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PROVINCE OF BRITISH COLUMBIA REPORT OF THE COMMISSIONER OF FISHERIES FOR THE YEAR ENDED DECEMBER 31ST,… British Columbia. Legislative Assembly 1936

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 PROVINCE OF BRITISH COLUMBIA
EEPOET
COMMISSIONER OF FISHERIES
FOR THE YEAR ENDED DECEMBER 31ST, 1934
WITH APPENDICES
PRINTED  BY
AUTHORITY  OP THE LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY.
VICTORIA,   B.C. :
Printed by Chaeles F. Banfield, Printer to the King's Most Excellent Majesty.
1935.
PROVINCIAL LIBRARY
VICTORIA, B.C. '  To His Honour John "William Fordham Johnson,
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, 1934, with Appendices.
GEORGE SHARRATT PEARSON,
Commissioner of Fisheries.
Provincial Fisheries Department,
Commissioner of Fisheries' Office,
Victoria, British Columbia, December 31st, 1934.. TABLE OF CONTENTS.
FISHERIES COMMISSIONER'S REPORT FOR 1934.
Value of Fisheries and Standing of Province..
Persons engaged and Capital invested	
Page.
_      5
Species and Value of Fish caught in British Columbia..
The Canned-salmon Pack for British Columbia, 1934....
The Canned-salmon Pack by Districts	
Review of British Columbia's Salmon-canning lndustry_.
Halibut Production	
Salmon-trolling	
Production of Mild-cured Salmon, Dry-salt Salmon, Fish Meal and Oil  12,
Whale Reduction	
Miscellaneous Reduction	
Dry-salt Herring	
Contributions to the Life-history of the Sockeye Salmon (Digest)	
The International Fisheries Commission's Halibut Investigation	
5
5
7
7
10
12
12
13
13
13
13
14
16
Digest of Statistical Report on Sockeye Fishing and Canning Industry in Rivers Inlet     17
Digest of the Herring-fishery of British Columbia, Past and Present     18
APPENDICES.
Contributions to the Life-history of the Sockeye Salmon.    (No. 20.)    By Drs. W. A.
Clemens, Director, Pacific Biological Station, Nanaimo, and Lucy S. Clemens     20
Reports from Salmon-spawning Areas and Egg-collections.   By Major J. A. Motherwell     59
A Brief Statistical Review of the Sockeye Fishing and Canning Industry in Rivers
Inlet.    By Geo. J. Alexander, Assistant Commissioner of Fisheries     68
The Herring-fishery of British Columbia, Past and Present.    By Albert L. Tester,
Pacific Biological Station     76
The Pacific Salmon in British Columbia Waters.   By Dr. W. A. Clemens, Director,
Pacific Biological Station, Nanaimo  103
The Identification of the Young of the Five Species of Pacific Salmon, with Notes
on the Fresh-water Phase of their Life-history.    By Drs. R. E. Foerster and
A. L. Pritchard, Pacific Biological Station, Nanaimo.
Salmon-pack op 1934 in Detail	
Salmon-pack by Districts and Species, 1919 to 1934	
Salmon-pack of Entire Fraser River System, 1894 to 1934..
Sockeye-salmon Pack by Districts, 1919 to 1934	
Pilchard Production, 1920 to 1934	
Production of Fish Oil and Meal (other than Pilchard), 1920 to 1934.__..
106
117
117
120
121
121
122 FISHERIES COMMISSIONER'S REPORT
FOR 1934.
VALUE OF CANADIAN FISHERIES AND THE STANDING OF THE
PROVINCES, 1933.
The value of the fisheries products of Canada for the year 1933 reached a total of
$27,558,053. During that year British Columbia produced fisheries products to the value of
$12,001,471, or nearly 44 per cent, of Canada's total.
British Columbia in 1933 again led all the Provinces in the Dominion in respect to the
production of fisheries wealth. This has been the case for over twenty years; her output
exceeded that of Nova Scotia, the second in rank, by $5,990,870.
The market value of the fisheries products of British Columbia in 1933 was $2,092,353
more than in the previous year. There was an increase in the value of the salmon, halibut,
herring, and cod fisheries in comparison with 1932. For some unknown reason the pilchard-
fishery was a failure. Whaling operations were resumed again in 1933 after a lapse of two
years.
The capital invested in the fisheries of British Columbia in 1933 was $19,576,822, or nearly
48 per cent, of the total capital employed in fisheries in all of Canada. Of the total invested
in the fisheries of British Columbia in 1933, $8,972,195 was employed in catching and handling
the catches and $10,604,627 invested in canneries, fish-packing establishments, and fish-
reduction plants.
The number of persons engaged in British Columbia fisheries in 1933 was 16,856, or 21
per cent, of Canada's total fishery-workers. Of those engaged in British Columbia, 11,066
were employed in catching and handling the catches and 5,790 in packing, curing, and in fish-
reduction plants. The total number engaged in the fisheries in British Columbia in 1933 was
2,034 more than in the preceding year.
The following statement gives in the order of their rank the value of the fishery products
of the Provinces of Canada for the years 1929 to 1933, inclusive:—
Province.
1929.
1930.
1931.
1932.
1933.
$23,930,692
11,427,491
5,935,635
2,933,339
3,919,144
2,745,205
1,297,125
572,871
732,214
24,805
$23,103,302
10,411,202
4,853,575
2,502,998
3,294,629
1,811,962
1,141,279
234,501
421,258
29,510
$11,108,873
7,986,711
4,169,811
1,952,894
2,477,131
1,241,575
1,078,901
317,963
153,897
29,550
$9,909,116
6,557,943
2,972,682
1,815,544
2,147,990
1,204,892
988,919
186,174
153,789
20,060
$12,001,471
6,010,601
New Brunswick  	
3,061,152
2,128,471
2,089,842
1,076,136
842,345
Manitoba  	
186,417
Alberta..  	
144,518
17,100
Totals    .                                   	
$53,518,521
$47,804,216
$30,517,306
$25,957,109
$27,558,053
THE SPECIES AND VALUE OF FISH CAUGHT IN BRITISH COLUMBIA.
The total value of each of the principal species of fish taken in British Columbia for the
years 1929 to 1933, inclusive, is given in the following table:—
Species.
1929.
1930.
1931.
1932.
1933.
Salmon	
Halibut   	
$14,265,795
4,317,235
1,486,655
2,199,834
418,800
$16,610,834
2,446,775
1,222,303
1,589,609
338,172
$7,195,220
1,373,679
1,058,139
807,842
242,911
$7,586,479
960,166
536,491
. 383,920
172,029
$9,184,090
1,391,941
738,522
Pilchard
Cod	
77,464
215,796
$22,688,319
$22,207,693
$10,677,791
$9,639,085
$11,607,813 K 6
REPORT OF THE COMMISSIONER OF FISHERIES, 1934.
The Species and Value of Fish caught in British Columbia—Continued.
Species.
1929.
1
1930.
1931.
1932.
1933.
$22,688,319
120,143
118,362
45,447
47,777
26,579
57,908
$22,207,693
155,857
120,583
29,177
46,217
20,426
58,146
3,500
20,268
24,667
15,447
18,416
5,778
2,569
4,241
4,214
828
764
44,227
17,250
61,272
227,993
13,769
$10,677,791
111,690
29,521
27,914
25,372
15,778
61,247
4,266
4,894
10,937
3,893
14,928
3,774
1,156
4,271
477
603
$9,639,085
89,848
38,754
16,832
25,936
19,988
28,800
$11,607,813
52,699
Black cod  	
Crabs 	
Soles  	
41,443
34,296
27,737
19,609
Oysters 	
25,670
25,737
29,216
21,691
10,831
7,245
2,264
4,676
1,833
69
1,517
122,513
126,121
52,123
387,049
33,272
3,923
9,333
4,707
7,084
3,161
1,336
2,748
470
135
544
4,629
7,018
5,208
5,629
3,428
Smelt... .
4,916
5,006
1,048
Skate - -
2,483
Oolachans  —	
771
1,180
Trout
1,062
Grayfish, etc.—
Oil- -	
62,648
13,256
10,272
13,783
26,299
110,030
7,004
7,181
4,885
7,060
4,301
Totals - 	
$23,930,692
$23,103,302
$11,108,873
$9,909,116
$12,001,471
The above statement shows an increase of $1,597,611 in the value of the salmon-fishery in
comparison with the preceding year, 1932. A marked increase is also recorded for halibut,
herring, and cod, while the pilchard-fishery was practically a complete failure.
Total halibut landings were marketed for $1,391,941, an increase in production of 196,600
lb. and an increase in value of $431,775 in comparison with 1932.
Herring-catches produced $738,522, an increase in value of $202,031 in comparison with
1932.
Pilchard-catches totalled 12,101,300 lb. in comparison with 76,000,000 lb. in 1932, showing
a decrease in production of 63,898,700 lb. and a decrease in value of $306,456.
VALUE OF BRITISH COLUMBIA FISHERIES INCREASES IN 1934.
The value of British Columbia's fisheries for 1934 again shows a substantial increase over
the preceding year. The total value as marketed, whether sold for consumption fresh or
canned, cured, etc., amounted to $15,334,335, which is an increase of $3,332,864 or 28 per cent,
over 1933, and an increase over 1932 of $5,425,219 or 55 per cent.
The salmon-fishery is still the greatest single factor in British Columbia's fisheries, contributing $12,351,641 or 81 per cent, of the total value. The canned product alone amounted to
$10,426,160, which is an increase in value over 1933 of $2,998,037.
Halibut had a market value of $833,829. The figures for halibut are not comparable with
those of previous years for the reason that the quantity taken by United States vessels was
previously included with the catch and quantity marketed fresh for British Columbia, while
the statistics for 1934 give the landings by Canadian fishermen only. The above total, however,
is a substantial increase over 1933, as will be found from reference elsewhere in this report.
(See under " Halibut Production.")
Herring had a total value of $628,982 in 1934, a decrease from 1933 amounting to $109,540,
while the value of pilchards increased from $77,464 in 1933 to $549,910 in 1934.
Whale products show an increase in value in 1934, amounting to $73,708. The value in
1933 was $110,030, while in 1934 the value was $183,738. BRITISH COLUMBIA. K 7
CAPITAL EQUIPMENT AND EMPLOYEES.
Capital.—The capital investment of the fisheries of British Columbia in 1934 was valued
at $21,143,048, this total comprising $9,641,534, the yalue of the vessels, boats, nets, traps, piers,
and wharves, etc., used in the primary operations of catching and landing the fish, and
$11,501,514, the amount invested in fish canning and curing establishments. Compared with the
preceding year, the total value shows an increase of $1,566,226.
Employees.—The men employed in catching and landing the fish during the year numbered
11,700, compared with 11,066 in 1933, and the employees of fish canning and curing establishments, 6,181, compared with 5,790. The total number—17,881—shows an increase over 1933
of 1,025.
The above figures are taken from the Advance Report on the Fisheries of British Columbia
in 1934 by the Dominion Bureau of Statistics, Ottawa, Canada.
THE CANNED-SALMON PACK FOR BRITISH COLUMBIA IN 1934.
The total canned-salmon pack in British Columbia for 1934 amounted to 1,583,866 full
cases, which is 318,817 cases in excess of the pack for 1933, and is the largest total pack since
1930, when the total reached 2,221,819. The pack of 1934 consisted of 377,844 cases of sockeye,
29,776 cases of springs, 1,280 cases of steelheads, 225,431 cases of cohoe, 436,354 cases of pinks,
and 513,181 cases of chums. All varieties show substantial increases over 1933 with the single
exception of pinks. The increase in the total sockeye-pack for 1934 over that of 1933 amounted
to 119,737 cases; while springs increased by 9,510 cases, cohoe by 66,379 cases, and chums by
219,551 cases. The increase in the sockeye-pack is due in no small measure to the return of
late-run sockeye to the Shuswap Lake area in the Fraser River watershed. 1934 was an
off-year for pinks in the Fraser River watershed and partially accounts for the short pack of
this species. The pack of 29,776 cases of spring salmon during 1934 is the largest pack of this
variety since 1926, when 32,952 cases were packed. The size of the canned pack of spring
salmon, however, is not necessarily indicative of the availability of this species, as large
quantities are disposed of as fresh, frozen, and mild-cured salmon.
The total pack of canned cohoes, amounting to 225,431 cases, is the largest pack of this
species on record. It exceeds the previous year's pack by 66,379 cases, when the pack amounted
to 159,052 cases, and exceeds by 25,438 the previous record pack of 1919, when 199,993 cases
were canned.
The pack of pink salmon, amounting to 436,354 cases, was 87,171 cases less than in 1933.
A good run was experienced in southern districts, considering that this was not a pink-year on
the Fraser River. The Skeena also produced a good pack of this variety. In the Queen
Charlotte Islands pink salmon returned again in 1934 after almost a total disappearance in
1932, the last cycle-year. This was particularly so in Masset Inlet, though the runs to the more
southerly districts in these islands was less satisfactory. The pink-pack in Queen Charlotte
Islands, amounting to 53,398 cases, was a small pack and no doubt would have been much larger
but for the timely intervention by the Federal fisheries officers, which permitted a good escapement to the spawning-grounds.    The pack of pinks in other areas was light.
Chum salmon in Northern British Columbia were scarce and came in late. Fear was
expressed that there would be a shortage of canned chums, but a good run in southern areas
developed late in the season, resulting in a total pack of this variety of 513,181 cases. In
addition to the canned pack of chums, 4,675 tons were dry-salted.
THE BRITISH COLUMBIA CANNED-SALMON PACK BY DISTRICTS.
Fraser River System.—The Canadian pack of sockeye on the Fraser River amounted to
139,238 cases and is the largest since 1914, exceeding the pack of 1930 by 35,546 cases. The
fish, of which the 1934 pack consists, are from the spawning of 1930, and the pack is largely
made up of what has become known as " the late run to the Fraser." This late run was
largely responsible for a pack of over 100,000 cases in 1930, and it would seem that this run has
now been firmly established, as reports from the spawning-grounds indicate that the fish
reached the spawning-grounds in sufficient numbers to adequately seed them.
During the early part of the run the American gear obtained heavy catches before the
fish reached Canadian waters. These heavy catches for a time overtaxed the capacity of the
American canneries and in consequence some sockeye was imported from Puget Sound by K 8 REPORT OF THE COMMISSIONER OF FISHERIES, 1934.
Canadian canners. Later in the season the quality was such that Canadian eanners would
not accept the sockeye and almost an equal number were exported to United States canners.
The total sockeye production of the Fraser River watershed amounted to 491,817 full
cases;  352,579 cases, or 72 per cent, were packed by United States canners.
Of the 139,000 cases (round numbers) of Fraser River sockeye packed by British Columbia
canners, 18,000 cases were packed in the month of July, 62,000 cases in August, 57,000 in
September, and the balance in October.
The Canadian pack of Fraser River sockeye in 1934 exceeded the pack of the cycle-year
1930 by 35,546 cases, the pack for that year being 103,692 cases, while the total sockeye-pack by
both Canadian and United States canners was less than the pack of 1930 by 36,079 cases, when
the total pack amounted to 455,886 cases.
The spring-salmon pack on the Fraser amounted to 16,218 cases, compared with a pack
of 5,579 cases in 1933 and 28,701 cases in 1932.
Canned cohoe in this district produced 11,392 cases in 1934, as against 13,901 cases in
1933 and 16,815 cases in 1931.
There was no run of pinks to the Fraser River in 1934, this river producing pinks only in
the odd-numbered years.
The pack of chums, amounting to 104,092 cases, helped greatly to prevent what looked
earlier in the season like a short pack of this variety. This run came in late but developed
rapidly. The pack is the largest on the Fraser since 1929, when 144,159 cases were packed.
The pack in the year previous, 1933, amounted to 34,391 cases.
In considering the canned-salmon pack in any area, due regard must be given to the escapement to the spawning-grounds. In the Fraser River watershed during 1934 the escapement
of sockeye which used to make up the main run on this river was insignificant. Reports from
the spawning-grounds indicate that in comparison with the former great runs, when the
numbers were so great that it was impossible to enumerate them, the run this year was
infinitesimal. On the other hand, the escapement of sockeye composing the " late run " has
been most encouraging. The fish composing this late run spawn in the Shuswap Lake area
and it is considered that the number of spawners this year was even greater than those spawning four years previous. A detailed report made by the Federal officers is contained in the
Appendix of this report.
The spawning of spring salmon in the Fraser River is indicated as being normal.
The Skeena River.—The total salmon-pack in the Skeena River District in 1934 amounted
to 284,096 cases of all varieties. This exceeds the pack of 1933 by 98,633 cases, but is far short
of the pack of the cycle-year 1930, when the pack reached a total of 450,377 cases.
The sockeye-pack on the Skeena amounted to 70,655 cases, which was more than double
the pack in 1933, but in making this comparison one must remember that the pack of 1933 was
the smallest ever recorded and amounted to only 30,506 cases. Drs. Clemens point out, in the
" Contributions to the Life-history of the Sockeye Salmon," " that the sockeye in the Skeena
mature in their fourth and fifth years."    A comparison of the pack of 1934 with the packs in
1931 and 1930, the cycle-years, shows a decided decline, amounting to 22,368 cases compared
with 1931 and a decline of 61,717 cases compared with 1930.
The sockeye-fishing season on the Skeena River commenced with every indication of producing a big pack, but unfavourable weather set in at what should have been the height of the
season, causing catches to fall off to a marked degree. This adverse weather condition no
doubt was a factor which helped to bring about a short pack, but can only be considered as a
contributing factor, as reports from the spawning-grounds do not indicate an abnormal seeding.
The spring-salmon run to the Skeena in 1934 was exceptionally good. The canned pack
of this variety amounted to 8,300 cases, as compared with 3,279 cases in 1933; it was, however,
very much less than in 1932, when 28,269 cases were packed. In making comparisons of the
canned pack of spring salmon, however, due regard must be paid to the other outlets for this
variety. In 1934 large quantities of Skeena River springs found their way into the mild-cure
and frozen-fish trade.
Probably the most outstanding feature of the canning season on the Skeena River in 1934
was the exceptionally large pack of cohoes, amounting to 54,476 full cases. This is the largest
pack of this variety packed on the Skeena on record; however, not all of these were caught on
the Skeena, some having been taken in other districts. BRITISH COLUMBIA. K 9
The pink-pack on the Skeena, amounting to 126,123 cases, must be considered as satisfactory. It exceeds the cycle-year of 1932 by 67,902 cases, but is considerably short of the previous
cycle-year 1930, when 275,642 cases were packed.
The chum-salmon pack on the Skeena, amounting to 24,388 cases in 1934, was considerably
in excess of 1933, when 15,714 cases were packed, but less than 1932, when the pack reached
38,549 cases. However, the figures for the canned-chum pack do not necessarily indicate the
amount of fish available unless considered in connection with the demand for this variety,
whereas with the other varieties of salmon every effort is made to can all possible. It is submitted that the chum-pack in 1934 reached the proportions it did owing to extra effort, induced
by the fear amongst the canners that the pack would be far short of requirements.
While the escapement of sockeye to the Skeena River spawning-beds was not large, reports
indicate that the spawning generally was more satisfactory than first expected. Certain of
the spawning areas were well seeded, while others were poorly seeded. In the Babine area
the sockeye run, while not good, was better than expected, but cannot be considered as adequate.
Springs, cohoes, and pinks also in this area were not satisfactory. For more detailed report
on the spawning-grounds the reader is referred to Major Motherwell's report in the Appendices.
The Nass River.—The sockeye run to the Nass River in 1934 was outstanding when viewed
in comparison with recent years and clearly demonstrates the erratic way in which these runs
fluctuate. The pack, amounting to 28,701 cases in 1934, is the largest since 1924, when 33,590
cases were packed, and is almost three times the amount packed in 1933, which was 9,757 cases.
The pack of springs is never large on the Nass, although the 1934 pack, amounting to 654
cases, is unusually small for recent years.
The cohoe-pack on the Nass, as in most other districts, shows a substantial increase over
recent years. The pack of 9,935 cases is the largest since 1928 and exceeds the 1933 pack in
this district by 6,684 cases.
Pink salmon here as well as in several northern districts were comparatively scarce. The
pack of 32,964 cases was 11,342 cases short of the previous year and 11,665 cases less than the
cycle-year 1932.
Chum salmon were not packed to any extent, 2,648 cases being put up in connection with
the sockeye-canning activities.
Conditions on the Nass River spawning-grounds for sockeye, cohoe, springs, and pinks are
considered satisfactory, but the number of chum spawners was not considered adequate.
Rivers Inlet.—The Rivers Inlet pack of sockeye in 1934, amounting to 76,923 cases, was
4,223 cases less than in the previous year, but was 7,156 cases higher than the average for this
inlet covering the last five years and may be considered fairly satisfactory for recent years.
Bad weather at the height of the season contributed somewhat to reduced catches in this district as well as causing considerable loss in boats and nets.
Other varieties are not packed in Rivers Inlet except those fish taken while fishing for
sockeye; these were packed in the following amounts: Springs, 436 cases; cohoe, 4,852 cases;
pinks, 2,815 cases;  and chums, 895 cases.
Probably the most outstanding feature of the canning operations on Rivers Inlet in 1934
was the enormous amount of equipment engaged in catching what amounted to, at best, only a
normal pack. Over 1,800 nets were engaged, resulting in very unsatisfactory earnings to the
fishermen, despite the good price paid for fish, also greatly increasing production costs to the
canner. No industry can long remain in a sound position and continue such unsound,
uneconomical practices. The use of 900 nets in this area could and would have taken all the
fish available in 1934, and had only this number of men been engaged in fishing they would have
received satisfactory earnings and the canner also would have profited accordingly. Indeed,
it is probable that the only persons who did profit by the canning season in Rivers Inlet in 1934
were the manufacturers and suppliers of fish nets and gear, which means that most of the
profit was sent out of Canada altogether.
Reports from Rivers Inlet spawning-grounds at Owikeno Lake would indicate that the
sockeye spawning in this area was average, although the distribution of spawners was not
even, some streams having been lightly seeded while in others unusually heavy seeding took
place. Reports also indicate that the supply of cohoes was exceptionally good, while the
spawning of fall fish in the Rivers Inlet District is considered average. K 10 REPORT OF THE COMMISSIONER OF FISHERIES, 1934.
Smith Inlet.—The sockeye-catch in Smith Inlet produced a pack amounting to 14,607 cases,
compared with 37,369 cases the previous year. This is the smallest pack since 1931 and is
9,086 below the average for the last five years. The short pack in this inlet is no doubt due to
unfavourable weather conditions, as reports from the spawning-grounds indicate a most
satisfactory run.
The chum-pack in Smith Inlet, amounting to 15,548 cases, is outstanding as the largest
pack of this variety here in recent years. Considerable quantities of chums are taken in Smith
Inlet each year, but they usually find their way into the dry-salting trade.
Other varieties packed were 6,953 cases of pinks and 3,941 cases of cohoe.
Sockeye-spawning conditions in this area are considered quite satisfactory. The Inspectors reporting on this area have reason to believe that there is a possibility of the run to this
area being increased. The run of pinks to the head of Smith Inlet was light, as was also the
run of cohoes. The run of chum salmon to Smith Inlet spawning-grounds was considered
satisfactory.
Queen Charlotte Islands.—As pointed out elsewhere in this report, the run of pink salmon
to the streams in the Queen Charlotte Islands occurs only every second year and corresponds to
the even-numbered years. In 1930 there were 224,902 cases of pinks packed, but in 1932 the
expected run did not materialize and only 2,415 cases were put up. In 1934 pinks again
appeared in good numbers in certain localities, while in other localities fish were scarce. The
run of pinks, particularly in Masset Inlet, was very good, although not satisfactory in some
of the other east-coast districts.
The pack of pinks in Queen Charlotte Islands in 1934 amounted to 53,398 cases, approximately four-fifths of which were Masset Inlet fish. In order to ensure an adequate number
of these fish reaching the spawning-beds, the fishing season was curtailed by action of the
Federal Department and a good spawning was reported.
Chum salmon were also canned to some extent in this district in 1934, the pack amounting
to 38,062 cases, compared with 39,010 cases packed in 1930. The chum-pack in these islands
in 1933 was 6,988 cases, while only 358 cases were packed in 1932. It must be remembered,
however, that the canned pack of chums in any year is not necessarily an index to the quantity
available.
Vancouver Island.—The canned-salmon production of Vancouver Island in 1934 amounted
to a total of 372,347 cases—composed of 27,282 cases of sockeye, 1,630 cases of springs, 78,670
cases of cohoe, 54,526 cases of pinks, and 210,239 cases of chums—compared with 1933, when
18,397 cases of sockeye, 4,875 cases of springs, 60,019 cases of cohoe, 172,945 cases of pinks, and
96,642 cases of chums were canned, showing an increase in all varieties in 1934 with the exception of springs and pinks.
With one or two exceptions the various runs of salmon to the different spawning-grounds
on Vancouver Island in 1934 were fairly satisfactory. In Nimpkish River drag-seines were
prohibited by the Federal Government, resulting in a larger escapement of sockeye to the
spawning-grounds than in recent years. The spawning of springs, cohoes, pinks, and chums
in this area was also satisfactory according to reports submitted by the Federal officers.
The run of sockeye to the Somass River on Barkley Sound was very good, but the Anderson
Lake run was most disappointing, being much less than in the cycle-year.
Six traps operated on the south end of Vancouver Island in 1934, this district being the
only locality where traps are permitted in British Columbia. The trap catch was very small,
most of the fish passing well outside the limits of the traps.
REVIEW OF BRITISH COLUMBIA'S SALMON-CANNING INDUSTRY.
In reviewing British Columbia's fisheries for 1934, the salmon-canning industry is probably
entitled to first consideration by virtue of the value of the output in relation to the total. The
total value of British Columbia's fisheries products in 1933 amounted to $12,001,471, and of
this amount canned salmon contributed approximately 62 per cent. The salmon-canning
industry is therefore the greatest single factor affecting the welfare of British Columbia's
fisheries. There were forty-nine salmon-canneries licensed to operate in British Columbia in
1934, distributed in the various districts as follows: Queen Charlotte Islands, 3; Nass River,
3; Skeena River, 9; Central British Columbia, 5; Rivers Inlet, 8; Smith Inlet, 3; Johnstone
Strait, 4;   Fraser River and Lower Mainland, 11;   and west coast of Vancouver Island, 3. BRITISH COLUMBIA. K 11
These forty-nine canneries are owned by nineteen different companies. The same number of
canneries operated in 1933, although some changes are noted, particularly the canning activity
in 1934 in the Queen Charlotte Islands, where three canneries operated, whereas none operated
in 1933. This change was due to the fact that the pink salmon frequent this district in quantity
only in the even-numbered years. The salmon packed in the various districts are referred to
on another page of this report.
An impartial survey of the salmon-canning industry as it obtains in British Columbia at
the present time reveals the very significant fact that this industry has been very much over-
expanded when viewed in conjunction with the fact that there is a definite limit to the supply
of raw fish available in any given fishing season. Unlike some other industries where expansion depends on economic factors alone, the canned-salmon industry can only be exploited
profitably to that extent permitted by the available supply of raw material.
The limit of expansion imposed by the availability of raw material has long ago been
reached and further economic expansion need not be looked for until the supply of raw
material has materially increased, and at the present rate of exploitation this cannot be
expected in the near future.
Notwithstanding the decrease in the amount of fish available for canning, expansion has
continued. This expansion is particularly noticeable in the increase in fishing effort, measured
by the amount of gear in the water in. recent years. This enormous amount of gear has not
increased the total production proportionately, again demonstrating, if further proof were
necessary, the definite amount of raw fish available. As the result of too much gear, unit
production costs have mounted out of all proportion to selling-prices, so that British Columbia
canners find themselves in the unenviable position of having put up a large pack at a high
cost and of having to dispose of most of it in world markets in competition with much more
cheaply produced goods of equal quality from foreign nations.
Lower production costs do not necessarily entail lower prices to the fishermen. Indeed,
the plight of the gill-net fishermen in 1934 was equally as undesirable as that of the canner.
In 1934 the prices paid to gill-net fishermen were satisfactory; nevertheless individual earnings
were far from good. Altogether too many men had to share in the amount of fish that could
be caught, resulting in small earnings for the season.
The exploitation of British Columbia's salmon-fisheries is one of this Province's best
primary industries judged from a long-range view-point. Properly regulated and controlled
it can be made to pay dividends to generations as yet unborn. On the other hand, a shortsighted policy will reduce this valuable asset to the point of economic extinction within a very
short space of time. So long ago as 1917 the Special Fishery Commission reporting on
British Columbia's salmon-fisheries, after an exhaustive inquiry, said " that to conserve the
supply of salmon . . . fishing is and must be restricted . . . that the quantity of
salmon caught in recent years is probably the maximum quantity that can safely be taken
. . . and unquestionably the existing plants are more than adequate for the canning of
that quantity of salmon." These recommendations made in 1917 are even more applicable
in 1934 if our salmon-fisheries are to be exploited on a stable and economic basis and still
maintain the supply unimpaired. The exploitation of our salmon-fisheries on a stable and
economic basis and maintenance of the species should be the constant effort of our Provincial
and Federal Governments, so that those engaged in the industry may receive an adequate
return for their labour and those who have capital invested may receive an equally adequate
return. To accomplish this very desirable result in our canned-salmon industry it is necessary
that both Provincial and Federal Governments, together with the canners and fishermen,
co-operate whole-heartedly with a single unit of purpose. Neither''the ambition of an individual, the business strategy of a company, nor the political aspirations of a Government is
sufficient ground to permit the most important of our fisheries to be exploited to the point of
economic extinction.
In an endeavour to stabilize the salmon-canning industry the Provincial Government in
1934 adopted the policy of discouraging further unnecessary capital expenditure in the way
of new canneries. Applications for cannery licences were considered on their merits, preference being given to those canneries already established. The result of such a policy cannot
be measured in one operating season, nor can a single authority accomplish all that is desirable K 12 REPORT OF THE  COMMISSIONER OF FISHERIES, 1934.
owing to the peculiar situation arising out of certain clauses in the " British North America
Act." The Federal Government, which has jurisdiction over the catching of fish, has announced
a policy for 1935 of restricting the amount of gear under penalty of longer weekly close seasons.
This action by the Federal Government is for conservation purposes, but, if taken advantage
of by the canners and fishermen, should go a long way towards reducing production costs 'by
eliminating a large portion of unnecessary gear. As pointed out in a previous paragraph, if
the amount of gear is reduced it should result in increased earnings for the fishermen engaged
in catching the fish.
HALIBUT PRODUCTION.
Halibut-fishing in the North-east Pacific in 1934 was again regulated by the International
Fisheries Commission, which is composed of four members, two of which are appointed by the
Canadian Government and two by the United States Government. The Canadian appointees
are Drs. J. P. Babcock and W. A. Found, while Mr. Frank T. Bell and Mr. E. W. Allen represent
the United States. Dr. Babcock is Chairman of the Commission, while Dr. W. F. Thompson is
Director in charge of investigations.
Halibut landings on the Pacific Coast in 1934, amounting to 47,535,000 lb., show an increase
of 678,000 lb. over the amount landed in 1933. In addition to this slight increase in volume
must be considered a substantial increase in value over 1933 amounting to approximately
12 per cent.
Of the total Pacific Coast landings, Canadian ports received 18,310,000 lb. or 38 per cent.,
while the balance was landed in the United States and Alaska. Seattle in 1934 was again the
leading world port for halibut landings, receiving 20,586,000 lb. Northern British Columbia
ports received 16,426,000 lb. of the total Canadian landings, Prince Rupert again leading all
British Columbia ports.
Of the total catch, Canadian vessels took 9,718,000 lb., amounting to 20.4 per cent. This
is 1,432,000 lb. more than was taken by Canadian vessels in 1933 and the largest Canadian
catch since 1929. The catch by American vessels amounted to 37,817,000 lb., a decrease from
the previous year of 754,000 lb. Canadian vessels' catch in 1933 was 18 per cent, of the total.
The increase in the Canadian vessels' catch from 18 per cent, in 1933 to 20.4 per cent, in 1934
can be attributed to two principal causes—(1) an increase in the number of Canadian boats
fishing, and (2) a shorter length of time spent in port by the Canadian vessels between trips.
Halibut livers were again in demand by the pharmaceutical houses as a source of concentrated vitamins. The price paid for livers has continued to rise and in 1934 halibut livers were
in demand at 20% cents per pound. The price paid in 1933 was 15 cents per pound, while in
1932 the fishermen received 12 cents per pound. Saving the livers when the fish are being
dressed is a clear profit to the fishermen, as formerly these were discarded. Livers from other
fish than halibut, such as sable fish and ling cod, were also in demand at the above prices, and
it is estimated that the Pacific Coast fishermen received in excess of $250,000 from this source.
Halibut livers alone returned to the fishermen the sum of $172,600.
SALMON-TROLLING.
Salmon-trollers throughout British Columbia waters enjoyed a particularly good season
during 1934. Prices were maintained at a considerably higher level than in recent years and
the spring-salmon catch was good.
An exceptionally large run of cohoe appeared off the west coast of Vancouver Island,
which added greatly to the fishermen's earnings. Spring salmon were plentiful on the west
coast, and, while prices were not as high as in some past seasons, they averaged higher than
in 1933, with the result that the trollers in this district had a much more profitable season than
for several years.
MILD-CURED SALMON.
The production of mild-cured salmon amounted to 4,447 tierces in 1934. This is an
increase of 1,359 tierces over 1933 and is composed almost entirely of spring salmon, largely
troll-caught fish.    There were seven mild-cure plants operating in British Columbia in 1934. BRITISH COLUMBIA. K 13
DRY-SALT SALMON.
Dry-salt-salmon production shows an increase in 1934 over 1933 of 531 tons, or a total of
4,675 tons. Chum salmon are the principal species entering this trade, all of which is exported
to the Orient. There were fifteen dry-salteries packing salt salmon in British Columbia
in 1934.
FISH OIL AND MEAL.
Pilchard Reduction.—Pilchards again appeared off the west coast of Vancouver Island
early in the season of 1934 after almost total absence in 1933. This fish is not native to
British Columbia waters, but appears in enormous quantities each year between the months
of July and October. A substantial fishery has been built up which relies entirely on the run
of pilchards, and for some reason as yet definitely unknown the run of these fish did not
materialize in 1933, causing great hardship and losses to those dependent on this fishery.
Their return in 1934 added materially to the fisheries' wealth of the Province, although prices
paid for fish meal and oil are still exceptionally low.
The bulk of the pilchard-catch is reduced to pilchard oil and meal, although considerable
quantities are canned. The production of canned pilchards in 1934 amounted to 35,437 full
cases, an increase of 32,491 cases over 1933.
Reduction figures for 1934 compared with 1933 also show a large increase. Pilchard-meal
production in 1934 amounted to 7,628 tons, an increase of 6,520 tons over 1933. Pilchard-oil
produced in 1934 amounted to 1,612,526 imperial gallons, an increase of 1,336,647 imperial
gallons. The large difference in production figures of pilchard products between 1933 and
1934 is due to the almost total failure of this fishery in 1933, as was pointed out in a preceding
paragraph.
Six reduction plants were engaged during 1934 in the reduction of pilchards.
Whale Reduction.—Increased activity took place in British Columbia's whaling industry
in 1934, two whaling stations operating, while only one operated in 1933. A total of 350
whales were taken in 1934, whereas only 208 were killed in 1933. There were produced in
1934, 719,271 gallons of whale-oil, an increase over the preceding year of 210,210 gallons.
Meal production amounted to 341 tons, an increase of 91 tons, and fertilizer amounted to 631
tons, an increase over 1933 of 408 tons.
Sperm whales again composed the biggest share of those killed, amounting to nearly 76
per cent, of the total taken.
Miscellaneous Reduction.—The production of fish oil and meal from other sources shows
a decrease in 1934 from the preceding year. Meal production iji 1934 was 2,916 tons, a decrease
of 2,667 tons.    Oil production, amounting to 371,271 gallons, is 126,372 gallons less than in 1933.
Herring.—For purposes of conservation the indiscriminate use of herring for reduction
purposes was not permitted during the herring-fishing season of 1934.
DRY-SALT HERRING.
The dry-salt-herring industry during recent years has probably been one of British
Columbia's most hard-hit fisheries. The finished product is all exported to the Orient and, due
to exchange conditions and the lessened buying-power of the consuming classes in the
countries importing this product, the amount exported has dropped from a high of approximately 50,000 tons per annum to less than 20,000 tons. Another factor entering into the
distribution of this product has been the practice of consignment shipments. This practice
in recent years has caused immense losses to producers and shippers by its adverse effect
on prices.
Late in 1934 it was decided by the operators to take advantage of what benefits might
offer to this industry under the Federal Government's " Natural Products Marketing Act,"
and application was made accordingly to have a board set up to control the production and
sale of dry-salt herring. The request by the industry was acceded to by the Federal Government and a board set up, but not before the season had already commenced.
By virtue of certain powers vested in the British Columbia Salt Fish Marketing Board,
production was limited to that amount which, considered by the Board, the market could
absorb in an orderly manner. Consignment shipments were prohibited by a system of export
licensing, licences to ship being issued covering firm sales or sales covered by letters of credit,
cash against documents. K 14 REPORT OF THE COMMISSIONER OF FISHERIES, 1934.
Production quotas were allocated by the Board to the various licensed operators and a total
production of 20,000 tons was permitted. Actual total production for 1934 amounted to 20,666
tons. This was 5,096 tons less than the preceding year. The net result, however, was beneficial, in that no losses were sustained by producers on account of consignment shipments.
With marketing control for this product definitely established, the reaction from foreign
importers has been favourable and it would seem reasonable to anticipate a continued improvement in this industry, in so far as can be expected, by the elimination of those practices which
have been such a detrimental factor heretofore. Before this industry can be said to prosper,
however, a general improvement in the economic condition of the consumer countries is
necessary.
There were nineteen licences issued for herring dry-salteries in 1934. Actual operations
were confined to sixteen plants.
Reports from the herring-spawning grounds on the east coast of Vancouver Island would
indicate a heavy spawning. The spawning-beds in some districts on the west coast, however,
cannot be said to be satisfactory. Reports reaching this office from Barkley Sound indicate
spawning in this sound very irregular. Herring spawning in Quatsino is said to be satisfactory, and the same may be said regarding Esperanza Inlet, though it would appear from
reports that the spawning in Nootka Sound is somewhat below normal.
CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE LIFE-HISTORY OF THE SOCKEYE
SALMON   (DIGEST).
The twentieth annual contribution to the -series of papers on the life-history of the
sockeye salmon, issued by this Department, and contained in the Appendix of this report, is
again contributed by Drs. W. A. and Lucy S. Clemens. These twenty reports cover the period
1913 to 1934, inclusive; that is, twenty-two years. There is thus available a most valuable
record of the sockeye-salmon runs to the four main river systems of the Province. This record
is unexcelled in any other fishery and with each year's contribution the record becomes even
more valuable in providing a more comprehensive picture of the trends.
A digest of the present report is given in the following paragraphs.
The Fraser River Sockeye Run of 193 U-—The total pack of Fraser River sockeye in this
year amounted to 491,817 cases, of which 139,238 cases were packed in the Province of British
Columbia and 352,579 cases in the State of Washington. The percentages for the two areas
are 28 and 72 respectively. This is the largest pack in this cycle since 1914. The large run is,
for the most part, the result of a series of successful spawnings in Adams River, tributary to
Shuswap Lake. The escapement to this river in 1934 is believed to have been large and has
been estimated at probably 500,000 fish.
The samplings obtained at Sooke show that the run consisted of 84 per cent, of four-year-
old fish, 11 per cent, of five-year-olds, and the remaining 5 per cent, of fish of the age-groups
3-p 32, 4j, and 5S. The fish were of average size both in respect to length and weight and
males were considerably in excess of females, the percentages being 55 and 45 respectively.
The run of 1935 will be derived largely from the brood-year of 1931 and the prospect is far
from bright The reports of escapements in 1931 state that the total number of sockeye that
spawned in the entire river-basin was one of the smallest ever recorded. The authors state
that the urgent need for a limitation of catch in 1935 is obvious.
The Rivers Inlet Sockeye Run of 1934.—In the analysis of this run Drs. Clemens point
out that the 1934 pack (76,923 cases) failed to reach expectancy because of the low level of
productivity of 1929 as a brood-year. The five-year-old fish formed only 21 per cent, of the
run instead of slightly over 50 per cent, of it, the percentage which in earlier years was considered normal for the series to which 1934 belongs. The report of only average seeding of
spawning-beds is another indication of the mediocrity of the run of 1934.
The two chief age-groups constituted 98 per cent, of the run, a proportion somewhat
higher than usual. The fish of both of these classes were of average size. The authors state
that the unique size relationship—i.e., practical identity in size of the two sexes in the 40 age-
group—is an artificial one because of the fact that only the larger-sized individuals of this
class are being gilled with the mesh in use. In regard to sex distribution, Drs. Clemens say
that previous to the year 1929 the yearly total numbers of males and females fluctuated, with
the males being in the majority some years and females others, but since 1930 the females BRITISH COLUMBIA. K 15
have consistently predominated, resulting in an average total number of males which exceeds
that of the females by 1 per cent. The males have always outnumbered the females in the
42 group, while the reverse has always been true of the 52 class. In both age-groups, but
especially in the 42, the males have become relatively fewer as time has passed. The 1934 sex
distribution is consistent with those of previous years. The 42 males form 55 per cent, of the
group, a figure only 1 per cent, greater than the lowest recorded, and the 52 males make a new
low record at 27 per cent.
The year 1935 falls in the cycle which in the past has been the most productive in this
river system, yielding packs considerably more than 100,000 cases But the facts that the
usual high percentage of 59's in this series dropped to 50 per cent, in 1930, the more important
brood-year for the coming run, and that 1931, the other brood-year, was decidedly mediocre,
indicate a possibility of a run and pack of lesser size than formerly. It seems reasonable to
expect a pack in the neighbourhood of 100,000 cases.
