish in fresh state in Seattle.
Salmon marketed in Frozen State.—The four food-fish-freezing plants operated in the
Province in 1923 marketed 7,396,943 lb. of salmon. The tierced and fresh salmon "products
totalled 8,853,143 lb.
Contribution to the Life-history of the Sockeye Salmon.
f
Dr. O H. Gilbert's ninth 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 1923. We therefore have an uninterrupted
series of observations for twelve years. As it is the only extended record of the kind that has
been made of any run of fish to any water, it is of high value to the fisherman and the student.
The following is a digest of Dr. Gilbert's present paper:—
The Fraser River Sockeye Run of 1923.
After the slight recovery in. 1922 the run of sockeye to the Fraser River subsided to a still
lower level in 1923. The total product of the run amounted to 79,057 cases, of which 31,655 were
packed in British Columbia and 47,402 in Puget Sound. The Sound pack, as stated in previous
reports, includes not only the sockeye hound for the Fraser, but also those headed for the Skagit
River, in the State of Washington. The run to the Skagit, however, is not believed to he considered of importance. The number of sockeye known to have reached the spawning area of
the Skagit in 1921 was reported to be unusually large, but totalled only 7,850 fish of both sexes.
If we assume, Dr. Gilbert states, that the escapement comprised only 10 per cent, of the run—
though it probably amounted to much more than 10 per cent.—the commercial yield of the
Skagit in 1921 would be only some 7,000 cases. Not all of that can be credited to the operations
of the Baker Lake Hatchery, for there would be some yield if the brood fish had been permitted
to spawn naturally. The results of a hatchery are confined to the excess of production under
hatchery methods over that which would obtain under natural production. This should be
made the subject of vigorous investigation to ascertain whether the assumed increase of output
is sufficient to warrant the very considerable expenditure incurred in the operation of hatcheries.
The One-year-in-lake Type in 1923.—The sockeye run to the Fraser in 1923 again consisted
largely of the one-year-in-lake type. Of the total of 947 specimens examined, taken by random
sampling from the traps along the south shore of Vancouver Island, 741, or 78 per cent., belonged
to the one-year-in-lake type, while SO per cent, belonged to that group in 1922.
A conspicuous feature in the run of 1923 was the great reduction in certain races wThich were
formerly dominant and the relative increase in certain others. The Morris Creek race, the
scales of which are characterized by a large sharply defined nucleus representing the growth in
fresh water, occupied a very subordinate position, while the Birkenhead race, w7ith its small
nucleus and its very small first year's growth in the ocean (resembling in these respects the
Rivers Inlet sockeyes), formed a much more conspicuous  feature than in former years.    A characteristic scale of the Birkenhead race is reproduced in Dr. Gilbert's present paper. Such
scales were extraordinarily numerous among the 1923 samples and give a satisfactory cross-
section of the entire run. The number of males and females was remarkably even in this, as in
all the other types of the Fraser River sockeye. The 1923 samples contained 379 males and 359'
females of this type, there being a very slight excess of males in both the four- and the five-year
classes. The reverse was the case in 1922, but the difference in both years is so slight as to he
without significance. Taking all the year-classes in each group, there were in the 1923 samples
466 males and 477 females. This equality in the sexes among all the year-classes has been evident
in the Fraser River run during the twelve years in which Dr. Gilbert has had the run under
observation, and is to be considered a racial peculiarity of value in perpetuation of the salmon-
supply of the Fraser. We may contrast with it the condition in such a race as the Rivers Inlet
sockeye, in which, as Dr. Gilbert has shown, the four-year males are constantly more numerous
than the females, and the five-year females more numerous than the five-year males. In seasons
when the four-year Rivers Inlet fish greatly predominate, as was strikingly the case in 1923,
the efficiency of the spawning reserve is seriously diminished hy the relative scarcity of females,
which in 1923 constituted only 32 per cent, of the run.
The average lengths of the four-year males and females in the Fraser run of 1923 are
slightly greater than in the four years immediately preceding, but are still notably less than
the average for the five years from 1914 to 1918. Dr. Gilbert has previously adduced similar
figures to show apparent reduction in average size during recent years.
The Two-years-in-lake Type in 1923.—This group consists of individuals which reside for
two full years in fresh water before their seaward migration. It has been shown in previous
reports that they gain nothing by way of increased stature through the additional year in fresh
water. They remain in the sea the same length of time as those which migrate seawards after
a single year's lake residence. They are then no larger than the four- and five-year fish of
the one-year-in-lake group, which are one year younger but have spent the same time in the
sea. In fact, the former group at times averages even smaller, as was shown in Dr. Gilbert's
report for 1922. In less degree that was also the case in 1923, as is shown by the following
figures:—
Four years (one-year-in-lake group) :  Males, 24.3 inches;  females, 23 inches.
Five years (two-years-in-lake group) :   Males, 24.2 inches;  females, 22.9 inches.
Inasmuch, therefore, as the members of this group gain nothing by their additional year in
fresh water, and as they are during that year constantly exposed to the depredations of trout
and other enemies which must materially reduce their numbers, it is evident that the habit of
prolonged residence in the lake before migrating must be considered a very undesirable one.
Different river systems, even within the same general vicinity, vary widely in the relative
abundance of this group. In the Fraser River it has never assumed large dimensions, only
7 per cent, in 1922 and 5 per cent, in 1923. Dr. Gilbert noted for the first time in 1922 that
this group was very sparsely represented in the August part of the run, whereas in previous
years there was a well-marked increase during August. The same was the case in 1923, when
there was not only no increase in number in August, but the representation fell off materially
from that which obtained during July. It seems probable that this change in the constitution
of the run is caused by progressive impoverishment and the practical disappearance of certain
races in which the two-years-in-lake group loere most abundantly represented.
The Sea-type.—In his report for 1922 Dr. Gilbert called attention to the unusually large
representation of the members of this group in' the run of that year, of which they constituted
12 per cent. They were relatively even more numerous in 1923, forming 17 per cent, of the
run. They were not only present in larger numbers, but they made their appearance earlier in
the season than in previous years. The first were taken June 25th, one on July 2nd, and two
more on July 5th. From the latter date on they appeared throughout July and August and
five were included in a small sample on September 4th. It has been shown in previous years that
this type is produced, to the apparent exclusion of any other, by the Harrison River spawning-
beds. There are no lakes below these beds, and the areas of slack water below the spawning-
grounds are apparently too shallow to afford protection during the winter. So the young have
perforce adopted the habit of striking out for the open sea" as soon as they have absorbed the
yolk-sac and become free-swimming. Other portions of the watershed may also produce fry
which run precociously to salt water, and may share the responsibility for the apparent increase 14 Geo. 5 British Columbia. H 9
of fish to this group in the last two years, notwithstanding that no sea-type adults have been
found in other beds. Advocates of hatchery methods may contend that young liberated from
hatcheries at the time the yolk-sac is absorbed are more likely to adopt the immediate migration
habit than is the case with fry that emerge from the gravels as the result of natural propagation.
This may indeed be the fact, but there is no data bearing on the question.
The Rivers Inlet Sockeye Run of 1923.
The Rivers Inlet pack of 1923 mounted to the high level of 107,174 cases, the best exhibit
made since 1920. It comes as a welcome break, Dr. Gilbert states, in a long series of declining
runs and is the most promising indication for the future that recent years have produced.
The pack figures for 1918 and 1919, the two brood-years of 1923, gave no indication of a
successful season, being 53,401 and 56,258 cases respectively. As estimated by pack statistics,
they were thus among the very poorest seasons the inlet has ever produced. What, then, was
the origin of the very favourable run of 1923? In this case the composition of the run itself
and the reports from the spawning-beds during the brood-years are in entire harmony, and seem
to afford a wholly satisfactory answer to the question. As reported by Fishery Overseer Stone,
there was a good spawning escapement in 1917, but many of the tributaries were rendered wholly
unproductive by tremendous freshets, which scoured out the gravels and destroyed the eggs.
It seems probable that the destruction was even greater than that estimated at the time, and
was responsible for the very poor showing during the two years (1921 and 1922) when the
progeny of 1917 were due to return as mature fish.
In 1918, one of the brood-years for 1923, the spawning escapement was reported by Overseer
Stone as very deficient and unpromising. Conditions in many tributaries were most unsatisfactory. The hatchery, which in most seasons was filled to its capacity of 14,000,000 eggs,
secured but 3,000,000. In summing up the results of his investigations, Overseer Stone stated:
" I am of the opinion the serious shortage of sockeye salmon disclosed on the beds, and amounting to approximately 25 per cent, of the 1913, 1914, and 1915 runs, will have a correspondingly
serious effect on the number of adult sockeye which will return from this season's spawning."
This prophecy, Dr. Gilbert states, has been abundantly verified in the runs of 1922 and 1923.
In 1922 a portion of the 1918 progeny returned as four-year fish, and while they constituted a
relatively large proportion of the run of that year, the total run was very small. In 1923 the
remainder of the 1918 brood returned as five-year-olds, and while the run of 1923 was a large
one, the five-year component was extremely small;   191S thus contributed very little to it.
As regards the brood-year 1919, there were no reasons to anticipate any considerable yield
from it, on the basis of its commercial yield as shown by the pack statistics. We have here,
Mr. Gilbert slates, a conspicuous example of the unreliable nature of such evidence. Turning
to the reports from the spawning-beds of 1919, we find Overseer Stone emphasizing the abundance
of salmon in practically all the tributaries of the spawning area of the Rivers Inlet run. Furthermore, the Dominion Department of Fisheries had since the previous year removed the log-jams
which obstructed the mouths of some of the most important spawning-streams, and had thus
opened up miles of spawming-grouuds. Mr. Stone states that the exceptionally large number
of sockeye salmon observed on the beds and schooled up in tens of thousands in the deeper
portions of the tributaries precluded the opinion generally expressed by canners that the run
of that year was a small one, and he expresses the belief that the spawning-beds were as
abundantly seeded as in 1914 (S9.S90 cases) and more so than in 1915 (130,350 eases). On that
basis he concluded that a favourable return should be expected in 1923 and 1924.
No more striking example could he found of the high value of the inspection of the
spaw7ning-beds of all the important sockeye-rivers of British Columbia, •which was inaugurated
by the Provincial Fisheries Department in 1902. The Rivers Inlet pack of 1923 was one of the
largest in the history of the river, and it was comprised to a very exceptional degree of four-
year fish derived from the spawning of 1919. The five-year component from the 1919 hatching
is due in 1924, and the Rivers Inlet is pre-eminently a five-year stream. If these fish appear
in their customary proportions and are accompanied by the four-year fish that may justly be
expected from the almost unexampled spawning of 1920, there will be a satisfactory run in 1924.
In this connection it is interesting to note that in 1920 Mr. Stone was impressed by the large
size of the spawning fish. The analysis of that season's run indicated that 95 per cent, of it
consisted of fish in their fifth year, and it is to be remembered that in five-year fish of the Rivers H 10 Report op the Commissioner of Fisheries. 1924
Inlet race the females are constantly in excess of the males, a condition much more favourable
to successful spawning than where the males are in the majority. In 1919 the same observer
called attention to the reverse condition, when the spawning fish w7ere unusually small and the
males outnumbered very largely the females, there being in some streams as many as three
males to one female. The analysis of the run in 1919 determined that the five-year fish constituted but 54 per cent., instead of the 95 per cent, as in the following year.
The samples from which Dr. Gilbert made these estimates were chosen at random, without
selection, from gill-net fish captured for commercial purposes. Taken in that way at frequent
intervals during the entire run, they afford a satisfactory basis for estimating the contents of
the season's catch. But neither the commercial catch nor the spawning escapement have the
same constitution as the untouched run when it first approaches the mouth of the inlet. The
use of gill-nets of a certain mesh effectually screens out the larger sizes in undue proportion
and permits larger numbers of the smaller fish to escape to the spawning-grouhds. All the Rivers
Inlet three-year males (grilse) pass through the nets and are a detriment rather than an aid
on the spawning-beds, where they have no useful function. The total result of limiting the size
of the mesh by law is to ensure propagation to an undesirable extent from the smaller fish, which
consist of the three-year-olds, which are all males, the four-year-olds, and the stunted five-year-
olds. The four-year-olds contain a considerable proportion of excess males which are wholly
useless on the spawning-beds and were better caught and put in tins. The common practice of
limiting by law the size of mesh in spckeye gill-nets is not a conservation measure and may,
Dr. Gilbert states, result detrimentally. As all members of the sockeye spawning run die at
the close of the spawning season, it cannot be in the interest of conservation to save from capture
the smaller individuals. It were far better to permit the fishermen to employ any mesh they
consider most effective, and then secure an adequate escapement by some other method.
Among the many distinct racial peculiarities of the runs to the different sockeye-streams,
that of size is the most prominent and most easily observed. To one acquainted with the
appearance of the fish brought into the canneries,from the large rivers and from the smaller
streams of British Columbia and the adjacent districts of Alaska, the characteristic size attained
from year to year by the various colonies would alone be sufficient demonstration of the independence of the runs and the prevalence of the habit of returning to the home stream at
maturity. It was, Dr. Gilbert states, ignorance of the facts in this connection which led to the
denial of the existence of independent races by certain scientists who early concerned themselves
with this question. The conclusions reached on the basis of characteristic size and general
appearance have now been supplemented by evidence of other racial differences in colour and
quality of flesh, and in the prevalence of certain racial habits and tendencies, concerning which
Dr. Gilbert's information has been derived wholly from microscopic examination, of the scales.
The total result has been such complete demonstration of the existence and distinctness of
sockeye colonies that the conclusion is universally accepted, and the question is no longer in
controversy.
There is almost certainly a small percentage of strays from one colony to another. Spring
salmon planted many years ago in a certain river in New Zealand have gradually spread to
other streams along a considerable stretch of coast. And in the case of sockeye salmon, spawning individuals are occasionally encountered in small streams which have no lakes in their course
and no sockeye colonies. But the percentage of strays must be very small. In none of the
marking experiments which have been carried through, in which thousands of marked fingerliugs
have been liberated, has the capture of any of them been recorded at maturity, except in the
home stream. In the home stream itself hundreds of the marked fish have been recovered in
a single season.
The Skeena River Sockeye Run of 1923.
The Skeena River sockeye-pack of 1923 was the fourth largest in the history of the industry,
and it had for its two brood-years 1918, which produced a pack almost equally large, and 1919,
which stands second in rank among the largest packs. So far as pack records can be relied upon,
therefore, there was good reason to anticipate a successful season in 1923. The run of that year,
Dr. Gilbert determined, was composed as usual almost wholly of four- and of five-year fish.
Fifty-six per cent, of the entire run was made up of four-year fish, derived from eggs laid
down in 1919, while 37 per cent, were in their fifth year, developed from the spawning of 1918.
The remainder of the run, 7 per cent., were six-year fish from 1917. 14 Geo. 5 British Columbia. H 11
The five-year fish were of two classes, one of which had remained in their native lake for
a single year before passing to the sea, where they spent four years, while the other class had
remained in fresh water for two years and had spent three years in the sea. The first of these
two classes, Dr. Gilbert states, is always far more numerous than the second in the Skeena
watershed, while the reverse is the case in the Nass.
As there was no inspection of the spawning-beds of the Skeena in 1918 and 1919, there is
no direct evidence as to the spawning colonies in those years. It can only be inferred from the
size of the packs that there was a good run in both years, with the probability of large spawning
escapements, that of 1919 being probably the largest. This inference is borne out by the results
of Dr. Gilbert's analysis of the run, for he found it composed more largely of four-year fish than
is customary in the Skeena. He has shown that for a period of seven consecutive years they
averaged 46 per cent, of the total run, and the five-year fish averaged 48 per cent. In 1923 the
four-year component of the run consisted of 56 per cent, and the five-year 37 per cent., from
which he concludes that 1919 was extraordinarily successful on the spawning-grounds.
In 1922 Dr. Gilbert noted that the Skeena run of that year averaged smaller in size and
weight than usual in each year-group, and that was true also of the sockeye in Rivers Inlet and
the Nass in 1922. He again records a similar tendency in the 1923 run. Each group was
slightly below the normal length for the race in the last ten years, and the average weight
of each age-group was distinctly less than the average for former years. It is interesting to
note that in 1923, as in 1922, the dwarfing in the Skeena was accompanied by similar decrease
in size in other rivers. The analysis shows that each group of sockeye averaged smaller in
length and weight in 1923 than is usual in the Fraser River and Rivers Inlet.
In the Skeena River race, Dr. Gilbert notes, there is never such a wide inequality between
the numbers of males and females in the different age-groups as is found in the run to Rivers
Inlet, and, on the other hand, it is much more marked than in the Fraser River colonies. In the
Skeena, as in Rivers Inlet, the four-year males outnumber the females, and the five-year femaies
of the one-year-in-lake group are correspondingly more numerous than the males. On the other
hand, the five-year group that spent two years in the lake before migrating to sea, and which at
maturity agrees in size with the four-year fish of the one-year-in-lake type, agrees with the
latter also in the proportions of the sexes represented. The males are more numerous than
the females. The material examined hy Dr. Gilbert in 1923 consisted of 2,029 individuals, of
which 1,051 were males and 978 females. The slight excess of males is due to the unusual
percentage of four-year fish, in which the males always predominate.
The Nass River Sockeye Run of 1923.
