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the naturalist a nucleus whereon to were taken larger than this.” “On build future observation, I have the 20th of April," it is afterwards thought it right to detail at consider- added, “ these rivers were fished with able length the following history of fly, and were found full of salmon the salmon smolt, from its first deposi- smolts, varying from six to nine inches, tion under the gravel in the form of an —such being the rapidity of their egg, to its ultimate disappearance from growth from the 1st to the 20th April, the fresh-water streams, which formed or in about three weeks. They were its habitat whilst infantile ; remark- in the finest possible condition, covered ing, that every thing stated therein with small silvery scales, differing in fell under my own immediate personal shape (I mean the scales), from those observation. I have thought it pre- of the trout or parr.”† “ They are of ferable thus to narrate at some length, very rapid growth,” the doctor again and almost in the order of their occur- observes, “ many attaining the length rence, a series of observations on the of nine inches in twenty-seven days, generation of the ova, to any other supposing that I am correct in the mode of describing the natural history exact period of their appearing above of the salmon-smolt or fry.” *
the gravel; but during the first seven The ova commemorated by Dr days, whilst living on the yolk, they Knox were observed to be deposited grow very little; thus, in twenty days, near the sources of a stream, on the they apparently grow from one inch to 2d day of November, and were “cov- nine inches in length.” I The doctor, ered up with gravel in the usual way." of course, means that he himself supThere are now said to be two methods poses they actually do so. in which this latter parental duty may From the preceding brief quotations, be performed; and as the ordinary way it will be perceived that Dr Knox (or rather the way ordinarily describ. entirely coincides with the hitherto ed) is alleged by some very patient prevailing opinion regarding the rapid and experienced observers not to be growth of salmon smolts, and their the way at all followed by any salmon speedy descent towards the sea. whatsoever, it would have been inter. shall merely mention, in regard to the esting if Dr Knox had informed us cir- cognate and now inseparable branch cumstantially ofthe performance of this of our subject, namely, the parr quesinstinctive habit in the instance allud. tion, that although our learned apaed to, which we doubt not occurred tomist does not discuss it, we fear that under his “own immediate personal there too he partakes of the fallible observation." However that may be, pature of humanity; for in his introthe ova in question were found to be ductory observations, he enumerates changing by the 23d of March ; that the parr as among the distinct species, is, the outer shell was cast, and the fry and adds, that “ though in some meawere observed lying imbedded in the sure unimportant in itself, by reason gravel, as fishes, somewhat less than an of its want of bulk, it has nevertheless inch in length, being twenty weeks received from us (meaning bimself
, from the period of their deposition. Dr Knox) a degree of attention On re-opening the spawning-bed on almost equal to that bestowed on the the 1st of April, most of the fry were salmon, and which seemed in some found to have quitted it by ascending measure necessary by its supposed through the gravel, and on “ April 19, connexion with the natural history of many were taken eight, and even nine the salmon." inches long, in excellent condition." In the supplementary portion of On the 5th of May, they still abound- the voluminous English edition of ed in the tributary streams, but were
Baron Cuvier's work, no mention is less numerous than before; they had made of parr; but the following obnot increased in size, owing to their servations are appended as applying being, as the Doctor supposes, “ in all
to salmon fry. probability, fry of a later deposit. “ The young salmons grow rapidly, and The extreme of their growth seemed
very soon come to the length of four or to be about nine inches, at least none five inches. When they have attained * Transactions of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, Vol. XII. Part II. p.
471. + Ibid. p. 480.
$ Ibid. p. 481.
§ Ibid. p. 466.
pearly to a foot in length, they have sufe with him to Drumlanrig, on the close 19ficient strength to abandon the upper parts of the ensuing meeting of the British 1 of the rivers, and to gain the sea, which Association at Glasgow. i they quit again, when they are eighteen Sir William Jardine, an excellent
inches long, towards the commencement practical observer, and certainly a of summer, and later than the old indivi. good authority on any point like that duals of their species. At two years of in question, states, in reference to the age they weigh six or eight pounds, and
that the chief uncertainty “ has at five or six years old they only weigh latterly resolved itself into whether ten or twelve. From these data we may
the parr was distinct, or a variety or easily judge of the advanced age of those
young of the common trout, S. fario; which are fished in Scotland and in Sweden of six feet long, and not weighing less
with the migratory salmon it has no
connexion whatever. Among the Brithan eighty or one hundred pounds.
