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depletion of the salmon supply, and has not supply half the demand of Boston caused much-needed and none-too-early alone. Though this condition has existed activity looking toward the better pro- for many years, the Boston fish dealer tection and artificial propagation of this labels his salmon “ Penobscot,” not only valuable fish. But investigation proves
But investigation proves from June to August, but from August that the decrease is not due wholly to to June again, for he would never dare the years of relentless pursuit of the admit that most of his fish is caught salmon and much wanton waste, but to three thousand miles from the New Enga diversion of vast quantities of the fish land coast. from the canneries to the fresh fish With the demand for fresh salmon at markets. The system of cold storage all seasons there has grown also a demand and refrigerator cars which has elimi- for mild-cured and sweet-pickled salmon, nated seasons, which puts strawberries, not only in Eastern but in European green peas, and asparagus into northern markets, For these purposes tons of markets while blizzards are yet raging fish are used that formerly went into over their farms and gardens, has made
Only the largest and finest Chia year-round market in the East for this nook, the famous King salmon of the fish that runs in Atlantic waters only Columbia and Sacramento Rivers, are from June to August.
used for mild-curing, which is a process Time was when the New England of preserving them in mild brine to coast ran so plentifully with salmon that retain all the juice and flavor of the it is told, apprentices and servants de- fresh fish until they reach their destimanded a written agreement from their nation, where they are freshened and masters that they be not fed on salmon smoked. The demand came first from more than twice a week. But the dammed Germany, where smoked salmon is the rivers of the Maine timber lands and the favorite delicacy in beer gardens and dye-polluted streams of the factory States railway stations. And many a Baedekerno longer offer spawning-grounds for conducted tourist would have the keen salmon, which has become so scarce that edge of his delight in this typical Gerthe entire catch in New England would man dish dulled if he knew that it had
SALMON TRAP CREW
Taking up slack in the spiller traveled across the ocean in the hold of they are wrapped separately in paper, the very steamer on which he sailed. packed in ice, and loaded in refrigerator The American market now requires large cars. The annual shipments of frozen quantities of this mild-cured salmon, salmon to the East and to Europe from and from fifteen to twenty-five thousand Puget Sound are not less than five milltierces of a thousand pounds each are ion pounds. shipped annually from Columbia and But, important as the shipment of Sacramento River points.
fresh salmon has become, it stands The cold-storage process of preserv- second to the halibut industry. The ing salmon in sugar and salt has been halibut catch in the Pacific last season superseded to a great extent by freezing was about forty million pounds, of which the fresh fish. Steelheads and silver twenty-five million pounds went to Eastsalmon, which run through the fall and ern markets. winter months, are used chiefly for this That the Atlantic has been fished out purpose. They are brought on barges of halibut and cod is a statement that one from the traps that picket every salmon sometimes hears from Western fisherriver for miles and stop the up-stream folk who have not lately stood on the flight toward the spawning-grounds, or old T-wharf at Gloucester when the fishby grill-netters who, to cheat the traps, ing fleet came in, or on a big market day. risk their very lives at the bars where But the drain of more than two hundred rivers meet the sea. Weighed in by the years has been felt, and for the everpackers, and carefully washed, they are growing demand of ever-growing cities, taken to the storage-rooms, where the whose people refuse to be governed by temperature is always below freezing- seasons, the catch of the North Atlantic point, and dipped in water, which forms is inadequate. And since cold storage a coating of ice upon them. They are has become a practical science and refrigthen stacked in cords, like so much -erator cars a known quantity—at least wood, until time for shipment, when to the initiated—and since railways make
THE ROUND-UP, AFTER SEINING FOR SALMON ON THE COLUMBIA RIVER FILLING THE BRAIL OF A SALMON TRAP IN PUGET SOUND
fast time and fair rates from coast to halibut in Eastern markets, went from coast, the wasting shoals of the Pacific East to West to experiment on a larger are being brought to supply the defi- scale. They chartered several boats, ciency of the Atlantic.
made big catches, but still the venture It was a Gloucester man, seal-hunting did not pay. Not until the end of that in the Northwest, who found the Pacific decade had the time come, or the men, who so full of halibut going to waste that he were to make the halibut industry on the saw in his mind a home and an easy old Pacific coast a success. These, too, were age for every Gloucester man who would Gloucester and Boston men, sons and go West. Word was passed among the grandsons of the “captains courageous” Gloucester fisher-folk of the wealth of of the North Atlantic, who had played these new halibut banks, and no gold as barefoot boys around T-wharf and
DRYING COD AT SEATTLE These fish will be shipped to Gloucester, Massachusetts, and sold from there fever ever raged more fiercely than the the Gloucester markets, who grew up Wanderlust that caused Gloucester fish with the smell of fish in their nostrils ermen to sell or give away their boats, or and the lingo of fishermen in their ears; even be thankful for a gale that wrecked and they knew not only how fish are the schooner they could neither leave caught, but how they are bought and behind nor take along-anything to cut sold. Since that time the halibut feet loose and fare to this new country. out of Boston has had to change sails
But that was in the days when the for steam, and otherwise spend money West was sparsely settled, when trans- and thought to land halibut in Boston or portation to other markets was slow and Gloucester in the same time that it can rates high, and many a Gloucester man be put there from the Pacific. Less than lived to long for a boat wrecked on the six days is the time made from Tacoma Newfoundland rocks or sold for a rail- and Seattle to Gloucester, the fish being way ticket. In the early nineties an- shipped in refrigerator cars attached to other set of men, moved by a scarcity of passenger trains, The steamers are out