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The Powder River County examiner and the Broadus independent. [volume] (Broadus, Mont.) 1919-1935, March 04, 1921, Image 5

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Persistent link: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn84036256/1921-03-04/ed-1/seq-5/

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Within a few weeks the first of
3,000 baby trout will open their eyes
to the beauties of western Montana
streams, when the state hatchery at
Anaconda releases the early arrivals
from the eggs collected far and wide
during the fall.
Soon their companions will follow
them from the protecting security of
the hatchery's cement troughs to the
turbulent mountain streams, where
they will fight for existence against
the marauding cannibals of their own
race, the appetite of birds and beasts
of tbe land and finally they will
match their wits (or whatever a fish
has in place of wits) with the decep
tive skill of a man on the end of a
Notwithstanding the numbers of
the finny family that are Jerked un
ceremoniously from their favorite
element by the cunning devices of
civilisation, by far the greater num
ber perish through the natural tra
gedies that lurk behind every boulder
in the streams. Without the artifi
cial stocking of streams, the fish so
familiar to Montana sportsmen today
would be known only from their pic
tures, unless It were in a few practi
cally inaccessible places, and these
are few.
Nature intended Montana streams
a paradise for fish as well as for
fishermen, and nature provides fish
enough to battle against her forest
tragedies, but she did not provide to
replenish her streams with fish suf
ficient to satisfy the demand of the
anglers who by the thousands follow
the watery trails each Sunday and
holiday the weather'will permit. At
present fishing is confined almost en
tirely to lakes, where those who care
more for the fish than the sport of
An Hour's Catch on • Good Montana Stream
catching them, find plenty to attract.
Fish Find Hard Life
It is because of the demands made
from so many sources upon the lives
of the trout, grayling and whitefish
that the fish hatcheries of tbe state
are working overtime, hatching fish
to stock the streams. In charge of
the affairs of the Anaconda branch
is a man who not only bas spent his
mature years hatching, raising and
studying fish, but who bas learned to
train a fish to do his will.
In the tanks of his workroom, W.
B. Gorham has several pets which
will respond to taps of bis fingers
and motions of bis hands in the wa
ter. They will eat from his hands
with as little concern as they nibble
at the food thrown into the water.
The popular impression that a fish
has no intelligence is all a mistake,
according to this fish culturist, and
to prove it he shows the visitor wbat
an intelligent fish can do. His fisb
can not talk but they show that they
appreciate kindness and intelligent
Children May Share
the health drink—
Instant Postum
This pure cereal beverage is made
of prime Wheat bran anamdasses.
Satisfying,jdeasb&and nothing in
it to do harm.
Instant Postum has a rich.coffee*
like flavor.
it is economical and convenient
Postum Cereal (in packages) is made
by boilirçg a full twenty minutes.
Instant Postum (in tins) made lx*
stantiy in the cup by the addition
of hot water.
"There's a Reason"
Sold by grocers everywhere
Ifcdtby hctum Cereal Cosine, Battle Creek,Mich.
treatment. The fish he has trained
were just as wild as any in the open
streams when Oorham first saw them
last August.
Fish Do Understand
But Oorham does not train all the
fish in the hatchery. He has not the
time. In his charge at present are
more than 3,000,000 potential fish
and they require constant vigilance
of the most painstaking kind. In
spite of the care demanded by his
charges, Mr. Oorham is not always
too busy to show the curious some in
teresting sights in the hatchery—
some sights that give a fair explana
tion of why the trout will still be
biting in western Montana streams in
years to come. To the uninitiated,
the rearing of millions of fish gives
rise to innumerable questions, but
the writer could Tlnd no question he
could not answer.
"Nature knew what she was about
when she equipped a female fish t<
lay a thousand eggs," he explained
"She knew that through her gener
ous methods ol operation she would
be fortunate were she to conserve or
evqn hatch more than a very small
per cent of those eggs."
Only 10 or 15 per cent of the eggi
deposited on the pebbly beds of tae
streams or lakes, hatch, Oorham esti
mates. After this discouraging ef
fort at reproduction on a large scale,
the members of the family that wig
gle out of their eggs diminish rapid
ly in numbers during the first weekr
of their existence, so that instead of
1,000 offsprings as planned, the mo
ther trout, If she is watching, may see
not more than two or three score
of her family, find their way into
anglers' baskets.