In his analysis of the sockeye run to the Nass River in 1923, Dr. Gilbert states that the
run of 1923 again registered a decline from its former high average of production. The pack
was 17,821 cases, a smaller yield than during any season of the twelve-year period from 1908
to 1919. The smallest pack for that twelve-year period was 21,816 cases. Comparing this record
with the packs of the last four years—16,740, 9,364, 31,277, and 17,821—there is a basis for
uneasiness concerning the future of the Nass River run of sockeye. In his previous reports
Dr. Gilbert advanced certain reasons for fearing that the Nass run is declining in size and
stated that the phenomenal run of 1922 is not conclusive of this question. An exceptionally
favourable season in a declining run is not an unusual occurrence, but the experience of the
next two or three years should demonstrate beyond doubt the truth of the matter.
The principal brood-year for the 1923 run to-the Nass w7as 1918, as nearly 80 per cent, of
the run were in their fifth year. The pack of 1918 was 21,816 cases, this being the smallest
of the twelve-year period from 190S to 1919. As no report was made of the Nass spawning-
grounds in 1918, we are without information concerning the size of the spawning escapement.
The great complexity of the Nass River run is one of the best-marked characteristics of
the race. In each year a portion of the young pass down to the sea immediately after they
absorb the. yolk-sac and become free-swimming, returning at maturity in their third or fourth
year. A second group remain in the lake for one year after hatching, and after spending three
or four years at sea mature in their fourth or fifth year. A third group spend two years in
the lake and remain in the sea until five or six years of age. Still a fourth group postpone
their descent to the sea until after spending three years in fresh water, and return to their
native stream after maturing in their sixth or seventh year.   In accordance wyith this history, H 12 Report of the Commissioner of Fisheries. 1924
Dr. Gilbert finds individuals in the run ranging from three to seven years of age, and belonging
to any one of the eight different year-classes above indicated. These eight-year classes were
all represented in the 1923 run, and, in addition, a single individual was present in the samples
taken from the 1923 run which belonged to a ninth-year class heretofore unreported. It was a
male specimen, 27 inches long and weighing 8 lb., which had spent two years in the lake and
five years at sea, returning to the spawning-beds in its seventh year. Another large male was
also in its seventh year, having spent three years in the lake and four at sea, but this type had
been previously noted from the Nass by Dr. Gilbert.
As in all previous years, the two-years-in-lake group in the 1923 run of sockeye to the Nass
greatly outnumbered all the others, comprising 77 per cent., while the one-year-in-lake group
made 16 per cent., the three-years-in-lake 6 per cent., and the sea-type 1 per cent.
Disregarding their early history in fresh water, and considering only their final age as
indicative of the brood-year from which they were derived, Dr. Gilbert found 12 per cent, were
in their fourth year and were derived from the spawning run of 1919, 77 per cent, were in their
fifth year and came from the 1918 spawning, and 11 per cent, were in their sixth year, the
progeny of the run of 1917. One individual was in its third year and two in their seventh.
The total percentages of four-, five-, and six-year fish of these groups were identical in 1923 with
the average of the past eleven years.
From the tables which Dr. Gilbert presents it will be noted that the 1923 lengths compare
very clqsely with the general past averages in the Nass, while the weights were in each year-
class below the average. This is most unusual, as weights and lengths usually agree in the
Nass. But in Rivers Inlet in 1923 Dr. Gilbert found a like disparity, only in that case the
reverse of the above was true, the lengths being well below the average and the weights were
conspicuously above. In neither of these cases is there reason for doubting the reliability of
the material examined. The lengths were taken with steel tapes and the weights with spring-
balances which were tested as to accuracy.
The Bowser and Meziadin Lake Sockeye Colonies of the Nass River.
In his report for 1922 Dr. Gilbert, noted the examination of fifteen specimens from the
Bowser Lake spawning-grounds and ten from the Meziadin, and stated that while the material
was wholly inadequate to produce conclusive evidence, it apparently indicated that separate
sockeye colonies populated these two large lakes, distinguished in part by the fact that the
young of the Meziadin colony spent more years in the lake before migrating to sea than did
the young of the Bowser Lake colony. Of the ten Meziadin specimens, none had remained but
a single year in that lake, SO per cent, had spent two years there, and 20 per cent, had spent
three. Of the fifteen Bowser Lake specimens, 40 per cent, had remained a single year in the
lake, 60 per cent, had remained two years, and none had remained three years.
In 1923 the material collected by Inspector Hickman from the two lakes was more extensive,
there being sixty-three specimens from the Meziadin Lake and forty-one from Bowser Lake,
the latter being procured at the mouth of the Bowser River as the fish were entering. Examination of this new material verifies in general the differences previously pointed out as
distinguishing the two colonies, and establishes certain other differences of undoubted significance, sufficient to warrant the asserting of the substantial independence of the two races, with
the necessary corollary that the members of each race return at maturity to the same tributary
in which they were hatched. This distinctness of tributary races has been demonstrated as
yet in comparatively few watersheds, but the present instance is a clear-cut one and is worthy
of being placed on record.
It is, Dr. Gilbert states, very difficult to procure from spawning fish the data required for
racial discrimination. The differences between the races of sockeye are found largely in habits
of growth and development, including differing percentages of the various year-classes present,
and the average size of these classes. But data of this kind can be procured only in connection
with the microscopic examination of the scales, as used in determination of age. Unfortunately,
In the spawning fish, the scales have suffered such extensive erosion about the margins that
age-determination is impossible and the segregation of the year-classes cannot be made. In the
Meziadin and Bowser Lake material the age could not be ascertained in a single specimen.
The only data w7hich these imperfect scales can furnish are those derived from an examination of the central or nuclear area of the scales, which records the growth' as fry and fingerling 14 Geo. 5 British Columbia. H 13
during their life in fresh water. Outside this nuclear area was found a portion of the scale
still preserved sufficiently to furnish a record of the first and sometimes the second year's growth
in the sea, but in no case was the margin of the scale kept intact at any point, and it was thus
impossible to ascertain how much of the total record had been destroyed.
The record of the growth in fresh water is, however, of high value for the purpose, and is
not infrequently sufficient in itself to establish the complete differentiation of races. The nuclear
area of the scale establishes the length of time the individual remained as a resident of its
native lake, whether one, two, or three years, or whether it belonged to the sea-type, which
descends to the sea as soon as free-swimming. The proportions in which individuals of these
different classes are found in a colony constitute racial peculiarities which are relatively constant
from year to year, as is abundantly shown in the series of reports of Dr. Gilbert's analysis of
the runs to the four principal sockeye-streams of British Columbia, from 1912 to 1923, inclusive.
From the nuclear area of the scale the relative size attained by fingerlings at the time they
reach the sea can be determined. This may vary widely in the different sockeye strains, and
is frequently so diagnostic that members of two races can be distinguished at a glance on inspection of the centres of the scales. Bowser and Meziadin Lake colonies exhibit differences
belonging to both of these categories. They differ with regard to the average numher of years
they spend in fresh water before descent to the sea, and they differ In the size the young attain
during their residence in fresh water. No specimen in the material from Meziadin and Bowser
Lakes belonged to the sea-type. All had spent as fingerling either one, two, or three years in
their native lake before seeking the sea. Considering the limited amount of material available,
the correspondence in the two years is remarkably close and displays well the differing constitution of the runs to the two tributaries of the Nass River. A very large majority of the
Meziadin fish belong to the two-years-in-lake type, while the Bowser Lake race contains a liberal
percentage of one-year-in-lake fish.
As regards the size attained by the fingerlings of the two races, and the picture of the
nucleus of the scale presented by the two, the difference was sufficiently striking to attract
immediate attention. As the two-years-in-lake type was the only one in the samples from
the two colonies possessing sufficient material for comparison, Dr. Gilbert confined his attention
to that type. In the Meziadin specimens he found in the nuclear area of the scale a remarkable
uniformity, as though all were in close conformity to the same pattern. The young had made a
uniform vigorous growth in each of the two years in the lake. He found no subsidiary checks
during the growing season, testifying to the occurrence of unfavourahle conditions, and the
annuli, or normal winter-checks, are unusually well defined.
The Bowser Lake nuclei are, on the other hand, much less regular in appearance, by no
means giving the impression of being constructed after the same pattern, but suggesting the
possibility of representing the progeny from a number of spawning-streams. Growth was less
constant, there were more subsidiary checks, and the total growth attained is distinctly less
than that attained by the specimen from Meziadin Lake.
Dr. Gilbert's report w7ith its thirty-five tabulations is reproduced in the Appendix of this
report.    As the foregoing digest shows, it is of great economic importance.
Reports from tiie Salmon-spawning Areas of the Province in 1923.
Following the practice inaugurated in 1902, the Department again conducted investigations
of the salmon-spawning beds of the Fraser, Skeena, and Nass Rivers and Rivers and Smith
Inlets.    Detailed reports from each section are reproduced in the Appendix of this report.
The Fraser River.—John P. Babcock, Assistant to the Commissioner, inspected the salmon-
spawning beds of the Fraser River basin, his twenty-first annual inspection.    He states:—
" As a result of the season's investigations I am of the opinion that the number of sockeye
that spawned in the wraters above Hell's Gate Canyon was less than in any previous year.
In no section above that canyon were sockeye found in sufficient numbers to be worthy of notice.
In many of the northern sections, where in earlier years large numbers spawned annually, not
a sockeye was seen this year. . . . The number of sockeye which now reach the waters
above Yale is so insignificant as to make a hunt for them fruitless. ... It is again a
pleasure," he states, " to record that the numbers of sockeye which this year reached the
spawning-beds of the Birkenhead River, at the head of the Harrison-Lillooet Lakes section,
equalled those seen there in any one of the last twenty-one years with which I am familiar. H 14 Report of the Commissioner of Fisheries. 1924
The run to this section shows no decrease. It is the only section in the Fraser basin to which
the run has not very materially decreased. The family of sockeye in the Birkenhead apparently
enters the Fraser in August and has to run the same gauntlet of traps, gill and purse nets
employed by fishermen as all other salmon have to do. Why the escapement of the Birkenhead
sockeye is so much greater than the run to any other section is not. therefore manifest. One
cannot study present conditions in the Fraser without being impressed with the fact that the
present run of sockeye largely consists of fish spawned in the Birkenhead River, Harrison,
Cultus, and Pitt Lakes.
" For the first time since the fatal blockade of 1913 a few pink salmon were noted at Hell's
Gate, several were found in Lake Creek at the outlet of Seton Lake, and others in tributaries
of the Thompson—the first year since 1913 that any pink salmon have been reported in any
section above Hell's Gate."
The Skeena River.—Fishery Officer Robert Gibson again inspected the salmon-spawning beds
of the Skeena River. He found conditions in all tributaries as favourable as in any previous
season.    All were well seeded by sockeye this year.
Rivers Inlet Spaicning Area.—Fishery Officer A. W. Stone was again detailed to an inspection of the spawning area of the salmon that run through Rivers Inlet—his eleventh yearly
consecutive inspection of that area. In summarizing the results of his inspection of the many
tributaries of Owikeno Lake, he states: " Summarizing the results of the inspection of the
spawning-grounds of the Rivers Inlet run of salmon, I am able to record a highly satisfactory
run of sockeye to all tributaries, with the possible exception of Sunday Creek, the Sheemahant
and Nookins Rivers. All of them contained a run of fish which in my opinion exceeded the
run in 1919. Since the spawning-beds in 191S were found to be in such an unsatisfactory state,
it must be assumed that the return of adult sockeye this year is due in a great measure to the
spawn deposited in 1919. . . . Other factors responsible for the big run were the clearance
of obstructions in rivers, the extension of the weekly closed season, and the extension of the
closed fishing area at the head of Rivers Inlet."
Smith Inlet.—The spawning-beds of the salmon that run through Smith Inlet were again
inspected by Fishery Overseer Stone. He found them all abundantly seeded. He summarizes
his report as follows: " Summing up the results of my inspection, I am of the opinion that the
run was even greater than that recorded in 1919 and equalled in numbers the great run of
1914. The run to Smith Inlet this year was the result of spawnings of 1918 and 1919. As the
lieds were poorly seeded in 191S and abundantly seeded in 1919, it is concluded that the bulk
of the run this year consisted of fish hatched from the seeding of 1919. The abundant seeding
of 1923 should eventually give a big return."
Salmon- and Trout-egg Collections for Hatcheries in the Province.
The Department is indebted to Major J. A. Motherwell, Chief Inspector of Fisheries for
the Dominion Government in British Columbia, for the following statement of salmon- and trout-
egg collections placed in hatcheries in the Province:— 14 Geo. 5
British Columbia.
H 15
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APPENDICES.
CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE LIFE-HISTORY OF THE SOCKEYE SALMON.
(No. 9.)
By Charles H.  Gilbert, Ph.D., Professor of Zoology,  Stanford University.
1.   THE FRASER RIVER SOCKEYE RUN OF 1923.
After the slight recovery in 1922 the Fraser River sockeye run subsided to a still lower level
during the season of 1923. The total product of the run amounted -to 79,057 cases, of w7hich
31,655 were packed in British Columbia and 47,402 in Puget Sound. The Puget Sound pack, as.
we have stated in previous reports, includes not only the sockeyes bound for the Fraser River,
but also those headed for the Skagit River, in the State of Washington. It is not believed,
however, that the Skagit run is of any considerable importance. It is known to be intercepted
hy traps in Puget Sound, especially those on the West Beach, near the northern part of Whidbey
Island. Whether the traps which extend out into the Strait of Fuca from the southern shores
of Vancouver Island also capture Skagit River fish is not known, for the migration route has
not been determined and it may or may not coincide with that of the Fraser Biver sockeyes.
The spawning escapement of sockeyes (bluebacks) to the Skagit River in 1921 was reported
as unusually large in comparison with previous years, but it totalled only 7,850 fish of both
sexes. If we assume that the escapement comprised only 10 per cent, of the run—it probably
amounted to much more than 10 per cent.—the commercial yield of the Skagit in 1921 would be
only about 7,000 cases. Not all of this can be credited to the operations of the Baker Lake
Hatchery, for there would be some yield if the brood fish were permitted to spawn naturally.
The results of a hatchery are confined to the excess of production under hatchery methods over
that which would obtain under natural propagation. This should be made the suhject of
rigorous investigation to ascertain whether the assumed increase of output is sufficient to
warrant the very considerable expenditures incurred in the operation of hatcheries.
(1.) The One-year-in-lake Type.
This type, which always greatly prevails in the Fraser Kiver, was present in the 1923 run
in about the same proportions as during the previous season. Of the total of 947 specimens,
taken hy random sampling from the traps along the southern shore of Vancouver Island, 741,
or 7S per cent., belonged to the one-year-in-lake type in 1923, while 80 per cent, belonged to this
group in 1922. Only four of the 1923 samples were three-year-old males (grilse), and of the
remainder, S6 per cent, were in their fourth and 14 per cent, in their fifth years, as compared
with 88 and 12 per cent, in 1922._
A conspicuous feature in the run of 1923 was the great reduction in certain races which
were formerly dominant and the relative increase in certain others. The Morris Creek race,
the scales of which are characterized by a very large sharply-defined nucleus representing the
growth in fresh water, occupied a very subordinate position, while the Birkenhead race, with
its small scale nucleus and its very small first year's growth in the ocean (resembling in these
respects the Rivers Inlet sockeyes), formed a much more conspicuous feature than in former
years. A characteristic scale from the Birkenhead is figured in Paper No. 4 of this series,
Fig. 2, and is reproduced here. Such scales were extraordinarily numerous among the 1923
samples, which gave a satisfactory cross-section of the entire run.
The number of males and females is remarkably even in this, as in all the other types of
Fraser River sockeyes. Our 1923 samples contained 379 males and 359 females in this type,
there being a very slight excess of males in both the four-year and the five-year classes. The
reverse was the case in 1922, but the difference in both years is so slight as to be without
significance. Taking all the year-classes in each group, there were in the 1923 samples 466
males and 477 females.
This equality in the sexes among all the year-classes has been evident in the Fraser River
run during the twelve years in which we have had this run under observation, and is to be
considered a racial peculiarity of value in the perpetuation of the salmon-supply of this river. A characteristic scale from  the  Birkenhead  sockeye. which were
extraordinarily numerous in the 1!)23 run of the Fraser.  14 Geo. 5
Life-history of Sockeye Salmon.
H 17
We may contrast with it the condition in such a race as the Rivers Inlet sockeyes, in which, as
we have shown, the four-year males are constantly much more numerous than the females, and
the five-year females more numerous than the five-year males. In seasons when the four-year
Rivers Inlet fish greatly predominate, as was strikingly the case in 1923, the efficiency of the
spawning reserve is seriously diminished by the relative scarcity of females, which in this year
constituted only 32 per cent, of the run.
The grilse (three-year males) were in less than usual abundance, only four individuals
appearing among our samples. In 1922, when they were slightly more numerous, none appeared
prior to July 12th, but in 1923 the first one was taken on June 4th, the others July 19th,
August 15th, and August 21st. They were respectively 16, 17, 18%, and 19% inches long,
and weighed 1%, 2, 3%, and 4 lb. Undoubtedly they were relatively more numerous on the
spawning-beds than these figures indicate, for they pass freely through the meshes of the vast
array of gill-nets at the mouth of the Fraser, while the larger sizes are in great measure
captured.
The two tables which follow give lengths and weights of all four- and five-year specimens
of the one-year-in-lake group which are included in our material.
