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FOURTH BIENNIAL REPORT
SHELL FISH COMMISSION
J. ASAKIAH WILLIAMS
SShell Fish Commissioner
T. J. APPLEYARD, PRINTED
; ; E.;
This report is dedicated to the Legislators of the
State of Florida, session of 1913, in honor of those who
then blazed the way for conservation measures by the
creation of the Shell Fish Commission.
If this report faithfully gives a true statement of the
present condition of the salt water fishing industries of.
the State and of this department, and an account of the
principal acts and doings' of the Shell Fish Commis-
sioner for the last two years, it fulfills the purpose de-
My prayer is that the information given herein may
in some degree contribute to the enacting of a wise, just
and ,comprehensive conversation law-a thing much
J. ASAKIAH WILLIAMS,
Shell Fish Commissioner.
FLORIDA'S SHELL FISH COMMISSION
W. A. McRae, Commissioner of Agriculture.
J. Asakiah Williams, Shell Fish Commissioner.
S. C. DeGarmo, Secretary Commissioner of Agricul-
ture, Shell Fish Commission Division.
'L. S. Moody, Secretary Shell Fish Commission.
DEPUTY SHELL FISH COMMISSIONERS.
Barney F. Laughton, Pensacola.
Albert A. Meyer, Apalachicola.
C. D. Parkerson, Cedar Key.
B. C. Williams, St. Petersburg.
S .T. Davis, Sarasota.
M..H. Tillis, Boca Grande.
S. D. Williams, Boca Grande.
Hunter Langford, Fort Myers.
C. M. Vandegrifft, Stuart.
Wm. H. Rivell, Jacksonville.
G. J. Register, Jasper.
LETTER OF TRANSMITTAL
To the Hon. William A. MeRae,
Commissioner of Agriculture,
This is a "detailed report" of the "acts and doings of
the Shell Fish Commissioner and of the conditions of the
shell fish industry and of the oyster, clam and shell fish
territory belonging to the State," as required by Section
4, of Chapter 6532, Acts of 1913.
Though there is no provision of law providing for
it, I have deemed it advisable and of importance to in-
clude other matter concerning the sponge industry of the
State and of the condition of the salt water fishing in-
dustries and of the value and condition of the property
of the State in the department of the Shell Fish Com-
mission, and a statement of all moneys collected by the.
Shell Fish Commission and disbursed during said years.
J. ASAKIAH WILLIAMS,
Shell Fish Commissioner.
REPORT OF SHELL FISH COMMISSION
The year 1919 was in many respects the banner year
for the fishing industries of the State.
The catch was one of the largest and the highest prices
The year 1920 was not so good. In the fall the catch
was abundant but prices poor. In some localities the
fishermen received at times one and one-half cents per
pound for their catch of mullet. This was the lowest
price received in many years. This slump in prices,
probably the greatest in any food commodity, directly
affected the dealer as well as the fishermen. The dealers
in most places strove manfully to uphold prices to the
fishermen in order that they might receive a living return
for their labors. Many such dealers lost heavily in this
Mullet was not the only fish that suffered a decline in
the market, for it was true of all other fish except possi-
bly oysters and clams.
The snapper fishing industry suffered as great a loss
as any other. The mullet and snapper fishing industries
became paralyzed toward the close of the season of 1920,
and almost ceased operations.
Fish dealers in some localities continued to take mul-
let after there was no .market for these fish, and salt,
cured or pickled them. To pay the fishermen many of
the dealers borrowed money of banks. There was but
little demand for these cured fish at the beginning of the
closed season, and those having large holdings were un-
able to dispose of them within the ten days allowed by
law. The law is clear on this point to any lawyer or
judge, but confusing to laymen. There were many and
urgent requests from such holders of cured mullet for
permission to handle them after the ten days for dispos-
ing of them had passed. The Shell Fish Commissioner
took this up with the Commissioner of Agriculture, as
you will recall, and having obtained his sanction and
promise of support and backing in the matter, the Shell
Fish Commissioner issued an order permitting such
holders to dispose of their holdings.
Some beneficiaries of this leniency or non-enforcement
of the law on the part of the Shell Fish Commission have
not appreciated the same, but have seemed to think that
the Commission has heretofore been in error as to what
was the law.
In the winter of 1918 complaints were made regarding
the poor conditions of the Apalachicola oysters. The
Shell Fish Commissioner, together with a representative
of the U. S. Bureau of Fisheries, made investigations.