The Skeena River Sockeye Run in 1935.—Drs. Clemens state that the pack of 70,655 cases
on the Skeena was slightly below prediction, and in view of the fact that the escapement to the
Babine area has been reported as not having been satisfactory, this cycle-year should be considered along with those of 1933 and 1932 as being in a critical condition.
The four-year-old fish predominated, forming 63 per cent, of the run, and were exactly
equivalent in length and weight with the average of the past twenty years. The five-year-old
fish were exceptionally large.
The authors state that the run of 1935 should be rather large, probably producing a pack
in the neighbourhood of 100,000 eases.
The Nass River Sockeye Run of 1935.—Drs. Clemens report that the unexpectedly large
pack of 1934 was due very largely to the success of 1929 as a brood-year, in spite of the fact
that it had been regarded as a very mediocre year, both as to pack and spawning escapement.
This fine pack, together with reports of heavy seeding, make it possible to again regard the
years of 1914, 1919, 1924, 1929, and 1934 as the good cycle of this river.
The authors once more call attention to the changing constitution of the Nass runs. The
run of 1934 is made up of only the four age-groups which are common to all the river systems
instead of the eight classes which were considered characteristic of the Nass in earlier years.
The dominant age-group, the 53, comprises 74 per cent, of the run, a percentage somewhat
greater than those of recent years. Fish of extraordinarily large size characterize the run,
nine of the sixteen average measurements being new high records.
For the first time in these reports, Drs. Clemens include a discussion of the Nass sex
ratios. They find considerable fluctuation within each age-group and in the yearly total
number of males and females In the dominant class, the 53, with but a single exception, the
females have always outnumbered the males; during early years the males tended to be in
the majority in the 40 group, but in more recent years the converse has obtained; prior to
the last ten years the females of 52's exceeded the males, while since that time the sexes have
shown alternate abundance. All three groups as well as the yearly sample show a deficiency
of males. In 1934 the sexes are equally divided in total numbers and each of the age-groups
more nearly approaches sex equality than in any other year.
By reason of the high pack of 1930 and the report of an unprecedented escapement to
the spawning-beds Drs. Clemens predict a good return in 1935.
Sex Distribution.—Under this title Drs. Clemens discuss the general question of the sex
proportions of the various age-groups in the four river systems and the effect of sampling
upon these ratios.    The authors summarize the subject as follows:—
Equal sex ratios are considered normal for sockeye salmon.
(1.) The Fraser River sockeyes approach normal sex distribution more closely than do
those of the other three river systems. This is to be expected since the method of sampling by
traps precludes selection. Both the total yearly samples and the dominant age-group, 42,
have shown more or less alternate abundance of the two sexes, the amount being in general
insignificant. The 42's manifest precocious maturity of males which is more pronounced in
some years than others.
(2.) The yearly total sex ratios of the Nass sockeyes show a small deficiency of males, but
this lack of equality is believed to be due to faulty gill-net sampling. The constant shortage
of males in the dominant age-group, the 53, is interpreted as precocious development, but these K 16 REPORT OF THE COMMISSIONER OF FISHERIES, 1934.
early-maturing males because of their small size entirely elude capture. The minority of the
males in the total average sex ratios of the 42 and 52 age-groups also suggests early maturity.
Since the period of sampling of the Nass run is not coextensive with the period of occurrence
of the 63 class, the constant excess of females in this group cannot be accepted as a reliable
index of the sex proportions of this class.
(3.) The explanation of the peculiar sex ratios of Rivers Inlet is found partly in precocious
maturity and partly in inadequate sampling and change of mesh in gill-nets. The 59 group
appears to be completely sampled and exhibits precocious development to a marked degree.
The 42 class, because of the small size of its members, is very incompletely sampled, resulting
in a high percentage of males. From numerous observations of grilse by fishery inspectors
and fishermen it is believed that the 42 group also produces early-maturing males. But since
there are no grilse in the samplings, and since the excess of males in the 42 class is inaccurate,
there is no way of judging exactly how the deficiency of males in the 52 group is compensated
for by the males of the 42's and the grilse. The definite decrease in the 42 males since 1929
is traceable to change of greater gill-net mesh to lesser.
(4.) What has been said of the sex ratios of Rivers Inlet may be repeated verbatim for the
Skeena sockeyes. The only point of real difference lies in a generally lower range of fluctuation
of the sex ratios of the Skeena 42 class. This is due to the fact that these four-year-olds are
larger fish and therefore have not been quite as poorly sampled as the same group in
Rivers Inlet.
CONDITION OF BRITISH COLUMBIA SALMON-SPAWNING GROUNDS.
Owing to the discontinuance by the Department of making personal inspections of the
spawning areas of the Fraser, Skeena, Rivers Inlet, and Nass systems, we are again indebted
to Major Motherwell, Chief Supervisor of Dominion Fisheries, who conducted these investigations, for furnishing us a copy of his report. His courtesy in supplying us with these reports
is gratefully acknowledged.
Major Motherwell's report on the condition of the British Columbia salmon-spawning
grounds will be found in the Appendix to this report.
THE INTERNATIONAL FISHERIES COMMISSION.
The International Fisheries Commission, set up by authority of a treaty between Canada
and the United States, continued to regulate the Pacific halibut-fishery in 1934. Its investigations into the fishery and also the biological investigation of the species were continued.
Regulations.—For the proper regulation of this fishery the coast is divided into four
areas. Area No. 1 lies off the coasts of California and Oregon; Area No. 2 is off the coasts of
Washington, British Columbia, and South-eastern Alaska; Area No. 3 takes in the coasts of
Western Alaska and the Aleutian Islands; and Area No. 4 comprises all other coast waters
not included in the other three areas.
The fishing season in 1934 opened on March 1st, one month later than the previous season.
Catch-limits for the various districts are imposed. In Area No. 2 the limit set was 21,700,000
lb. of saleable halibut and for Area No. 3 the limit was 24,300,000 lb. These two areas are
the principal producing areas. Area No. 1 was to close at the same time as Area No. 3, but
it became evident that the quota allowed for Area No. 2 would be reached quite early and that
many boats operating in that area would transfer to Area No. 1 as soon as Area No. 2 closed,
causing too heavy drain on the stocks in this area. To prevent this happening a limit of
1,400,000 lb. was announced for Area No. 1 in September. Due to improvement in the fishery
and notwithstanding the late opening date, the catch-limit for Area No. 2 was reached earlier
than in 1933 and the season for Area No. 2 closed at midnight on August 19th, the catch at
this, time amounting to approximately 22,350,000 lb. The season in Areas Nos. 1 and 3
closed on October 27th with catches amounting to 1,500,000 and 23,600,000 lb. respectively.
Voluntary Curtailment.—In order to obtain the greatest possible economic benefit from the
fish caught, the fishermen have made a concerted effort to distribute their landings more
evenly throughout the year. To accomplish this all vessel-owners and fishermen agreed to
trip-limits and specified tie-ups between trips. This curtailment plan is not imposed by the
Commission but is entirely voluntary on the part of the fishermen.    The plan has been in BRITISH COLUMBIA. K 17
operation in 1933 and 1934, and has been of immense benefit to the fishermen and is encouraged
by the Commission by supplying past and current statistics of the fishery to the fishermen.
The Conference Board.—In order to maintain close contact between the industry and the
Commission a Conference Board has been set up. The personnel of the Board represents all
sections of the fishing fleet, and meetings between the Board and the Commission are held for
the purpose of explaining to the fishermen the progress of the Commission's investigations
and discussing the various problems and difficulties encountered by the fishermen. The
Commissioners attribute the success of the Commission in no small measure to the close
contact maintained through the Conference Board.
The Scientific Investigation.—In order that a sound basis for the intelligent control of
the fishery may be provided a great deal of scientific investigation is necessary. This is
accomplished by a staff of scientific trained investigators under the able direction of Dr. W. F.
Thompson, and include a system of observation of the changes occurring as a result of regulation; analysis of previously collected data; the collection and preliminary analysis of data
and statistics for the current year as well as the collection of current biological data.
The results of investigation show that the abundance of fish, as indicated by the catch
per unit of gear, continued to increase during 1934. The average catch per unit of gear in
Area No. 2 amounted to 56.4 lb., an increase of 8 per cent, over the previous year and 61 per
cent, greater than in 1930, the last year of unrestricted fishing. In Area No. 3 the increase
in 1934 over the previous year amounted to 4 per cent, and was 35 per cent, higher than in 1930.
The increase in abundance has been brought about by the application of scientific knowledge intelligently applied in framing restrictive measures and has been of vital importance
to the fishing fleet and the industry. Without the increase and, at current prices, individual
trips could not have been successful and the resultant economic conditions would have forced
a large portion of the fleet to tie up during 1933 and 1934. Also with the increase in abundance
long trips are now unnecessary and consequently the quality has improved.
Reports.—The eighth report of the Commission was published during the year and deals
with the effect of change in the intensity of fishing upon the total yield of the fishery and upon
yield per unit of fishing effort. The report discusses the basic principles underlying the
reactions of stocks of fish to varying intensities of fishing; analyses the changes which have
occurred in the halibut stock in the past and which are occurring at present under regulation;
and demonstrates that by regulation of the intensity of the fishery the Commission can control
the size of the stock on the grounds and the number of fish allowed to reach spawning age
without marked reduction of the total catch.
The report shows how a reduction of the intensity of fishing will not only allow a greater
number of fish to reach the spawning age and produce a greater number of young, but will
actually produce a greater poundage from the same number of young. It also demonstrates
how with less effort the fleet is able to make the same total catch, and gives reason to hope
that in time the total yield can be increased without danger to the future of the fishery and
with benefit to the fishermen and public.
Continuing the investigation of halibut spawning in British Columbia waters, a vessel
was again chartered and operated in the neighbourhood of Queen Charlotte Islands during
December, 1934, and January and February, 1935, and from the results of a preliminary field
examination of the material taken in net-hauls during the early part of the spawning season
it would seem that the abundance of eggs and larva? this year was greater than last.
From what has been accomplished in the last few years considered in conjunction with
analysis of the history of the fishery, the Commission has demonstrated its control over the
stock of fish on the grounds, and while numerous problems still confront the Commission there
is no doubt that these will be solved.
REPORT ON THE SOCKEYE FISHING AND CANNING INDUSTRY
IN RIVERS INLET.
In the Appendix to this report will be found a report in the form of a brief statistical
review of the sockeye fishing and canning industry as it obtains in Rivers Inlet. The report
is by Mr. Geo. J. Alexander, Assistant Commissioner of Fisheries, and in view of the information contained therein it has been deemed advisable to publish it in its entirety in order that
the information may be available to all interested.
2 K 18 REPORT OF THE COMMISSIONER OF FISHERIES, 1934.
The report shows that the number of boats fishing for sockeye salmon in this area during
the past twelve years has increased 60 per cent., while the average sockeye-salmon packs in
the same period have decreased over 13 per cent. The report also points out that the prices
paid for sockeye by the canners to the fishermen have -increased 12 per cent., but, notwithstanding this increase in price, the fisherman's average annual income from sockeye-fishing
in this district has decreased nearly 38 per cent, in the period under review. This decrease
in individual earnings would appear to be due to two principal causes—the great increase in
the number of boats fishing and, to a lesser extent, the smaller packs.
After dealing with the effects of the increased fishing effort and the decrease in the size
of the packs on the earnings of the fisherman, the report goes on to point out how these two
factors adversely affect the canners in increased production costs, due to the lower fishing
efficiency of the nets.
It is pointed out that the efficiency of gill-nets in Rivers Inlet, as measured by the average
amount of fish produced per net, has fallen from an index of 100 for the five-year period
1922-26 to 70.3 for the five-year period 1930-34, and that nearly 78 per cent, of this total drop
is due to the increase in the number of boats fishing and less than 23 per cent, is due to
smaller packs.
It is hoped that the publication of this information may be the means of suggesting to
the industry, both fishermen and canners, a way in which some of the ills from which it has been
suffering may be rectified.
THE  HERRING-FISHERY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA, PAST AND
PRESENT   (DIGEST).
In the Appendix to this report will be found a paper by Mr. Albert L. Tester, of the
staff of the Pacific Biological Station, Nanaimo, on the " Herring-fishery of British Columbia."
Mr. Tester outlines the life-history of the herring frequenting the various waters of
British Columbia and traces the development of this fishery through its various stages up to
the present time. The various methods of catching and handling the fish in the herring
industry are described. The various products originating with the herring-fishery are discussed in some detail, as are the values of these products.
The author also discusses the fluctuations in the abundance of herring which have occurred
from time to time in the different localities. The effect of expansion of the fishery on the
abundance of herring as well as the effects of intensive fishing also receive the author's
•attention. In this connection Mr. Tester points out that it is essential that overfishing be
guarded against, especially in respect to a non-migratory species such as the herring, as such
species is more quickly depleted and the consequences more disastrous than in the case of
a migratory species.
In the section dealing with the " Present Condition of the Fishery " Mr. Tester points
out that " an intensive biological study of the herring-fishery has been in progress for only
a short period and therefore only tentative conclusions with regard to the condition of the
fishery have been formed." These conclusions, though tentative, are none the less important,
in that they indicate that in at least two of the most heavily exploited districts—i.e., the
south-east coast of Vancouver Island and Barkley Sound—the intensive fishing has had
a noticeable effect on the length and age composition of the populations of herring in these
districts, which effect suggests some degree of overfishing. Mr. Tester also points out that
economic conditions during the past few years have been responsible for curtailing fishing
activities to some extent, with noticeable beneficial effects on the condition of the stocks of
herring in the districts under review.
In dealing with the future possibilities of the herring-fishery the author is of the opinion
that under certain conditions the herring-catch in British Columbia may be safely increased,
but exploitation must be distributed throughout all areas according to the size of the runs
frequenting the various areas, and the intensity of the fishing in any area must not be
permitted to endanger the perpetuity of the local stocks. In conclusion the author says:
" Local and general depletion must be avoided at all costs, for not only is the fishery itself
a great asset, but the intermediate role of the herring as food for other species is of inestimable
economic importance to the Province."
The Commissioner of Fisheries is greatly indebted to the Biological Board for permission
to reprint this article and for the loan of the plates illustrating it. BRITISH COLUMBIA. K 19
THE PACIFIC SALMON IN BRITISH COLUMBIA WATERS.
Numerous requests have been received by the Provincial Department of Fisheries for
information as to how the various species of salmon frequenting our waters might be properly
identified.
Dr. W. A. Clemens, Director of the Pacific Biological Station, Nanaimo, kindly undertook
the task of preparing a paper on this subject. The paper points out in non-technical language
the various biological differences in the different species of Pacific salmon and contains a brief
outline of the life-history of the species dealt with. Certain characters commonly used in the
identification of the five species are pointed out in detail and a key is provided which may be
used for the identification of the various species.
Dr. Clemens's paper, entitled " The Pacific Salmon in British Columbia Waters," will
be found in the Appendix to this report.
In addition to Dr. Clemens's paper dealing with the identification of the adults of five
species of British Columbia salmon, there will also be found in the Appendix of this report
a paper by Drs. R. E. Foerster and A. L. Pritchard, " The Identification of the Young of the
Five Species of Pacific Salmon, with Notes on the Fresh-water Phase of their Life-history."
Very little information on this subject is available; therefore the paper will be a valuable
addition to the existing bibliography.
The authors have brought together in this paper, for each species, the specific morphological characters, the characteristic external features, and the details concerning development
and time of migration—to the end that by a consideration of all the factors identification may
be made possible.
The Provincial Department of Fisheries wishes to express its appreciation to Dr. W. A.
Clemens and to Drs. R. E. Foerster and A. L. Pritchard for the preparation of these two papers. K 20 REPORT OF THE COMMISSIONER OF FISHERIES, 1934.
APPENDICES.
CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE LIFE-HISTORY OF THE SOCKEYE SALMON.
(No. 20.)
By Wilbert A. Clemens, Ph.D., Director, Pacific Biological Station, Nanaimo,
and Lucy S. Clemens, Ph.D.
INTRODUCTION.
The runs of sockeye salmon to the four main river systems of British Columbia in 1934
were particularly satisfactory in some respects. Those to the Fraser and Nass Rivers were
exceptionally large and those to Rivers Inlet and the Skeena River, though somewhat below
expectation, were nevertheless of fair size.
The pack from the run to the Fraser River amounted to 491,817 cases, which is the largest
in this cycle since 1914 and approaches the early years when packs of 500,000 and 600,000
were obtained. The escapement to the spawning-beds of the Upper Fraser was small, with
the exception of that to Adams River, tributary to Shuswap Lake, while that to the lower
areas of the river was fairly large. The fish were predominantly four-year-olds, this group
constituting 84 per cent, of the run and being slightly above average in length and weight.
The Rivers Inlet pack of 76,923 cases was less than anticipated and the escapement was
not large, being reported as only an average one. The condition is apparently the result
of a failure of the five-year-old fish to appear, as was the case in 1929. This age-group formed
only 21 per cent, of the run, whereas in early years it constituted over 50 per cent. The fish
of this year-class were slightly above average in length and weight, while those of the 42
year-class were below their average in both respects.
The pack on the Skeena River was 70,655 cases, which was slightly below prediction.
In view of the fact that the escapement to the Babine area has been reported as not having
been very satisfactory, this cycle-year should be considered along with those of 1933 and 1932
as being in a critical condition. The four-year-old fish predominated, forming 63 per cent,
of the run, and were exactly equivalent in length and weight with the average of the past
twenty years.    The five-year-old fish were exceptionally large.
The run to the Nass River produced a pack of 28,701 cases, which is the largest of the
past ten years, and reports from the spawning-beds indicate an exceptionally good escapement.
The fish were of large size in all the age-groups, being above the average in both length and
weight.
A special study of the sex proportions in the various age-groups of the four areas has
been made and evidence is given to show that there is a definite tendency for the males to
mature at an earlier age than the females. Certain inadequacies in the sampling of the runs
by gill-nets are brought out.
DESIGNATION OF AGE-GROUPS.
Two outstanding features in the life-history of the fish have been selected in designating
the age-groups—namely, the age at maturity and the year of its life in which the fish migrates
from fresh water. These are expressed symbolically by two numbers, one in large type, which
indicates the age of maturity, and the other in small type, placed to the right and below, which
signifies the year of life in which the fish left the fresh water. The age-groups which are met
most commonly in these river systems are:—
3V 41—the " sea-types " or fish which migrate in their first year and mature at the
ages of three and four years respectively.
32—" the grilse," usually males, which migrate in their second year and mature at the
age of three.
42, 50—fish which migrate in their second year and mature at the ages of four and
five respectively. LIFE-HISTORY OF THE  SOCKEYE  SALMON. K 21
53, 60—fish which migrate in their third year and mature at the ages of five and six
respectively.
64, 74—fish which migrate in their fourth year and mature at the ages of six and
seven respectively.
11 THE FRASER RIVER SOCKEYE RUN OF 1934.
(1.)  General Characteristics.
The total pack of Fraser River sockeye in the season 1934 amounted to 491,817 cases, of
which 139,238 cases were packed in the Province of British Columbia and 352,579 cases in the
State of Washington (Table I.).    The percentages for the two areas are 28 and 72 respectively.
The run to the Fraser River was thus large as was expected. The pack of 491,817 cases
represents approximately 6,390,000 fish. The escapement was mainly to Adams River, tributary of Shuswap Lake, where it is estimated that some 500,000 fish spawned. Undoubtedly
the run of 1934 was largely the product of the spawning in that river in 1930, when it was
estimated that over 400,000 fish reached the spawning-beds. The significance of the massed
spawning of such a number of fish is striking when the number of eggs is calculated, which
in that case should have been in the neighbourhood of 800,000,000. If half a million fish
spawned in 1934 and 50 per cent, of these were females, over a billion eggs were undoubtedly
deposited.
An inspection of the spawning-beds was made by Mr. G. J. Alexander, Assistant to the
Commissioner of Fisheries, and an additional report is available through the courtesy of
Major J. A. Motherwell, of the Dominion Department of Fisheries. From these reports it is
apparent that the escapement to the upper areas of the river system, with the exception of
Adams River, was small. That to the Stuart-Trembleur-Takla-Fraser-Francois Lake area,
while possibly showing a slight increase over that of 1930, was not particularly significant.
Very few fish reached Quesnel, Bowron, and Seton Lakes. A smaller number, estimated at
3,500, appeared in the Chilcotin River.
On the lower portions of the system the escapements were relatively good. An encouraging run appeared in Morris Creek, tributary to Harrison Lake. The runs to the Birkenhead
River and Pitt Lake are stated to have been very good. At Cultus Lake 19,000 fish appeared
at the counting-fence.
A very rough estimate would seem to place the total escapement to the Fraser River in the
neighbourhood of 750,000 fish.
The run of 1935 will be largely derived from the brood-year 1931 and the prospect is very
discouraging. In 1931 Mr. J. P. Babcock, after making an inspection of the spawning-beds in
the Seton, Anderson, Lillooet, Harrison, and Shuswap areas and receiving reports of Dominion
Fisheries Officers through Major J. A. Motherwell for other areas, stated that the total number
of sockeye that spawned in the entire river-basin was one of the smallest ever recorded. Egg-
collections at the Pemberton and Pitt Lake hatcheries were relatively small. In 1931 the total
pack was 128,158 cases, which was 30,000 cases less than in 1927. The urgent need for a
limitation of catch in 1935 is obvious.
(2.) Age-groups.
The material for this year's study consists of data and scales from 1,059 sockeye salmon
selected at random from April 26th to October 12th in forty random samplings obtained from
the traps at Sooke, at the south end of Vancouver Island. The 42 age-group predominated as
usual, there being 892 individuals, representing a percentage of 84.2. The 52 age-group
consisted of 113 fish or 10.7 per cent. The remaining year-classes were sparsely represented:
53, 24 fish;   Sv 1 fish;   41( 13 fish;   32, 16 fish;   together constituting 5 per cent.
The percentage of four-year-old fish is the highest since the year 1927, when it was 84.6.
In recent years there has been a definite tendency toward an increased representation of this
age-group. A comparison of the percentages of the various age-groups since 1920 is given in
Table II.
(3.) Lengths and Weights.
The fish of the 42 age-group are large both in respect to length and weight and slightly
above the average of the past twelve years. The average length and weight of the males is
23.9 inches and 6.3 lb. and of the females 23.2 inches and 5.6 lb.    A noteworthy feature was K 22
REPORT OF THE  COMMISSIONER OF FISHERIES, 1934.
the occurrence of a number of males weighing 11, 12, and 12% lb. and measuring 28 and 29
inches in length. The largest size recorded in the samplings of the past ten years has been
10 % lb. and 28 inches. Reports from Pitt Lake have mentioned the extraordinary size of some
individuals and it is possible that these large fish are of Pitt Lake origin.
In the 52 age-group the males are exceptionally small, while the females are of average
size. The average lengths of the males and females are 24.2 and 24.1 inches respectively and
the average weights 6.5 and 6.4 lb. respectively.
Similarly in the 53 age-group, the males are small and practically identical in size with
the females. The average lengths of the males and females are 23 and 23 inches and the
average weights 5.2 and 5.1 lb. respectively. The complete data are given in Tables III., IV.,
V., and VI.
Attention should be called to the fact that it was impossible to obtain the weights of sixteen
fish in the 42 year-class and eleven in the 5, age-class and hence the difference in the totals in
Tables III. and IV.
(4.) Distribution of the Sexes.
The total number of males in the samplings is 580 and of the females 479, percentages of
54.8 and 45.2 respectively. An excess of males is not exceptional, as shown by the fact that such
has occurred in ten of the twenty years of record (Table VII.). Nevertheless, the percentage
of 55 has only been exceeded in the year 1928. LIFE-HISTORY OF THE  SOCKEYE  SALMON.
K 23
B.C.
B.C. -
Wash.
Total-
Total-
B.C. _
Wash...
Total..
B.C.
Total.
B.C. .
Table I.—Fraser River Packs, 1895-1934, arranged in accordance with the
Four-year Cycle.
Total.
B.C...
Wash..
Total-
B.C.....
Wash-
Total..
B.C	
Wash..
B.C	
Wash. .
Total-
128,158
146,957
179,069
1895—
395,984
65,143
1896—
356,984
72,979
1897-
- 860,459
312,048
1898—
256,101
252,000
461,127
429,963
1,172,507
508,101
1899—
480,485
499,646
1900—
229,800
228,704
1901-
- 928,669
1,105,096
1902—
293,477
339,556
980,131
458,504
2,033,765
633,033
1903—
204,809
167,211
1904—
72,688
123,419
1905-
- 837,489
837,122
1906—
183,007
182,241
372,020
196,107
1,674,611
365,248
1907—
59,815
96,974
1908—
74,574
170,951
1909-
- 585,435
1,097,904
1910—
150,432
248,014
156,789
245,525
1,683,339
398,446
1911—
58,487
127,761
1912—
123,879
184,680
1913-
- 719,796
1,673,099
1914—
198,183
335,230
186,248
308,559
2,392,895
533,413
1915—
91,130
64,584
1916—
32,146
84,637
1917-
- 148,164
411,538
559,702
1918—
19,697
50,723
155,714
116,783
70,420
1919—
38,854
64,346
1920—
48,399
62,654
1921-
-  39,631
102,967
142,598
1922—
51,832
48,566
103,200
111,053
100,398
1923—
•
31,655
47,402
1924—
39,743
69,369
1925-
-  35,385
112,023
1926—
85,689
44,673
79,057
109,112
147,408
130,362
1927—
61,393
97,594
1928—
29,299
61,044
1929-
-  61,569
111,898
1930—
103,692
352,194
158,987
90,343
173,467
455,886
1931—
40,947
87,211
1932—
65,769
81,188
1933-
-  52,465
126,604
1934—
139,238
352,579
491,817 K 24
REPORT OF THE  COMMISSIONER OF FISHERIES, 1934.
Table II.—Fraser River Sockeyes, Vancouver Island Traps, Percentages of the
Year-classes from 1920 to 1934.
Year.
42
52
h
63
31
h
32
1920          	
69.6
21.2
6.2
0.2
1.9
0.9
1921	
78.1
70.5
14.6
9.3
4.1
4.5
0.7
2.0
0.5
6.3
2.0
5.6
1922 -	
0.9
1923    	
67.1
10.8
3.9
1.2
6.7
9.9
0.4
1924     	
68.2
67.9
18.7
24.9
9.2
3.4
0.5
0.2
0.5
2.2
2.0
0.0
0.8
1925    	
0.6
1926 - -     -     	
66.1
20.3
5.2
1.6
2.0
2.5
2.1
1927  :  	
84.6
7.5
3.0
0.8
1.9
2.2
1928              -    	
71.4
77.3
75.7
79.0
80.7
18.8
11.9
19.6
13.1
13.5
5.3
7.8
2.8
1.3
2.8
0.5
0.4
0.5
2.0
0.1
0.2
2.0
0.8
0.7
0.1
0.7
2.0
0.8
1.0
1929          - —
2.5
1930 . ..      -	
0.5
1931                             	
2.6
1932-      	
1.4
1933- --    	
83.6
9.2
1.9
1.4
0.5
3.4
1934          -	
84.2
10.7
2.3
0.1
1.2
1.5
Table HI.—Fraser River Sockeyes, 1934, Vancouver Island Traps, grouped by Age,
Sex, and Length, and by their Early History.
Number of Individuals.
Length in Inches.
42
52
h
«i
4i
h
M.
F.
M.
F.
M.
F.
M.
F.
M.
F.
M.
F.
0
17% 	
1
1
2
4
18   .- 	
5
2
1
4
12
18%'...	
1
1
	
1
4
7
6
3
1
5
1
1
1
4
12
191/2  	
10
20  	
19
9
2
2
1
1
2
2
38
20%	
7
7
1
15
21   -	
10
14
5
1
1
31
21%       	
5
4
2
3
14
22  	
16
30
6
4
1
57
22% -	
18
17
3
2
1
41
23   	
44
93
4
5
2
2
150
23 y. -
19
61
2
1
1
84
24          	
111
76
11
5
3
2
1
1
210
24%          	
48
52
3
4
1
111
25     	
85
23
6
7
3
1
2
2
129
25 %.---    -_-	
35
8
1
10
54
26 	
27
6
4
3
40
26% -	
8
5
3
1
17
27	
8
3
27%   -
1
2
3
28 —	
2
2
4
28% -
1
29 --	
3
3
29%    --	
	
30 -	
1
1
Totals	
482
410
63
50
11
13
1
7
6
16
1,059
Ave. lengths—
23.9
23.2
L_
24.2
24.1
23.0
23.0
19.0
23.5
22.1
18.6 LIFE-HISTORY OF THE SOCKEYE  SALMON.
K 25
Table IV.—Fraser River Sockeyes, 1934, Vancouver Island Traps, grouped by Age, Sex,
and Weight, and by their Early History.
Number op Individuals.
Weight in Pounds.
h
5
2
53
»i
41
32
M.
F.
M.
F.
M.
F.
M.
F.
M.
F.
M.
F.
O
2...	
2% -.-.-.
3 	
3% -	
6
21
8
17
22
40
28
86
49
60
51
34
26
7
4
3
3
3
1
1
4
8
12
32
32
81
52
60
55
39
19
6
5
1
3
2
2
4
5
4
9
5
6
1
2
2
3
3
2
1
1
1
1
2
3
6
4
6
4
2
9
4
2
3
1
1
2
1
1
2
1
1
1
2
3
1
2
3
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
2
1
1
1
10
5
1
2
21
42
25
4 	
4%   -	
59
63
5	
134
5y2	
91
6  	
6% 	
167
116
7                	
110
7%     	
83
8 	
48
8%-- -	
9	
9%.	
35
14
7
10	
4
10% -	
2
11 '
4
11%      	
12    	
3
12%	
2
Totals	
469
407
55
47
11
13
1
7
6
16
1,032
6.3
5.6
6.5
6.4
5.2
5.1
3.0
6.6
5.2
2.7
Table V.—Fraser River Sockeyes, Vancouver Island Traps, Average Lengths in Inches
of Principal Classes from 1920 to 1934.
Year.
42
5
2
53
6
3
*X
4
1
M.
F.
M.
F.
M.
F.
M.
F.
M.
F.
M.
F.
1920-.- - --
1921	
24.1
23.7
24.0
24.3
23.8
23.5
22.6
24.1
23.4
23.7
24.4
23.4
23.6
23.1
23.2
23.0
23.0
23.3
22.8
22.9
22.3
23.1
23.0
22.9
23.6
22.8
22.8
22.7
25.7
25.9
25.8
25.8
24.9
25.8
24.6
26.1
25.5
25.5
26.2
25.6
25.3
24.9
24.6
24.6
24.1
24.8
23.9
24.6
24.0
24.6
24.7
24.3
24.6
24.6
24.2
24.0
24.3
23.5
24.2
23.7
24.0
23.2
21.7
24.2
24.8
24.4
24.3
24.6
24.0
23.2
22.7
22.9
22.7
22.0
22.4
22.0
23.4
23.7
23.5
24.1
23.2
22.9
25.7
25.4
26.3
24.3
25.5
25.3
27.1
26.2
26.7
27.0
24.3
24.9
23.7
24.6
26.0
24.8
26.0
23.3
23.0
23.3
21.9
22.5
23.4
23.4
19.1
22.5
21.5
21.9
22.5
21.8
22.6
22.7
20.4
21.7
22.5
22.2
18.7
23.0
20.7
21.6
21.5
22.3
25.5
25.5
25.2
25.2
25.4
25.1
19.8
25.0
24.7
25.3
23.0
24.3
24.3
1922 	
1923	
24 1
1924	
24.4
1925                 -
1926              	
24.6
1927 	
24.5
1928                                  	
1929	
24.0
1930-	
23.2
1931- 	
22.5
1932	
1933	
23.4
23.8
23.7
23.0
25.5
24.4
23.9
23.0
25.9
24.9
22.4
21.7
24.5
23 9
1934 „.,
23.9
23.2
24.2
24.1
23.0
23.0
23.5 K 26
REPORT OF THE COMMISSIONER OF FISHERIES, 1934.
Table VI.—Fraser River Sockeyes, Vancouver Island Traps, Average Weights in
Pounds of Principal Classes from 1922 to 1934.
42
5
2
53
6
3
h
41
M.
F.
M.
F.
M.
F.
M.
F.
M.
F.
M.
F.
1922       - 	
6.4
6.6
5.8
5.2
6.1
6.0
6.0
6.9
5.8
6.1
5.4
5.7
5.8
5.2
4.9
5.5
5.5
5.3
6.1
5.2
5.4
5.0
7.0
7.8
7.6
6.2
7.3
7.4
7.2
7.7
7.3
7.3
7.0
6.1
6.9
6.6
5.7
6.8
6.9
6.3
6.7
6.5
6.7
6.3
6.1
6.0
6.1
5.4
4.5
6.5
6.7
6.6
6.1
6.6
6.0
5.4
5.2
5.3
4.8
4.8
5.7
5.9
6.0
6.3
5.4
5.2
7.2
7.3
7.4
6.5
8.6
7.5
7.7
8.8
5.5
6.5
5.7
5.5
8.0
6.5
6.0
5.9
6.2
5.3
6.1
5.9
6.4
5.5
4.5
4.9
5.1
5.2
5.3
4.6
5.4
5.2
5.4
5.0
4.2
4.6
4.4
4.9
7.9
7.3
7.3
7.2
8.0
6.5
6.3
7.3
5.7
6.5
6.9
6.5
6.6
6.8
6.6
6.0
1930       	
5.8
6.0
1932         	
5.9
1933 - -  	
6.1
6.0
5.4
7.3
6.5
6.1
5.5
7.6
6.2
5.6
4.9
7.0
6.3
1934       "   	
6.3
5.6
6.5
6.4
5.2
5.1
	
6.6
5.1
Table VII.—Fraser River Sockeyes, Percentages of Males and Females of the
4i, 52, and 5z Age-groups, 1915 to 1934.
4
2
5
2
5
3
Per Cent.
Total
Males.
Per Cent.
Total
M.
F.
M.
F.
M.
F.
Females.
1915            .	
55
49
45
51
57
50
43
50
53
38
47
62
54
51
46
1916            	
49
1917   —  	
50
50
50
50
49
51
50
50
1918  -  	
51
49
56
44
57
43
52
48
1919    -	
53
47
53
47
48
52
52
48
1920                        -	
50
50
47
53
47
53
49
51
1921                        	
48
52
42
58
43
57
47
53
1922                          	
49
51
52
48
46
54
53
47
1923            - -	
51
49
55
45
46
54
50
50
1924.      -	
51
49
50
50
47
53
51
49
1925         -
46
54
53
47
43
57
49
1926	
52
48
48
52
50
50
51
1927.	
48
52
58
42
41
59
48
52
1928	
53
47
64
36
66
34
56
44
1929  -	
46
54
55
45
60
50
49
51
1930 —
42
58
55
45
44
56
45
55
1931  	
47
53
56
44
42
58
48
52
1932 .  	
44
56
58
42
30
70
46
54
1933  	
49
51
50
50
47
53
51
49
1934 „    	
54
46
66
44
46
54
55
45
49
51
53
47
47
53
50
50 LIFE-HISTORY OF THE SOCKEYE SALMON. K 27
2. THE RIVERS INLET SOCKEYE RUN OF 1934.
(1.)  General Characteristics.
Perhaps the most outstanding feature which separates the Rivers Inlet sockeyes from
those of the other three river systems under consideration is the fact that these sockeyes are
a single, unified race. This is probably due to the simplicity of Rivers Inlet basin. It consists
of a single lake (Owikeno) which receives short tributary streams and which is drained by a
large, short outlet. The salmon spawn under uniform external conditions on the gravel shores
of the lake and along the lower reaches of the tributaries, thus producing a population of
uniform type. This uniformity is evident both in the external appearance of the fish and in
the scales which record the growth of the fish. In general, single populations lend themselves
not only to more definite and finer analysis, but also to more complete and satisfactory interpretation. However, in dealing with such a fishery as the sockeye salmon, where by far the
greater part of the life-history is spent in the ocean under physico-chemical conditions, concerning the details of which there is at the present time no knowledge, the study of a unified
population presents many puzzling aspects. Rivers Inlet runs consist mainly of four- and
five-year-old fish which spend one year in fresh water. Although there has been from year to
year no definite ratio between these two groups, the five-year class has seemed the more preeminent. In 1928 an attempt was made to interpret the Rivers Inlet data by arranging them
in five-year cycles or series. Both the packs (Table A) and the relative proportions of the
42's and 52's (Table B) were put in sequence on this basis.
Table A.
Sr. 1. 1907, 87,874; 1912,112,884; 1917, 61,195; 1922, 53,584; 1927, 64,461; 1932, 69,732.
Sr. 2. 1908, 64,652; 1913, 61,745; 1918, 53,401; 1923,107,174; 1928, 60,044; 1933, 83,507.
Sr. 3. 1909, 89,027; 1914, 89,890; 1919, 56,258; 1924, 94,891; 1929, 70,260; 1934, 76,923.
Sr. 4. 1910,126,921; 1915,130,350; 1920,125,338; 1925,159,554; 1930,119,170.
Sr. 5. 1911, 88,763; 1916, 44,936; 1921, 48,615; 1926, 65,581; 1931, 76,428.
Table B.
Sr.l. 1912 (5 years)__79%  1917 67%  1922 18%  1927 17%  1932 29%
(4years)„.21% 33% 82% 83% 71%
Sr. 2. 1913 20%  1918 43%  1923 24%  1928 42%  1933 55%
80% 57% 76% 58% 45%
Sr. 3. 1914 65%  1919 54%  1924 56%  1929 19%  1934 21%
35% 46% 44% 81% 79%
Sr. 4. 1915 87%  1920 95%  1925 77%  1930 50%
13% 5% 23% 50%
Sr. 5. 1916 76%  1921 51%  1926 40%  1931 54%
24% 49% 60% 46%
At that time a fairly satisfactory interpretation was possible and certain generalizations
were made. However, in the meantime the data of six additional years have come to hand
and have been added to those tabulations. In some instances these more recent data have
upset the more or less orderly sequence of earlier years. Nevertheless, the tables have been
retained temporarily, both because they serve as a definite basis for discussion and also to
await the return of 1935, which falls in the cycle which in the past has been by far the strongest.
The data of 1934 are exceptions, the pack (76,923 cases) being small for the cycle and the
percentage (21) of five-year-old fish being very much below the figure which was considered
normal for the series in the earlier years (p. 23, Report for 1929). Such a preponderance of
four-year-olds as occurred in this year's run has been recorded only a very few times in the
history of Rivers Inlet. However, their predominance is not real; their relative proportion
is exaggerated because of the failure of the five-year-old fish. It is quite evident, then, that
the mediocre pack (76,923 cases) of 1934 is due to the low level of productivity of 1929 as a
brood-year. This spawning hatched in the spring of 1930 and after a year's residence in Lake
Owikeno the young migrants went to sea. A fair percentage (45) of the run of 1933 was
made up of these fish having matured at the age of four, and a small portion (21 per cent.) of
the run of 1934 was composed of this same spawning, maturing at the age of five.    One can K 28
REPORT OF THE  COMMISSIONER OF FISHERIES, 1934.
only conjecture as to the conditions which would result in such an unbalanced return from a
single spawning.
That the year 1934 was not a particularly successful one for Rivers Inlet is evident also
in the report of only average seeding of the spawning-beds. Furthermore, disregarding the
pack in relation to the cycle in which it occurs, and viewing it in comparison with all the other
twenty-seven recorded packs, it is found to be approximately 7,000 cases less than the average
pack for the period (Table VIII.).
The spawnings of 1930 and 1931 will be the progenitors for the run of 1935. The year
falls into the cycle which in the past has been by far the most productive in this river system,
yielding packs well over 100,000 cases. However, there are certain features which may be
indicative of a run and pack of lesser magniture than formerly. The year 1930 is the more
important of the two brood years. In this year the proportion of five-year-old fish in this
cycle dropped from the usual high percentage to 50 per cent. If the trend continues the outlook
is not good, because large numbers of 52's have been closely associated with large packs. The
other brood-year, 1931, yielded a pack of less than average size and cannot be counted upon to
contribute in a marked degree to the run of 1935. Average seedings were reported on the
spawning-beds in both 1930 and 1931. It would seem, then, that a pack in the neighbourhood
of 100,000 cases would be reasonable expectancy.
(2.) Age-groups.
The facts concerning the 1934 Rivers Inlet run have been drawn from 1,597 individuals
gathered in seventeen samplings between June 27th and August 6th. The distribution of these
individuals among the four age-groups which characterize this river system is as follows:
42's, 1,229; 52's, 330; 53's, 29; and 6.{'s, 9. The two former groups dominate the run to the
extent of 98 per cent. The groups which spend two years in fresh water are always an inconsequential part of the run. During the last two years they have been even slightly less
abundant than formerly, their average percentage over the ten years previous to 1934 being
3.3 per cent. Although the relative proportions of the two chief groups vary over a wide
range, 1934 is exceptional in that there are only four other years among the twenty-three for
which there are records in which the 52's have been so conspicuously in the minority. Nineteen
hundred and twenty-nine, the brood-year from which the 21 per cent, of the 1934 run was
derived, had only 19 per cent, of this year-class present. However, this is more coincident
than significant because there is no evidence, direct or indirect, to indicate that five-year-old
fish necessarily produce five-year-olds. Age of maturity is no doubt determined in part by
the interaction of physico-chemical conditions.
(3.) Lengths and Weights.
The entire sample of 1,597 individuals is listed according to length in Table IX. and
according to weight in Table X. The average measurements of the chief age-groups, together
with the general averages, form Tables XI. and XII. A glance at these tables shows that the
averages of the 42 class of 1934 for both sexes and for both length and weight are slightly
less than the general averages. The converse is true of the 52's, all measurements being a
trifle more than the general averages. However, the differences are not sufficiently great in
either class to regard the fish other than of average size.
