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a second) while circling inside a live car; yearlings at a rate of about 11 sea miles per hour (19 ft. We find no definite observations on the normal speed of the larger fish, and no one knows how rapidly a mackerel may swim for a short distance, if it is disturbed.Mackerel seen during the warmer months of the year are always swimming, but this rule may not apply in winter, when the water holds more dissolved oxygen because it is colder, and when it is probable that their demand upon it is lower.
Our only contribution in this regard is that we once were able to follow on foot beside a school that was advancing along the Scituate shore at a rate of about 3 to 4 miles an hour, against a tidal current of about one-half knot, until the fish swung offshore and out of our sight.
Sette reports one case of a school recognized by its firing as deep as 25 fathoms; but the water is seldom (if ever) clear enough in the Gulf of Maine for a submerged light to be visible from above, more than 15 fathoms down.
The trail of bluish light left behind by individual fish as they dart to one side or the other, while one rows or sails through a school on a moonless, overcast night when the water is firing, is the most beautiful spectacle that our coastal waters afford, and one with which every mackerel fisherman is familiar.
Most of the grown fish are between 14 and 18 inches long; a few reach a length close to 22 inches.
Fourteen-inch fish weigh about 1 pound in the spring and about 1 pounds.