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which the rainbow trout a 500,000 fish could be transbeautiful fish—thrives in waters ferred to the river; although similar to the Thames, we may a better policy would be to reconclude that it would thrive serve at least 100,000 of them well in it. There has been until they are two-year-olds. ample opportunity for testing This is not too great a mass of its qualities. A considerable fish to plant in such a river as stock is held by most pisci- the Thames : were we to go by culturists in England, and their the practice of pisciculturists in hardiness and rapid growth are charge of certain American and spoken of in high terms; while Continental waters, we should their beauty, and, we believe, have to estimate for two or their fine quality as food, are three times as many fish.
And not to be denied. In some in addition to these, fully-eyed cases they have been placed ova ought to be planted in redds, in unsuitable waters, and have artificially formed and protected, failed accordingly; but in pub- in which, though considerably lic reservoirs, and in slow and less successfully than in the deep-flowing waters, they grow hatchery, a supplementary stock rapidly, feed heartily (without of fish could be reared. being cannibals overmuch), rise
To hatch out this great quanfreely to the fly, and fight tity of ova, it will be necessary, every ounce of their weight. as has been said, to build a The evidence all points to the properly devised and equipped rainbow as a capital fish for hatchery, and it is no less necesthe Thames.
sary to place it under the conBefore the Thames could be- trol of a thoroughly competent come the trouting river which
Such a hatchery, and we have pictured it earlier, a the upkeep of it most of all, long course of assisting Nature will entail a large expenditure must be entered upon. Hatch- of money ; and the want of eries capable of hatching-out at money will be the first of the least one million ova in a season obstacles to present itself to the would have to be established promoters of the scheme. It upon the banks.
The fry, so
seems too much to expect that soon as they had absorbed the in England any experiment in umbilical sac, would be trans- pisciculture will receive State ferred to rearing-ponds care- aid. We have no belief that fully prepared to receive them, the support of the County and, where suitable, to fenced- Council and other public bodies, off portions of backwaters and such as would be given to it in tributary streams, and there other countries, is to be counted carefully assisted to food until upon. To begin with, at any they have reached the age of rate, the burden will have to be twelve months. Thereafter borne by the anglers themselves. they would be turned into the It will be necessary, thereriver. It seems reasonable to fore, for the societies to take count upon fifty per cent of the matter up, and, unfortuthe original ova reaching the nately, united action on their year-old stage. In that case, part is difficult to obtain. There
are in London two great asso- business to hatch out fish eggs. ciations of anglers, containing Plenty of water—that is the together some seven thousand main thing. In the case of the members. Besides these, there Thames, the supply of water are two great preservation so- could be afforded by the river cieties — the Thames Angling itself. A suitable method to and the Thames Restocking- adopt would be to obtain the and four up-river preservation water from one of the weirs, and restocking bodies. The whereby the water that flows interests of all these societies over the hatching boxes is are identical. They have, or water aerated to the highest they are supposed to have, the extent. The water-conveyed same reason for existing—the in a small pipe to a supply promotion of the sport of an- tank provided with an overflow gling on the Thames. But they outlet to prevent the swamping are disunited ; too often work- of the eggs should the river ing to the same end by antag- come down in flood — would
There are signs pass over the trays from the of a better feeling among them, tank in properly regulated it is true, and there would be volume. Very soon the eggs no better occasion for soldering would start to hatch, and then their differences than a joint would begin one of the most scheme for restocking their interesting and beautiful proriver; but we must anticipate cesses in Nature's economy; all the difficulties in the way of and as possibly it is unknown such an enterprise, and here un- to
of our readers, we may doubtedly is one of them.
It dwell upon it at some length, is necessary to be prepared for Within a few days of the the work being undertaken by hatching starting, the hatchinga section of the associations trays are transformed into a only, instead of by a joint-com mass of fish-life. There is no mittee representing them all. more helpless creature than
By whatsoever body it is the newly hatched fish; hence taken in hand, there the hatch- the great importance of protecery must be, in charge of an tion for it at this stage, and unexperienced pisciculturist til the umbilical sac is absorbed. sponsible for all hatching and So soon, however, as that is rearing operations. Every year, accomplished, and the young as our knowledge of fish-rearing fry, as they are called now, becomes deeper, the process is begin to feed, a new stage made simpler; but every year is entered upon. If a healthy shows also that, without the head of fish are to be produced, necessary knowledge, to enter the fry must be given at this upon the process is worse than point a copious, almost useless. Pisciculture has been unlimited, supply of water. In far too long a hobby in this the case of the Thames this country, - it is time that it would be a simple matter could became a science. In expert we assume that the various hands, given the water-supply, backwaters and small tributary it is comparatively a simple streams will be available ; but
even such them, the almost ridiculous dainty morsels as fresh - water results connected with past shrimps, taken from
a river efforts in stocking, and the where the trout indigenous to enhanced value of the river it feed upon them ravenously, should it become the home are frequently refused by the of Salmonido—it is not possible trout of another river to which to assume this. Failing these, they have been transferred. a succession of rearing-ponds Quite as much to the point is would have to be dug for the the fact noticed by ourselves reception of the output of fry that fish, fario especially, when year by year; an operation, transferred from river to river, fortunately, that would not in some fatten to extraordinary be costly — not so costly as dimensions, and in others get many of the earlier stocking lank and dark, even though experiments which
of all the waters experimented little use, if, indeed, they did with have been equally well not do more harm than good. stocked with food. There can At any rate, there is no other be no more remarkable illusway out of the difficulty: the tration of the effect of food young fry can only be reared upon fish than the condition in the backwaters and tributary of English trout when streams, or in artificially made climatised to New Zealand ponds,—in one or other.
