The Daily Astorian. (Astoria, Or.) 1876-1883, April 19, 1881, Image 1

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Vol. xiv.
Astoria, Oregon, Tuesday - Morning, April 19, 1881.
Ko. 92.
Observations by David S. Jordan
and Chas. H. Gilbert.
American NaUiralM. JihrehMli.
During the most of the present
year, the writers have been engag
ed in the study of the fishes of the
Pacific coast of the United States,
in the interest of the United States
fish commission and the United
States census bureau. The fol
lowing pages contain the principal
facts ascertained concerning the
salmon of the Pacific coast. Iti.s
condensed from our report to the
United States census bureau, by
the permission of Professor Goode,
assistant in charge of fishery in
vestigations. There are five species of salmon
(Oncorhynchus) in the waters of
the north Pacific. We have st
present no evidence of the exist
ence of any more on either the
American or Asiatic side.
These species may be called the
quinnat or king salmon, the blue
back salmon or red-fish, the silver
salmon, the dog salmon, and the
hump-back salmon or Oncorhyn
chus chouicha, verba, kisutch, hela
anil forbuscha. All these species
are now known to occur in the
wafers of Kamtsehalka as well as
in those of Alaska and Oregon.
As vernacular names of definite
application, the following are on
a. Quinnat Choniclm, king sal
mon, e'quinna, saw-kwe, Chinook
salmon, Columbia river salmon,
Sacramento salmon, tyee salmon,
Monterey salmon, deep water sal
mon, spring salmon, ck-ul-ba
("ekewan") (fall run).
b. Blue-back krasnaya ryba,
Alaska red-fish, Idaho red-fish,
sukkegh,'s river salmon,
rascal, oo-chooy-ha
c. Silver salmon kisutch, win
ter salmon, hoopid, skowitz, coho,
bielaya, ryba, o-o-wun.
d. Dog salmon kayko, lekai,
ktlawhy, qualoch, fall, salmon,
o-le-a-rah. The males of all the
species in the fall are usually
known as dog salmon, or fall salmon.
e. Hump-back gorbuscha, had-
do, hone, holia, lost salmon, Puget
sound salmon, dog salmon (of
Of these species, the blue-back
predominates in Frazer's river, the
silver salmon in Puget-sound, the
quinnat in the Columbia and the
Sacramento, and the silver salmon
in most of the small streams alonsr
the coast. All the species have
been seen by us in the Columbia
and in Frazer's river; all but the
blue-back, in the Sacramento, and
all but the blue-back in waters
tributary to Puget-sound. Only
the quinnat has been noticed south
of San Francisco, and its range has
been traced as far as Ventura
river, which is the southernmost
stream in California which is not
muddy and alkaline at, its mouth.
Of these species, the quinnat
and blue-back salmon habitually
"run" in the spring, the others in
the fall. The usual order of run
ning in the rivers is as follews:
nerka chouicha, hisulcJiyorbuscJia
The economic value of the spring
running salmon is far greater than
that of the other species, because
they can be captured in numbers
when at their best, while the others
are usually taken only after de
terioration. The habits of the salmon in the
ocean are not easily studied. Quin
nat and silver salmon of every size
are taken with the seine at almost
any season in Puget-sound. The
quinnat takes the hook freely in
Monterey bay, both near the shore
and at a distance of six or eight
miles out. "We have reason to be
lieve that these two species do not
necessarily seek gieat depths,
but probably remain not far from
the mouth of the rivers in which
they were spawned.
The blue-back and the dog sal
mon probably seek deeper water,
jis the former is seldom or never
taken with the seine in the ocean,
and the latter is known to enter
the straits of Fuca at the spawn
ing season.