tish salmonidæ, there is no fish whose We have lived for a tremendous habits are so regular, or the colours time in Scotland, and for a short time and markings so constant." After in Sweden, but we solemnly aver that describing the distinctive marks of the we never met in either country with parr, Sir William continues :-" In a salmon as long as ourselves ; and this state, therefore, I have no hesita. yet we measure only six feet upon our tion in considering the parr not only
stocking soles. We no doubt (thanks distinct, but one of the best and most i to a pretty regular supply of Peebles constantly marked species we have,
ale) weigh somewhat more than a and that it ought to remain in our hundred pounds ; but it does not fol systems as the Salmo salmulus of low from that fact, or indeed from Ray." + any other known to naturalists, that The Rev. Leonard Jenyns, an acsalmon fished by man of woman born, complished naturalist and careful com. ever now-a-days weigh and measure piler, after giving the supposed disto the extent and ponderosity above tinctive characters of the parr, and mentioned. In truth, such a thing stating the different views which had
answer in the north prevailed regarding it; observes :country. Our Highland fishermen, . It is, however, now pretty well as. though intelligent in mind and nimble certained to be a distinct species, alin body, are rather a diminutive race ways remaining of a small size. Is -a small people, though a strong- called in some places a parr, in others and a salmon six feet in length would a skirling or brandling."$ not only frighten them out of their Dr Richardson, in his ichthyological propriety, but would actually deprive volume, does not express any very them of their property, by carrying explicit opinion regarding the parr; themselves, their net, and coble, at but he reports in a commendatory “one fell swoop” into the “ inju. spirit, and therefore, we presume,
approves of Dr Knox's account of the A very ingenious young gentleman rapid growth of smolts, and he names of Neufchatel, M. Agassiz, maintains the name of parr evidently as a sepaan opinion regarding the parr, dif- rate species, and refers in a note to ferent from, though equally erro- Sir William Jardine's supposed disneous with, those we have now tinctive characters of that same. || narrated. He believes the parr to be
That the parr is not the young of neither more nor less than one of the the salmon, Mr Yarrell considers to many conditions of the common river be sufficiently obvious from the cirtrout, salmo fario (Linn.t). We regret cumstance, or that parrs by hundreds that so respectable a person should may be taken in the rivers all the harbour such a thought of our beloved summer, long after the fry of the year, fish ; but we can't help it. We doubt of the larger migratory species, have not he will speedily see the error of gone down to the sea ; and the greater
We will be glad to go part of those parrs taken even in au-
Edinburgh New Phil. Jour. for January 1835.
tumn do not exceed five inches in large one), and as, by the end of summer, length, when no example of the young they must be several months old, how can salmon can be found under sixteen or we (in the belief of their being young eighteen inches, and the young of the salmon) reconcile their imputed age with bull-trout and salmon-trout are large their actual dimensions ? Still more diffiin proportion.” “ By the kindness of cult will it be to explain, in connexion various friends, I have received parrs
with that belief, how the brood which has from several rivers on the east, south, descended seawards in the spring, should, and west shores ; and from close com
after the lapse of the same period, be
found in their native rivers, weighing parative examination of specimens from distant localities, and these with
many pounds." the young of others of the Salmonidæ, Now this may be all very logically I believe the parr to be a distinct fish." reasoned in its way, but unfortunately In his supplement Mr Yarrell in some the premises are erroneous ; for as measure modifies his opinion regard. smolts do not go down to the sea the ing the rapid growth of salmon fry, same season they are hatched, they but in relation to Mr Shaw's earlier cannot return from it in the course of experiments, he still continues to main the immediate summer, “ weighing tain that there is not conclusive evi- many pounds ;" ergo, the arguments dence of the non-existence of a distinct adduced are of no avail. small fish, to which the name of parr
Dr Parnell, in like manner, regards ought to be exclusively applied.f the parr and salmon smolt as quite
The author of a recent treatise on distinct. He gives what he regards “ Ichthyology"Ị also argues and il- as their differential characters, and conlustrates the subject of the parr, upon cludes by observing, that “ there is the ground of its being a distinct still great doubt as to the parr being species.
a migratory species, since no instance
has been recorded of its capture in the “ Although the history of the parr,” he observes, " is still in truth obscure, we
sea; nor does it appear to me to be certainly deem ourselves authorized to
so common a fish as is generally con
sidered. state, that it is not the young of the salmon.
