The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 84, July 1980 - April, 1981 Page: 170
The following text was automatically extracted from the image on this page using optical character recognition software:
Southwestern Historical Quarterly
sioner's 1884 Report, quoting from a joint resolution of Congress, the
commissioner's duties were,
"To prosecute investigations on the subject (of the diminution of valu-
able fishes) with a view of ascertaining whether any and what diminution
in the number of food-fishes of the coast and the lakes of the United States
has taken place; and, if so, to what causes the same is due; and also whether
any and what protection, prohibitory or precautionary measures should be
adopted in the premises, and to report upon the same to Congress'.'
Congress appointed Spencer Fullerton Baird (assistant secretary of the
Smithsonian Institution) to the position. With a $5,000 appropriation,
Baird (1823-1887) began immediately to carry out research on the
biological and physical characteristics of United States waters, to in-
vestigate past and present fishery practices in order to evaluate human
impact on fish population, and to cooperate with state agencies and
private individuals throughout the nation to introduce, develop, and
multiply food fisheries.2
Since one of the American Fish Culturists' Association's aims was to
rehabilitate declining stocks of indigenous fish in the country's streams
and rivers, some of its members were soon in contact with the newly
appointed fish commissioner. In fact, the commissioner's endeavor to
improve food fisheries was undertaken, in part, as a response to pres-
sure from members of the Fish Culturists' Association, who lobbied
Congress for government-owned fish hatcheries which would raise
salmon, shad, trout, and other species, and stock lakes, rivers, and
streams with the fish. Association members also promoted the concept
of "improving" waters by introducing useful foreign species-par-
ticularly the carp, whose domestication in the Old World and diffusion
throughout western Europe had taken place over many centuries.3
2G. Brown Goode, "The Status of the U.S Fish Commission in 1884," U.S. Commission
of Fish and Fishelies, Report of the Conmniisione for 1884 (Washington, D.C., 1886), Ap-
pendix XLI, 1139, 1140-1141 (quotation), 1142-1184; J. T. Bowen, "A History of Fish Cul-
ture as Related to the Development of Fishery Programs," Norman G. Benson (ed.), A
Century of Fisheries in North Ameica, American Fisheries Society, Special Publication
VII (Washington, D.C., 1970), 71-93. Bowen provides a detailed, though undocumented,
account of the work of the American Fish Culturists' Association.
3Bowen, "A History of Fish Culture," 71-93; Eugene K. Balon, Domesticatlon of the
Carp Cyprinus Carpio L. (Toronto, 1974), 5-6, 16-19, 25, attributes domestication of the
carp (Cyprinus carpio carpio) to Roman legionaires stationed on the river Danube (near
its confluence with the Morava River). They carried wild fish to Rome and elsewhere
during the first four centuries A.D.
Here’s what’s next.
This issue can be searched. Note: Results may vary based on the legibility of text within the document.
Tools / Downloads
Get a copy of this page or view the extracted text.
Citing and Sharing
Basic information for referencing this web page. We also provide extended guidance on usage rights, references, copying or embedding.
Reference the current page of this Periodical.
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 84, July 1980 - April, 1981, periodical, 1980/1981; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101225/m1/206/: accessed July 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.