The average lengths of the four-year males and females are slightly greater than in any
of the four years immediately preceding, but are still notably less than the average for the five
years from 1914 to 1918. We have previously adduced similar figures to show apparent reduction in average size during recent years.   This is indicated in the figures which follow:—
Males. Females.
Average lengths for five years prior to 1919   25.0 24.1
Lengths in 1919   24.1 22.8
Lengths in 1920   24.1    . 23.2
Lengths in 1921   23.7 23.0
Lengths in 1922  .'.  24.0 23.0
Lengths in 1923 :  24.3 23.3
Table I.—Fraser River Sockeyes, One Year in Lake, 1923, from, Vancouver Island Traps,
grouped by Age, Sex, and Length.
Length in Inches.
Number of Individuals.
Four Years old.
Males.     Females.
B7ive Years old.
Males.     Females.
Total.
18% -	
19	
19%	
20	
20% ,	
21	
21%	
22	
22%	
23	
23%..	
24 	
24%	
25	
25% _	
26	
26%	
27	
27% :	
28	
28%	
Totals	
Total each group
Average lengths..
2
1
3
1
5
3
10
14
23
29
52
55
43
34
22
15
9
1
323
6
7
22
36
56
50
71
37
7«
7
312
1
3
4
8
10
6
8
8
4
2
56
1
3
6
11
7
9
7
1
46
635
102
23.3
25.8
24.8
1
2
2
6
9
11
10
33
52
SO
83
132
107
65
60
35
24
17
5
2
1
737
24 H 18
Report of the Commissioner of Fisheries.
1924
Table II.—Fraser River Sockeyes, One Year in Lake, 1923, from Vancouver Island Traps,
grouped by Age, Sex, and Weight.
Number ob- Individuals.
Weight in Pounds.
Four Years old.
Five Years old.
Total.
Males.
Females.
Males.
Females.
21/.	
3
5
12
9
20
28
45
42
56
36
34
14
13
4
2
1
4
6
12
20
3T
55
85
51
32
8
1
1
1
1
2
8
4
10
11
5
6
4
1
2
1
6
5
8
11
5
6
4
1
3	
7
3%	
11
4	
26
-tv->	
29
5	
58
sy,	
90
6	
6^	
109
103
7%	
59
8	
52
8%......	
23
9   •    	
19
9% '   	
8
10  	
3
Totals	
323
312
56
46
737
6.6
5.8
7.8
6.9
6.4
(2.) The Two-years-in-lake Type.
This group consists of individuals which reside for two full years in fresh water before
undertaking their downward migration to the sea. It has been shown in previous reports that
they gain nothing by way of increased stature through the additional year in fresh water.
They remain at sea the same length of time as those which migrate seawards after a single year .
in lake residence, and return as mature fish when five and six years old. They are then no
larger than the four- and five-year fish of the one-year-in-lake group, which are one year younger
but have spent the same time feeding at sea. In fact, the former group at times averages even
smaller than its younger relative, as was shown in our report of the 1922 run (page 22).
In less degree that was also the case in 1923, as shown by the following figures:—
Four years (one-year-in-lake group) Males, 24.3 inches; females, 23.0 inches.
Five years (two-years-in-lake group) Males, 24.2 inches ; females, 22.9 inches.
Inasmuch, therefore, as the members of this group gain nothing by their additional year in
fresh water, and as they are during that year constantly exposed to the depredations of trout
and other enemies which must very materially reduce their numbers, it is evident that the habit
of prolonged residence in the lake before migrating must be considered a very undesirable one.
Different river systems, even within the same general vicinity, vary widely in the relative
abundance of this group which they produce. In the Fraser River it never assumes large
dimensions, constituting only 7 per cent, in 1922 and 5 per cent, in 1923. No four-year-old
individuals were found am*ng our material in 1923, of which 77 per cent, were in their fifth
year and 23 per cent, in their sixth year.
We noted for the first time in 1922 that this group was very sparsely represented in the
August part of the run, whereas in previous years there was a well-marked increase in numbers
during August. The same was the case in 1923, when there was not only no increase in numbers
during August, but the representation fell off materially from that which obtained during July.
It seems probable that this change in the constitution of the run is caused by progressive
impoverishment and the practical disappearance of certain races in which the two-years-in-lake
group were most abundantly represented. 14 Geo. 5
Life-history of Sockeye Salmon.
H 19
Table III.—Fraser River Sockeyes, Two Years in Lake, 1923, from Vancouver Island Traps,
grouped by Age, Sex, and Length.
Length in Inches.
Number of Individuals.
Five Years old.
Males.
Females.
Six Years old.
Males.     Females.
Total.
19    	
19%	
20	
20%  	
21	
21% - -	
22	
22%	
23   	
23%  	
24        	
24% 	
25	
25%   	
26 	
26% : -	
27    	
27%  .'	
28 ..:...
Totals 	
Average lengths
3
2
1
1
5
1
10
1
6
5
O
5
7
1
1
1
17
20
48
24.2
22.9
26.3
24.9
24.1
Table IV.—Fraser River Sockeyes, Tico Years in Lake, 1923, from Vancouver Island Traps,
grouped by Age, Sex, and Weight.
Weight in Pounds.
Number of Individuals.
Five Years old.
Males.     Females.
Six Years old.
Males.     Females.
Total.
3	
3%	
4    	
4%	
5	
5%	
6	
6% -	
7	
7% -	
8 	
Totals	
Averages
2
1
1
5
1
3
2
5
1
11
1
9
2
4
1
3
2
3
48
6.0
5.2
7.3
6.5
5.8
(3.)  The Sea-type.
In our report for 1922 we called attention to the unusually large representation of the
members of this group in the run of that year, of which they constituted 12 per cent. In 1923
they were relatively even more numerous, forming 17 per cent, of the run. Our material includes
158 sea-type individuals, of which 64, or 41 per cent., are in their third year and 94, or 59
per cent., are in their fourth year.
They were not only present in larger numbers, but they made their appearance earlier in
the season than in previous years. The first to be included in our material was taken June 25th.
Another was captured on July 2nd and two more on July 5th.    From the latter date on they H 20                         Report of the Commissioner of Fisheries.                          1924
appeared throughout July and August, and five were even included in a small sample taken
at the end of the season on September 11th.
It has been shown in previous years that this type is produced to the apparent exclusion of
any other by the Harrison River spawning-beds.    There are no Jakes below these, and the areas
of slack water below the spawning-gravels are apparently too shallow to afford protection during
the rigorous winter.    So the young have perforce adopted the habit of striking out for the open
sea as soon as they have absorbed the yolk-sac and become free-swimming.    Other portions of
the watershed may also produce fry which run precociously to salt water, and may share the
responsibility for the apparent increase of fish of this group in the last two years.    Advocates
of hatchery methods may even contend that young fry liberated from hatchery-troughs at the
time the yolk-sac is absorbed are more likely to adopt the immediate migration habit than is
the case with fry that emerge from the gravels as the result of natural propagation.   This may
indeed be the fact, but we have no data bearing on the question.
*
Table V.—Fraser River Sockeyes, Sea-type, 1923, from Vancouver Island Traps,
grouped by Age, Sex, and Length.
Length in Inches.
Number of Individuals.
Total.
Three Years old.
Four Years old.
Males.
Females.
Males.
Females.
20 :	
1
4
o
5
10
6
o
2
2
4
7
4
4
5
2
2
1
1
2
5
7
10
2
3
3
2
4
16
14
10
10
3
1
1
„ 2
4
12
9
14
31
24
18
21
13
2
4
3
20%                              	
21                            	
21% :	
22	
22%            	
23                            	
23%	
24..	
24%	
25	
25%                  	
26..	
26%                            	
27	
....
____
Totals	
34       |       30
34
60
158
64
94
23.3           22.7
25.2      |     24.1
24.2
Table VI.—Fraser River Sockeyes, Sea-type, 1923, from Vancouver Island Traps,
arranged by Age, Sex, and Weight.
Weight in Pounds.
Number of Individuals.
Total.
Three Years old.
Four Years old.
Males.
Females.
Males.
Females.
1
4
2
9
8
8
2
2
1
1
8
10
6
1
1
2
1
2
3
6
7
7
3
3
2
9
16
7
18
5
2
1
3
1
1
16
22
33
19
33
14
9
4
3
4.  	
4%            	
5	
5%	
6	
6%	
7	
7%	
8	
8 %	
9	
Totals	
34
30
34
60
158
6.2
5.3       |      7.3
6.5
6.4 14 Geo. 5 Life-history of Sockeye Salmon. H 21
2. THE RIVERS INLET SOCKEYE RUN OF 1923.
(1.)  General Characteristics and Age-groups.
The Rivers Inlet pack of 1923 mounted to the high level of 107,174 cases, the best exhibit
made since 1920. It comes as a welcome break in long series of declining runs, and is the most
promising indication for the future that recent years have produced.
The pack figures for 1918 and 1919, the two brood-years of 1923, gave no indication of a
successful season, being 53,401 and 56,258 cases respectively. As estimated by pack statistics,
they were thus among the very poorest seasons the inlet has ever known. What, then, was the
origin of the very favourable run of 1923? In this case the composition of the run itself and
the reports from the spawning-beds during the brood-years are in entire harmony, and seem to
afford a wholly satisfactory answer to the question.
In discussing spawning-bed records we must here correct an unfortunate error tlptiwas
made in our report for 1922 (page 28), where the records for the two years 1917 and 1918 were
interchanged. As reported by Overseer Stone, there was a good spawning escapement in 1917,
but many of the tributaries were rendered wholly unproductive by tremendous freshets, which
scoured out the gravels and destroyed the eggs. It seems probable that the destruction was
even greater than was estimated at the time, and was responsible for the very poor showing
during the two years (1921 and 1922) when the progeny of 1917 were due to return as mature
fish.
In 1918, one of the brood-years for 1923, the spawning escapement was reported by Overseer
Stone as very deficient and unpromising. Tributary after tributary, which could usually be
depended on to contain fine spawning colonies, were signalled as " very unsatisfactory," or
" containing nothing," " empty," or " a complete failure." The Rivers Inlet Hatchery, which
has a capacity of 14,000,000 eggs and is in most seasons filled, was able to secure only about
3,000,000 eggs. Summing up the results of his investigation, Overseer Stone states: " I am of
the opinion the serious shortage of sockeye salmon disclosed by a visit to these beds, and
amounting to approximately 25 per cent, of the 1913, 1914, and 1915 runs, will have a correspondingly serious effect on the number of adult sockeye which will return from this season's
spawning."
This prophecy has been abundantly verified in the runs of 1922 and 1923. In 1922 a portion
of the 1918 progeny returned as four-year fish, and w'hile they constituted a relatively large
proportion of the run of that year, the total run was very small.    In 1923 the remainder of the
1918 brood, maturing one year later, returned as five-year-olds, ami while the run of 1923 was
a large one, the five-year component was extremely small, and 1918 thus contributed very little
to it.
As regards the brood-year 1919, we should have no reason, as we have seen, to anticipate
any considerable yield from it, on the basis of its commercial yield as shown by the pack
statistics. But we have here a conspicuous example of the unreliable nature of such evidence.
Turning to the reports from the spawning-beds of 1919, we find Overseer Stone emphasizing the
abundance of salmon in practically all the tributaries of Owikeno Lake. Furthermore, the
Dominion Department of Fisheries had since the previous year removed the log-jams which
were obstructing the mouths of some of the most important spawning-streams, and had thus
opened up miles of spawning-gravels that otherwise would have been inaccessible. Mr. Stone
states that the exceptionally large number of sockeye salmon which he observed spawning on
the beds, and schooled up in tens of thousands in the deeper portions of the various tributaries,
precluded the opinion generally expressed by the canning fraternity that the run of that year
was a small one, and he expresses the belief that the spawning-beds were as abundantly seeded
as in 1914 (S9,S90 cases), and more so than in 1915 (130,350 cases). On this basis he concludes
that a favourable return should be expected in 1923 and 1924.
No more striking example could be found of the high value of the inspection of the
spawning-beds of all the important sockeye-rivers of British Columbia, which was inaugurated
by Mr. J. P. Babcock and is made annually under his direction. The Rivers Inlet pack of 1923
was one of the largest in the history of the river, and it was composed to a very exceptional
degree of four-year fish derived from the spawning of 1919.    The five-year component from the
1919 hatching is due in 1924, and Rivers Inlet is pre-eminently a five-year stream. If these
fish appear in their customary proportion and are accompanied by the four-year fish that may justly be expected from the almost unexampled spawning of 1920, we should experience a very
satisfactory run in 1924.
It is interesting to note that in 1920 Mr. Stone was impressed by the large size of the
spawning fish. Our analysis of that season's run indicated that 95 per cent, of it consisted of
fish in their fifth year, and it is to be remembered that in five-year fish of the Rivers Inlet race
the females are constantly in excess of the males, a condition much more favourable to successful spawning than where the males are in the majority. In 1919 Mr. Stone called attention to
the reverse condition, when the spawming fish were unusually small. He also noted that males
very largely outnumbered the females, there being in some tributaries as many as three males
to one female. In our analysis of the run of 1919 we found the five-year fish to constitute but
54 per cent., instead of 95 per cent, as in the following year.
The samples from which we make these estimates are chosen in a random fashion, without
selection, from the gill-net fish captured for commercial purposes. Taken in this way at
frequent intervals during the run, they afford a satisfactory basis for estimating the contents
of the commercial catch. But neither the commercial catch nor the spawning escapement have
the same constitution as the untouched run when it first approaches the mouth of the inlet.
The use of gill-nets of a certain mesh effectually screens out the larger sizes in undue proportion,
and permits larger numbers of the smaller fish to escape to the spawning-grounds. All the
Rivers Inlet three-year males (grilse) pass through the nets and are a detriment rather than
an aid on the spawning-beds, where they have no useful function. The total result of limiting
the size of the mesh by law is to ensure propagating to an undesirable extent from the smaller
fish, which consist of the three-year-olds, which are all males, the four-year-olds, and the stunted
five-year-olds. The four-year-olds contain a considerable proportion of excess males which are
wholly useless on the spawning-beds and were better put in tins. The common practice of
limiting by law the size of mesh in sockeye gill-nets is not a conservation measure and may even
result detrimentally. As all members of the sockeye spawning run die at the close of the
spawning season, it cannot be in the interest of conservation to save from capture the smaller
individuals. It were far better to permit the fishermen to employ any mesh they consider most
effective, and then secure an adequate escapement by some other method.
As in all previous years, the run of 1923 consisted almost exclusively of sockeyes of the
one-year-in-lake type. Our samples, taken at intervals throughout the season, consisted of 807
individuals. Of these, 782 were of the prevailing type, having remained one year in fresh
water after hatching, before passing down to the sea, eighteen belonged to the two-year-ln-lake
type, and seven were of the sea-type, having left for the ocean as soon as free-swimming. The
following table (No. VII.) concerns itself only with the one-year-in-lake group. The seven
sea-type individuals comprised two in their third year, both males, and five in their fourth year,
three males and two females. It will be showm in a later table that the two-years-in-lake group
is represented by fifteen males and two females of the five-year class and a single male specimen
of the six-year-class. 14 Geo. 5
Life-history of Sockeye Salmon.
H 23
Table VII.—Percentages of Four- and Five-year Rivers Inlet Sockeyes, in Runs from 1912 to
1923, with Broods from which they were derived.
Run of the Year.
Percentage,
Four and Five
Years old.
Brood-year from which
derived.
J ,
1912   (112,884 cases).
1913  (61,745 cases i.
1914  (89,890 cases) .
1915   (130,350 cases).
1916   (44,936 cases).
1917  (61,195 cases)
1918  (53,401 cases).
1919  (56,258 cases)-
1920  (121,254 cases).
1921   (46,300 cases)
1922  (60,700 cases).
1923   (107,174 cases).
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.
4 yrs.
5 yrs.
4 yrs.
5 yrs.
4 yrs.
5 yrs.
4 yrs.
5 yrs.
4 yrs.
5 yrs.
4 yrs.
5 yrs.
4 yrs.
67%
33%
43%
57%
54%
46%
95%
5%
51%
49%
18%
82%
24%
76%
1907 (87,874 cases).
1908 (64,652 cases).
1909 (89,027 cases).
I
j.   1910 (126,921 cases).
\
j.   1911 (88,763 cases).
I
j.   1912 (112,884 cases).
J.   1913 (61,745 cases).
[   1914 (89,890 cases).
I
]-   1915 (130,350 cases).
I
j.   1916 (44,936 cases).
(.   1917 (61,195 cases).
1918 (53,401  cases).
1919 (56,258 cases).
(2.) Lengths and Weights as Racial Characteristics.
Among the many distinct racial peculiarities of the runs to the different sookeye-streams,
that of size is most prominent and most easily observed. To one acquainted with the appearance of the fish brought, into the canneries from the larger rivers and from the smaller streams
of British Columbia and the adjacent districts of Alaska, the characteristic sizes attained from
year to year by the various colonies would alone be sufficient demonstration of the independence
of the runs, and the prevalence of the habit of returning to the home stream at maturity. It was
ignorance of the facts in this connection which led to the denial of the existence of independent
races by certain scientists who early concerned themselves with this question.
