Bibliography Background About KRIS

Eel River Fisheries Articles and Excerpts 1935-1944

Compiled by Susie Van Kirk, 1996

Arcata Union (AU) Arcata, 1886-1995
Blue Lake Advocate (BLA) Blue Lake, 1888-1969
Daily Humboldt Times (DHT) Eureka, 1874-1967 [Times-Standard]
Daily Times-Telephone (DTT) Eureka [DHT during 1880s]
Ferndale Enterprise (FE) Ferndale, 1878-present
Humboldt Standard (HS) Eureka, 1876-1967
Humboldt Times (HT) Eureka, 1854-1967 [Times-Standard]
Weekly Humboldt Times (WHT) Eureka [HT after daily started]
Weekly Times-Telephone (WTT) Eureka [weekly HT during 1880s]


FE (19 July 1935) Steelhead Running in Eel River now--Reports from various sources indicate that the first run of summer steelhead are now in Eel River. The steelhead have been caught on spinner with a casting outfit from the Pollard pool near Weymouth to the Nissen pool near the Cock Robin Island bridge.

In connection with the fishing reports, the Enterprise also heard that Jim Quest, Arlynda service station owner, caught a three and a one half pound steelhead with his hands at Arlynda. Jim wouldn't admit it but the fish was picked up by him on the pavement at Arlynda, probably lost by a real fisherman.

FE (9 Aug. 1935) Hook and Line--With Eel River in the best condition it has been in for fishing in a number of years, sportsmen are beginning to catch the early run of steelhead and are expecting one of the best seasons for a long time.

Rev. David Miller and son, Campbell, caught three steelhead weighing 5 1\2, 6 1\2, [and] 7 1\2 pounds on all brass spinners at Lytle's pool yesterday morning in less than two hours of trolling.

George Long caught one in the Harris pool and Pete Renner had good success in the Pleasant Point section on both spinner and fly. Bob Breeden and J.H. Ring hooked a salmon at Snag pool Wednesday morning but lost it after a battle. Ernie Brownlow also hooked a large fish while fishing with Rev. Miller. (Rev. Miller said afterwards that as a fisherman, Ernie was a great ball player.) Mr. Stuart succeeded in having some excitement at the Weymouth and Howe Creek pools but was unable to land any of the fish he hooked. Both these latter pools are now full of fish.

There is a good run of salmon trout (half pounders) so that the fisherman is almost certain to hook one of these if he misses on the steelhead. The best fishing so far has been above Fernbridge and the favorite spots are Howe Creek, Weymouth, Pollard, Early, Jetty, Harris and Fernbridge pools with some action in Snag and Lytle.

The most popular flies to date are the Red Parma, Golden Demon, Claret Railbird, and California Coachman. In spinners the Luhr-line, straight and Bear Valley types in number three sizes, generally hammered bronze, have worked the best.

The first of the really large runs of smelt in this section appeared along the beach between Centerville and Fleener Gulch last Sunday afternoon. Several hundred pounds of the surf fish were taken in a short time. Both day and night surf fishing should be good all during this month.

FE (16 Aug. 1935) Hook and Line--Too much sunny weather put a damper on the early steelhead and salmon fishing in Eel River but indications show that a good salmon run may be expected by September 1st. At present the forerunners of the Eel River salmon have been taken as far south as Dyerville but in very limited amount. Few steelhead have been taken in the Eel during the past week but quite a few half pounders have been caught around Fernbridge. One fisherman caught seventeen half pounders at Fernbridge Wednesday morning...

FE (23 Aug. 1935) Hook and Line--Eel River fishing took on a new lease on life this past week. Following a rather dull week the past several days have made many of the "Waltonians" happy. Probably the most famous catch of the week (you should hear Max tell about it) was made by Max Larsen at the Fulmor pool when he brought in a 24 pound salmon Sunday. Art Becker caught an eight and one-half pound steelhead on a No. 8 Claret "Railbird" at the Harris pool and a number of salmon were taken by Loletans at the Ellery pool on the same day. Myron Sprague of Palo Alto and Dr. Hanna of this city collected the half pounders at the "pot hole" in Snag pool on Tuesday. Several good catches were made near Weymouth also. Joe Renner also caught a nice steelhead in the Harris pool...

