General Remarks on the Fisheries.

Nova Scotia. The returns show that the fisheries of this Province do not only maintain the improvement of the last few years, but they show a large increase over any former year. While this improvement embraces nearly all kinds of fish, it is most marked in cod, mackerel, herring, salmon, and lobsters.

The encouragement offered by the bounty has largely increased the number of vessels and boats engaged in the deep-sea and shore fisheries.

New Brunswick. From this Province the returns show a large in- crease in the yield of its fisheries. A most gratifying feature is the general improvement in the salmon fishery, which extends to almost every district in which this fishery is pursued. Smelt, herring, and lobsters show increased catches. Shad and alewives also share in the general improvement, but the sturgeon fishery shows a large falling off from former years. In some districts the herring fishery was not so productive, while in others it shows a largely increased catch. This is no doubt due to the erratic movements of the schools of this fish, which, while never leaving our coast, change their habitat according to temperature, weather, and the location of their favorite food.

Quebec. The late date at which the ice left in the spring, and the stormy weather which almost constantly prevailed in the Gulf during the fishing season, has caused a considerable decrease in the catch of almost all kinds of fish. The decrease in the catch of salmon on the south shore of Gaspe and Bonaventure is, however, counterbalanced by the increased catch on the north shore.

(1) Extracts from the Annual Report of the Department of Fisheries, Dominion of Canada, for the year 1884.


More interest than usual was taken in the mackerel fishery, and considerable outlay was made by local fishermen; but unfavorable weather doubtless affected the movements of the schools, which did not go to the west of Cape Breton, and the catch made was inconsiderable.

The inland fisheries show a large decrease as compared with the catch of 1883. This falling off, which was noticeable in almost every kind of fish, is due more to a prevalence of contrary winds and stormy weather than to any scarcity of fish.

Prince Edward Island. The stormy and unfavorable weather which prevailed in the Gulf extended also to the straits, and had the same effect on the island fisheries. The returns show a large falling off in all kinds of fish, the decrease being most marked in mackerel. The single exception is the lobster fishery, which, contrary to general expectation, has been good, and the returns show a considerable increase over the very large catch of last year.

The enormous extent to which this fishery has been developed and the constantly increasing number of factories and fishermen have led to much confusion. It will soon be necessary, in the interest of the fishery, as well as of the fishermen and packers, to bring it under the more effective control of the Department.

British Columbia. The returns from this Province show a large decrease in the salmon catch of the Fraser River, where only six canneries out of thirteen were in operation. This result was not due to any scarcity of fish, but to the large quantity of preserved salmon on the market and the low prices obtained.

A fish hatchery, measuring 100 by 40 feet, was built during last sea- son on the Fraser River. It will easily accommodate 3,000,000 quinnat salmon eggs or 5,500,000 saw-quai [or "suk-kegh," a name for blue-back salmon?] salmon ova. By doubling the trays, double this number of eggs can be laid down. The catching of parent salmon began about the beginning of July, and by the close of the season 3,000,000 eggs were on the trays. The operations were highly successful, and reflect credit upon the officer in charge, Mr. Thomas Mowat.

Ontario. The total value of the fisheries in the Province of Ontario is reckoned at $1,133,724.26. On Lake Superior, Lake Huron, and Georgian Bay the individual catches did not much exceed those of last year, but the number of fishermen was larger and the aggregate yield consequently increased. The severe stormy weather which prevailed during the first part of November greatly interfered with the fishermen's operations by damaging or destroying a large amount of twine and driving the runs of fish off the reefs; but, on the whole, the result was satisfactory.




The total value of the fisheries of Canada for the year 1884 is reck- oned as follows:

Nova Scotia .................................$8,763,779.36
New Brunswick ..............................3,730,453.99
Quebec .........................................1,694,560.85
British Columbia..............................1,358,267.10
Prince Edward Island.......................1,085,618.68

Showing a total value of ...............$17,766,404.24
as against $16,958,192.98 in 1883, an increase of $808,211.26.

This is exclusive of the quantity consumed by the Indian population of British Columbia, and also of the yield of Manitoba and the Northwest Territories, from which, although steps have been taken to supply the information in future, no reliable data are available for the present report.

The following table is valuable for its recapitulation of the yield of the different kinds of fish throughout Canada during 1883 and 1884, with a comparison of the products of these years:

The yield and value of fisheries in the Dominion of Canada for the years 1883 and 1884.



The yield and value of fisheries in the Dominion of Canada. Continued.

Fish Breeding in 1884
The general success of the several institutions during 1884, as given below, will be found satisfactory, as evidencing the onward progress of the work as a whole, although returns from some of the hatcheries do not show as large a crop of ova laid down as in the previous year of 1883. The falling off in the quantity of eggs was occasioned by a less number of parent salmon having been captured at some of the stations than during the season of 1833.

There are now twelve establishments for the propagation of fish by artificial methods, in actual operation in the several provinces of the Dominion. These hatcheries are all at the present time (December 31, 1884) largely filled with fish eggs which have been collected at various points throughout Canada during the spawning season of 1884. The latest hatchery erected on the Fraser River in British Columbia was completed only in time to receive its first crop of ova last autumn.

Particulars relative to the rearing and distribution of fry from eleven of the above-mentioned nurseries during the spring of 1884 are herewith submitted in detail; likewise a deseriptive account of the



quantities and species of eggs that were laid down in each of the twelve hatcheries last autumn is given below.

The total number of young fish of various kinds hatched and turned out of these eleven institutions into many of the rivers and other waters of Canada in 1884 amounted to 53,143,000; and the total quantity of eggs laid down in all the hatcheries in the fall of 1884 was 66,033,000.

The particular number and description of young fish bred in each of the nurseries in the several provinces during the hatching season or spring of 1884 was as follows: