National Geographic : 1920 Apr
WHEN THE FATHER OF WATERS GOES ON A RAMPAGE RETANING STATION AT LA CROSSE, WISCONSIN At this little adjunct of the rescue work, on the Mississippi River in southwestern Wis consin, 150,000 salvaged fishes may be held for hardening, pending shipment to interior waters. When first rescued from landlocked waters the young fish cannot undergo the strain of a long railway journey. of the progeny of a given pair of fishes is reared to a stage where the young are able to take fairly good care of them selves, although the actual number pro duced is small. The results of the operation of pond stations are of interest because of their bearing on the value of the rescue work. It may therefore be noted that the com mon practice among both Federal and State fish-culturists is to distribute pond fishes after they have been reared to a "fingerling" size. A fingerling is less than one year old, and may be from one to six inches long when planted. The average length of the pond fishes sent out from the nurseries is two to three inches. A government pond sta tion may produce, rear, and plant from 250,000 to 1,000,000 such fishes in a sea son, and the combined output of six typical stations in 1919 may be placed at 2,725,ooo--a cost of $5.50 per thousand. From these figures it appears that the number of fishes rescued in 1919, if they had been produced and reared in the ordinary way at established plants, would have required 345 pond stations and the actual cost of production would have been about $860,000. To this sum, how ever, should be added the year's cost of the regular station staffs and general charges for maintenance, which would have been over $2,000,000. There should also be taken into con sideration the initial cost of construction of the pond stations, estimated at not less than $12,ooo,ooo. Against these large hypothetical charges is to be placed the actual aggregate cost of the salvage operations in 1919, namely, $31,ooo. THE PEARL BUTTON INDUSTRY EMPLOYS 20,000 PEOPLE The perpetuation of the fish supply in the Mississippi and its tributaries in volves a very important industry besides fishing. Investigations conducted for the Bureau of Fisheries years ago showed an intimate relation between certain kinds of fishes and the mussels, which yield valuable pearls and support a pearl-but ton industry which gives employment to about 20,000 persons and has a product worth from $5,ooo0,000 to $6,ooo,ooo an nually. The young mussels, of microscopic size when thrown off by their parents in 381 c.