The great majority of the quin
nat salmon and nearly all the blue
back salmon enter the rivers in the
spring. The run of both begins
generally the last of March; it lasts,
with various modifications and in
terruptions, until the actual
spawning aenson in November;
the time of running and the
proportionate amount of each
of the sulordinHte runs, vary
ing with each different river. In
general, the i uns are slack in the
summer and increase with the first
hio-h water of autumn. 15v the
last of August only straggling
blue backs can be found in the
lower course of any stream, but
both in the Columbia and the Sac
ramento quinuttt runs in consider
able numbers till October at least.
In the Sacrumento the run is great
est in the fall, and more ran in the
summer than in spring. Jn the
Sacramento and the smaller rivers
southward, there is a winter run,
beginning in December.
The spring salmon ascend only
those rivers which are fed by the
meltmir snows from the mountains,
and which have sufiicient volume
to send their waters well out to sea.
Such rivers are the Sacramento,
Rogue, Klamath, Columbia and
Frazer's rivers.
Those salmon which i tin in the
spring an' chiefly adult (supposed
to be at least three yeai-s old).
Their milt and spawn are no more
developed than at the same time
in others of thesntne species which
will not enter the rivers until fall.
It would appear that the contact
with cohl fresh water, when in the
ocean, in some way caused ihqin to
turn toward it and to "run," before
there is any special influence to
that end exerted by the develop
ment of the orjjans of generation.
High water on any of these
rivers in the spring is always fol
lowed by an increased run of sal
mon. The canners think, and this
is probably true, that salmon which
would not have run till later, are
brought up by the contact with
the cold water. The cause of this
effect of cold fresh water is not
understood. We may call it an
instinct of the salmon, which is an
other way of expressing our ignor
ance. In general, it seoms to be
true that in those rivers and dur
ing those years when the spring
run is Greatest, the fall run is least
to be depended upon. As the
season advances, smaller and
younger salmon of these two spe
cies (quinnat and blue-back) enter
the rivers to spawn, and in the
fall these 3oung specimens arc
very numerous. We have thus
far failed to notice any gradations
in size or appearance of these
young fish by which their ages
could be ascertained. It is, how
ever, probable that some of both
sexes reproduce at the age of one
3'ear. In Frazer's river, in the fall,
quinnat male grilse of every size,
from eight inches upwards, were
running, the milt full' developed,
but usual!' notslowing the hooked
jaws and dark colors of the older
males. Females less than eigh
teen inches in length were rare.
All, large and small, then in the
river, of cither sex, had the ovaries
or milt well developed.
Little blue-backs of even' size
down to six inches are also fouud
in the upper Columbia in the fall,
with their organs of generation
fully developed. Nineteen-twen-lieths
of these young fish are
males, and some of them have the
hooked jaws and red color of the
old males.
The average weight of the quin
nat in the Columbia, in the spring,
is twenty-two pounds; in the Sac
ramento -about sixteen. 1 ndi vidu
als weighing from forty to sixty
pounds are frequently found in both
rivers, and some as high as eighty
pounds are reported. It is ques
tioned whether these large fishes
are: (a.) Those which, of the same
age, have grown more rapidly; (b.)
Those which are older but have,
for some reason, failed to spawn;
or (c.) Those which have surviv
ed one or more spawning sea
son. All of these origins may be pos
sible in individual cases; we are,
however, of the opinion that the
majority of these large fish are
those which have hitherto run in the
fall and so many have survived
the spawning season previous.
Those fish which enter the rivers
in the spring, continue their ascent
until death or the spawning season
overtakes them. Probably none
of them ever return to the ocean,
and a large portion fail to spawn.
They are known to ascend the Sac
ramento as far as the base of
mount Shasta, or its extreme head
waters, about four hundred miles.
In the Columbia they are known
to ascend as far as the Bitter Root
mountains, and as far as the Spo
kan falls, and their extreme limit
is not known. This is a distance
of six to eight hundred miles.