The team of "Dedini and Martin" fishing both north and south of the Weymouth summer bridge caught 25 good size trout, the largest about ten inches long.

FE (30 Aug. 1935) Hook and Line--...During the week Henry Guglielmini caught a nice steelhead on a fly at the Jetty pool. George Becker also landed one in Eel River using a Cucien fly.

Henry Frey, Lou Steeves, John Brazil and Hugh Boutwell caught a number of salmon trolling in the various pools below Fernbridge...

Carl Jorgensen and "tailor" J.C. Jorgensen hooked and landed four salmon while trolling at Fulmor Sunday. Weights ranged from 16 pounds to 45 pounds. "Tailor" J.C. did the rowing.

Another of the Jorgensens--Gunnar--speared a 24 pound salmon at Snag pool yesterday morning and a 43 pounder last week end. The spearing gentry will have to finish their spearing activities within the next two weeks--or else. The new spearing law prohibits all spearing according to the Fish and Game Commission...

FE (6 Sept. 1935) Hook and Line--It looks as if the "good old days" have returned for the Eel River fishermen! A run of salmon swarmed into the river in the past week that have given all the disciples of Isaac Walton more excitement than they have received for many a year. The greater portion of the battlefront has concentrated at the Fulmor pool but scattering engagements have lined the river as far up stream as Weymouth.

The present run is evidently following the tide in and out of the river but they are being taken on all tides. Instead of going as far as the Snag pool and staying there as the runs in the last few years have done, these fish are playing in the vicinity of the Fulmor pool. The salmon look like the Eel River salmon of a number of years ago and have the same characteristic of rolling [like] porpoises in the pools. Most of the fish have been taken with trolling outfits with a number five spinner of brass or hammered copper or bronze.

It is impossible to tell of all who hooked the elusive and prized salmon--there were sixty boats on the Fulmor pool Sunday morning and all doing business and every morning since then has dawned on dozens of trolling enthusiasts.

Among the weaker sex (such a misnomer where fishing is concerned) Mrs. Oma Brown of Fortuna holds the record for the week. Mrs. Brown took one hour and forty five minutes to land a 43 pound salmon at Fulmor on Sunday. Monday morning Mrs. Gus Schweitzer of Scotia almost caught up to her neighbor's record when she caught a 35 pounder in the Ellery pool. Ferndale came to the fore yesterday when Mrs. Oscar Fowler demonstrated that she was as good a fisherman as her husband "Ock" when she captured a 25 pound salmon. "Ock" had not heard of it at this writing but will no doubt be seen all over Eel River during the next few days in an attempt to win back the family laurels. Mrs. Geo. Heney also showed up her fisherman husband, George, on Monday when she landed one of the "big" fellows.

The platinum fish scales for the week are awarded to Ralph Howard. Although Ralph did not catch the biggest fish he is still raving about the salmon he caught yesterday morning (the first he ever caught). When asked what it weighed, Ralph said, trying to be casual about it, "Oh, approximately twenty seven pounds, eight and seven sixteenths ounces."

The largest salmon reported so far was caught by the old master, Clark Varian, and weighed 45 pounds. "Doc" Hanna also caught one, not quite so big, while under the tutelage of maestro Varian, the first he has caught in three years, and now "Doc" wants to trade in his launch for a row boat. Frank Bruga landed a 43 pounder at Fulmor, also.

The fly casters have not done so well mainly because they have all been trolling. However, a number of steelhead have been taken in most of the pools between Snag and Weymouth. Lon Fulmor of Fortuna proudly displayed a nine pound steelhead which he had caught on a California Coachman the other day but he refused to divulge which of the Eel River pools he had made his catch in.

The spear wielders have been making some good catches in and around Lytle and Snag pools. Spear fishermen are making good the time between now and the fifteenth of the month when spearing ends forever.