It was determined from that investigation that the oys-
ters were healthy and that their poor condition was by
the representative of the U. S. Bureau of Fisheries
thought to be due to a lack of food in the waters caused
by little rainfall and consequently a low river. The Shell
Fish Commissioner was of the opinion that the conclu-
sions drawn by the representative of the Bureau of Fish-
eries were probably correct, but also was of the opinion
that another cause may have been the fact that the oys-
ters fattened and spawned in the early.fall and had not
yet had time to recuperate. This frequently happens in
Florida waters. It was predicted that these oysters
would fatten later in the winter when they had time to
recuperate or the river should rise. This prediction came
They were the fattest when the season closed, and the
factories and oystermen were deprived of the opportu-
nity of making good profits by the early closing as fixed
It is reported that the flat worm has made its appear-
ance at Crystal River and points south during the early
part of the season of 1920-1921. However, it is rarely
seen this season, and now constitutes no serious menace
to the industry.
With these stated exceptions the oyster business has
been in a flourishing condition.
Oyster:lessees in the vicinity of Port Orange have ap-
parently made a better success of the planting and grow-
ing of oysters than those in any other portion of the
State. This is due to the fact that the lessees make a
business of growing oysters and gave it their personal at-
tention. They always return while fresh the shells from
which the oysters have been taken, which shell usually
contains a good set of young oysters attached. These
young oysters are not injured, and when returned grow
rapidly and make a sure supply for coming seasons.
Soon after the Act of 1913 was passed many persons
applied for and obtained oyster leases. Most of these
leases were obtained by oyster dealers or oyster canner-
ies who desired to control as much as possible of the ad-
jacent oyster producing waters from which they might
gather a supply of oysters naturally growing thereon
while keeping all others away, or by speculators who
thought to procure the most suitable bottoms and by rea-
son of their foresight sell their holdings to less fortu-
Neither of these classes intended to develop their
holdings, nor did they do so. Yet another class pro-
cured leases who were ignorant of the methods of plant-
ing, growing, gathering or marketing oysters, and ise-
cured inexperienced and often irresponsible persons to
handle their interests and suffered losses. All three of
these classes, and they constitute the great bulk of the
lessees, have long since ceased to pay their lease rentals.
There is yet another class who were bona-fide-procured
leases and endeavored to develop their holdings, but who
later found that the law was inadequate and gave them
no practical protection' from depredators and thieves.
These too discontinued paying their lease rentals. Still
others selected unsuited bottoms or waters, and after
much effort and expense abandoned their undertakings.
While the yearly rental on these classes of leases are un-
paid, there is no way to collect the money due except by
cancelling the lease. The Commissioner of Agriculture
is required to do this, but the method provided for such
proceedings is so cumbersome and expensive that he
rightly feels he is not justified in doing so.
Many persons have filed, their application for leases
especially during the year 1920.. In all such cases the
Shell Fish Commissioner has met all the conditions
placed upon him by law except in some cases where he
still holds the application by request of the Commis-
sioner of Agriculture, pending a. ruling on some legal
point by the Attorney General's office, and these the Shell
Fish Commissioner is ready to turn over to the Commis-
sioner of Agriculture as soon as he will receive the same.
Since January 1st, 1919, there have been filed applica-
tions for oyster leases aggregating eight thousand, eight
hundred and eighty-one acres. Of these eight applica-
tions have been granted, aggregating nine hundred and
eleven acres. The other applications have been passed
upon by the Shell Fish Commissioner, and he will gladly
turn them over to the Commissioner of Agriculture when
he will receive the Isame. The deposit made to cover ex-
penses and lease rental on these held applications favor-
ably passed upon by the Shell Fish Commissioner and
held by the request of the Commissioner of Agriculture
totals $4,326.60. The fact that the Shell Fish Commis-
sion does not get credit for this sum will cause the State
Treasurer's annual report to show that for the year 1920
the Shell Fish Commission was not self-supporting.
I desire to call your attention to a provision of the
oyster law, Act of 1913, which provides that after a lease
has been issued for ten years the annual lease rental will
be $1.00 per acre per annum instead of 50 cents as now
required. Some ten years will have run on some leases
in 1923, and unless this provision of the law is changed
so as not to increase the yearly lease rent all oyster
lessees in the State will probably permit their leases to
At Apalachicola a firm has put in a machine for crush-
ing all oyster shells that have heretofore accumulated or
that hereafter may be gathered and converting them into
chicken feed and lime fertilizers. It would be far more
profitable to those engaged in the oyster industry at
Apalachicola if these shells were returned to the oyster
In Apalachicola -Bay during the spring of 1919 the
Shell Fish Commission planted upon the natural oyster
beds of the State, which we deem most advantageous,
1,516 barrels of seed oysters. These have done well.
It has been the intended policy of the Shell Fish Com-
mission to use the 2-cent privilege tax collected upon each
barrel of oysters gathered in Franklin County toward
the paying of the salary of a local deputy and to the
planting of oysters in Apalachicola Bay. This we un-
derstand to have been the policy of the Shell Fish Com-
mission ever since its creation. The Shell Fish Com-
missioner found it impossible to get oysters planted at
what he deemed a reasonable price, so he had his depu-
ties plant in the spring after the oyster gathering sea-
son was over. As the deputy was getting pay for straight
time, it was deemed that he would be of more benefit to
the oyster industry if his spare time (and he 'had spare
time after the oyster season was over) was used in
planting oysters. Oyster men wanted 50 cents a barrel
for planting them. During the oyster season we tried
to get oystermen to take fresh shells back to the bars,
offering to pay them a reasonable sum for this service,
but they would not. Oyster dealers were willing to load
the shells on their boats, thus preventing delay to the
oystermen. Some dealers even offered to load them free
of charge to the Commission, but the oystermen would
not agree to plant them, claiming that they did not de-
sire to be bothered with distributing shells after they
started out to gather oysters. Had the Commission been
able to have these fresh shells planted it would have been
an excellent thing for the Apalachicola oyster bars, and
would greatly have enhanced the supply of oysters at
that point, and the supply would have been abundant in-
stead of scarce. Although we offered to pay them a rea-
sonable sum for this service they would not do so.
In the spring of 1920 we again in vain tried, to arrange
with the oystermen to take fresh oyster shell on their
voyage out and plant them for a reasonable considera-
tion in Apalachicola Bay. After the oyster season was
over we tried to.hire oystermen and their boats to plant
oysters, but they would not work for a wage and de-
manded 40 and 50 cents a barrel to plant oysters. This
was too much. The Shell Fish Commissioner informed
them that he was anxious to plant their beds and was
willing to pay for it a reasonable sum, but he was un-
able to get any of them to plant. The Shell Fish Com-
missioner offered 30 cents a barrel, but could not get it
done for that sum. The Commissioner then procured a
suitable boat and hired one man at $90 a month to help
the Deputy Shell Fish Commissioner, and they planted
some 2,160 barrels.
The Shell Fish Commissioner appointed a local dep-
uty at Port Orange, who, during the time he served as
deputy, planted eight hundred and five barrels of oysters.
The clam industry of this State consists almost ex-
clusively of canning clams. This is carried on at Marco
and Caxambas. Within the last two years a new clam
packing house has been erected and equipped at Marco.
.This packing house uses a new process for preserving
by which the clams are made into a kind of jelly.
The greatest drawback to the clam industry hereto-
fore and at the present time is to get a sufficient catch
of clams. The clams are in abundance. The factories
ample. There are not enough of laborers in that section
of the State to gather a sufficient supply by hand, though
many have been and are being-dug by that method. Cap-
tain Collier has a clam dredge which has done good work,
yet it has been unable to meet the demands upon it, and
has proven unsatisfactory in that it seems inadequate to
stand the strain of constant .1;'.-i!'l-.
Mr. Warren has recently invented a new kind of clam
dredge which has been tiled, and it is claime:I that it is
a great' improvement over other clam diedges. I am ad-
vised that soon :n effcicnt new dredge of Mr. Warren's
patent will be put in operation. It is believed that these
<1i.i1i:.-, together with the hand labor attainable, will
supply all of the factories with a sufficient supply of
clams to enable them to run continuously.
Clams are to be found in quantities in other portions of
the State, which, with better transportation facilities.
might be profitably worked for the raw trade.
Crabs are plentiful in our waters. At certain seasons
of the year they are too plentiful to please the fisher-
men, whose net they cut to pieces when they become en
tangled therein. In portions of Indian River and Indian
River North and Mosquito' Lagoon crabs are so numer-
ous at times that the waters cannot be successfully fished
except with heavy twine well tarred. Only in one or two
places are-these valuable food fish utilized. .At Tampa
one person uses the catch of several fishermen for mak-
ing "deviled crabs." The whole outfit, however, is con-
sumed locally and is crudely conducted. The sanitation
is not all it should be. Some northern fish dealers are
looking into the matter with a view of handling them in
large quantities. We predict that in the near future
'crab-fishing industries will be established, provided al-
ways reasonable transportation rates can be had.