A peculiarity confined almost exclusively to these Rivers Inlet sockeyes, especially to the
42 group, is not as marked in 1934 as it often has been. This is the close correspondence in
size between the two sexes. A little more than 50 per cent, of the records (Table XL) show
the males and females to be identical or to differ by not more than 0.1 inch. The weights
exhibit the same tendency but to a lesser degree. This unique relationship is probably more
apparent than real. The average size of the Rivers Inlet four-year-old fish is decidedly less
than that of the same age-group in the other river systems. Consequently it is probable that
these figures do not represent a complete cross-section of the 42 class; they show only that
part of the group which it is possible to gill with the mesh in use. Smaller individuals of the
group are probably passing through the nets. In view of the fact that the bodies of mature
males are deeper than those of females, it is very likely that females, predominate among the
escaping fish. Evidence for the truth of this supposition is found in all the tables presenting
length distributions, such as Table IX. in 1934.    A perusal of the 4Q group shows throughout LIFE-HISTORY OF THE  SOCKEYE SALMON. K 29
the years that the majority of recorded smallest fish are males. Such is not the case in the
other age-classes. If the samplings contained representatives of these smaller fish, the
average lengths and weights of the group would probably drop and the measurements of the
male would exceed those of the female. There is no reason to suppose that the size relationship which exists between the sexes in every other group should be absent in this class.
That the small fish which are not netted form a very considerable part of the runs to
Rivers Inlet is evidenced time and again in the reports of the spawning-beds. For instance,
the report of the present year contains the following statement: " One factor of the run was
found to be the abnormally large proportion of the three-year-old males; in fact, of the whole
run the males have considerably exceeded the females in number." Yet the 1934 samplings
contained neither a single grilse nor, as the following paragraph indicates, a majority of males.
(4.)  Distribution of the Sexes.
Of recent years by far the most interesting and at the same time most perplexing feature
in connection with Rivers Inlet sockeyes has been their sex distribution. In preparing the
final section of this report it was necessary to go back to the original data in some of the
earlier years of Rivers Inlet. In so doing it was discovered that the sex ratios had not always
been computed on the entire cross-sections of the runs. Consequently, in order to make the
data perfectly comparable throughout the years, all the averages have been checked and
changed wherever necessary (Table XIII.). The correct averages do not alter the general
trends in the sex proportions, but they make the definite quantitative statements concerning
the early years found in former discussions incorrect. In this river system the males have
always outnumbered the females in the 42 group and the reverse condition has obtained in the
other principal class, the 52's. Up to and including the year 1929 the yearly ratio of the two
sexes in the complete sample has fluctuated; some years the males have been in the majority
and other years the females. But since 1930 the females have constantly exceeded the males.
In viewing the two age-classes closely, it is evident that the relative proportions of the sexes
have changed as the years have passed. In both cases the males have become less abundant.
During the earliest five years for which there are records the males constituted 72 per cent,
of the 42 group and from 1930-34 only 56 per cent. For the same periods the 52 males totalled
44 and 31 per cent, respectively. On the one hand the ratio between the sexes has become
less extreme and on the other hand more extreme. The average percentages (49's, 65 per
cent, males and 35 per cent, females; 52's, 36 per cent, males and 64 per cent, females) are
interesting because they show how very closely over a period of years the excess of males in
one group has compensated for the lack in the other. Furthermore, as one would anticipate
under the circumstances, the average total number of males and females is very nearly
equivalent, the difference being 1 per cent, in favour of the males. In computing the total
percentages the entire cross-sections of the runs have been taken into consideration. However,
except in a very few instances, the representatives of the other age-groups have not been
abundant enough to affect the averages even by 1 per cent.
The 1934 ratios fall regularly into their respective series. The 42 males, forming 55 per
cent, of the group, have been less abundant by 1 per cent, only in the year 1932 and the 59
males have reached a new low level at 27 per cent. Nevertheless, in the total of 1,597
individuals, the females outnumber the males by a mere 27 individuals. The sex ratios of
Rivers Inlet as well as those of the other river systems are discussed more fully in the last
section of this report. K 30
REPORT OF THE COMMISSIONER OF FISHERIES, 1934.
Table VIII.—Rivers Inlet Sockeyes, Percentages of 4n and 50 Age-groups in Runs of
Successive Years.
Run of the Year.
Percentage
Four and Five
Years old.
Brood-year from which
derived.
1912 (112,884 cases).
1913 (61,745 cases).
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).
1924 (94,891 cases) —
1925 (159,554 cases)..
1926 (65,581 cases) -
1927 (64,461 cases)...
1928 (60,044 cases).._
1929 (70,260 cases)...
1930 (119,170 cases).
1931 (76,428 cases).
1932 (69,732 cases)..
1933 (83,507 cases)..
1934 (76,923 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. 67%
4 yrs. 33%
5 yrs. 43%
4 yrs. 57%
5 yrs. 54%
4 yrs. 43%
5 yrs. 95%
4 yrs. 5%
5 yrs. 51%
4 yrs. 49%
5 yrs. 18%
4 yrs. 82%
5 yrs. 24%
4 yrs. 76%
5 yrs. 56%
4 yrs. 44%
5 yrs. 77%
4 yrs. 23%
5 yrs. 40%
4 yrs. 60%
5 yrs. 17%
4 yrs. 83%
5 yrs. 42%
4 yrs. 58%
5 yrs. 19%
4 yrs. 81%
5 yrs. 50%
4 yrs. 50%
5 yrs. 54%
4 yrs. 46%
5 yrs. 29%
4 yrs. 71%
5 yrs. 55%
4 yrs. 45%
5 yrs. 21%
4 yrs. 79%
1907 (87,874 cases).
1908 (64,652 cases).
1909 (89,027 cases).
1
j- 1910 (126,921 cases).
1
}■ 1911 (88,763 cases).
1912 (112,884 cases).
1913 (61,745 cases).
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).
1924 (94,891 cases).
1925 (159,554 cases).
1926 (65,581 cases).
j
1
I. 1927 (64,461 cases).
J
1928 (60,044 cases).
1929 (70,260 cases).
1930 (119,170 cases). LIFE-HISTORY OF THE  SOCKEYE  SALMON.
K 31
Table IX.-
-Rivers Inlet Sockeyes, Run of 1934, grouped by Age, Sex, and Length,
and by their Early History.
Number of
Individuals.
Length in Inches.
4
2
5
2
5
3
6
3
M.
F.
M.
F.
M.
F.
M.
F.
o
20 	
4
4
20%  -
24
12
1
1
38
21  	
85
47
1
1
134
21%     .            	
114
116
22 '
122
144
1
1
2
5
22%     	
93
99
7
3
2
23          	
76
68
4
13
2
23% -	
54
35
6
28
2
3
1
129
24      	
40
19
13
29
24%              -	
27
10
21
25     ...
27
4
9
46
2
1
89
25%-- 	
9
2
3
27
1
42
26         	
1
5
25
1
1
32
28
26%  	
7
19
1
27 	
14
17
31
27%                 	
5
7
1
13
7
2
28                	
5
1
1
28% 	
2
29
1
1
1
1
29%
1
30              	
1
Totals— 	
676
553
88
242
15
14
6
3
1,597
Ave. lengths	
22.4
22.2
25.6
25.0
22.9
22.7
25.2
26.3
Table X.-
-Rivers Inlet Sockeyes, Run of 1934, grouped by Age, Sex, and Weight,
and by their Early History.
Number of
Individuals.
Weight in Pounds.
4
2
5
2
5
3
6
3
M.
F.
M.
F.
M.
F.
M.
F.
O
3                           	
22
2
181
110
185
64
59
21
18
9
4
1
15
1
188
121
133
63
21
6
5
2
1
8
4
13
9
14
1
9
4
10
5
4
1
1
1
1
11
32
19
38
18
42
16
33
12
15
5
1
2
3
4
2
1
2
1
3
2
3
3
2
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
37
3%- - -	
4
3
387
4%                         	
238
5 	
5%     	
366
155
6	
134
6%               	
55
7 	
84
7%    	
27
8  	
46
8%             	
19
9 	
25
9% - 	
10     -	
10%    „
11
5
2
n	
ii% 	
12  	
1
1
1
Totals 	
676
553
88
242
15
14
6
3
1,597
4.9
4.6
7.3
6.7
5.3
5.1
7.0
8.3 K 32
REPORT OF THE COMMISSIONER OF FISHERIES, 1934.
Table XI.—Rivers Inlet Sockeyes, Average Length in Inches of the 42 and 59 Groups,
1912 to 1934.
Year.
Four-year
Males.
Four-year
Females.
Five-year
Males.
Five-year
Females.
1912  	
23.2
22.9
22.8
23.0
25.8
25.9
24.6
1913  	
25.2
1914 	
23.0
22.8
25.9
25.2
1915	
22.9
22.9
22.5
22.3
22.4
22.9
22.5
22.8
22.8
22.3
22.5
22.3
22.6
22.4
26.0
25.8
25.0
24.9
24.8
26.0
25.2
24.6
25.1
1913  	
25.0
1917 	
24.4
1918                                                        	
24.5
1919                            .                            -	
24.4
1920	
25.0
1921                                 	
24.2
1922    	
24.2
1923    	
22.4
22.3
24.6
24.1
1924
22.3
22.2
22.3
22.2
24.9
25.5
24.3
1925   	
24.8
1923    	
22.8
22.9
25.1
24.6
1927    	
22.1
22.4
24.6
24.2
1928...   -
22.3
22.8
26.1
25.2
1929  -	
22.6
22.2
25.2
25.3
1930        	
22.7
22.6
26.0
25.2
1931      ...
21.9
22.0
25.2
24.8
1932	
22.4
22.1
22.4
22.0
25.2
25.5
24.6
1933     	
24.7
Average lengths     	
22.5
22.5
25.3
24.7
1934 	
22.4
22.2
25.6
25.0
Table XII.—Rivers Inlet Sockeyes, Average Weight in Pounds of the 4., and 59 Groups,
1914 to 1934.
Year.
Four-year
Males.
Four-year
Females.
Five-year
Males.
Five-year
Females.
1914 	
5.4
5.3
5.5
5.0
4.9
4.9
5.2
6.0
5.0
4.9
4.6
5.2
5.3
4.8
5.0
4.9
4.5
4.7
4.8
5.2
5.1
5.0
4.9
5.1
4.8
4.9
5.9
4.8
4.8
4.4
5.2
5.8
5.0
4.8
4.8
4.6
4.7
4.6
7.3
7.3
7.6
6.6
6.7
6.3
6.9
7.4
6.5
6.6
6.9
6.9
7.3
7.5
6.6
7.5
6.7
6.5
7.3
6 8
1915                                 	
1913—                              	
1917               	
6 2
1918 ....    	
6 7
1919                        	
1921     	
1922   	
1923 	
1924	
1925          	
6 2
192 3                       	
1927  -    	
1928 	
6.7
1929 	
1930 	
1931	
6.4
6.5
6.6
1932  	
1933   	
5.1
5.0
7.0
6.5
1934	
4.9
4.6
7.3
6.7 LIFE-HISTORY OF THE SOCKEYE SALMON.
K 33
Table XIII.—Rivers Inlet Sockeyes, Percentages of Males and Females of the
4n and 5Q Age-groups, 1915 to 1934.
Year.
F.
Per Cent.
Total
Males.
Per Cent.
Total
Females.
1915.
1913.
1917.
1918 .
1919 .
1920-
1921..
1922 .
1923..
1924..
1925-
1923..
1927-
1928-
1929-
1930..
1931..
1932.
1933..
1934-
65
63
79
77
74
63
66
71
74
66
63
68
63
57
56
59
54
56
55
35
37
21
23
26
37
34
29
26
34
37
32
37
43
44
41
46
44
45
Average..
35
43
39
49
41
48
40
38
31
31
34
32
33
30
36
37
33
28
32
27
57
61
51
59
52
60
62
69
69
66
68
64
70
64
63
67
72
36
64
45
49
48
66
58
49
51
61
62
50
41
51
62
50
53
47
47
47
42
49
65
51
52
34
42
51
49
39
38
50
59
49
38
50
47
53
53
53
58
51
3.   THE SKEENA RIVER SOCKEYE RUN OF 1934.
(1.) General Characteristics.
The pack of Skeena River sockeye amounted to 70,655 cases, which was slightly below
expectation (Table XIV.).
The reports from the spawning-beds indicate that the escapement to the Lakelse area was
very good, while that to the Babine section was not very satisfactory. The reasons for the
discrepancy between prediction and actual run are not apparent at the present time.
The run on the Skeena River in 1935 should be rather large. The reports on the spawning-
beds in 1930 and 1931 state that the escapements were good and in those years the packs were
fairly large—namely, 132,372 cases and 93,023 cases respectively. It would seem that a pack
of approximately 100,000 cases may be expected.
(2.) Age-groups.
Scales and length, weight and sex data were obtained from 2,087 fish from June 20th to
August 14th in thirty-eight random samplings. The Ao age-group is represented by 1,214
individuals or 58 per cent., while the 52 group consists of 714 fish or 34 per cent. The numbers
in the other two age-groups are relatively small—namely, 53's, 141 or 7 per cent., and 63's,
18 or 1 per cent. (Table XV.).    This distribution is almost identical with that of the year 1933.
(3.) Lengths and Weights.
The average lengths of the two sexes of the 42 age-group are exactly equivalent to the
averages of the past twenty-two years, while the average weights are slightly above. On the
other hand, the averages for both lengths and weights of the 52 and 53 age-classes are high
and distinctly above the averages for the past years. Those for the 63 age-group are also
decidedly above average.
The average lengths and weights for the year are as follows:—
42 males, 23.8 inches, 5.7 lb.;  females, 23.2 inches, 5.2 lb.
52 males, 26.3 inches, 7.7 lb.;  females, 25.2 inches, 6.6 lb.
53 males, 25.2 inches, 6.7 lb.; females, 24.1 inches, 5.8 lb.
63 males, 26.0 inches, 7.7 lb.; females, 24.9 inches, 6.2 lb.
(Tables XVI., XVII., XVIII., and XIX.)
3 K 34
REPORT OF THE COMMISSIONER OF FISHERIES, 1934.
(4.) Proportions of the Sexes.
The total number of males in the samplings is 816 and of females 1,271, percentages of
39 and 61 respectively. This constitutes the second lowest record for percentage of males and,
correspondingly, the second highest for females. The record for the past twenty years is
given in Table XX.
In the 42, 52, and 53 age-groups the females outnumber the males, while in the 63 group
only are the males in excess. LIFE-HISTORY OF THE SOCKEYE SALMON.
K 35
Table XIV.—Skeena River Sockeyes, Percentages of 4i and 5^ Age-groups in
Runs of Successive Years.
Run of the Year.
Percentage
Four and Five
Years old.
Brood-year from which
derived.
1912 (92,498 cases) -
1913 (59,927 cases)...
1914 (130,166 cases) .
1915 (116,533 cases).
1916 (60,923 cases)-.
1917 (65,760 eases)...
1918 (123,322 cases).
1919 (184,945 cases)..
1920 (90,869 cases) —
1921 (41,018 cases) —
1922 (96,277 cases).
1923 (131,731 cases).
1924 (144,747 cases).
1925 (81,146 cases)-
1926 (82,360 cases)...
1927 (83,996 cases)...
1928 (34,559 cases) -
1929 (78,017 cases).
1930 (132,372 cases).
1931 (93,023 cases).-
1932 (59,916 cases)-
1933 (30,506 cases).
1934 (70,655 cases).
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.
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.
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.
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%
75%
25%
47%
53%
30%
70%
31%
69%
43%
57%
33%
67%
57%
43%
57%
43%
49%
51%
39%
61%
37%
63%
1907 (108,413 cases).
1908 (139,846 cases).
1909 (87,901 cases).
1910 (187,246 cases).
1911 (131,066 cases).
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).
1921 (41,018 cases).
1922 (96,277 cases).
1923 (131,731 cases).
1924 (144,747 cases).
1925 (77,784 cases).
1926 (82,360 cases).
1927 (83,996 cases).
1928 (34,559 cases).
1929 (78,017 cases).
1930 (132,372 cases). K 36
REPORT OF THE COMMISSIONER OF FISHERIES, 1934.
Table XV.—Skeena River Sockeyes, Percentages of the Principal Year-classes
from 1916 to 1934.
One Year in Lake.
Two Years in Lake.
Year.
Four Years
old.
Five Years
old.
Five Years
old.
Six Years
old.
1916—     	
34
57
51
27
15
69
70
56
23
51
62
62
51
62
39
40
44
57
58
38
29
34
60
71
22
16
29
69
45
26
28
39
30
52
30
37
36
34
13
9
9
9
6
6
12
8
7
3
9
9
7
6
8
28
7
5
7
18
1917      	
1918   	
5
6
1919      	
1920  	
4
8
1921        	
1922   ...
1923 	
1924 	
3
2
7
1
1925- 	
1926     	
1927      	
1928   	
1929     	
1930          -
1931  	
1932    — 	
1933                  - 	
1
3
1
3
2
1
2
12
2
1934                          	
Table XVI.—Skeena River Sockeyes, 1934, grouped by Age, Sex, and Length,
and by their Early History.
Length in Inches.
Number of Individuals.
M.
M.
M.
20%:
21—
21%..
22 —
22%_
23	
23%..
24	
24%..
25	
25%..
26 —
26%..
27	
27%..
28	
28% 	
29 	
Totals	
Ave. lengths
6
24
27
42
39
35
51
63
74
77
36
24
12
1
23.8
30
52
114
147
139
104
71
23
7
703
23.2
4
2
12
10
20
16
42
34
42
23
19
2
6
16
22
41
70
95
73
78
39
27
6
1
1
6
4
8
10
14
4
4
1
1
7
6
7
9
18
10
9
4
6
4
234
11
26.3
25.2
11
35
57
104
167
215
224
246
240
233
149
171
94
75
34
21
4
7
2,087 LIFE-HISTORY OF THE SOCKEYE SALMON.
K 37
Table XVII.—Skeena River Sockeyes, 1934, grouped by Age, Sex, and Weight,
and by their Early History.
Number of
Individuals.
Weight in Pounds.
4
2
E
2
5
3
63
M.
F.
M.
F.
M.
F.
M.
F.
0
E-i
31/,                        	
9
55
63
48
73
85
88
54
30
4
2
2
41
162
190
148
94
49
12
4
1
5
6
14
19
36
39
32
34
26
13
9
1
3
10
18
47
83
109
84
69
35
17
5
5
2
5
6
9
14
14
2
2
1
4
9
10
19
13
14
6
4
2
1
2
3
2
2
1
1
1
2
1
1
1
11
4 	
4%     	
103
249
5 ■	
274
5% .-
300
6
6%  -	
7	
7 %	
289
209
164
8	
78
8%	
9-       -                	
57
9%	
10  	
10 %	
14
9
Totals 	
511
703
234
480
60
81
11
7
2,087
Ave. weights	
5.7
5.2
7.7
6.6
6.7
5.8
7.7
6.2
Table XVIII.—Skeena River Sockeyes, Average Lengths in Inches of Principal
Age-groups, 1912 to 1934.
Year.
42
52
53
63
M.
F.
M.
F.
M.
F.
M.
F.
1912                      	
24.6
23.5
24.2
24.2
23.9
23.6
24.1
24.3
23.8
23.8
23.6
23.7
24.1
23.6
23.8
23.9
23.3
22.9
23.1
23.5
23.4
23.2
23.5
22.9
23.4
23.5
23.6
23.2
23.3
23.4
23.2
23.1
23.2
23.1
23.3
22.8
23.4
23.3
22.8
22.7
22.7
23.1
22.7
22.8
26.4
25.5
26.2
25.9
26.2
25.5
25.9
25.7
26.2
25.2
25.3
25.5
26.2
25.6
25.6
25.7
25.3
25.5
24.7
25.7
25.2
26.1
25.2
24.7
25.1
25.0
25.0
24.7
25.0
24.8
25.3
24.2
24.4
24'5
25.2
24.7
24.8
24.8
24.7
24.7
23.9
24.8
24.4
25.2
24.5
24.1
23.9
23.9
24.3
24.1
24.2
23.8
23.9
24.7
24.1
24.6
24.1
23.5
23.8
23.5
23.8
24.1
24.3
23.4
23.8
23.8
23.4
23.4
23.4
23.4
23.3
23.2
23.6
23.3
23.8
23.5
22.8
22.8
22.4
23.1
22.8
23.4
25.6
26.2
25.4
25.2
25.8
26.2
24.9
24.6
25.6
25.8
25.8
26.0
25.2
25.6
25.5
24.6
25.8
25.4
26.4
1913                 	
1914    ...
1915..... 	
1916              	
24.4
1917      	
25 0
1918	
1919  —	
1920                        	
24.7
24.7
1921	
1922      	
1923  	
1924   	
1925     -   - '	
1926                 	
24.2
24.1
24.4
24.8
24.8
25.0
24.9
24.7
24.3
1927- -  	
1928  	
1929  - 	
1930                    —	
1931                  	
24 7
1932                   —	
1933           -	
25 3
23.8
23.2
25.7
24.8
24.1
23.3
25.6
24.6
1934     	
23.8
23.2
26.3
25.2
25.2
24.1
26.0
_|
24.9 K 38
REPORT OF THE COMMISSIONER OF FISHERIES, 1934.
Table XIX.—Skeena River Sockeyes, Average Weights in Pounds of Principal
Age-groups, 1914 to 1934.
Year.
42
52
h
63
M.
F.
M.
F.
M.
F.
M.
F.
1914        	
5.9
5.7
5.4
5.3
5.8
6.1
5.6
5.7
5.4
5.3
5.6
5.1
5.3
5.4
5.0
4.9
5.4
5.4
5.4
4.9
5.3
5.2
5.1
5.0
5.3
5.5
5.1
5.1
5.1
4.9
5.0
4.7
5.1
5.1
4.6
4.7
5.1
5.1
4.9
4.7
7.2
6.8
7.1
6.4
6.9
7.0
7.2
6.4
6.5
6.3
7.0
6.5
6.5
6.5
6.4
6.8
6.7
6.8
6.9
7.1
6.3
6.2
6.3
6.0
6.4
6.2
6.4
5.7
5.7
5.7
6.3
5.8
5.8
5.9
5.8
6.2
6.0
6.3
6.1
6.3
5.9
5.8
5.5
5.7
6.1
6.3
5.8
5.5
5.3
5.9
5.5
5.9
5.4
5.0
5.6
5.6
5.5
6.0
5.7
5.2
5.4
5.2
5.3
5.4
5.1
5.1
5.1
4.8
5.1
4.9
5.2
5.0
4.6
4.9
5.0
5.0
5.0
5.0
6.6
7.1
6.3
6.6
6.9.
7.3
6.0
6.2
6.3
6.6
6.9
6.9
6.0
6.5
6.8
6.8
6.9
6.8
7.1
1915                 	
6.0
1916        	
5.9
1917	
5.8
1918        	
6.1
6.3
1920—   	
1921- 	
1922  	
1923         	
6.3
5.6
5.7
5.4
1924
5.8
1925          	
5.4
1926         -	
6.2
1927         	
5.8
1928         	
5.8
1929	
5.7
1930         	
5.8
1931        	
6.0
1S32  	
1933
5.9
6.3
5.4
5.0
6.7
6.1
5.7
5.1
6.7
5.9
1934        	
5.7
5.2
7.7
6.6
6.7
5.8
7.7
6.2
Table XX.—Skeena River Sockeyes, Percentages of Males and Females of the'
42 and 52 Age-groups, 1915 to 1934.
Year
42
52
Per Cent.
Total
Males.
Per Cent.
M.
F.
M.
F.
Females.
1915	
56
70
66
63
53
41
44
52
60
50
57
40
45
48
50
47
43
47
48
42
44
30
34
37
47
59
56
48
40
50
43
60
55
52
50
53
57
53
52
58
45
43
48
46
46
37
44
41
37
43
42
43
41
45
46
56
39
63
40
33
55
57
52
54
54
63
56
59
63
57
58
57
59
55
54
44
61
37
60
67
49
55
60
57
49
38
45
50
52
45
50
42
44
46
50
53
44
54
45
39
51
1916    	
1917- - -	
45
40
1918....  	
1919 	
1920 	
1921   	
43
61
62
55
1922   	
50
1923 . ■	
48
1924   	
1925. 	
50
58
56
54
50
47
56
46
55
61
1926 	
1927 	
1928  '■	
1929 -   -	
1930 	
1931 	
1932   	
1933  ._   	
1934
51
49
44
56
48
52 LIFE-HISTORY OF THE SOCKEYE SALMON.
K 39
4. THE NASS RIVER SOCKEYE RUN OF 1934.
(1.)  General Characteristics.
One of the most gratifying of the 1934 sockeye-packs is that of the Nass River, constituting
28,701 cases. In addition, heavy seeding for the early run and a good escapement of late
sockeye are reported in the Meziadin spawning area. These facts make it possible, in spite of
the poor showing in 1929, to single out again the years of 1914, 1919, 1924, 1929, and 1934 as
the good cycle in this river system. The pack of this present year is only 4,000 cases less than
the greatest pack in the cycle. In last year's report the possibility of an improved run was
suggested on the ground that, if the four-year-old fish continued to form as significant a component of the run as they had during the last six years, they might augment the run very
considerably in 1934 because of the unprecedented escapement to the spawning-beds in 1930.
However, such was not the case. The percentage of these four-year-olds is more than 50 per
cent, less than the average for the preceding six years. In spite of a moderate pack and a
supposedly mediocre escapement in 1929, the success of 1934 is due almost entirely to the
predominance of the five-year-old fish.
Futile as Nass predictions often are, circumstances seem to warrant a forecast for 1935.
The year 1930, which will be the chief brood-year for the coming run, is outstanding for its
success both as to pack and escapement. Its commercial yield of 26,405 cases is the only
worth-while pack, with the exception of that of 1934, during the last ten years and, as was
intimated in the preceding paragraph, the escapement was the greatest which Inspector
Hickman had observed in his twenty-three annual inspections of the Meziadin spawning-
beds.    Therefore there is reason to expect a goodly return in 1935.
(2.)  Age-groups.
One of the first characteristics to be pointed out in the study of the Nass River runs was
its complex age-group constitution. This was a constant factor in the early analyses and the
following eight age-groups were always present: 31; 4lf 42, 52, 5g, 63, 64, and 74. Although
the sea-types (Sx and 41) and the 64's and 74's never appeared in great abundance, still they
appeared with such regularity that they were regarded as real components of the run. However, since 1927 there has not been a single year in which all four of these age-groups have
been found, and in two years—namely, 1929 and 1934—only one of the four has been present
and that represented by a single individual. The exact number of individuals present in each
of these four groups during the last ten years, together with the inclusive dates of collections
of material and the total number of individuals in the analyses, are given in the following
tabulation:—
Period of Collection of Data.
1925,
1926,
1927,
1928,
1929,
1930,
1931,
1932,
1933,
1934,
July 6-
June 23-
June 20-
June 23-
July 10-
July 1-
June 29-
July 6-
June 22
June 26-
Aug. 22
•Aug. 20
Aug. 15
Aug. 16
Aug. 16
■Aug. 25
-Aug.
-Aug. 20
-Aug. 16
■Aug.    3
17-
Age-groups.
1
1
30
7
16
75
9
100
4
32
41
16
7
1
10
28
5
6
17
Total No.
of
Individuals.
1,621
1,835
2,100
1,760
1,982
1,952
1,757
1,624
1,638
1,245
It is evident that there is a certain amount of correlation between presence of these age-
groups and extent of periods of collection. In general, the years in which samplings were
started in June have the greatest number of sea-types, and, similarly, the latest August
collections are associated with a greater abundance of 64's and 74's. However, there are
some very noteworthy exceptions. For instance, compare the number of sea-types in 1934
with those of 1930 and 1932.    Or what of the total absence of 64's and 74's in the year 1930, K 40 REPORT OF THE COMMISSIONER OF FISHERIES, 1934.
in which the final date of collection was later than in any of the other nine years? This year
of 1930 was particularly successful both as to pack and escapement, so that possibly the
sample, large as it was (1,952 individuals), was not an adequate cross-section of the run.
However, such an explanation does not seem very likely. The fact which this tabulation
shows quite definitely is that these four year-groups are becoming of even less importance
than formerly, and, if the trend continues, in the near future it may be necessary to restate
the composition of the Nass River runs.
As indicated in the above tabulation, 1,245 fish collected between June 26th and August
3rd form the basis for the analysis of the run of 1934. These fish were taken in twenty-one
samplings, a number greater than usual, but neither the interval between samplings nor the
number of fish in each sample is as uniform as formerly. Also, the total number of individuals
is smaller than those of recent years.
With the exception of a single individual, these 1,245 fish are distributed among the four
age-classes common to all four river systems—that is, the 42, 52, 53, and 63 groups—in the
following proportions: 12 per cent., 9 per cent., 74 per cent., and 4 per cent. As has always
been the case, the 53's form the dominant group and the 42's stand next in importance.
Although the relative proportions of these two major groups have fluctuated considerably,
since 1928 there has been a strong tendency for the 42 class to increase (Table XXL).
(3.)  Lengths and Weights.
With the exception of one female 4j, measuring 22.5 inches and weighing 4.5 lb., complete
records of the size relationships of the 1934 sockeyes are given in Tables XXII. and XXIII.
Both the average length and weight frequencies for each age-group for each year and the
general averages over a period of years are recorded in Tables XXIV. and XXV. Last year
the large size of the fish of certain age-groups was pointed out as an unusual feature of the
run of 1933. Fish of even greater average size characterize the run of 1934. Of the sixteen
average measurements, nine are new high records. Of these nine, two are to be found among
the lengths—namely, (1) 25.9 inches, the length of the 52 female, which exceeds the previous
greatest length by 0.1 inch and the general average by 0.9 inch; and (2) 28.6 inches, the
length of the male 63, which is greater by 0.2 inch than any former measurement and surpasses the general average by 1.1 inches. The lengths of the other six groups are all greater
than the general averages by amounts varying from 0.1 to 0.9 inch. With the exception of
the weight of the 53 female, which equals the greatest previous weight, all weight measurements are new high levels and all exceed the general averages by at least 0.5 lb., with four of
them—namely, both sexes of the 52 and 63 groups—bettering these averages by a pound or
more.
These extraordinarily large-size frequencies cannot be passed over without questioning
the reliability of the sample. Although the total number of individuals is somewhat smaller
than in any recent year, in checking the number of individuals in each of the various age-
groups against previous numbers, not one of these 1934 totals is smaller than totals previously
used. It would therefore seem that, from the point of view of numbers, this 1934 sample is
strictly comparable with foregoing samples. Unfortunately, the Nass data have not been
gathered by the same collector year after year. In fact, recently there has been a different
collector each year. Until 1934 the collection of the data was made, in general, in fifteen to
eighteen samplings of approximately 125 individuals each, taken at fairly regular intervals
of two or three days apart. The present data, in spite of being characterized by less regularity
in the samplings, probably represent, for the period they cover, just as accurate a cross-
section of the run, if not more accurate than previous cross-sections, because the samples,
although small, were taken oftener. To what degree, if any, the personal judgment of the
collector affected the samples cannot be definitely said. However, had the average size
measurements of the dominant class, which forms 74 per cent, of the entire run of 1934, been
new high records, one would be inclined to believe that the sample was not absolutely random.
But since, as Tables XXIV. and XXV. show, these measurements, with the exception of the
weight of the male, have been equalled or exceeded in several previous years, the data would
appear to be unbiased. As additional evidence of this, attention is called to Table XXX., which
presents the data of the Meziadin watershed sockeyes gathered by another collector who has
performed the same task for a number of successive years.    Here again there is evidence of LIFE-HISTORY OF THE SOCKEYE SALMON.
K 41
generally large fish. Because the margins of the scales are badly absorbed, ultimate ages
cannot be read, but they have been computed in the following manner: Taking each sex
separately, the fish were first segregated into two groups on the basis of the number of years
spent in fresh water; then each of these groups was subdivided by allotting the fish, which
by their lengths might belong to either of two given age-groups, to these groups in as nearly
as possible the same proportion as similarly lengthed fish appear in the same given age-groups
in the general Nass run. By the above procedure the Meziadin fish have been separated into
age-groups, the average lengths of which are as follows:—
42
52
h
63
M.
F.
M.
F.
M.
F.
M.
1
1
1
F.
25.0
24.3
27.5
25.5
27.0
26.1
29.2
1
27.5
Since this run of Meziadin fish is known to be composed of fish commonly larger than the
general Nass run, the length frequencies of the former group should be greater than those
of the latter group if the samplings are random. A comparison of the two sets of figures
shows this to be true. Hence the evidence at hand seems to warrant the conclusion that the
1934 Nass sockeyes are especially large fish.
(4.) Seasonal Succession.
The phenomenon of seasonal succession which was so pronounced in the earlier Nass
River runs has become less and less significant of recent years, especially since the complexity
of age-groups has lessened. Table XXVI. gives a statement of the number of individuals of
each year-group running on the different days on which data were collected, but the definite
relationships of the past as to appearance, disappearance, and periods of greatest intensity
of the various groups no longer exist.
(5.)  Proportions of Sexes.
A discussion of the sex ratios of the various year-groups of the Nass sockeyes has not
been included in previous reports because in general they were thought to be fairly well
balanced. But in view of the changing sex proportions in the runs of the Skeena River and
of Rivers Inlet, it seemed well to record the ratios of the four principal age-classes of the
Nass runs for purposes of comparison (Table XXVII.). In this tabulation, as in the others
of sex distribution, the total percentage of the two sexes is not based on the important year-
classes appearing in the tables, but on the total number of males and females present in all
age-groups, minor as well as major. This tabulation shows that there has been more or less
fluctuation both within each age-group and also in the total number of males and females.
However, it should be noted that the fluctuations are least extreme in the dominant class, the
5,,'s, and most extreme in the 63 group, which is numerically the least important of these
four groups.
In the 53 class, with the exception of the year 1915, the males have never exceeded the
females; in the 42 group during the early years the males tended to outnumber the females,
while in more recent years, when this class has appeared in greater strength, the reverse has
been true; and among the 52's, prior to 1924, with the single exception of 1916, the females
surpassed the males in numbers, while since that time the sexes have shown alternate excess.
All three of these age-groups have a total deficiency of males: the 5.,'s, 4 per cent.; the 52's,
3 per cent.;   and the 42's, 1 per cent.
As is stated in section 5 of this report, the extreme sex ratio of the 63's in favour of the
females is believed to be unreliable, due to imperfect sampling of this class.
As would be expected, the changes in the total number of ma'es and females from year to
year reflect in general the changes in the dominant group. Over the period of twenty years
the males have totalled 47 per cent, and the females 53 per cent.
The 1934 ratios are interesting because of the 50 per cent, totals of males and females,
each of the four age-groups more nearly approaching sex equality than in any other one year. K 42
REPORT OF THE COMMISSIONER OF FISHERIES, 1934.
(6.) The Meziadin and Bowser Sockeye Colonies.
Since 1930, and for several years previous to that time, lack of adequate material has
made an actual comparison between the populations of Meziadin and Bowser Lakes impossible.
This aspect of the Nass River study, together with the former, complex age-group constitution
of the run and the definite seasonal successions of these age-classes, seem to have become
things of the past. The futility of continuing to repeat year after year things " as they used
to be " is evident, particularly in the case of the comparison of these two colonies, which has
always been based partially on assumption and has been entirely drawn from a meagre
amount of material. However, as a conclusion to the utilization of the Meziadin data in this
form, a brief summary of facts up to date follows.
In 1915 the late Dr. Gilbert expressed the view that the Nass runs were made up of two
distinct races. His opinion was based on the following facts: First, that the run was divided
sharply into early and late periods; secondly, that the late-running fish were of a conspicuously
larger size; and thirdly, that the nuclear areas of the scales of the 53 age-group showed two
distinct patterns of growth. The natural assumption was that these two races of sockeyes
had different early histories in different parts of the Nass watershed. Since Meziadin and
Bowser Lakes were the only lakes of importance to which sockeyes were known to have
access, it was assumed that the two races of sockeyes represented the populations of these
lakes. Unfortunately, the inaccessibility of the Nass watershed, entailing costly exploration,
has never made possible a real examination of the spawning population of Bower Lake. However, each September since 1922 the Fisheries Officer inspecting the Meziadin watershed has
made an attempt to collect data concerning both the sockeyes returning to Meziadin Lake and
those ascending the Nass above its junction with the Meziadin.
In some years, due to high water or scarcity of fish, it has been impossible to get even a
single fish at either one or both of these localities. This has been particularly true of the
Nass River. Although a gill-net has been fished continuously for seven or eight days, the
greatest number of fish ever secured has been forty-five. During the past nine years, except
for 1930, when there was a very exceptional escapement on the Nass, the results of the fishing
have been too poor to be of value to this study. As has often been said, if Bowser Lake, or
any other lake on the Upper Nass, supports a considerable spawning population, it must be
composed of early-running fish.
The material collected in the Meziadin River has in general been much more abundant
and therefore more satisfactory for purposes of analysis. Nevertheless, it has been used as
typical of Meziadin Lake in too broad a sense. In the Fishery Inspector's reports there is
always mention of an early and a late run of fish to Meziadin Lake. It is only of the late
run that there is any information, the nature of the early one being absolutely unknown.
Such data as have been gathered from year to year at the Meziadin River and the Nass
proper have been studied comparatively and two definite differences, more or less in keeping
with the original distinctions made by Dr. Gilbert, have been found. The size difference has
held, and although two distinct growth patterns in the nuclei of the scales of the 53's did not
materialize as a valid characteristic, another phase of fresh-water life—namely, the difference
in the number of years spent in fresh water—has served as a useful mark of differentiation.
The two generalizations which follow concerning the two populations have always been made
guardedly because of the obvious danger of error in making deductions from small amounts
of material: First, the average size of the Meziadin fish is definitely larger than that of the
so-called Bowser colony (Table XXVIII.); and, secondly, the majority of the Meziadin population spends a greater number of years in fresh water than does the major part of the Bowser
aggregation (Table XXIX.).
In a previous paragraph reference has already been made to the large size of 1934
Meziadin sockeyes. The total sample, numbering sixty-seven fish, are distributed according
to lengths in Table XXX. This table also includes, merely, for the purpose of recording them,
the three sockeyes intercepted by the gill-net in the Nass River above its junction with the
Meziadin. LIFE-HISTORY OF THE  SOCKEYE  SALMON.
K 43
Table XXI.—Nass River Sockeyes, Percentages of Principal Age-groups
from 1912 to 1934.
Year.
Percentage of Individuals that spent
One Year in Lake.
Four Years
old.
Five Years
old.
Two Years in Lake.
Five Years  I    Six Years
old. old.
1912
1913
1914
1915
1916
1917
1918
1919
1920
1921
1922
1923
1924
1925
1926
1927
1928
1929
1930
1931
1932
1933
1934
(36,037 cases)..
(23,574 cases)..
(31,327 cases)..
(39,349 eases)..
(31,411 cases)-
(22,188 cases)..
(21,816 cases)..
(28,259 cases)..
(16,740 cases)..
(9,364 cases) -
(31,277 cases)..
(17,821 cases)-
(33,590 cases)-.
(18,945 cases).
(15,929 cases).
(12,026 cases)..
(5,540 cases)-..
(16,077 cases).
(26,405 cases)..
(16,929 cases).
(14,154 cases)_
(9,757 cases)...
(28,701 cases)..
15
4
19
9
10
30
7
8
10
6
11
4
23
12
8
30
25
28
10
28
35
12
27
12
41
14
17
15
16
22
14
7
2
6
3
8
12
7
6
9
15
17
4
7
9
71
45
59
66
71
45
65
72
75
91
77
91
67
63
81
61
60
54
67
61
55
74
2
2
10
4
9
6
6
8
1
6
2
2
13
4
3
6
3
6
7
3
4
Table XXII.—Nass River Sockeyes, 1934, grouped by Age, Sex, and Length, and
by their Early History.
Length in Inches.
Number of Individuals.
21—..
22.	
22%..
23.	
23%_
24.	
24%-
25	
25%-
26.	
26%...
27	
27%.„
28	
28%-
29	
29%-
30	
30%-..
31	
Totals 	
Ave. lengths..
2
9
4
14
14
13
11
5
2
1
1
6
9
13
16
13
10
8
4
1
2
2
2
13
6
14
7
8
1
4
10
14
1
10
16
35
59
109
95
70
40
18
5
1
7
9
40
47
83
97
97
52
24
4
1
1
1
1
10
19
31
73
96
152
191
250
169
127
60
33
14
7
5
3
1
1
77
82
59
57
28
20
1,244
24.1
26.9
25.9
25.4
28.6 K 44
REPORT OF THE COMMISSIONER OF FISHERIES, 1934.
Table XXIII.—Nass River Sockeyes, 1934, grouped by Age, Sex, and Weight, and
by their Early History.
Number of Individuals.
Weight in Pounds.
4
2
52
h
6
3
M.
F.
M.
F.
M.
F.
M.
F.
1
4 % —     	
5
11
9
14
19
11
4
4
4
9
24
21
14
10
6
2
7
10
11
8
9
5
1
1
3
10
14
12
10
4
3
1
1
4
20
44
79
108
91
65
36
6
3
2
11
31
79
108
114
85
25
7
1
1
1
5
9
3
2
2
5
1
1
3
4
1
5
1
4
7
5  - 	
26
5% 	
6— „	
71
133
6% 	
197
7 	
7% ..-     	
242
227
8 	
142
8%	
101
9 — —	
57
9%       ....
