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Kansas State Board of Agriculture
First Biennial Report




The duties of your Commissioner involve a vast amount of correspondence, especially with people who see some violation of the laws for the preservation of fish. I desire to call attention to the fact that it is the duty of every law abiding citizen to see that the law is observed, as well as the Commissioner. It is an impossibility for the Commissioner to act as a police, detective and witness. Many devices have been resorted to in order to evade the law. I would therefore recommend that for a period of five years all fishing with every device whatever be made a violation of law - excepting with hook, line and rod, and with seine and net for the purpose of propagation only.


I would recommend that a plan be adopted, and the same be lithographed, and copies be furnished to all persons erecting dams, and to owners of dams. The plans furnished should embrace cheapness and durability, and should not interfere with the use of the water for power. Some of the dams require no fish-ways, where they are built on the "rip-rap" style, and have but little perpendicular fall.


I would recommend and urge that an appropriation of not less than $2,000 be made for the purpose of erecting a fish hatchery. The necessity of such a building is apparent to every person who will give the subject any notice.

I would recommend that the Commission be increased to three members, one of whom to be superintendent and to have a fixed salary, and that his whole time be devoted to the fish interest of the State.

I would further recommend an appropriation of $3,000 for the year 1880, and $3,000 for the year 1881, to be used by the Commission in paying the necessary expenses in collecting fish, spawn, etc., for our State. These appropriations are very small in comparison with other States. Michigan, in 1875, appropriated $14,000; Wisconsin appropriated, in 1876, $10,000 for that year.

FINANCIAL STATEMENT of the Fish Commissioner, embracing the Expenditures from April 1, 1877, to June 30, 1878

1877. To amount appropriated   $500.00
July By 20 days' service, at $3 per day $60.00
By mileage for 550 miles, at 10 cents per mile 55.00
By postage and telegraphing 7.50
September By 20 days' service as Commissioner 60.00
By fare on railroad 14.00
October By express and cartage on 100,000 California salmon eggs from Chicago, Ill., to Ellsworth, Kas. 24.70
By telegraphing 4.85
By telegraphing and postage 1.50
By 5 days' service as Commissioner 15.00
November By charges paid Livingston Stone on the transportation of 100,000 California salmon eggs 46.50
By making hatching boxes 5.50
By labor 10 days, at $1.25 per day 12.50
  By 5 days' services as Commissioner 15.00
February By mileage for 20 miles, at 10 cents per mile 2.00
Total expended $330.55
By balance unexpended 169.45

Total $500.00 $500.00

In closing my report, allow me to acknowledge the kindness, the encouragement, and the assistance given by the State officers, and by scientific gentlemen in different parts of the State. Whatever opposition I have received, and fault that may have been found, came from those who did not look into the subject, to investigate the cause of the delay, etc. - of the imaginary neglect of duty. With faith, zeal and hope, we commit and commend the future of this great work just begun in our State to the enlightened judginent and sympathy of its friends.


To His Excellency, JOHN P. ST. JOHN, Governor Kansas:

Sir: I have the honor to make an additional report as Commissioner of Fisheries, showing the number of fish deposited in our streams during the month of December, 1878. I procured and deposited 100,000 California salmon. The impregnated spawn from which they were hatched was collected by the U. S. Fish Commissioner in the month of September from salmon in the McCloud river, California.

They were shipped on the 2d day of October, and placed in the hatching boxes in Shaw & Co.'s fish hatcher, near Cedar Rapids, Iowa, October 13, where they were successfully hatched. About 95 per cent. hatched out, and became healthy, strong fry. I transferred them from the hatching house December 2, to Atchison, receiving from the different roads free transportation on express trains. Considering the great bulk (ten 20-gallon cans) making 2,000 pounds weight, I must gratefully acknowledge the generous action of the Iowa railroads, as well as those of our own State.

At Atchison, I was met by Col. G. A. A. Dean and Hon. A. B. Bradish, to whom I turned over 30,000 fry, to be deposited as follows: In Stranger creek, 2,500; in Independence creek, 2,500; in the Delaware at Muscotah, 1,000; in the Red Vermillion at Centralia, 2,000; in Spring creek at Wetmore, 1,000; in Mill creek at Washington, 1,000; in the Black Vermillion at Frankfort, 2,000; in the Clear and South Forks at Barretts, 1,000; in the Big Blue at Blue Rapids, 5,000; in the Little Blue at Waterville, 2,000; in the Republican river at Concordia, 5,000; in the Solomon river at Beloit, 5,000.

The following deposits I made in person: In the Delaware at Valley Falls, 2,000; in the Soldier near North Topeka, 1,000; in Silver Lake, 500; in the Vermillion near Wamego, 2,500; in the Big Blue at Manhattan, 5,000; in the Republican river near Junction City, 3,000; in Chapmans creek, 2,000; in the Solomon near Solomon City, 2,000; in the Saline near Salina, 3,000; in Spring creek at Brookville, 1,000; in the Smoky Hill river at Ellsworth, 5,000; in Big Creek at Hays, 5,000; in Big creek at Ellis, 5,000.