Reports are current that considerable illegal gill netting is being done in the various Eel River pools at night. Nothing depletes the supply of sporting fish any quicker than this type of wholesale slaughter. It is impossible for the game wardens to patrol the entire river every night but gill netting can be stopped if the people interested in the development of fishing on Eel River will report any instances which they may see. Violators of the law may be reported to the Enterprise or to the game wardens.

FE (13 Sept. 1935) Hook and Line--Lou Steeves takes the honor for the steelhead catches reported this season. Lou caught a fourteen pound steelhead on a brass spinner and casting outfit at the Nissen riffle this week. Lou has also caught a number of salmon trolling in the Fulmor pool.

Hugh Boutwell is reported to have caught a 50 pound salmon last week. The biggest reported so far.

The Robarts twins each hooked and landed two salmon on Sunday weighing from 25 to 35 pounds (almost as heavy as the girls). On Monday Kadah hooked another so has her sister in a frenzy trying to win back the family honors. Papa Jim intends to turn the girls loose on the river Saturday to let them fight out their feud. (Jim will be near at hand in another boat in case there is any hair-pulling). Odds are now being given that either Kadah or Letha will win the junior prize being donated by Becker's.

The big blue backs, chubs and half pounders are reported as moving up stream, a number of the big fellows having been speared on the Lytle and Snag pool riffles.

Not many boats were on the river yesterday morning but the few that were on Fulmor had pretty good luck. Mr. and Mrs. George Heney brought in four by 10 o'clock one of which weighed 33 pounds. Herb Briggs and Charlie Thompson, fishing together, had three early in the morning and Dr. Joe Hindley also had one.

Although the Eel River fishing started earlier than usual this year it is expected that the best fishing is just beginning...

FE (20 Sept. 1935) Hook and Line--Many steelhead were taken on fly in the Fernbridge pool last Saturday and good catches of half pounders were reported in all the pools from Fernbridge to Weymouth...

Twenty or more boats have been trolling on the Fulmor pool every day and, although the salmon have only been taking the lures for about an hour each day, a number have been brought in and they average from 20 to 25 pounds each.

The contest for the prizes posted by George Becker for the heaviest salmon taken on troll in the Eel is progressing. Jerry Becker holds the lead in the junior class with a 25 pounder, Scotty Ferguson, Jr. is next with a 21 and 13\16 pounder. Ferndalers slipped out of first place in the senior event when sixty year old Cora B. Simpson of 426 Second St., Eureka, weighed in a 37 1\2 pounder, beating the next nearest rival by ten pounds. She made the catch in the Dungan pool. Frank Bruga led the contest with a 27 pounder and H. Frey with a 25 3\8 pounder was runner up until the 37 1\2 pounder was weighed in...

FE (27 Sept. 1935) Hook and Line--One way to replenish your fishing tackle is to fish in Eel River! Two or three dozen prizes of the best fishing tackle have been [offered] for the largest fish caught--junior, senior and ladies' divisions--some are weekly, some are Sunday only prizes and some are grand seasonal prizes..

Beginning tomorrow noon, Joe Bognuda will, each week, give two tackle orders for the largest fish caught on troll in Eel River and weighed in at his store. Joe has two classes--the junior class is up to and inclusive of eighteen years; his senior class includes every one over the age of eighteen..

In addition to the $6.25 boat rod prize for senior class (above 16 years of age) and a $5.00 trolling reel for the junior class (16 years or under), George Becker has added a $6.00 trolling reel for ladies only. This is Becker's season contest--prizes will be awarded at the end of the season.. In either the Bognuda or Becker contest entries can be made in only one class.

About 100 boats lined the Fulmor pool last Sunday--about 250 fishermen were on the pool. Quite a number of salmon were taken. On Monday morning a fresh run of salmon entered the river and some of the finest fish of the season were caught. None were particularly large but all taken were in most excellent condition...

In the George Becker big fish contest, two youngsters lead both divisions. Daniel Ferguson holds the junior class lead with a 32 1\4 pound salmon and Don Smith leads the seniors with a 41 3\4 pounder.