10	
23
10
10%-- -.-	
11.  —   -	
3
5
Totals	
77
82
59
57
458
433
28
20
1,244
Ave. weights    ,- — 	
6.7
5.9
8.4
7.3
7.6
6.7
9.4
8.1
Table XXIV.—Nass River Sockeyes, Average Lengths in Inches of Principal
Classes from 1912 to 1934.
4
I
h
53
6
3
M.
F.
M.
F.
M.
F.
M.
F.
1912             	
24.6
24.1
24.6
24.0
24.5
23.4
25.0
24.9
24.0
24.3
24.2
24.3
24.7
24.4
24.9
24.9
24.3
24.1
24.5
24.5
24.9
24.6
23.3
23.5
22.7
23.5
23.3
23.2
24.3
24.1
23.4
23.5
23.4
23.7
23.8
23.8
24.1
24.2
23.5
23.5
23.7
23.8
23.9
23.7
26.5
25.6
26.1
25.9
26.4
25.5
25.7
26.2
26.3
25.5
25.6
25.9
26.2
25.9
26.1
25.3
26.0
26.1
26.5
26.5
26.4
27.1
25.1
24.8
25.1
25.2
25.0
24.7
24.7
25.2
25.0
24.3
24.6
25.3
24.9
24.7
25.3
25.2
25.1
25.2
25.4
25.7
25.2
25.8
26.2
26.0
26.3
26.5
26.5
25.3
25.9
26.5
26.7
26.2
25.7
26.2
26.3
25.9
26.1
26.3
25.5
25.9
26.4
26.1
26.6
25.9
25.4
25.2
25.5
25.9
25.6
24.7
25.0
25.8
25.9
25.6
25.0
25.5
25.4
25.0
25.3
25.9
24.6
24.9
25.3
25.3
25.6
25.2
27.0
26.0
26.9
23.6
27.9
26.5
27.2
27.9
27.4
27.9
28.0
27.2
28.0
26.9
27.9
27.6
28.1
27.2
27.9
28.2
28.3
28.4
25.6
1913...  ,	
1914	
26.6
25.6
1915  	
25.3
1916—  	
1917  .	
1918                                        	
25.7
25.5
25.2
1919	
26.7
1920 	
1921	
1922 -
25.9
26.2
25.9
1923 — —	
26.5
1924   ..
1925	
1926— — —	
1927  	
1928	
25.4
25.4
27.0
26.5
23.2
1929                	
26.2
1930 	
1931                             	
26.8
27.1
1932 -   -
27.1
1933  -	
27.9
24.4
23.6
26.1
25.0
26.0
25.3
27.5
26.2
1934    :   —	
24.9
24.1
26.9
25.9
26.3
25.4
28.6
27.1 LIFE-HISTORY OF THE  SOCKEYE  SALMON.
K 45
Table XXV.—Nass River Sockeyes, Average Weights in Pounds of Principal
Classes from 1914 to 1934.
42
52
53
63
M.
F.
M.
F.
M.
F.
M.
F.
1914     	
1915  —	
1916	
6.2
5.6
6.0
5.3
6.3
6.0
5.6
6.0
5.9
5.8
5.9
5.9
6.0
6.2
5.6
5.7
5.9
6.0
6.3
6.2
5.0
5.2
5.3
5.3
5.8
5.5
5.2
5.4
5.4
5.2
5.4
5.4
5.4
5.8
5.0
5.2
5.2
5.5
5.6
5.4
7.4
6.9
7.2
6.8
7.2
6.6
7.4
6.9
6.8
6.7
7.2
6.8
6.9
7.1
7.0
7.1
7.3
7.4
7.5
8.1
6.5
6.4
6.3
6.2
6.3
5.9
6.3
6.1
6.2
6.1
6.1
6.1
6.2
6.3
6.2
6.6
6.5
6.8
6.6
7.0
7.2
7.0
7.2
6.3
7.2
6.7
7.4
6.9
6.8
6.6
6.8
6.7
6.7
6.9
6.2
6.7
7.1
6.8
7.3
7.0
6.5
6.6
6.2
5.8
6.4
6.1
6.7
6.3
6.3
6.0
6.1
6.0
6.0
6.2
5.5
5.9
6.1
6.2
6.3
6.2
7.9
7.2
8.1
7.3
8.3
7.8
7.9
7.7
8.1
7.2
8.0
7.4
7.8
7.8
8.1
7.8
8.2
8.3
8.7
8.4
6.8
6.5
6.4
1917- 	
6.4
1918  - - 	
6.7
1919- -	
6.7
1920- -	
7.0
1921 -   - 	
1922       	
1923       	
1924   	
1925 -- —   -
1926  -  —	
6.6
6.6
6.8
6.5
6.3
7.1
1927  -	
1928— --   	
1929   -	
1930-  ' 	
1931— -- —  	
1932 	
1933— - -	
7.0
6.6
6.8
7.2
7.4
7.5
7.9
Average weights	
5.9
5.3
7.1
6.3
6.9
6.2
7.9
6.8
1934    —  	
6.7
5.9
8.4
7.3
7.6
6.7
9.4
8.1
Table XXVI.—Nass River Sockeyes, Number of Individuals of each Class running
at Different Dates in 1934.
Date.
42
52
53
63
41
No. of
Individuals
examined.
June 26   	
6
6
43
1
59
„  27    —  	
6
10
33
1
50
„  28 —       	
3
7
39
49
„  29   -      	
5
7
32
44
July  2  	
3
14
27
44
4   —   	
4
5
40
49
6 — -  	
9
5
44
2
60
9   —  	
6
8
45
59
„  11   	
11
4
33
48
„  12       	
6
9
4
6
38
34
1
49
„  13 _  	
49
„  16                	
8
7
6
4
45
44
1
4
60
„  17   -	
59
„  18 -	
20
3
72
3
98
„  20   	
10
10
50
5
75
„  23   - -	
7
4
65
2
78
„  25...   —	
15
3
56
6
80
„  26   — —	
9
3
64
4
80
„  27     	
5
2
47
6
	
60
„  31        —	
8
3
54
10
75
Aug. 3  —   —	
2
2
13
3
20
159
116
921
48
1  1  1.245 K 46
REPORT OF THE COMMISSIONER OF FISHERIES, 1934.
Table XXVII.—Nass River Sockeyes, Percentages of Males and Females of the
42, 52, 5g, and 63 Age-groups, 1915 to 1934.
42
h
53
63
Per Cent.
Total
Males.
Per Cent.
Total
M.
F.
M. 1 F.
1
M.
F.
M.
F.
Females.
1915	
55
61
55
52
53
46
40
36
43
55
58
43
39
50
48
49
49
49
49
48
45
39
45
48
47
54
60
64
57
45
42
57
61
50
52
61
51
51
51
52
49
61
47
40
48
39
45
32
43
44
52
44
54
48
51
43
63
46
56
51
51
39
53
60
52
61
55
68
57
56
48
56
46
52
49
57
47
54
44
49
52
50
46
50
46
40
47
46
47
47
45
44
45
42
44
40
43
45
47
50
48
50
54
50
54
60
53
54
53
53
55
56
55
58
56
60
57
55
53
50
53
68
58
70
54
66
54
64
60
67
68
57
61
62
58
63
70
72
76
58
47
32
42
30
46
34
46
36
40
33
32
43
39
38
42
37
30
28
24
42
52
55
47
51
48
42
46
44
46
48
49
46
46
46
46
43
47
48
49
50
48
1916	
45
1917	
1918	
63
49
1919   	
1920	
52
58
1921 	
1922	
1923  	
1924	
1926   	
1926	
54
56
54
52
51
54
1927	
54
1928  	
1929	
54
54
1930	
57
1931	
53
1932	
62
1933 	
51
1934 -	
50
Average— -	
49
51
47
53
46
54
63
37
47
53
Table XXVIII.—Meziadin and Bowser Lake Sockeyes, Average Lengths in Inches
for the Years 1924-34.
Year.
Meziadin Lake.
Bowser Lake.
M.
F.
M.
F.
1924	
26.8
28.1
27.1
27.0
27.2
27.9
27.7
25.9
27.9
25.7
26.3
25.8
25.3
25.7
26.3
25.5
25.3
26.1
25.5
23.8
25.9
24.7
24.9
24.3
23.6
1925	
1926 	
1927 	
24.8
1928 	
1929  	
1930	
1931	
1932  	
1933  	
1934—	 LIFE-HISTORY OF THE SOCKEYE SALMON.
K 47
Table XXIX.—Percentages of Meziadin and Bowser Lake Runs, showing Different
Number of Years in Fresh Water.
Years in Lake.
No. of
One Year.
Two Years.
Three Years.
Specimens.
Meziadin, 1922 -	
13
2
6
10
6
16
20
12
40
33
18
16
27
22
44
20
33
80
84
76
93
94
89
94
100
80
80
88
60
64
79
80
55
78
56
80
67
20
3
24
5
1
4
3
3
4
18
10
Meziadin, 1923 	
63
Meziadin, 1924 -	
160
Meziadin, 1925   (no collection)	
Meziadin, 1926 	
Meziadin, 1927	
43
85
Meziadin, 1929.	
74
Meziadin, 1930	
113
Meziadin,  1931	
51
Meziadin, 1932   _ _.
Meziadin, 1933 	
104
59
Meziadin, 1934	
67
Bowser, 1922	
15
Bowser, 1923	
41
Bowser, 1924 	
Bowser, 1925	
34
45
Bowser, 1926- -	
Bowser, 1927— —	
Bowser, 1928   (no collection)	
Bowser, 1929   (no collection)  	
Bowser,  1930   	
11
9
34
Bowser, 1931   (no collection)	
Bowser, 1933            	
5
Bowser, 1934 -	
3
Table XXX.—Meziadin and Bowser Lake Sockeyes, Lengths of Individuals
comprising Runs in 1934.
Length in Inches.
Number of Individuals from
Meziadin Lake.
M.
Bowser Lake.
M.
23%-
24	
24%..
25	
25%-
26—.
26%..
27.	
27%_
28	
28%..
29	
29%..
30	
30%..
Totals-
Average lengths..
27.9
26.1
25.7 K 48 REPORT OF THE  COMMISSIONER OF FISHERIES, 1934.
5. SEX. DISTRIBUTION.
(1.) General Discussion.
This general discussion of sex distribution of the sockeyes of the four river systems has
been especially occasioned by the puzzling, changing ratio of males and females in the 42 age-
group of Rivers Inlet. As has already been stated, this year-class in this system has shown
marked peculiarities in size and sex distributions.
A belief that these differences might be more apparent than real led to a closer analysis
of them, and under the section " Lengths and Weights " a discussion of the size peculiarity
and a possible explanation has already been given. The following paragraphs deal with the
sex ratios of all four river systems:—
Among fish in general, sex distribution approximates equal numbers of males and females.
On the basis of the findings of Dr. Gilbert in 1915, 1916, 1918, and 1920, and Drs. Gilbert and
Rich in Alaska in 1927, that sockeye seaward migrants run in approximately equal numbers
of males and females, it is assumed that a fifty-fifty ratio is normal for adult sockeye. However, absolute numerical sex equality, either in total sex ratios or in individual age-groups,
would hardly be expected, but rather a condition which showed more or less alternate differences of slight amounts from year to year. In order to separate the significant differences
from the insignificant among all the sockeye data at hand, the actual total numbers of males
and females have been compared with theoretical numbers calculated on the assumption that
both sexes are present in equal proportion. The significance of the differences was appraised
by comparing the differences with standard errors found according to the formula V npq
and adopting the 0.05 level of significance. This 0.05 level has been used in determining the
significance of natural, i.e. biological differences and also of artificial differences resulting
from imperfect sampling. The yearly total ratios and the yearly ratios of every age-group
in all four river systems have been treated in this manner.
The results of the application of this procedure to the total ratios show that, among the
twenty years of records, there are of the Fraser only five years in which the differences are
significant; of the Nass, ten; of the Rivers Inlet, twelve; and of the Skeena, fourteen. Since
these total ratios are composite, their differences depend upon the differences of the individual
age-groups of which they are composed. In order to have as graphic a picture as possible of
the differences in the sex ratios of the age-classes those of the males of the principal groups
have been plotted year by year around a mean of 50 per cent. In all four river systems the
42 and 5.2 age-groups are presented, the former by a continuous line and the latter by a broken
line. The graph of the Nass presents, in addition, the 53 class represented by a dot-dash line
(Figs. I., II., III., and IV.).
As will be recalled, the 42 age-group is dominant in the Fraser River. It forms from
66 to 85 per cent, of the annual runs. The 52 class is second in importance, varying in strength
from 7 to 25 per cent, of the total run. In Fig. I. the curve of the 42's passes back and forth
across the mean, and in five years—namely, 1915, 1929, 1930, 1932, and 1934—departs
significantly from it. The runs of the years 1930, 1932, and 1934 are associated with unusual
abundance of grilse (32's) in the preceding years (Table II.). Thus the shortage of 4, males
in 1930 and 1932 may have been the result of large numbers of individuals which matured
precociously in the years 1929 and 1931. The surplus of males in 1934 is the greatest on
record and was preceded in 1933 by the largest number of grilse yet recorded. This contradictory relationship would seem to mean one of two things—either that the brood-year 1930
was unique in its extraordinarily prolific production of males or that the sampling of the run
of 1934 was faulty in some respect. As evidence of the latter possibility, attention is called
to the exceptional size relationships in the 5, and 5? age-groups where the two sexes are of
equal lengths (Table V.). At the present time no explanation can be offered for the significant
differences in 1915 and 1929. Over a period of twenty years the total number of males in the
42 class has averaged 49 per cent., which is a very close approximation to the theoretical
50 per cent.
The curve of the 52 males does not criss-cross the mean to the same extent as does that of
the 42's and the fluctuations are greater and more numerous. This is a condition which is
likely to occur in age-groups which are not strong components of a run. The years 1915 and
1928 are the only years in which the differences between the numbers of the two sexes are LIFE-HISTORY OF THE SOCKEYE  SALMON. K 49
really significant. The significant excess of males in 1928 seems to be explained by faulty
sampling. In that year the cross-section of the run was taken in twenty-nine samples instead
of from forty to fifty as in other years, and the differences in the sex proportions are significant
both in the totals for the year and in all but one of the age-groups. In this 52 class of the
Fraser the males have averaged 53 per cent, over the period of record.
The 5;3 age-group forms such a small component of the Fraser runs that it did not seem
advisable to plot the data. However, it may be pointed out that only three of the sexes'
differences are significant, one of them being in the year 1928, which has already been mentioned as exceptional in sampling. Although this age-class is relatively unimportant, its
consistent sex ratio in favour of the females suggests early-maturing males. This may well
be the case since this class is closely allied to the 42's, differing from them only in a second
year of fresh-water residence. A precocious male of this type, 43, has never been recognized
in the samplings, but this is not surprising in view of the very small numbers in the 5., class.
The 43's would be extremely rare.
In the Nass River there are three age-groups to be considered. The 5.,'s occupy the place
of first importance; the 49's, second; and the 59's, third. Curiously enough, the number of
crossings and recrossings of the mean by the curves which represent the males of these
classes is in reverse order of their importance (Fig. II.). In other words, the curve of the
53's does not cross the mean, but lies entirely below, except in the year 1915, and with the
exception of five years all the differences are significantly great and indicate a shortage of
males. The curves of the 52's and 42's are characterized by their irregularity, especially
during the earlier years. However, as in the case of the 52's of the Fraser run, the apparent
extreme irregularities of these lesser components of runs are less significant than they appear.
The 5 2 age-group has only three significant sex differences, two of which indicate deficiency
of males, and the 40 class has five, four of which also show lack of males. In the matter of
total percentages, the dominant group shows a 4-per-cent. excess of females, the 52 group a
3-per-cent., and the 49 group a 1-per-cent.
Although there is record of only a single grilse (43) among the Nass catches, in view of
the prevalence of this group in the Alaska sockeye runs, it is highly probable that these fish
are also present in considerable numbers in the Nass, but are small enough to pass through
the nets. The probable presence of these fish as a definite component of the Nass runs is
important in the consideration of sex distribution. Gilbert and Rich found in Alaska in the
runs of 1922-26 an excess of females both in the total samples of all the age-groups and also
in the three principal age-classes. As explanation for the constant sex inequality of adult
sockeyes, they offer the following alternatives: "Beginning their sea-life in equal numbers,
the males and females may have a different survival value, with a selective mortality acting
in favor of the females; or there may be a very considerable precocious development of the
males, which may elude us largely because of their small size, and with these eliminated from
the commercially valuable fish the preponderance of females would be assured." While it is
impossible to accept or reject either of these alternatives as a positive explanation of excess
of females, the second seems more likely. The acceptance of selective survival of either sex
would be based entirely on probability or possibility. On the other hand, tendency toward
precocious development of males is an established fact to which the presence of grilse in the
Karluk, Skeena, and Fraser Rivers and Rivers Inlet attests. The definite knowledge that
grilse are present in these runs, particularly in those of the Karluk, makes their presence in
the Nass almost a certainty. It may well be, then, that the excess of females in the Nass is
due to precocious maturity of the males. It seems a logical explanation both for the total
preponderance of females in the total yearly samples and also for their constant majority in
the 5.,'s, the dominant group. Drs. Gilbert and Rich found in the Alaska sockeyes that the
deficiency of males, or excess of females, was greatest in the oldest of three principal age-
groups, a fact which was to be expected: " Inasmuch as males show a constant tendency to
mature at an earlier age than do the females, it results that early-maturing age-groups very
generally show a heavier percentage of males than do the older groups." The sex ratios of
the oldest age-group (63) of the Nass would seem to be directly opposed to this statement,
since the males have shown constant excess, but examination of tables giving the individuals
of each class running on different dates shows that this class has never been completely
sampled. There is no tapering away of the group at the end of the collecting season as there
4 K 50 REPORT OF THE COMMISSIONER OF FISHERIES, 1934.
is in perfectly sampled age-groups. Consequently one cannot accept this sex ratio as
necessarily representative of the entire group. While early maturity of males among the
42's and 52's does not appear definite from year to year as in the case of the 5a's, still there
is considerable indication of it. In the first place, with a single exception for each group,
the significant differences indicate lack of males. Secondly, during the last six years, when
the 49 class has been present in much greater numbers than formerly, there has been a slight
but constant deficiency of males. Thirdly, the total sex ratios of both groups show a shortage
of males, with the smaller shortage in the youngest group as in the Karluk.
In the runs of the two remaining river systems, the Skeena and Rivers Inlet, the 42's and
5,,'s play practically equal roles, neither one group nor the other being consistently in excess.
The Rivers Inlet graph (Fig. III.) presents a curious picture, with the 42 males entirely
above and the 52 males consistently below the mean. The curves are more or less irregular
and show decided downward trends. Every difference of the 42's and all but two of the 52's
is significant. The fact that the 52 curve lies entirely below the mean, or, to express it
differently, the consistent shortage of males, suggests the phenomenon of precocious development. Although there are no actual records of 32's (the precocious 42's) in Rivers Inlet
samples, there are frequent references to them in the Fishery Inspector's reports of the
spawning-beds and there is every reason to believe that they exist. According to our present
data, whatever deficiency of males there may be in the 42's because of precocious development
is no doubt partly offset by the early-maturing 52's, but, as will be shown later, the sampling
of the 49 age-group is inadequate and accurate conclusions cannot be arrived at. Just as the
52 males have been consistently deficient so the 49 males have constantly outnumbered the
females. These two age-groups show great lack of equality in total sex distribution, the 42's
averaging 65 per cent, males and 35 per cent, females and the 52's 36 per cent, males and
64 per cent, females. But the excess of males in one age-group corresponds almost exactly to
the deficiency in the other.
Attention should be called to an interesting association between the sex ratios and average
lengths of the 42 group. A comparison of these two variables in the male reveals an almost
perfect negative correlation; that is, the peaks away from the mean representing years of
greater abundance are associated with smaller average size, and vice versa, the valleys
toward the mean, or years of lesser abundance, are linked with greater average size. A
similar comparison of the female sex ratios and average lengths shows a positive correlation;
the greater sex differences correspond to greater lengths and lesser differences to lesser lengths.
The curves representing the Skeena 49 and 59 males cross the mean rarely and irregularly
(Fig. IV.). The major part of the latter curve is very definitely below the mean with only
two peaks above it. Except for the years 1917 and 1918, all differences are significant and in
general show a shortage of males. The 49 curve, although much more irregular, has a decided
downward trend. In the early years of the run the males tended to be more numerous than
the females, while the opposite is true of more recent years. Six of the eight years in which
the males exceeded the females and six of the ten years in which they were less abundant the
differences between them are significant. In the matter of total sex proportion the males
have constituted 52 per cent, of the 49 group and 44 per cent, of the 59 class. As in Rivers
Inlet, the interpretation of these unequal sex proportions is to be found in the prenomenon
of early maturity of males. The presence of 39's in the runs is assumed on the reports of
fishermen and Fishery Inspectors. In the present method of sampling the run it is impossible
to determine how numerous this group may be, but the excess of males in the 49 class suggests
that whatever the tendency for early maturity of 49 males may be it is offset by a similar
tendency among the 59's. The length-sex correlations which obtained in the 49 class of
Rivers Inlet hold also for the 49 age-group in the Skeena runs.
(2.)  Sampling.
In general discussions and comparisons, the cross-sections of these four river systems
have been treated as if they were perfectly comparable and such treatment is legitimate for
general purposes. In more detailed studies, however, the consideration of differences is not
only necessary, but often helpful. As the legends on the Fraser River tables indicate, samples
of this run are always obtained by means of traps, whereas those of the other runs are taken
by gill-nets.    In comparing the two methods of catch it is obvious that the former one is the LIFE-HISTORY OF THE  SOCKEYE  SALMON.
K 51
more desirable because no selective process due to netting can affect the sample. It will be
as perfect a sample as it is possible to get. Consequently, in this matter of sex ratios, if
normal distribution is equal numbers, one would expect to find the closest approach to equality
in the Fraser River runs. Such is the case. It is true in regard to the small differences both
between the yearly total number of males and females in the run and also between the relative
proportion of the two sexes in the dominant age-group. The Nass River resembles the Fraser
in these same respects much more closely than it does the Skeena and Rivers Inlet, in spite of
the fact that traps are used to obtain the Fraser samples and gill-nets those of the other three
rivers. It would seem, then, that netting might in some way be responsible for the lack of
correspondence in the sex ratios of the three runs sampled by gill-nets. If sampling is
imperfect its effect will be most pronounced in the age-groups which contain fish too small to
be constantly captured. Consequently, in order to have a precise picture of all the smaller
individuals which have occurred in the runs of the river systems during the history of the
fishery, a tabulation has been made recording year by year all the 49 individuals measuring
21 inches or less (Table XXXI.).
Since the average lengths of females are less than those of males, one would expect to
find in the lower size range of any completely sampled age-group that there exists an excess
of females and also that the smallest individuals are females. Examination of the table
shows, with some minor exceptions, that: (1) The Fraser River sockeyes conform to these
statements; (2) the Nass fish are conspicuously absent throughout the twenty years; (3)
Rivers Inlet fish are well represented, but the males, and not the females, are considerably
more numerous and are also the smaller fish; (4) the Skeena River sockeyes are also exceptional, in that the males are slightly more abundant than the females and are represented by
somewhat smaller sizes.
The Fraser River needs no further comment as the picture is one that would be expected
from a random sampling provided by gear such as traps.
As has been previously stated, the Nass sockeyes most closely approach those of the
Fraser River in their sex proportions. The almost total absence of 42's in Table XXXI.
necessitated a careful scrutiny of the lower size range of this group in all the size-frequency
tables from 1915 to 1934. In practically every year the smallest individuals are females and
there is a majority of them. Thus every cross-section of the run contains the complete
range of size for the 49's. The distribution of the few individuals occurring in Table XXXI.
shows the lowest size level to be 21 inches, a limit considerably higher than that of the Skeena
or Rivers Inlet. This of course indicates greater average size of the Nass 42's, a fact which
is borne out by the following figures, which are the average lengths and weights over the
history of the fishery:—
Males.
Females.
Males.
Females.
Inches.
22.5
23.7
23.8
24.4
Inches.
22.5
23.0
23.2
23.6
Lb.
5.1
6.0
5.4
5.9
Lb.
5.0
Fraser River   — - 	
5.4
5.0
5.3
Furthermore, examination of the Nass 42's in Table XXXI. shows no change from the
beginning of the study to the present time either in the relative size or scarcity of these
individuals. The normal picture of this age-group in the size-frequency tables indicates the
use of gill-nets of such mesh that their efficiency in sampling is not unlike that of traps.
Moreover, the uniformity of occurrence of these fish in Table XXXI. shows that nets of
sufficient mesh to intercept a complete cross-section of the 49's have been used from the
beginning of the fishery. What is true of this group is likewise true of all the other recorded
age-classes except 3j, because their average sizes are all greater than that of the 42's. As has
been previously stated, it is believed that the 63 group is only partially sampled because it is
a late-running group, and appears to be at its height when the period of collection ends.
Furthermore, this may well apply to the 64's and 74's, classes which also appear late in the
season, but are present in such small numbers that it is impossible to get an exact picture of K 52
REPORT OF THE COMMISSIONER OF FISHERIES, 1934.
the extent of their occurrence. Another component of these runs—namely, grilse—does not
appear in the cross-sections because the fish are too small to be netted.
Examination of the Rivers Inlet figures in Table XXXI. confirms the previous assertion,
that the cross-sections of this age-group are incomplete. Instead of a normal picture with
a majority of females at the lower range of the group, the males are consistently in excess.
Dividing the series of years arbitrarily into four periods and expressing it more exactly in
terms of percentages of total males and females in the group, there were among these smaller
42's, during the years 1915-19, 12 per cent, males and 4 per cent, females; 1921*-24, 12 per
cent, males and 5 per cent, females; 1925-29, 20 per cent, males and 7 per cent, females; and
1930-34, 19 per cent, males and 13 per cent, females. For these same four periods the sex
ratio of these same smaller fish were: (1) 88 and 12 per cent, males and females respectively;
(2) 85 and 15 per cent.;   (3) 83 and 17 per cent.;  and (4) 65 and 35 per cent.
A general scrutiny of the Skeena 49 group shows both sexes, especially the females, to be
rather sparsely represented up to the year 1928. From this point on there is a definite
increase in both sexes. Or expressing it in more exact terms as in Rivers Inlet in percentage
of total males and females in the group there were among these small fish, during the years
1915-19, 0.5 per cent, males and 0.4 per cent, females; 1920-24, 1.1 per cent, males and 0.7
per cent, females; 1925-29, 3 per cent, males and 1.8 per cent, females; and 1930-34, 6 per
cent, males and 5 per cent, females. As for sex distribution among these same small individuals for the same four periods are found the following: (1) 67 per cent, males, 33 per
cent, females;   (2) 63 and 37 per cent.;   (3) 61 and 39 per cent.;   and (4) 50 and 50 per cent.
The significant feature in these two sets of percentages for Rivers Inlet and the Skeena
River is the increased number of females in the last period.
If the mesh of gill-nets remains constant from year to year, what, if any, would be the
effect upon sex distribution of natural fluctuations in length in age-groups which are not
completely sampled because the fish at the lower size limit are too small to be netted? Since
the bodies of mature males are deeper than those of females, of a male and female of equivalent
lengths, the female is more apt to escape. Among these fish " at large," then, the females
are more abundant. If in any one year the general size of both sexes in one of these age-
groups should be less, the fish at the lower level of capture would be even less perfectly
sampled; more males and females would escape, but males would still be in the majority
among the smaller captured fish. If, on the other hand, the general size of both sexes should
be greater, these fish at the lower level would be better sampled and the males would be
relatively less abundant, varying in degree in proportion to the completeness of the sampling
of the smaller fish. If they were perfectly sampled the females would outnumber the males.
Attention has already been called to this sex-length correlation in the 49 age-group of both
Rivers Inlet and Skeena runs. It is simply a natural relationship which exists in classes
which are imperfectly sampled at their lower size range.
If the mesh of nets is changed from greater to lesser, what would be the effect upon sex
distribution in these imperfectly sampled age-groups? The result would be the capture of
more smaller fish with the relative sex ratio increasing in favour of the females in proportion
as their lowest size range was reached. Also, if a considerable additional number of females
were captured, the altered sex ratio of the sexes at the lower level would be reflected in the
sex proportions of the entire age-group. In other words, the females would become relatively
more abundant than formerly. Furthermore, if one of these age-groups was materially
augmented by smaller-sized individuals the general average lengths of both sexes would be
lowered. Smaller-meshed nets would not obscure natural fluctuations in length from year to
year with their correlated sex ratios, but these lengths and sex ratios would fluctuate at a
lower range than formerly.
Returning now to the 49 group of Rivers Inlet as pictured in Table XXXI., the increase
in recent years in actual numbers of smaller fish with relatively higher percentages of females
is an obvious fact. Furthermore, reference to Table XI. shows that in 1931 the average
length of both male and female touched new low levels and the lengths of the other years since
1929 tend to be less than average. The 42 class of the Skeena has registered the same sort
of change both as to greater numbers of small fish with the females relatively more numerous
and as to generally smaller fish.    In one year only since 1929 have the general average lengths
! The year 1920 is omitted because of the extremely small sample obtained over an unusually short period. LIFE-HISTORY OF THE  SOCKEYE  SALMON. K 53
of the sexes been equalled and heretofore unrecorded low levels are found among other recent
years. Looking again at Figs. III. and IV., it will be noticed that since 1929 in Rivers Inlet
the males have fluctuated between 54 and 59 per cent, instead of in the sixties and even
seventies as formerly, and in the Skeena the spread is also confined to a narrower, lower range.
All of the above-mentioned changes seen in this age-group in both Rivers Inlet and the Skeena
coincide precisely with the changes which would be expected in an imperfectly sampled age-
group when lesser-meshed gill-nets replaced greater.
Unfortunately there are no definite records available as to sizes of mesh actually employed
in fishing the several river systems. The Fisheries Department limited the mesh to 5% inches
up to the year 1929, when all restrictions were removed. However, through the courtesy of
the Canadian Fishing Company, The British Columbia Packers, Limited, and Mr. G. J.
Alexander in consulting J. H. Todd & Sons, it has been possible to obtain information which
is believed to be reasonably accurate.    The opinion is as follows:—
Nass River.—1915 to date, 5ys inches.
Rivers Inlet.—1915 to 1929 or 1930, 5% inches; 1930 or 1931 to date, 5% to 5% inches
(B.C. Packers say as low as 5 inches).
Skeena.—1915 to 1928 or 1929 or 1930, 5% inches;  1929 or 1930 or 1931, 5V2 to 5% inches.
While there is some difference of opinion as to the first year in which the finer mesh was
employed, there is agreement in the belief that it has been in general use from 1931. Thus
these years of change to lesser mesh in Rivers Inlet and the Skeena coincide with the years
in which the analyses of the runs have noted changes in the 42 age-group.
Undoubtedly this newer aspect of the Rivers Inlet 42 group is a truer picture than was
had formerly, but there are still several indications suggesting incompleteness. The length
distribution at the lower level does not yet show the females to be in the majority, nor does
it reach as low a level as would be expected in view of the very low range of the Fraser 49's,
whose average lengths are as great, 23.7 inches and 23 inches respectively for male and female,
in comparison with 22.5 and 22.5 for Rivers Inlet. Also the lengths of the two sexes are too
nearly equivalent to be normal. Consequently it seems justifiable to conclude: (1) That the
extremely unbalanced sex ratio in the early years was more artificial than real and was due
to a very incomplete sampling of the age-group; (2) that the real ratio is probably much more
evenly balanced than now appears.
The scattered evidences of incomplete sampling in the Skeena are much less glaring than
those of Rivers Inlet, but when they are assembled side by side with those of the former river
system there is no doubt in the matter. However, it seems safe to assume that this group has
always been more adequately sampled both because of the larger average size of the fish and
also because of the usual size relationship between the sexes. The addition of the relatively
steadier and closer sex ratio of recent years suggests that the present cross-section of the
age-group is close to a complete one.
To return to the general question of sampling, would natural fluctuations in length affect
the sex ratios of age-groups which are perfectly sampled? Or would change of mesh from
greater to less affect the sex proportions in such age-groups? The answer to both questions
would seem in general to be in the negative. Unless a natural size reduction should be so
great as to allow escape at the lower size level, or an increase so great as to prohibit capture
at the upper size range, of a large number of individuals, it seems reasonable to assume that
size fluctuations would not be associated in any way with sex-ratio fluctuations.
The exceptional sex ratios of the Skeena 59's in the years 1930 and 1932 may be explained
on this basis. The average lengths of both sexes in those years were considerably below the
general averages, and study of the lower size ranges shows not only that there were present
a very unusual number of small individuals, but also that the smallest of these were only
19% and 20 inches long, lengths common to the smaller individuals at the lower size level of
the 42's. Consequently it is believed that the high sex proportions of the males in 1930 and
1932 were abnormal; they were due to that type of inadequate sampling in which the smaller
Individuals, especially females, escape capture.
In considering the relative proportions of the two sexes, attention should be called to a
structural character, peculiar to the males—namely, the hooked upper jaw with enlarged
teeth, which tends to entangle the fish in the nets without gilling. To what extent the number
of captured males is increased in this way is unknown, but the factor is probably constant
and should not be overlooked. K 54 REPORT OF THE COMMISSIONER OF FISHERIES, 1934.
(3.)  Summary of Section.
Equal sex ratios are considered normal for sockeye salmon.
(1.) The Fraser River sockeyes approach normal sex distribution more closely than do
those of the other three river systems. This is to be expected since the method of sampling
by traps precludes selection. Both the total yearly samples and the dominant age-group, 42,
have shown more or less alternate abundance of the two sexes, the amount being in general
insignificant. The 42's manifest precocious maturity of males which is more pronounced in
some years than others.
(2.) The yearly total sex ratios of the Nass sockeyes show a small deficiency of males,
but this lack of equality is believed to be due to incomplete gill-net sampling. The constant
shortage of males in the dominant age-group, the 53, is interpreted as precocious development,
but these early-maturing males because of their small size entirely elude capture. The
minority of the males in the total average sex ratios of the 42 and 52 age-groups also suggests
early maturity. Since the period of sampling of the Nass run is not coextensive with the
period of occurrence of the 63 class, the constant excess of females in this group cannot be
accepted as a reliable index of the sex proportions of this class.
(3.) The explanation of the peculiar sex ratios of Rivers Inlet is found partly in precocious
maturity and partly in inadequate sampling and change of mesh in gill-nets. The 52 group
appears to be completely sampled and exhibits precocious development to a marked degree.
The 42 class, because of the small size of its members, is very incompletely sampled, resulting
in a high percentage of males. From numerous observations of grilse by Fishery Inspectors
and fishermen it is believed that the 42 group also produces early-maturing males. But since
there are no grilse in the samplings, and since the excess of males in the 42 class is inaccurate,
there is no way of judging exactly how the deficiency of males in the 52 group is compensated
for by the males of the 42's and the grilse. The definite decrease in the 49 males since 1929
is traceable to change of greater gill-net mesh to lesser.
(4.) What has been said of the sex ratios of Rivers Inlet may be repeated verbatim
for the Skeena sockeyes. The only point of real difference lies in a generally lower range of
fluctuation of the sex ratios of the Skeena 42 class. This is due to the fact that these four-
year-olds are larger fish and therefore have not been quite as poorly sampled as the same
group in Rivers Inlet. LIFE-HISTORY OF THE SOCKEYE SALMON.
K 55
"1 r
i    i     r
40
35
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Fig. I.—Graphs showing the percentages of males of the 49 and 59 age-groups in the Fraser River sockeye runs.
1915 to 1934.     (42's by the continuous line;   52's by the broken line.)
\n] 1 1 1	
1 1—i 1 r
1 r
i i 1 1     r
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40
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Fig. II.—Graphs showing the percentages of males of the 42, 50, and 5g age-groups of the Nass
runs, 1915 to 1934.     (42's by the continuous line ;  59's by the broken line ;   5o's by the dot-dash line.)
1B34
River sockeye K 56
REPORT OF THE COMMISSIONER OF FISHERIES, 1934.
i—r
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Fig. III.—Graphs showing the percentages of males of the 42 and 5, age-groups in the Rivers Inlet sockeye
runs, 1915 to 1934. (49's by the continuous line; 59's by the broken line.) The percentage for the 49 age-group in
1920 is unreliable. LIFE-HISTORY OF THE SOCKEYE SALMON.
K 57
50
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Fig. IV.—Graphs showing the percentages of males of the 42 and 59 age-groups in the Skeena River sockeye
runs, 1915 to 1934.     (42's by the continuous line;   52's by the broken line.) K 58
REPORT OF THE COMMISSIONER OF FISHERIES, 1934.
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a CONDITION OF BRITISH COLUMBIA SALMON-SPAWNING GROUNDS.    K 59
CONDITION OF BRITISH COLUMBIA SALMON-SPAWNING GROUNDS.
By Major J. A. Motherwell, Dominion Chief Supervisor op Fisheries.
QUEEN CHARLOTTE ISLANDS.
This is primarily a fall-salmon area, although a few sockeye run to Masset Inlet each year.
This run, however, is not important.
It will be remembered that in 1932 what has been, as long as records are available, an
enormous run of pink salmon returned in very small quantities. The run in 1930 was heavy,
and, although comparatively lightly fished, the seeding in 1932 was only approximately 20 per
cent, for no known reason.
During the season under review early precautions were taken to see that a good portion
of the run would be enabled to pass to the spawning-grounds, and the result was that all
areas in Masset Inlet, including the Yakoun River and Juskatla Inlet, were heavily seeded
with pink-salmon eggs and the previous satisfactory conditions appear to have been restored.
Early closing at Naden Harbour also provided a satisfactory escapement of pinks to .the
spawning-grounds in that district.
The seeding of the streams on the east coast of the Queen Charlotte Islands cannot be
considered as satisfactory, although an extra effort was made in the way of protection to
see that adequate quantities passed up-stream. Skedans Creek was an exception; a good
seeding occurred there and a reasonable one at Tlell River.
The cohoe run generally in this area was one of the most satisfactory in recent years.
The chum seeding generally has been fairly satisfactory, although there are several
streams where conditions have not been quite as good as could be desired.
NASS  RIVER.
The seeding by the early run of sockeye is reported as heavy and similar to that of the
seasons 1929 and 1930 and an improvement over the seeding of 1933. The late run was also
good, being very similar to that of 1929.
The cohoe run was also a satisfactory one, but the number of springs observed was not
up to the average.
Satisfactory quantities of pinks were found in the spawning areas of the river and its
tributaries.    This run, in addition to being heavy, was very late in arriving.
The supply of pinks was also found to be satisfactory in the area from the mouth of the
Nass River to Dixon Entrance, including the Khutzeymateen River.
The chum-supply was not as good as could be desired.
A jam was removed from the entrance to the fishway at Meziadin Lake and this structure
was left in good condition.
SKEENA RIVER.
In view of the small commercial catch of sockeye it was not expected that any large
quantity would be observed on the spawning-grounds, but the supply was not as unsatisfactory
as feared. In the Babine River the run cannot be considered as satisfactory, although the
conditions in this stream have varied from year to year over a very considerable period.
The lower portion of the river, however, received a very good seeding, better than in 1933.
At Morrison Creek, on which the hatchery is situated, the supply of spawning sockeye
was the largest in the past four years, according to the hatchery superintendent. In the
hatchery operations approximately 75 per cent, of the fish were spawned, providing a collection
of 3,730,000 eggs. The balance was permitted to spawn naturally. Males exceeded females
in the ratio of six to one at this point.
The situation at Fulton River seems to have been more satisfactory and the seeding
should be reasonably adequate, although the number of fish was less than in the seasons of
1929 and 1930, the brood-years.
At Pierre, Twin, and 15-Mile Creeks the seeding would appear to be reasonably satisfactory.
Taking the Babine area as a whole, conditions were not found to be as bad as might have
been expected, but the quantity of spawning sockeye observed cannot be considered as adequate, having in view the large quantities appearing on these spawning-grounds in previous
years. K 60 REPORT OF THE COMMISSIONER OF FISHERIES, 1934.
The quantities of springs, cohoes, and pinks in the Babine area do not appear to have been
particularly satisfactory.
In the Lakelse Lake system the return of sockeye was larger than that of 1930 and compared very favourably with the record year of 1926.
The supply of spawning pinks was found to be adequate.
GRENVILLE-PRINCIPE AREA.
Apart from Lowe Inlet, the sockeye-streams in this area were well supplied with spawning
fish. Wet weather conditions, coupled with fishing restrictions, permitted a good escapement.
At Lowe Inlet precautions are being taken to see that the escapement is more satisfactory in
this cycle.
Cohoe were observed in satisfactory quantities throughout the area. This also applies to
the pink variety, although the chum situation was not found to be quite so satisfactory.
BUTEDALE AREA.
The sockeye-supply found on the spawning-grounds was a reasonably satisfactory one.
Weather conditions were favourable during the first of the season, but later, due to lack of
rain, it was necessary to enforce longer closed seasons, which action appears to have obtained
the desired results in the way of escapement.
There was a very gratifying escapement of cohoe, particularly to the northern portion
of the area.
In the northern portion of the area the pink seeding was fairly satisfactory, but farther
south the situation was not so good. The condition of the pink run, while not discouraging,
still requires some further protection and the necessary measures are being taken.
Due to the closure of the area to fishing, a fair supply of chum salmon reached the
spawning-grounds.
The heavy rains resulted in freshets over the area during October, but apparently there
was no great damage done to the spawning area.
BELLA BELLA AREA.
As a result of twenty-eight days' extra closed season enforced during the sockeye season,
the escapement of this variety to the spawning grounds was found to be very satisfactory.
The quantities of cohoe found were reported as extraordinarily heavy. The pink-supply was
not so satisfactory, although by extra closures a better proportion of the run was permitted
to reach the spawning-grounds.
The chum-supply was not as great as could be desired, but due to unusual measures in the
way of fishing restriction a fair supply was enabled to pass up the streams safely.