Stone crabs constitute a considerable portion of the
fish food of the inhabitants of several portions of the
State, chiefly, however, in Monroe, Pinellas, Manatee and
Hillsborough Counties. The law for their protection,
which is only applicable to the three last named coun-
ties, has been well enforced and generally meets with
In our biennial report two years ago we gave a full
account of the Georgia laws that prohibited non-resi-
dents from fishing within that State's waters and of our
efforts to get the laiv changed. We again in 1920 at-
tended the session of the Georgia Legislature and with
the help of Hon. S. J. Slate (to whom the credit should
be given) a law was passed permitting non-residents to
fish for salt water fish except in certain inside waters on
practically the same terms we impose on non-residents.
The efforts of the Shell Fish Commissioner along this
line has saved the life of the shrimp fishing industries
of Fernandina, Florida, for without the gentlemen's
agreement set forth in the above referred to report and
the said change in the Georgia laws, all packers and deal-
ers at Fernandina would have been forced to go out of
business or moved their shrimp packing houses to Georgia
ports from where they could operate in both Georgia and
In our 'report -last referred to we stated that we. had
seen shrimp (prawn) in great quantities near St. Augus-
tine. The Shell Fish Commissioner is happy to state that
a large prawn fishing and packing business has within
the year been established at St. Augustine, and our be-
lief that they could be taken there in sufficient quanti-
ties to justify the establishment of shrimp fishing indus-
tries has been proven correct.
The Shell Fish Commissioner has made some efforts
to find prawn in sufficient quantities for commercial
purposes in Tampa Bay and off Sarasota to Cape Sable
along the beaches and shallow waters. In Tampa Bay a
few were taken. In other places along the coast inves-
tigated in outside waters the catch of foul matter was
too great to make prawn fishing profitable even if they
were found there in large quantities. Because the efforts
we put forth were barren of results is no reason for ceas-
ing investigations. When efforts were being put forth at
Apalachicola to see if sprawn could be found there in
paying quantities it was several weeks before a paying
catch was made. The Shell Fish Commissioner should
carry on these investigations until it was determined
where prawn could be profitably found and' where not
found in paying quantities. Notwithstanding we found
no prawn or shrimp off Sarasota Bay, small shrimp are
within the bay, and Mr. Savarese of Sarasota and Deputy
Shell Fish Commissioner Davis have a prawn net, the
property of the State, and plan to occasionally, make
The sponge industry has prospered fairly well during
1919. Owing to high prices of fish many of the sponge
vessels went into the fishing business and the catch of
sponge 'was comparatively light,- but prices were high.
In 1920 the sponge vessels in the main returned to-their
usual occupation of taking sponge. The law regulating
the minimum size at which sponge may be taken has been
well enforced and generally obeyed.
In 1919 the Legislature passed a law providing for a
closed season on the Florida lobster. This gave some
protection, and as far as it went was good. Florida lob-
ster are great food for' other fish. Many kinds of fish
will take the hook when baited with it more readily than
any other bait used: The law therefore provides that at
all seasons of the year Florida lobsters may be taken for
The law is not giving entire satisfaction. After talk-
ing with many Key West fishermen I am of the opinion
that a law along the lines recommended in the last re-
port of the Shell Fish Commissioner would be far better
and give better satisfaction.
The. Shell Fish. Commissioner advised the Miami
Aquarium manager that lie might through the year take
a sufficient quantity of the Florida lobster to meet the
needs of their aquarium. This was deemed absolutely
necessary if the aquarium was to be maintained, as there
are some varieties of fish essential to the greater success
of the enterprise that could not be successfully fed ex-
cept with lobsters.
In the pound nets of Captain Clock off Boca Grande
there was caught a peculiar shell fish which appears to-
be about midway between a lobster and a crawfish. So
--"~ 'iit ,- v-.!~
Scyllarides-latus. Caught in Captain Clock's pound net near Boca Grande, Fla.
far as we know it is.the first of its kind ever captured.
We took photographs of it in three different positions
and sent them to the Smithsonian Institute for identi-
This valuable food fish abounds in .the-St. Johns River
and its connecting lakes.. One of the best markets the
fishermen have for them is Norfolk, Va. There they
bring around $10.50 per barrel. The express rate is
$7.17 per barrel, commission for selling, $2.00; cost of
fish paid the catcher, $1.25; drayage, 25 cents a barrel,
and ice in which, fish are shipped, $2.00. Total costs,
$12.I7. Net loss after paying the fishermen only $1.25
per barrel, $2.67. Owing solely to excessive express rates
these fish so valuable to the poor cannot be handled at all,
and thousands of barrels of food is not utilized, and the
express companies by their greed have totally destroyed
the herring fishing industry of the State and deprived
themselves of thousands of dollars of revenue.
The supply of mullet as reported by the fishermen was
very abundant. We know that the catch was greater
than the demand.
To the claim that there were more of these fish than
there had been for many previous years, the Shell Fish
Commissioner is not ready to subscribe. During the
season of 1920 when they should have been in schools
and then been readily seen the Commissioner traveled
from Daytonia to Sarasota around the coast in waters
where they should have abounded and not even one school
of mullet was observed by him. Thirty years ago this
would have been impossible, and in such a trip hundreds
of schools would have been seen, each containing many
thousands of fish.
The Shell Fish Commissioner endeavored to get the
Federal Bureau of Fisheries to send an.expert fsh cul-
turist here to make investigations concerning our mullet
during the last spawning season, but was informed that
they were unable to comply with the request, owing to
the meager Federal appropriations for the salaries of
Reliable and well informed persons have declared that
canned mullet is a superior product to canned salmon.
It appears to me that if the fishermen and dealers who
pack salt mullet both dry and pickled -would can their
catch that they would find it more profitable and there
would certainly be a great saving of fish. Salt mullet
soon rust and rapidly depreciates in value and flavor.
Fishermen have abused the law permitting them to
take silver mullet with nets having less than a three-
inch stretched mesh and have used the nets to take com-
mon mullet. It is impossible to prevent this abuse as long
as the present law remains. Silver mullet can be success-
fully taken with three-inch stretched meshed nets, and if
the fishermen are allowed to use smaller meshed nets they
will take advantage of it to catch all other fish. It also
gives them the right to have such a net in their posses-
The use of seines in the outside waters of the east
coast counties has also been, abused, and in spite of all
efforts of the Shell Fish Commissioner and his deputies
they have been used in inside waters where their use is
very injurious and forbidden.
SPANISH MACKEREL AND KING MACKEREL.
Thq catch of both the King and Spanish mackerel
have been up to the average during the past two years.
'$4 ,~ .-
Sponge Fleet at Tarpon Springs, Fla.
Deputy B. C. Williams at Sponge Exchange, Tarpon Springs, Fla.
The fish oil and fish fertilizer industries have not done
as well as we had hoped. The Southern Menhaden Com-
pany closed its plant at Fulton" on the St. Johns River
and put up a very extensive plant at Port St. Joe at a
cost of some $200,000.00. Their fishing excursions were
successful and great quantities of fish were taken and
some of the catch provided good yields of oil. In the
yield of oil they surpassed expectations.
The business was hampered, however, and to such an
extent that :for a while it ceased operations by reasons
of peddlers of alcoholic drinks and a failure of those in
authority to give protection against such unlawful acts.
The situation is better, but is not all that should be de-
The shark and similar fisheries, for their skins, and olis
and flesh for fertilizers, have grown steadily. The prin-
cipal trouble appears to be that one firm has a. monop-
oly of the industries and carry on their fishing opera-
tions with hired fishermen and will not pay independ-
ent fishermen a sufficient price for their catch.
The demand for the leather of sharks and rays is stead-
ily growing in demand.
In portions of the Indian River there were persistent
efforts to use. seines and small mesh nets in waters where
their use was forbidden. Usually those using them kept
as well posted as they could of the whereabouts of the
deputies and operated at night. Upon the approach of
any person they did not know or any craft with which
they were not familiar they" fled, leaving their seines be-
hind. These seines have been held as evidence if the users
could be found, but only in two or three cases have claim-
ants appeared, and that ofily'when they claimed the
owners did not know of the illegal use of the seine. In
cases where claimants appeared all illegal portions of the
seines were by agreement destroyed and the useful legal
portions returned to the owners. Many persons never
claimed the seines or nets. We now have a large lot of
these seines stored in Tallahassee. Some disposition
should be made of them.
Users of.gill nets on the east coast bitterly opposed the
use of seines and constantly and persistently demanded
their suppression. At the same time the gillnetters, or
some of them, dragged their gill nets in their fishing
operations and thereby made them for the time being
into drag nets.
We tried alike to stop both seine and drag net fishing.