Bait and fly have been successfully used from Snag pool to Weymouth's during the past week. Few if any fish have been taken on fly below the Snag pool so far.

FE (4 Oct. 1935) Hook and Line--Rain has not stopped the Eel River fishermen this week. Instead, the rain has brought out a bigger crowd and there have been more fish taken. Fly fishing along the lower Eel River has also taken on a new lease on life during the past week, a number of half pounders and steelheads having been taken around Fulmor and the water surrounding Cock Robin Island.

A number of good steelhead catches have also been made on fly from Fernbridge to Weymouth. The pool at the mouth of the Van Duzen, Weymouth, the Jetty pool and Fernbridge pool have been unusually good.

Trollers have been in the money at Fulmor, none of the salmon have been exceptionally large but all have been fresh and fighting. New runs have entered the pool almost every day and the fishing should remain good there, either in the main river or in the slough around Cock Robin Island. Fly casters have worked from both bank and boat around this bridge and the casting rods have been humming also from boats both above and below the bridge as well as from the bridge itself.

Many of the fishermen have been sympathizing with some poor half-wit gill-netter who evidently had his illegal net tangle on a snag opposite Nissen's one night this week and had to cut it apart to save at least a portion of it. The tangled portion still hangs from the snag. Perhaps, planting more snags in the river would stop the destructive gill netting.

In Becker's Sunday derby, G. Jorgensen won the $2.50 merchandise order by bringing in a salmon weighing 41 11\16 pounds, Pete Morrison won the case of Lucky Lager with a 34 7\16 pounder and Daniel Ferguson claimed the under twelve year old class prize with a 14 3\16 pound fish. Bill and Vic DeCarli each entered salmon weighing 26 pounds. No junior class entry was made.

Hugh Boutwell and Don Smith are tied in Becker's season sweepstake at 41 3\4 [pounds] each. Daniel Ferguson leads the junior class with a 34 7\16 pounder. No ladies class entries have been made.

In Joe Bognuda's weekly salmon derby, G. Jorgensen leads the senior division with his 41 11\16 pound salmon and William DeCarli is second with a 26 1\2 pounder...

FE (18 Oct. 1935) Hook and Line--Rain held up many of the Eel River fishermen but those who did brave the storm during the past week were amply rewarded. Half pounders were taken all along the Eel from Fulmor to Weymouth and the best steelhead fishing of the season began at Fulmor.

Fly fishermen caught the limit in lower Eel River but bait and spinner brought in as many, if not more, in all the pools.

Ock Fowler, after practicing for several years, finally connected. Ock brought home a 10 pound 2 ounce steelhead caught on fly with a 5 1\2 ounce rod in the lower part of Fulmor Wednesday...(anytime you land a 10 pound steelhead, using light tackle and wading armpit deep over mossy-rounded stones, you're fishing, brother).

No change in the George Becker big fish contest. Joe Bognuda reports that Clark Varian won the senior class prize in his contest for last week with a 32 pound salmon and Harry Frey, Jr. won the junior class prize with a salmon that weighed 33 1\8 pounds. Max Larsen leads the Bognuda contest for this week with a 34 pounder...

FE (25 Oct. 1935) Ad: Fly Fishing. Enjoy a day of this great sport in the Eel. If you need any tackle for this fishing, drop in and look over a few suggestions. Golden Demon Flies, Claret Railbird Flies, Red Parma Flies, Cucien Flies, Cal. Coachman. All these flies are leaders and are priced at $1.50 a dozen. Also lines, reels, Thomas rods and all other accessories that go for this sport. Beckers Billiard Parlor.

FE (25 Oct. 1935) Benbow Egg Station not to Spoil Eel River (Garberville Redwood Record)--Following announcement by the state fish and game commission that a salmon egg-taking station would be established at the Benbow dam, on South Fork of Eel River, which, if the commission sees fit to do so, would close that stream to fishing for ten miles below the dam, the southern Humboldt Fish and Game Club filed a protest against the movement with the commission and also took the matter up with the Associated Sportsmen of California, of which the local club is a member...