BELLA COOLA AREA.
Two trips of inspection were made by seaplane to Kimsquit Lake; two were also made
to the Upper Bella Coola and Atnarko Rivers. The second trip in each case was for the
purpose of ascertaining the extent of damage done to the spawning-grounds due to flood
conditions.
The supply of spawning sockeye observed is stated to be very satisfactory, and, in fact,
these remarks apply to the pinks and cohoes as well, whilst the chum-supply was as good as
was expected.
The inspecting officer feels that the quantities of sockeye, pinks, and cohoes observed this
year are greater than those observed in the brood-years, and in the case of chums, springs,
and steelhead the conditions are very similar to the brood-years.
The situation from a standpoint of floods and freshets was unusually difficult during this
fall, particularly in the Bella Coola River, the water rising to levels beyond previous records.
Undoubtedly much damage has been done to spawning-grounds, although probably this would
be confined largely to the areas used by chum salmon; that is, in the lower reaches of the
streams. The upper reaches of the streams were not so much affected and it is expected that
the damage there was not very great. It is expected that the sockeye will be the least affected
by the high-water conditions. CONDITION OF BRITISH COLUMBIA SALMON-SPAWNING GROUNDS.   K 61
RIVERS INLET AREA.
Examinations of the Owikeno Lake and tributaries would appear to justify the conclusion
that the sockeye spawning has been an average one. Several streams have been found lightly
seeded, but, on the other hand, other streams have received unusually large supplies and the
condition generally is reported as quite satisfactory. One factor of the run was found to be
the abnormally large proportion of 3-year-old males; in fact, of the whole run the males have
considerably exceeded the females in numbers.
The supply of cohoes observed appears to have been unusually good.
The supplies of fall fish generally in the inlets tributary to Rivers Inlet appear to be
average.
SMITH INLET.
Two inspections were made of this area and the observations show that most satisfactory
conditions in the way of spawning sockeye appear to prevail again, notwithstanding the
unusually high water.
There would appear to be every reason to believe that the sockeye-supply at Smith Inlet
can be well maintained and possibly increased.
In the Nekite River, at the head of Smith Inlet, there was a light run of pinks and cohoes
and a medium run of chums observed. A heavy escapement of chums occurred in the river at
the head of the South-east Arm, however.
In the Takush River and Ahclakerho Channel the conservation measures taken during
recent years appear to have been successful in building up the run of chums.
FRASER RIVER WATERSHED.
Prince George District.—In the Stuart-Trembleur-Takla Lake section the local officers
report that the number of spawning sockeye appearing this year shows an increase over that
of four years ago.    The same applies to the Fraser Lake-Francois Lake section.
Whilst this may seem encouraging, yet, when one considers the large runs of years ago,
the few returning at present would not appear to be particularly significant.
One pleasing factor is that the Indians at the outlet of Stuart Lake have not depended
this season so much on the sockeye for their food purposes. This is due largely to the very
considerable increase in the quantity of moose appearing all through the northern section of
the Fraser River watershed. Due to this situation a larger percentage of ascending runs
should in future years escape to the spawning-grounds.
In the Quesnel Lake-Bowron Lake sections the quantity of sockeye observed has not been
encouraging.
The Chilcotin section is very outstanding in a discussion of the spawning conditions in the
Fraser, due to the considerable increase shown each cycle for some years past. Whilst it is
always impossible to accurately estimate the number of parent fish in any spawning area,
yet conditions in Chilko Lake are such as to permit the local officer (who has had many years'
experience) to quote figures which, used in a comparative way, can be accepted as being indicative of the situation. He suggests the following numbers of spawning sockeye observed for
the past seven years:—
1927         400 1931      2,500
1928   20,000 1932   70,000
1929   70,000 1933  100,000
1930         900 1934      3,500
The returns to the Seton-Anderson Lake system are apparently showing no increase and
are not at all encouraging.
Kamloops District.—The North Thompson has not been shown to be a particularly valuable spawning area for sockeye, but there is a quantity each year found in the Raft River.
On the other hand, the Shuswap area, on the South Thompson, has been most encouraging
in recent seasons, and this year the number of spawning sockeye found in Adams River and
Little River shows an increase of at least 25 per cent, over the exceptionally good brood-year
of 1930. No returns were found in Scotch Creek or in the stream at the head of Anstey Arm,
and only a few stragglers appeared at Eagle River. K 62
REPORT OF THE  COMMISSIONER OF FISHERIES, 1934.
The fish were of unusually large size, a good many running as high as 9 lb. in weight.
Male fish predominated in the ratio of four to one.
There has been a dam in the Adams River at the outlet of Adams Lake for many years.
Although there is a fishway at each side of the stream, it is felt that conditions have not been
entirely satisfactory, but last year high water carried away a section of the dam, which is not
now being used, and the result is that the sockeye this year had no difficulty in ascending to
the lake above and were observed in several of the tributaries.
It is to the Shuswap area that a very large proportion of the late-run sockeye to the Fraser
system proceed; that is, sockeye entering the Fraser River from the Gulf of Georgia after the
end of August.
The run of spring salmon to this area was a normal one.
Hope District.—Normally there are not many sockeye found spawning in the tributaries
of the Fraser between Lytton and Hope, and as a matter of fact the streams are largely
unsuitable for spawning purposes. One exception is Kakawa Lake, where, four years ago,
there was a very considerable run of sockeye, over 90 per cent, of which, however, were
estimated to be females. The same conditions obtained this year. Also, in 1930, every little
stream between Lytton and Hope was reported to be full of spawning sockeye from the late
run.    These conditions were duplicated in 1934.
Conditions at Hell's Gate all through the season were normal and the ascending fish
experienced no more difficulty than previous to the slide of 1913.
Chilliwack District.—In the Chilliwack-Cultus Lake section the expected large number of
spawning sockeye arrived. In the brood-year of 1930 there were counted over the fence at
Cultus Lake 10,395 sockeye.    This year the number was 19,048.
Harrison Lake-P ember ton District.—One of the most satisfactory runs of sockeye in recent
years appeared at Morris Lake, which at one time was the most prolific producer of sockeye in
the Harrison area. The number appearing in the Pemberton area, however, was below expectations, although, due to the recent arrangements with the officers of the Department of Indian
Affairs and special protective measures, there was no question as to there being any molestation of the fish on their way up-stream. The Indians obtained only a very small percentage
of the run.
The collection of eggs at the Pemberton Hatchery amounted to 20,400,000.
Apparently very few sockeye ascended past the hatchery fence after its removal, but
below that point for a distance of IhL miles the Birkenhead River was fairly well seeded
naturally.
Pitt Lake District.—This watershed received a heavy seeding of sockeye salmon. The
hatchery was quickly filled to capacity, and it is estimated that not more than 10 per cent, of
the run was used for this purpose, the rest being permitted to spawn naturally.
It was discovered late in the season that a portion of the late-run sockeye were spawning
in the Pitt River below Pitt Lake.
Howe Sound District.—In the Howe Sound District the spawning streams contained large
numbers of cohoes and chums and also a satisfactory proportion of springs. The unusually
large quantities of the first two mentioned species, however, were quite noticeable.
GENERAL.
A special effort was made to follow the late run of sockeye in order that a complete report
might be available as to all the streams used for spawning purposes. An experienced officer
was placed in charge of this investigation and found definitely that no portion of the late run
passed above the Bridge River Rapids in the Fraser or into the North Thompson River. The
principal areas populated by this late run are the Shuswap, Kakawa Lake, Cultus Lake,
Chilliwack Lake, and most of the tributary streams between Lytton and Hope, although
conditions here are apparently not favourable. A portion also proceeded to the Pitt River
area.
ALERT BAY SUB-DISTRICT.
Sockeye.—A satisfactory run of sockeye occurred at Nimpkish River, and due to the
abolition of drag-seines from the river and favourable water conditions during the run, the
proportionate escapement was larger than in previous years.    The numbers of sockeye appear- CONDITION OF BRITISH COLUMBIA SALMON-SPAWNING GROUNDS.    K 63
ing on the spawning-grounds of Nimpkish Lake and in the streams and lakes tributary thereto
are reported to have been larger than for many years.
Normal small runs of sockeye occurred at Glendale Cove, Thompson Sound, Port Neville,
Shushartie, and Nahwitti Rivers. The run to Mackenzie Sound stream, which is Keogh River,
was better than usual.
Springs.—While the run of this variety to Nimpkish River was light, the seeding was
quite satisfactory, as springs were not fished to any extent in that locality. The runs to
Kingcome and Knight Inlets were normal, and it is considered that satisfactory numbers
ascended the streams to spawn.
Cohoes.—All streams throughout the Alert Bay District frequented by this variety were
well seeded, and the Inspector reports that the run was the best for several years and was
much heavier than the brood-year.
Pinks.—Spawning conditions were very satisfactory throughout and the number of parent
salmon appearing on the spawning-grounds compares very favourably with the brood-year of
1932.    Runs were particularly heavy at Glendale Cove and Adams River.
Chums.—This run was considered the best since the brood-year of 1930, in comparison with
which it was about equal.    All streams of the sub-district are well seeded with this variety.
Steelheads.—The Inspector reports that from information received the run this year
appeared to have been the best for several years. As steelheads are not fished commercially
to any extent, a good seeding of all the streams frequented by them is assured.
QUATHIASKI SUB-DISTRICT.
Sockeye.—For the fifth year in succession the run to Hayden Bay has been disappointing.
Special closure of fishing was put into effect from June 21st until July 15th this year, and due
to this the escapement to the spawning-grounds was greater than for several years past. The
run to Phillips Arm was light, but as high water occurred during the height of the run the
greater percentage of sockeye ascended Phillips River to the spawning-grounds. The Inspector
states that the run could be considered to be equal to that of the brood-year.
Cohoes.—Quantities of this salmon were on the spawning-grounds equal to the brood-year.
The run throughout the district was a good average one.
Springs.—The run to Campbell River was considered better than the average, and the
number ascending to the spawning-grounds there is reported by the Inspector to have been
heavier than for several years.    A good average run ascended Phillips River.
Pinks.—An excellent run occurred through the whole of the district, and all streams were
fully as well seeded as in the brood-year.
Chums.—Good runs occurred everywhere, the escapement was large, and all streams were
at least as well seeded as in the brood-year. The run continued much later than usual, and
fresh fish ascended many of the streams long after fishing operations ceased.
Steelheads.—The supply of these is being well maintained. They appear to be present in
all streams frequented by them just as numerous as usual.
COMOX SUB-DISTRICT.
(This is not a sockeye area.)
Cohoes.—The general run of cohoes throughout the district was noticeably heavier than
for several years. They appeared on the spawning-grounds in larger numbers than during
the brood-year.
Springs.—An excellent run occurred in the Puntledge River, and the numbers on the
spawning-grounds were reported by the Inspector as greater than last year and for several
years.
Pinks.—They appeared in greater quantities in the streams usually frequented than during the brood-year and for many years past. These streams are the Oyster, Tsolum, and
Tsable Rivers and Cook and Nile Creeks.
Chums.—Although very late in commencing, the run of chums was considered much better
than any of the runs of the past four years. The numbers reaching the spawning-grounds
were far greater than during the brood-year, intervening years, and for several years previous
to the brood-year. '  I K 64 REPORT OF THE  COMMISSIONER OF FISHERIES, 1934.
Steelheads.—The number appearing in the various streams can be said to be equal to the
usual normal run. The Inspector is of the opinion that the favourable increase in the return
of parent salmon to the streams of his district is due to provision of the 2-mile limit on most
of the spawning-streams and total closure of Baynes Sound to salmon net-fishing. Establishment of the rectangular boundary at the two Qualicum Rivers, during the period in which
fishing is allowed to within half a mile, has given added protection to those streams. The
percentage of escapement was noticeably larger.
PENDER HARBOUR SUB-DISTRICT.
Sockeye.—A satisfactory run occurred in the Saginaw area, and the escapement reaching
the spawning-grounds was fully equal to that of the brood-year. Catches each year continue
to be consistently good, and it is quite evident that the supply of sockeye is being well maintained.    The average light run occurred at Narrows Arm, but, as usual, was not fished.
Cohoes.—A good average run appeared in all sections of the sub-district, and all streams
received parent salmon in quantities fully equal to the brood-year.
Pinks.—As usual, pink salmon appeared in large numbers in the streams of the upper
reaches of Jervis Inlet. A good run occurs here every year and the run of the current year
was fully equal to those of all recent years. The run to Vancouver Bay is reported by the
Inspector to have shown a slight decrease as compared with the brood-year. All other streams
of the district received pinks in quantity about equal to the brood-year.
Chums.—Chums entered all the streams of the district in larger numbers than last year,
and were at least equally as plentiful as during the brood-year. The Inspector and his patrolmen report some of the streams as heavier seeded than during the brood-year. Extension of
fishery boundaries off the mouths of many of these streams some years ago has had the effect
of allowing for a greater escapement.
Steelheads.—These continue to appear each year in the usual average quantities in all
streams frequented by them.
NANAIMO SUB-DISTRICT.
More cohoe and chum salmon and steelheads have been observed on the spawning-grounds
during the past three years than during many years previous to that period. Spawning conditions this year are far more satisfactory than during the brood-year in each instance.
LADYSMITH SUB-DISTRICT.
For purposes of this report Nanaimo River is included with Ladysmith District, as patrol
of that stream has been undertaken to some extent by the Inspector for the Ladysmith Sub-
district, but also by other officers when available.
Cohoes.—These salmon appeared in satisfactory quantities, and all streams of the sub-
district frequented by them had good average runs, which were considered at least equal to
those of the brood-year.
Springs.—Spring salmon reaching the Nanaimo River seemed to be on the increase during
the past few years, and the run to Chemainus River compared very favourably with the runs
of all recent years.
Pinks.—These do not run in quantity, but the numbers appearing in the few streams
frequented by them were this year about equal to the light runs of two years ago.
Chums.—Chums appeared in large quantities in Nanaimo and Chemainus Rivers and in
all the smaller streams. These runs can be said to have been considerably heavier than those
of the brood-year.
Steelheads.—The usual small numbers were in all streams frequented by them, and it is
quite evident that the numbers were equally as good, if not slightly better than during recent
years.
COWICHAN SUB-DISTRICT.
Springs.—Springs appeared in very satisfactory numbers in the Cowichan River. The
Inspector reports that the number ascending that river was considerably greater than during
the brood-year and that the usual light run occurred in the Koksilah River. CONDITION OF BRITISH COLUMBIA SALMON-SPAWNING GROUNDS.    K 65
Cohoes.—The cohoe run was considered light in the Cowichan River, but was estimated
to be equal to that of the brood-year. In Koksilah River there was a good early run of
cohoes, but the late run is reported as lighter than the brood-year.
Chums.—To date the run has been lighter than during the past two years in the Cowichan
River, but it compares quite favourably with the brood-year. Chum salmon were still entering
the river in quantities at the time of inspection.
Steelheads.—The run in the early part of the year in both Cowichan River and Koksilah
River was considered heavy. Owing to high water it was difficult to determine the extent of
the late run, which was just commencing at time of inspection.
VICTORIA SUB-DISTRICT.
Cohoes.—The number of parent cohoe salmon on the spawning-beds of the various streams
in the Victoria District is quite similar to previous years. At Demanuel Creek, in the Sooke
District, conditions are more favourable than usual, and more cohoes reached the upper
stretches of the river than in previous years, due chiefly to removal of the large log obstruction
which has caused so much difficulty in recent years.
Chums.—A good average run appeared in Coldstream, Sooke River, and all other streams
of the Victoria District.
Steelheads.—These fish were seen in about the usual average quantity in the few streams
frequented by them.
BARKLEY SOUND SUB-DISTRICT.
Sockeye.—The run of sockeye to Somass River was considered much heavier than the
brood-year, and very satisfactory numbers ascended to the spawning areas of Great Central
and Sproat Lakes. The Anderson River run was again disappointing, the estimated numbers
reaching the spawning-grounds being much lighter than the brood-year. The run to Nitinat
Arm was equally as good as that of the brood-year, and there was a satisfactory escapement
to the spawning-grounds of Hobarton Lake, which is the sockeye-spawning area of Nitinat.
Cohoes.—Cohoes appeared in the streams of Barkley Sound District in larger numbers
than for several years, and it is quite safe to say that the streams were equally as well seeded
as in the brood-year. The Inspector reports just one exception, Anderson River, where the
run was light.
Springs.—Very good runs occurred in all of the large streams of the district, with the
exception of Anderson River. These fish appeared on the spawning-grounds in numbers equal
to any of the runs of many years past.
Chums.—All the streams of the district were well seeded by this variety, with the exception of Sarita and Toquart Rivers and the small stream at Dutch Harbour. Owing to extreme
low-water conditions and poor escapement of chums to the Barkley Sound streams it was
necessary to place special closure on all net-fishing in Barkley Sound, exclusive of Alberni
Canal, from October 20th to 28th. Special protection was given to the chum runs to the three
streams mentioned above by shifting out boundaries and providing large closed areas off the
mouths. Spawning conditions were excellent in Nitinat area, and all streams throughout the
whole of the district were at least as well seeded as during the brood-year.
Pinks.—These salmon do not run in appreciable quantities in the district and practically
none was seen this year.
Steelheads.—The usual good runs appeared in the Somass River watershed, at Nahmint,
and other large streams of the district.
CLAYOQUOT SOUND SUB-DISTRICT.
Sockeye.—There was an excellent run to the Kennedy Lake watershed and a good average
run to Megin Lake. The Inspector reports an increase of parent sockeye on the spawning-
beds of Kennedy Lake area over the brood-year and the run to Megin Lake about equal to the
brood-year.
Cohoes.—Marked increase in the number of cohoes in all the streams was noticeable in
comparison with the brood-year.
Springs.—This year's run to the main streams of the district is reported by the Inspector
as the heaviest he has seen for many years and the streams frequented by them are well seeded. K 66 REPORT OF THE COMMISSIONER OF FISHERIES, 1934.
Chums.—A very good run occurred and each stream received parent chums in quantities
fully equal to the brood-year.
Pinks.—Do not run in large quantities in this sub-district. The numbers appearing this
year were about equal to those of two years ago.
Steelheads.—These were in the streams in apparently the usual quantities.
NOOTKA SOUND SUB-DISTRICT.
Sockeye.—The run to Gold River and the several smaller streams frequented by sockeye
was just about the usual average. The Inspector states there is never much fluctuation in
these runs from year to year.
Cohoes.—The usual light run occurred again this year and the quantities reaching the
spawning-grounds can be said to have been fully equal to the brood-year.
Springs.—A good run occurred at Burman River, but the runs to other streams of the
district were lighter than the past year. The Inspector states that the numbers of springs in
the streams throughout the district would average as well as previous runs of light years.
Chums.—The numbers reaching the spawning-grounds were definitely heavier than during
the brood-year. Owing to dry weather and low-water conditions in the streams it was necessary to enforce special closed periods, but after the advent of heavy rains chum salmon
appeared on the spawning-grounds of all the streams in large numbers. The whole area was
then opened again to fishing and operations continued until the seiners automatically ceased
fishing.
Pinks.—Do not run in quantity in this sub-district. The usual very small numbers
appeared in the few streams frequented by them.
Steelheads.—The usual numbers returned to the different streams of the district.
KYUQUOT SOUND SUB-DISTRICT.
Sockeye.—Light runs of creek sockeye appeared in the few streams usually frequented.
The runs were of about the same proportions as those of the brood-year.
Cohoes.—The numbers appearing in the streams were considerably lighter than those of
the brood-year.
Springs.—A very satisfactory run appeared in the main streams of the district. The
Inspector reports that the numbers in the streams compares very favourably with the runs of
last year and those of previous years.
Chums.—The numbers on the spawning-grounds throughout the district were much smaller
in comparison with those of the brood-year. The run was of short duration, and as heavy
freshets coincided with the main run it was impossible to determine the extent of the escapement.    This area will require to be given special attention four years hence.
Steelheads.—Are reported in the Kyuquot District streams in their usual small numbers.
Pinks.—The run is not commercially important. The Inspector reports a 40-per-cent.
decrease from that of the brood-year.
QUATSINO SUB-DISTRICT.
Sockeye.—The light runs to the district do not fluctuate greatly. The numbers appearing
this year equalled about the usual average.
Cohoes.—A satisfactory increase over the brood-year was noticeable in the streams of
Rupert Arm area. In other parts of the district cohoes ascended the streams in quantities
equal to the brood-year, except at Brooak Bay, where the run was reported as lighter.
Springs.—A heavy run occurred at Marble Creek, where conditions were very favourable,
and spawning was equally as good as for several years previous.
Chums.—There was a good average spawning in all streams throughout the district. The
spawning was fully as heavy as during the brood-year.
Pinks.—Throughout the whole of the Quatsino Sound area a heavy increase of pinks was
noticeable over the previous two brood-years. All streams frequented by this variety were
heavily seeded. In the outside portion of the area the runs appearing were about equal to
previous cycle-years.
Steelheads.—Appeared in Marble Creek in large numbers and the other streams of the
district received the usual average run. CONDITION OF BRITISH COLUMBIA SALMON-SPAWNING GROUNDS.   K 67
STATEMENT  OF  SALMON-EGG  COLLECTIONS,  BRITISH  COLUMBIA
HATCHERIES, 1934.
Hatchery.
Sockeye.
Springs.
Cohoe.
Total.
6,741,000
464,250
429,000
7,205,250
429,000
8,897,300
4,985,000
8,000,000
8,897,300
4,985,000
8,000,000
630,000
732,000
1,362,000
41,341,240
20,400,000
3,925,000
11,390,540
41,341,240
20,400,000
3,925,000
460,320
11,850,860
Totals             	
105,680,080
1,983,570
732,000
108,395,650
We are indebted to Major J. A. Motherwell for the foregoing statement giving the number
of salmon-eggs collected in the Province this year and placed in the hatcheries.
Sockeye-salmon egg collections for the whole of the Province in 1934 were 105,680,080, an
increase of 52,262,280 in comparison with the previous year. The sockeye-egg collections in
the Fraser River system for 1934 were 65,666,240, as compared with 18,481,400 in 1933 and
49,719,270 in 1930, its brood-year. K 68
REPORT OF THE COMMISSIONER OF FISHERIES, 1934.
A BRIEF STATISTICAL REVIEW OF THE SOCKEYE FISHING AND
CANNING INDUSTRY IN RIVERS INLET.
By Geo. J. Alexander, Assistant Commissioner of Fisheries.
A successful salmon-canning season is largely dependent on the success of the sockeye-
pack, and while it is a general rule that the unit cost of production varies inversely as the
size of the pack, nevertheless other important factors enter and must be considered.
Owing to varying conditions in the different sockeye-producing areas and dissimilar
factors depending upon the different kinds of salmon, each producing area and each species
must be dealt with separately. The sockeye fishing and canning industry in Rivers Inlet has
been selected for the purpose of this brief survey. The survey is intended to indicate the
effect on the individual fisherman's earnings during the sockeye-fishing season in Rivers Inlet,
due to the constantly increasing numbers of boats fishing, and also to indicate to the industry
what effect this has on the cost of production. It is not intended to draw conclusions relating
to the state of abundance of sockeye in this district, but if a decline in the average annual
pack is part of the evidence it must be considered. The survey compares the average seasonal
earnings per boat for the five-year period 1922-26 with the average seasonal earnings per
boat for the five-year period 1930-34.
It should also be pointed out that when individual seasonal earnings are mentioned, only
the individual earnings derived from fishing sockeye in Rivers Inlet during the six or seven
weeks' season have been considered. As most of the fishermen fish in other districts when the
season is over at Rivers Inlet, the fishermen's actual season's earnings are much greater than
are here indicated.
The following table shows the annual total pack of sockeye in Rivers Inlet and the total
number of gill-nets fished annually from 1922 to 1934, inclusive. The column giving the
number of boats is the actual number of boats fished in Rivers Inlet in the respective years.
axl3
The average catch in fish per boat is obtained by calculation, thus:   , where a=the total
b
pack in cases; b the number of boats fishing; and 13 the number of fish to the case. The
prices quoted in column 5 are actual prices paid for the year in question, except that the
prices quoted for the years 1930 to 1934, inclusive, have been adjusted to compensate for the
change in fishing method from cannery gear to independent gear. The average season's
earnings per boat are the result obtained by multiplying the average catch per boat by the
prevailing prices in the year in question.
Table I.—Showing Rivers Inlet Catch of Sockeye, Number of Boats Fishing, Average
Catch per Boat, Prices, and Average Season's Earnings from 1922 to 1934.
(1.)
Year.
(2.)
Total Pack.
(3.)
No. of
Boats.
(4.)
Average
Catch of
Sockeye.
(5.)
Price.
(6.)
Average
Season's
Earnings.
1922     	
53,584
116,850
94,891
159,554
65,581
65,269
60,044
70,260
119,170
76,428
69,732
83,507
76,923
1,012
965
736
891
1,115
1,273
1,117
1,149
1,449
1,144
1,431
1,603
1,899
689
1,574
1,676
2,328
765
667
699
795
1,069
869
620
678
527
Cents.
30
30
22.5
25
35
35
35
35
40
20
20
40
40
$206.70
1923 	
1924	
377.10
1925 	
1923  	
1927 	
1928     	
233.45
244.65
278.25
427.60
173.80
124.00
271.20
210.80
1929   	
1930    	
1931     	
1932  	
1933    	
1934	
Note.—Prices from  1930 to 1934 have been adjusted to compensate for  change from  cannery gear  to independent gear. SOCKEYE  FISHING AND CANNING INDUSTRY IN RIVERS INLET.     K 69
In the graphs the broken line in each case indicates the actual fluctuation from year to
year, while the continuous line represents the average and is calculated by moving averages
of 5 over the period 1922 to 1934. This line necessarily stops at the year 1932 owing to the
method of calculation. In other words, the curve represented by the continuous line is the
same curve represented by the broken line, except that the latter has been smoothed once by
moving averages of 5.
/80
to
1
5
/so
/4-Q
/BO
/OO
so
60
4-0
3^-
Fig. 1. Showing Rivers Inlet sockeye-pack in cases from 1922 to 1934.    The broken line shows the actual pack
from year to year.    The heavy line indicates the trend and is the broken line smoothed once by moving averages of 5.
An examination of the pack records shown in column 2 in Table I. over the period 1922
to 1934 shows unmistakably that the amount of fish canned in the latter years is less than
formerly. This is best illustrated in the graph, Fig. 1, where the broken line represents the
actual pack in the years 1922 to 1934, inclusive, and the continuous line represents the
averages on a five-year basis.
For a survey of this nature and owing to the cyclic nature of the runs of sockeye, the
average rather than the actual fluctuations from year to year is most important. This does
not alter the true picture which it is desired to present;   i.e., that the trend in the amount of K 70
REPORT OF THE  COMMISSIONER OF FISHERIES, 1934.
fish canned is downwards and that the increasing number of boats fishing is economically
unsound both to fishermen and canners. These factors are equally important to fishermen
and canners alike, as obviously both interests are affected. That the pack figures are indicative,
in a general way, of the amount of sockeye available for canning in any given year will readily
be appreciated by the reader when it is understood that in the sockeye-fisheries every effort is
made to catch all the fish possible while the season lasts.
/900
/TOO
/SOO
/300
//OO
soo
700
2Z    23    24    Z5    26    27   2$     29   30    3/    32    33    3&
Fig. 2. The broken line shows the number of boats fished in Rivers Inlet from 1924 to 1934.    The heavy line
indicates the trend and is the broken line smoothed once by moving averages of 5.
On examination of the graph, Fig. 1, representing the average pack in Rivers Inlet, we
find that whereas the average pack for the five-year period 1922 to 1926, inclusive, was 98,092
cases, the average pack for the five-year period 1930 to 1934, inclusive, was 85,152 cases.
Expressed in another way, the decline in the average pack from 1922 to 1934 amounts to 13.2
per cent. More significant, however, is the enormous increase in the number of boats fishing
in recent years. A further examination of Table I., column 3, will show the increase in the
amount of fishing effort as represented by the comparative number of boats fishing in this SOCKEYE FISHING AND CANNING INDUSTRY IN RIVERS INLET.     K 71
area from year to year. This increase is illustrated graphically in Fig. 2. Again, we have
the actual number of boats fishing, as represented by the broken line, while the continuous line
is based on a five-year average. It will be noticed that the increase in the number of boats
fishing from 1924 to 1934, as represented by the average, is almost a continuous increase. We
find that whereas in the five-year period 1922 to 1926, inclusive, the average number of boats
fishing amounted to 944, the average for the five-year period 1930 to 1934, inclusive, amounted
to 1,511, or an average increase of 60 per cent, over the ten-year period under review. So far
we find the pack decreasing and the number of boats increasing.
700
22     23    24    25   26    27   28>    29    30   3/     32    33   3<?
Fig. 3. Showing the individual fisherman's average earnings in dollars for the sockeye-fishing seasons in Rivers
Inlet from 1922 to 1934. The broken line shows the fluctuations from year to year. The heavy line indicates the
trend and is the broken line smoothed once by moving averages of 5t.
In order to maintain, or increase, the size of his pack with a view to lowering unit production costs, or to increase profits, or both, or possibly forced by competition, the canner has
constantly utilized more and more gear, apparently reasoning that if a given number of nets
will produce a certain sized pack, increasing the number of nets will effect a corresponding
increase in the number of fish caught. To reason thus is false, because the amount of fish
available in any given season is definitely limited and is the controlling factor governing the
size of the pack. Various other causes have no doubt contributed to the increase in the amount
of gear in recent years. Depressed economic conditions forcing many out of other lines of
work have no doubt been partly responsible for greater numbers seeking gainful employment K 72
REPORT OF THE COMMISSIONER OF FISHERIES, 1934.
in fishing, but this must be considered as a minor factor, as an examination of the graph, Fig. 2,
representing the average number of boats, shows that the amount of gear fishing in Rivers
Inlet was increasing at an alarming rate previous to 1929, when depressed economic conditions
did not exist.
So far we have only considered the size of the average pack compared with the number of
boats fishing. If we now examine Fig. 3 we shall find that the effect of the increase in the
number of boats fishing from year to year and the decrease in the average yearly pack is that
the average fisherman's seasonal earnings have steadily declined over the ten-year period.
This decline amounts to nearly 38 per cent. In the five-year period 1922 to 1926, inclusive, the
average individual fisherman's earnings in Rivers Inlet amounted to $382, compared with $241
1324    25     26      27     28      29     30     31      32     33     34
Fig. 4. Represents the prices paid for sockeye in Rivers Inlet from 1924 to 1934. Prices shown for 1930 to 1934,
inclusive, have been adjusted to compensate for the change from cannery gear to independent gear. The broken line
represents prices from year to year.    The heavy line indicates the trend. SOCKEYE FISHING AND CANNING INDUSTRY IN RIVERS INLET.     K 73
for the average earnings over the five-year period 1930 to 1934, inclusive. This decline of
nearly 38 per cent, has taken place in spite of the increase of 12 per cent, in the average prices
paid for fish.
The average gross earnings over the same period have changed very little; the average
for the five-year period 1922 to 1926, inclusive, amounted to $351,840, while the average gross
earnings for the five-year period 1930 to 1934, inclusive, amounted to $366,787, or an increase
of less than 2 per cent. The increase in the gross earnings of the fishermen in Rivers Inlet
is no doubt due to the increase in price paid for fish. The increase in the price paid for
sockeye, amounting to 12 per cent., is graphically represented in Fig. 4. The broken line, as
in the other graphs, represents the actual fluctuations from year to year, while the continuous
line represents the averages. The individual fisherman will be more interested in the average
individual earnings than he will be in the gross annual earnings; and the canner, also, will be
vitally interested, as all these factors have a direct bearing on the unit cost of production.
The adverse effect on individual fishermen's earnings in Rivers Inlet, due partly to the
enormous increase in the number of nets fishing and to a lesser extent to a decrease in the
availability of fish, has been pointed out in the preceding paragraphs. In the following
paragraphs it is proposed to deal with the effects of increased fishing effort and decreased
availability on production costs to the canner.
It might be well at this point to interject a remark on the term " availability " as used in
this paper. By availability is meant the number, or quantity, of fish available for catching
during the time specified and must not be confused with the term " abundance." Fish might
be exceedingly abundant but, due to numerous causes, be unavailable to the fishermen.
Fish required to seed the spawning-grounds are of course not available to the fishermen.
These spawners, together with the fish caught, make for what is understood as " abundance."
The greater the abundance in any given year the greater will be the measure of availability
for that year providing the number of spawners is not increased; and, conversely, if the
abundance remains constant and the number of spawners is increased, the availability will
be decreased. It will readily be appreciated that, in order to maintain an adequate escapement to the spawning-grounds, restrictive fishing measures must be increased as fishing effort
increases. Annual reports from the spawning-beds would indicate that the escapement has
been fairly well maintained, although when considered in relation to the average packs over
the last twelve years a decline in abundance is indicated. It is desired to make clear that as
all the sockeye running to Rivers Inlet in any given season eventually reach the spawning-
grounds, or are caught, and as all sockeye caught are canned, then the total pack of canned
sockeye for this area in a given season is a measure of availability for that season regardless
of restrictive fishing measures or other factors tending to limit the catch. Restrictive fishing
measures such as weekly close time, bad weather, and numerous other causes will make the
sockeye less available to the fishermen, when the pack will decrease accordingly, but these
factors do not alter the relationship between total pack and availability. The total pack still
remains the measure of availability.
It is not the purpose of this article to go into the details of the unit cost of production to
the canner, as this would be beyond the scope of a brief survey of this nature; and, also, the
data necessary are not available in sufficient detail.
It must be pointed out, however, that the cost of producing a case of canned salmon is
governed to a large extent by what it costs to produce the raw fish, the cost of the raw fish
being the largest single item making up the total cost of the finished product. The cost of
raw fish is directly affected by the amount of fish produced by each net. The production
efficiency of each net therefore becomes of paramount importance in relation to production
costs. The measure of efficiency of a unit of gear is taken as the amount of fish produced by
one net in a given season. If the unit efficiency is high the investment is an asset, but as the
efficiency decreases the asset diminishes, and where efficiency becomes low the money invested
in nets may become a liability. This potential liability or decreased asset is eventually a
charge to the owner of the net. Even though the fisherman in recent years is paid on the basis
of what is known as " independent gear," the fact remains that in the great majority of cases
the owner of the net is the canner. It is the canner's money which is tied up, and, if the
efficiency of the net is reduced, the net-owner's asset, as represented by the net, is decreased
accordingly and becomes a charge on the pack. K 74
REPORT OF THE COMMISSIONER OF FISHERIES, 1934.
It is difficult to measure the production efficiency of any machine or appliance except in
relative terms, but for the purpose of this survey we may compare the relative efficiency of
a gill-net in Rivers Inlet in 1924 with the relative efficiency of a gill-net in the same area in
1934. In a comparison of this kind two factors of equal importance must be considered—i.e.,
the availability of fish and the amount of gear fishing. Seasonal fluctuations of both these
factors make it desirable to use averages over a period rather than the figures for any given
year.
From Table I. for the period 1922 to 1926, inclusive, the average annual catch of sockeye
in Rivers Inlet amounted to 98,092 cases, while for the same period the average number of
boats fished annually amounted to 944. We find, therefore, that the average annual production in cases per boat for the five-year period amounted to nearly 104 cases. By using the
total pack as a measure of availability and the production per boat as the other factor and
substituting values, we may call the sum of these two values the efficiency index for a unit
of gear.    (See Table II.)
Table II.
Five-year Period.
Average
Pack.
Availability           Average
Value.         '   Catch, Boat.
Production          Efficiency
Value.                  Index.
1922-26	
Cases.
98,092
85,152
50
43.4
Cases.
104
56
50
26.9
100
1930-34  ■ 	
70.3
12,940
6.6
48
23.1
29.7
In the above table for the period 1922-26 the availability, as represented by the average
annual catch in cases, has been given a value of 50 and the average annual catch per boat has
been given a value of 50. The efficiency index for a unit of gear for this period using these
values is therefore 100. In the period 1930-34 the average annual catch in cases amounted to
85,152, and the availability number for this period must bear the same relationship to 85,152
as 50 does to 98,092. The number representing availability for the latter period is 43.4. The
average annual catch per boat fell from 104 cases in 1922-26 to 56 cases in the period 1930-34
and the production number fell accordingly from 50 to 26.9. The efficiency index dropped
from 100 for the five-year period 1922-26 to 70.3 for the five-year period 1930-34, a total drop
in efficiency of 29.7. By further examination of Table II. it will be noted that this drop is
made up of a drop in availability of 6.6 and a drop in unit production of 23.1. Expressed
another way, the production efficiency per unit of gear in Rivers Inlet has fallen from 100 to
70.3, and nearly 78 per cent, of this drop is due to the number of boats fishing and less than
23 per cent, is due to decreased availability.
What this lessened efficiency means to the canner in increased production costs must be
determined by the individual canner, as he alone knows what his costs are, but, assuming a
net to cost $250 when ready to fish and depreciation at 50 per cent., it means that in order that
no loss be incurred the net must earn $125 a year for two years over and above what fish it
produces. If a net making these earnings is considered 100 per cent, efficient, then a net
working at 70 per cent, efficiency would only earn $87.50, or a loss of $37.50 per year for two
years compared with the more efficient net.
Summary.— (1.) The sockeye-packs in Rivers Inlet, as represented by five-year averages
over the past twelve years, are less than they were in 1922 by over 13 per cent. That this
decline in pack is not due to curtailment on the part of the industry itself is evidenced from
the fact that fishing effort has continuously increased.
(2.) Fishing effort as measured by the number of boats fishing has increased 60 per cent,
during the period under review.
(3.) As a result of smaller packs and increased effort, the individual fisherman's earnings
for the sockeye season in Rivers Inlet have decreased nearly 38 per cent.
(4.) Prices paid for fish in this district based on five-year averages have increased 12
per cent., but, due to smaller packs as under (1), the total amount distributed has increased
very little. SOCKEYE FISHING AND CANNING INDUSTRY IN RIVERS INLET.     K 75
(5.) The efficiency of gill-nets in Rivers Inlet as measured by the average amount of
fish produced per net has fallen from an index of 100 for the five-year period 1922-26 to
70.3 for the five-year period 1930-34. Nearly 78 per cent, of this total drop in efficiency is
due to the increase in the number of boats fishing, while less than 23 per cent, is caused by
fewer fish available for catching.
No attempt is made to appraise the actual amount lost to the industry due to lessened
efficiency, but attention is called to the fact that this loss is considerable, which fact might be
profitably considered by both fishermen and canners. K 76 REPORT OF THE COMMISSIONER OF FISHERIES, 1934.
THE HERRING-FISHERY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA-
PAST AND PRESENT.*
By Albert L. Tester, Pacific Biological Station.
INTRODUCTION.
Within the last twenty years the herring-fishery of British Columbia has grown to such
an extent as to become one of the most important fishing industries of the Province. In 1927
the catch amounted to 1,724,246 cwt., with a marketed value of $1,867,429. While the unfavourable economic conditions which have prevailed during the last few years have exerted
a retrogressive effect, the catch in 1933 still amounted to 1,077,373 cwt., although the marketed
value had dropped to $738,522. At present the catch is considerably greater than, and the
value approximately equal to, that of the Atlantic herring-fishery of the Maritime Provinces
and Quebec. These statistics serve to illustrate the commercial importance of the herring
of British Columbia.
The direct monetary returns from the herring-fishery, although considerable, form only
a part of the true economic value of the species. The role of the herring as a food for larger
fishes must also be taken into consideration. As several important food-fishes, among which
might be mentioned the halibut, spring salmon, cohoe salmon, and ling cod, feed on the herring,
its total value cannot be readily estimated in dollars and cents.
It is the purpose of this bulletin to outline briefly the life-history of the herring; to trace
the development of the various methods of fishing and to describe those which are at present
Fig. 1. The Pacific herring (Clupea pallasii).
in use; to trace the development of each phase of the industry with reference to the preparation of the products; to discuss fluctuations which have occurred in quantity and value of the
marketed products; to discuss fluctuations in the availability and size of herring; and to
comment on the present condition of the fishery and its future possibilities.
In the preparation of this article, members of both the Federal and the Provincial Departments of Fisheries and of the fishing industry have contributed much useful information and
their assistance is gratefully acknowledged. Figs. 4, 8, and 16 are photographs taken by
Mr. W. J. Oliver, Calgary, and published with the kind permission of Mr. J. C. Campbell,
National Parks of Canada, Department of the Interior, Ottawa.
LIFE-HISTORY.
The commercial herring-fishery is most active during the fall and winter months, when
numerous schools of adult fish appear in the bays and inshore channels. The fish remain in
these waters throughout the winter and spawn during the following spring. While spawning
takes place in the vicinity of Vancouver Island usually between the latter part of February
and the first part of April, the exact time of reproduction varies both with locality and season.
In the more northern waters of the Prince Rupert District the herring spawn at a slightly
later date, some time between the first week in March and the end of April.
* Reprint of Bulletin XLVII. of the Biological Board of Canada.    The Commissioner of Fisheries is greatly
indebted to the Biological Board for permission to reprint this article and for the loan of the plates illustrating it. THE HERRING-FISHERY OF B.C.—PAST AND PRESENT.
K 77
At spawning-time the schools of herring come into the comparatively shallow water along
the shore and deposit their eggs on the eel-grass or rockweed in or just below the intertidal
zone. Spawning activity on any particular bed may last from one to several days. The eggs
are cemented by the hardening of a sticky mucilaginous coating to the vegetation forming
thick clusters (Fig. 2). At the time of deposition they are fertilized by the milt of the males
which is discharged freely into the water. So large is the quantity of milt liberated that it
forms a dense greenish-white " cloud " in the water, sometimes as great as a mile in length
and one-quarter of a mile in width (Fig. 3). The eggs, containing the developing young, are
usually exposed at low tide and are preyed upon by thousands of gulls, ducks, and other birds
(Fig. 4). Sun and wind in the daytime and frost at night also take their toll when the eggs
are exposed, although their resistance to these agencies is remarkable. Storms are one of
the worst hazards of the spawning-grounds, for they cause a large percentage of the eggs to
become detached from the vegetation and washed up on the beach. A recent investigation of
the extent of mortality on herring-spawning grounds by Hart and Tester (Trans. Amer. Fish.
