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The flesh of the pickerel, as is seen, is almost a pure type of protein. The fat falls to an insignificant quantity, being only about half as much as the ash.
Wall-eyed Pike. The wall-eyed pike or pike perch (Stizostedion vitreum) is a fish most abundant in Lake Champlain, the Great Lakes, and in eastern Canadian lakes; it occurs also in certain small lakes and streams in the upper Mississippi valley. In some localities it is known as the salmon or jack salmon, but of course these are misnomers.
Common Pompano.-The pompano (family Carangida) is one of the food fishes which is most highly esteemed along the Gulf coast. It has been found as far north as Cape Cod on the Atlantic coast, but does not occur in sufficient numbers to make it of any economic value as a food fish north of Florida. It is taken chiefly in the Gulf waters. The average weight of the pompano is from 2 to 3 pounds, though very much larger examples are sometimes found. As a food fish there is none that is regarded more highly than the pompano, especially when it is eaten fresh from the water and prepared in the manner of the creole cooks of New Orleans.
72.78 percent .18.65
These data show that the edible portion of the pompano is valued both for its protein and its fat. The latter exists in quantities of approximately onethird of the former. It is not so much its nutritive value which makes the pompano desirable as a food fish but the extreme delicacy of flavor and the richness of its taste. It does not bear shipping well, and therefore is found in its greatest perfection only near the place where it is taken.
In New Orleans and in Florida the pompano is one of the principal food fishes furnished by the high-class hotels and restaurants to their guests.
Red Snapper. The red snapper (Lutianus aya) is the most noted fish of all the snapper family (Lutianida), although there are others which are highly prized, such as the gray snapper. It sometimes reaches a length of two or three feet and a weight of from 10 to 35 pounds. It is particularly abundant in the deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico and off the west coast of Florida. The red snapper bears shipping better than most of the Gulf fish, and Pensacola is one of the principal points where the fish are packed in ice as soon as possible after capture and dispatched to northern markets.
FRESH. 78.46 percent
This is another one of the fishes in which the edible portion is almost exclusively protein, the fat appearing only in small quantities.
Rock Bass; Redeye; Goggle-eye (Ambloplites rupestris).-The rock bass is a very common fish particularly abundant in the fresh waters of the northern central portions of the United States. It is the fish which the American boy, living near small streams, most delights to catch. The size of the rock bass varies largely according to the magnitude of the body of water in which it lives. The average weight of the fish in streams of ordinary size is probably about a pound, though often it is considerably more. The rock bass has been propagated to some extent by the Bureau of Fisheries and has been introduced into waters where it formerly did not occur.
Salmon. The salmon is one of the most important food fishes of the United States. It belongs to the genus Orcorhynchus. The five species of this genus are, in America, confined to our Pacific coast. Of these species the one known as blueback or sockeye is found most abundantly in the Fraser and Columbia rivers and in Alaska, the silver salmon in Puget Sound, the chinook salmon in the Columbia, and the dog salmon along the coast from California to Bering Sea. The salmon begin running early in the spring and the early run is considered of greater value than the later. The habits of the salmon in the deep waters of the ocean are not very well known. It is only when they come into fresh water for spawning purposes that their life history can be well studied. It is believed, however, that they do not go very far from the shore. The run of salmon on the Pacific coast usually begins about the latter part of March and lasts through the spring and greater part of the summer. On account of the great abundance of these fish on the Pacific coast and the distance from large markets the canning industry has developed with great rapidity. In fact on the Pacifie coast the product of salmon fishing is devoted almost exclusively to canning purposes. In the canning of salmon no particular care is taken, and perhaps none at all to designate upon the can whether its contents are of the early salmon or the later, less valuable run. It is claimed by many authorities that the salmon of the Pacific coast of America, taken all together in their relation to the economic problem of fish food, are the most important and valuable fish in the world.
Composition of a Pacific Coast Species.—
The above data show that the Pacific salmon are richer in fat than the Atlantic salmon. In fact in the edible portion of the fish the fat is almost as great as the protein.
Another species of Pacific salmon is the humpback salmon (Oncorhynchus gorbuscha), which appears in great abundance in the rivers of Alaska, but not every year, usually coming in larger quantities in alternating years. As a fish to be eaten fresh, this is one of the very best of the salmons. Owing to the pale color of the flesh, this species does not hold as high a rank for canning purposes. It cans well, however, and the product is very palatable and doubtless very nutritious. The trade-name of the canned product is "pink salmon,” as its flesh is of a paler color than that of the chinook salmon or red salmon. Another species is known as dog salmon. It is found in considerable abundance from California northward to Bering Strait, spawning usually late in the fall. It is considered as the least valuable for food purposes, although it is now coming to be used very extensively by freezing, in which form it finds a ready market both in this country and abroad. When canned it is put on the market as 66 chum." Its chief interest at the present time is on account of the fact that it is sometimes sold under the names of better species.