The conclusions reached on the basis of characteristic size and general appearance have
now been supplemented by evidence of other racial differences in colour and quality of flesh,
and in the prevalence of certain racial habits and tendencies concerning which our information
has been derived wholly from microscopic examination of the scales. The total result has been
such complete demonstration of the existence and distinctness of sockeye colonies that the
conclusion is universally accepted, and the question is no longer in controversy.
There is almost certainly a small percentage of straying from one colony to another.
Chinook salmon planted many years ago in a certain river in New Zealand have gradually
spread to other streams along a considerable stretch of coast. And in the case of sockeye salmon,
spawning individuals are occasionally encountered in small streams which have no lakes in
their course and no sockeye colonies. But the percentage of strays must he very small. In none
of the many marking experiments which have been carried through, in which thousands of H 24
Keport of the Commissioner of Fisheries.
1924
marked fingerlings have been liberated, has the capture of any of them been recorded at
maturity, except in the home stream. In the home stream itself hundreds of the marked fish
have been recaptured in a single season.
The Rivers Inlet race is the smallest of any of those inhabiting the important sockeye-
streams of British Columbia. Comparing the average lengths for a period of ten years of
sockeyes belonging to the same year-classes in Rivers Inlet, the Skeena and the Nass, we obtain
the following results :—
Table VIII.—Average Lengths in Inches, for Ten Years, of Sockeyes One-year-in-lake Class
from Rivers Inlet, the Skeena, and the Nass.
Nass.
Four-year males...
Four-year females
Five-year males....
Five-year females.
24.3
23.5
26.0
24.9
In addition to the smaller average lengths of Rivers Inlet fish, there is less difference between
the lengths of four-year males and females than we find in any other stream. This has been a
constant factor throughout our series of observations. In Table X. it is shown that the difference
between average lengths of males and females of this group in six years out of eleven did not
exceed one-tenth of an inch, and in only two of the eleven years did it exceed two-tenths.
Not only are the sockeyes of the Rivers Inlet race shorter than those of the Skeena and the
Nass, but they are comparatively deeper and plumper, as is shown in the following table giving
average weights over a term of years:—
Table IX.—Average Weights in Pounds, for Nine Years, of Sockeyes One-year-in-lake Class
from Rivers Inlet, the Skeena, and the Nass.
Rivers
Inlet.
Skeena.
Nass.
Four-year males....
Four-year females
Five-year males....
Five-vear females.
5.7
5.2
6.8
6.1
5.9
5.3
7.0
6.2
It will be noted again, on the basis of weights, that the four-year, males and females of
the Rivers Inlet race are of almost equal size, while in other races the females are decidedly
smaller. Despite their shorter stature, the Rivers Inlet five-year-olds equal or exceed in weight
those from the Skeena and the Nass. The female four-year-olds from Rivers Inlet are but
little lighter than are those from the other two rivers, and only the four-year males are greatly
below the averages from the other streams. The substantial equality in size of males and
females of the four-year group in Rivers Inlet seems to be due to the proportionally smaller
size of the males rather than to the larger size of the;females in this race.
Table X.—Average Length in Inches of Rwers Inlet Sockeyes for Eleven Years.
1912.
1913.
1914.
1915.
1916.
1917.
1918.
1919.
1921.
1922.
1923.
Average.
Four-year males	
Four-year females
23.2
22.8
25.8
24.6
22.9
23.0
25.9
25.2
23.0
22.8
25.9
25.2
22.9
22.8
26.0
25.1
I
22.9
22.8
25.8
25.0
_J
22.5
22.3
25.0
24.4
22.3
22.5
24.9
24.5
22.4
22.3
24.8
24.4
22.9
22.6
25.2
24.2
22.5
22.4
24.6
24.2
22.4
22.3
24.6
24.1
22.7
22.6
25.3
Five-year females
24.6 14 Geo. 5
Life-history of Sockeye Salmon.
H'25
It is apparent from the above table that the Rivers Inlet sockeyes have for several years
averaged smaller than they had previously done. This is made clearly evident by the following
figures:—
* Inches.
Four-year males, average length, 1912 to 1916   23.0
Four-year males, average length, 1918 to 1923  22.5
Four-year females, average length, 1912 to 1916   22.8
Four-year females, average length, 1918 to 1923   22.4
Five-year males, average length, 1912 to 1916   25.9
Five-year males, average length, 1918 to 1923   24.8
Five-year females, average length, 1912 to 1916   25.0
Five-year females, average length, 1918 to 1923 ....i -.  24.3
It will be noted that the four-year males and females, as well as the five-year males and
females for 1923, are slightly smaller than the averages for the last five years.
Table XI.—Average Weight in Pounds of Rivers Inlet Sockeyes for Nine Years.
1
1914.   |   1915.
1916.
1917.
1918.
1919.
1
1921.      1922.
1023.
Average.
Four-year males	
5.4
5.2
7.3
6.8
5.3
5.1 '
7.3
6.6
5.5
5.0
7.6
6.7
5.0
4.9
6.6
6.2
4.9
5.1
6.7
6.7
4.9
4.8
6.3
5.9
5.2
4.9
6.9
6.0
6.0
5.9
7.4
7.0
5.0
4.8
6.5
5.9
5.2
5.1
Five-year males	
Five-year females	
7.0
6.4
Table XII.—Rivers Inlet Sockeyes, Run of 1923, grouped by Age, Sex, and Length,
and by their Early History.
Inches.
19%	
20	
2oy2	
21	
2i%..:	
22 ...
22%	
23	
23%	
24	
24%	
25    	
25%....-	
26-.--	
26% :.
27	
27%	
28	
30	
Totals	
Ave. length
Number of Individuals.
One Year in  Lake.
Four Years old.
Males.
74
96
71
59
29
24
14
4
6
1
423
22.4
Females.
10
26
47
43
30
6
5
2
1
171
22.3
Five Years old.
Males.
6
6
11
6
6
3
2
6
1
4
2
1
59
24.6
Females.
1
6
15
19
37
20
21
3
4
2
1
129
24.1
Two Years in Lake.
Five Years old.
Males.
15
23.0
Females.     Males
Six Years old.
23.0
26.0
Females.
Total.
1
1
7
49
101
151
124
110
64
79
43
33
12
800
22.8 H 26
Keport of the Commissioner of Fisheries.
1924
Table XIII.—Rivers Inlet Sockeyes, Run of 1923, grouped by Age, Sex, mid Weight,
and by their Early History.
Pounds.
Number of Individuals.
One Year in Lake.
Four Years old.
Males.     Females.
Five Years old.
Males.     Females.
Two Years in Lake.
Five Years old.
Males.     Females.
Six Years old.
Males.     Females.
Total.
3	
3%.
4	
4%.
5	
5%.
6—
6%-
7	
7%.
1
39
146
124
57
40
6
4
5
1
1
2
14
75
46
25
7
1
8%..
9...
9%..
10—
10%
11...
2
1
8
11
11
6
4
3
6
20
32
37
18
10
1
3
Totals	
Averages-
423
171
59
129
15
5.0
4.8
6.5
5.9
5.2
4.8
1       I
7.5
1
3
55
233
203
130
96
32
18
10
13
o
1
1
1
800
(3.)  Distribution of the Sexes.
In the runs of 1921 and 1922, both four-year and five-year males were in less than their
normal numbers for the Rivers Inlet race. The four-year males were 65 and 66 per cent, of
the total four-year group, as compared with 75 per cent., the average for the five years preceding.
The five-year males were in each of the two years 3,8 per cent, of their group, as compared with
an average of 45 per cent, for the five years preceding. In no previous year that has come under
our observation has there been such a falling-off in number of males below what is usual in
the Rivers Inlet colony.
In the run of 1923 the same tendency continues, less marked among the four-year fish, and
still further emphasized in the five-year group, in which there were two females to one male.
As the four-year fish constituted 76 per cent, of the entire run, there were still many more males
than females on the spawning-beds, the percentage of males in the entire run being 62. We have
elsewhere called attention to the fact that this is an undesirable condition to which the Rivers
Inlet race is peculiarly liable because of the wide disparity of the sexes in four- and five-year
fish, and the wide diversity in different years in the representation of these two year-classes.
Table XIV.—Relative Numbers of Males and Females, Rivers Inlet Sockeyes,
One-year-in-lake Type, 1916 to 1923.
1916.
1917.
1918.
1919.
1920.
1921.
1922.
1923.
Average percentages—
Four-year males	
Four-year females	
74
26
40
60
52
48
75
25
42
58
53
47
74
26
49
51
66
34
79
21
45
.55
58
42
74
26
48
52
49
51
65
35
38
62
51
49
66
34
38
62
61
39
71
29
33
67
62
38.
3. THE SKEENA RIVER SOCKEYE RUN OF 1923.
(1.)  General Characteristics and the Year-classes.
The Skeena River sockeye-pack of 1923 was the fourth to the largest in the history of the
industry, and it had for its two brood-years 1918, which produced a pack almost equally large, 14 Geo. 5
Life-history of Sockeye Salmon.
H 27
and 1919, which stands second in rank among the largest packs. So far as pack records can be
relied upon, therefore, we had good reason to anticipate a successful season for 1923.
The run of 1923 was composed as usual almost wholly of four- and of five-year fish. Fifty-
six per cent, of the entire run w7as made up of four-year fish, derived from eggs laid down in
1919, while 37 per cent, were in their fifth year and were developed from eggs deposited in 1918.
The remainder of the run (7 per cent.) was composed of six-year fish, with 1917 as their brood-
year.
The five-year fish were of two classes, one of which had remained in their native lake for
a single year before passing down to the sea, in which they had spent four years, while the other
class had remained in fresh water for two years and had spent three years at sea. The first
of these two classes is always far more numerous than the second in the Skeena watershed,
while the reverse is the case in the Nass.
As there was no inspection of the spawning-beds of the Skeena River in 1918 or 1919, we
have no direct evidence as to the size of the spawning colonies in those two years. We can only
infer from the size of the packs that there were good runs in both years, with the probability
of large spawning escapements, that of 1919 being probably the largest. This inference is borne
out by the results of our analysis of the run, for we find it to be composed more largely of
four-year fish than is customary in this river-basin. In Table XVI. it is shown that the four-
year fish for a period of seven consecutive years averaged 46 per cent, of the total run and the
five-year fish of the two classes averaged 48 per cent. In 1923 the four-year component of the
run made 56 per cent, and the five-year portion 37 per cent. Evidently 1919 was extraordinarily
successful on the spawning-grounds, doubtless because of the magnitude of the run with' a
generous spawning escapement.
Table XV.—Percentages of Four- and Five-year Skeena River Sockeyes that spent
One Year in Lake, in Runs of Successive Years.
Run of the Year.
Percentage,
Four and Five
Years old.
Brood-years from which
derived.
1912 (92,498 cases)..
1913 (52,927 cases)-
1914 (130,166 cases)
1915 (116,553 cases)
1916 (60,923 cases) ..
1917 (65,760 cases)..
1918 (123,322 cases)
1919 (184,945 cases)
1920 (90,869 cases)..
j' I
i
1921 (41,018 cases)..
1922 (100,667 cases)
1923 (131,731 cases)
5 yrs.
4 yrs.
5 yrs.
4 yrs.
5 yrs.
4 yrs.
yrs.
yrs.
5 yrs.
4 yrs.
yrs,
yrs.
5 yrs.
4 yrs.
5 yrs.
4 yrs.
5 yrs.
4 yrs.
5 yrs.
4 yrs.
5 yrs.
4 yrs.
5 yrs.
4 yrs.
43%
57%
50%
50%
75%
25%
64%
36%
60%
40%
62%
38%
59%
41%
69%
31%
82%
18%
24%
76%
19%
81%
34%
66%
1907 (108,413 cases).
1908 (139,846 cases).
1909 (87,901  cases).
1910 (187,246 cases).
1911 (131,066 cases).
1912 (92,498 eases).
1913 (52,927 eases).
1914 (130,166 cases).
1915 (116,553 cases).
1916 (60,923 cases).
1917 (65,760 cases).
1918 (123,322 cases).
1919 (184,945 cases). H 28
Keport of the Commissioner of Fisheries.
1924
Table XVI.—Percentages of the Principal Year-classes, Skeena River Sockeyes,
from 1916 to 1923.
Year.
One Year
in Lake.
Two Years
in Lake.
Four Years
old.
Five Years
old.
Five Years
old.
Six Years
old.
1916 .' :	
34
57
51
27
15
69
70
56
38
29
34
60
71
22
16
29
13
9
9
9
6
6
12
8
18
1917	
5
1918	
6
1919 :	
4
1920	
8
1921	
3
1922	
2
1923     	
;rages, 1916 to 1922	
46
39
9
6
(2.) Lengths and Weights.
In the following tables, XVII. to XXIIL, are given length and weight frequencies for over
2,000 individuals of the 1923 run, taken at random without selection on a number of dates
spaced throughout the season. The average size of each year-class is given, and also data
foi- comparing the 1923 run with those of former years. In 1922 we noted that the Skeena run
of that year averaged smaller than usual in each age-group, and that this was true also for
the sockeyes of Rivers Inlet and the Nass. We have to record a similar tendency in the run
of 1923. In Table XX. it is shown that each year-group was slightly below the normal length
for the race, as determined by averages over a term of ten years. The condition was very similar
to that existing in 1922, but the reduction in length was possibly a trifle less. In Table XXII.
a similar comparison is made, using average weights of the age-groups instead of the lengths.
The results are the same as those obtained from a consideration of the lengths. The average
weight of each age-group is distinctly less than the average for former years. They are even
smaller than for 1922.
It is interesting to note that in 1923, as in 1922, the dwarfing in the Skeena was accompanied
by similar decrease in size in other rivers. Other sections of this report show that each group
of sockeyes averaged smaller in 1923 than is usual in the Fraser River and in Rivers Inlet.
The Nass was the only exception to this among the larger sockeye-streams of British Columbia. 14 Geo. 5
Life-history of Sockeye Salmon.
H 29
Table XVII.—Skeena River Sockeyes, 1923, grouped by Age. Sex, and Length.
Length in Inches.
Number op Individuals.
One-year-in-lake Type.
Four Years old.
Males.     Females.
Five Years  old.
Males.     Females.
Two-years-in-lake Type.
Five Years old.
Males.     Females.
Six Years old.
Males.     Females.
Total.
19 	
19%	
20	
20%	
21	
21%	
22
22%	
23	
23%	
24	
24%	
25... —	
25%	
26	
26%	
27—	
27%	
28 -	
28% ._..;.
20	
Totals	
Ave. length
1
1
1
1
8
2
16
12
28
43
50
78
90
121
145
104
152
65
104
22
65
4
21
2
6
1
7
15
23
35
43
40
24
15
12
2
4
18
39
71
90
71
50
16
3
5
15
11
20
20
14
3
1
2
3
17
17
19
9
4
3
5
5
9
8
14
8
2
1
1
689
454
215
368
94
53
23.7
23.1
25.5
24.5
23.!
23.2
25.6
1
1
1
2
11
32
1
80
3
158
6
267
9
334
14
351
17
285
22
223
7
134
2
79
3S
18
12
1
1
81
24.4
I 2,029
23.7
Table XVIII.—Average Lengths of Skeena River Sockeyes, One Year in Lake,
for Twelve Successive Years.
1912
1913.
1914.
1915.
1
1916.
1917.
1918.
1919.
1920.
1921. 1 1922. 1 1923.
1    !
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
23.8
23.2
26.2
25.3
23.8
23.1
25.2
24.2
23.6
23.2
25.3
24.4
23.7
23.1
Five-year males	
25.5
24.5
Table XIX.—Average Lengths of Skeena River Sockeyes, Two Years in Lake,
for Eight Successive Years.
1916.
1917.
1918.
1919.
1920.
1921.
1922.
1923.
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
24.1
23.4
26.2
25.1
24.2
23.4
24.9
24.2
23.8
23.3
24.6
24.1
23.9
Five-year females	
23.2
25.6
Six-year females	
24.4 H 30
Keport of the Commissioner of Fisheries.
1924
Table XX.—Average Lengths of Skeena River Sockeyes, 1.923, compared with
General Averages, 1912 to 1921.
Average
Lengths,
1923.
Averages,
1912 to
1921.
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 ...
23.7
23.1
25.5
24.5
23.9
23.2
25.6
24.4
24.0
23.3
25.8
24.9
24.1
23.6
25.7
24.8
Table XXI.—Skeena River Sockeyes, 1923, grouped by Weight, Age, Sex, and
by their Early History.
Number of Individuals that spent
Weight in Pounds.
t.
One Year in Lake.
Two Years in Lake.
Four Years old.
B'ive Years old.
Five Years old.
Six Years old.
Total.
Males.
Females.
Males.   1 Females.
1
Males.
Females.
Males.   ! Females.
1
2%
1
2
8
32
113
194
171
127
34
7
3
47
138
171
78
14
2
1
2
4
27
20
46
49
36
20
7
4
2
25
72
115
93
49
9
3
1
4
16
21
27
15
10
1
9
26
27
10
2
1
4
9
11
12
11
2
2
1
2
8
20
22
21
7
1
1
3	
2
3%	
13
4	
98
4%                  .    ...
331
536
5%	
452
6	
329
6% 	
163
7	
7%	
65
25
8	
9
8%...-	
Totals	
689
454
215
368
94
75
53
81
2,029
Ave. weights ...
5.3
4.9
6.3
5.7
5.3
4.8
6.3
5.5
5.4
Table XXII.—Average Weights of Skeena River Sockeyes for Ten Successive Years.