Soc, Vol. 64, 1934) has shown that at least 70 per cent., and probably more, of the eggs thus
Fig. 2.  Eggs of herring on eel.grass.
washed on the beach fail to survive, whereas, under ideal weather conditions, the mortality
due to natural causes such as infertility and desiccation averages only about 5 per cent.
During a period of from ten to twenty days, the length of time depending on the temperature of the water, the larval herring gradually develops within the egg, deriving its nourishment from the supply of yolk material. It gradually begins to show signs of life, wriggling
and squirming inside the egg membrane until it finally breaks through and is set free in the
water. When first hatched the larva shows a slight bulge on its under-surface below the
front fins which marks the position of the " yolk-sac." This contains the remaining supply
of yolk which is sufficient to nourish the young fish for only a short period after hatching.
Each spawning-ground yields several billions of larval herring. Although they can swim
feebly, they are carried along by currents and back and forth by tidal action during this stage.
In all probability this is the most critical period in the whole life-history, for not only are the
larva? the easy prey of many fishes both large and small, but large numbers may also die from
lack of suitable food when their embryonic supply has been used up and they must start to feed.
By the time the larva? have grown to an inch in length, a month or so after hatching, they
are no longer at the mercy of the tide and move about in compact schools. These soon acquire
the habit of appearing at the surface at dusk. In the evening when the water is calm they
may be detected close to shore by the fine ripples which they cause at the surface and by the K 78
REPORT OF THE  COMMISSIONER OF FISHERIES, 1934.
silvery flash when an occasional individual jumps clear of the water. In the daytime they
may be seen frequently some distance below the surface.
The young herring are present in shallow inshore water throughout the summer, and
during this period grow to a length of from 3 to 4 inches, measured from the tip of the closed
lower jaw to the end of the tail. In the winter they are rarely seen and presumably seek
deeper water. In the next fall and winter when they are in their second year and are about
7 inches in length a few of these immature individuals may join the schools of mature fish
when the latter come in to spawn. When the young herring are in their third summer, they
may be found sometimes in large schools in inshore water where food is plentiful. They remain
here during the summer, and in the fall and winter join the adult schools in force to form
from 20 to 60 per cent, of the commercial catch. The following spring these fish, now exactly
three years old and approximately 8% inches in length, spawn for the first time. This holds
true in Southern British Columbia. In the northern waters of the Province a small proportion
of the new recruits join the adult schools in their third year, but the majority do not appear
in the commercial fishery until they have entered their fourth year.
Herring do not die after spawning; the gonads have fully recovered by the following
spring, when reproduction again takes place. Normally, it is repeated once every spring
throughout the remaining life of each fish.
 iiiiwiid
Fig. 3. The shore of Departure Bay at spawning-time.    The milt may be seen as
a light area close to the shore.
The commercial catch consists mostly of fish in their third, fourth, fifth, and sixth years,
with a small percentage of older individuals. In the southern waters the bulk of this catch
is usually composed of fish in their third and fourth years. The fishery here is therefore
mainly dependent on younger age-groups than that of Alaska and Europe. In the Prince
Rupert District the rate of growth is slower than in Southern British Columbia, and consequently, even though the spawning run consists of fish of about the same average length as
those to the south, it is made up of older individuals. The age-groups which are present in
the northern runs are similar to those in the commercial fishery of South-eastern Alaska.
Naturally, the percentage in each age-group in the run to any locality will vary from year
to year, depending on the relative success of and survival from each spawning. The significance of the age composition of the run in regard to the condition of- the fishery will be
discussed later.
The importance of an adequate supply of suitable food for the newly hatched larva? was
indicated above. They subsist at first on the minute plankton organisms in the water. The
microscopic eggs of small marine animals sometimes comprise over 50 per cent, of their food; THE HERRING-FISHERY OF B.C.—PAST AND PRESENT.
K 79
minute floating plants called diatoms are eaten very extensively; the young or nauplii of small
shrimp-like animals known as copepods are also a very important food item; the larva? of
clams, snails, oysters, and of other lower animals are also eaten, but to a smaller extent. As
the fish grow larger the type of food which they take changes somewhat. At the fingerling
stage, when the young fish frequent inshore water, it is varied and depends largely on the
kind of shallow-water organisms that are present. However, juvenile and adult copepods
generally comprise a large percentage. Mature herring appear to feed mostly during the'
spring after spawning and during the summer, as specimens obtained at other times of the
year very rarely contain food. Large copepods and other shrimp-like forms known as
schizopods are the chief food organisms taken by herring of commercial size.
Throughout the whole life-span the enemies of the herring are many. The developing
eggs on the spawning-grounds are devoured by seagulls, ducks, and crows. The larva? are
easily captured by small fishes and other marine animals. Young and adults are preyed upon
by dogfish, salmon, trout, halibut, ling cod, and other fishes; they are also eaten by gulls and
other birds;  they form a large part of the food of sea-lions and seals.    Thousands of tons of
Fig. 4. Typical spawning-grounds at low tide, Nanoose Bay.
feeding on the eggs.
The gulls are
adult fish are removed annually by possibly the most formidable of all predators, man. Considering the enemies that are present at all stages of development and considering the dangers
of the critical larval period, it is not astonishing that only about one in ten thousand of the
eggs which are deposited on the spawning-grounds survives to become an adult fish and to
propagate the species.
FISHING METHODS.
Drag-seines.
In the early days of the industry, from its beginning about 1877 to about 1905, fishing
was carried on almost entirely by the use of drag or beach seines. These are large nets,
from 10 to 30 fathoms in length and from 2 to 5 fathoms in depth, which are operated from
the shore. The middle portion of the seine is made of small-meshed web, sometimes as small
as %-inch stretched measure, while the two outer portions or wings consist of web of larger
mesh.    The central part is hung somewhat more fully than the wings to form a " bag " or K 80
REPORT OF THE COMMISSIONER OF FISHERIES, 1934.
" pocket." The web is fastened to ropes running along the top and bottom. The top one, or
" cork-line," has distributed along it at regular intervals floats of cork or wood, which keep it
afloat; the bottom one, or " lead-line," has weights clamped to it at regular intervals, which
sink the lower part of the net and keep it vertical in the water. At either end of the seine a
rope bridle joins these two lines, and to its middle is attached a long line by means of which
the net may be hauled ashore. The seine is piled in the stern of a skiff ready for use. When
a school of herring is located close inshore, one man retains the line fastened to one end of
the seine on the shore, the skiff is rowed so as to encircle the school of fish as quickly as possible,
and the net is paid out over the stern. The crew lands, and the lines attached to both ends
of the net are hauled in simultaneously until the fish are enclosed between the encircling net
and the shore. The ends of the lead-line are brought close together, forming a pocket in which
the fish are completely enclosed. The herring are then landed either on the beach or into
the skiff.
The early method of capturing herring in a drag-seine could be used only when the schools
came into the shallow water of bays and inlets in the winter or when they came along the shore
to spawn in the spring, but the yield was quite adequate to meet the local demands. With the
development of the industry, it became more and more difficult to secure a sufficient quantity
by this method. Moreover, the schools were broken up and gradually deserted bays where
they were formerly easily obtained. A new method of capture which could be used in deep
water was indicated.
Drift Gill-nets.
As early as 1900 fishermen began to consider the possibilities of the use of drift gill-nets
and purse-seines for the capture of herring in deep water. By 1905 the use of gill-nets was
well established at Point Grey, near Vancouver, and on the east coast of Vancouver Island,
particularly at Departure Bay and Nanaimo. In 1915 a failure of the Point Grey fishery
resulted in an influx of gill-netters to Pender Harbour, where a fishery, similar in extent to
that of Point Grey, has gradually developed.
The boats used by the drift gill-netters are from 30 to 40 feet in length with a 9- or 10-foot
beam, and are usually propelled by small gasoline-engines. A cabin containing the engine
and living-quarters is situated forward. Abaft the cabin is a hold covered by a hatch. Behind
this is a cockpit in which the nets are piled. Sometimes an iron rack is placed between the
hold and the cockpit and is used for segregating sections of the net which need repairing. The
boats are similar in size and structure to salmon-trolling craft and some are convertible into
the latter.    The crew usually consists of two men.
The web is made of cotton twine from 2- to 2%-inch stretched mesh. Each " piece " is
20 fathoms in length and 3 to 4 fathoms in depth, with a cork-line along the top and a leadline along the bottom. The corks are situated at intervals of about 2 feet and the leads at
intervals of 1 foot along these two lines, the numbers and intervals being so arranged that
the net just sinks below the surface of the water. Usually from ten to twenty pieces are
fastened together at a set, making a total length of from 200 to 400 fathoms or up to ha1^ a
mile of web. The number of pieces used depends on the abundance of the fish. An inflated
canvas bag, called a " Scotch buoy," or a suitable float consisting of a sealed tub or a group
of corks, is attached at the juncture of the cork-lines of successive pieces on about a fathom
of rope. Immediately below these large floats, at the juncture of two lead-lines, is attached
a weight, usually consisting of a rock or stone at the end of half a fathom of line. These
additional floats and weights cause the web to be suspended about a fathom below the surface.
Fishing usually takes place at dusk and at daybreak or during the intervening hours of
darkness. When fish are very plentiful or there is a large demand, sets are also made in the
daytime, but these are usually not as successful as those made during the twilight hours or at
night. In the case of the Point Grey fishery, the boats run offshore until sounding shows that
a sufficient depth has been attained. The net is then set towards the shore, the exact direction
depending on the wind. In other instances nets may be set offshore in deep water. First a
float carrying a lighted kerosene-lamp, and attached to the first piece of web by about
10 fathoms of line, is thrown overboard. The first buoy and weight then follow and the
whole net is gradually set over the stern while the boat travels slowly ahead, one fisherman
paying out the net and freeing snags while the other is navigating the boat. When the entire
web is out the last piece is attached to the stern by about 10 fathoms of line.    Usually boat THE HERRING-FISHERY OF B.C.—PAST AND PRESENT. K 81
and net are then allowed to drift with the current for a half an hour or more. Sometimes,
however, the net may be set at dusk and lifted at dawn. In attempting to pass through the
net the herring become entangled, the twine getting behind the cheek-bone or operculum
which covers the gills.    This method of capture is therefore known as " drift gill-netting."
After the net has been out a sufficient length of time it is hauled back into the boat by
both men; the fish, if any, are shaken from the web; torn portions of the net are looped free
of the main pile in the cockpit, to be repaired during the daytime. The herring are placed
in baskets in the hold and are later sold to the public either direct or through a fish-buyer.
Herring caught in this manner are favoured as food by the local market, as the gill-net
selects only the larger fish.
The present gill-net fisheries are located at Point Grey in the summer, at Pender Harbour
in the summer and fall, and occasionally at Nanaimo,» Departure Bay, and Nanoose Bay in
the spring (Fig. 9).
Purse-seines.
Purse-seines first came into extensive use on the east coast of Vancouver Island about 1910.
Previous to that time they were opposed by many fishermen as destructive to small fish. However, the drag-seines and gill-nets did not supply a sufficient quantity of fish to meet the
demands of the growing export trade, particularly in dry-salted herring. The British
Columbia Fisheries Commission, 1905-07, had recommended either the prohibition or limitation of purse-seining. However, after much controversy local objections were finally overcome
and the use of purse-seines became established by law in 1913 outside of certain restricted
areas. Since that time an enormous fishery has been gradually built up on both the east
and west coasts of Vancouver Island.
The early methods of purse-seining were naturally somewhat crude as compared to those
of the present day. At first, a small purse-seine manipulated by means of a small power-boat
and skiff was used. While the principle of the method of capture was similar to that of the
more modern methods which are described in the following pages, there has been an increase in
the size and efficiency of the boats and gear and an increase in the skill of the fishermen with
the development of the industry.
The boats, crews, equipment, and methods of the herring and pilchard fisheries of British
Columbia are very similar. In the following description of the herring-fishery any outstanding differences between the two will be pointed out. For more detailed information on
the pilchard-fishery the reader is referred to a bulletin by Dr. J. L. Hart (Biol. Bd. Can. Bull.
36, 1933).
Boats.—A modern herring seine-boat is about 65 feet in length with a beam of from 16 to
18 feet, and is usually propelled by a full-Diesel engine. The essential equipment consists of
a seine, a turntable with a power-driven " live " roller, a brailer, and, for single-seining, a
sturdy flat-bottomed skiff. Each seine-boat has a hold for stowing fish, the capacity of which
may be from 30 to 40 tons. Herring and pilchard seine-boats are identical and the same
boats are often used in both fisheries.
Tenders, boats used for " hauling-off " during a set, or for carrying fish, vary considerably
in size and construction. They are usually larger than seine-boats but are built along the
same lines. Sometimes seine^boats which are not actively engaged in fishing are used as
tenders.
Scows.—The scows used in transporting fish are of two kinds—" well " and " deck."
Well-scows are essentially large water-tight boxes with a float built on either end and with
a capacity of from 50 to 100 tons of fish. They float lower in the water than deck-scows and
so are favoured by the Japanese fishermen who brail by hand. They are also cheaper in
construction, but can only be used in protected waters. Deck-scows (Fig. 8), as the name
implies, consist each of a flat-bottomed hull, on the deck of which is built an enclosure with a
capacity of from 30 to 80 tons. They float higher in the water than well-scows and so can
stand rougher weather.
Nets.—A herring purse-seine may be 275 fathoms in length on the east coast and 200
fathoms in length on the west coast of Vancouver Island. It is usually deeper than a pilchard-
seine, the depth ranging from 30 to 50 fathoms or more. In the Prince Rupert District,
however, seines with a depth not exceeding 10 fathoms are used, as fishing takes place in
comparatively shallow water.
6 K 82
REPORT OF THE COMMISSIONER OF FISHERIES, 1934.
Essentially, a seine consists of a large expanse of web bounded by lines and manipulated
by means of other sets of lines. To a narrow strip of heavy web at the top of the net is
attached the cork-line and along this are threaded disks of cork at short intervals. A number
of Scotch buoys are also attached to the cork-line in such a way that their positions may be
readily changed during a set. A heavy lead-line, on which are strung numerous small lead
weights, is fastened to the bottom of the web. Brass purse-rings, through which runs the
purse-line, are distributed along the bottom of the net about 4 fathoms apart. These are
fastened to the middle of short pieces of rope which are lashed at both ends to the lead-line.
The purse-line may be either a heavy rope or a wire cable. Breast-lines, running through
smaller rings which are lashed to ropes bounding the ends of the net, are joined to the leadline below each end.
The dimensions, structure, and web of herring-seines vary according to the preferences
of the operators and also according to whether the single- or double-seine method of fishing
is used (see below).    The size of the thread and the arrangement of the web of a double seine
- 2 75 FA THOns -
tiil-  TWO HULViS   or
THC   DOUBLE   SCIIt£   ADl
joiiiid urnr.
Fig. 5. Arrangement of web of a double purse-seine used by an operator on the east coast
of Vancouver Island. Numbers indicate size of twine and number of pieces of web; e.g.,
No. 12X2 means 2 pieces of 12-thread web. Each piece is 20 fathoms long and about 2 fathoms
(100 meshes)  deep when stretched.
used by one operator on the east coast of Vancouver Island is shown in Fig. 5. The web
consists of numerous pieces laced together, each piece with a stretched length of 20 fathoms
and a stretched depth of about 2 fathoms (100 meshes). After the web is hung, the total
length of the double seine is 275 fathoms (20 pieces). Similarly the depth at the central
portion or " bunt " of the net is about 50 fathoms (36 pieces) and tapers to about 38 fathoms
(28 pieces) at the outer edges of the " wings." The whole web, except the narrow strip of
heavy selvage along the cork and lead lines, is of 1%-inch stretched mesh. From the figure
it may be seen that the size of the twine is different in the various parts of the net. The wings
consist mostly of 9-thread twine, but this is bounded at the top, bottom, and end by strips of
heavier web, consisting of 12-thread twine. ' The bunt of the double seine, in which the fish
are enclosed after pursing, and other parts of the web which are subjected to the greatest
strain are made of still heavier twine, 15-thread.
The arrangement of the web of a single seine is essentially similar to that of either half
of the double seine described in the preceding paragraph. Again, however, the exact arrangement and the size and strength of the web varies according to the preferences of individual
operators.    In a single seine the bunt is at one end of the net and along its edge runs the THE HERRING-FISHERY OF B.C.—PAST AND PRESENT. K 83
second breast-line. On the west coast of Vancouver Island, frequently the same seines are
used for both pilchard and herring fishing.
Locating the Fish.—In contrast to pilchard-fishing, purse-seining for herring is mostly
done inshore. On the south-east coast of Vancouver Island the activities take place in the
channels and bays among the numerous islands; on the west coast, fishing takes place within
all the larger sounds and inlets. The grounds are fished usually at night, from dusk to
daybreak. When the schools are at the surface they are located either by watching for the
' flipping of the fish or by listening for the sound caused by this activity. When they are below
the surface they are located by " feeling." This consists of dropping a heavy weight attached
to a fine wire from a skiff or from the bow of the seine-boat while the latter is under way at
slow speed. An experienced fisherman can tell by the feel of the wire when it passes through
a school of fish. Moreover, having located the school by feeling back and forth he can determine the direction and the speed at which the fish are travelling, knowledge that is essential
for a successful set.
Setting.—The method of fishing on the east coast of Vancouver Island is somewhat
different to that employed elsewhere. Two seine-boats drift side by side on the fishing-grounds.
Although each has an individual seine, the ends of the two are laced together at the bunt end
to form one long net, half of which is piled on the turntable at the stern of each boat. When
the scout has located a school of herring he signals with his lantern; the boats are cut apart
and move at first in almost opposite directions, each paying out its portion of the net over the
stern (Fig. 6, 1A) ; both boats quickly describe a half-circle around the scout in the skiff and
come together again when all the net has been set (Fig. 6, IB).
To some extent on the east coast of Vancouver Island and exclusively in all other localities,
seine-boats operate individually, as in the pilchard-fishery. A skiff is towed behind the seine-
boat while scouting for fish. The skiff-line is fastened to a loop in the cork-line of the net, to
which is also fastened the breast-line and the lead-line. The lines from the other end of the
seine, which is piled on the turntable with the roller facing aft, are made fast to the boat.
When fish are located the skiff is set free from the boat and its occupant rows in the opposite
direction to which the boat is going. This drags the net off the turntable into the water and
the seine-boat describes a complete circle to starboard at full speed, passing around the school
of fish (Fig. 6, 2A). The lines fastened to the skiff are then taken aboard the seine-boat and
both sets of lines are hauled as quickly as possible.
Pursing.—In the double-seine method of fishing, once the net has been set, both boats
quickly haul on their own ends of the purse-line by means of power-winches until the net is
completely pursed and the lead-line is brought to the surface and finally to the boats.
In the single-seine method, after the set has been made, the seine-boat must be hauled off
by its tender by means of a steady pull on a line attached amidships on the opposite side to
which the net is being pursed in order to prevent the seine-boat from drifting over the seine
(Fig. 6, 2B). The two ends of the purse-line are passed over a roller at the middle of the boat
and are hauled with a power-winch until the whole lead-line is brought aboard.
While pursing is in progress the fish are gradually enclosed on all sides except for the
opening between the two ends of the net. Until the process is complete the fish are scared
away from this opening by agitating the water with a long pole, an oar, or a board. Hauling
on the breast-lines prevents the ends from bellying out and enlarging this opening. When
finally the ends of the net and the whole purse-line are brought aboard, the fish are completely
enclosed on the bottom and on all sides by the web.
Drying-up.—In " drying-up," part of the net is hauled aboard until the fish are closely
confined in the bunt. This is done by " fleeting in " the net, hauling it with the live roller, or
hauling it by hand. In fleeting, a sling is put under a portion of the net close to the water;
this is raised by means of the boom and winch to a position above the turntable; it is then
lowered and the net is piled on the turntable ready for another set.
In the double-seine method, during the process of drying-up, the bows of the two seine-
boats are lashed together and the sterns are held apart by a well-scow. The bunt of the net,
containing the fish, is thus suspended in a triangular opening, held up on two sides by the
seine-boats and on the third side by the scow. The latter is hauled off by a small power-boat
until the process of drying-up is complete (Fig. 6, IC). K 84
REPORT OF THE COMMISSIONER OF FISHERIES, 1934.
In the single-seine method, as the net is being dried up, the Scotch buoys are adjusted by
a man in the skiff to support those portions of the net subjected to the greatest strain by the
weight of the fish.    A considerable length of the cork-line is supported by the skiff (Fig. 6, 2C).
Brailing.—Japanese fishermen on the east coast of Vancouver Island brail by hand into
a large well-scow which is alongside supporting the net.    The brailers consist essentially of
.—-   TENDER   wit
SCOW
scour in
SKIFF
IA
SEINE    BOATS
5FINE    BOATS  .
TFNDER   WITH
SCOW
TURN TABLE
SCOUT   IN
SKIFF
DOUBLE
PURSE SEINE
IB
IC
vra which
ARE   BRAIL ED
SEINE BOATS
DRIED UP   SEINE
WELL SCOW FOr?
Supporting  seine
SMALL  BOAT HAUUfi/C,
OFF  THE  WELL  SCOW
TFNDER   WIFH SCOW
FLAT-BOTTOMED
SKIFF
2A
PURSE SEINE
TENDER
HAULING   OFF
SEINE BOAT
PUXCE SEINE /
2B
SCOW INTO WHICH
FISH ARE BRAILEO
--~ SEINE BOA 7
DRIED UP      SEINE
2C
Fig. 6. Double- and single-seine methods of fishing.    Boats and seines are not drawn
to same scale.
a pocket of netting and two sturdy wooden handles attached to a rectangular metal hoop
(Fig. 7). Two fishermen operate each brailer, one at either handle. As many as thirty men
line the side of the scow and scoop the fish from the net into it.
The usual type of brailer used by white operators consists of a large dip-net on the end
of a long pole. The bottom of the net is opened or closed by means of a trip-line attached to
a brailing-block. It is lowered into the .mass of fish from a boom and is guided by means of the
long handle. When full of herring it is raised with the power-winch, moved across the seine-
boat by the boom and tripped when above the scow which is tied alongside the seine-boat on the
opposite side to the dried-up net (Fig. 8). THE HERRING-FISHERY OF B.C.—PAST AND PRESENT. K 85
Fig. 7. Hand-brailers used by Japanese fishermen on the east coast
of Vancouver Island.
Fig. 8. Fish being brailed from the net, across the seine-boat and into the awaiting
deck-scow, Barkley Sound. K 86
REPORT OF THE COMMISSIONER OF FISHERIES, 1934.
Transporting the Fish.—When the well or deck scows are loaded, they are towed either
behind or alongside the tender to the plant. They are usually covered with netting to prevent
the thousands of gulls which are congregated on the fishing-grounds from getting at the fish.
Scows are preferred for transporting fish, but if they are not available, or if the fish are
to be carried any great distance in the open sea, they are loaded into the holds of tenders or
seine-boats.
In purse-seining for herring a single set usually captures from 25 to 100 tons of fish, the
quantity depending on the size of the school and on whether the single or double type of gear
Fig. 9. Location of fishing areas and salteries on the Strait of Georgia.    Only plants
that have been active at some time during the past five years are indicated.
is used.    In some instances catches of over 200 tons have been landed, but when such a set is
made the chances of bursting the net are considerable.
The purse-seine fishery of the east coast of Vancouver Island is usually active from
October to the beginning of January, and of the west coast from the beginning of November
to February 5th, when the season is officially closed. In the Prince Rupert District the fish
appear somewhat later and the fishery is active during March and April. The locations of
the fishing-grounds in these three areas are shown in Figs. 9, 10, and 11. THE  HERRING-FISHERY OF B.C.—PAST AND PRESENT.
K 87
MARKETED PRODUCTS.
The beginning of the herring-fishery of British Columbia on a commercial basis is described
in the Report of the British Columbia Fisheries Commission, 1905-07, as follows:—
" The superabundance of herring on the coasts of British Columbia has been recognized
from early times; but as the local demand was insignificant, no herring-fishery can be said to
have existed until about thirty years ago, when the pioneers in the business, Messrs. Holbrook
& Co., of New Westminster, cured (in 1887) between 500 and 600 barrels of herring, which
they exported to South America."
SALTERY
REDUCTION PLANT
SALTERY AND REDUCTION
PLANT
\ PURSE SEINE  EISHERT
BARKLEY   SOUND
Fig. 10. Location of fishing areas, salteries, and reduction plants on the west coast of Vancouver Island.
Only plants that have been active during the past five years are indicated.
From 1887 to 1900 the quantity of " green " (raw—as landed) fish used in the industry
slowly increased from about 1,500 to 10,000 cwt. Since the beginning of the present century
the annual catch has undergone a phenomenal increase from 10,000 to over 1,000,000 cwt., with
a corresponding increase in the marketed value. At the present day the quantity and value
of this catch depend almost entirely on the demand and, hence, on existing economic conditions.
A decrease in marketed value from $1,867,429 in 1927 to $536,491 in 1932 has been largely due
to these causes.
The annual catch in green weight and the corresponding value of each marketed product
and of the total are shown in Figs. 12 and 13. These figures are compiled from data given in
the Annual Reports of the Fisheries Branch, Department of Marine and Fisheries and Fisheries
Statistics of Canada. As the records from 1900 to 1910 are inadequate, the proportions used
for various purposes shown in Fig. 12 are only approximate. The records from 1909 to 1916
represent the catch for the fiscal year which includes an entire herring-fishing season, but the
records for all other years represent the catch for the calendar year.    As fishing takes place ■
K 88
REPORT OF THE COMMISSIONER OF FISHERIES, 1934.
mostly from October to February, inclusive, the catch for the calendar year includes the latter
half of one season and the first part of the next. For the sake of uniformity, the quantity
used for each product is expressed in green weight using the following conversion factors:—
1 cwt. dry-salted
1 barrel bait
1 barrel pickled or salted
1 cwt. smoked
1 ton meal
These approximate conversion factors are sufficiently accurate to enable the proportions of
raw herring used for various purposes to be traced from 1900 to 1933.
= 1.25 cwt. green.
= 2 cwt. green.
=2x1.25 cwt. green.
= 2 cwt. green.
=110 cwt. green.
i m 4
DIXON       ENTRANCE
HECA TE
STRAIT
SALTER Y
REDUCTION PLANT
PURSESEINE FISHERY
131
Fig. 11. Location of fishing areas, salteries, and reduction plants in the Prince
Rupert District.    The saltery indicated at Alliford Bay was the first erected in this
,       district but has not been active for several years.
In the following pages the historical development and fluctuation of each marketed
product is discussed under a separate heading.
Fresh.
Fresh herring have been used as food since early times. The commercial fishery for fresh
herring was at first dependent on drag-seines, but since 1905 gill-nets have been used almost
exclusively to supply the local markets. Previous to 1905 large quantities were occasionally
shipped to Seattle in a fresh or frozen state, but, because of the difficulties of proper preservation, the Fisheries Commission (1905-07) recommended that this practice be prohibited. At
the present day, with the development of faster boats and better facilities for preservation,
a few tons are occasionally exported fresh or frozen to this market.    The quantity used in a THE HERRING-FISHERY OF B.C.—PAST AND PRESENT.
K 89
fresh state has varied from 10,000 to 100,000 cwt., the demand being greatest from 1913 to the
close of the Great War in 1918. A slight increase in the quantity consumed occurred in 1929,
but it has fallen off since that year. From 1912 to 1918 the marketed value of fresh herring
averaged about $350,000. In recent years, however, the value has been lower, averaging
$68,000 from 1919 to 1930 and $26,000 from 1931 to 1933.
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Fig. 12. Annual catch in green weight and its marketed value from
1900 to the present. The proportions used for food, bait, dry-salting, and
reduction are indicated.
Smoked.
Ever since fishing began on a commercial scale there has been a limited local market for
smoked products, including bloaters, kippers, and boneless herring. Bloaters are herring
which are smoked in the round, without gutting. Large fish, preferably not' too fat, are
selected;   these are first salted, either dr-y or in brine, for a few hours;   they are then placed
7 K 90
REPORT OF THE COMMISSIONER OF FISHERIES, 1934.
in a smoke-house and smoked lightly, using the sawdust or shavings of alder, although birch is
preferable if it is available. Kippered herring are first split down the back from head to
tail and are cleaned; they are then placed in a brine for about an hour, after which they are
smoked lightly. The amount of salting and smoking depends on the preferences of the consumer and the length of time the product is to be kept before marketing. Frequently kippers
are frozen for preservation.    " Hard-cured " bloaters, fish which have been pickled in brine,
Sj                       a                        §                       *0                     - *i
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THOUSANDS  OF CVJTS.
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YEAR
Fig. 13. Quantities in green weight and the marketed values of various
herring food products (exclusive of dry-salted herring) since 1910. Note
that the upper scale is four times as great as the lower.
drained, and heavily smoked for three or four weeks, are used in the manufacture of boneless
herring. By removing the head, backbone, belly-bones, skin, and fins from a hard-cured
bloater, two strips of flesh are left which are practically boneless. The method of preparation
of the above and other herring food products are described in more detail in the August (1934)
issue of the periodical Western Fisheries.
The quantity of herring used for these purposes has averaged annually about 15,000 cwt.,
with a marketed value of $60,000. The largest pack, 39,000 cwt., with a value of $131,766,
was put up in 1918. Since that time the quantity of fish used and the marketed value has
decreased to about 5,000 cwt. and $20,000 in 1933. THE  HERRING-FISHERY OF B.C.—PAST AND PRESENT. K 91
Pickled.
Although there are several methods of pickling herring, the most satisfactory results
seem to be obtained by that which has been in use for many years in Scotland. According to
the Scotch method, the herring are first graded according to size and condition and are then
cleaned by removing the head, gills, front fins, and intestine with one stroke of a short, sharp
knife. The fish are then roused or turned over in salt and are packed in barrels in layers, each
layer being sprinkled with salt. The barrels are allowed to stand for three days, after which
more fish which were processed at the same time are packed in the tops; and the barrels
headed. After ten days or so the barrels are opened, the brine drained from a bung-hole in
the side, the barrels filled tight with herring of the same day's curing, the head replaced and
the brine put back through the bung-hole.
The pickling industry in British Columbia received a considerable impetus in 1905 and
1906, when the Government sent Mr. J. J. Cowie and a staff of expert Scotch-curers to Nanaimo
to demonstrate the Scotch method of curing. During the war, when almost any kind of
herring were in demand, markets for British Columbia Scotch-cured herring were developed
in Puget Sound, San Francisco, Chicago, New York, and Australia. The quantity of fish used
in this process and the value of the marketed product increased rapidly until 1918, when
123,000 cwt. (49,127 barrels), with a value of $623,169, were put up. In this year the value of
pickled herring surpassed that of any other herring product. Over half of the total pack was
cured in Barkley Sound on the west coast of the island, a relatively new fishery which had
made great progress since 1910. Other centres of the pickling industry at this time in order
of importance were Vancouver and Pender Harbour, Nanaimo District, and the Queen
Charlotte Islands.
Following 1918, the industry suffered a severe slump and from 1925 to 1933 but a
negligible portion of the catch has been used in pickling. The value of the industry has
dwindled from over half of one million dollars in 1918 to less than one thousand dollars at the
present day.    The immediate cause of the decline is summed up in the following quotation:—
" Unfortunately, however, market conditions following the signing of the armistice were
greatly changed. During the war the Canadian trade with the United States and Australia
improved greatly owing to the lack of European supplies. This drew a number of inexperienced packers into the trade during the winter season of 1917-18, with the result that a large
proportion of the output was badly cured. With the ending of hostilities and the expected
immediate resumption of trading in herring with Europe, the demand for Canadian herring
fell off in the United States and much of the poorly packed fish remained unsold." (Ann. Rep.
Dept. Mar. Fish. Branch, 1918, p. 43.)
The export trade suffered a final blow when the United States erected the Fordney-
McCumber tariff, which permitted herring to be shipped to the Eastern States from Alaska
at 1 cent per pound lower than the British Columbia product. It is stated by those having
long experience in curing herring in this country and in Great Britain that another factor
may be the unsuitability of winter-caught herring generally for the markets using Scotch-
cured herring. Since that time the output of Scotch-cured herring has been limited to the
demands of the local markets.
Canned.
The first experiment in canning herring was made in 1903 with a pack of 3,500 cases.
The experiment, however, was undertaken merely to utilize cans left over from a poor salmon
season rather than to establish a canning industry. No further attempts were made until
1915, when the Wallace Fisheries, Limited, operating, in Barkley Sound, put up 11,468 cases,
with a value of $68,808. This industry made rapid progress in Barkley Sound until 1919,
when 46,156 cases were produced. Other canneries also became active at Vancouver and on
the east coast of Vancouver Island, increasing the yield in 1919 to 64,002 cases, with a value
of $345,571, and utilizing about 51,200 cwt. of green fish or 44 per cent, of the total quantity
used as food exclusive of dry-salted herring. In the years following the Great War this
industry also suffered a severe decline, however, and by 1924 had dwindled to negligible proportions. With the exception of 43 cases in 1931, no herring have been canned from 1927 to
1933. K 92 REPORT OF THE  COMMISSIONER OF FISHERIES, 1934.
Dry-salted.
Dry-salted herring have usually been regarded as an inferior product and the value per
hundredweight of green fish has always been considerably lower than that of other herring
food products.    Fish prepared in this way are marketed only in the Orient, chiefly in China.
The industry began in 1904, when 4,500 cwt. of salted fish were shipped to Japan for
the first time. In the following years the quantity of fish used for this purpose increased
rapidly. One of the most important centres of the industry from early days to the present
has been the south-east coast of Vancouver Island. Numerous salteries were erected in
the vicinity of Nanaimo. Smaller quantities of fish were used in dry-salting at plants located
near Victoria on the island and at Pender Harbour, Vancouver, and New Westminster on
the mainland. However, the fishery on the south-east coast of Vancouver Island has always
surpassed these others and has been of paramount importance.
In 1911 dry-salting began on the west coast of Vancouver Island at Clayoquot Sound and
Barkley Sound. The industry in the latter area increased rapidly and from 1918 to 1925
rivalled that of the east coast. Since 1925, however, the pack from Barkley Sound has
gradually decreased. From 1923 to 1931 small quantities of herring were dry-salted in other
localities on the west coast—Kyuquot Sound and, to a lesser extent, Esperanza Inlet and
Clayoquot Sound.
The first saltery was erected in the northern part of the Province in 1912, at Alliford Bay
on the Queen Charlotte Islands. Following this, others were built on the mainland near
Prince Rupert. Although small quantities were exported in subsequent years, mostly from
1923 to 1929, the industry has never proven a success in this locality.
Unlike other food products, the dry-salt pack suffered a decline during the period of the
Great War. Even in these four years, however, the quantity of green fish used for this
purpose averaged almost 50 per cent, of the total catch. With the decline of markets for
Scotch-cured herring following the war, more attention was paid to the dry-salted product.
The quantity of green fish used increased rapidly from 216,000 cwt. in 1918 to 1,340,000 cwt.
in 1928 and the value from $346,908 to $1,489,501. In 1925, 94 per cent, and in 1928, 86 per
cent, of the total catch was dry-salted. From 1928 to 1933, as a result partly of the unsettled
political situation in China and Japan, partly of the economic depression, and partly of uncontrolled marketing conditions, both the quantity of fish used and value of the product decreased
considerably.
It was mentioned previously that from 1918 to 1925 the output from Barkley Sound
rivalled that of the east coast of Vancouver Island, but had decreased in recent years. In
Fig. 14 is given the seasonal catch of herring used in dry-salting on the east and west coasts
of Vancouver Island from 1926-27 to 1933-34 (compiled from bulletins issued by the Department of Fisheries at Vancouver). The seasonal catch is more representative of the fishery
each year than that of the calendar year, for the latter includes the second half of one season
and the first half of the next. The curve for the east coast dry-salt production shows a
decrease from 1928-29 to 1932-33, with a slight increase during 1933-34. The curve for the
west coast of the island, while reflecting mostly the catches made in Barkley Sound during the
seven seasons, also includes fairly large catches landed at Kyuquot Sound from 1927 to 1931
and small catches landed at Esperanza Inlet from 1928 to 1930. The catch for 1931-32, while
landed and cured at Barkley Sound, was obtained in part at Sydney Inlet. This curve illustrates a more or less steady decrease in dry-salt production in Barkley Sound from 1926-27
to 1933-34. This decrease has been partly the result of economic conditions. In the struggle
for markets during the last few years, east-coast operators have been favoured by the fact
that fishing usually starts about a month earlier on the east coast as compared with the west
coast of Vancouver Island. However, it must be pointed out that, during certain fishing
seasons in recent years, herring have been rather scarce in Barkley Sound. The run appears
to be more erratic both in regard to abundance of fish and time of appearance than that of
the east coast.    This factor may have contributed partly to the decline illustrated in Fig. 14.
Dry-salted herring are cured " in the round." Under the present regulations they must
be in the salting-tanks within twenty-four hours after being taken from the sea. The fish
are removed from the boats or scows by means of conveyors, into which they are pushed or
shovelled  (Fig. 15).    In the process of unloading the water must be allowed to drain from THE HERRING-FISHERY OF B.C.—PAST AND PRESENT.
K 93
the fish. The conveyor is usually an adjustable elevator of some kind. In the type of conveyor usually employed the fish are moved up an incline into the saltery by a series of
parallel wooden or metal bars fastened to an endless chain in a trough (Fig. 16). From the
elevator they are conveyed along the under-surface of the roof of the saltery to the tanks.
The tanks are usually arranged in one or two series on either side of this aerial conveyor and
are filled by means of inclined chutes leading from it (Fig. 17).
Each tank is made of heavy 3-inch planking and is 19 to 20 feet long, 8% to 10% feet
wide, and 3 to 4 feet deep, with a capacity of about 12 to 14 tons. There may be as many as
forty or more individual tanks to a saltery. They must be water-tight and so the cracks
between the planks are caulked; frequently they are lined with canvas. As the tanks are
filled, about seventy sacks, each containing 125 lb. of coarse-ground commercial salt, are added.
The salt extracts water from the fish, forming a brine which must be kept over 90 per cent,
saturated. The fish must remain in the brine for five or six days, depending on the season,
and must be stirred or trampled frequently to ensure perfect pickling of the upper layers.
->   800
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£ 200
SEASON
Fig. 14. Seasonal catch of herring used for dry-salting on east and
west coasts of Vancouver Island from 1926-27 to 1933-34.
At the end of this period the herring have lost about 30 per cent, of their moisture content and
present a shrivelled or shrunken appearance. Their proper preservation depends on this
dehydration and on the permeation of salt into the tissues. They are then removed from the
tanks, allowed to drain for twenty-four hours, and are ready for packing.
The boxes for shipment are of standard size, 42 inches long, 24% inches wide, and 14
inches deep, with a capacity of about 4 cwt. The cured fish are shovelled into these boxes,
sprinkled with salt, packed tightly by trampling underfoot or by a specially constructed
machine, and the lid is nailed in place.    The boxes are then ready for shipment.
In the early years of the dry-salting industry the pack was of inferior quality. There
were no regulations governing the methods of curing and frequently the fish reached the
Oriental market in a poor state of preservation. Within the last few years, however, the
value of the industry has been realized and the herring have been subject to a rigid Government inspection throughout the whole dry-salting process, from the time they leave the scows
or holds until they are packed in the boxes. The brine saturation is checked daily. A record
is kept of the date on which each tank is filled and emptied. Before exportation, the packer
must obtain a formal certificate of inspection from the local Government official. The present
regulations ensure the proper preservation of the marketed product.
Reduced.
The first reduction of herring into oil and meal—or guano as it was then called—in
British Columbia dates back as early as 1890.    In 1905 about 40,000 cwt. were seined and used
8 K 94
REPORT OF THE COMMISSIONER OF FISHERIES, 1934.
for this purpose " to the great detriment of the legitimate fishermen and packers, as the
immature fish were taken in large quantities, and the schools broken up on their way to the
spawning-grounds. Large quantities of fish were also killed and left to decompose, thus
fouling the waters " (B.C. Fish. Comm. Rep. and Rec, 1905-1907, p. 47). Thus the practice
was considered a " useless waste " and was forbidden by law following the investigation of
the commission.
In recent years science has discovered new uses for oil and meal which have enhanced
their value and have created a demand for them (see Bulletins 36 and 37 of this series). The
reduction of fish can no longer be described as a " useless waste." This fact was realized in
1925 and in January of that year the use of herring for reduction was permitted in localities
where fish were not used extensively for other purposes. This included the Vancouver and
Prince Rupert Districts but excluded Vancouver Island, the centre of the dry-salting industry.
Since 1927 the reduction industry has developed in the vicinity of Prince Rupert. The greatest
production up to the present occurred in 1930, when 182,000 cwt. of green fish were reduced,
the resulting oil and meal having a combined market value of $85,471.
Fig. 15. A scow-load of herring waiting to be unloaded at Kildonan, Barkley Sound.
Planks (A) are removed from the side of the scow and the fish are unloaded into a
trough at the base of the conveyor (B). The gulls constitute a real nuisance to the
industry and scows must be covered with nets to prevent these birds from foraging.
In the fall of 1926 reduction privileges were extended to include the west coast of
Vancouver Island, where pilchard-reduction plants were already located and where only a
limited amount of dry-salting took place. Operations were restricted, however, to the period
between the beginning of the season in the fall and the end of December. In the fall of 1927,
154,000 cwt. and in the fall of 1928, 39,000 cwt. of green fish were reduced in this region.