In the fish hatchery the story is
quite different. Considering the
green eggs are 80 per cent good, so
many as 95 per cent of the eggs taken
can be hatched by the culturist, it has
been found, Gorham estimates.
Thus the year's family of a single
mother trout may range between 750
and 1,000, through the aid of the
hatchery. Dealers and fish men es
timate that a fish weighing one
pound will produce 1,000 eggB.
"Like the poultryman, the fish cul
turist can never afford to count his
'chickens' before they hatch," lie
said, "but with modern methods and
the right care, the loss has been re
duced to a minimum. Some eggs will
'die' through faulty handling, for
they are very delicate, aud some will
not hatch because they aro not fer
tile, but we can aid nature many-fold
and that is just what vo are doing,
when we collect eggs and incubate
Eggs Are Gathered
The eggs of the different varieties
of trout and associated gama fish re
semble each other c.o^cly to the eyes
*••• *
rC- "
- % '
,* s '
2* gyao*, *
Bill Vogt, champion caster, about to
make a cast.
of those who are not familiar with
them, but they can te distinguished
by the expert. The locality from
which they come aud the food In the
water has a marked effect upon the
color. The usual co'.ira are grada
tions of pink blending sometimes to
amber and als> iun.
The Anaconda hatchery obtains its
supply of eggs, in as far as possible
from the open streams. Traps are
maintained at Georgetown lake and
Stuart's mill and from these sources
Dr. I. H. Treece obtained the local
supply last fall. George town take
contributed 310,000 and other sour
ces about 100,000. Commercial deal
ers in Massachusetts furnished about
2,500,000 eggs. The regular price
for eggs through these dealers is $1
a thousand. The dealers raise fish
for the market and the eggs they ob
tain and sell to hatcheries which
mean just so much "velvet" to their
Of course to count millions of eggs
is an impossible task, but much of the
work is eliminated.
The commercial dealers usually
count the number in a few ounces
and use this count for the basis of
estimating the lot, for the sizes of
eggs vary greatly. The state hatch
ery uses the Von Bayer system by
which the count is taken in a minia
ture trough of tbe eggs that will lie
on the bottom. A curve chart fur
ther facilitates tbe matter and the
eggs are tbus speedily counted by the
thousand or million. Tbe eggs num
ber from 250 to 500 to tbe ounce.
Through tbe aid of cold storage,
eggs have been sent abroad as far as
Russia and Canada has been a good
customer. Commercial fish raising
in the west has attained very small
proportions, due to the absence of
large markets, and so tbe eggs are
not for sale in tbe west.
Last Year's Record
This hatchery planted last year
more than 14,000,000 fish of several
varieties and may do better this year
by the time the spring varieties come
in. Last year eastern brooks num
bering 2,535,500 were planted in
the streams as well as 9,513,500
grayling , 1,714,000 cut throat,
(native) trout, 251,500 rainbow
trout and 30,000 little red fish, a
species of salmon.
In long, narrow cement troughs in
which are arranged trays with screen
bottoms, the eggs are placed for their
period of incubation in the hatchery
Water from a natural stream is fed
into each trough to keep a fresh sup
ply always and the eggs are disturbed
as little as possible. They are shelter
ed from the direct rays of the sun,
which would be fatal to them. Every
precaution is taken to shield them
and the troughs are kept in the most
sanitary condition possible.
When eggs are recived from deal
ers they already "eyed-out," but if
they have traveled far some have
already died en route and turned
white. To facilitate the work of seg
regating the good from the bad eggs,
a long trough is provided, by which
a dozen persons may stand and work.
The eggs may be placed in the trough
by one worker as rapidly as the
others can remove the bad ones. They
are removed either with tweezers or
glass syringe. Mr. Gorham with Dr.
I. H. Treece and E. B. Basset, as
sistants, handle the work of the
hatchery at present.
Trout Are Particular.
