The “Sacramento Union” presents some information respecting the salmon fisherieson the Sacramento liver, which far transcend all the ideas we ever had of the abundance of such fine fish in any part of the world. It says : "The water of the river must be alive with salmon, or such quantities caught daily would sensibly reduce their numbers. But experienced fishermen inform us, while the run lasts, so countless is the number, that no matter how many are employed in the business, or how many are taken daily, no diminution can be perceived. They seem to run in immense schools, with some weeks intervening between the appearance of each school, during which the numbers taken are light, as compared with the quantity taken during a time like the present. No account is kept of the -number engaged in fishing, or of the amount caught, and all statements relative thereto are made Irom estimates ob-business, and probably approximate correctness. These estimates give the number of men employed now in taking fish in the Sacramento at about 600; the number of fish taken daily do an average, 2,000; their average weight seventeen pounds. It requires two men to man a boat, which would give 300 boats for 600 men; 2,000 fish a day would give to each man a fraction over three as his share. Large numbers are saltod down daily, several firms and individuals being extensively engaged in this branch of the trade. The fish are put down in hogsheads, which average, when filled, about 800 lbs. The salmon fish is found in no other waters in such vast multitudes as are met in rivers emptying into the Pacific. On the Atlantic side the leading fish feature is the run of shad in the spring; on the Pacific side, salmon ascend our river at all seasons, in numbers beyond all computation. In California and Oregon our rivers are alive with them, the great number taken by fishermen are but a drop from the bucket. Above this, on the coast side, tribes of Indians use no other food. As a table luxury they are esteemed by most persons the finest fish caught. Unlike many fish they contain but few bones, and the orange colored meat can be served in slices to suit customers. It is emphatically the meat for the million ; it costs so littlenot a quarter that of other meatsthat rich and poor can feast upon salmon as often in the day as they choose to indulge in the luxury. In the course of a few years salmon fishing will extend itself to all the prominent rivers in the State. Catching and curing salmon will then have become a systematized business, the fish consumption will then have extended itself generally over the State, and more than likely become in the meantime an important article ot export." The North Star arrived at Southampton on June 1st, after a passage of 11 days. This was good, but not extraordinary, as she carried no cargo and was in good sailing trim.
This article was originally published with the title "Salmon Fisheries in California" in Scientific American 8, 40, 315 (June 1853)