1914.    1915. I 1916.
1917.
1918.
1919.
1920.
1921.
1922.
1923.
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...
5.9
5.3
7.2
6.3
5.7
5.2
6.8
6.2
5.9
5.2
6.6
6.0
5.4
5.1
7.1
6.3
5.8
5.4
7.1
5.9
5.3
5.0
6.4
6.0
5.5
5.2
6.3
5.8
5.8
5.3
6.9
6.4
5.7
5.3
6.6
6.1
6.1
5.5
7.0
6.2
6.1
5.4
6.9
6.3
5.6
5.1
7.2
6.4
6.3
5.1
7.3
6.3
5.7
5.1
6.4
5.7
5.1
6.0
5.6
5.4
5.1
6.5
5.7
5.5
5.1
6.2
5.7
5.3
4.9
6.3
5.7
5.3
4.8
6.3
5.4 14 Geo. 5
Life-history of Sockeye Salmon.
H 31
Table XXIII.—Average Weights of Skeena River Sockeyes, 1923, compared with
General Averages, 1915 to 1921.
Average
Weights,
1923.
Averages,
1915 to
1921.
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 ..
5.3
4.9
6.3
5.7
5.3
4.8
6.3
5.4
5.7
5.2
6.8
6.2
5.9
5.2
6.7
6.0
(3.)  Proportions of the Sexes.
In the Skeena River race there is never such wide inequality between the numbers of males
and females in the different age-groups as we find in Rivers Inlet, and, on the other hand, it
is much more marked than in the fish belonging to the Fraser River colony. In the Skeena,
as in Rivers Inlet, the four-year males outnumber the females, and the five-year females of
the one-year-in-lake group are correspondingly more numerous than the males. On the other
hand, the five-year group that spent two years in the lake before passing down to the sea,
and which at maturity agrees in size with the four-year fish of the one-year-in-lake type, agrees
with the latter also in the proportions of the sexes represented. The males are more numerous
than the females.
The material examined in 1923 consisted of 2,029 individuals. Of these, 1,051 were males
and 97S were females. The slight excess of males is due to the unusual percentage of four-year
fish, in which the males always predominate.
Table XXIV.—Percentages of Males and Females in each of the Different Year-groups,
Skeena. River Sockeyes, in a Series of Years.
One Yeak in Lake.
Two Yeaes in Lake.
Year.
Four Years old.
Five Years old.
Five Years old.
Six Years old.
Males.  Females.
Males.
Females.
Males.
Females:
Males.
Females.
1912	
1913  	
1914 	
1915....
54
69
60
55
70
65
63
53
41
44
52
60
46
31
40
45
30
35
37
47
59
56
48
40
42
47
47
45
43
48
46
46
37
44
41
37
58
53
53
55
57
52
. 54
54
63
56
59
63
....
56
65
61
52
43
50
52
56
44
35
39
48
57
50
4S
44
54
58
56
45
41
43
53
40
1916    	
1917  	
1918  	
1919 	
1920  	
1921	
1922 	
1923	
46
42
44
55
59
57
47
60
Averages before 1923
57     43
1
44      56
1
54      46      50  [  50
1      !      1 H 32 Report of the Commissioner of Fisheries. 1924
4. THE NASS RIVER SOCKEYE RUN OF 1923.
(1.)  General Characteristics.
The Nass River sockeye run of 19231 again registers a decline from its former high average
of production. The commercial pack was 17,821 cases, a smaller yield than during any season
of the twelve-year period from 1908 to 1919. The smallest pack for this twelve-year period
was 21,816 cases, the largest was 39,349 cases, and the average for the period was 29,827 cases.
When we compare with this record the packs for the past four years—16,740, 9,364, 31,277, and
17,821—a basis is evident for uneasiness concerning the future of the Nass run. As we stated
in 1922: " In previous reports we have advanced certain reasons for fearing that the Nass
River run is declining in size. The phenomenal run of 1922 is not conclusive of this question.
An exceptionally favourable season in a declining run is not an unusual occurrence, but the
experience of the next two or three years should demonstrate beyond doubt the truth of the
matter."
The principal brood-year for 1923 was 1918, as nearly 80 per cent, of the run were in their
fifth year. The pack of 1918 was 21,S16 cases, this being the smallest of the twelve-year period
from 1908 to 1919. We have no report from the Nass River spawning-grounds for the year
1918, and are thus without information concerning the size of the spawning escapement.
(2.) The Age-croups.
The great complexity of the Nass River run is one of the best-marked characteristics of
the race. In each year a portion of the young pass down to the sea immediately after they
absorb the yolk and become free-swimming, returning at maturity in their third or fourth year.
A second group remain in the lake for one year after hatching, and after spending three or four
years at sea mature in their fourth or fifth year. A third group spend two years in the lake
and remain at sea until five or six years of age. Still a fourth group postpone their descent
to the sea until after spending three years in fresh water, and return to their native stream
after maturing in their sixth or seventh year. In accordance with this history, we find
individuals in the run ranging from three to seven years of age and belonging to any one of
the eight different year-classes above indicated.
These eight year-classes were all represented in the 1923 run, and, in addition, a single
individual was present in our samples belonging to a ninth year-class, heretofore unreported.
This was a male specimen, 27 inches long and weighing 8 lb., which had spent two years in
the lake and five years at sea, returning to the spawning-beds in its seventh year. Another
large male was also in its seventh year, having spent three years in the lake and four at sea,
but this type has heen previously noted in the Nass.
As in all previous years, the two-year-in-lake group in 1923 greatly outnumbered all the
others, comprising 77 per cent, of the run, while the one-year-in-lake group made 16 per cent.,
the three-years-in-Iake group 6 per cent., and the sea-type 1 per cent. Disregarding their early
history in fresh water, and considering only their final age as indicative of the brood-year from
which they were derived, we find that 12 per cent, were in their fourth year and were derived
from the spawning run of 1919, 77 per cent, were in their fifth year and came from the 1918
spawning, and 11 per cent, were in their sixth year, the progeny of the spawning run of 1917.
In addition, one individual was in its third year and two were in their seventh.
In Table XXV. the percentages of only the principal age-groups are given for comparison
over a term of years. From this it appears that the percentages of the total four-, five-, and
six-year fish of these groups were identical in 1923 with the averages of the past eleven years.
The only difference concerns the relative numbers of the two five-year classes, those that had
spent two years in fresh water and three in the sea being unusually numerous at the expense
of the class that had spent one year in fresh water and four in the sea. As this last-mentioned
class always exceeds the former in size of individuals, the poor representation in 1923 was a
detriment to the run. 14 Geo. 5
Life-history of Sockeye Salmon.
H 33
Table XXV.—Percentage of Principal Age-groups present in the Nass River Sockeye Run
from 1912 to 1923.
Percentage of Individuals that spent
Year.
One Year in Lake.
Two Years in Lake.
Four Years
old.
Five Years
old.
Five Years
old.
Six Years
old.
1912.. .          	
8
15
4
19
9
10
30
7
8
10
6
11
27
12
41
14
17
15
16
22
14
7
2
6
63
71
45
59
66
71
45
65
72
75
91
77
2
1913	
2
1914	
10
1915 	
8
1916 	
8
1917	
4
1918..                  	
9
1919- .      	
6
1920- .	
6
1921 .'	
8
1922.	
1
1923	
6
Averages, 1912 to 1922	
11       17
I
66
6
(3.) Lengths and Weights.
In the following tables are given the lengths and weights of 1,379 samples taken at a
number of different dates throughout the run, and believed to furnish a reliable index to the
constitution of the run. Tahles XXVII. and XXXI. give average sizes of the different year-
classes in 1923 for comparison with runs of previous years. It will be noted that the 1923 lengths
compare very closely with the general past averages, while the 1923 weights were in each year-
class below the average. This is most unusual, as weights and lengths usually agree in their
tendency in the same material. But in Rivers Inlet in 1922 we found a like disparity; only in
that case the reverse of the above was true, the lengths being well below the average and the
weights were conspicuously above. In neither of these cases have we any reason for doubting
the reliability of our material. The lengths are taken with steel tapes and the weights with
spring-balances which are tested as to their accuracy.
We have omitted from Table XXVI. the records of three individuals, each of which is the sole
representative of a year-class. A three-year fish of the sea-type is a female, 22% inches long,
and weighs 4% lb. A seven-year specimen, of the two-years-in-lake type, is 27 inches long and
weighs 8 lb.; and a seven-year individual of the three-years-in-lake type is 28% inches long and
weighs 7% lb. H 34
Keport of the Commissioner of Fisheries.
1924
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Life-history of Sockeye Salmon.
H 35
Table XXVII.—Nass River Sockeyes, Average Lengths of Principal Glasses from 1912 to 1923.
One Year in Lake.
Two Yeaes in Lake
Four Years old.
Five Years old.
Five Years old.
Six Years old.
Males.
Females.
Males.
Females.
Males.
Females.
Males.
Females.
24.6
1
23.3
26.5
25.1
26.2
25.4
27.0
25.6
24.1'
23.5
25.6
24.8
26.0
25.2
26.0
26.6
24.6
22.7
26.1
25.1
26.3
25.5
26.9
25.6
24.0
23.5
25.9
25.2
26.5
25.9
26.6
25.3
24.5
23.3
26.4
25.0
26.5
25.6
27.9
25.7
23.4
23.2
25.5
24.7
25.3
24.7
26.5
25.5
25.0
24.3
25.7
24.7
25.9
25.0
27.2
25.2
24.9
24.1
26.2
25.2
26.5
25.8
27.9
26.7
24.0
23.4
26.3
25.0
26.7
25.9
27.4
25.9
24.3
23.5
25.5
24.3
26.2
25.6
27.9
26.2
24.2
23.4
25.6
24.6
25.7
25.0
28.0
25.9
24.3
23.7
25.9
25.3
26.2
25.5
27.2
26.5
1912 (inches).
1913
1914
1915
1916
1917
1918
1919
1920
1921
1922
1923
Table XXVIII.—Average Lengths of Principal Classes of Nass River Sockeyes, 1923,
compared with General Averages of 1912 to 1921.
Average
Lengths,
1923.
General
Averages,
1912 to
1921.
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 ...
24.3
23.5
26.0
24.9
26.2
25.5
27.1
25.8 H 36
Report of the Commissioner of Fisheries.
1924
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0 14 Geo. 5
Life-history of Sockeye Salmon.
H 37
Table III.—Nass River Sockeyes, Average Weights of Principal Classes, from 1913 to 192i
One Yeae in Lake.
Two Years in Lake.
Year.
Four Years old.
Five Years old.
Five Years old.
Six Years old.
Males.
Females.
Males.
Females.
Males.
Females.
Males.
Females.
1913 (pounds)-....	
1914 ..                         	
5
6.2
5.6
6.0
5.3
6.3
6.0
5.6
6.0
5.9
5.8
5
5.0
5.2
5.3
5.3
5.8
5.5
5.2
5.4
5.4
5.2
_J
1
6.3
7.4              6.5
6.9              6.4
7.2              6.3
6.8 6.2
7.2              6.3
6.6 5.9
7.4              6.3
6.9 6.1
6.8              6.2
6.7 6.1
1
1
6.5
7.2              6.5
7.0              6.6
7.2 6.2
6.3 5.8
7.2              6.4
6.7 6.1
7.4 6.7
6.9              6.3
6.8 6.3
6.6              6.0
6
7.9
7.2
8.1
7.3
8.3
7.8
7.9
7.7
8.1
7.2
7
6.8
1915
6.5
1916
6.4
1917
6.4
1918
6.7
1919
6.7
1920
7.0
1921
6.6
1922
66
1923
6 8
Table XXXI.—Average Weights of Principal Classes of Nass River Sockeyes, 1923,
compared with General Averages of 191^ to 1921.
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 ...
General
Averages,
1914 to
1921.
5.9
5.3
7.0
6.3
7.0
6.3
7.8
In our report in this series for the season of 1922, we show on page 24 and in Table XIV.
that the different year-groups in the Fraser River attain approximately the same size when
they have spent the same number of years at sea, irrespective of the length of time they may
in their early history have spent in fresh water, and without reference to their age at maturity.
Their stature is determined almost altogether by the length of time they have spent in rapid
growth on the rich feeding-grounds of the sea. This is generally true of other sockeye races
which inhabit the various streams of British Columbia and Alaska. Neither age nor fresh
water growth in themselves affect the final size. For convenience of reference, and for comparison with the very different habit of growth which characterizes the Nass Klver colony of
sockeyes, we repeat below the Fraser River table. H 38
Report of the Commissioner of Fisheries.
1924
Table XXXII.—Fraser River Sockeyes, 1922, grouped by Number of Years spent on
Sea-feeding Grounds.
Age.
j
Males.
Females.
3
Two Years at Sea.
Inches.
19.0
19.2
23.0
24.0
23.5
25.5
25.8
25.4
Inches.
4
16.5
3
Three Years at Sea.
22.6
4
23.0
5
22.7
4
Four Years at  Sea.
24.2
5
24.1
6
Two-years-in-lake type  - -	
24.3
As seen in Table XXXIII., the growth-habit in the Nass River race forms a striking
exception to that universally observed elsewhere, and forms a strongly marked racial peculiarity.
The number of years spent in feeding in the sea no longer solely determine the size to be
attained. Another factor enters in, that of age, associated with longer or shorter periods spent
in fresh water before migrating downwards to the sea. The vigorous growth, on reaching the
sea, of those groups which spend a longer period in fresh water is shown on comparing the
five-year group that has spent two years in the lake with the five-year group that spent only
one year in the lake. The two-year-in-Iake group had spent only three years at sea, while the
one-year-in-lake group had spent four years at sea, yet the former averages larger than the
latter.
Table XXXIII.—Nass River Sockeyes, 1.923, grouped I
Sea-feeding Grounds.
Number of Years spent on the
I
Age. |
Males.
Females.
3
Three Years at Sea.
Sea-type   (from  1921  material! -	
Inches.
23.1
24.3
26.2
25.5
25.9
27.2
Inches.
22.4
4
23.7
5
25.5
4
Four Years at Sea.
24.3
5
25.3
6
26.5
(4.) The Bowser and Meziadin Lake Sockeye Colonies.
In our report for 1922 (page 47) we note the examination of fifteen specimens from the
Bowser Lake spawning-grounds and ten from the Meziadin, and state that while the material
was wholly inadequate to produce conclusive evidence, it apparently indicated that separate
sockeye colonies populated these two tributaries, distinguished in part by the fact that the
young of the Meziadin colony spent more years in the lake before seeking the sea than did the
young of the Bowser Lake colony. Of the ten Meziadin specimens, none had remained but a
single year in the lake, SO per cent, had spent two years, and 20 per cent, had spent three years.
Of the fifteen Bowser Lake specimens, 40 per cent, had remained a single year in the lake,
60 per cent, had remained two years, and none had remained three years.
In 1923 Inspector of Fisheries C. P. Hickman again inspected the spawning-grounds of the
Nass for the Department and brought back from the two tributaries more extensive material,
there being sixty-three specimens from the Meziadin Lake and forty-one from the Bowser Lake,
the latter being procured at the mouth of the Bowser River as the fish were entering. 14 Geo. 5
Life-history of Sockeye Salmon.
H 39
Examination of the new material verifies in general the differences previously pointed out
as distinguishing the two colonies, and establishes certain other differences of undoubted significance, sufficient to warrant us in asserting the substantial independence of the two races, with
the necessary corollary that the members of each race return at maturity to the same tributary
in which they were hatched. This distinctness of tributary races has been demonstrated as
yet in comparatively few watersheds, but the present instance is a clear-cut one and is worthy
of being placed on record.
It is very difficult to procure from spawning fish the data required for racial discrimination.
The differences between the races of sockeyes are found largely in habits of growth and development, including differing percentages of the various year-classes present, and the average sizes
of these classes. But data of this kind can be procured only in connection with the microscopic
examination of the scales, as used in the determination of age. Unfortunately, in the spawning
fish, the scales have suffered such extensive erosion about the margins that age-determination is
impossible, and the segregation of the year-classes cannot be made. In the Meziadin and
Bowser Lake material the age could not be ascertained in a single specimen.
The only data which these imperfect scales can furnish are those derived from an examination of the central or nuclear area of the scales, which records growth as fry and fingerling
during their life in fresh water. Outside this nuclear area was found a portion of the scale
still preserved sufficiently to fwrnish a record of the first and sometimes the second year's growth
in the ocean, but in no case was the margin of the scale left intact at any point, and it was
thus impossible to ascertain how much of the total record had been destroyed.
The record of the growth in fresh water is, however, of high value for our purpose, and
is not infrequently sufficient in itself to establish the complete differentiation of races. The
nuclear area of the scale enables us to determine the length of time the individual remained as
a resident of its native lake, whether one, two, or three years, or whether it belonged to the
sea-type, which descends to the ocean as soon as free-swimming. The proportions in which
individuals of these different classes are found in a colony constitute racial peculiarities which
are relatively constant from year to year, as is abundantly shown in this series of reports in
our analyses of the runs to the four principal sockeye-streams of British Columbia, from 1912
to 1923.
From the nuclear area of the scale we can also ascertain the relative size attained by the
fingerlings at the time they reach the sea. This may vary widely in the different sockeye strains,
and is frequently so diagnostic that members of two races can be distinguished at a glance on
inspection of the centres of the scales.