Where seines were found they were taken as above stated
and at first when gillnetters were found dragging their
gill nets through the water they were arrested and taken
At the trials of those dragging their gill nets in fish-
ing, the judges ordered their release, claiming they could
fish a gill net in any manner. If this was law, then al-
most every provision of the fish law designed for the pro-
tection of* the fish except the closed season could be
broken. We brought a test case before the Circuit Judge
of Palm Beach Circuit,- and he. held it unlawful to drag
a gill net in fishing operations. Since the procuring of
this decision we have been endeavoring to prevent drag
net fishing and seining alike with varied success. The
dragging of a gill net through the waters is only in a less
degree as harmful as a seine. If the one should be pro-
hibited in inside shallow waters so .should the other.
The evil consequences of the dragging of a net in the
shallow inland waters will be shown in the following cir-
On the bay at Sun Rise Inn near Stuart on the -St.
Lucie River, Prof. Edwin E. Prince, LL. D. and Ph.D.,
and Commissioner of Fisheries for the Dominion of Can-
.ada, which position he has held for the past twenty-
eight years,- and myself, under the direction of Prof.
Prince, and at my request, made the following experi-
We took a piece of sandfly or cheese cloth about thirty
feet long and dragged something less than a thousand
square feet of the shallow waters next the shore. This
was done on or about the sixth day of November, 1920,
at a time I did not expect to find small fish. It was, I
thought, too soon for mullet fry and too late in the sea-
son for other young fish.
To my surprise we caught in that net in that small
territory probably more, than 2,000 little fish, none of
which were more than one inch in length. About one-
half of them were only at best a day or two old. These
smaller ones were small enough to have passed through
the mesh of the cloth we used, but they did not. Com-
pare this slaughter in less than 1,000 square feet with
what takes place when thousands of square yards are
seined or drag netted.
These little fish would lodge on the thread of a gill net.
A blade of grass could catch several and the lead line
crushing the grass on the bottom as the net is dragged
through the water necessarily kills hundreds of thou-
sands of the small fish each time it is so dragged.
There were some dozen or more varieties of these fish,
some of commercial value.
This vessel is a nice, comfortable boat for a small rich
family for pleasure use. It costs the Commission too
much to keep up and operate in proportion to the serv-
ice rendered -a Fish Commissioner. During the session
of the 1919 Legislature I favored the passage of a bill au-
thorizing its sale.' It is too slow and costly in its opera-
tion for the State Shell Fish Commission. The Seafoam
is in good.condition. The launch tender carried on the
Seafoam is in good condition, as is also the tender row
This is the best boat in the service of the Commission
for the use of deputies, especially on Indian River and
connecting inside waters. It was planned and built for
the Commission at a cost of S1.1 l.,iii complete. It was
built in 1920. It makes about eighteen miles per hour,
and will run in sixteen or eighteen inches of water. It
is in first class .condition.
This vessel is an old boat and was never suited for the
Commission. It is now at Sanford out of commission.
Its engines being old and worn out have been removed
and sold. The Bernice can be used to good advantage in
the St. Johns River, but it is unsuited for any other
waters, and the Commission has nothing to do with the
St. Johns River, it not being salt water, hence the Shell
Fish Commissioner has ceased to spend the necessary
money to keep the Bernice in service.
1 I -.~...
This is a good, serviceable boat, and speedy. For the
use of a Deputy Shell Fish Commissioner in the large
bays of the extreme west coast it is well suited. It was
acquired in 1919 at a cost of $500.00, and is now in, good
This is a boat too small for the service. It has for
more than four years been owned by the Commission.
It, would do for a fish boat, but the Commissioner has
been unable to get efficient work out of it, nor has he
been able to sell it for a reasonable price.
This boat was owned by the State on January 1st, 1919,
and cost the State $1,000.00. Owing to the fact that the
company making the engine used in the Joker had gone
out of business, the Commission sold her for $1,050.00.
This boat has been overhauled and is set aside for the
use of the deputy having headquarters in St. Petersburg.
The Commission purchased this boat to be used in the
planting of oysters in the vicinity of Port Orange, pay-
ing therefore $175. This boat is suitable for and is used
by the deputies of the east coast in patrol work. It is!
in good condition.
For the use of the Deputy Shell Fish Commissioner
along the west coast from St. Marks to Homosassa the
Commission maintains a state-owned boat which is now
at Cedar Key. This is one of the smallest boats in the
service of the Commission, but owing to the fact that it
is tunnel built like the lone, it can be most successfully
operated in the shallow waters common in that section
of the west coast. The major portions of violation in
that section is stop-netting, and such a boat can be used
The Ford car purchased in 1918 and first used by the
Shell Fish Commissioner, and later by his deputies, was
in June, 1919, sold for $175.00, and in September, 1919,
a Ford car was purchased from Mr. J. H. Alderman at
Gainesville for $600.00. This car has been in almost
constant use ever since. In the rear of this five-passen-
ger Ford is carried a tent and cooking utensils and a cot.