In a letter to Mr. Harding [Allan C. Harding, Executive Secretary of the Associated Sportsmen], Chief [J.O.] Snyder says:

"The egg taking station at Benbow dam will be operated very much as other stations in similar places are operated and only a short portion of the river below the dam will be closed to fishing. The closed area will be determined by the crowding of fish below the dam and it is my opinion that it will extend no further than the law allows in such cases--certainly not a matter of miles.

"One of the reasons for placing this egg station at the dam, aside from the opportunity of taking ripe eggs, was to have a man on the ground to prevent the destruction of fish below the dam and also get some notion of the number of fish which spawned in the stream above the dam. You may be assured that no unnecessary amount of curtailment of trout fishing will occur in this region because of the presence of this station."

FE (1 Nov. 1935) Hook and Line--There's something goofey about that law that stops steelhead fishing in Eel River. Just what it is we can't say but there may be dirty work at the cross roads and it's time the people of this section bring out the old microscope and find out whose finger prints are on the phoney bill. The Eel River is finally coming back into its own as a fishing stream--it is attracting hundreds of tourists who stay here in the county for days and weeks--and right now when the best fishing days of our season are before us the season is closed. It looks bad. Our local legislators have asked Governor Merriam to change the law but he cannot possibly establish such a precedent, naturally. The only out for the Eel River is for all of us to bring the old pressure and see that the law is changed before next season. The Enterprise intends to do just that!

Personally, we wouldn't advise anyone to break the law. Oh, no! Far be it from us to do such a thing but we've often noticed how difficult it is to distinguish a silverside salmon from a steelhead and, as far as we can determine, it's o.k. to catch silversides.

There will be plenty of fly fishing anyway. The hookbills are in the river now and they'll take a fly. Silversides, bluebacks and chubs should be making their annual trip up the river soon and, believe me, they'll take the fly whenever it's made attractive enough.

Trolling at Fulmor has been poor. Fly casters from Fulmor and vicinity to Fort Christie have had exceptional luck. The fly fishermen who tried the river above Fernbridge have had spasmodic success. Bait fishermen have taken all honors and some wonderful catches have been reported all along the lower Eel. Ellery pool was the hot spot for the trollers over the week end but has slacked up temporarily.

Don Smith and Hugh Boutwell are tied for Becker's first prize in the senior class for the largest fish caught on troll, each having caught a 41 3\4 pounder. John Ferguson won last week's senior prize presented by Joe Bognuda for the biggest fish of the week when he turned in a 32 pounder. Daniel Ferguson leads the Bognuda weekly junior contest with a 29 pounder and Ray Jorgensen is runner up with a 20 pounder. Becker's "largest steelhead caught on a fly" contest was being led by Jim Robarts yesterday afternoon with an 8 3\4 pounder and it looked as if Jim was about to collect on his fish as the steelhead fishing is legally taboo today.

FE (8 Nov. 1935) Hook and Line--Heavy rains last week held up the Eel river fishing temporarily and muddied several of the coast streams for a few days, however, the extra volume of fresh water brought in many schools of the winter run of salmon and the sportsmen made up for the two or three days lay-off with some unusually good steelhead and salmon catches...

On Wednesday a run of hookbills entered Eel River and gave the fishermen a good day in the Ellery and Fulmor pools.

Of course, the steelhead season is closed in this district so there is no use talking about that--but--well, you use your own judgment when the winter steelhead arrive! It won't be long now...

Penny Robarts (not Jim, by-the-way) took first prize in Becker's largest steelhead contest which is now closed...with his 8 3\4 pounder. Mrs. Pete Nissen took the lead in the ladies contest for salmon, also being conducted by Becker's, when she brought in a 35 1\2 pounder. Mrs. H. Frey previously held the honors with a 26 3\4 pound fish. In Becker's junior class Bob McClellan of Loleta is leading with a 34 1\8 pounder, almost two pounds heavier than the former record held by Daniel Ferguson. Hugh Boutwell and Don Smith are tied for first in the senior class, each having a 43 3\4 pounder.

