Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

bills, esposing a bed of fine gray sand, in which living springs bubble up continually, and fill the excavation with clear cool water.

It is proposed to increase the height of the dam five or six feet, and obtain a pond of three or four acres. Another pond, below the hatching. bouse is also filled with trout. When the full capacity of the works is employed, it is believed that some hundreds of thousands of the beauti. ful Salmo fontinalis may be sporting together within their waters.

Cold Spring trout works at Charlestown, Nero Hampshire.-Rev. Livingstone Stone has a nursery of brook trout at Charlestown, near the Connecticut, where he has also been experimenting with salmon. He received a portion of the seventy thousand eggs obtained from the Miri. michi, in New Brunswick, a year ago, the remainder going to the hatching-boxes of J.S. Robinson, of Meredith Village, toward the restocking of the Merrimack River. Mr. Stone has since obtained, after encoutering opposition and hinderance from the authorities of New Bruns. wick, two hundred and fifty thousand eggs from forty salmon, half of which were left, by stipulation, to be hatched in their native stream, and half were distributed among the pisciculturists of Massachusetts and New llampshire, for the stocking of the Connecticut, Merrimack, Salmon Falls, and other rivers of these States. The parent salmon weighed from ten to thirty pounds. The largest number of eggs taken from a single fish was estimated at twenty thousand; the eggs packed in baskets of wet moss, and conveyed one hundred and twenty miles on sleds, three hundred and twenty by rail, and two hundred and eiglity by water. At Cold Spring there are about one hundred and fifty thousand trout hatched, one hundred and sixty thousand eggs,) and an extensive salmon pursery is in full operation.

Long Island trout ponds.— Experimental and initiatory practice in trout-rearing is becoming common upon Long Island. An investment of tbree hundred thousand dollars, as is reported, has already been made. Returns have of course been light as yet, except in the sale of eggs and young fish.

A few of these improvements may be mentioned. The Sportsman's Club consists of one hundred members; entrance fee, five hundred dol. lars; yearly clues, twenty dollars. Its property, (at Islip,) sixty to seventy acres, with natural streams, improved by art, exceeds fifty thousand dollars in value, and is yearly increasing in pecuniary and piscatory value. It is at Smitlitown, on the north side of the island.

The “Stump Pond,” owned by Phillips & Vales, is fished by the “Walton Club.” The property covers two hundred acres. Perch and other intruders reduce the value of the property as a trout preserve.

Near this property is one of the best improvements on Long Island; Vaitlanil's Pond, costing thirty thousand dollars, including forty acres or land. A costly lesson in fish-culture was taken by the proprietor, in failius at first to drain off the stream and expel the burrowing pike aad cels, which led to satiety upon the young trout, and to remove the mud and slime of the bottom.

A fine stream, ten miles west of that of the Sportsman's Club, owned by Stillingworth and Johnson, has been improved, and is valued, with two hundred acres of land, at thirty thousand dollars.

At South Oysterbay is a fine trout pond, the property of Timothy Carman, valued at fifteen thousand dollars. The most approved methods of practical pisciculture have been adopted in fitting up a preserve upon the property of August Belmont, as also upon the Phelps property, and a dozen or nore other improvements, valued at five to ten thousand rollars cach, have been made between Jamaica and Islip.

A very complete establishment is that of Mr. Furman, at Maspeth. The stream, passing through a marshy tract, was small and sluggishi, and the experiment of extending it in curves like the letter S through a course of half a mile was deemed a doubtful one; but pure springs came bubbling up from the sand below the excavated earth; the bottom was covered with washed gravel and pebbles, and the sides lined to prevent the washing in of mud. A dam shuts off the surface water, and the improvements of ponds, spawning grounds, and nurseries are very extensive and complete.

Successful experiments in lower latitudes.—The black bass, (Grystes fasciatus,) ranking little below the brook trout as a game fish, and surpassed by few species in quality and flavor, was a few years since unknown in the Potomac, but is now found in moderate abundance in the markets of Washington. Two sportsmen have killed in a few hours of a summer day, a short distance above this city, with the red ibis fis, eighty pounds of this fine fish. It is said that these waters were supplied with black bass as a result of the introduction of a dozen or more, which had been brought from the West in a locomotive tank, by a Mr. Stabler, and thrown into the Potomac at Cumberland, Maryland. The increase in this river has been rapid, and is indicative of what may be accomplished in stocking eastern rivers with new species of fish, as well as replenishing them with old kinds.

The facility with which the brook trout can be propagated in situations having a constant supply of spring water is well illustrated by an experiment made in Pennsylvania, and reported by the editor of the Turf, Field, and Farm, in which twelve hundred trout, weighing onefourth of a pound each, were bred in a large horse-trough at a country tavern and fed upon offal from the kitchen and curds from the dairy.

