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Wisconsin. State Conservation Committee (1915-27) / Biennial report of the State Conservation Commission of Wisconsin for the fiscal years ending June 30, 1917, and June 30, 1918

Division of fisheries,   pp. 37-63 PDF (6.0 MB)

Page 37

                  DIVISION OF FISHERIES
                           BY JAMFS NEVIN
   The field of fresh water fish investigation has been little touched
 upon. No one assumes that the great number of streams and the
 numerous lakes and ponds throughout the state are productive to their
 maximum capacity, yet rarely is due care taken to conserve the practi-
 cal ways and conditions favorable to the growth and propagation of
 fish. That the streams, lakes and ponds should be stocked and re-
 stocked with fish is an ever-growing demand which indicates the wide-
 spread interest in such fishing grounds, whether they serve as a field
 of recreation or a source of food supply. Stocking and restocking of
 the waters Is, however, the only means for keeping up the supply
   The natural destruction begins with the loss of the fertilized eggs
 deposited by the parent fish on spawning grounds which are eaten by
 the ground eating fish such as suckers, mullets, redhorse, eelpouts,
 lizards and in fact by other fish of their kind. A large part of those
 eggs become covered with mud or silt or are smothered, the young
 fish eaten by the minnows during the early fry stage, and the finger-
 ling size eaten by the larger fish. This loss cannot be estimated,
 neither can it be entirely prevented, but one great source of destruc-
 tion can be controlled by laws that can be made and enforced by man.
 Looking back over the period covered by this report, we feel on the
 whole that our activities in the state's interests in fisheries and fish
 hatchery operations have been successful and well administered. The
 high standard of our hatcheries has been maintained and the pro-
 duction has been above normal. In another part of our report will
 be found tables showing the number and varieties of fish that have
 been distributed and planted during the past two years in our many
 lakes and rivers. The demand for fish for planting purposes is on the
 increase, but we feel that we have met the wants of the public satis-
 factorily under the existing circumstances.
 The propagation of fish has many problems. A large number of
 eggs may be taken, thoroughly impregnated and hatched, only to be-
 come infected with some disease, and millions die just before time for
 distribution. The road to success for the fish culturist is just as hard
 and full of bumps as that of the farmer. The farmer with his grain
fields promising well for an abundant crop, often meets with serious
losses from the wind, storm and hail, drought or hot sun. Similarly,

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