waters. A very large EngStill more important and lish trout weighs about 5 ticklish than the housing of lbs. ; English trout of that the fry is the feeding of them. weight are
Until the But if the one is properly
properly ova of English fario were treated, the other is greatly acclimatised to New Zealand simplified Hatched - out fish rivers, no members of the Salstart life in "a water with an monidæ existed in them; yet enormous advantage if they to-day it is not unusual to have been reared in natural catch in these waters trout of surroundings; for amid these from 17 lbs. to 20 lbs. in they find an almost unlimited weight; and scores of fish supply of the larvæ of the arger, running to as high numerous insects which other- as 30 lbs., indeed, have been wise would have to be planted taken by rod and line. If, in the artificially made ponds, therefore, the young fry, with or supplied to the fish from which the Thames is to be time to time. Exactly as it stocked, unfortunately have to is to be desired that the fish be reared in artificial ponds, that are to be turned into the they ought to be fed plentifully Thames should be bred in the with food from the Thames tributaries and waters of the waters. Thames, so the food with which This is not to say, of course, they are supplied ought to be that hand-feeding does not play as far as possible of the kind an important part in pisciculthat they are likely to find ture. It is well known that in the Thames. Fish - cultur- fish reared almost entirely on
horse - flesh, liver, and other The remaining eighty and more substances specially prepared will be as fish that are waterand ground, and placed in less for a considerable period, naturally suitable conditions, during which they offer an easy have thriven remarkably well. prey to the pike and perch and But such fish, turned into other cannibals. Having been such a river as the Thames, bred and reared on the banks to find their own living there, of the river into which they are are a doubtful quantity in re- to be turned, and as far as stocking operations. This is possible nourished on natural a question of sport as well as food, the fish, when they arrive of food - supply, and it seems at the proper age, or rather at certain that fish brought up the proper size, ought to be entirely on a natural food- allowed the opportunity of taksupply, or almost so, give better ing up a position in the river at sport than the hand - reared, their own free will. . This is especially to anglers employing easily done by substituting for the finer and more delicate the grating that has been guardmethods.
ing them from the river There is still another matter, grating of larger mesh, which however. A very valuable stock will permit them to drop down of yearlings, or, better still, of into the river without permittwo-year-olds, reared and fed ting their carnivorous enemies under the most natural condi- to run up and ravage
the stock. tions, might be ready for the Every fish that drops down and Thames; but there remains the remains, we may be sure, has question of turning them in. found a favourable feeding posiIf there is a wrong method of tion, and is a valuable stock stocking rivers, even with the fish: were it not so, he would most suitable fish, reared under certainly return to his shelter. the most advantageous circum- On some such lines as these, stances, that is the method that with a hundred points of de
too generally to be tail which only an expert will adopted. Fish reared by the anticipate and attend to, it side of the river they are in- would be possible to convert tended to stock are frequently the Thames into a game-fish launched into it in a mass, —one
river: there is little room for constantly hears of this foolish diversity of opinion concerning step; and those who take it the measures it is necessary to pride themselves on having done take to that end. It is not as their duty by anglers, and as- to method that disagreement sisted in keeping up a head of need be expected, but as to the fish which they are always so desirability of the change which willing, and sometimes so able, it is intended to effect. There to diminish. That is vanity. are many considerations besides Take a hundred yearling trout the adaptability of the river and place them in any part of for salmon and trout. This the Thames. Not twenty will is not merely a fish-culturist's make themselves at home at question. It is not entirely once in their new quarters. an angler's question. Any
measure affecting the char- will be spent mainly in proacter, or even the manage- tecting the very sport which ment, of the metropolitan river is ousting the
coarse - fish is of importance to all Lon- anglers, and ousted they shall doners, and indeed to the whole be, sooner or later. So the nation. Take food-supply, on opponents of the scheme will account of which rather than contend. We have no wish to of sport, we imagine, this coun- open the delicate question of try will awaken to the import- riparian ownership rights. But ance of piscicultural science, in that very sentiment, in the which other nations have left mouths of the opposition us far behind.
Were food- anglers, is the most formidable supply the only constituent in argument against the scheme the matter, there would be an we are discussing. Why proirresistible argument for State pose a change that is likely to and municipal aid to this open this delicate and awkward scheme of stocking the Thames question ? The riparian ownwith game-fish. But, of course, ers possess rights. At present it is not the only constituent, they do not enforce them ; on and the weight of all the others the contrary, they display a might not be thrown into the generosity which, it is to be same scale.
Looked at as of feared, all anglers, and certainly purely sporting moment even all pleasure-seekers, have not (and it is only when looked respected as they ought. Freeat so that we are concerned fishing, though readily granted with it in this article), the to the public, is a privilege, scheme invites discountenance and can be refused. Why court as well as approval.
Most refusal by this firebrand procertainly, if ever it becomes posal? In that argument there a question of angling politics, is considerable weight. We do measure for turning the not urge it, for we
are not Thames into a game-fish river among those who believe that would meet with determined owners' claims of rights and opposition from a very large the public's claims to considersection of Thames fishermen. ation are irreconcilable ; but at
The grounds of opposition least we can understand the are quite plain. To introduce position of those who, despairgame-fish into the Thames, it is ing of ever overcoming the diffiargued, is to enhance the value culties of adjusting them, purof the river for the riparian sue, in consequence, a policy of owners, who will be tempted opposition to a change which, thus to exercise their rights, howsoever desirable in itself, is and to begin closing at least certain in their minds to lead to the upper waters to anglers. disastrous contentions. Moreover, the coarse-fish anglers With the other reasons for will say, the present sport will opposition to the scheme we be interfered with. Licences confess ourselves to be a great will be imposed for fishing that deal less in sympathy. Let us at present is free; the money meet the coarse - fish anglers, paid for them most probably who urge them, frankly on their