Chinook Salmon (Oncorhynchus tschawytscha).-This species is also known as quinnat, king, Columbia river, and Sacramento river salmon. It is, next to the sockeye, the most important of all salmon in commercial value. The individuals of this species reach a larger size than those of any other. They have been known to weigh 90 pounds, and fish of from 40 to 60 pounds in weight are not infrequently taken. The average weight of the king salmon which are captured in the Columbia river is probably not far from 22 pounds, while those that run further south, for instance in the Sacramento river, average 16 pounds.
Another species, known as silver salmon (Oncorhynchus kisutch), also has a number of other names, mostly of Eastern or Russian origin. It is quite an important member of the genus and its average weight is about 5 pounds. It is very valuable as a food fish, only the Chinook and blueback salmon going ahead of it. It is also a species which bears shipment in a fresh state very well. The silver salmon resembles very closely the Chinook, but is easily distinguished therefrom by experienced fishermen. The canned product of this species is usually put on the market as "medium red" or "coho" salmon, names which have now come to have a definite meaning and are perfectly understood by the trade.
The Sockeye or Blueback Salmon (Oncorhynchus nerka).—This is the species which has the greatest commercial value and forms a large part of the catch of the Pacific coast. It is the most abundant of all the species of salmon in Alaska. Its flesh has a rich red or "salmon" color, and lends itself admirably to canning processes. In palatability and attractiveness as a canned product it is not inferior to any, unless, possibly, the Columbia river chinook.
SALMON OF THE ATLANTIC COAST.
Canning of Salmon.—The canning of salmon is one of the most important of the fish industries of the United States. The immense coast line possessed by the United States on the west, which is so vastly extended by the Alaskan coast and Aleutian Islands, affords the most extensive fisheries of salmon in the world. As has already been stated, there are no large markets in that region in which the fresh salmon can find a purchaser. The fish, therefore, must be neglected as a food product or else prepared in some way to enable them to be shipped to great distances. Probably the most unobjectionable way is by canning. The principles of the canning of salmon are not different at all from those which underlie the sterilization of any kind of food. The establishments in which the canning takes place are perhaps the most extensive in the world. The prime necessity in these cases is to secure complete sterilization. In the case of fish any failure to secure the proper sterilization is the more reprehensible, because fish decompose so readily, forming fermentative products which are extremely poisonous. Cases of poisoning from eating canned salmon have been reported, and in some cases they may prove fatal. Every can of salmon which is to be eaten ought to be examined carefully in order to see if there are any incipient signs of decomposition. A bad smelling or otherwise imperfect can should be rejected without question. Only the fish which is perfectly fresh to the taste and odor and which gives no signs of any kind of deterioration should be eaten. When properly prepared, canned salmon affords a delicacy as well as a food product which can hardly be too highly prized. Composition of Canned Salmon.—Mean of three samples. Water-free
The Salmon of the Atlantic Coast.-As has already been noted, the Pacific salmon belong to a different genus from the common Atlantic salmon,— Salmo salar. There is a very close resemblance between the two genera, and the common name "salmon" is applied to the individuals of each. The Atlantic salmon is a fish which has been known from the earliest time. The Roman people became acquainted with it in the early history of the Republic, and especially when they conquered Gaul and Britain. It is found distributed over the whole North Atlantic coast, but especially the northern portion
from Massachusetts northward. The salmon extends, as far as observations have been made, beyond even the Arctic circle, and the same species is found upon the western and northern shores of Europe. The salmon enters the St. Lawrence and has been found as far up as Niagara Falls. Our principal fisheries for this species are in Maine and in Canada, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick. They do not extend southward beyond the Delaware and have rarely been found in that river. The shad and salmon were particularly abundant in early colonial days. The shad were so abundant that they were not regarded as useful for food purposes, but their value as a fertilizer was taught to the whites by the Indians. Salmon, apparently, were equally abundant, and it was considered an affront to offer salmon more than twice a week even to servants. In this respect they were on the same plane as the diamond back terrapin and canvas back duck, which were so abundant, in those days, that they were a drug on the market. The salmon enters the fresh-water streams for the purpose of spawning. The eggs are largely laid late in the fall, and in that case do not hatch until the next spring. The Atlantic salmon often reach a very large size. Individuals have been known to weigh from 40 to even 80 pounds. The average weight of the salmon taken in Maine waters is about 10 pounds each. Another valued specimen of salmon is known as the Sebago salmon (Salmo sebago), from the lake in which it occurs. It is a fresh-water fish, having been doubtless landlocked in some way after originally entering from the sea. Still a third species is the famous ouananiche (Salmo ouananiche), inhabiting the waters of the Lake St. John region north of Quebec.
The above data show a striking difference in the composition of the edible portions of Pacific and Atlantic salmon. This difference is shown chiefly in the relative proportion of fat. In the Pacific salmon the fat approaches in quantity the protein, while in the Atlantic salmon the protein is much. greater than the fat. The Atlantic salmon is used chiefly in the fresh state for two reasons, first, because the catch is very much smaller than that of the Pacific species while the markets are very much more numerous and very much larger; second, because it is commercially more profitable to dealers in the