Stocking the streams with com
panionable species is the aim of the
department, since it has been found
that the trout is most particular
about his associations. The bull trout
or "Dolly Varden" is allowed to
match bis wits with the eastern
brook, the rainbow and black spotted
or the grayling and black spotted
are encouraged to associate in other
Fish when young are extremely
delicate creatures and especially is
this trua when they are hatched by
artificial aid. They are subject to
ss many, if not the same, ailments
that visit the human baby.
After the fish hatch «they pass
through a period of six weeks when
they are said to be In the sac-stage.
They require no food to sustain them
during the critical period, bnt they
do require attention and loto of it.
They hunt the dark corners and
crevices and would smother them
selves to death if allowed to have
their own way. They live on the
content of the sac and when this is*
absorbed, they rise and are ready to
They Eat Hourly.
Every hour they are fed beef liver,
chopped extremely fine and just like
the human baby, they are fed exactly
the right amount or they will become
ill. Gill fever and fungus and dropsy
are some of the names applied to the
ailments of the baby fish.
Scrupulous care is taken to keep
the troughs in the most sanitary con
dition to avoid infection. Dailv ttaev
are cleaned to rid them of the un
used food and slime that tends to
accumulate. The troughs are paint
ed throughout and the whole hatch
ery presents an attractive appearance
as any laboratory.
Bringing up a fish in the way It
should go is not merely a matter of|
watching it develop, but appears'
quite as important to the fish's fu
ture as It is to the future of the boy
that his parents obey the biblical in
junction to "bring up a child in the
way he should go." The infantile or
ganism is no sooner out of his shell
than he gives evidence of his intel
ligence by assuming some very near
human characteristics. If coddled he
becomes "spoiled.'' and too indolent
to search for food. He will over
eat if he can and gormandizing pro
duces a disease that would probably
be termed gout if he had big toes in
which to exhibit the symptoms.
Teaching Them to Eat.
"It is of vital importance that the
little fish learn how to eat on the
start," Mr. Gorham explained. "The
little fish develops habits rapidly and
as soon as he can take food he should
be given it properly, just as in the
case of the child. If the fish is
neglected, his growth becomes stunt
.J 4
Playing with three and one-half pound Rainbow trout on
trout stream.
a Montana
ed and he might forget how to eat.
Once bis growth is stunted, he never
recovers from it and will never catch
up in weight with thè fish that was
fed properly from the first day.
"In the natural stream the fish
feeds, when young, on microscopic
organism which it is impossible to
supply him in the hatchery, and of
course the greater part of the fish in
the stream get the right start. In
the hatchery we must supply him
with the best substitutes at hand.
"Too much feeding is as erroneous
as too little. As the fish grow older
the feeding periods can be lengthened
but their appetites become keener at
meal time and then they might over
eat if given a chance. If allowed to
consume too much liver they may
swell up and die. Even before they
leave the sac stage, they may develop
spot disease, a fatal ailment which
appears to be due to congealing of
the oil globules in the sac."
Delicate at« Babies.
When one hears that litle fish are
subject to dropsy he expects to learn
next that they may catch colic,
whooping cough and measles. It
makes them almost human. Dropsy
is merely a swelling of the sac. Care
is taken also to avoid an excess of
slime on the fish. Science has dis
covered methods of combating the
diseases of the tender little creatures.
Buy Clothing Made From
Montana Wool!
Clothing for Men anti Boys manufactured by the Montana Wool Growers Ass'n. is
now ready for you. We grow the wool—we make the cloth—we tailor the clothes
Every garment bears this label—
We also make a wonderful all wool blanket and auto robe. The quality of our prod
ucts is unquestioned aud the prices so reasonable that vou simply can't resist buying
Suits to measure, $36 and $38. Blankets $7.50 each. Auto robes $9.00 each If we
have no agent near you, write us for samples.
Mr. Clothing Merchant!
Western Wool
Mr. Tailor!
Our ready-to-wear line
is a business getter.
Write us to have sales
Our made - to - measure
line will get you orders
in volume.
man call
Room 404-6 Conway Bldg.,
Write for Agency.
Chicago, HL
Salt is placed in the water at times
and pure apple vinegar is sometimes
used in the water as cures for the
diseases. Those in charge of the fish
hatchery find plenty to do from the
time the eggs are deposited in the
trough and as the fish develop the
work increases.
