Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 43.djvu/434

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diminished, no matter what methods man may use for their capture; and he suggests the establishment of experiment stations for developing fish and other plant-food industries. (Boston: Wright & Potter, 1892.)

In pamphlets 202 and 203 of the United States Fish Commission Bashford Dean contributes some important data concerning the science of oyster culture. The first of these reports deals with the Physical and Biological Characteristics of the Natural Oyster Grounds of South Carolina. He draws attention to the appearance of immense natural but partly obsolete oyster beds on the coast of this State, and explains how oyster culture might be again profitably developed there. In the chapter on the Absence of Oyster Spat in Deep Water, Mr. Dean calls attention to the extraordinary silt suspension along the coast, and points out that this matter is, de facto, one of the causes why oysters do not thrive in the deeper waters. He claims that "to plant in deep waters clean shells as spat collectors would in this region be futile"; but that an abundance of both oyster seed and oyster food exist in South Carolinian waters, and that in the marginal waters, "from the level of low tide to about a fathom in depth," oyster culture could be very advantageously developed.

The second pamphlet is entitled A Report on the Present Methods of Oyster Culture in France. This subject is very interestingly discussed, and the result of Mr. Dean's observations will, by comparison, be of pertinent value to those who are interested in the conditions, industry, and culture of the oyster in American waters. He tells the entire process of oyster-raising in France, from the time the swimming fry becomes attached to the collectors until the grown oyster is shipped for consumption. He also defines the difference between the American oyster and the French "flat" oyster, which is akin to the English "native." The American and Portuguese are monosexual, whereas the "flats" are bisexual; so that, as says Mr. Dean, it is difficult to reconcile the relationship between both species. Both reports are profusely illustrated with photographs of the localities and processes of collection and general culture. (Washington, 1892.)

Edwin T. Dumble, State Geologist of Texas, in a report of 243 pages, gives an exhaustive treatise on the "character, formation, occurrence, and fuel uses" of the brown coal and lignite of his State. These coals are widely distributed throughout Texas, the coal measures of the "northern central portion of the State" occupying an area of several thousand square miles. Recapitulating the results of his investigations—some of which were made in Europe, for the purpose of comparison—Mr. Dumble claims that "brown coal and lignite, of good quality and under certain conditions, are fully capable of replacing bituminous coal for any and all household, industrial, and metallurgical purposes."

There are instructive chapters on artificial fuel, the composition of Texan coal, and its utilization and formation. And the State Geologist adds that as Texas has an abundant supply of brown coal "equal to the best which has been utilized, and far superior to much that has been used satisfactorily in other countries," there is no economic reason why the wonderful coal measures of Texas should not be more fully developed. (Austin: Ben Jones & Co., 1892.)

Barton W. Everman, Assistant Commissioner of Fish and Fisheries, has made interesting reports on the advisability of establishing fish-hatching stations in the Rocky Mountain region and Gulf States. In making such an investigation several considerations have to be taken into account. The chief requirement is a constant supply of pure water, "not less than a thousand gallons per minute," at a temperature not exceeding 50°; but of equal importance is the selection of a stream or spring free from contamination and containing as few as possible of such enemies of the Salmonidæ family and their spawn as the blob, etc. The first part of the report is devoted to his investigations in Montana and Wyoming. In some of the mountain streams no trout were found, and in many of those streams there was a marked absence of algæ, chara, and other suitable water vegetation. All the tributaries of the Columbia and Missouri Rivers were investigated—fifty-nine streams in all—and finally Dr. Everman considered that the most advantageous places to select as a hatchery are Horsethief Springa, Botteler Springs, and Davies Springs. All of these are close to Yellowstone National Park, in Montana, but he prefers Horsethief