At these great distances, when
the fish have reached the spawning
grounds, besides the usual changes
of the breeding season, their bod
ies are covered with bruises on
which patches of white fungus de
velop. The fins become mutilated,
their eyes are often injured or de
stroyed; parasitic worms gather in
their gills, they become extremely
emaciated, their flesh becomes
white from the loss of the oil, and
as soon as the spawning act is ac
complished, and sometimes before,
all of them die. The ascent of the
Cacades and the Dalles probably
c-iuses tne injury or death ot a
great many salmon.
When the salmon enter the
river they refuse bait, and their
stomachs are always found emp
ty and contracted. In the rivers
J hey do not feed, and when they
reach the spawning grounds their
stomachs, pyloric cieca and all,
are said to be no larger than one's
finger. They will sometimes take
the fly, or a hook baited with the
salmon roe, in the clear waters of
the upper tributaries, but there is
no other evidence known to us
that they feed when there. Only
the quinnat and blue-back (then
called red-fish) have been found in
the fall at any great distance from
the sea.
The spawning season is probably
about the same for all the species.
It varies for all in different rivers
and in different parts of the same
river, and doubtless extends from
July to December.
The manner of spawning is prob
ably similar for all the species, but
we have no data for any except
the quinnat. In this species the
fish pair off, the male, with taij
and snout, excavates a broad shal
low "nest" in the gravelly bed of
the stream, in rapid water, at a
depth of one to four feet; the
female deposits her CS in it and
after the exclusion of the milt they
cover them with stones and gravel.
They then float down the stream
tail foremost. A great majority
of them die. In the head-waters
of the large streams all die,
unquestionably. In the small
streams, and near the sea, an un
known percentage probably sur
vive. The young hatch in about
sixty days, and most of them
return to the ocean during the
high water of spring.
The salmon of all kinds in the
spring are silvery, spotted or not
according to the species, and with
the mouth about equally symmetri
cal in both sexes.
As the spawning season ap
proaches the female loses her
silvery color, becomes more slimy,
the scales on the back partly sink
into the skin, and the flesh changes
from salmon red and becomes
variously paler, from the loss of
the oil; the degree of paleness
varying much with individuals and
with inhabitants of different rivers.
In the lower Sacramento the
flesh of the quinnat in either spring
or fall is rarely pale. In the
Columbia, a few with pale flesh
are sometimes taken in spring,
and a good many in the fall. In
Frazer's river the fall run of the
quinnat is nearly worthless for
canning purposes, because so many
are white meated. In the spring
very few are white meated, but
the number increases towards fall,
when there is every variation, some
havinfr red streaks runninjr through
them, others being red toward the
head and pale toward the tail,
the red and pale ones cannot be
distinguished externally, and the
color is dependent neither on age
nor sex. There is said to be no
difference in the taste, but there is
no market for canned salmon not
of the conventional orange color.
As the season advances, the dif
ferences between the males and
the females become more and more
marked, and keep pace with the
development of the milt, as is
shown bv dissection.
The males have: (a.) The pre
maxillaries and the tip of the lower
jaw more ana more prolonged,
both of them becoming finally
strongly and often extravagantly
hooked, so that either they shut by
the side of each other like shears,
or else the mouth cannot be closed.
b.) The front teeth become very
long and canine-like, their growth
proceeding very rapidly, until they
arc often half an jneh long, (c.)
The teeth on the vomer and tongue
often disappear, (d.) The body
grows more compressed and deeper
at the shoulders, so that a vory
distinct hump is formed; this is
more developed in 0. rjorbmtcha,
but is found in all. (?.) Thescales
disappear, especially on the back,
by the growth of spongy fckin.
(J'.) The color changes from silvery
to various shades of black and red
or blotchy, according to the species.
The blue-back turns rosy red, the
dog salmon a dull, blotch red,
and the quinnat generally blackish.