Care Is Ceaseless.
Not until the little fish are finally
deposited in the stream does the care
suspend, for they must be taken to
the stream with as great caution as
they were fed in the troughs. When
they are sufficiently developed to
launch out for themselves, they are
placed in 10-gallon steel milk cans
that may contain from 500 to 3,000,
owing to the age and size. To prevent
them from smothering in water that
becomes stale, for they consume the
oxygen rapidly, the water is stirred
up by use of a dipper. The water is
cooled by ice and must be kept at a
temperature within five degrees of
the temperature of the stream. At
the stream the temperature is
brought to as near the temperature
of the stream as possible.
Value of Nurseries.
In some places nurse ponds are in
use but fish men appear to be at
variance as to their real value in con
serving the little fish. The nurse
pond is used to care for the fish un
til he becomes a fingerling. Some
argue that the fish raised by hand to
this age is in a better position to be
gin life in the natural stream, but
this is met with the argument that
the little fish, if pampered too long,
may become a "spoiled child," de
pending upon human assistance for
his food. He has not learned to
know the dangers of association with
large fish. Gorham believes nurse
ponds in connection with hatcheries,
where they will receive certain care
are valuable assets.
Nature Protects Variety.
The varieties of trout seldom cross
breed in their natural state, students
have decided and when they do, the
productivity of the offspring is great
ly lessened. The popular impression
with sportsmen is to the effect that
"mules" as the half-breeds are called
are sterile. This it seems, is not
strictly true in the case of the first
generation, although the chances are
slight that these fish will reproduce.
Ukes Our Fish.
Concerning the introduction of new
varieties of trout in the state, Mr.
Gorham believes it is not advisable.
The kinds of fish found in Montana
streams are ideal, he believes.
"The rainbow and black spotted
trout are most excellent table fish—
as good as any in the country," he
declares. "Anglers who have never
fished out of the state do not realize
fully what is theirs, and with proper
care the numerous wonderful angling
streams can be kept productive. The
anglers are numbered by the hun
dreds and as a rule I believe they
have keen interest in the welfare of
their fishing places. The far away
spots in which the fish once found
sanctuary, are no longer remote. The
use of scores of automobiles has
made them easily accessible to those
who have a day or more to spare and
of cours« Ike trout have suffered."
Wie Largest Hatchery.
The Anaconda ranch is the largest
operated y the state fish and game
commission. It contains 60 cement
troughs, each capable of holding 50,
000 trout fry each, but as they grow,
it becomes necessary to thin them
out several times. They will hold
many more grayling fry.
Other state hatcheries on which
Superintendent Brunson reports are
located at Dearborn, Emigrant, Low
er Madison (temporary), Somers,
Salmon lake, the federal hatchery at
McAllister and traps at Hebgen dam.
A summary or his report for the bi
annual period 1919-1920 shows dis
tribution as follows: Anaconda, 22,
812,200; Emigrant, 1,809„500; Heb
gen dam and Lower Madison, 5,703,
800; Somers, 9,952,200; a total of
Game Was Formerly Penny Ante but
When Money Became Scarce Rural
Gamblers Turn to Eggs; Winners
Would Take Eggs to Town and
"Cash In."
Eggs have served an entirely new
purpose in a farming district near
Billings that has been hard hit in
the last few years. The use made of
them proves the ability of the resi
dents of the district to adapt them
selves to circumstances.
It had long been the habit of the
farmers of this neighborhood to ga
ther for a "little game" of poker.
In the old days it was penny ante.
Then evil days fell upon the players
and there were no more pennies to
There was a genius among them,
however. He suggested "egg ante."
All of the members arose and called
him blessed. The games went on.
Nightly the farmers gathered with
the eggs gathered for the day, and
first one farmer and then the other
would drive to town and "cash in" on
his night's work.
Three or four of the farmers start
ed to town the other day, each bring
ing eggs for a city friend. It was in
evitable that a game should start;
When town finally was reached two
of the players went to grocery stores
and bought "strictly fresh ranch
eggs" to take to their friends.
tobacco makes 50
good cigarettes for

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