The Bowser and Meziadin Lake colonies exhibit differences belonging to both of these
categories. They differ with regard to the average number of years they spend in fresh water
before descent to the sea, and they differ in the size the young attain during their fresh-water
sojourn. As has been shown in previous reports in this series, the relative size attained by
fingerlings can be reliably inferred from the number of nuclear rings in the central area of
the scales.
No specimen in our material belonged to the sea-type. All had spent as fingerlings either
one, two, or three years in the native lake before seeking the sea. We give below in Table
XXXIV. the percentage of individuals belonging to these two colonies which had spent either
one, two, or three years in fresh water :—
Table XXXIV.—Percentages of Meziadin and Bowser Lake Runs, showing Different
Number of Years in Fresh Water.
Years in Lake.
One
Year.
Two
Years.
Three
Years.
No. of
Specimens.
Meziadin, 1922    ...          ..           .                       	
13
40
33
80
84
60
64
20
3
3
10
63
Bowser, 1922                                        	
15
Bowser, 1923 	
41 H 40
Keport of the Commissioner of Fisheries.
1924
Considering the limited amount of material available, the correspondence in the two years
is remarkably close and displays well the differing constitution of the runs to the two tributaries.
A very large majority of the Meziadin fish belong to the two-years-in-lake type, while the Bowser
race contains also a liberal percentage of one-year-in-lake fish.
As regards the size attained by the fingerlings of the two races, and the picture of the
nucleus of the scale presented by the two, the difference was sufficiently striking to attract
immediate attention. A cursory examination of the scales was sufficient to convince of the
complete distinctness of the two colonies. As the two-years-in-lake type is the only one possessing in our samples from the two colonies sufficient material for comparison, we confine our
attention to that type.
In the Meziadin specimens we find in the nuclear area of the scale a remarkable uniformity,
as though all individuals were made in close conformity to the same pattern. The young made
a uniform vigorous growth in each of the two years in the lake, there are no subsidiary checks
during the growing season, testifying to the occurrence of unfavourable conditions, and the
annuli, or normal winter-checks, are unusually well defined.
The Bowser Lake nuclei are much less regular in appearance, by no means giving the
impression of being constructed after the same pattern, but suggesting rather the possibility
of representing the progeny from a number of spawning-streams. The growth was less constant,
there are more subsidiary checks, and the total growth attained is distinctly less. These
differences are brought out in the following table, which gives the number of concentric rings
or circuli in the nuclear region of the scale. The number of rings in the Meziadin nuclei in
the two years average 8.3+13.9; in Bowser nuclei, 6.7+10.1.
Table XXXV.—Frequency Distribution of Nuclear Rings in Scales of Meziadin and
Bowser River Races, Two-years-in-lake Type, 1923.
Number of Nuclear Rings.
Number of
Individuals.
First Year in Lake.
Second Year in Lake.
Meziadin.
Bowser.
Meziadin
Bowser.
4     	
1
1
7
7
15
10       *
4
2
3
1
2
2
6
7
4
3
1
3
3
12
15
12
3
4
5-	
6                                         	
1
8                                                                     ....   :
4
9    	
5
10	
5
11	
12	
2
13    	
1
14                    	
2
15     	
16
17                                                                          	
51
2
3
51
23
Average number of rings	
8.3
6.7
13.9
10.1 14 Geo. 5 Spawning-beds of Fraser River. H 41
THE SPAWNING-BEDS OF THE FRASER RIVER.
Hon. William Sloan,
Commissioner of Fisheries, Victoria, B.C.
Sir,—I have the honour to submit the following report of an inspection of the salmon-
fishing and salmon-spawning areas of the Fraser River system during the season of 1923:—
The catch of all species of salmon from Provincial waters of the Fraser River system in
1923 produced a total pack of 226,869 cases, as against 140,570 cases in 1922. It was the largest
pack from our waters since 1917. The gain is due to a great increase in the pack of chums
and pinks. The pack consisted of 31,655 cases of sockeye, S,133 cases of springs, 20,173 cases
of cohoe, 63,645 cases of pinks, 103,248 cases of chums, and 15 cases of steelhead trout. The catch
of sockeye in Provincial waters of the Fraser was the smallest since 1918, the previous low
record, and was 20,177 cases less than in 1922. The catch of sockeye made by the traps in
Juan de Fuca Strait, Vancouver Island, which in this Department's reports is credited to
the Fraser, was the smallest ever made there.
The season's catch of sockeye in the State of Washington waters of the Fraser River system
was the smallest ever made and produced a pack of 47,402 cases, as against 48,566 in 1922 and
102,967 in 1921. The total catch of sockeye in all the waters of the Fraser River system in 1923
produced a pack of 79,057 cases. For the first time the catch produced a pack of less than
100,000 cases. The Fraser, which formerly produced more sockeye than any other watershed
in the world and outranked all our other sockeye-producing waters combined, now ranks a poor
third even in Provincial waters.
I made my twenty-first annual inspection of the principal salmon-spawning area of the
Fraser River basin in August, September, and October, and am again indebted to Chief Inspector
of Fisheries Major J. A. Motherwell and to local residents, both white and Indian, scattered
over the watershed, for much information of value.
As a result of the season's investigations I am of the opinion that the number of sockeye
that spawned in the waters above Hell's Gate Canyon was less than in any previous year. In no
section above that canyon were sockeye found in sufficient numbers to be worthy of notice.
In many of the northern sections, where in earlier years large numbers spawned annually, not
a sockeye was seen this year.
The number of sockeye observed at Hell's Gate throughout the season was less than in any
former year. Water conditions in the canyon were unusually favourable for the passage of
all the fish that reached there. None were delayed there this year even for a day or two, as
has commonly been the case.
Indians resident in the Fraser basin were again permitted to catch salmon for their own
use, but the combined catch of those that fished at Hell's Gate, Bridge River Canyon, the
Chilcotin River, and all the other stations did not equal in number 1 per cent, of those caught
at any one# of them ten or twelve years ago. The Chilcotin Indians' catch did not exceed 200
sockeye this year, as against 30,000 to 50,000 a decade ago. No Indians fished at Chimney Creek
or at Soda Creek this season. I did not see a single sockeye in the Bowron Lake District, or
in Quesnel Lake or its principal tributary, the Horsefly River, and could not find a resident on
the banks of that river, from its mouth to the wood-jam, some miles above Harpers Camp, who
had seen one.
Dominion Fisheries Officers report that a few hundred sockeye reached tributaries of
Shuswap Lake.    None were seen at Seton or Anderson Lakes.
The number of sockeye which now reach the waters of the Fraser above Yale is so insignificant as to make a hunt for them fruitless.
It is again a pleasure to record that the number of sockeye which this year reached the
spawning-beds of the Birkenhead River, at the head of the Harrison-Lillooet Lakes section,
equalled those seen there in any one of the last twenty-one years with which I am familiar.
The run to this section shows no decrease. It is the only section in the Fraser basin to which
the run has not very materially decreased. As already stated, the run to all sections above
Hell's Gate Canyon has been virtually destroyed, and the run to all the waters below Hell's
Gate, with the notable exception of the Birkenhead, has been greatly diminished. H 42 Report of the Commissioner of Fisheries. 1924
The family of sockeye in the Birkenhead apparently enter the Fraser in August and have
to run the same gauntlet of traps, gill and purse nets employed by fishermen as all other salmon
have to do. Why the escapement of the Birkenhead sockeye is so much greater than the run
to any other section is not therefore manifest. One cannot study present conditions in the
Fraser without being impressed with the fact that the present run of sockeye largely consists
of fish spawned in the Birkenhead. t>
Over 30,000,000 sockeye-eggs were collected for the hatchery on the Birkenhead, known as
the Pemberton Hatchery, and the natural spawning-beds of that section were abundantly seeded.
The collection of eggs from the Harrison Lake section, including Cultus and Pitt Lakes,
totalled 25,895,000. It is of interest to note than 4,000,000 sockeye-eggs were collected from
adult fish which sought entrance to the retaining-pond on the lake-side, close to the hatchery.
These fish manifestly were from fry liberated from the h*tchery-ponds.
For the first time since the fatal blockade of 1913 a few pink salmon were noted at Hell's
Gate; several were found in Lake Creek at the outlet of Seton Lake, and others in tributaries
of the Thompson.
Respectfully submitted.
John Pease Babcock,
Assistant to the Commissioner. 14 Geo. 5 Spawning-beds of Skeena River. H 43
THE SPAWNING-BEDS OF THE SKEENA RIVER.
Hon. William Sloan,
Commissioner of Fisheries, Victoria, B.C.
Sik,—In obedience to your instructions, I beg to submit the following report on the spawning-
beds of the Skeena Kiver for the year 1923 :—
I left Prince Rupert on September 3rd and arrived at Donald's Landing on Babine Lake
on September 6th. The following day I visited 15-Mile Creek, which is approximately 100 miles
from the mouth of the lake. Five Indian families from Stuart Lake were fishing in the lake
near the mouth of the creek and were apparently satisfied with their catch of sockeye, their
smoke-houses and racks being well filled. The Dominion authorities have a guardian stationed
here during the sockeye run to prevent the Indians molesting the fish in the creek. This creek
has only about half a mile of spawning-grounds; beyond that it is of a rocky nature and
unsuitable for spawning. The spawning area was, however, in excellent condition, being full
of sockeye of a good average size, the males and females being about equal in number. A deep
pool at the head of the spawning area was literally swarming with sockeye, some fine specimens
being noticed. In former years this creek had the largest percentage of " runts " or undersized
sockeye, for the size of the creek, of any creek on the Skeena watershed, but this year there
were few to be seen. This creek will be well seeded and from all reports easily up to the
average of any good year. This is the second year that the Stuart Lake Hatchery did not collect
sockeye-eggs from 15-Mile Creek and Pierre Creek, Babine Lake. Considering that between
4,000,000 and 5,000,000 sockeye-eggs were taken annually from these two creeks for Stuart Lake
Hatchery and the fry liberated in the Fraser River basin, and also the fact that these creeks
do not show any noticeable deficiency, one cannot but wonder whether the yearlings, when
liberated on the Fraser, did not return four or five years later to their place of origin—the
Skeena watershed.
I returned to Donald's Landing that night and the following morning set out for Babine
River at the mouth of the lake, but owing to stormy weather did not reach there till the night
of the 10th.
On the morning of the 11th I proceeded down Babine River a distance of about 12 miles,
as far as one can safely go with a boat. It is on this stretch of water that the Babine Indians,
approximately 100 families, catch their winter supply of fish, those on the upper stretch catching
mostly sockeye and those on the lower mostly humpbacks and springs. There are thirty
smoke-houses on either side of the river, with from two to five families using each smoke-house.
All the smoke-houses were w7ell filled with fish, and although the younger Indians were not
satisfied with their catch, the older ones were contented. On the trip down the river, and for
a distance of about 3 miles where the water was shallow, large numbers of sockeye were seen
darting away at the approach of the boat. The Babine River will be well seeded this year,
comparing favourably with former years. In the Babine River proper, 12 miles from the outlet
of the lake, there was an exceptional run of humpbacks, and quite a few sockeye were to be
seen among them.
Next morning I set out on horseback for the head of Salmon River, a distance of 8 miles
from Babine Village and about 17 miles from the hatchery. This is a good-sized creek about
5 miles in length, which flows into the head of Morrison Lake, 12 miles from the hatchery.
The creek was in good condition, there being no log obstructions or falls to impede the sockeye.
I went down this creek some distance and saw a great many sockeye in the numerous shallow
gravelly patches and in the pools. They were large on an average, the males, if anything,
predominating. This was my first visit to Salmon Creek. Each year there appears to be some
fresh point of interest, and any one who has not been there could scarcely imagine the extent of
the country and the difficulties to contend with in getting from place to place.
Returning to Babine Village again, I arrived at Hatchery Creek on the 13th. One Indian
family from Babine Village were fishing near the mouth of the creek and had their smokehouse full of sockeye. Hatchery Creek, which is about 3 miles in length, was in splendid shape,
being free from all obstructions. There were not many sockeye to be seen at the lower end,
but at about a third of the way up the creek they began to make an appearance, and all the H 44 Report of the Commissioner of Fisheries. 1924
rest of the way they increased in numbers. At the mouth of the lake where the hatchery is
situated there are fences and pens erected for corralling the fish for spawning purposes, and
these were simply teeming with sockeye. I met Mr. Hearne, the Superintendent of the hatchery,
who was supervising the digging of several new retaining-ponds. He informed me that the first
sockeye were not noticed until July 29th, as the water was very high. He began erecting the
fences and pens on July 24th, but they were not complete until August Sth. Up to that date
the water was very high and a large number of sockeye went into Morrison Lake and right
through to Salmon Creek. Mr. Hearne intended to commence spawning the following day,
and, judging by the pens at his disposal, which were full of fish, he should not have much
difficulty in obtaining his quota—S,000,000 eggs. Hatchery Creek is the most important and
best all-round sockeye-creek of the Skeena watershed, the fish being of a higher average in size
than in any other creek.
Leaving early the following morning, I called in at Tachek or Fulton River, and was
agreeably surprised at the large number of sockeye seen. The entrance to the creek resembles
a slough for some distance, the water being deep and muddy. It is a large creek with about
3 miles of spawning area, falls 4 miles from the mouth of the creek, preventing the sockeye
going farther. Going 2 miles up the creek I found it well seeded, being much better than
former average years. It is one of the latest spawning-creeks in Babine, and at the time of
my visit there were still large schools of sockeye in the lake at the mouth of the creek.
Calling in at Pierre Creek that afternoon, I found it much similar to Tachek, only on a
smaller scale. There were no obstructions in the creek, which was in good condition. This
is an early-spawning creek and a number of dead sockeye could be seen on the bars all along
the creek. There were many sockeye spawning on the gravelly patches, the fish being of a
good size, the males and females being about equal in number.
Returning to Donald's Landing, I visited Beaver Creek on the 15th. This is the earliest
sockeye-spawning creek on Babine and also the farthest, being approximately 120 miles from the
entrance to the lake. The creek for the first 3 miles is a slough, the water being very dark
and muddy. It is a slow-running creek with many log-jams, but not sufficient to retard the
sockeye. There were not many live sockeye to be seen, but the number of dead fish made an
unbearable stench. The sockeye were of an average size, the males and females being in
proportion.    This creek was well seeded and up to the average of former years.
The following day, by making a detour of 9 miles, I visited Grizzly Creek, which runs into
Beaver Creek about 7 miles from the lake. This is a small creek, having about half a mile of
spawning-ground, but is an exceptionally good place for sockeye. Very few live sockeye were
seen here, the majority having spawned. This creek was as well seeded this year as last year
and on a par with any previous year.
On the way back to Donald's Landing I called in at 4-Mile Creek and 6-Mile Creek, two
small creeks, 4 and 5 miles respectively from the head of the lake. These creeks were well
seeded, judging by the number of dead sockeye in the pools and on the bars. This being the last
point of interest on Babine, I returned to Burns Lake on the ISth.
Summing up the Babine area, I found the spawning-grounds as well seeded as last year
and on a par with any previous average year, Fulton River surpassing any recent year.
I arrived at Hazelton on the 20th and visited Awillgate Canyon on the Bulkley River. For
many years the Hazelton and neighbouring Indians have gathered at this canyon during the
sockeye run to catch their winter supply of fish. In late years, however, this practice has been
gradually decreasing, as these Indians, unlike the Babine Indians, do not now consider fish their
chief food-supply. Six or eight decrepit structures bear testimony to former years of activity
when these same structures were good-sized smoke-houses. There are still a few Indians,
however, who visit the canyon each year during the run and catch around 2,000 fish with dip-net
and spear. I was informed that the run of sockeye up the Bulkley was exceptionally good and
compared favourably with 1918. Kispiox River, which enters the Skeena above Hazelton and
is noted as a never-failing humpback-creek, was again up to expectations, the creek being one
teeming mass of this variety.
I arrived at Terrace on the 21st and proceeded to Lakelse the following day. Lakelse Lake
is 12 miles from Terrace. The hatchery-men were busy at the time, spawning in Williams
Creek. This is the most important sockeye-creek on Lakelse, being a swift-running creek over
20 miles in length and flowing into the head of the lake.    The sockeye were first noticed here 14 Geo. 5 Spawning-beds of Skeena River. H 45
about June 16th, which is earlier than last year. Spawning operations for the hatchery commenced on August 5th, the same as last year, and 8,000,000 eggs had been collected by September
1st. All fences and pens were removed on September 1st, but were replaced on September 15th,
as an order had been given to collect 2,000,000 eggs for planting. Williams Creek will be well
seeded this year, as a great many sockeye passed up the creek before the fences were put in
and after they were taken out. The sockeye were of a good size, scarcely any runts being noticed
among them, the males and females being about equal in number.
Schullabuchan was the next creek visited, but there were only a few live sockeye to be
seen. Many dead fish were in the creek, which should be well seeded, comparing favourably
with former years.
Two small branches of Granite Creek will be well seeded, as quite a number of sockeye had
worked their way up both creeks. Lakelse River, another important humpback-river, will be
well seeded this year, as the river was full of this species.
As this was the last point of interest, I returned to Terrace and arrived in Port Essington
on September 23rd.
I wish to express my thanks and appreciation to the Hatchery Superintendents and men,
also the Dominion Guardians, for the information supplied and hospitality shown.
