T H E   S E A T T L E   S T A R
“ M A R V E L O U S   C R I T T E R S   O F   P U G E T   S O U N D


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          Of course you, as a wise editor, know all about the salvager sucker, but as I am going to ask you to publish this letter, it will be well to explain for the benefit of those just arrived from the far East.
          The fish is found only in the waters of Discovery bay, in Puget sound. It is about two feet long and is equipped with powerful fins and a tail which sweeps up and down. Instead of sidewise, as in ordinary suckers. Just below its mouth is a cup-like growth. Now, the most wonderful part of this fish is this cup. It can, by placing the cup against the side of a rock, or any object, and sucking in produce a vacuum in the cup which cannot be broken except by the use of dynamite. Then, by working its fins and making great sweeps with its tail, it can raise to the surface of the water objects weighing two tons or more.
          With one good salvager on the job, all the groceries now at the bottom of the Miami river could be easily recovered.
          The fish is wild at first, but by tying a rope to its tail and giving it something to eat each time it comes to the surface with a box, it can soon be trained to work at a rapid rate.
          Of course, this is only one of the rare fish to be found in Puget sound, and the only reason I mention it is because of the crying need for one at the present time. The only drawback is that so many of these salvagers have been caught and taken to the South seas to hunt pearls, that there may not be any left. But with a fund of money, one could at least make a search of Discovery bay for possible survivors. Yours truly,

I. ZACK W. ALTON.



THE STAR—WEDNESDAY, APRIL 9, 1913
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READERS OF STAR DOUBT SALVAGER SUCKER TALE: WELL, HERE'S ANOTHER
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          Evidently some of the readers of The Star questioned the veracity of the article printed yesterday regarding the salvager sucker, the queer fish which Mr. I. Zack W. Alton claims to have discovered in the waters of Puget sound. Below is published a letter we received from one reader. Prof. Humpback, In which he takes us severely to task. By It understood right now that The Star vouches for none of these fish stories. We are not experts in things aquatic, we'll confess right now. Our readers must take them for what they are worth.
          Appended, also, is a letter we received today from another reader calling our attention to another strange and rare creature of the seas the cable cleaning croppie. Together with Vic's sketch of the croppie, drawn from Mr. Donnerwetter's description:
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          Editor The Star: You printed a letter yesterday from I. Zack W. Alton, who stated that a species of fish called “salvager sucker” existed in Puget sound. Mr. Alton said these fish could be found only at Discovery bay.
          Now, I have devoted my life to the study of fish, their life, habits and customs.. I have studied fish in the tropics, in the Arctic regions and in Europe. And in all my life I never heard of a salvager sucker.
          It is impossible that salvager suckers are used in pearl hunting in the South Seas. Pearls are found in certain oysters and shell fish, and these are dug out of the sands and mud.

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Selections from The Seattle Star Written by Various
(Seattle: 1913) Original Text and Illustrations Public Domain License.
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