This enables the user to stop anywhere and at anytime.
These cars have been of great service to the Commission,
especially in making collections in the interior of the
State, and in preventing the smuggling of mullet dur-
ing the closed season on mullet fishing.
DORT AND OVERLAND.
The Shell Fish Commissioner, the better to perform
his official duties and at the same time reduce expenses,
purchased for his use a second hand Overland Country
Club automobile at a cost of $800. This purchase was
made in December, 1918. After, driving' the Overland
over 2,000 miles it was traded in on a new Dort car and
the difference of $775.00 was paid by the Commission.
The Dort car has been driven some 1,500 miles and is in
good condition considering the service it has been put to.
On June 18th, 1920, the Shell Fish Commissioner pur-
chased a second hand motorcycle for the use of Deputy
Vandegrifft for use on the Florida east coast, paying
therefore the sum of $450.00. This included side car.
Later on this outfit was traded in at Daytona and a new
motorcycle without the side car was obtained, the Shell
Fish Commission paying $137.50 in exchange. This car
is as good as new. By use of the fast boat "lone" here-
tofore referred to.and this motorcycle the one deputy
with occasional help is able to cover all of the territory
on the east coast south of St. Augustine.
During November, 1919, the Shell Fish Commissioner
purchased a new motorcycle at a cost of $363.50 and later
purchased a side car for this mortorcycle at a cost of
$75.00 for the use of Deputy Williams with headquarters
at St. Petersburg. After using this car for several
months it was struck by lightning and then traded in
for a new motorcycle. The Shell Fish Commission paid
$250.00 in the exchange. Since furnishing Deptity Will-
iams with this motorcycle we have been able to add sev-
eral inland counties to his territory.
The use of motorcycles for all territory south of Jack-
sonville and Inglis, where hard-surfaced roads are found,
excepting the coast from Naples to Key West and thence
up to Homestead, is by far the most efficient method and
In all interior towns and at all points on the coast at-
tained by road other than hard surfaced, as well as hard
surfaced, the Ford car is the most efficient and cheapest
Boats have to be used to some extent, and at certain
points are absolutely necessary, but their upkeep is high
and the operating expenses when compared to the serv-
ice rendered is greater than that of any other mode of
As good roads improve and extend the better and
cheaper may the work be done by motorcycle and'auto-
mobiles and the territory served by each can be enlarged.
Fish Dealers License............ $16,810.00
Fish Boat License................ 19,076.35
Alien Boat License............... 8,200.00
Alien Fishing License............ 7,980.00
Excess Net License .............. 70.00
Purse Seine License.............. 1,025,00
Pound Net License..... .......... 25.00
Sale of Mullet captured in Manatee
County ....................... 1,934.41
Sale of Mullet captured in Lee
County ....................... 26.37
Sale of Mullet captured in Bay
County ........................ 104.85
Sale of Mullet Captured at Saint
Marks ....................... 17.00
Sale of Mullet captured at Monti-
cello .......................... 25.00
Rent for boat "Mina"............ 5.50
Rent for Boat "Joker"........... 10.00
Sale of water tank at Apalachicola 25.00
Sale of. water tank at Cedar Key.. 20.00
Sale of old engine at Panama City 50.00
Sale of Ford car................ 175.00
Sale of boat "Joker"............. 1,000.00
Sale of small boat to W. Peterson
& Co., Ft. Pierce............... 30.00
Sale of old engine to P. D. Parker
at New, Smyrna................ 50.00
Claim paid by Western Union Tel.