I have, etc.,
Robebt Gibson,
Fishery Overseer. THE SPAWNING-BEDS OF THE MEZIADIN LAKE AND BOWSER LAKE
WATERSHEDS OF THE NASS RIVER.
Hon. William Sloan,
Commissioner of Fisheries, Victoria, B.C.
Sir,—In compliance with instructions from the Department to inspect the salmon-spawning
areas of the Meziadin and Bowser Lake watersheds of the Nass River, I beg to submit the
following report:—
On my arrival at the town of Stewart I met Mr. Young, who accompanied me on the trip
in the interests of the Dominion Fisheries Department.
We were all prepared to make a start from Stewart on September 4th, but owing to
excessive rains, which had flooded the valleys, we had to delay starting until the 7th instant.
We left Stewart with two saddle and three pack horses, and experienced great difficulty in
travelling up the Bear River and over the Bear River Glacier owing to several wash-outs
and slides. We had to practically make a new trail on the far side of the glacier to enable
us to get the horses over safely. We arrived on the far side of the glacier on Sunday evening,
September 9th, and there met two men, T. Williams and D. McPhee, with whom it had been
previously arranged would make the trip with us. On the 10th we continued down the Beaver
River, and upon our arrival at Surprise River found that the bridge had been washed out. This
bridge was built a year ago, and was raised another 3 feet this summer, in an effort to make
it safe in case of freshet, but the torrents were too strong.
When we arrived in the interior beyond the Coast range of mountains the weather greatly
improved. Upon our arrival at the cabin at the head of Meziadin Lake we used one of the
Dominion Fisheries Department's canvas canoes for the inspection of Meziadin Lake and the
falls. The waters of the lake were very high, considerably over the average.- We took the
northerly shore going down the lake, and in visiting places on the lake-shore where usually
numbers of spawning sockeye are to be seen, very few were in evidence. There were no sockeye
to be seen disporting themselves around the mouths of the Hanna River and McLeod Creek.
On leaving the lake and entering the Meziadin River, we come to the MrBride Rapids. At
the foot of these rapids there is a fine spring-salmon-spawning ground, and while it was possible
to observe many spawning spring salmon, they were not as plentiful as I have seen them in
the past.
On reachcing the fishway we made an inspection of the upper and lower fall. There were
very few sockeye at the upper fall and hardly any passing through the fishway. There were
more congregated at the lower fall, but in no great numbers. Conditions improved a little at
the lower fall before we left, as there appeared to be a fresh run of sockeye coming in. We
experienced quite a lot of trouble in obtaining sockeye-scales for examination owing to there
being so few of them, but succeeded in getting specimens from over sixty, and were fortunate
in being able to take the majority of the scales without injury to the fish.
The Dominion Fisheries Department has made extensive repairs to the fishway this summer,
having torn out all of the old crib-work and replaced it with a new one. The new crib is drift-
bolted to the rock, is a complete crib, being 8 feet in width, and is protecting the whole of the
bank in the form of a straight crib for the length of the basins, with wings at each end. The
Department also sloped the bank at the back of the fishway for a considerable distance and
cleaned out all of the basins. This has greatly improved conditions and has restored the fishway
to its original form. The work done appears to be of a high class as to durability and neatness,
and should stand up for a considerable number of years without further repairs. I am submitting some photos of the new work which will explain more fully.
After finishing our inspection of the fishway and falls we returned to the cabin at the head
of the lake, taking the southerly shore-line. From a point about 4 miles down from the head
of the lake we saw a few spawning sockeye at several likely places, the best location being near
the head of the lake, where a small spring-water stream comes in. There were not as many
sockeye to be seen at these places as in the past and very few were leaping in the lake.
After completing the work of inspection of the Meziadin Lake watershed we re-outfitted at
the cabin and started ill for Bowser Lake.    We packed two horses with our outfit and one with 14 Geo. 5 Spawning-beds of Nass River. H 47
the folding canvas canoe owned by the Dominion Fisheries Department. This made rather an
unwieldy pack over a crude trail, but we were successful in landing it safely at our destination.
We were the first parties to take a pack-train through this country, and owing to the short
time that the men had to brush it out we had many difficult places to overcome, and at one place
we had a hard time in saving a horse from breaking his leg. On our arrival at the junction
of the Cottonwood and Bowser Rivers w7e made camp, and then had to cut a trail to pasture
the horses. We then went down the river below the junction towards the Nass River. The
distance to the Nass from this point is about 2Ya miles, the river being swift, with rapids in
places, but no falls or other obstacles until it reaches the Nass. 1 was informed by Indians
that there is a canyon in the Nass River below the Cottonwood, but was not able to get there.
We launched the canoe at the junction and started up the river towards Bowser Lake.
The distance from the junction to the outlet of the lake is about 3V2 miles, with only a short
distance of swift water to navigate. The canvas canoe, which is 16 feet long, was very adaptable for our work. The water in Bowser Lake was high and very dirty, making it impossible
to observe any fish-life. We made a thorough inspection of the lake-shore for its whole distance,
and in trying to obtain scales from sockeye salmon we placed a net in several likely places, but
were not successful in taking one salmon. At a place w7here I caught fifteen sockeye last year
we met with no results. There are no creeks emptying into Bowser Lake where sockeye ascend
for spawning purposes. We found the canoe of great benefit on the lake, as we were able to
get a thorough idea of the whole of its shore-line, its bays and indentations. After making an
examination of the lake, and fishing the net in numerous places without results, we returned
to the camp at the junction. Immediately above the rapids here we fished the net for three days,
and were fortunate in taking over forty sockeye for scale-collecting. Some Indians arrived here
for the winter trapping on the day we were breaking camp, and they informed us that no sockeye
came into this lake, stating that they thought the water was too cold, but that later on large
numbers of cohoe came in. We did not inform them that we had taken sockeye, as they would
have commenced fishing for them without delay. It is possible that had we remained a few days
longer we could have taken some more sockeye, but as the weather was bad, and the snow nearly
down on the bottoms, we decided to return. After finishing our work here we packed up the
canoe and cached it for future use.
On the return journey we experienced very wet weather, which made travelling slow. The
rivers were all high, nearly taking the horses off their feet when crossing them.
We arrived back in Stewart on October 3rd, having been twenty-seven days out on the trip.
Summary.
Meziadin Lake.—In comparing the run of sockeye to the Meziadin Lake watershed for 1923
with former years, I have to submit, that the run was far less than that of 1922, and with very
little improvement over that of 1921. There was not much activity at the falls and fishway,
but some improvement was noticeable at the lower fall the day we left. Owing to our having
to make the long trip into Bowser Lake, the time of our inspection at the falls was about one
week earlier than is usual. No cohoe salmon had arrived at the falls at the time we left there.
I was informed by men who were working at the fishway that the first sockeye made their
appearance at the falls on July 17th. After cleaning out the basins of the fishway they reopened
it on August 1st. While the fishway had been closed a large number of sockeye had collected
below, and when it was opened they passed up freely.
The fishway is now in splendid condition and is a credit to those who did the work. The
crib is 8 feet in width, drift-bolted to the solid rock, and filled with ballast. It should now hold
for at least twenty years without further repairs unless some unforeseen occurrence takes place.
Bowser Iiake.—In considering this watershed as an important sockeye-spawniug ground we
have very little more information to present than we have submitted in past. The water of the
lake was high and, being glacier-fed, was greatly discoloured. It has been in this condition
on each of the times that I have been here. In our efforts to obtain data with a net in the
lake we were not successful, but we still demonstrated that sockeye do enter this watershed
as proved by our taking sockeye in the river below the outlet of the lake. If there were any
great number of sockeye here I am sure we would have had better results in our endeavour to
get them. The Indians informed me that cohoe salmon frequent these waters in considerable
numbers at a later date than the time of our inspection.   While we cannot overlook the fact that it is difficult to make observations owing to the dirty state of the water, and there being no
place in this watershed where salmon are held back by falls or rapids so that you can see them,
I am of the opinion that the Bowser Lake watershed is not an important sockeye-spawning area.
It is possible that more light may be given us by the examination of the scales taken there and
comparing them with scales taken at other places in the Nass system.
Respectfully submitted.
C. P. Hickman,
Inspector of Fisheries.
New Westminster, B.C., October nth, 1923. 14 Geo. 5 Spawning-beds of Smith Inlet. H 49
THE SPAWNING-BEDS OF SMITH INLET.
Hon. William Sloan,
Commissioner of Fisheries, Victoria, B.C.
Sir,—I have the honour to submit the following report on the inspection of the spawning-
grounds at Smith Inlet for the year 1923:—
Following the exceptionally big run of sockeye salmon to the inlet during the fishing season,,
it was with a feeling of optimism that the inspection was made this year.
Leaving Rivers Inlet Cannery for Smith Inlet on October 9th, and arriving at our destination next day, I engaged Indians and departed for the spawning-beds at Long Lake, which is
situated about 4% miles from salt water. The Docee River (the overflow to the lake) engaged
my attention first; it is swift-flowing and very difficult to surmount, and it was necessary to
pack our outfit over the trail to the lake. Making camp here, I examined the river, and am
able to report that the run of spring salmon was equal in numbers to any recorded in past years.
In the clear water they could be seen in very large numbers making their way up, and many
were observed schooled up along the gravel shore at the mouth of the lake. Cohoe salmon were
also to be seen, although in not very large numbers. We were again delayed in proceeding up
the lake owing to the extremely rough weather; eventually reaching Quay Creek, camp was
made and an inspection conducted at this point. The spawning-beds both outside and inside
the creek contained a. run of sockeye closely resembling the conditions recorded in 1919. They
were about evenly distributed between males and females and a fair average in size.
On arrival at the Geluch River, camp was made and the inspection continued. It is
situated at the head of the lake and extends for about 3% miles, where falls preclude further
advance of the fish up-stream; tributary to it are a number of small mountain streams, all of
which contribute their quota of spawning sockeye. In making our way up through the rapids
spawning sockeye in dense masses were encountered, while at the head the spawning-beds
contained a run equal in proportion to any recorded since 1914. It was interesting to watch
their efforts to surmount the falls, only to be hurled back beaten and broken. Indians camped
at the entrance to the river were busy cutting up fish preparatory to smoking them, and expressed
the opinion that no such run had been experienced since 1914. From my own personal observation of the run that year I believe they are correct. The small mountain streams, all of which
contained an exceptional run of spawning sockeye, were a favourite resort of the Indian children,
who were having a great time hooking them out. Even the vast numbers already encountered
did not represent the full extent of the run, as schools of fish were seen at the entrance and ini
the clear waters of the lake close inshore. No log-jams or other obstructions prevented the;
salmon making full use of the spawning-beds; the male sockeye outnumbered the females ini
the proportion of three to one, while in size they represented a fair average.
The Delebah River, situated about 2 miles from the head of the lake, although restricted
in size, again showed up remarkably well. The spawning-beds, which extend for about 1%
miles, were literally covered with a seething mass of spawning fish, while dense masses schooled
up at the entrance and outside in the lake revealed conditions similar to those recorded in 1914.
The Indians, not content with catching fish at the Geluch, were busy filling their canoes from
this stream, using a spear in preference to hauling them out by means of a net.
Returning down the lake, cohoe salmon were seen breaking water in all directions, and on
arrival at the mouth schools of these fish were observed going up the Docee River, bearing out
reports that the run of this species of salmon to the inlet this year was exceptionally big.
Summing up the results of my inspection of the spawning-beds of the Smith Inlet salmon
run, I am of the opinion that the escapement this year was even greater than that I recorded
in 1919 and equalled in numbers the great run of 1914. The run to Smith Inlet this year was
the result of the spawnings of 1918 and 1919. As the beds were poorly seeded in 1918 and
abundantly seeded in 1919, it is concluded that the bulk of the run this year consisted of fish
hatched from the seeding of 1919. The abundant seeding of 1923 should eventually give a
big return.
I have, etc.,
A. W. Stone,
»    Rivers Inlet, B.C., November lltth, 1923. Fisheries Overseer.
4 H 50 Report of the Commissioner of Fisheries. 1924
THE SPAWNING-BEDS OF RIVERS INLET.
Hon. William Sloan,
Commissioner of Fisheries, Victoria, B.C.
Sir,—In pursuance of instructions from the Department to make an inspection of the
spawning-beds at Rivers Inlet, I have the honour to submit my report for 1923.
With a view of ascertaining the extent of the runs at different periods of the spawning
season, I varied the time of inspection by examining the early-running salmon-streams situated
at the head of Owikeno Lake first.
Leaving the cannery at Rivers Inlet on September 18th, the first indication of a big run
of fish to the lake was noted by the exceptional numbers breaking water at the entrance to
the lake and in the river below. Staying overnight at the hatchery, I departed for the head
next day and made camp. The three rivers comprising the Indian, Cheo, and Washwash in
the year 1918 all failed to show productive seeding, but in 1919 contained a big run of sockeye;
it was therefore interesting to see if the spawning-beds would fulfil expectations following the
exceptionally big run of sockeye salmon to Rivers Inlet during the fishing season. The Wash-
wash, situated on the extreme right of the lake, was examined first and again showed signs
of the havoc wrought by the freshets. The channel which formerly passed to the left had been
forced over to the right, opening up spawning-beds in which the sockeye were not slow to take
advantage. The Dominion Department of Fisheries had at one time contemplated building a
cribbing to effect just such a purpose, but will not have to do so, provided the channel remains
as it is now. It was feared that further inroads into the left bank would eventually result
in the river overflowing into the Cheo.
The spawning-beds were literally covered with sockeye, in great contrast to the poor runs
experienced in the past two years. The run is a fair average in size, the males outnumbering
the females in the proportion of three to one; small grilse in exceptional numbers were also to
be seen. The run corresponds closely to that of 1919 and is very much greater than that recorded
in 1918, two years responsible for the conditions noted here.
The Indian River, situated directly opposite, although restricted in size, contains some of
the finest spawning-beds on the lake. Unhindered by log-jams or other obstructions, the fish are
permitted full use of the beds. The run of sockeye was exceptionally early and few spawning
fish were seen, but countless numbers of dead bodies covered the bars. Bodies of spring salmon
were also noted, showing that this species of fish travel to the head streams to spawn. In
estimating the extent of the run, I find that it compares very favourably with 1919.
The Cheo River, situated between the Washwash and the Indian, extends for about 20 miles,
but only that portion below the falls can be utilized for spawning purposes. If the falls, which
extend for about 500 yards, could be surmounted, the extra mileage, comprising as it does some
of the finest spawning-beds, would be opened up to the salmon. At certain stages of the river
cohoe salmon have been known to pass through, but only on rare occasions. Tt was again satisfactory to note so many fish on the spawning-beds. In the clear water near the entrance and
above each riffle sockeye in very large numbers were encountered, while the spawhing-beds
situated between the log-jam and the falls contained a run of sockeye equal in numbers to the
run in 1920, the year of the big run to Rivers Inlet; such a condition warrants the opinion that
a big run of fish will return from this season's spawning. With the exception of the log-jam
referred to, no obstruction interfered with the free movement of the salmon up-stream. Seagulls must be considered an element of destruction to the salmon spawn, as a .great number
were observed eagerly pouncing upon the eggs as they floated down-stream.
The satisfactory conditions at the head of the lake were not sustained on arrival at Sunday
Creek, a small stream situated just north of the narrows; few sockeye were to be seen, hut this
may have been accounted for by my early visit. At the narrows and close to the Indian house
a big run of both cohoe and sockeye salmon was encountered, the spawning-beds showing up
remarkably well. Indians located here were able to catch all they required for present use.
The inspection of the Sheemahant River is a difficult matter at any time, extending for IS miles
through a succession of rapids to the falls. On this occasion, however, it was favourable to
canoe-work.   Passing up the river, a few sockeye were observed hugging the shore on each side, 14 Geo. 5 Spawning-beds of Rivers Inlet. H 51
but the water was too discoloured to estimate the full extent of the run. Judging from the
absence of fish in the small tributary 12 miles from the entrance, which usually contains its full
quota when a big run enters the Sheemahant, and from the evidence of Indians who had been
unsuccessful in catching many sockeye from this river, it is apparent that the spawning-beds
will be indifferently seeded unless a big run enters later on; such a condition did not take place,
so I am given to understand by the Indians, who were compelled to get their supply of salmon
for winter's use from Jeneesee Creek.
Learning that the run of sockeye salmon to the lower tributaries of the lake had not yet
commenced, I deemed it advisable to postpone the inspection until after my return from the
spawning beds at Smith Inlet. On my return four weeks later, I made camp at Jeneesee and
inspected the tributaries at this section of the lake. The Markwell, or Machmell, as it is
generally termed, again frustrated all efforts to determine the extent of the run owing to the
discoloration of the water. It has been the cause of great anxiety to the Dominion Fisheries
Department, because during extreme high water it sometimes overflows the banks and, pouring
into Jeneesee Creek, does considerable damage to the spawning-beds. In an effort to divert the
channel the Department is considering the advisability of constructing a cribbing, but in the
meantime is trying out the experiment of felling trees to force the direction of the water into
a channel which at great expense was cut some years ago. If it succeeds further danger to
Jeneesee Creek will be eliminated.