During the year 1929 no reduction was permitted. The following year it was again allowed,
and, as the herring were unusually late in arriving on the fishing-grounds, the time limit was
extended to February 5th, with additional extensions beyond this date in 1931 and 1932. In
the last few years, until the recent closure to reduction (1934-35), the output from this area
increased considerably and exceeded that of Prince Rupert.
It might be pointed out that the reduction of herring on the west coast of Vancouver
Island is not an independent industry and is only incidental to pilchard-reduction. The latter
is active during the summer months. The fishing and reducing of herring in the winter
months, using the same boats, gear, and equipment as the pilchard-fishery, enables the
operators to keep the plants in operation and to keep men employed during several months of THE  HERRING-FISHERY OF B.C.—PAST AND PRESENT.
K 95
the winter, and, at the same time, to make a small margin of profit on the winter's activities.
The profit in herring-reduction as compared to pilchard-reduction is relatively less because of
the low oil content of herring in the winter season.
A detailed description of a reduction plant and the processing of fish has been given in
Bulletin 36.
It has been shown that there are two centres of the reduction industry in British
Columbia—the Prince Rupert District and the west coast of Vancouver Island. In 1932 the
quantity of herring reduced, for the most part in the latter locality, formed 60 per cent, of
the total catch of herring in the whole Province. This high percentage was caused by an
actual increase in the quantity reduced and by a decrease in the quantity used for dry-salting.
In 1933 the quantity reduced formed 41 per cent, of the total catch of herring. In this year
the meal amounted to 4,078 tons, with a value of $127,416, and the oil to 316,213 gallons, with
a much smaller value, $38,073. The chief markets for these products have been in Canada,
United States, South America, Europe, and Australia.
Fig. 16. Herring being conveyed into a saltery at Kildonan in Barkley Sound.
Bait.
Since early times there has been a steady annual demand of herring for bait by halibut-
fishermen, and to a lesser extent by ling-cod fishermen and salmon-trollers. From 1900 to
1933 the quantity used annually for this purpose averaged 50,000 cwt., with a value of $60,000.
In the Prince Rupert District in past years there have been acute scarcities of herring for bait,
but these occurred when the operators used drag-seines and waited for the fish to enter the
shallow water of Prince Rupert Harbour. The purse-seine fishery of recent years has usually
supplied a sufficient quantity to meet the yearly demand. The availability of herring to the
halibut-boats has also been increased by the use of cold-storage plants at Prince Rupert and
at Kildonan in Barkley Sound, and by the establishment of several bait-pounds located on the
south-east and north-west coasts of Vancouver Island and in the Prince Rupert District.
Bait-pounds are large enclosures in shallow water in which up to 200 tons of live herring may
be kept until they are needed by the fishermen. K 96
REPORT OF THE  COMMISSIONER OF FISHERIES, 1934.
COMPARATIVE VALUES OF MARKETED PRODUCTS.
In the preceding section it was shown that the history of the development of the herring-
fishery of British Columbia has involved a constant struggle for markets. The Great War
stimulated an enormous development of herring food products consisting of pickled, smoked,
canned, and fresh herring, the quantity of green fish used for these purposes amounting to
over three hundred thousand hundredweights and the marketed value reaching a peak of one
and one-quarter million dollars in 1918. Since the war the quantity of fish used in this way
has dwindled to negligible proportions. The annual catch has continued to increase, however,
and during the last ten years it has averaged over one and one-quarter million hundredweights.
This increase has been the result of the phenomenal development of the dry-salting and, more
recently, of the reduction industry. It may be of interest now to consider briefly the economic
phase to obtain some idea of the comparative values of the marketed products and to decide
which should be encouraged from this point of view.
Fig. 17. The interior of a saltery at Jessie Island, showing
the aerial conveyor (A) and the chutes (B) leading to the
salting-tanks  (C), Departure Bay.
Using data contained in Fisheries Statistics and the conversion factors given on page 88,
the marketed values per hundredweight of green fish were calculated for each year from
1924 to 1933. The results for the principal products are shown by a series of graphs in Fig. 18.
It is very apparent from the figure that the ultimate value of 1 cwt. of green fish varies greatly
according to how it is prepared for the market. Aside from minor fluctuations, over the ten-
year period the products may be arranged in order of marketed yalue as follows: pickled,
smoked, fresh, bait, dry-salted, and reduced.
Pickled, smoked, and fresh herring bring the highest values of the six products under
consideration, although at present the quantity of herring used for these purposes forms but a
very small portion of the total catch. For the most part these products are sold locally and
the retail prices have fluctuated greatly according to the demands of the local market and the THE HERRING-FISHERY OF B.C.—PAST AND PRESENT.
K 97
local availability of herring. From an economic point of view the production of these three
commodities should be encouraged. The herring caught by gill-netters off Point Grey are
among the largest, fattest, and best herring found in British Columbia and are therefore
ideal for use as food. If additional markets could be developed there is little reason why the
cured-herring industry at least should not flourish and increase far beyond its present output
and value.
Herring sold for bait rank fourth in value per hundredweight of green fish. As small
firm fish are most suitable for this purpose, this commodity fits into any scheme for the most
advantageous utilization of the catch. Both the halibut-fishery and the spring- and cohoe-
salmon fisheries are partly dependent on an adequate supply of herring. The price has varied
according to the availability of fish and the demands for bait.
10
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1933
YEAR
Fig. 18. Ultimate marketed values of various herring products per cwt. of green fish.
Over the ten-year period dry-salt herring have averaged about $1 per hundredweight of
green fish and have ranked fifth in value. The graph in Fig. 18 shows a relatively stable
market with a steady fall in value during the recent " depression " years to a minimum of
64 cents in 1932. It must be remembered, however, that the total marketed value of this
product has exceeded all others during all years except 1932.
The marketed value of the reduced products—oil and meal—per hundredweight of green
fish has been consistently the lowest of all product values. The combined price of oil and meal
has fallen gradually from 79 cents in 1927 to 34 cents in 1932, increasing slightly in 1933.
Again it must be pointed out, however, that the total marketed value has increased greatly
during this period and in 1932 exceeded that of the dry-salt product.
It is clear, therefore, that while almost the entire catch is absorbed by the dry-salt and
reduction industries, and while the total marketed values of the products of these two industries
greatly surpass all others, the ultimate values per hundredweight of green fish are the lowest.
Nevertheless, because of market conditions, they are at present of prime importance and the K 98 REPORT OF THE COMMISSIONER OF FISHERIES, 1934.
relative merits of each from the point of view of the most advantageous utilization of the
supply of herring should be considered in detail. This would involve a comprehensive investigation of the total cost price of each commodity and a comparison of cost price with selling-
price. The cost price should include such expenses as the initial cost of fish as purchased
from the fishermen; cost of unloading; cost of labour during processing; depreciation on
machinery, boats, and gear; cost of upkeep, fuel and repairs; insurance on plants and boats;
cost of salt and boxes for the dry-salt product and cost of sacks for the meal. Such a survey,
however, is beyond the scope of this paper. A rough idea of the money actually brought into
the country by the sale of each commodity may be obtained by deducting from the selling-
price, expenditures made in other countries in connection with the processing of the fish. Without taking into consideration capital expenditures such as the purchase of machinery, the main
items include the cost of commercial salt in the case of the dry-salted herring and the cost of
repairs to the imported machinery and of fuel-oil to run this machinery in the case of reduced
herring. Considering only these foreign expenditures, the money brought into the country
per hundredweight of green fish by the reduced product was, in 1932, only 40 per cent, and
in 1933 only 58 per cent, of that brought in by the dry-salted product. The returns, from
an economic point of view, are therefore greater when the herring are dry-salted even under
present market conditions which are particularly unfavourable to this product. Were these
market conditions remedied, the value of the product and the returns both to the operators and
to the country as a whole would increase considerably.
If herring occur in a certain locality in an abundance sufficient to supply the fishery there
seems to be no reason why all or any one of the various methods of processing should not be
employed, providing the stock is not being depleted unduly. For it must be remembered that
fish are continually dying from natural causes, and if the surplus over the quantity necessary
to propagate the species satisfactorily were not taken by the fishery it would be wasted. However, if there is competition for a limited supply of fish, it is reasonable that those industries
which yield the greatest profit, not only to the operator but to the country as a whole, should be
encouraged, provided there is a sufficient market to absorb the commodities.
FLUCTUATIONS IN ABUNDANCE AND SIZE OF HERRING.
It has been shown that the size of the catches of herring are influenced almost wholly by
market conditions. They do not, therefore, reflect to any great extent fluctuations in abundance
of the fish.
In the early years of the fishery there is no doubt that herring were extremely abundant
in Nanaimo Harbour. In 1903-04 the " run of herring at Nanaimo was very large. The
water of the harbour was so full of them at one time that large numbers were washed upon
the beach by the waves of a passing steamer." (Ann. Rep. Dept. Fish., 1904, p. 216.) Another
reference states that " only last January, near Nanaimo, the coast was for 2 miles knee-deep
with herrings; they were simply crowded on shore by millions more, on their way to the
spawning-grounds. The people were at their wits end as to what to do with them. They
were carted to farms for manure, used for fuel, burned in heaps, buried, yet millions of fish
lay on the shore to the danger of health."     (B.C. Fish. Comm. Rep. and Rec, 1905-07, p. 46.)
The superabundance of herring in Nanaimo Harbour persisted for several years. Since
1910 there have been several noticeable fluctuations in the supply both at Nanaimo and in
other localities.    Seasons of marked scarcity and great abundance have both occurred.
In 1910-11 there was a serious scarcity of herring at Nanaimo and in Barkley Sound.
In the former locality, although fish were reported in the Strait of Georgia, they failed to
enter the harbour. In 1915-16 there was a general scarcity in all localities, particularly at
Prince Rupert and at Point Grey. Poor runs to Barkley Sound are reported during the fall
of 1925, 1929, and 1931, although in the spring of 1930 the spawning-grounds were well stocked
with eggs by late runs of fish.
Seasons of exceptional abundance are recorded in 1912-13 at Prince Rupert Harbour and
in more southerly localities; and also in 1918-19 and in 1924-25 on the east coast of the
island and in Barkley Sound. THE  HERRING-FISHERY OF B.C.—PAST AND PRESENT. K 99
Noticeable fluctuations in the size of herring have also occurred. In 1907-08 at
Nanaimo and in 1912-13 at Point Grey, the fish were reported to be unusually large. When
Sydney Inlet, on the west coast of Vancouver Island, was first exploited extensively in the
season of 1931-32 the catches consisted of exceptionally large herring. During the early
summer of 1933 and 1934 the gill-netted fish taken at Point Grey were also unusually large.
Undoubtedly, the abundance and size of herring in the various fishing areas fluctuates from
season to season through natural causes over which, at present, there is no control. On the
other hand, the intensive fishing activities of the last twenty years may have been partly
responsible for certain downward trends which may therefore represent a real depletion.
Hence it is necessary to examine the fishery and its fluctuations from this point of view.
MOVEMENTS AND EXPANSIONS OF THE FISHERY.
The onset of depletion through overfishing is frequently disguised by the exploitation of
new areas. In other words, the fishermen are gradually forced to go farther afield for their
catches. In the herring-fishery of British Columbia, movements and expansions have taken
place to some extent and must be investigated critically to determine the motivating causes.
As mentioned in the preceding pages, prior to 1910 fishing activities on the east coast 6f
Vancouver Island were centred at Nanaimo Harbour and Departure Bay. Herring entered
these waters in such abundance each year that fishermen had no difficulty in meeting the current demand. Following the scarcity of fish in the season 1910-11, with the exception of an
occasional run (as in 1918-19), herring no longer returned to these areas in their former
abundance. At the present day they are no longer piled " knee-deep " on the shores of
Nanaimo Harbour and Departure Bay at spawning-time. There is but little doubt that the
agency of man has either caused a partial destruction of the run or has caused a large part
of the herring which formerly frequented these waters to spawn elsewhere.
With the employment of purse-seines, fishing became possible in deeper water and the
centre of activity moved to the more open waters of the Strait of Georgia, to Nanoose Bay,
and to the channels between the islands immediately south of Nanaimo. In recent years the
fishery has moved still farther to the south. In 1929 it was stated that a feature of the
operations on the east coast was " the seiner's practice, during the last three years, of going
farther south and meeting the herring as they come round the south end of the island."
(Ann. Rep. Dept. Fish., 1929-30, p. 97.) Although scientific evidence at present does not
support that part of the statement concerning the migration of herring from the open sea to
the Strait of Georgia, the quotation serves to illustrate the changes which have taken place in
the scene of fishing activities. While the increased catch has been accompanied by a slight
expansion of the area of fishing, and while the herring do not appear to be as numerous in
certain localities at the present day as in the early years of the fishery, there has been no
pronounced scarcity in this area as a whole in recent years, and the size of the catches are at
present limited only by market conditions.
A local decline similar to that at Nanaimo Harbour and Departure Bay has also occurred
in Prince Rupert Harbour. In 1912-13 and previous seasons, herring entered the harbour
sometimes as early as November or December in large numbers, and were easily taken in drag-
seines. In the season 1914-15 the schools came into the harbour, remained for two weeks,
and then disappeared. In the following season, 1915—16, the fishing was a total failure and
there was an acute scarcity of bait for the halibut-boats. Since that time the fish have not
arrived in this vicinity until late in the season, usually in March. Purse-seines have replaced
drag-seines and the fishery has moved from Prince Rupert Harbour to localities to the north
and south. In February, 1935, however, for the first time in many years, good catches were
made in Prince Rupert Harbour.
On the west coast of Vancouver Island, fishing operations in Barkley Sound until 1931-32
were confined to the channels, bays, and inlets of the sound proper. In 1931-32 local scarcities
of fish led to the temporary expansion of the fishing-grounds to include Sydney Inlet, some
distance to the north, where excellent catches were made.
The scene of fishing operations of seine-boats supplying reduction plants and salteries in
Esperanza Inlet and Nootka Sound has also undergone several changes in recent years. The
following figures   (furnished by Mr. A.  Park,  Fishery Inspector, Nootka,  B.C.)   show the K 100
REPORT OF THE  COMMISSIONER OF FISHERIES, 1934.
estimated percentages of the catch taken each year in localities extending from  Quatsino
Sound southward to Barkley Sound:—
1927-28.
1928-29.
1929-30.
1930-31.
1931-32.
1932-33.
1933-34.
Quatsino Sound  	
100
70
30
50
50
5
95
20
20
60
49
8
38
5
14
19
Nootka Sound  	
1
+
66
Barkley Sound  	
It is evident that there has been a gradual expansion of the fishery and a southward trend
of fishing activities. Each year the centre of activity has tended to move to the area of
greatest abundance. The great expansion in the last two seasons has been the result of
actual scarcities of fish in Nootka Sound and adjacent waters.
From the above discussion it would appear that, in several cases, the movements and
expansions of the herring-fishery have been definitely associated with local scarcity or unavailability of herring. The poor fishing encountered in certain localities might quite possibly have
resulted from the intensive fishing in preceding years.
CRITERIA OF DEPLETION.
The degree or extent of migration of schools of herring has an important influence on the
way in which overfishing will affect the fishery. If herring wander for considerable distances
along the coast and free intermingling of the stock on a large scale takes place, the schools in
a locality subject to intensive fishing would be supplemented by the migration of fish from
other localities. Overfishing in one locality would gradually drain the stock of herring in all
waters and would gradually result in a general depletion. If, on the other hand, extensive
migrations do not take place and herring in each general fishing area are more or less
localized, overfishing in a particular area would be manifested more quickly by a local
depletion, as the local supply would not be replenished by the immigration of fish from
adjacent waters.
Again, the reaction of a fishery dependent on a highly migratory species will be somewhat
different to that dependent on one which is non-migratory. If a migratory species were being
exploited over-intensely, fishing would continue until inadequate catches were made; more
efficient gear might then be devised; fishing would continue until the species could not be
further exploited profitably and a condition of economic extinction would be reached. In the
case of a non-migratory species, however, the more accessible populations would first be
fished to the point of economic extinction; gradually the fishery would expand to include
the less accessible stocks; in the meantime the old fishing-grounds would be traversed again
and again and the remaining schools gradually captured until finally a condition of or
approximating biological extinction would be reached.
Recent research by the author (Trans. Amer. Fish. Soc, Vol. 63, 1933) has demonstrated
that the herring of British Columbia is essentially a non-migratory species. Extensive
migrations up or down the coast do not take place. The run to each locality tends to form
a " local population " which is sometimes distinct in many ways from similar local populations
in adjacent areas. Therefore, it is essential that overfishing be guarded against, for, as
pointed out above, such a species is more quickly depleted and the consequences may be more
disastrous than in the case of a species of the migratory type. The condition of the fishery
should therefore be investigated with this in mind.
There are at least two methods by means of which the condition of a fishery may be
investigated. The first of these depends on the complete analysis of catch records to obtain
the reward per unit of fishing effort. In the case of the herring-fishery this would be
expressed as the average catch per seine per day's fishing. A decrease of this unit over a
period of years would indicate depletion. Until quite recently the method of collecting and
recording catch statistics in this Province has not yielded sufficient data to make use of this
valuable measure of availability. At the beginning of the season 1933-34 the Biological
Board, in collaboration with the Department of Fisheries, initiated a system of collecting
herring-catch statistics from which the reward per unit of fishing effort could be calculated. THE HERRING-FISHERY OF B.C.—PAST AND PRESENT. K 101
This system involves the recording of the daily catch of each seine-boat in operation and the
locality in which the fish were captured. When additional seasonal data have been gathered
it should be possible to determine the condition of the fishery in each locality.
A second test of the condition of a fishery is afforded by a consideration of the length
and age composition of the runs. Intensive fishing tends to reduce the numbers of larger and
older fish in the catches. Naturally this results in an apparent increase in the abundance of
smaller and younger fish. Over a period of years the effects of intensive fishing might appear
as: (1) a decrease in average length; (2) a decline in length and age composition, the fishery
becoming dependent on smaller and younger fish; and (3) a smaller spread in length and
age distribution.
As the herring in British Columbia tend to form a series of local populations, any changes
in length and age composition due to intensive fishing might be expected to appear more
quickly than in the case of a highly migratory species. In our waters the rate of natural
mortality is evidently higher than in Alaska or Europe, for the normal age distribution is
considerably smaller and the herring on the average are considerably younger. If a decline
in length and age composition should take place, the fishery would come to depend more and
more on the three-year-olds which have just entered the fishery and are ready to spawn for
the first time.
A study of length and age composition to determine the condition of the fishery is complicated by variation in the abundance of members of each year-class caused by natural
causes over which at present there is no control. Exceedingly well-represented or " dominant "
year-classes frequently appear in the catches. In other fisheries these may persist and form
the bulk of the catch for many years; in the herring-fishery of this Province they also occur
but are less pronounced and usually do not persist for more than three or four years because
of the high rate of natural mortality and the resultant small spread in age composition.
Consequently it may be possible for intensive fishing to' reduce the predominance or even
obliterate such a dominant group prematurely, a possibility which must also be taken into
account in investigating the condition of the fishery by a study of this kind.
PRESENT CONDITION OF THE FISHERY.
An intensive biological study of the herring-fishery has been in progress for only a short
period and therefore only tentative conclusions with regard to the condition of the fishery have
been formed. The length and age compositions of the runs to the two most important localities,
the south-east coast of Vancouver Island and Barkley Sound on the west coast of Vancouver
Island, have been subject to considerable investigation in this regard.
Data have been accumulated which show that certain changes in length and age composition have taken place in the fishery of the south-east coast which are very probably the result
of fishing effort. Since 1915, apart from annual fluctuations, there has been a slight decrease
in average length, a decrease in the spread of lengths about the average, and a decrease in the
number of older fish present in the catches. Moreover, there is also evidence that the frequency of occurrence and the persistence of dominant year-classes have been somewhat
reduced in recent years. It seems, therefore, that the fishery has had some effect on these
characters, but it is not known with certainty as yet what the ultimate outcome would be,
should fishing be maintained at a level of intensity similar to or higher than that of recent
years. Age compositions of the catches for 1932-33 and 1933-34 have indicated some degree
of recovery, possibly as a result of the curtailment of fishing activities due to economic
conditions.
In Barkley Sound three-year-old fish have predominated in the catches each season from
1929-30 to 1933-34. The fishery during these years, therefore, has been largely dependent
on the new recruits which have been caught before they have had an opportunity of spawning.
This young age-group has not always predominated in this locality. In 1916 Dr. W. F. Thompson (Rep. B.C. Comm. Fish., 1916) found that five-year-old fish formed the bulk of the catch
and that older fish were relatively better represented than at the present day. It would seem,
therefore, that the herring population in Barkley Sound has suffered a decline in length and
age composition similar to or even greater than that in the case of the east-coast herring.
Again, however, the ultimate outcome is not known with certainty and the whole problem must
be subject to additional research.
PROVINCIAL LIBRARY
B.C. K 102 REPORT OF THE COMMISSIONER OF FISHERIES, 1934.
It is interesting to note that, in localities such as Quatsino Sound on the west coast of
Vancouver Island and the coastal waters to the north of Vancouver Island, older fish predominate in the runs, a condition which might be expected as these areas have been exploited only
to a limited extent as yet.
Thus it would appear that the intensive fishing of recent years has had some effect on the
length and age compositions of the runs and possibly on the abundance of the herring in the
two localities exploited most intensely, in a manner which suggests some degree of overfishing.
However, fishing activities in the last three or four years have been curtailed by unfavourable
market conditions and this temporary relief may be of benefit in rebuilding the runs and in
increasing the abundance and size of herring, particularly in Barkley Sound.
FUTURE POSSIBILITIES.
There exist many possibilities in regard to the development of markets and the improvement of methods of curing and canning of herring for food purposes. With modern refrigeration, the markets for large fresh or frozen herring could be extended inland from the coast,
provided that suitable regulations regarding freshness, packing, and refrigeration were
promulgated and enforced. By means of graders the larger and fatter herring could be
selected from the purse-seine catches to be used for food purposes as bloaters, Scotch-cured,
kippered, boneless, Holland, Bismarck, or spiced herring. Canning alone offers many possibilities and improved methods should facilitate the production of a variety of low-priced,
wholesome, and, at the same time, delectable canned products which would find ready sale
both at home and abroad. As the population of the country increases there will be a corresponding increase in the demand for superior sea-foods, and among these the herring, if
suitably prepared, should assume a prominent position. With increased production the
utilization of by-products from herring should become practical and present wastes such
as herring roe, scales, and livers may have economic possibilities as table delicacies, for the
manufacture of artificial pearls and therapeutic extracts respectively.
With regard to the herring-fishery of British Columbia, it seems highly probable that the
fishing-grounds are capable of considerable expansion to the northward. There are several
areas which have not been exploited commercially to any great extent as yet and which offer
many possibilities. Of these might be mentioned the region between the north-east coast of
Vancouver Island and the mainland, the coastal waters between this region and Prince Rupert,
and the west coast of the Queen Charlotte Islands. These potential fisheries await investigation and development should future economic conditions yield markets for the products.
Therefore it is possible that, under suitable administration and biological supervision, the
catch could be increased with safety to even a greater extent than that of recent years.
Exploitation, however, must be distributed throughout all areas according to the size of the
runs and the intensity of fishing which each will withstand without endangering its perpetuity.
Local and general depletion must be assiduously avoided, for not only is the fishery itself a
great asset, but the role of the herring as a food for other species is of inestimable economic
importance to the Province. THE PACIFIC SALMON IN BRITISH COLUMBIA WATERS. K 103
THE PACIFIC SALMON IN BRITISH COLUMBIA WATERS.
By W. A. Clemens, Director, Pacific Biological Station, Nanaimo, B.C.
The Pacific salmon belong to a genus or group known scientifically as Oncorhynchus.
Along the North American Coast, and therefore in British Columbia waters, there are five
species or kinds, namely:—
Oncorhynchus gorbuscha—pink, humpback.
Oncorhynchus tschawytscha—spring, tyee, king, chinook, and the young sometimes
called " Jacks."
Oncorhynchus kisutch—cohoe, silver, and the immature, particularly in the Strait of
Georgia, known as " bluebacks."
Oncorhynchus nerka—sockeye, red in Alaska, blueback in the Columbia River, and
the landlocked form known as kokanee, little redfish or Kennerly's salmon.
Oncorhynchus keta—chum, dog.
Pink Salmon.—The pink salmon is remarkable in that it matures at the end of its second
year. The young go to sea as fry and fifteen months later the mature fish appear off the
mouths of various streams in large schools. They usually do not proceed great distances
up-stream to spawn. The extent of the ocean movements is not known, but, in relation to the
Fraser River, tagging experiments have shown that schools pass through both the Strait of
Juan de Fuca and Johnstone Strait on their way to that river. The pink salmon reaches a
weight of 3 to 6 lb. and is taken commercially in purse-seines, gill-nets, and traps.
Spring Salmon.—The adults ascend practically all of the large streams and spawn usually
in the upper reaches of the tributaries. The young go to sea very soon after emerging from
the gravel or at any time during the following twelve to fifteen months. In Alaskan waters
some are known to remain two years in fresh water. In the sea they grow rapidly, maturing
in three to eight years and reaching a very large size, a weight of 100 lb. being recorded.
Tagging experiments have shown that they may travel long distances, as, for example, from
the fishing-banks off Barkley Sound to the Sacramento River, California; from near Hippa
Island off the Queen Charlotte Islands to Marshfield, Oregon; and from Alaskan waters to
the Columbia River. The commercial fishermen take them by troll, purse-seine, gill-net, and
trap, and the sport fishermen by troll, as, for example, off Campbell River, where they constitute the widely known tyee-fishery.
Cohoe Salmon.—The cohoe salmon enter innumerable streams and may spawn a short
distance from the sea or may proceed to the upper tributaries of the larger rivers. The young
usually remain a year in fresh water; a few may remain for two years and a considerable
number may go to sea during the first year. They increase rapidly in size and mature at the
end of the third, occasionally at the end of the second, and rarely in the fourth year. The
size at maturity varies from 5 to 15 lb. Cohoes range throughout the coastal waters and,
judging from tagging results, there is indication that some never leave the Strait of Georgia.
They are captured by troll, purse-seine, gill-net, and trap and provide a considerable amount
of sport-fishing in trolling and fly-casting.
Sockeye Salmon.—The sockeye salmon is the most prized of the Pacific salmon because
its high oil content, the colour of its flesh, and its rather uniform size make it an excellent fish
for canning. The adults usually ascend those streams on which there are lakes and pass
through the lakes to spawn in the tributary streams. A few spawn along the shores of lakes
and a few in streams on which there are no lakes. Some young sockeye go to sea very soon
after hatching, but the majority descend to the lakes, where they spend usually one, frequently
two, and occasionally three years and eventually pass out to the ocean. They return as adults
after three or four summers in the sea when they are thus four or five years of age. A few,
for the most part males, mature at three years of age and are frequently referred to as grilse.
A few mature at six years of age and fewer still at seven and eight years. While the weight
at maturity is usually between 5 and 7 lb., weights as high as 12 lb. are recorded. Information
concerning the movement in the ocean is meagre. Tagging experiments in 1915 at Haystack
Island off Portland Canal showed that, while the bulk of the fish migrated to the Nass River,
a considerable number travelled as far north as Earnest Sound, Alaska, and as far south as
Union Passage (Grenville Channel).    In that year also, tagging at Seymour Narrows showed K 104 REPORT OF THE COMMISSIONER OF FISHERIES, 1934.
a definite migration to the Fraser River, indicating a movement from the north-west through
Queen Charlotte and Johnstone Straits. The sockeye are taken chiefly in gill-nets at the
mouths of rivers, in traps at the south end of Vancouver Island, and to some extent in
purse-seines.
Chum Salmon.—The chum salmon ascends practically all streams, spawning generally at
no great distance from the salt water. The young go to sea soon after emerging from the
gravel and maturity is reached usually in the fourth year, but also in the third and fifth. The
species attains an average weight of approximately 10 lb. and forms the basis of an extensive
purse-seine fishery. The fish are also taken by gill-net and trap. Little is known of the ocean
movements, but tagging has shown that many chum salmon enter the Strait of Georgia through
Johnstone Strait as well as through the Strait of Juan de Fuca.
As far as is known, all the individuals of the five species of Pacific salmon spawn but
once. In the case of the spring salmon some individuals may return to the sea after spawning
a short distance above tidal waters, but so far there is no evidence to show that they survive
to spawn a second time. There is a tendency for the fish of all the species to return to spawn
in the stream in which they lived as young. This return to the so-called " Parent Stream "
has been well established for sockeye and spring, and to some extent for pink and cohoe, by
means of experiments involving the removal of various fins from young fish at the time of
their seaward migration.
Young salmon in fresh water feed largely on small shrimp-like animals and insects. In
the sea they substitute marine shrimp-like forms. The sockeye, pink, and chum continue to
feed on this type of food throughout their lives, while the spring and cohoe turn to a fish diet of
herring, pilchard, sand-lance, etc. It is because of this habit that the latter two species are
readily taken by trolling.
In the identification of the five species certain characters are commonly used. These
are:—
(1.) Scales in rows along the side of the body. Frequently the number of scales in the
lateral line is used. The latter is a conspicuous structure commencing behind the head and
terminating at the base of the tail-fin. Each scale along this line is penetrated by a pore.
A count of the total number of scales along this line may be made, but owing to some scales
being very small and therefore readily overlooked, accuracy is sometimes difficult to attain.
It has been found that the number of scales in the first row above the lateral line is more
reliable. The pink salmon has 170 to 229 scales in this row, which number is much above that
of the other species.
(2.) Fin-rays. Each fin, except the little adipose or " fat " fin, is supported by a number
of rods of cartilage. The number of the rods or rays in the anal fin, which is located behind
the anus or vent, has been used for purposes of identification. In making the count, the small
rays at the front of the fin, less than half the length of the longest ray, are not considered.
The spring salmon has a range of 15 to 19, which is higher than in the other species and the
uppermost numbers are useful in confirming identification.
(3.) Gill-rakers. Under the gill-cover are V-shaped structures or arches bearing the
filamentous gills. On the inner side of each arch, opposite the gill-filaments, are stiff spines
somewhat resembling the teeth of a comb. These are the gill-rakers which serve to strain
out food-particles from the water which flows from the mouth out past the gills. The count
is made of the number on the first or foremost arch. The sockeye salmon has a range of 30
to 39, with only a slight overlap with that of the pink salmon.
(4.) Branchiostegals. The membrane under the head and forming the lower margin of
the gill-cover is supported by narrow curved and flattened rods of cartilage which are known as
the branchiostegals. The number of these structures is frequently useful in making an
identification. The spring salmon has a range of 13 to 19, which, as in the case of the anal
fin-rays, is higher than in the other species.
(5.) Pyloric casca. Attached to the intestine in the region where it joins the J-shaped
stomach are a large number of small, slender, finger-like pouches. The cohoe possesses only
45 to 80 pyloric cseca and is readily distinguished by this character from the other species
except the sockeye. THE PACIFIC SALMON IN BRITISH COLUMBIA WATERS.
K 105
(6.) Colour-markings. The spring, cohoe, and pink have distinct large black spots on the
back and tail-fin. Those on the spring salmon are numerous and rather round in shape; those
on the cohoe sparse, more or less oblong in shape, and absent from the lower half of the tail-
fin; those on the pink are relatively very large and oval in shape. The sockeye and chum
have fine black specklings in place of the heavy spotting of the other three species.
Using the characters described above, the following key may be used for the identification
of the various species:—
A. Back and tail fin with distinct black spots.
B. Scales in first row above lateral line 170 or more.
BB. Scales in first row above lateral line less than 155.
C. Black spots on tail-fin on both upper and lower halves;
anal rays 15 to 19;   branchiostegal rays 13 to 19.
CC. Black spots on tail-fin on upper half only;  anal rays 12 to
16;   branchiostegal rays 12 to 15.
AA. Back   and   tail-fin   without   black   spots   but   with   fine   black
specklings.
D. Gill-rakers on first arch 30 to 39.
DD. Gill-rakers on first arch 20 to 26.
The following table may also be helpful:—
Pink salmon.
Spring salmon.
Cohoe salmon.
Sockeye salmon.
Chum salmon.
0    , „ .           Scales in First
Scales m             R         fa
Lateral Line.   ■   Lateral Line.
Gill-rakers.
Anal Rays.
Branchiostegals.
Pyloric Caaca.
Pink	
150 to 198
131 to 151
121 to 136
125 to 139
126 to 151
170 to 229
140 to 153
120 to 145
125 to 143
130 to 153
27 to 33
20 to 28
19 to 25
30 to 39
20 to 26
13 to 17
15 to 19
13 to 16
13 to 16
13 to 17
10 to 15
13 to 19
12 to 15
11 to 15
12 to 16
165 to 195
140 to 185
45 to    80
66 to    92
140 to 185
It will be noted that there are certain outstanding characteristics for each species and it is
usually possible, by a process of elimination, to arrive at an accurate identification. It should
be pointed out, however, that all the characters are variable and it is unwise to rely entirely
upon one character alone in making a decision.
The writer is much indebted to Drs. R. E. Foerster and A. L. Pritchard for the ranges in
the various characters except those of the pyloric c»ca. K 106 REPORT OF THE COMMISSIONER OF FISHERIES, 1934.
THE IDENTIFICATION OF THE YOUNG OF THE FIVE SPECIES OF
PACIFIC SALMON, WITH NOTES ON THE FRESH-WATER
PHASE OF THEIR LIFE-HISTORY.
By R. E. Foerster, Ph.D., and A. L. Pritchard, Ph.D., Pacific Biological Station,
Nanaimo, B.C.
The correct and ready identification of the young of the five species of Pacific salmon,
genus Oncorhynchus, is of particular importance not only to the specialist in fisheries biology
who studies in detail the life-history of these forms, but also to the fish culturist and enforcement officer who are charged with the duty of conserving and protecting the fishery. It may
be of considerable interest, also, to the angler and the naturalist who pursue the general study
of aquatic organisms, their habits and relationships.
Two publications have already appeared which have dealt with this problem. The earlier
of these, published in 1907 by F. M. Chamberlain, naturalist on the United States Fisheries
steamer " Albatross," was a rather comprehensive study of the various species, young and
adult, in the Naha and Karluk Rivers, Alaska. Although it contains excellent detail concerning the early stages of salmon, this work is now out of print and hence no longer available.
The second paper, a study by Donald R. Crawford (1925), avoids detail but contains a useful
qualitative key and illustrations.
The present paper includes the more pertinent information given in the two previous
publications and, in addition, embodies further detailed data gathered during various
researches on the Pacific salmon in British Columbia. It brings together for each species
the specific morphological characters, the characteristic external features, and the details
concerning development, time of migration, etc., to the end that, by a consideration of all the
factors, identification may be made possible.
The material has been more or less rigidly divided into three parts. The first of these,
the discussion of variable characters, records, mainly for the fisheries scientist, certain detailed
observations which are now at hand concerning various body characters. The second, a
general description of species, gives in detail general information concerning habits and
appearance of each species; while the third presents a " key," by means of which the various
species may be readily separated, and a plate illustrating the typical markings characteristic
of each species.
The separation of the adults of the five species of Pacific salmon has been based upon
either general appearance—namely, shape, colour, markings, etc.; or upon differences observed
in certain morphological characters—namely, number of fin-rays, of scales, of gill-rakers, etc.
In the young, general appearances may not alone suffice as a means of separation, due to the
fact that environment is known to affect to some extent the colour and markings, nor has it
been definitely established that the counts of certain morphological characters, which in these
small fish are by no means easy, will serve as a means of identification. It has been found
that both qualitative and quantitative characteristics have to be considered.
Fig. 1 is a diagram of a salmon in which the various morphological characters considered
and studied in detail are clearly shown. The inset demonstrates the position of the gill-arches
on which are found the gill-rakers.
To obtain a count of the gill-rakers, the first gill-arch on the left side of the fish should be
removed carefully by cutting away the ends from the gill-cover and from the second gill-arch
which lies immediately beneath it. In this operation care should be exercised in making the
incision so as not to destroy the ends of the arch and thus inadvertently remove some of the
small gill-rakers. The arch can then be spread out by pinning the ends apart on a piece of
cardboard.    All rakers visible under moderately high magnification should be enumerated.
In making a determination of the number of scales along the lateral line, the fish should
be placed on its right side under a lens of moderately high magnification. Through this it is
moderately easy to see and prick with a pin the scales or scale-pockets, beginning immediately
behind the edge of the operculum and following the lateral line to the end of the vertebral
column.    This latter boundary may be found by palpating with a needle.
Fin-rays, those bony supports which project into the fins, which are not at least half as
long as the longest ray should be considered as undeveloped and not be counted. The last ray
of the anal and of the dorsal fin is branched and appears to be double. Each should be counted
as one only. IDENTIFICATION OF THE YOUNG OF PACIFIC SALMON.
K 107
The branchiostegal rays are those cartilaginous flattened rods or flaps which form the
lower margin of the operculum and cover the gills on the ventral side. They may be easily
spread apart for enumeration by holding open the gill-cover. All those visible should be
counted.
In determining the number of vertebrie the flesh should be carefully removed from one
side of the fish, thus exposing the backbone. After careful cleaning, the segments beginning
with the one immediately behind the skull and ending with the one immediately in front of
the long vertebrae projecting up into the tail can be counted. For accurate determination the
vertebras should be kept slightly wet.    Some degree of magnification is necessary.
Fig. 1. Diagram of a salmon showing the various morphological characters considered in this paper. Inset
shows left operculum bent back to expose first gill-arch with gill-rakers. A—anal fin; Adi.—adipose or fatty fin;
B—branchiostegal rays ; C—caudal fin ; D—dorsal fin ; GF—gill-filaments ; GR—gill-rakers ; LL—lateral line ;
O—operculum or gill-cover ;   P—left pectoral fin ;   V—left ventral or pelvic fin.
The material for examination, obtained chiefly from the salmon-retaining ponds at Smith
Falls Hatchery, Cultus Lake, British Columbia, consisted of 69 chum salmon (Oncorhynchus
keta), 69 spring salmon (O. tschawytscha), 68 cohoe salmon (O. kisutch), and 63 sockeye
(O. nerka). As a sample of pink salmon (O. gorbuscha), 37 were taken from a collection
made at McClinton Creek eyeing-station, Masset Inlet. The individuals used were selected
at random from samples taken at regular intervals throughout the autumn, winter, and early
spring. While the authors realize that this material is too limited to be the basis of exhaustive
conclusions, nevertheless they feel that the counts made thereon are sufficient as an indication
of the use of the various characters as an aid to the separation of the species. In addition
the data are presented as one contribution to a more complete and comprehensive survey which
is much to be desired.
DISCUSSION OF VARIABLE CHARACTERS.
In the present section are set down the results of the examination of those variable characters which are utilized chiefly in the identification of the adult salmon, the object being to
discover whether they have any significance in the separation of the young of the species.
Gill-rakers.—From Table I., in which is presented a summary of the average numbers of
gill-rakers for each %-inch length group for all species, it appears that in the very early
stages up to a length of 1% inches, there is an increase in the number of gill-rakers with
increase in size. Such a change might be attributed to the overlooking of some of the rudimentary rakers on the very small arches, but in view of the fact that all counts were carefully
made under comparatively high magnification, it is unlikely that such an error would have
occurred. K 108
REPORT OF THE COMMISSIONER OF FISHERIES, 1934.
The counts for individuals from 1% to 3% inches in length have been averaged at the
bottom of the table. Correspondence of these averages with those for the adults taken from
Jordan and Evermann (1896) is very close in the case of the pink, chum, and cohoe, but not
in the case of the spring and sockeye. This disagreement may be due either to the difference
between the populations sampled or to differences in the technique of counting. Whether the
pink, chum, cohoe, and spring have their full quota of gill-rakers at 3% inches could not be
ascertained, due to lack of material from the same environment. It has been definitely proven,
however, that those of the sockeye do increase from the fingerling to the yearling stage, and
from comparison of the latter with adult counts there appears to be another increase before
the adult period is reached.
Table I.—Summary of the Average Numbers of Gill-rakers for each Vs-inch Length
Group for the Young of the Five Species of Pacific Salmon.
Lengths in Inches.
Pink.
Chum.
Spring.
No.
used.
Gill-
rakers.
No.
used.
Gill-
rakers.
No.
used.
Gill-
rakers.
3
7
4
3
2
1
1
1
3
1
2
2
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
3
11
5
5
3
4
3
5
3
4
2
3
2
3
5
2
1
4
1
7+ 2
8+ 4
10+ 5
11+  7
13+ 7
13+ 8
13+ 7
13+ 9
7
5
8
9
4
6
2
5
3
4
5
6
4
1
4
9+ 4
12+ 5
14+  7
7+  4
8+  4
9+  5
10+  6
11+  7
10+ 7
11+ 7
11+ 8
12+  9
11+  9
11+  9
11+  9
11+  9
12+  9
15+10
16+10
17+10
17+10
17+11
18+13
15+10
17+11
14+ 9
14+  9
14 + 10
15 + 11
16+10
14+11
14+10
13 + 11
18+12
15 + 11
17+13
17+13
18 + 11
19+12
18+11
18+12
20 + 13
18+13
15 + 11
14+11
17+12
14+10
11+  8
15 + 13
15+  9
14+  9
COHOE.
Sockeye.
No.
used.
Gill-
rakers.
No.
used.
Gill-
rakers.
% to 1 	
1 to   1%	
1% to 1%	
1%  to  1% 	
1% to i%	
m to i%. _
1% to 1%	
1% to 1%	
17s to 2	
2 to 2% ......:	
2% to 2%	
2Vi to 2% 	
2% to 2%	
2% to 2% _	
2% to 2%	
2% to 2% 	
2% to 3 	
3 to 3%	
3>/8 to 3M   -
S% to 3%	
3% to 3%.. 	