These distorted males are com
monly considered worthless, re
jected by the canners and salmou
salters, but preserved by the
Indians. These changes are due
solely to influences connected with
the growth of the testes. They
are not in any way due to the
action of fresh water. They take
place at about the same time in
the adult males of ail species,
whether in the. ocean or in the
rivers. At the time of the spring
runs, all are symmetrical. In the
fall, all males of whatever species
are more or less distorted. Among
the dog salmon, which run only in
the fall, the males are hook
jawed and red-blotched when they
first enter the straits of Fuca from
the outside. The '-imp-back, taken
in salt water about. Seattle, shows
the same peculiarities. The male
is slab-sided, hook-billed and dis
torted, and is rejected by the can
ners. No hook-jawed females of
any species have been seen.
It is not positively known that
any hook-jawed male survives the
reproductive act. If any do, their
jaws must resume the normal form.
On first entering a stream the
salmon swim about as if playing;
they always head towards the cur
rent, and this "playing" may be
simply due to facing the flood
tide. Afterwards they enter the
deepest parts of the stream and
swim straight up, with few inter
ruptions. Their rate of travel on
the Sacramento is estimated by
Stone at about two miles per day;
on the Columbia at about three
miles per day.
As already stated, the economic
value of any species depends in
great part on its being a "spring
salmon." It is not generally pos
sible to capture salmon of any
species in large numbers until they
have entered the rivers, and the
spring salmon enter the rivers
long before the growth of the
organs of reproduction has reduced
the richness of the flesh. The
fall salmon cannot be taken in
quantity until their flesh has de
teriorated, hence the "dog salmon"
is practically almost worthless,
except to the Indians, and the
hump-back salmon is little better.
The silver salmon, with the same
breeding habits as the dog salmon,
is more valuable, as it is found Jn
Puget-sound for a considerable
time before the fall rains cause the
fall runs, and it may be takeu in
large numbers with seins before
the season for entering the rivers.
The quinnat salmon, "from its
great size and abundance is more
valuable than all other fishes on our
Pacific coast together. The blue
back, similar in flesh but much
smaller and less abundant, is
worth much more than the
combined value of the three re
maining species.
The fall salmon of all species,
but especially the dog salmon,
ascend streams but a short dis
tance before spawning. They seem
to be in great anxiety to find fresh
water and many of them work
their way up littleJjrooks only a
few inches deep, where they soon
perish miserably, floundering about
on the stones. Every stream, of
whatever kind, has more or less of
these tall salmon.
It is the prevailing impression
that the salmon have some special
instinct which leads them to re
turn to spawn in the same spawn
ing grounds where they were
originally hatched. Wc fail to
find any evidence of this in the
case of Pacific coast salmon, and
we do not believe U to be true. It
seems more probable that the
young salmon, hatched in any
river, mostly remain in the ocean
within a radius of twenty, thirty
or forty miles of its mouth. These,
in their movements about in the
ocean, may come into contact with
the cold waters of their parent
rivers, or perhaps at any other
river at n considerable distance
from the shore. In the case of
the quinnat and the blue-back,
their "instinct" leads them to
ascend these fresh waters, and in
a majority of cases these waters
will be those in which the fishes
in question were originally spawn
ed, kater in the season the
growth of the reproductive organs
leads them to approach the shore
and to search for fresh waters, and
still the chances are that they may
find the original stream. But un
doubtedly many fall salmon ascend,
or try to ascend, streams in which
no samou was ever hatched.
It is said of the Russian river
and other California rivers, that
their mouths in the. time of low
water in sumuer, generally be
come entirely closed by sand bars,
and that the salmon in their eager
ness to ascend them, frequently
fling themselves entirely out of
water on the beach. But this
does not prove that the salmon are
guided by a marvelous geographi
cal instinct which leads them to
their parent river. The waters of
Russian river soak through these
sand bars and the salmon "in
stinct," we think, leads them
merely to search lor tre.sii waters.
