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with care. It is more likely that trout streams will in future be protected and improved by individual effort than by public bodies, which in most places are guardians of a public pleasure rather than of a public profit, and can thus be scarcely expected to take a very serious view of their duties, except by enthusiastic anglers. That there is a good deal of lassitude about the work of many boards of conservators is obvious from the report of the Inspectors of Fisheries for the year 1892. Take this instance from Wales :

In the Dwyfach district,' writes Mr. Fryer, 'I found a tendency towards the establishment of a better feeling with respect to the carrying out of the provisions of the law for the protection of the fisheries, but the Fishery Board report that, owing to the want of funds, the rivers are practically unpreserved.'

During the year 1893 forty-six licences only for troutfishing, amounting to 8l., were issued, and the return for salmon licences was even more beggarly. This, in fact, appears to be a district in which local feeling is either dead in regard to the improvement of fisheries, or, what is more probable, there is a kind of tacit approval of poaching. But it affords an illustration of the comparative uselessness of permissive legislation. In quite a different quarter we find an equally regrettable state of things:

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Early last year,' says the same Inspector, I received particulars of a large "Fordwich trout" said to have weighed 26 lbs., which had been picked up dead in the River Stour, near Canterbury. The conservators of the district have, however, apparently given up as hopeless the task of protecting the river, in consequence of the evil effects of the sewage of the city of Canterbury, and although they have appointed their representative on the committee of the Kent and Essex Sea Fisheries district, they hold no regular meetings under the Salmon and Freshwater Fisheries Acts' (p. 15).

In other words, the body which when it has serious difficulties to meet should endeavour to face them with determination and perseverance, simply collapses; it holds no meetings, and as a consequence transacts no business. The contrast between this apathy and the energy which is displayed in some districts is clearly perceptible when we read such a paragraph as the following:

"The protection which has been so steadily afforded to the trout and charr fisheries in the Kent, &c., district (which includes Windermere, Coniston, &c.) during recent years has resulted in a great increase in both the size and the number of the fish, and the board and those who have co-operated with them are to be congratulated on the success which they have achieved. In conjunction with the local fisheries committee


for the Lancashire sea fisheries district, the conservators may, it is hoped, be able to take in hand the developement of the sparling fisheries in their river' (p. 8).

The words which we have italicised obviously supply the key to much of the success which has followed the work of this particular board, and also to the absence of any satisfactory results from the boards to which we have already alluded. A Board of Conservators requires local co-operation and local assistance, and when this is absent it may be a name, and little else. The serious question which necessarily then arises is whether, when a board is either apathetic or wholly unsuccessful, some remedy should not be found to alter this state of affairs. In some instances in respect of local government, when the local body is found to be remiss, as in regard to applications for allotments, the County Council steps in. And we are inclined to think, though we by no means lay it down as being necessarily the best or only method, that in such cases as those of the Stour district and the Dwyfach district the Board of Trade should be empowered to call upon the County Council to elect or to choose some more efficient body. There are also other questions which require some consideration. The charge for licences should be regulated by statute and made uniform throughout the country. At present the Board of each particular district decides what shall be the amount of this tax, with the result that it varies in a somewhat unbusiness-like manner. Thus in the important York'shire district' the licence for the season is 1s. In the neighbouring Esk (Yorkshire) district it is 1s. 6d., in the Tyne it is 2s. 6d. for the season and 1s. for the month; in another and well-known district, in quite a different part of the country-namely, that of the Dart-the licence is 10s. for the season, 5s. for a month, and 2s. for a week. These are, no doubt, details, but they largely affect the prosperity of the rivers, because it is on the income from the licences that the boards chiefly depend for carrying on their work. A river cannot be kept in good condition without careful watching, and more or less continuous restocking, and neither the one thing nor the other can be done without sufficient funds. The result of this difference in the cost of licences is well exemplified by the facts of the Dart and the Tyne districts: in the former, where, as we have already stated, the licence duty is high, 655 licences produced 2151.; but in the latter district 1,213 licences, or very nearly double the number which were issued for the

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Dart, produced only 1177., or nearly half the amount of the lesser number of licences in the Devonshire district. There is, in truth, no more reason why the cost of the licence for trout-fishing should differ in parts of England than that for carrying a gun or shooting game, and it would be beneficial to the trout fisheries of the country if the Legislature were to adopt the highest duty levied by any board and make it the uniform and statutory rate for the whole of England and Wales.

Again, it is a question whether the staff of inspectors of fisheries is strong enough to keep a thorough and vigilant watch over the fisheries and the fishing authorities in England and Wales, and whether their advice is not a little too easygoing. Be that as it may, there is no doubt that useful work is done by this department of the State, and that even under the existing legislation and existing supervision the salmon and trout fisheries of England and Wales are fairly protected. We may very well conclude this part of our subject by an extract from the report from which quotations have already been made which shows very clearly the main figures in regard to licences for trout and salmon. The number of trout-rods licensed in all districts in 1892 was 45,488, and the sum paid on them was 3,725l. 78. 6d., being an increase of 1,155, and 154l. 8s., respectively, over the return for the previous year. The number of salmon-rods licensed throughout the country in 1892 was 6,461, realising 3,3851., being an increase of 131 in number and 163l. 18s. in amount as compared with 1891. The total revenue from licences for salmon-fishing instruments of all kinds was 9,1137. 2s. as against 8,736. 1s. in the preceding year.

