Open main menu

Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 61.djvu/209

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
203
THE SACRAMENTO SALMON.

The average size of the fry passing Balls Ferry January 30 was 1.51 inches, and of those passing Walnut Grove 34 days later 1.79 inches, an increase of .28 of an inch. Those passing Balls Ferry February 18 were 1.48 inches long, and 34 days later at Walnut Grove 1.77 inches, an increase of .29 inch. We have learned from other sources that the fry increase in length about .30 inch a month, and .28 and .29 inch in 34 days is not far from that rate.

It seems, therefore, both from the size and number taken at the two stations, that fry are about 34 days in passing from the upper to the lower station. The distance between the two stations is about 350 miles, as the river winds, and their average daily progress is therefore about 10 miles a day.

An object floating with the current would make the distance between the stations in less than 10 days, and if fry traveled only at night and merely kept with the current, they would be only 18 or 20 days on the way. It is probable that fry in migrating drift down stream tail first, keeping the head up stream for ease in breathing, as well as for convenience

PSM V61 D209 Walnut grove salmon trap.png

Walnut Grove Trap.

in catching food. In this way they would drift more slowly than the current. I have seen fry at Battle Creek fishery traveling with the current, and always with the head up stream, unless frightened. The later and larger specimens found at Walnut Grove had simply been longer on the road. The larger they became the more slowly they drifted. Without doubt there are a few passing down the river all summer, though we have been unable to find any after June.

Much seining was done along the shores of Suisun, San Pablo and San Francisco bays, and in Tomales Bay, to determine something of the fry in brackish and salt water. Very few specimens were taken, probably not over 50. The smallest specimens taken in San Pablo Bay were 2.4 inches long, which indicates an age of about 414 months, and a period of three months for the migration.

A net stretched across the mouth of Olema Creek, emptying into