« AnteriorContinuar »
over the bottoms of the troughs by means of a fine feather. During the entire process the eggs had not for an instaut been exposed to the atmosphere.
" This process of impregnating and depositing in the hatching-house was repeated semi-daily until January 12, 1868, during which period about seventy-five thousand eggs were taken. Experience shows that from a trout of one pound about one thousand eggs is the average yield; but owing to causes entirely beyond the control of the proprietor, only twenty thousand hatched. The dead eggs were removed daily, being readily distinguished by turning snow-white; these still retaining their vitality resembled small pearls, being translucent and slightly clouded. The first young appeared December 10, forty days after the impregnation of the eggs."
Fish-breeding works at Meredith Village, New Hampshire.—The trout and salmon nurseries and general fish-breeding works of Hoyt & Robinson, at Meredith Village, New Hampshire, present a good example of what may be done in pisciculture with a small but constant stream of uniformly cold water, in a location properly situated. The spring supplying the water gushes in a bold stream from the base of a sharp declivity at the head of a narrow ravine, and is the source of a well-known trout brook, less than a mile in length, discharging into Lake Winnipiseogee.
The ponds are so small and yet so populous with thousands of trout and salmon, that they may well serve to illustrate the wonderful facility with which these fish may be reared, in suitable water, with some attention and feeding. The accompanying wood-cut shows the relative size and form of the ravine itself, the ponds, raceway, &c. The first pond, about the size of a city house-lot, twenty-three by one hundred feet, contains thousands of trout from one to two years old, which, as seen by the writer, sporting in water so clear that every one was visible, and crowding one another in their graceful and constant movements, presented a scene of natural grace and beauty rarely equalled.
The temperature of the water is forty-eight degrees in summer, and forty-five degrees in winter, and the uniformity of temperature is no less remarkable than the purity of the water.
The lowest of the three ponds, which is the largest and deepest, is occupied by the fish of three or four years, weighing from one to three pounds. At a recent inspection, a small dip-net, at a single sweep, while the speckled beauties were competing for an award of minced lirer, was seen to rise half filled with a struggling mass of well-grown trout. From this pond a fishway (as shown in the illustration) leads to the brook below, by which many wild trout ascend and fall into a box, from which they are taken and added to the general stock.
Just below the hatching-house, between the first and second ponds, a raceway is adapted to the uses of a fish nursery, and Mr. Robinson has contrived a feeding apparatus which consists of a box, or miniature race. way, in the bottom of which slits of three or four inches in length are cut obliquels through at intervals of a few feet; and through these apertures the food is distributed by a gentle stream of water which is kept constantly flowing through the box. It is curions to observe the young fry, as they frequent the space beneath these apertures, and seize apon every atom of food which falls into the water; ereu (leaning aray the sand and gravel which covers the bottom of the raceway in their competition, in which they imitate the greed and voracity of pigs feeding at a common trough.
Another feature of their establishment is the preparation of artificial spawning beds, in which the trout may deposit their ova naturally. They consist of ir series of screens, the lower one with very fine meshes, the upper with coarser ones covered with clean gravel or small stones. Upon the latter the parent fish make their nests in the spawning season, the female expressing the ova, and the male throwing the milt, just as they are accustomed to work in the natural stream; and the fertilized spawn, falling through the first screen, rests securely upon the second or lower, which is removed to the hatching-house to be watched and waited upon until the hour of hatching arrives.
In 1867 there were hatched here, 10,000 brook trout, 40,000 lake trout, and 5,000 salmon; in 1869, (hatched or eggs sold.) 100,000 brook trout and 46,000 salmon. There are now 20,000 breeding trout in the ponds, from which 1,000,000 small.fry are expected another season,
Trout breeding at Nashua, New Hampshire.-An experiment in the artificial propagation of the trout was undertaken in 1867, by Messrs. George Stark, Edward Spaulding, Charles Williams, and 0. H. Phillips, in the interest of practical pisciculture, and with the hope of cheapening a desirable luxury. The location is peculiar. A marshy aroa of three or four acres is nearly surrounded by an ampitheatre of high hills, from the base of which issue numerous springs of clear cold water, which varies little in temperature during the year, and less, perhaps, in quantity of water discharged in different seasons. These springs, uniting, form a brook of sufficient volume to support naturally a goodly num. ber of the finny inhabitants, and a decided reputation as a trout stream, though it is little more than half a mile from its hundred heads to its single mouth, where it embouches into the Nashua.
A dam, three or four feet in height, was thrown across the ravine, and a pond of an acre and a half obtained, five or six feet deep at points of least elovation, but quite shallow in a large portion of its area, and interspersed with growing trees and shrubs and ferns and other forms of vegetation. So equable is the temperature of the water that there is noted a difference of only eight degrees; fifty degrees being the record in summer and forty-two degrees in winter. In this pond were placed five hundred trout; a hatching-house was erected just below, and ten thousand eggs were procured from Seth Green, and placed in the hatching-boxes for the first experiment in November, 1867. The water, before entering the boxes, was filtered through six flannel strainers, (which were washed nearly every day,) and every foreign substance and every decaying egg was removed. The result was successful beyond the expectation of the amateur fish-hatchers. In March, nine thousand small fry appeared, or ninety per cent., from ora brought more than four hundred miles.
While the eggs were being placed in the hatching-boxes, the full-grown trout in the pond above were seeking suitable spawning beds in shoal water in which they deposited their eggs, which were duly fertilized and left to hatch naturally. Early in the season large numbers were observed just from the egg, brisk and vigorous, the yolk sac unabsorbed, and growing to two or three inches in length by the following August. The older trout, fed two or three times a week with fresh liver, appeared to have doubled in weight during the year.
The experiment warranted larger resources, and in 1868 a more spacious house was built, capable of hatching one hundred thousand in a single season. Small tanks or ponds adjacent to the hatching-house are excavated for rearing the small fry, or for keeping tho spawners while ripening, by digging away a foot or two of bog earth at the base of the