This matter is much in need of
further investigation; at present,
however, we find no reason to
believe that the salmon enter
Rogue river simply because they
were hpawned there, or that a
salmon hatched in the Clackamas
river is any the more likely on that
account to return to the Clacka
mas than to go up the Cowlitz or
the Des Chutes.
"At the hatchery on Rogue river,
the fish are stripped, marked and
set free, and every year since the
hatchery has been m operation
some of the marked fish have been
re-caught. The young fry are
also marked, but none of them
have been re-caught."
This year the run of silver
salmon in Frazer's river was very
light, while on Puget-sound the
run was said by the Indians to be
greater than ever known before.
Both these cases may be due to
the same cause, the drv summer,
low water and consequent failure
of the salmon to find the rivers.
The in ii in the sound is much
more irregular than in the large
rivers, i Jne year they win auounu
in one bay and its tributary
stream and hardly be seen in an
other, while the next year the
condition will be reversed. At
cape Flattery the run of silver
salmon for the present year was
very small, which fact was gener
ally attributed by the Indians to
the birth of twins at Neah hay.
In regard to the diminution of
the number of salmon on the coast.
In Pugot-sound, Frazer river
and the smaller streams, there
appears to be little or no evi
dence of this. In the Columbia
river the evidence appears some-
the number caught was about half
as great as now, the amount ef: net
ting used was perhaps one-eighth
as much. With a comparatively
small outfit the canners caught
half the fish, now the nets much
larger and more numerous, they
catch them all, scarcely any escap
ing during the fishing season (April
1 to August 1). Whether an ac
tual reduction in the number of fish
running cau be provpn or not,
there can be no question that the
present rate of destruction of the
salmon will deplete the river be
fore many years. A considerable
number of quinnat salmon run in
August and September, and some
stragglers even later; these how
are all which keep up the supply
of fish in the river. The. non-mo
lestation of this fall run, therefore,
does something to atone for the
almost total destruction of the
spring run.
This, however, is insufficient. A
well ordered salmon hatchery is
the only means by which the des
truction of the salmon in the river
San be prevented. This hatchery
should be under the control of
Oregon and Washington, and
should be supported by a tax
levied on the canned fish. It should
be placed on a stream where the
quinnat salmon actually come to
It has been questioned whether
the present hatchery on the Clack
amas river actually receives the
quinnat salmon in any numbers.
It is asserted, in faet, that the eggs
of the silver salmon and dog sal
mon, with scattering quinnat, are
hatched there. We have no erxact
information as to the truth of these
reports, but the matter should be
taken into serious consideration.
On the Sacramento river there
is no doubt of the reduction of the
number of salmon; this is doubt
less mainly attributable to over
fishing, but in part it may be due
to the destruction of spawning
beds by mining operations and
other causes.
As to the superiority of the Co
lumbia river salmon; there is no
doubt that the quinnat salmon
average larger and fatter in the
Columbia than in the Sacramento
and in Puget-sound. The differ
ence in the canned fish is, how
ever, probably hardly appreciable.
The canned salmon from the Co
lumbia, however, bring a better
price in the market than those
from elsewhere. The Canners there
have had a high regard for the
reputation of the river, and have
avoided canning fall fish or species
other than the quinnat. In the
Frazer's river the blue-back is
largely canned, and its flesh being
a little more watery and perhaps
paler, is graded below the quinnat.
On Puget-sound, various species
are canned; in fact, everything
with red flesh. The best canners
on the Sacramento apparently take
equal care with their product with
those of the Columbia, but they
depend largely on the somewhat
inferior fall run.' There are, how
ever, sometimes salmon canned in
San Francisco, which have been in
the city markets, and for some rea
son remaining unsold, have been
sent to the canners; such salmon
are unfit for food, and canning
them should be prohibited.
The fact that the hump-back
salmon runs only on alternate
years in Puget-sound (1875, 1877,
1879, etc.) is well attested and at
present unexplained. Stray indi
viduals only are taken in other
years. This species has a distinct
"run," in the United States, only
in Puget-sound, although individ
uals (called "lost salmon") are oc
casionally taken in the Columbia
and in the Sacramento.