In Bognuda's weekly senior contest, John Ferguson collected on a 32 pound salmon last week and Ray Jorgensen was awarded the junior prize for a 20 pounder. For this week Peter Nissen holds the lead in the senior class with a salmon weighing 37 1\2 pounds. No entries have been made in the junior class as yet.

FE (15 Nov. 1935) First Arrests made Under new Steelhead Law--The first arrests under the abortive and extremely unpopular law passed at the last session of the legislature prohibiting the catching of trout after the first of November were made on Wednesday of this week. Five men were arrested on Eel River for having steelhead in their possession. Each defendant pleaded not guilty and their cases will probably go into the Superior Court...The five men arrested are H. Davison of San Francisco; Ira S. Fox, Alameda; W.R. Glassen, Fernbridge; Gene Lucas, Rohnerville; and Harold Hanson, Eureka...

FE (29 Nov. 1935) Big Fish Being Caught in Eel River--The best season in years is now being enjoyed by hundreds of fishermen on the Eel River. All week salmon--big salmon--have been taken on bait and spinner from the mouth of the river as far south as Holmes. Many of these salmon have weighed close to 50 pounds. Most of the fishing has been concentrated on the lower pools between Fernbridge and Cock Robin Bridge but it seems that the big fellows have swarmed into the river and are to be caught most any place...

The "big fish" contest sponsored by Becker's Billiard Parlor took on a new lease on life and Bert Lanini leads now with a 48 1\4 pound salmon. L.R. Larsen of Loleta is runner up with a 46 3\8 pounder. In the ladies' contest, Mrs. W. Glassen of Fernbridge leads with a 42 3\8 pound fish and Mrs. Pete Nissen is second with a 35 1\2 pounder. Bob McClellan of Loleta leads the junior class with a 34 1\8 pound catch.

There is still another run of big salmon expected to enter the river anytime now.

FE (6 Dec. 1935) Hook and Line--Tuesday of this week was the only big day for the fishermen on Eel River. Quite a number of big fellows were caught in the Ellery pool. Art Dedini brought in one weighing about 45 pounds. Outside of that one day there has been little activity shown on the river and it looks as if the present run is about done. There has been a good run of winter silverside salmon (speckled tail salmon, if you prefer).

Charlie Eisele brought in a 44 pounder last Friday and all Ferndale beamed in the reflection of his happiness. That isn't the largest fish caught this year but it was plenty big, and considering the untold happiness it brought Charlie, it should be credited as being the greatest catch of the season.

Joe Dickerson of Loleta leaped into first place in George Becker's Big Fish contest when he weighed in with a 49 3\8 pound salmon Tuesday taking first place away from Bert Lanini...

FE (20 Dec. 1935) Steelhead Fishing Declared Legal--Sportsmen in this district were rejoicing this week over the granting of a temporary injunction against the enforcement of the steelhead "error" law which prohibited the taking of steelhead in District 1 1\2 after November 1st. The California Fish and Game Commission has made no effort to fight the injunction.

There has been too much water in the Eel River for fishing this week but the river is rapidly dropping and clearing and this week end should see some great sport there. Fishing should remain good until the next heavy storm arrives.

FE (28 Feb. 1936) Sportsmen ask Aid to halt Spawn Menace--Reprinted from the San Francisco News of Thursday, February 13th. By Sherman Montrose:

The soul-sickening spectacle of thousands of splendid steelhead and salmon--all heavy with spawn--sentenced to a miserable death without completing their life cycle because the Department of Natural Resources State of California has failed to provide adequate fish ladders at Benbow Dam, on the Eel River, has aroused sportsmen of that district.

Steelhead Meet Death. Steelhead and salmon by the thousands are stopped in their efforts to reach spawning grounds upstream and in tributaries of the river and die a miserable death. The consensus was that unless the fish are permitted to spawn in their natural waters there will be no fish in the Eel River within five years.