Its habits require further It may be found in rivers throughout the
investigation." The investigation year, and is more especially abundant du- here delicately hinted at, has now ring those midsummer months, in which taken place, and has, we think, been the acknowledged young of the salmon is attended by a triumphant though un. unknown except as a fish returning from looked for result. We need not, then,
The most characteristic and detain our readers by prolonging our irrepressible instinct of the latter seems to historical exposition, which, in truth, consist in its descent to the sea a few weeks we have brought up to the present after exclusion from the egg; and if our period; but shall now, after a single summer parr is also the young of the sal- slight digression, proceed to Drummon, the fact presents a very rare and lanrig to visit Mr Shaw. remarkable example of different indivi. Writers on this and innumerable duals of the same species varying in their
other subjects, may in truth be likeninstinctive habits. The occurrence of
ed to a flock of sheep about to enter parr in rivers so long after midsummer, park or pasture ground. The way is and the entire disappearance of smolts (as by no means narrow, and there is the young salmon are sometimes called)
much hallooing with stentorian lungs, anterior to that period, is a main argu
while the arms of brawny butchers ment in favour of their being distinct; and we cannot get over the difficulty by simply
wave like windmills, and shepherds' asserting, that such as go down to the sea
dogs utter their short, uneasy bark,
with burning breath, fierce eyes, and early are parr, and that such as go down late are parr also. It is admitted that the fiery tongue; but not a fleece of all ova of salmon are hatched in spring, and
that woolly mass will move an inch. that the growth of the young (by whatever
Then all at once, for no apparent reaname we choose to call it) is extremely son, at least for none which did not rapid. Now, as nobody ever finds a parr
exist before one of their number above a few inches long (six inches is a springs at least a couple of yards into
* British Fishes, II., pp. 43, 47. (1836.) + Supplement, p. 4. (1839.) † Encyclopædia Brit innica, (Seventh Edition,) Vol. XII. p. 208. (1836.) Ś Fishes of the Frith of Forth, p. 143. (1838.)
the buxom air, which proving no We believe we need not burden our
fenced brazen wall," as it was precious pages by any additional redeemed, admits him to pastures ferences to the recorded opinions of green, and instantaneously the whole what are called scientific observers. flock, like a troop of voltigeurs, bolt The preceding will surely suffice to boldly onwards, bound after bound, show that these gentlemen have alas if an earthquake's mouth did gape ways regarded the parr as a distinct beneath them. Now, your men wot and well-defined species ; and the writes " are just precisely animals of reader may afterwards draw his own this description, barring (we fear and conclusions as to whether their views mourn) that their coats are far more of salmon fry were founded on fact, threadbare, themselves more gaunt or altogether imaginative and illusory. and grim, and their other habits rather We are ourselves one of the gravest those of fleecing than of being fleeced. individuals in existence; yet we confess They, too, for a time (and many it does somewhat tickle the remains times) compose confusedly some of our risibility to see Sir William huddled statement, of which one por- Jardine and Dr Knox, Mr Selby and
tion knocks the other down, and the Dr Fleming, Mr James Wilson (a | spread of knowledge looks extremely brother of Professor Wilson's) and
thin, till some one, bolder or more Dr Richardson, not exactly puzzling desperate than the rest (or driven their brains about this vexed quesby fear or hunger), makes a sudden tion—for the question seemed quite spring upwards into the world of happy, and so, assuredly, were they, imagination, where he (being a lad good easy men!—but resting satisfied
of genius) invents a round unvarnish- in the supposed certainty that they i ed tale of circumstantial truth,- understood its bearings in every pos5. Of truth severe, in fairy fiction sible point, and could " box the comdress’d."
pass” on the subject to the clear conAway go the others through that glo- viction of each rational being in the rious gap; and the fond admiring pub- three kingdoms, and the town of Berlic, finding the stream of history so wick-upon-Tweed. But as it will be continuous, and concordant as Cruden speedily shown to the world in gen. on the point in question (whatever eral (and we hope admitted by themit may be), would just as soon - doubt selves in particular), that these genthat the stars are fire," as harbour the tlemen knew nothing at all about the least misgiving as to whatit sees in print. matter, we may be here allowed to And so the matter is settled for a hun pass from their opinions, and report
ihe actual facts as proved by Mr But a day of reckoning comes at Shaw. That these facts may not be last ; for, sooner or later (let us again regarded as the result of hasty or of suppose it a question of salmon fry), superficial observation, we may menreasonable creature appears
tion that this ingenious person has upon the river bank with his eyes open, resided almost during his entire life and finds that if he chooses to use by the banks of salmon streams, and them he can see; so, turning neither that his opportunities have thus been to the right hand nor to the left, and as ample as we know his efforts have studiously eschewing books, he looks been unremitting and laborious, to down into the clear translucent water, ascertain the genuine history of this and what does he see? That, we think, noble and most valuable species. must depend entirely upon circum- Mr Shaw had long been of opinion, stances, and we all know that these in opposition to the prevailing sentia are among the most variable things on ments upon the subject, that the small the face of the earth. So it is impos- fish commonly called parr was the sible to say exactly what any man may young or natural produce of the salsee when he looks down into the water. mon; and that all recorded attempts to It may be his own face-and such a trace the true history of the latter face! But let that pass—we mean no- species, in its earlier states, were “fanthing personal either to ourselves or ciful in their nature, and delusive in others. Of this, however, we are well their results." So far back as lith assured, that no man will ever more July 1833, he captured a few of these behold salmon smolts nine inches long, small fishes, and placed them in a and only three weeks old, descending pond supplied by a wholesome stream. to the sea.