3y2 to 3%	
3% to 3%	
Av.   (from 1%  inch
up) 	
Adults (Jordan)	
3
3
7
9
7
10
3
5
2
1
3
6+ 2
6+ 3
9+ 4
9+ 5
11+ 6
12+ 7
11+ 7
12+ 7
11+ 8
12+ 8
11+ 9
11 + 10
11+ 9
12+ 9
11+ 9
12+  9
13+  9
12
9
3
7
7
1
3
3
3
1
4
4
2
14+ 4
12+ 6
15+ 7
15+ 8
16 + 10
17+11
17+11
18+11
18+11
19+11
18+11
17+12
18+12
19 + 12
17+12
12+  9
18+11
13 + 10
22+14
" No. used " refers to the number of individuals examined in each case.
The first figure given for the gill-rakers is the number on the long side of the arch ;   the second that on the short
side.    The plus sign indicates that the two should be added to obtain the total number.
It is noteworthy that the gill-raker counts for young pink and sockeye salmon are very
similar, a relationship which is quite different to that which holds in the adult stage. Such a
circumstance would make questionable any differentiation between young of these two species
on the basis of this character. It might be possible to distinguish the young of the pink and
the sockeye from those of the other three species for partial separation, but in such a comparison only fish of similar size should be employed.
Scales.—The number of scales along the lateral line of salmon has long been used as a
ready means of identification of the adults of some of the species. In the young, however, this
character is of much less value, since in the early stages the scales are merely forming. The
length at which it is possible to make counts varies with the species. In the pink it is about
2*4 inches; the chum, 1% inches; the spring, 1% inches; the cohoe, 1% inches; and the
sockeye, 1% inches. IDENTIFICATION OF THE YOUNG OF PACIFIC SALMON.
K 109
Table II. gives the average lateral line scale-counts for the various %-inch length groups.
Table II.—Summary of the Average Num.bers of Scales on the Lateral Line for each Vs-inch
Length Group for the Young of the Five Species of the Pacific Salmon.
Pink.
Chum.
Spring.
COHOE.
Sockeye.
Lengths in Inches.
No.
used.
No.
Scales.
No.
used.
No.
Scales.
No.
used.
No.
Scales.
No.            No.
used.    1   Scales.
No.
used.
No.
Scales.
% to 1	
1
2
2
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
170
168
177
178
185
175
178
172
177
177
7
4
3
5
3
4
2
3
2
3
5
2
1
4
1
140
134
135
134
134
137
135
139
138
138
138
138
139
134
144
9
4
6
2
5
3
4
5
6
4
1
134
135
139
138
141
139
144
143
141
141
145
5
9
2
4
2
1
3
2
2
4
3
1
1
1
131
126
127
126
127
125
128
125
130
130
132
127
130
132
130
1
7
1
3
3
3
1
4
4
2
1
3
1         to   1%            '	
iys to ui	
IVi to 1%       	
126
i% to iy2	
127
l1/.   to 1%            	
127
1%  to  1%              	
127
194  to  1%              	
123
1% to 2       	
125
2      to 2%    	
130
2% to 2% 	
2% to 2%          	
128
129
2% to 2y, _	
131
2i/o to 2% 	
2% to 2% _	
2% to 2%    	
135
27s to 3    	
135
3      to 3y8    	
3% to 314 	
a% to 3%   	
3% to 3y2   	
3V> to 3%
3% to 3% 	
Av. (of averages)
176
137
139
129
128
Adults (Jordan)	
170
150
146
127
133
In some cases it appears from the averages as if an increase in number of scales with
increase in the total length of the fish were indicated. It is felt, however, that such a small
difference may be entirely due to the difficulty in separating the small, closely packed scales at
the posterior end, on the caudal peduncle.
Taking the range for each species as a distinguishing character, it is apparent that the
same separation can be made for young salmon as Jordan and Evermann have applied for
adults. Pink salmon, with the highest count, 168 to 185, are quite clearly separated from the
next group, consisting of chums and springs, possessing 134 to 140 and 134 to 145 scales
respectively. The third group, cohoes and sockeye, have still fewer, 125 to 132 and 125 to
135 respectively. When there is but slight difference in scale-count between species, such as
chum and spring or cohoe and sockeye, the separation must be based on other differences. As
will be shown later, the division of these particular species by other means is quite easy.
Fin-rays.—As stated previously, the fin-rays are those cartilaginous supports which project
into the fins. Those which are not one-half as long as the longest rays should be considered
as undeveloped and should not be counted. The last ray of the dorsal and anal fins appears to
be double but it is counted as one.
No correlation of the average number of fin-rays for each length group is included in this
paper, since it has been found that there is no significant variation with increase in size. Both
anal and dorsal fins are dealt with and comparison is made with the counts given by Jordan
and Evermann for adult individuals. K 110
REPORT OF THE COMMISSIONER OF FISHERIES, 1934.
Anal Fin.—There is tabulated below the number of individuals of each species in the
sample possessing the designated number of anal fin-rays:—
Number op Rays.
Adults
(Jordan and
Evermann).
Species.
14.
15.
16.
17.
18.
14
8
5
30
41
29
42
20
13
37
20
48
3
1
8
15
13-14
16
13-14
14-16
There is no significant difference between the anal fin-ray counts for young and adult
salmon. Even in the case of the cohoe, where the greatest apparent difference is found, the
discrepancy may have arisen because of the inability to distinguish, in the young, those
fin-rays which, in the adult, are classed as undeveloped and not counted. The point to be
emphasized is that the close similarity of the counts for all species precludes the use of this
character as a reliable means of separation. It may here be noted, however, that there should
arise no difficulty in separating Pacific salmon young from young trout. The latter are distinguished by having not more than 12 anal fin-rays, whereas Pacific salmon have more than 12.
The counts made on the young of the Pacific salmon for this paper in no case showed less than
14 anal fin-rays.
One of the most characteristic features of the young of the cohoe salmon is that of having
the first two or three rays of the anal fin distinctly longer than the remainder. This elongation
produces a concave margin to the free edge of the fin. In the other four species there is a
gradual decrease in the length of the rays toward the tail, resulting in a straight margin to
the fin. Further, it might be noted that the first anal ray in the cohoe fin is whitish in colour
as opposed to the normal darkened appearance in all others.
Dorsal Fin.—Treating the dorsal fin-ray counts in a similar manner to the anal rays,
there follows a table showing the number of fin-rays possessed by the individuals of each
species in the collection examined:—
Number
of Rays.
Adults
Species.
10.
11.
12.
13.
14.
15.
(Jordan and
Evermann).
1
13
1
30
20
12
50
36
38
43
15
6
28
1
4
16
2
1
11
9
Spring salmon   - — —
11
10
11
In every species the young were found to have more dorsal fin-rays than has been indicated for adults. The difference, as in the case of the anal fin, is probably due to a difference
in criterion for estimating developed and undeveloped rays. The dorsal fin-ray count would
appear to be of little use in separating the various species.
Branchiostegal Rays.—The branchiostegal rays are sometimes used to assist in the
identification of adult salmon. Consequently the counts for small salmon have been made for
comparison and use, if possible. The following table indicates for each species the number of
individuals possessing a certain number of such rays. The Jordan and Evermann record for
adult individuals has been added in the last column. IDENTIFICATION OF THE YOUNG OF PACIFIC SALMON.
K 111
Branchiostegal Rays.
Species.
Number of Branchiostegal Rays per Fish.
Average.
Adult
9.
10.
11.
12.
13.
14.
15.
16.
Average.
1
5
3
1
12
5
4
5
16
35
27
37
3
24
5
29
17
2
16
7
2
40
4
11-12
12-13
14-15
12-13
12-13
11 or 12
13 or 14
Spring salmon 	
Cohoe salmon  	
15 or 16 to
18 or 19
13 or 14
13 to 15
It is quite obvious that the variation existing in each species results in overlapping between
species. It appears from the tabulation that the only use to which the data may be put is to
show that if a small fish has 15 or 16 branchiostegal rays it is a young spring salmon. Use of
this character, therefore, as an aid to separation of the species is not recommended.
Vertebree.—The numbers of vertebra? making up the vertebral columns of individuals of
each species were counted. The counts obtained are tabulated below, showing for each species
the number of individuals possessing a given number of vertebra?:—
Number of Vertebra in Vertebral Column.
Species.
1        1
56. [ 57.    58.
1         1
59.
1          1          1
60. 1  61. | 62. 1  63.
1         1         1
1          1          1
64.     65. I  66. 1  67.
1         1         1
68.
69.
70.
71.
72.
1
1
3
1
5
3
3
5
2
2
6
1
2
18
9
2
7
14
8
1
11
21
1
5
13
16
17
2
4
6
15
1
25
18
6
1
1
?.l
10
....   |   ....
7   1
2   ]   ...   1     2
5   1   12
It is at once seen that vertebral counts are not satisfactory for definite separation of
species of Pacific salmon. With the possible exception of the spring salmon young, there is
too much overlapping to allow much reliance upon this character for identification purposes.
In the various samples ranging from % inch to 3 inches there was no definite evidence
obtained to indicate that the number of vertebrae changed with increase in size. The smallest
fry were found to have as many vertebra? as the larger fingerlings, but, of course, the size of
the individual segments varied with the total length.
Parr Marks.—These consist of wide, vertical bars or round or oval, black patches appearing on the sides of the fish and are formed by the laying-down of black pigment in the skin
in certain areas and in certain patterns. They remain with the fish until the latter have
attained a certain size, not accurately determined, whereupon the silvery pigment overlays
them and conceals them. Parr marks are not to be confused with the ordinary black-spotting
appearing on the fins or the back of the fish.
Since many instances are known in which colouring and speckling vary with change in
environment, it would be unwise to place too much reliance upon such features for identification
purposes in the case of Pacific salmon. Parr marks, however, have been shown by experience
to differ little in a given species in different localities, and thus may be safely used as an aid
in the separation of the species.
Pink salmon may be definitely distinguished by the complete absence of any parr marks.
They possess a clear and unbroken silvery sheen along both sides. Of the other four species
a definite division can be made between those possessing large parallel vertical bars and those
having large round or oval spots. The spring and cohoe have the vertical bars and the sockeye
and chum the round or oval markings. Unquestionable separation of groups of species can be
made to this extent, but, as will be shown below, the further separation of springs from cohoes
and sockeye from chums must be based on other characteristics. K 112 REPORT OF THE  COMMISSIONER OF FISHERIES, 1934.
GENERAL DESCRIPTIONS OF SPECIES.
There now follows a general description of each species covering life-history, habits, rate
of growth, colour and markings, and those morphological characters referred to above, all of
which when considered together will assist in or confirm the identification of young salmon
where the " key " at the end of this paper is not sufficiently precise.
Pink or Humpback Salmon (Oncorhynchus gorbuscha).—Pink salmon, when they return
from the sea to spawn, frequent chiefly the small coast streams or the lower tributaries of
the large river systems. They do not penetrate far inland. Observations made by the junior
author have indicated that hatching of eggs usually occurs in late December and the young
alevins remain in the gravel for some two or three months, passing to sea as free-swimming
fry during February, March, April, and May. While the water temperatures prevailing during the winter and spring months control and influence the rate of development and the time
of migration, it is found that the main pink salmon seaward migrations usually take place in
the latter part of April and early May. These observations coincide with those of Chamberlain for Alaska and apply also fairly generally to Southern British Columbia waters and
Puget Sound (Davidson, 1934).
At the time of migration the fry are from 1% to 1% inches in length. Hatched in streams
not far removed from the sea, the fry drop down at once to salt water and may be said to have
no fresh-water residence. Definite scales have not developed by the time of seaward exodus.
Feeding in fresh water is very incidental, but once in salt water active ingestion of the abundant marine food-organisms commences and growth is very rapid. Although Chamberlain
records instances of pink salmon young being recovered in shore waters in June and July, it
is generally assumed that these fish pass immediately offshore to the deeper waters of the
ocean. In the Masset Inlet area, pinks are noted moving out of the inlet in June and July,
but they are not commonly found previously in the shallow waters and they are not seen subsequently until they return in the fall of the succeeding year as " two-year-old " adults.
It is thus obvious that there is but a short time each year when pink salmon young will
be found in fresh water or in inshore areas of the coast. As noted above, young pink salmon
are completely devoid of parr marks and this characteristic should separate them immediately
from other species. If there is any doubt a count of the number of scales along the lateral
line should confirm the identification since pink salmon have a high scale-count, 168 to 185.
Chum or Dog Salmon (Oncorhynchus keta).—The chum salmon resemble the pink in
general spawning habits. They come in from the sea shortly after the latter and populate
all the accessible coast streams and lower tributaries of the main river systems. They are to be
found frequenting cohoe- and sockeye-spawning areas both above and below lakes in the
Harrison, Cultus, and Pitt River systems. All chum salmon fry, even those hatched in
streams above lakes, appear to migrate to sea the first spring. None are found in fresh water
after June or July. Upon reaching the river-mouths the young migrants gradually pass to
the sea, Chamberlain reporting them as having been captured in June and July in seine hauls
in relatively shallow water in the vicinity of the Karta and Karluk Rivers and Gilbert (1913)
observing them in Puget Sound.    No scales are formed at the time the fry leave the rivers.
In life, the chum salmon is a long, slim, gracefully shaped fry, mottled grass to dark green
on back, silvery on lower parts with a rather pale-green iridescence. The back is heavily
spotted with small black dots, sometimes fusing together. Parr marks on the sides vary in
number from 6 to 10, but they are found chiefly above the lateral line and are elliptical to
oval in shape.
The only other species with which the chum salmon fry might be confused is the sockeye.
The green colour of the back of the chum is quite different from that of the sockeye, being
somewhat darker and extending lower on the sides, and the faint-green iridescence of the
silvery sides is also characteristic. In size the chum is quite distinct, being consistently considerably larger than the sockeye at the same time of year. An examination of the gill-rakers
and a count of the scales will readily separate these two species. The sockeye has a greater
number (average, 18 + 11 or 12) and longer and finer gill-rakers than the chum (average,
14+10) and possesses fewer scales, 125-135, as compared with 134-144 for the chum.
In the sea-run individuals whose parr marks have begun to fade out there may be some
confusion as to their separation from pinks, but here, as noted above, the scale-count will
readily distinguish them. ' IDENTIFICATION OF THE YOUNG OF PACIFIC SALMON. K 113
Sockeye Salmon (Oncorhynchus nerka).—Although there are some varieties of sockeye,
commonly called " creek " sockeye, that spawn in coast streams, the vast majority possess the
peculiarity of spawning only in streams above lakes. That is to say, on their return from
the sea they select those streams or tributaries of rivers which have lakes at their head and
then proceed to pass through the lakes to spawn in the streams above. Some spawn on the
beaches of lakes where there is a certain degree of seepage-flow.
Sockeye also are noted for the great variation in period of fresh-water residence.
Commonly the fry emerging from the gravel drop down immediately to the lake and disappear
in the depths, there to remain unseen until they appear at the lake outlet the following spring
prepared to migrate seaward. This is the general habit in the Fraser and other Southern
British Columbia streams, though in certain cases, particularly with " creek " sockeye, the fry
may repair immediately to sea, while in other instances some individuals remain for an extra
year in fresh water, migrating seaward as two-year-olds. In more northern waters the period
of fresh-water residence is extended. In the Skeena and Southern Alaska streams the proportion of two-year-old migrants exceeds that of the yearlings, while in Northern Alaska three
years' residence in fresh water is common. There occurs also the landlocked form of this
species, popularly called the kokanee or kickininee, which remains in fresh water throughout
its entire life-cycle.
The chief difficulty in identification of the sockeye occurs at the fry stage, when, as
remarked above, there is possible confusion with the chum fry. The former are generally
smaller in size than chum fry at the same period but are rather similarly marked. The sockeye
have, however, silvery sides with no green iridescence, the back is uniformly olive to grassy
green, not mottled as in the chum, and the fine, black punctulations are more numerous and
more definite. The parr marks are more evenly distributed than in the chum and are situated
chiefly immediately above the lateral line, though at times they may project down below it.
A second row of narrower marks may be found above and alternated with the regular parr
marks;  but they are not always present or conspicuous.
When the sockeye have remained in fresh water for a year and commence their spring
migration to the sea they are from 3 to 5 inches long. The same markings are present and
the tips of the caudal fin are dusky. There may arise at this time some confusion with cohoe
yearlings, which are much the same size and have the same general appearance. The most
readily observed difference, however, is in the shape of the anal fin. In the sockeye the margin
of the anal is quite regular, the rays growing uniformly shorter from anterior to posterior
ends, but in the cohoe the first two or three rays are longer than the remainder, producing
a concave outer margin. Frequently the first few rays are sufficiently longer than the
remainder to produce a spike at the anterior end of the fin. Final identification can always
be made by counting the gill-rakers, of which the sockeye possess, at the yearling stage,
around 18+12, whereas the cohoe have only 12 or 13+9 or 10.
Spring Salmon (Oncorhynchus tschawytscha).—Upon their return to fresh water the
spring salmon select the larger rivers and the larger tributaries of those rivers, including those
far inland.
The young may migrate to sea immediately after hatching, as fry, or they may remain in
fresh water for the summer, dropping down to salt water with the onset of the autumn
freshets. Yearlings, those individuals remaining in fresh water for the winter and migrating
the following spring, are not common.
As noted elsewhere in this paper, spring and cohoe young are immediately separated from
other salmon by the possession of long, conspicuous, vertical bars as parr marks. The bars
lie about equally on either side of the lateral line. There are numerous other small spots or
blotches between and above the parr marks. Both spring and cohoe fry may exhibit a
brownish colour on the back and upper half of the sides, with a brassy iridescence overshadowing the silver of the lower half of the sides, and the ventral surface and the fins may
have a reddish tinge. In general, however, the spring salmon is not as brownish as the cohoe,
nor are the fins as deeply coloured, but for accurate separation of spring from cohoe, reliance
must be placed again upon the shape of the anal fin or upon the number of scales along the
lateral line. As explained in the section on sockeye immediately above, the anal fin of the
cohoe is quite characteristic in having a concave outer margin by reason of the greater length K 114 REPORT OF THE COMMISSIONER OF FISHERIES, 1934.
of the first few rays, a feature which is lacking in the spring salmon. The scale-counts may
be compared as follows:  spring salmon, 134-145;  cohoe salmon, 125-132.
Cohoe Salmon (Oncorhynchus kisutch).—The most generally distributed, the cohoe salmon
are found throughout the Pacific Coast drainage system from the smallest coast stream to the
most remote inland tributary.
The young may migrate down-stream as fry, fingerlings, or yearlings, but whether they
pass on out to sea at stages younger than yearling is still a matter of some doubt. They have
been definitely observed leaving the inland streams and lakes as fry, while others have
remained in the streams throughout the summer and fall. A fall migration has not been
definitely established, but in the following spring a down-stream migration of yearlings has
been found to occur. It is quite possible that the early fry or fingerling migrants drop downstream only to some more favourable feeding and resting area, perhaps to the river-mouth
itself, there to remain until the following spring, when they continue out to sea. Examination
of scales has shown definitely that cohoes with a complete first year's residence in fresh water
are by far the most numerous.
Cohoe fry and fingerlings populate most of the streams and lakes of the Pacific Coast and
their correct identification is of some importance. As already noted, the fry may be separated
from all others except the spring through the possession of large vertical bars as parr marks.
These bars extend almost as far below the lateral line as above it. From the spring fry, cohoes
may be separated because of the possession of elongated first rays of the anal fin, fins tinged
with brownish-orange, the lower fins, pectorals, pelvics, and anal sometimes edged with white.
As for fingerlings, since the pink and chum salmon repair directly to sea as fry and are not
normally found in fresh water during the summer, it is only necessary to distinguish between
the cohoe, the spring, and sockeye. The sockeye may be set apart due to the fact that the pan-
marks are short, elliptical or oval spots and not definite vertical bars, but should these marks
be indistinguishable it has been found that the sockeye has more, longer and finer gill-rakers
than the cohoe, approximately 18 + 11 as opposed to 12 + 9. From the spring fingerling the
cohoe may be set apart on the basis of the same characters used for the fry.
It should be pointed out that these colour-markings as well as the long vertical parr marks
are also possessed by the young of some of the Pacific trout. The cut-throat and particularly
the brook cut-throat very closely resemble the young cohoe, but the latter is usually much
larger at the same period of year. The number of anal fin-rays will at once separate the
cohoe from the trout, since the former have 14 or more rays, whereas the trout have 12 or less.
The anal fin, by reason of the smaller number of rays, is much shorter in the trout than in
the cohoe.    Among trout, the dorsal and occasionally the caudal fin are conspicuously spotted. IDENTIFICATION OF THE YOUNG OF PACIFIC SALMON.
K 115
KEY FOR THE IDENTIFICATION OF YOUNG SALMON.
On the basis of observations which have been recorded and from practical experience
gained in handling Pacific salmon young over a period of years, the following key has been
constructed by which the young of the Pacific salmon can be readily identified. The key is for
use only in rapid separation of the species, and where doubt arises as to the distinction between
certain species, reference to the more detailed descriptions contained in the paper should
be made.
A. ANAL RAYS, 9 to 12.    DORSAL FIN WITH LARGE BLACK
SPOTS. Trout and Chars.
AA. ANAL RAYS  MORE  THAN  13.    DORSAL  FIN  WITH   NO
LARGE BLACK SPOTS. Pacific salmon.
B. No parr marks present. Scale-count approximately 175 (168
to 185). Fry deep blue to greenish on back in life. Belly
silvery. Pink.
BB. Parr marks present as vertical bars or oval blotches.    Scale-
count 150 or less.
C. Parr marks short, elliptical or oval, extending little, if any,
below lateral line.
D. Gill-rakers  about  18+11.    Scales   125  to   135.    Row  of
definite black spots on back.    Colour, bluish or greenish
tinge on back, no green iridescence on sides below lateral
line.    Belly silvery. Sockeye.
DD. Gill-rakers about 14 + 10.    Scales 134 to 144.    Black spots
on back may be present but not as large and position
irregular.    Colour, bright, mottled green on back.    Sides
below lateral  line  silvery with  faint-green  iridescence.
Belly silvery. Chum.
CC. Parr marks large vertical bars, almost bisected vertically
by the lateral line.
E. First rays of anal fin not elongated. Colour, darkly stippled with black on back. Some brownish on back and
upper half of sides. No brassy iridescence. Silvery belly.
Fins not usually coloured. Spring.
EE. First rays of anal fin elongated, producing a concave
outer margin to fin. Colour, brown to brownish-orange.
Sides and belly silvery, tinged with brassy iridescence.
Lower fins tinged with orange and tipped with white.
First ray of anal whitish in colour. Cohoe.
CITATIONS.
Chamberlain, F. M.    Some observations on salmon and trout in Alaska.    Rept. U.S. Comm. of
Fish, for 1906.    Bur. Fish. Doc. No. 627, 1907.
Crawford, D. R.    Field characters identifying young salmonoid fishes in fresh waters of
Washington.    Univ. of Wash. Pub. in Fish., Vol. I., No. 2, pp. 64-76.    April, 1925.
Davidson, F. A.    The homing instinct and age at maturity of pink salmon  (Oncorhynchus
gorbuscha).    Bull. U.S. Bur. Fish., Vol. XLVIIL, No. 15, 1934.
Gilbert, Chas. H.    Age at maturity of the Pacific coast salmon of the genus Oncorhynchus.
Bull. U.S. Bur. Fish., Vol. XXXII., Doc. No. 767.    1913.
Jordan, D. S., and B. W. Evermann.    The fishes of North and Middle America.    Smithsonian
Inst., U.S. Nat. Mus., Washington.    1896. K 116 REPORT OF THE  COMMISSIONER OF FISHERIES, 1934.
PINK SALMON
sockeive: salmon
CHUM SALMON
SPRING SALMON
COHOE   SALMON
Plate displaying example of each of the five species of Pacific salmon. PACK OF BRITISH COLUMBIA SALMON.
K 117
PACK OF BRITISH COLUMBIA SALMON, SEASON 1934.
Showing the Origin of Salmon caught in each District.
District.
Sockeye.
Springs.
Steelheads.
Cohoes.
Pinks.
Chums.
Grand Total
(Cases).
139,238
8
28,701
70,655
76,923
14,607
20,430
27,282
16,218
258
654
8,300
436
164
2,116
1,630
311
114
79
43
733
11,392
8,315
9,935
54,476
4,852
3,941
53,850
78,670
2,199
53,398
32,964
126,163
2,815
6,953
157,336
54,526
104,092
38,032
2,648
24,388
895
15,548
117,309
210,239
273,139
100,041
Nass River ._ ,
75,213
284,096
86,000
Smith Inlet
41,256
351,774
372,347
Totals _	
377,844
29,776
1,280
225,431
436,354
513,181
1,583,866
29,567 cases of bluebacks are combined with cohoes in this table.
6,117 cases of sockeye packed at Esquimalt are credited to the Fraser.
1,797 cases of sockeye packed at Outlying Districts are credited to the Fraser.
3,326 cases of sockeye packed in the Vancouver Island District are credited to the Fraser.
9,223 cases of sockeye packed on the Fraser are credited to Rivers Inlet.
6,117 cases of sockeye packed at Smith Inlet are credited to Rivers Inlet.
520 cases of sockeye packed at Smith Inlet are credited to the Fraser.
8,840 cases of sockeye and 191,409 cases other than sockeye packed on the Fraser are credited to Vancouver
Island District.
STATEMENT SHOWING THE SALMON-PACK OF THE PROVINCE, BY
DISTRICTS AND SPECIES, FROM 1919 TO 1934, INCLUSIVE.
Fraser River.
1934.
1933.
1932.
1931.
1930.
1929.
1928.
1927.
139,238
5,150
11,068
104,092
2,199
11,392
52,465
5,579
65,769
18,298
10,403
14,948
385
16,815
23
40,947
9,740
103,692
11,366
9,761
68,946
30,754
25,585
27,879
61,569
3,305
6,699
144,159
158,208
40,520
12,013
29,299
1,173
3,909
193,106
2,881
27,061
795
61,393
7,925
Springs, White  _	
10,528
34,391
92,746
13,901
251
13,307
8,165
657
67,259
Pinks   	
102,536
24,079
10,658
Totals    	
273,139
199,082
126,641
73,067
277,983
426,473
258,224
284,378
1926.
1
1925.
1924.
1923.
1922.
1921.
1920.
1919.
85,689
12,783
20,169
88,495
32,256
21,783
13,776
35,385
7,989
25,701
66,111
99,800
36,717
5,152
39,743
2,982
4,648
109,495
31,968
21,401
1,822
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
Springs, Red- ..
14,519
4,296
Chums    -	
15,718
39,363
Cohoes  —   —
39,253
15,941
Totals 	
274,951
276,855
212,059
226,869
140,570
107,650
136,661
167,944 K 118
REPORT OF THE  COMMISSIONER OF FISHERIES, 1934.
STATEMENT SHOWING THE SALMON-PACK OF THE PROVINCE, BY
DISTRICTS AND SPECIES, FROM 1919 TO 1934, INCLUSIVE—Contti.
Skeena River.
1934.
1933.
1932.
1931.
1930.
1929.
1928.
1927.
Sockeyes.. - 	
Springs.— —  	
Chums —	
70,655
8,300
24,388
126,163
54,456
114
30,506
3,297
15,714
95,783
39,896
267
59,916
28,269
38,549
58,261
48,312
404
93,023
9,857
3,893
44,807
10,637
768
132,372
7,501
5,187
275,642
29,617
58
78,017
4,324
4,908
95,305
37,678
13
34,559
6,420
17,716
209,579
30,194
241
83,996
19,038
19,006
38,768
26,326
Steelhead Trout    - 	
582
284,096
185,463
233,711
162,986
450,377
220,245
298,709
187,716
1926.
1925.
1924.
1923.
1922.
1921.
1920.
1919.
Sockeyes   —	
Springs   	
82,360
30,594
63,527
210,081
30,208
754
81,146
23,445
74,308
130,079
39,168
713
144,747
12,028
25,588
181,313
26,968
214
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
Steelhead Trout 	
2,672
407,524
348,859
390,858
338,863
477,915
234,765
332,887
398,877
Rivers Inlet.
1934.
1933.
1932.
1931.
1930.
1929.
1928.
1927.
76,923
436
895
2,815
4,852
79
83,507
449
677
5,059
3,446
82
69,732
459
944
3,483
7,062
29
76,428
325
429
5,089
6,571
32
119,170
434
492
18,023
756
105
70,260
342
989
2,386
1,120
29
60,044
468
3,594
16,546
868
7
65,269
608
1,122
Pinks 	
671
Cohoes  -	
Steelhead Trout	
2,094
9
Totals. - 	
86,000
93,220
81,709
88,874
138,980
75,126
81,527
69,773
1926.
1925.
1924.
1923.
1922.
1921.
1920.
1919.
Sockeyes.—	
Springs   —  	
65,581
685
11,727
12,815
7,286
11
192,323*
496
11,510
8,625
4,946
94,891
545
4,924
15,105
1,980
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
Pinks -      	
6,538
9,038
Steelhead Trout 	
Totals 	
98,105
217,900
117,445
132,274
79,712
59,272
133,248
80,367
Smith Inlet.-)-
1934.
1933.
1932.
1931.
1930.
1929.
1928.
1927.
1926.
Sockeyes  	
Springs, Red. -	
14,607
164
37,369
354
25,488
46
2
273
1,148
165
20
12,867
122
32,057
268
22
1,460
16,615
1,660
103
9,683
18
60
275
853
113
12
33,442
108
178
230
167
19
6
22,682
270
79
2,990
732
2,605
8
17,921
73
39
Cohoes 	
Pinks
3,941
6,953
15,548
43
5,068
19,995
8,841
87
112
824
133
36
164
Chums   .	
Bluebacks and Steelheads— 	
31
Totals- --	
41,256
71,714
27,142
14,094
52,185
11,014
34,150
29,366
18,917
* Including 40,000 cases caught in Smith Inlet and 20,813 cases packed at Namu.
f Previously reported in Queen Charlotte and other Districts. SALMON-PACK OF THE PROVINCE.
K 119
STATEMENT SHOWING THE SALMON-PACK OF THE PROVINCE, BY
DISTRICTS AND SPECIES, FROM 1919 TO 1934, INCLUSIVE—Contd.
Nass River.
1934.
1933.
1932.
1931.
1930.
1929.
1928.
1927.
Sockeyes — - -	
28,701
654
2,648
32,964
9,935
311
9,757
1,296
1,775
44,306
3,251
49
14,154
4,408
14,515
44,629
7,955
10
16,929
1,439
392
5,178
8,943
26,405
1,891
3,978
79,976
1,126
84
16,077
352
1,212
10,342
1,202
5,540
1,846
3,538
83,183
10,734
36
12,026
3,824
3,307
Pinks - - - — - -	
16,609
Cohoes.— - — —	
3,966
96
Totals - - --
75,213
60,434
85,671
32,881
113,460
29,185
104,877
39,828
1926.
1925.
1924.
1923.
1922.
1921.
1920.
1919.
Sockeyes. —	
15,929
5,964
15,392
50,815
4,274
375
18,945
3,757
22,504
35,530
8,027
245
33,590
2,725
26,612
72,496
6,481
1,035
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
Pinks - - - -	
Cohoes- — 	
Steelhead Trout    —   -	
29,949
10,900
789
Totals —	
92,749
89,008
142,939
99,580
124,071
51,765
81,153
97,512
Vancouver Island District.
1934.
1933.
1932.
1931.
1930.
1929.
1928.
1927.
27,282
1,630
210,239
54,526
78,670
18,397
4,875
96,642
172,945
60,019
147
27,611
10,559
70,629
33,403
35,132
28,596
22,199
4,055
16,329
81,965
26,310
24,638
24,784
3,431
177,856
89,941
30,206
14,177
10,340
1,645
162,246
74,001
35,504
11,118
14,248
2,269
303,474
41,885
23,345
5,249
'   24,835
6,769
220,270
Pinks    	
52,561
58,834
10,194
Totals- 	
372,347
353,025
205,930
175,541
340,395
294,854
390,470
373,463
Queen Charlotte and other Districts.
1934.
1933.
1932.
1931.
1930.
1929.
1928.
1927.
Sockeyes — - 	
Springs - - .'— -
Chums - - -	
Pinks -  - 	
Cohoes -  	
20,438
2,374
155,371
210,734
62,165
733
26,106
4,416
135,590
101,701
33,471
827
21,685
3,514
167,011
82,449
44,977
591
29,071
1,608
34,570
55,825
16,141
446
39,198
1,852
143,781
600,986
61,418
1,204
35,331
1,020
111,263
136,758
56,938
575
59,852
2,806
341,802
438,298
58,455
609
60,533
7,826
252,230
36,481
47,433
973
Totals	
451,815
302,111
320,227
137,661
848,439
341,873
901,822
405,476
1926.
1925.
1924.
1923.
1922.
1921.
1920.
1919.
Sockeyes.— -     —
Springs  - - - -
62,383*
3,650
348,682
380,243
47,183
973
49,962
5,002
305,256
120,747
40,269
1,520
40,926
4,245
195,357
141,878
26,031
497
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
Pinks 	
110,300
Cohoes  	
35,011
702
Totals- - - —
844,114
522,756
408,934
352,839
278,144
80,568
395,728
381,163
* Including 17,921 cases of sockeye packed at Smith Inlet. K 120
REPORT OF THE COMMISSIONER OF FISHERIES, 1934.
STATEMENT SHOWING THE SALMON-PACK OF THE PROVINCE, BY
DISTRICTS AND SPECIES, FROM 1919 TO 1934, INCLUSIVE—Contcl.
Total Packed by Districts in 1919 to 1934, inclusive.
1934.
1933.
1932.
1931.
1930.
1929.
1928.
1927.
273,139
284,096
86,000
41,256
75,213
372,347
451,815
199,082
185,463
93,220
71,714
60,434
353,025
302,111
123,641
233,711
81,709
27,142
85,671
205,930
320,227
73,067
162,986
88,874
14,094
32,881
175,541
137,661
277,983
450,377
138,980
52,185
113,460
340,395
848,439
426,473
220,245
75,126
11,014
29,185
294,854
341,873
258,224
298,709
81,527
34,150
104,877
390,470
901,822
284,378
Skeena   	
187,716
69,773
Smith Inlet    	
29,363
Nass River  ■"
Vancouver Island - 	
39,828
373,463
405,476
1,583,866
1,265,049
1,081,031
685,104
2,221,819
1,398,770
2,035,629
1,360,634
1926.
1925.
1924.
1923.
1922.
1921.
1920.
1919.
274,951
407,524
98,105
18,917
92,749
347,722
844,139*
276,855
348,859
217,900
33,998
89,008
•    263,904
522,756
212,059
390,858
117,445
11,776
142,939
277,267
604,745
226,869
338,863
132,274
11,979
99,580
191,252
352,839
140,570
477,915
79,712
5,862
124,071
185,524
278,144
107,650
234,765
59,272
136,661
332,787
157,522
167,944
398,877
80,367
Smith Inlet
Nass River — — - 	
Vancouver Island — - -
Other Districts -	
51,765
69,528
80,568
81,153
84,170
395,223
97,512
267,293
381,163
Grand totals — —
2,035,190
1,719,282
1,745,213
1,341,677
1,285,946
603,548
1,187,616
1,393,156
* Including 17,921 cases of sockeye packed at Smith Inlet.
STATEMENT SHOWING THE SOCKEYE-PACK OF THE ENTIRE
. FRASER RIVER SYSTEM FROM 1894 TO 1934, INCLUSIVE.
1894.
1895.
1896.
1897.
1898.
1899.
1900.
1901.
1902.
363,967
41,781
395,984
65,143
356,984
72,979
860,459
312,048
240,000
252,000
486,409
499,646
170,889
228,704
974,911
1,105,096
293,477
State of Washington	
339,556
Totals  -
405,748
461,127
429,963
1,172,507
492,000
986,055
399,593
2,080,007
633,033
1903.
1904.
1905.
1906.
1907.
1908.
1909.
1910.
1911.
204,809
167,211
72,688
123,419
837,489
837,122
183,007
182,241
59,815
96,974
74,574
170,951
585,435
1,097,904
150,432
248,014
58,487
State of Washington	
127,761
Totals - -	
372,020
196,107
1,674,611
365,248
156,789
245,525
1,683,339
398,446
186,248
1912.
1913.
1914.
1915.
1916.
1917.
1918.
1919.
1920.
123,879
184,680
"To 87569"
719,796
1,673,099
273927895"
198,183
335,230
"~533,47uT
91,130
64,584
"1557714™
32,146
84,637
"7116,783"
148,164
411,538
19,697
50,723
38,854
64,364
48,399
State of Washington.
62,654
Totals --	
559,702
70,420
103,200
111,053
1921.
1922.
1923.
1924.
1925.
1926.
1927.
1928.
1929.
39,631
102,937
51,832
48,566
31,655
47,402
39,743
69,369 '
35,385
112,023
85,689
44,673
61,393
97,594
29,299
61,044
61,569
State of Washington
111,898
Totals -	
142,598
100,398
79,057
109,112
147,408
130,362
158,987
90,343
173,464
1930.
1931.
1932.
1933.
1934.
103,692
352,194
40,947
87,211
65,769
81,188
52,465
126,604
139,238
352,579
Totals —	
455,886
128,158
146,957
179,069
491,817
1	
...      .  |     	 PILCHARD INDUSTRY OF THE PROVINCE.
K 121
STATEMENT SHOWING THE SOCKEYE-PACK OF THE PROVINCE,
BY DISTRICTS, 1919 TO 1934, INCLUSIVE.
1934.
1933.
1932.
1931.
1930.
1929.
1928.
1927.
Fraser River  _	
139,238
70,655
76,923
14,607
28,701
27,282
20,438
52,465
30,506
83,507
37,369
9,757
18,397
26,106
65,739
59,916
69,732
25,488
14,154
27,611
21,685
40,947
93,023
76,428
12,867
16,929
22,199
29,071
103,692
132,372
119,170
32,057
26,405
24,784
39,198
61,569
78,017
70,260
9,683
16,077
10,340
35,331
29,299
34,559
60.044
33,442
5,540
14,248
26,410
61,393
83,996
65,269
Smith Inlet	
22,682
12,026
24,835
37,851
Totals          —.         	
377,844
258,107
284,355
291,464
477,678
281,277
203,542
308,052
1926.
1925.
1924.
1923.
1922.
1921.
1920.
1919.
85,689
82,330
65,581
17,921
15,929
25,070
44,462
35,385
81,146
192,323
33,764
18,945
14,757
16,198
39,743
144,747
94,891
11,435
33,590
15,618
20,579
31,655
131,731
116,850
11,864
17,821
12,006
12,720
51,832
96,277
53,584
39,631
41,018
48,615
48,399
89,064
125,742
38,854
Skeena River    „.
Rivers Inlet    	
Smith Inlet
184,945
56,258
31,277
15,147
47,107
9,364
6,933
18,350
16,740
6,987
64,473
28,259
6,452
54,677
Totals    	
337,012
392,518
369,603
334,647
295,224
163,914
351,405
369,445
STATEMENT SHOWING THE PILCHARD INDUSTRY OF THE
PROVINCE, 1920 TO 1934, INCLUSIVE.
Year.
Total Catch.
Canned.
Used in
Reduction.
Oil.
Meal.
Bait.
1920                                       	
Cwt.
88,050
19,737
20,342
19,492
27,485
318,973
969,958
1,368,582
1,610,252
1,726,851
1,501,404
1,472,085
886,964
65,353
860,103
Cases.
91,929
16,091
19,186
17,195
14,898
37,182
26,731
58,501
65,097
98,821
55,166
17,336
4,622
2,946
35,437
Cwt.
Gals.
Tons.
Bbls.
9,937
1921                        	
4,232
1922
3,125
1923          -           	
3,625
1924           -      	
923
1925	
1926      	
1927          -          	
220,000
940,000
1,310,000
1,560,000
1,654,575
1,438,840
1,456,846
876,700
63,251
845,849
495,653
1,898,721
2,610,120
3,997,686
2,856,579
3,204,058
2,551,914
1,315,864
275,879
1,612,526
2,083
8,481
12,145
14,502
15,823
13,934
14,200
8,842
1,108
7,628
4,045
2,950
1,737
1928                     	
2,149
1929    	
1930— - —	
1931  	
1932    	
1,538
926
1,552
1,603
1933	
20
1934 	
40 K 122
REPORT OF THE COMMISSIONER OF FISHERIES, 1934.
PRODUCTION OF FISH OIL AND MEAL, 1920 TO 1934  (OTHER
THAN FROM PILCHARD).
From Whales.
From other Sources.
Year.
Whalebone
and Meal.
Fertilizer.
Oil.
Meal and
Fertilizer.
Oil.
1920 -- --  - --	
Tons.
503
326
485
292
347
340
345
376
417
273
249
340
Tons.
1,035
230
910
926
835
666
651
754
780
581
223
631
Gals.
604,070
Tons.
466
489
911
823
1,709
2,468
1,752
1,948
3,205
3,626
3,335
5,647
6,608
5,583
2,916
Gals.
55,669
1921     	
44,700
1922     .-            	
283,314
706,514
645,657
556,939
468,203
437,967
571,914
712,597
525,533
75,461
1923 -      	
1924      - -	
180,318
241,376
1925  	
354,853
1926	
217,150
1927  	
1928 	
1929 -    - _   	
250,811
387,276
459,575
1930     	
1931	
243,009
352,492
1932 	
231,690
1933   - 	
1934  -   -	
509,310
813,724
497,643
371,271
VICTORIA,  B.C. :
Printed by Charles F. Banfield, Printer to the King's Most Excellent Majesty.
1935.
1,575-735-4788  

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