National Geographic : 1952 Nov
The National Geographic Magazine females dig shallow nests in gravelly stream bottoms and deposit their eggs. The males fertilize the eggs with milt. The females then cover the nests by brushing gravel over them with their tails. When spawning is completed, both males and females are so weakened that they drift downstream and die. Salmon Return to an Artificial Home The unerring homing instinct of salmon was demonstrated dramatically at the Uni versity of Washington School of Fisheries re cently. In the fall of 1948 eggs taken from silver salmon were fertilized and placed in tanks at the University in Seattle. Eighteen months later fingerlings hatched from these eggs were marked and released in concrete pools constructed near the Lake Washington Ship Canal, which passes the front of the fisheries buildings. A temporary fish ladder was built to enable the fingerlings to get out into the canal. From the canal fresh water is piped into the pools. The released fingerlings swam down the ladder, passed through the canal, crossed fresh-water Lake Union, and went through the locks into Puget Sound. In the fall and winter of 1951, 75 mature silver salmon, unmistakably marked, threaded that difficult way back to the artificial pool in front of the fisheries buildings. There their eggs were removed and fertilized to complete the cycle. This successful experiment proves that it is possible to "plant" salmon in streams where they have not been known previously. A pro gram of stocking tributaries of the Columbia below the power dams has been under way for several years (page 601). In talks with heads of the big fishing com panies at Astoria, I found that opinion on the effects of dams on salmon runs is di vided. Some of the fisheries men are bitterly opposed to construction of dams. One suc cessful independent operator told me he has no quarrel with the dams and expects the new stream-stocking program to keep the salmon industry going. Of the $20,000,000 annual income from fishing at Astoria, somewhat less than half is derived from Columbia River salmon. The rest comes from tuna, bottom fish, and other species taken offshore. "Trees Forever," Timbermen's Slogan One day I went with chief forester Clarence W. Richen of the Crown Zellerbach Corpora tion through the tree farms his organization operates near Astoria. By fire protection, selective logging, reseeding from helicopters, and planting of seedlings, Crown Zellerbach is insuring a permanent supply of timber. The big timber operators realize that their future depends upon sustained-yield logging, and they are sparing no expense to keep forests growing. On our way back to Portland we passed through a part of the famous "Tillamook burn," where a forest fire destroyed 245,000 acres of virgin timber in 1933, and subse quent blazes took 55,000 acres more. Dis aster occurred again in 1939 and in 1945. Now the Oregon State Board of Forestry is engaged in a campaign to rehabilitate the area. School children help plant seedlings (opposite page). To protect their own green forests from fires that might start in the whitening stumps still standing on the burn, Crown Zellerbach has bought large sections of the burn and re moved thousands of dead stumps. Unfortunately, little cutover land except that lying along stream bottoms is good for general agriculture. Growing trees as a crop is the one sure way to derive value from it. One crisp Saturday in November Mr. and Mrs. McNeil and I took the 61-mile drive to Timberline Lodge, high on the slope of Mount Hood. Fresh snow had fallen there. though the lowlands were still green, and late flowers lingered in Portland gardens. On Sunday 3,000 skiers were ascending the mountain on the mile-long chair lift and rope ski tows and coming down with the speed of the wind past the half-buried ground-floor windows of the lodge. Children were tobog ganing down a steep slope in front of the great log and stone building. The view over unbroken forest from the window of my room was unforgettable. Be low me the dark-green timber swept away down the side of Mount Hood and up facing steeps to a skyline etched with the snow capped peaks of Three Fingered Jack, the Three Sisters, and other giants of the Cascades. A Stone That Pops Like Popcorn When I drove from Portland south to Salem to see S. H. Boardman, I found him enthusi astic as ever about new parks. At present he is advocating establishment of a State park to contain 40 miles of white water on the Deschutes River in central Oregon. He told me about an unusual mine near Maupin in the desert country north of Bend. A day or two later a mining expert and I drove over the shoulder of Mount Hood and down to a village in a deep canyon of the Deschutes. We crossed the river on a hand operated ferry to a mining community carved out of the side of a mountain. Some 1,500 feet almost straight up from the mining com pany offices is an outcrop of pearl-gray stone. "That," said the mine manager, "is perlite."