Chenamus Street. - ASTOKIA. OEEGC
Office over Pajje & Allen's store, Cass street
Office over "Warren & Eatou's Astoria Mar
ket, opposite the Occident Hotel.
Chenamus Street, near Occident Hotel,
Agent 'Wells, Fargo & Co.
Rooms in Allen's building up stairs, cornr
or and Sqemocqhe streets.
TV- TtT. 1. JEW'IN'GS, "
Graduate University of Virginia, j68
Pnyiclan to Bay View hospital, Baltimore
City. iSTO-TO.
Okkicr. -In rage & Allen's building, up
stairs. Astoria.
JAY TUTTIiK, 31. 1).
Okfick Over the White House Store.
Rksidkxck Next door to Mrs. Munson's
boarding house, Chenamus street, Astorl
t J
Dental Rooms.
Photograph Buihhn;
Occident Hotel Building,
Q H. BAIN ifc CO.,
Doors, IVlndowH, .Blinds, Traa
soxhm, IiHmlwr, Etc,
AH kinds ot Oak Lumber, Glass, Boat Ma
terial, etc.
Steam Mill near Weston hotel. Cor. Gen
evive and Astor streets.
Portland and Astoria, Oregon.
Refor by porinisaion to Kozers.Meyers&Co,
Allen fc Lewis, Cor bitt.fcMacleay,
Portland. Oregon.
Occident Hotel Hair Dressing Saloon
Ilot, Cold, Shower,
Steam and Sulphur
JST-Speclal attention given toladles'anfl
hlldren's hair cutting.
Private Entrance for Ladies.
Chkxamus Stiiekt, opposite Adler's Book
store, - AsToitiA, Oregon.
tST Perfect fits guaranteed. All work
warranted. Give me a trial. AH orders
promptly filled.
what conflictinir; the catch during:
the present year (18S0) has been
considerably greater than ever be
fore (nearly 540,000 cases 48 lbs.
each having been packed), although
the fishing for three or four years
has been very extensive. On the
other hand, the high water of the
present spring has undoubtedly
caused many fish to become spring
salmon which would otherwise
have run in the fall. Moreover, it
is urged that a few years ago when
w. r M'CAHK,
Astoria office At E. C Holden's Auction
store. Portland office 24 B street. 13-tf
Music Lessons.
Would like a few pupils on either of the
nliore instruments.
Terms Eight lessons for live dollars.
JSJOrders left at Stevens & Sons book
store will be promptly attended to.
To-Night. To-NigJit.
dealer in
Cash paid for country produce. Small
profits on cash sales. Astoria, Oregon, cor
ner of Main and Squemocqhe streets.
A cough, cold or sore throat should be
stopped. Neglect frequently results in
an incurable lung disease or consump
tion, lirown's Bronchial troches do not
disorder the stomach like couch syrups
I and balsams, but act directly on the m-
iiuiueu piirus. uimyiug irruauuii, Kivc
relief in asthma, bronchitis, coughs,
catarrh, and the throat troubles which
singers and public speakers are subject
to. For thirty years BrowuTs bronchial
troches have been recommended by
physicians, and always giva perfect
satisfaction. Having Deen tested by
wide and constant use for nearly an en
tire generation, they have attained well
merited rank among the few staple
remedies of the age. Sold at 25 cents a
box everywhere.
Warranty dee.-!" quitclaim deeds
and mortgages, for saiu at this office.
The undersigned Is prepared to furnish
a large number of Spiles and Spars at hta
place on short notice, at reasonable rates.
Apply to C.G.CAPLES,
Columbia City
Corner Chenamus and Cass streets.
Wm. Houseman of Portland
and customers, that he has opened
Next to G. "W. Hume's grocery store.