The Nookins River, a tributary to the Machmell, was next examined. In making our way
up through the rapids to the rough water numerous sockeye in an advanced stage of spawning
were seen, but the extent of the run could not be determined, as I arrived too late. From the
evidence of Indians and others who had been up earlier, it is not considered that the run was
an exceptionally large one. In the side-streams schools of sockeye could be discerned in the
clear water, evidently belonging to a later run, as they appeared to be in no hurry to commence
spawning. Dead bodies of the fish littered the bars and could also be seen lying on the bed
of the river at the entrance.   No log-jams interfered with the movement of the fish up-stream.
In 1918 a very small run of sockeye was recorded at Jeneesee Creek, and it was feared that
if steps were not taken to counteract the diminution in the runs year by year serious conditions
would result. To prevent such an occurrence the Department in the spring of 1919 cleared the
creek from all obstructions, supplementing this by planting 2,062,000 young fry by means of a
fry-float. The result of its efforts is clearly demonstrated by the remarkable numbers which
returned to spawn this year. The creek wyas swarming with sockeye salmon, reminding me of
the big runs recorded in 1913 and 1914. The hatchery-men failed to make an early collection
owing to a freshet which damaged the fence, permitting the first big run of fish to pass through,
but the prolific numbers both inside and outside the creek below the fence were more than
sufficient to fulfil the requirements of the hatchery. Retainlng-ponds which were constructed
last year had been washed out during high water, but having been restored contained a large
number of small fry, all in a healthy state. It is hoped that by the introduction of this system,
not only Jeneesee creek, but other tributaries that have shown signs of depletion, may be restored
to fertility. A collection of 2,75S,000 eggs was taken from Jeneesee this year from only a small
portion of the entire run, while in 1919, although the collection for that year amounted to
2,457,000 eggs, the entire run of fish had to be utilized for that purpose. It is a striking illustration of the size of the run this year.
Ten miles farther down lies the Asklum River, considered to be one of the most productive
salmon-streams of the lake. In 1918, it will be recalled, very unsatisfactory conditions prevailed,
but in 1919 the spawning-beds were full of sockeye. With a view of still augmenting the supply
for that year, the hatchery liberated about 687,000 young fry into the river, the result of which
is shown this year. The spaw7ning-beds right up to the rough water contained a vast number
of sockeye, while out in the lake and close to the entrance schools of sockeye were waiting.
The Indians describe the conditions as the best they had encountered in years.
Quap River, from which the Dominion Hatchery collects the greater proportion of eggs,
was again a scene of activity. A big run of sockeye had congregated below the fence and, finding
their way into the pen, were quickly spawned. The low stage of the lake was the cause of
the main run hanging back, but with the advent of rain and consequent rise of the lake, a
mad rush was made for the river, which soon presented a picture similar in all respects to
that noted in the past two years.   For some unaccountable reason the run in 1918 was a failure, H 52 Report of the Commissioner of Fisheries. 1924
but in 1919 proved productive. The Department of Dominion Fisheries, not satisfied with the
fine showing of fish in the latter year, supplemented the supply by planting no less than 7,116.000
young fry. In addition, it turned its attention to the obstructions in the river, clearing them
out and opening up the spawning-beds. This action, combined with its efforts to restock the
beds, is now reflected in the magnitude of the run which returned this year. A total collection
of 10,360,000 was taken from the Quap.
Crossing to the Dalley River, the spawning-beds right up to the falls, A% miles distant, were
covered with sockeye all in an advanced stage of spawning, while the bars contained dead and
putrid bodies in thousands. The run in my opinion exceeded even the fine showing of fish in
1919. No log-jams or other obstructions interfered with the sockeye as they made their way
up-stream.
The small creek in close proximity to the hatchery contained one of the largest runs known
in years, and permitted the hatchery-men to collect no less than 2,261,000 eggs, a condition that
is highly significant when it is learned that at the time of the construction of the hatchery no
sockeye had been known to come into the creek. Four years later they commenced to arrive,
and have done so in increased numbers year after year until now it is recognized as one of
the best egg-collecting streams.
The spawning-beds situated at the head of the Owikeno River (the overflow to the lake)
and encircling the old town rancherie contained the biggest run of sockeye known in many
years. Some of the Indians, in preference to collecting their winter's supply of salmon from
other tributaries of, the lake, remained here. They stated that it was only necessary to throw
out a small piece of net and commence hauling immediately to fill it right up, showing in a
striking manner the magnitude of the run. Spring and other species of salmon were seen
breaking water in all directions as we made our way down through the rapids to the cannery.
In summarizing the results of the inspection of the spawning-grounds of Rivers Inlet run
of salmon, I am able to record a highly satisfactory run of sockeye to all tributaries. With the
possible exception of Sunday Creek, the Sheemahant and Nookins Rivers, all of them contained
a run of fish which in my opinion exceeded the run in 1919. Since the spawning-beds in 191S
were found to be in such an unsatisfactory state, it must be assumed that the return of adult
sockeye this year is due in a great measure to the spawn deposited in 1919, or composed mainly
of four-year fish. Whether such is the case can only be determined when the results are published of tests made of the sockeye-scales collected throughout the fishing season, which data
are now in the hands of the Department. Other factors responsible for the big run are due in
a great measure to the clearance of obstructions in the rivers, which in past years badly needed
attention; to the extension of the weekly close season; and to the extension of the closed fishing
area at the head of Rivers Inlet.
In conclusion, I wish to express my appreciation for the courtesy received from G. C.
Johnston, Manager of Rivers Inlet Cannery; Weldon R. Reid, Superintendent of the Dominion
Hatchery;  and the men at the various spawning camps.
I have, etc.,
Al W. Stone,
Fisheries Overseer.
Rivers Inlet, B.C., November llfth, 1923. 14
G
EO.
5
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Statement Showing Salmon-pack op the Province.
H 55
STATEMENT   SHOWING   THE   SALMON-PACK   OP   THE   PROVINCE,   BY
DISTRICTS AND  SPECIES, FROM  1908 TO  1923,  INCLUSIVE.
Feaseb Rivee.
1923.
1922.
1921.
1920.
1919.
1918.
1917.
1916.
31,655
3,854
4,279
103,248
63,645
20,173
15
51,832
10,561
6,300
17,895
29,578
23,587
817
39,631
11,360
5,949
11,233
8,178
29,978
1,331
48,399
10,691
4,432
23,884
12,839
22,934
4,522
38,854
14,519
4,296
15,718
39,363
39,253
15,941
19,697
15,192
24,853
86,215
18,388
40,111
4,395
148,164
10,197
18,916
59,973
134,442
25,895
4,951
32,146
Springs, Red	
17,673
11,430
30,934
840
31*330
Bluebaeks and Steelheads....
3,129
Totals	
226,869
140,570
107,650
136,661
167,944
208,857
402,538
127,472
1915.
1914.
1913.
1912.
1911.
1910.
1909.
1908.
Sockeyes	
Springs, Red	
91,130
23,228
5,392
18,919
138,305
43,514
31
198,183
11,209
15,300
74,826
6,272
43,504
719,796
3,573
49
22,220
20,773
16,018
123,879
15,856
9,826
12,997
574
36,190
58,487
7,028
6,751
47,237
142,101
39,740
	
150,432
1,018
8,925
52,460
128
35,031
585,435
1,428
74,574
1,903
2,263
\   8,687
27,919
415
33,270
Totals	
320,519
349,294
782,429
199,322
301,344
247,994
623,469
112.425
Skeena Rivee.
1923.
1922.
1921.
1920.
1919.
1918.
1917.
1916.
131,731
12,247
16,527
145,973
31,967
418
96,277
14,176
39,758
301,655
24,699
1,050
41,018
21,766
1,993
124,457
45,033
498
89,364
37,403
3,834
177,679
18,068
1,218
184,945
25,941
31,457
117,303
36,559
2,672
123,322
22,931
22,573
161,727
38,759
4,994
65,760
16,285
21,516
148,319
38,456
1,883
60,293
20,933
17,121
73,029
47,409
Steelhead Trout	
3,743
Totals	
338,863
477,915
234,765
332,887
398,877
374,306
292,219
223,158
1915.
1914.
1913.
1912.
1911.
1910.
1909.
1908.
Sockeyes	
116,533
15,273
5,769
107,578
32.190
1,798
130,166
11,740
8,329
71,021
16,378
52,927
26,436
92,498
23,833
504
97,588
39,835
131,066
17,942
70
81,056
23,376
187,246
9,785
87,901
12,469
j 28,120
12,249
139,846
13,842
66,045
18,647
13,473
11,531
	
45,404
10,085
Totals	
279,161
237,634
164,055
254,258
254,410
222,035
140,739
209,177 H 5C
Report of the Commissioner op Fisheries.
1924
STATEMENT   SHOWING   THE   SALMON-PACK   OP   THE   PROVINCE,   BY
DISTRICTS AND SPECIES, FROM 1908 TO 1923, INCLUSIVE—Continued.
Rivees Inlet.
1923.
1922.
1921.
1920.
1919.
1918.
1917.
1916.
Sockeyes	
116,850
599
3,242
10,057
1,526
53,584
323
311
24,292
1,120
82
48,615
364
173
5,303
4,718
97
125,742
1,793
1,226
25,647
2,908
56,258
1,442
7,089
6,538
9,038
53,401
1,409
6,729
29,542
12,074
61,195
817
16,101
8,065
9,124
44,936
1,422
20,144
3.567
15,314
Steelhead Trout 	
Totals	
132,274
79,712
59,272
133,248
80,367
103,155
95,302
85 383
1915.
1914.
1913.
1912.
1911.
1910.
1909.
1908.
Sockeyes	
130,355
1,022
5,387
2,964
7,115
89,890
566
5,023
5,784
7.7S9
61,745
594
112,884
1,149
3,845
8,809
11,010
88,763
317
288
5,411
6,287
126,921
383
89,027
587
64,652
454
Pinks	
2,097
3,660
19
2',075
479
1,400
9,505
Steelhead Trout	
Totals	
146,838
109,052
68,096
137,097
101,066
129,398
91,014
75 090
Xass Rivee.
1923.
1922.
1921.
1920.
1910.
1918.
1917.
1916.
17,821
3,314
25,791
44,165
7,894
595
31,277
2,062
11,277
75,687
3,533
235
9,364
2,088
2,176
29,488
8,236
413
16,740
4,857
12,145
43,151
3,700
560
28,259
3,574
24,041
29,949
10,900
789
21,816
4,152
40,368
59,206
17,061
1,305
22,188
4,496
24,938
44,568
22,180
1,125
31,411
3,845
11,200
59.593
19,139
1,498
Totals	
99,580
124,071
51,765
81,153
97,512
143,908
119,495
126,686
1915.
1014.
1913.
1912.
1911.
1910.
1909.
1908.
39,349
3,701
11,076
34,879
15,171
113
31,327
3,385
25,569
25,333
9,276
23,574
3,151
2,987
20,539
3,172
36,037
6,936
3,245
12,476
12,468
37,327
3,759
5,189
11,467
7,942
30,810
1,239
351
895
6,285
140
28,246
2,337
3,589
27,584
3.263
6,612
6,818
8,348
1,101
Totals	
104,289
94,890
53,423
71,162
65,684
39,720
40,990
46,908 14 Geo. 5
Statement Showing Salmon-pack op the Province.
H 57
STATEMENT   SHOWING   THE   SALMON-PACK   OF   THE   PROVINCE,   BY
DISTRICTS AND SPECIES, FROM 1908 TO 1923, INCLUSIVE—Continued.
Vancouveb Island Disteicts.*
1923.
1022.
1921.
1920.
1919.
1918.
Sockeyes	
Springs -	
12,006
138
120,520
30,149
21,342
7,097
15,147
886
108,478
36,943
18,575
5,495
6,936
3,230
34,431
10,660
11,120
3,151
6,987
29,211
12,591
14,391
20,555
6,452
36,013
128,013
43,180
53,629
6,143
29,324
251,266
57,035
40,752
Totals  	
191,252
185,524
69,528
74,170
267,293
389,815
Otheb Disteicts.
1923.
1922.
1921.
1920.
1919.
1918.
1917.
1916.
24,584
2,711
148,727
146,943
29,142
732
47,107
4,988
80,485
113,824
31,331
409
18,350
4,995
21,412
14,818
18,203
2,790
64,473
15,633
30,946
247,149
33,807
3,721
54,677
14,766
165,717
110,300
35,011
702
51,980
8,582
90,464
201,847
42,331
1,009
32,902
6,056
112,364
112,200
30,201
865
45.373
11.423
160.812
143,615
70,431
712
Steelheads and Bluebacks...
Totals 	
352,839
278,144
80,568
395.728
381,163
404,703
294,597
432 306
1915.
1
1914.
1913.
1912.
1911.
1010.
1909.
190S.
S'ockeves	
98,600
9,488
40,849
83,626
48,966
985
87,130
7,108
70,727
111,930
43,254
149,336
7,249
52,758
83,430
28,328
._
79,464
22,837
■ 37,734
128,296
65,806
67,866
12,650
39,167
64,312
42,457
70,506
7,439
5,551
20,098
19,460
49,832
2,196
48,367
6,439
6,148
13,532
23,538
20,709
36
Totals	
313,894
320,168
285,898
334,187
226,461
123,054
71,708
99,089
Total packed by Disteicts in 1908 to 1923, inclusive.
1        1        1        1        1        1
1923.  1  1922.    1921.    1920.    1919.  1  1918.    1917. '      1010.
1        1        1        1        1        f        1
226,869 [ 140,570 | 107,650
338,863 | 477,915 | 234,765
132,274 |  79,712   59,272
99,580 | 124,071 |  51,765
191,252 1 185,524 |  69.528
352,839 1 278,144 |  80,568
136,661
332,787
157,522
81,153
84,170
395,223
167,944
398,877
80,367
97,512
267,293
381,163
210,851
374,216
103,155
143,908
389,815
404,793
402.538
292,219
95,302
119,495
325,723
294,597
127,472
223,158
85,383
126,686
Rivers Inlet	
Nass River	
Other Districts	
432.366
Grand totals....
1,341,677 11,285,946 | 603,548 11,187,616
1
1,393,156
I
1,626,738
1,557,485
995,065
1915.
1914.
1913.
1912.
1911.
1910.
1909.
1
1908.
Fraser	
320,519
279,161
146,838
104,289
349,294
237,634
109,052
94,890
	
782,429
164,055
68,096
53,423
199,322
254,258
137,697"!
71,162
301,344
254,410
101,066
65,684
247,994
222,035
129,398
39,720
623,469
140,739
91,014
40,990
112,425
209,177
75,090
46,908
* Vancouver Island	
313,894
320,169
285,898
334,187
226,461
123,054
71,708
99 089
Grand totals.—
1,164,701
_J
1,111,039
I
1,353,901
996,626
948,965
762,201
967,920
542,689
t Previously the Vancouver Island pack was shown in Outlying Districts pack.
5 H 58
Report op the Commissioner op Fisheries.
1924
STATEMENT   SHOWING  THE   SOCKEYE-PACK  OF  THE  FRASER  RIVER
SYSTEM FROM 1908 TO 1923, INCLUSIVE.
1923.
1922.
1921.
1920.
1919.
1918.
1917.
1916.
Fraser River, B.C.
State of Washington
31,655
47,402
51,832
48,566
39,631
102,967
48,399
62,654
38,854
64,346
19,697
50,723
148,164
411,538
32,146
84,637
Totals	
79,057
100,398
142,598
111,053
103,200
70,420
559,702
116,783
1915.
1914.
1913.
1912.
1911.
1910.
1909.
1908.
Fraser River, B.C	
State of Washington
91,130
64,584
198,183
335,230
719,796
1,673,099
123,879
184,680
58,487
127,761
150,432
248,014
585,435
1,097,904
74,574
170,951
Totals	
155,714
533,413
_|
2,392,895
308,559
186,248
398,446
1,683,339
245.525
STATEMENT  SHOWING THE SOCKEYE-PACK OF THE PROVINCE,
BY DISTRICTS, 1908 TO 1923, INCLUSIVE.
1923.
1922.
1
1921.
1920.
1919.
1918.
1917.
1910.
31,655
131,731
116,850
17,821
12,006
24,584
51,832
96,277*
53,584
31,277
15,147
47,107
39,631
41,018
48,615
9,364
6,936
18,350
48,399
89,064
125,742
16,740
6,987
64,473
38,854
184,945
56,258
28,259
6,452
54,677
19,697
123,322
53,401
21,816
6,243
51,980
148,164
65,760
61,195
22,188
9,639
32,902
32.146
60,923
44,936
31.411
Vancouver Islandf...
9.223
36,150
Totals	
334,647
295,224
163,914
351,405
369,445
276,459
339,848
214.789
1915.
1914.
1913.
1912.
1911.
1910.
1909.
1908.
91,130
116,553
130,350
39,349
98,660
198,183
130,166
89,890
31,327
87,130
719,796
52,927
61,745
23,574
149,336
123,879
92,498
112,884
36,037
79,464
58,487
131,066
88,763
37,327
67,866
150,432
187,246
126,921
30,810
70,506
585,435
87,901
89,027
28,246
49,832
74,574
Skeena River	
Rivers Inlet	
Nass River	
139,840
64,052
27,584
48.367
Totals-	
476.042
536,606
972,178
444,762
383,509
565.915
840,441
335,023
* 4,390 cases deducted from Skeena for 1922, Alaska sockeye.
t Vancouver Island's pack not previously segregated.
VICTORIA,  B.C. :
Printed by Charles F.  Banfield, Printer to the King's Most Excellent Majesty.
1924.

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