let. There they throve and prospered
till the month of April following, when gined these two facts to take place in they began to assume a somewbat immediate or speedy succession ;'' different aspect, and in the earlier part whereas they had nothing to do with of May they were converted into what each other, any more than an infant are usually called salmon smolts or sent to nurse has to do with any fry—that is, they became of a fine “ Adonis of a boy.” who may be deep blue upon the back, the sides setting out to push his fortune in New and under-portions of a delicate sil- Holland. We shall now state what very aspect, with the scales very de. Mr Shaw has ascertained to be the ciduous, or easily adhering to the actual proceedings of these little fishes hand. At this time, also, they exhi- for weeks and months after they are bited what may be called a migratory hatched, and during which they dream instinct, several of them insisting, very not at all of the “injurious sea," in imprudently as we opine, to leap out spite of what our naturalists have asof the pond, not simply into the air, serted to the contrary. for that would have been all well That the species in question should enough in its way, but on to the sur- so seldom be apparent in the rivers in rounding bank. The consequences an earlier state than that in which it is are as easily imagined as described, known as the May or summer parr, they died.
might well be deemed a somewhat per In March 1835, he again took from plexing circumstance. But perplexthe river about a dozen parrs of a ities were the very spurs with which larger size, that is, about six inches Mr Shaw was determined to “ ride long. They at this time bore upon the water.” He therefore made a mi. their sides the ordinary perpendicular nute examination of the streams where bars or blotches, and all the other cha- old salmon had spawned the preceding racteristics of the so-called parr. He winter; and he there found in vast transferred them to his pond, and by numbers a very small but extremely the end of April of the same year, they active fish, which he naturally contoo assumed the characters of salmon cluded to be the young parr, or actual fry ; “ the bars becoming overlaid by samlet of the season. To test the the new silvery scales which parrs of truth of this opinion, he scooped up a two years old invariably assume be- few dozen of them on the 15th of fore departing towards the sea. He May 1834. They then measured not now entertained no doubt that the more than an inch in length, and the larger parrs observable in autumn, small transverse bars which mark the winter, and early spring, were in parr were already clearly distinguishtruth young salmon advancing to the able. He placed them in his ponds, conclusion of their second year; while where they throve well ; and by the the smaller spring and summer parr ensuing May (1835), when they had (called May parrs in certain parts of been a year in his possession, they Scotland) were younger individuals of were found, on examination, to meathe same species, only entering upon sure on an average about three and their second year.
This, then, our a-half inches. At this period they en. ingenious friend regarded (and we tirely corresponded to the small parr think truly) as the detection of the to be seen in the natural streams of great leading error of preceding ob- the river; and neither the free nor the servers, who, as we have already suf. captive brood of these dimensions exficiently shown, had uniformly main- hibited any tendency to assume the tained that salmon fry grow to the silvery aspect of the smolt. Mr length of six or eight inches in as Shaw, however, felt satisfied, from many weeks, and that after the lapse the result of his foriner tentative of this brief period, they take their experiments on the parr, that they gregarious departure to the sea. Now, would ultimately assume that silvery it is the rapidity with which the two- aspect; so he allowed them just to year-old parr assumes the aspect of o bide their time ;" and, accordingly, the acknowledged salmon fry that has in May 1836, they were transmuted led to this most erroneous conclusion; into smolts or salmon fry. They then for hasty or superficial observers measured six and a-half inches in “ taking cognizance, first, of the hatch. length, their colour on the dorsal re. ing of the ova in early spring; and, gion being of a fine deep blue, the secondly, of the seaward migration of sides and abdomen silvery white, the smolts soon afterwards, have ima- dorsal, caudal, and especially the pec