The west shore. (Portland, Or.) 1875-1891, February 07, 1891, Page 93, Image 7

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It 1b just now an Interesting question whether the fish wheels that ope
rate In the vicinity of the cascades and dalles of the Columbia shall be per
mitted to catch imall
fish, and a committee
of inquiry from the leg
islature is investigating
the question for the pur
pose of framing legisla
tion on the subject.
Heretofore the law
has regulated the site
of the meshes of all
nets and seines ased in
fishing for salmon on
the Columbia, with the
intent that only large
fish should be caught.
In addition to this the
catching of small fish
has been discouraged
by the cannerymen,
who have refused to
accept small ones from
the fishermen. The
fundamental reason for
this is the belief that
small salmon should
not be taken from the
river, but should be
permitted to remain un
til they have reached
the usual canning site
of twenty pounds or
more. At first glance
tills Seems a reasonable
and proper action, and
so it would be were the
habits of the salmon the same as freshwater fish, and did they live and
grow in the river. Such, however, is not the case, and when science inves
tigated the question it threw much light upon it and revealed a condition of
affairs quite at variance with those generally supposed to prevail.
A great deal of conflicting testimony has been gathered upon the sub
ject of the salmon and his habits, especially the Quinnat, or Chinook, salm-
! x
dick or a trow rim wiim..
on, the royal member of the family and the one the most widely distribut
ed along the coast. Under different names this fish is known in the Sacra
mento, Columbia and Fraser rivers, in the streams of Fuget sound and in
those of far Alaska. Many other varieties of salmon are found in these
IV ' I I
1 ff ' - 1
same streams, no leu than ball a down running In the Columbia alone,
but none of them are so large and so rich of flesh as the royal Chinook of
the Columbia, oli'ai the king salmon of Puget sound. As It Is this valuable
fish the biate is interested in preserving, and as it would be an advantage
rather than a detriment to the fishing Interests of the state if no other kind
were found In the stream, the question of catching small fish hinges, then,
upon the effect such a
' T- ' ." ' 1 ' mi i i i T-v
, 'i v
practice would have on
this particular variety.
No objection bo been
raised to the catching
of small bluebacka and
steelheads, for the dou
ble reason that these
varieties never attain a
large sise and are not
valuable for canning
purposes. The ques
tion to be considered is
simply, should the fish
wheels, or other appli
ances, be permitted to
catch small Chinook
salmon T
It is claimed by plicl
culturlsta, and general
ly admitted by fisher
men, that the home "f
the salmon is in the
deep waters of the sea;
that after being batch
ed In the warm head
waters of the streams
he makes his way to
the ocean and there re
mains for four years,
returning at that time
by natural Instinct to
the same stream from
whence he came, for
the sole purpose of ei-