As regards the increase of the supply by the addition of young trout which have been artificially hatched, there cannot be any doubt either that such a practice is necessary in many places if a proper amount of fish are to be kept in the water, or that it is one which has largely increased during the last ten or twenty years. If a water is well fished from the beginning to the end of the season, the number of fish in it may be seriously diminished if from time to time it is not restocked. The necessity for so doing, it is obvious, depends on circumstances-not only on the extent to which the stream is fished, but also on its character as a feeding-ground and the manner in which during previous years it has been treated. The stock may have, and in many instances has, been so much diminished

by one cause or another that a considerable supply of artificially hatched fish must be added to the water for several seasons. There are some persons who consider also that the size and character of fish in a stream are improved by new blood; this is perhaps the latest theory in regard to the practice, but it can scarcely be said that it is one which has yet been actually proved to be correct. Where fish have become sickly from the pollution which has at length been stopped, or where the stream is not a rich feeding ground, it is easy to understand that a supply of young and vigorous trout from a different water may in the first case quickly be a remedy, and in the second may have a temporary effect on the nature of the original trout in the stream. But that is not the same thing as the improvement of fair standard fish by the addition of others of the same class from a different stream. What appears to be the same view is advanced in the chapter on trout culture in the Badminton Library book on Angling. The future quality of the fish,' says Mr. Andrew, depends rather on the food they get than on the water from which their 'parents come; still it is advisable to get ova from good strains of fish and from large healthy breeders.' If, however, the quality of the breed depends on the nature of its food-of which there can be no doubt-the most inferior race of imported fish will ultimately languish in waters where food is poor or insufficient. The extent to which artificially hatched fish have been added to the waters of this country can scarcely be accurately stated, since a great deal has been done in this respect by private persons and by angling clubs. In fact, they, rather than Boards of Conservators, are the principal customers of the fishhatcheries. In the official report from which we have already quoted there are only two allusions to this practice: in the one case it is stated that the Esk Board of Conservators placed in that river 1,500 yearling trout from Howietown, and in the other the Conservators of the Dee are censured for spending 100l. on hatcheries,' in which the ova of salmon from the Rhine, the Tweed, and other waters were placed, rather than for improving the facilities for the passage of fish up the river. The Inspector is certainly right in this particular case, but on the whole conservators have not done anything like what they might in this respect. For since the practice of fish-culture became established in England and Scotland there is no difficulty whatever in obtaining any quantity of artificially

produced fry or yearlings. Nothing in connexion with the progress of angling in the last twenty-five years, indeed, has been more remarkable than the rise and the prosperity of numerous public fish-hatcheries, as they may be termed to distinguish them from those used simply for private purposes, the produce of which is not sold. For our present survey it is unnecessary to describe these establishments or to enumerate them: it is sufficient to note their growth and existence. Of the former, that at Howietoun, begun in 1873 by Sir J. Ramsay Gibson Maitland, is the largest and the best known in these islands, though there are others as efficient, if not so extensive. The operations are well and fully described in the History of Howietoun; ' they have become more extensive every year, and it has been not only the nursery from which the exhausted streams of this country have been replenished, but that from which the troutless waters of the Antipodes have received a supply from which thousands of fish have subsequently sprung.

But be the supply as generous as possible, it will not be of permanent use in a river in which the water is subject to pollution. It has been frequently stated that the law against the pollution of rivers is not sufficiently stringent. But it is not so much the law which is in fault as its administration. This is not surprising. As a rule, a river is polluted by a commercial firm or company, or, strange as it seems, by a so-called sanitary authority,' and the private riparian proprietor is not inclined to embark on a troublesome and expensive litigation against a rich and obstinate opponent. Equally, also, neither angling clubs nor Boards of Conservators have the funds for litigation; consequently the pollution of rivers has been rather objected to in theory than actually prevented in practice. Abundant instances of this appear all through the report of the Inspector of Fisheries from which we have already quoted: it would be tedious to cite them, but, as showing how matters are in fact, we take this single extract in relation to the Avon, Brue, and Parrett district. In answer to the ordinary inquiry as to what steps were taken during 1892 to prevent pollution, the answer in this case is

'No steps have been taken, as the difficulty of enforcing the law against sanitary authorities, who are serious offenders as regards pollution, and against manufacturers is very great, and the board has not sufficient funds to undertake costly litigation' (p. 63).

The most encouraging fact is, however, that since the creation of County Councils under the Local Government

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