I had previously arranged with Mr. E. A. Thompson, of Hutchinson, to meet me at Atchison and take charge of the fish to be distributed along the line of their road. On account of sickness, Mr. Thompson failed to meet me, but Mr. Ricksecker, of the same place, took charge of them at Topeka, with written instructions to make deposits in the following streams: In the Wakarusa, 2,000; in the Marais des Cygnes, 2,500; in the Neosho at Emporia, 5,000; in the Cottonwood at Florence, 2,000; in the Little Arkansas at Halstead, 2,500; in Lake View, McPherson county, 2,000; in Lake Farland, McPherson county, 2,000; in Cow creek at Hutchinson, 2,000; in Walnut creek at Great Bend, 3,000; in the Pawnee at Larned, 5,000.

With instruction to send by a responsible party, if possible, on the branch road to Eldorado, to be put in the Walnut, 3,000.

The fish deposited by myself and those turned over to other parties were in a healthy condition. Having met with success in making connections and obtaining ice and water, with constant care and watchfulness, I succeeded in keeping the temperature of the water below 50°, and the water supplied with oxygen sufficient to keep them at the bottom of the cans. Our streams in the southeastern portion of the State are to be stocked with fish by the Fish Commissioner of Missouri, which arrangement has been made with the Missouri Commissioner.

The handling of the young fry requires experience, promptness and the greatest watchfulness and care, as they will not bear shipping like general merchandise.

With confidence in the ultimate success of this enterprise, I am,

Very respectfully,
Your obedient servant,       D. B. LONG,      

The following law is published for the benefit of those who have or hereafter may obstruct any of the streams of Kansas by building dams; for those who are in the habit of seining and netting, etc., within eighty rods of any fish-way, in violation of sections 6 and 7 of said Act, and for the general information of all interested in replenishing our streams and ponds with food fishes:

"AN ACT authorizing the appointment of a Commissioner of Fisheries, and for the protection of fish in the waters of the State of Kansas, and making appropriations for the salary of the Commissioner,

"Be it enacted bythe Legislature of the State of Kansas:

"SECTION 1. A Commissioner of Fisheries of the State of Kansas is hereby established, as hereafter provided for in section three of this act.

"SEC. 2. It shall be the duty of the Commissioner to examine the various rivers, lakes and streams of the State of Kansas, with a view of ascertaining whether they can be rendered more productive of fish, and what means are desirable to effect this object, either in restoring the production of fish in them, or in protecting or propagating the fish that at present frequent them, and to stock the same with fish as means for that purpose may be supplied by the United States Fish Commissioner, and by the societies and individuals interested in the propagation of fish or otherwise; and such Commissioner shall report the result of his labors, and any recommendations he may offer, annually, to the Governor of the State.

"SEC. 3. The Governor shall have power to appoint a Commissioner, to hold office for two years, who shall receive three dollars per day and ten cents per mile for actual time and distance traveled: Provided, That the amount actually paid shall be charged as mileage on railroads, and that not more than fifty days in each year shall be devoted in carrying this act into effect.

"SEC. 4. It shall be unlawful for any person or company to obstruct any of the streams in the State of Kansas, by building a dam, or otherwise, without constructing a 'fish-way.'

"SEC. 5. Any person or company owning or operating a dam on any of the streams of the State of Kansas shall, within one year after the passage of this act, construct a fish-way that will permit all kinds of fish to pass up the stream, except in cases where, in the opinion of said Commissioner, such dam will permit the passage of fish.

"SEC. 6. It shall be unlawful for any person to fish with a seine, net, or otherwise, within eighty rods of any fish-way, or from any private fish preserve, point or stream, owned and used for the propagation of fish, without the owner's consent.

"SEC. 7. It shall be unlawful for any person to catch with a seine or net any of the fish in the waters of the State of Kansas, during the months of April, May and June in each year.

"SEC. 8. Any person or company violating any of the sections of this act shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor, and upon conviction thereof before any court of competent jurisdiction, shall be fined for violating section four or five of this act, not less than one hundred nor more than one thousand dollars; and for violating section seven or eight of this act, shall be fined not less than five nor more than fifty dollars, and shall stand committed until such fine is paid.

"SEC. 9. It shall be the duty of the Fish Commissioner to see that the provisions of this act are enforced, and for this purpose shall have the power to call to his assistance the county attorney of any county in which the provisions of this act are violated, to manage and prosecute the case.

"SEC. 10. Five hundred dollars for the year 1877, and five hundred dollars for the year 1878, or as much of it as is necessary, are hereby appropriated out of any funds not otherwise appropriated, to carry this act into effect.

"SEC. 11. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after its publication in the Daily Commonwealth.

"Approved March 5, 1877.

"I hereby certify that the foregoing is it true and correct copy of the original bill now on file in my office, and that the same was published in the Daily Commonwealth, March 10, 1877.

THOS. H. CAVANAUGH, Secretary of State."