You've heard that the fishing was "good" at Benbow this year. A letter from Bruce Markel, Eureka, tells why the fishing was "good" in this pool below the dam. The situation would be comparable to dumping all the striped bass in San Francisco Bay into Lake Merced and then turning a horde of anglers loose in this congested water, Markel writes:

"As a general thing the South Fork of Eel River from its junction with the main river at Dyerville to its headwaters including its many tributaries is a sportsman's paradise, as it pertains to steelhead fishing yearly from Jan. 1 to Mar. 1, but since the construction of the Benbow Dam on the South Fork of Eel River, one mile south of Garberville, on account of a haywire fish ladder at this dam, a menace to the future fishing on the South Fork is facing sportsmen of California.

"During the high water in January this fish ladder at the Benbow Dam as is the case during any freshet washed out.

"I have a summer home on the South Fork of Eel River between Piercy and Lane's Redwood Flat. Several times this winter I have invited friends from San Francisco and elsewhere to meet me at the place to enjoy the usual good fishing. On several such trips this winter I have not as much as seen a single steelhead and upon inquiry was informed that there were thousands of steelhead below the Benbow Dam unable to get upstream on account of the fish ladder being washed out.

"In company with my wife I made a trip to Benbow Dam and saw with my own eyes just what had happened and the reason for there being no steelhead in the upper South Fork of Eel River and its tributaries. We saw thousands of steelhead attempting to get over this dam, pounding their lives out against the concrete spillway. The sight of these fish fighting for their very lives was so sickening that my wife covered her eyes with her hands and walked away.

"Last Sunday, what really amounted to an indignation meeting was held at Lane's Redwood Flat, attended by many sportsmen, property and resort owners and others.

"It was the consensus of opinion of every member of the Eel River Associated Sportsmen who attended this meeting last Sunday that the matter of this haywire fish ladder at the Benbow Dam was the baby of the Fish and Game Commission of the State of California, and it was proposed to dump this baby in their lap..."

FE (6 March 1936) Slow Death (Editorial)--Thousands of fighting silvery steelhead and salmon, the gamest fish of Pacific streams struggling, battering out their lives against a manmade obstacle against which they have no chance. Fresh, red spawn, crushed from the bellies of its parents, drifting lifeless downstream--spawn that Nature intended would carry on the species.

Not a pretty picture but a scene that has happened for many days against the cold concrete of Benbow dam.

Another picture, as disagreeable in its way, is that of the State Director of Natural Resources telling a representative group of Humboldt county residents that he did not have time to stop at Benbow to investigate the deplorable situation at the dam and also his implication that a few individuals in the mining industry could practically dictate to thousands of California sportsmen, due to the supposition that the mining industry has a $250,000 slush fund.

Perhaps we should explain to our Director of Natural Resources that fishing in the Eel or Klamath rivers is not an industry. It is merely the recreation for many thousands of people who work for a living, pay taxes, cast votes and support a tremendous industry. Fishing in these two rivers is not confined solely to Northern Californians, it is enjoyed by Southern Californians in great numbers as well as persons from all parts of the United States.

Certainly these people who find their recreation in fishing our streams and these people who make their livings catering to the needs of the fishermen are entitled to as much consideration from the Department of Natural Resources as any other group, large or small.

FE (13 March 1936) The Enterprise Commended by Eureka Sportsman--

"Gentlemen: I had the pleasure of reading your articles in the Enterprise of Feb. 28th and March 6th on the subject of the Benbow Dam fish ladder condition.

"After visiting the dam and witnessing what is probably the most atrocious outrage ever committed against the conservation and propagation of the steelhead and salmon of Humboldt county, I am now thoroughly in accord with you in the matter.

When the existing fish ladder, which has been out practically all of this year, is functioning it is entirely inadequate to accommodate the salmon run. This information I received from a game warden and I verified this condition thru people familiar with this stream.

"Unless something is done very soon to stop this waste of California fish life the State will find it necessary to stock this barren stream above the dam. This would alone cost many times the expenditure that would be necessary to install a proper ladder of a design approved by local people who know the conditions.