Co. ........................... 45.56
Miscellaneous ................... 87.41
Oyster Dealers License ........... 8,093.50
Oyster Boat License............. 573.75
Rental of Oyster Leases......... 1,307.39
Recording and deposit of Surveys
and Leases ...... ............ 278.70
Privilege Tax ................... 4,369.14
Sale of Measures and Tags....... 75.75
Sponge Boat Licenses............. 1,563.00
Balance Dec. 31st, 1918........ 5,066.59
Warrant No. 12378 cancelled.... 5.93
Warrant No. 17139 cancelled.... 110.00
Warrant No. 18503 cancelled ... 130.00
Warrant No. 26363 cancelled.... 250.00
Deputy Salaries ................. .20,659.86
Deputy Traveling Expenses....... 4,483.48
Deputy Boat Expenses........... 4,249.66
Boat Hire ...................... 742.50
Clerk Salary ..................... 5,142.42
Janitor's Salary ................ 213.67
Office Supplies ................. ... 444.52
Office Rent ....................... 129.33
Groceries for Seafoam........... 2,356.08
Repairs for Seafoam .............. 3,998.40
Laundry for Seafoam............ 53.04
Supplies for Seafoam............ 613.26
Salary Captain on Seafoam....... 1,795.41
Salary Engineer on 'Seafoam...... 1,300.55
Salary Cook and Watchman on
Seafoam ...................... 1,027.47
Expense Captain of Seafoam...... 75.49
Expense Engineer on Seafoam.... 48.71
Expense Cook on Seafoam......... 50.18
Towing Seafoam from Ocean City
to Jacksonville ................ 200.00
Gasoline and Oil................. 5,385.96
Towing Boats .................... 74.00
Purchase Oyster Shells........... 138.90
Expense in connection with hand-
ling Illegal Nets .............. 170.85
Deputy Bond Premiums ..'....... 115.00
Ice for Office .................... 49.90
Postage .......................-. 1,120.75
Telephone and Telegraph......... 410.06
Printing ........................ 1,240.37
Freight, Drayage and Express.... 244.61
Refund on Licenses.............. 212.80
Repairs to Typewriters and Mim-
eograph ...................... 67.89
Printing of Reports .............. 291.25
Stationery ...................... 175.30
Subscription to Fishing Gazette
M magazine ...................... 3.50
Fan for Office .................... 25.08
Glass Door for Office............. 5.00
Tags .......................... 147.00
Advertising ...................... 23.30
Stenographic Work .............. 36.95
Rental of Warehouse ............. 76.20
Hatchery Equipment............. 417.84
Helper at Hatchery............... 79.68
Supplies for Museum and Taxider-
m ist .......................... 94.36
Salary Taxidermist .............. 151.60
Alligator Specimen for Museum... 48.50
Twine and Cloth for Net for Tak-
ing Specimens ................. 5.35
Automobile Hire ................. 77.00
Auto Garage Rent............... 24.00
Auto Repairs ................... 2,174.41
Repairs to Motorcycle............. 217.94
Helper on Seafoam, Salary..... ... 32.38
Paid to N. H. Cox for Labor and
Supplies Seafoam ........... -65.35
Charts .......................... 7.69
Tent for Deputy .................. 13.10
Raising boat "Mina"............. 55.00
Gas Drums ............... ..... 20.00
Kodak for Taking Pictures Fish
and Game ............. ....... 30.90
Rent of Net for Use at Hatchery.. 10.00
Traveling Expense Shell Fish Com-
missioner ................. ... .1,889.38
Vulcan Engine Purchased for
"Mina" (warrant for $130.00
cancelled) .. .............. 130.00
Vulcan Engine ................... 150.00
Red Wing Engine for Deputy Boat
"lone" ........................ 500.00
Red Wing Engine for Deputy Boat
"lone" (exchanged) ............ 250.00
Purchase Boat "Ram"............ 175.00
Purchase Boat "Marie" at Pensacola 500.00
Balance Purchase Boat "Joker".. 700.00
Building of Boat "lone"......... 250.00
Installing Engine in Boat "lone". 145.22
Purchase Ford Car from J. H. Al-
derman,. Gaifiesville ........... 600.00
Purchase Motorcycle for Tampa
Territory ......... ............ 363.50
Purchase Motorcycle for Tampa
Terrtory (exchanged) .......... 250.00
Purchase Motorcycle Side Car for
Tampa Territory .............. 75.00
Purchase Dort Automobile........ 775.00
Purchase Motorcycle for East Coast
Territory ...................... 450.00
Purchase Motorcycle for East Coast
Territory (exchanged) ....... 137.50
Purchase Engine for Seafoam Jun-
ior ........................... 250.00
Lumber for Garage .............. 26.01
Paid to W. H. Barfield for Boat
Burned While in Use by Deputy 125.00
One Pair Field Glasses.......... 35.00
Purchase Typewriter ............ 51.60
Salary Oyster Planter............ 556.81
Surveying Inlet at Lake Worth... 106.69
Attorney Fees .................. 475.00
Court Costs ..... ............... 49.21
Mileage Books- .................. 495.00
Refund to Rice Bros. for Deposit
on Oyster Lease................ 25.00
Purchase of Oyster Measures..... 30.00
Paid to Surveyors for Surveying
Oyster Leases .................. 164.99
Fees Paid Into General Revenue
Fund ..................... .. .513.15
Balance Dec. 31st, 1920 ........... 7,148.34