In the States west of the Alleghanies less attention has been given to the subject, the population of that great section not having crowded upon subsistence as yet, and the lakes and rivers not yet giving signs of exhaustion. Here and there a gentleman has a small trout preserve upon his own premises, as a matter of taste and luxury.

A few cases of more extensive effort are reported. A Mr. James Campbell, of Washington County, Indiana, has four trout ponds, in which he has, as is claimed, ten thousand fine speckled trout weighing a pound each.

OYSTER CULTURE.

The culture of oysters in this country, though mainly confined to their planting and fattening in sheltered beds, somewhat similar to the l'rench claires, or fattening beds, is destined to be greatly extended, especially in the direction of breeding them by artificial aids and appliances. The efforts of ostreoculturists may be stimulated by a view of this branch of French industry, condensed from the London Technologist:

“ The very latest novelty in French oyster culture is the introduction by Mlle. Sarah Felix, the sister of the late Madame Rachel, of the American horse-shoe oyster. This lady is an enthusiastic ostreoculturist, and she has a suite of parks near Havre, which are said to be very profitable. Many of Mlle. Felix's countrymen have of late years taken to oyster farming, and in a short time the foreshores of France will be crowded with oyster-beds, when one of the greatest industries of that country will assuredly be the breeding and fattening of that popular shell-fish. The expense of rearing oysters is so trifling, and the returns so large, that thousands of the seafaring people have gone into the business, and many

[graphic][merged small]

BLACK BASS-MICROPTEILUS ACHIDAN, (GALYSTES FASCIATUS.)

of the iniand vine-growers and general farmers have removed to the coast in order to try their luck at this new industry. There is a great demand for the oyster in all parts of France, and as the mollusk may be kept out of the water for a few days without any harm, or can be kept in tanks and be artificially fed till such time as it is wanted for table purposes, a number of fishermen, who could not find an outlet for either their round or flat fish in consequence of the rapid transit required to insure their fish being fresh on arrival at the market, have, within a year or two, taken to the rearing and fattening of oysters. There are few places now on the shores of France where oyster culture is not carried on in some of its varied phases. There are either viviers for keeping them alive till called for; parks for breeding them in; claires for fattening them, or pits for greening them. And the French government, with a view to promote so landable an industry, has established model beds on various parts of the coast, in order to teach practically the art of oyster farming. As well as being useful in a commercial sense, these model beds have been of great use to M. Coste and other French naturalists, by allowing them to determine the exact age at which the oyster becomes reproductive, without which knowledge no animal, sea or land, can be profitably bred. The French park system also admits of the proper study of the spat mystery, which is now attracting the gravest attention of all interested in the natural and economic history of the oyster. As an example of the spat difficulty, it may be mentioned, that while in the basin of Arcachon, the spat has never been known to fail, yet around the Ile 'le Ré the fall for these some years back has been very intermittent, as it has also been on the English beds. In the sheltered basin of Arcachon the plentiful spatting may be accounted for on the principle that the spat has nowhere else to go-it must fall within the basin. In an open expanse of sea it is different; the spat may be carried away to great dis. tances by tidal iniluences, or a sharp breeze upon the water may waft the oyster seed away for many a long mile. Every bed has its own time for spatting; thus, one division of the Ré beds may be spatting on a fine warm day, when the sea is like glass, so that the spat cannot fail to fall; while on another portion of the island the spat may fal on a windy day, and be thus left to the tender mercy of a fiercely receding tide, and so be lost, or fall, mayhap, on inaccessible rocks, a long way from the shore. On the Isle of Oleron, which supplies the green oyster breeders of Marennes with such large quantities, it is quite certain that in the course of the summer a friendly wave will waft large quantities of spat into the artificial parks, when it is known that the oysters in these parks have not spawned.

The difference between French and English oyster farming is not much, but the little that there is, is of great importance in the economy of an oyster farm. The endeavor of the French is to obtain spat or brood without purchase. Hitherto this has not been the case in England; the dredgemen are but too willing to pay for brood when it can be obtained, but of late years, in consequence of a paucity of spat, it has become scarce and ill to get. The new oyster farms which have been laid down in England of late years are all upon the French plan, and already we are hearing of their success, spat having fallen upon some of them in great plenty. In the Firth of Forth oyster beds, no pains are taken to protect the oyster; the grounds are never overhauled or “worked;" the brood is sold by the hogshead to all and sundry who will come and buy it; the result, as may be expected, is that in Edinburgh oysters are scarce, small in size, and dear. While the men of Whitstable have become rich by their thrift, the men of Newhaven have become

« AnteriorContinuar »