"At this time the government is searching for worthy projects to put men to work. Why can't this be made a government project? The reason seems to be, as far as I can learn, that those people who are in authority and whose business it is to look after these matters cannot be interested. George Nordenholt, director of natural resources of the State of California, was in Eureka several days ago. From Eureka he went to San Francisco by auto, yet he would not stop the necessary five or ten minutes to look at the situation. The matter was forcefully brought to his attention in Eureka at which time he said he was too busy to stop to see the dam.

"I have learned from authorities who know that the State Game Commission has funds donated by the government to take care of just such matters as these, yet Mr. Nordenholt is not interested.

"More fish are planted in Humboldt County than any other county in the State with the exception of Siskiyou County where the hatcheries are located. If we take the fish planted in the upper reaches of the Klamath river as part of the fish in our river system we find that more than half of the fish planted in the State are planted in Humboldt County streams. This costs the State a lot of money which we consider well spent. At the same time the State allows thousands of natural spawning fish to die. The fish in the pool below the Benbow Dam will probably produce, if allowed to carry out their cycle of life, as many fish as are planted in the streams of Humboldt County during a year.

"The P.W.A. now has and had last year a project for salvaging small fish caught by the receding waters as streams get low in the late summer. This is done by hand. Men are sent out to net these small fish left in the pools into large milk cans filled with water and in this way are transported back to the main river. This is done at a big expense. We think that this money is well spent, yet on another branch of the same river the ripe fish are not given the chance to spawn.

"What would be your deductions after knowing these facts? Mine would be that the man in charge is not taking care of the job. This thought is confirmed when we hear of the statements made by Mr. Nordenholt at the luncheon held at the Eureka Inn for him the day he visited Eureka. He declared that the sportsmen's organizations were asking the impossible in the protection of the Klamath River for fishing purposes, more than they were entitled to in comparison to the mining and commercial interests. The Benbow Dam is a commercial interest and therefore deserves more consideration than the spawning of the fish, according to his reasoning.

"I agree with Nordenholt we must protect our commercial interests but we must also protect our natural resources. Why not give the matter proper thought and effort. Both interests in this way may be saved adequately.

"From all I can learn there is absolutely nothing that can be done to create an interest in the Benbow Dam situation by Mr. Nordenholt. Thank God we still have the freedom of the press and thru it we may express our dissatisfaction with existing conditions. If enough people get excited about the matter some permanent lasting results may be obtained in the nature of an adequate workable fish ladder.

"If you want to get boiled up on the subject just visit the Dam and see the hundreds of fish battering their lives away uselessly against the concrete wall of the dam.

"Sincerely, A Humboldt Conservationist."

FE (13 March 1936) That the problem of conserving the Eel River fish is not merely a local affair is plainly shown by a letter to the Enterprise written by Dr. F.L. Herrick of Livermore. Dr. Herrick states:

"Gentlemen: Just read Enterprise of March 6 and especially enjoyed the article by Dr. Dungan and the other entitled 'Slow Death.' Much has been written in the bay papers especially by Tod Powell in the Chronicle and Bob Dwyer in the Oakland Tribune and much interest in the slaughter of salmon at the Benbow Inn by supposed SPORTSMEN but none who really were or they would have been helping those salmon over the dam.

"What about your Sportsmens Clubs up there? I know there is one that is associated with the Associated Sportsmen. Tell them to get busy and kick up a stink about it and they will get results as the entire Associated Sportsmens Clubs of California are behind anything of that kind and glad to help them. It is the problem of all of us who like sports and we will get results with VOTES that MONEY OR NOTHING ELSE CAN BUY. Thanks and best personal wishes to you always. Expect to be there next fall for fishing.

"Sincerely, Dr. F.L. Herrick, Livermore, Calif."

FE (20 March 1936) Mr. Nordenholt Answers--Answering the charge made by the Enterprise that the Director of Natural Resources for the State of California, Mr. George Nordenholt, was directly responsible for the needless deaths of thousands of steelhead and salmon and their unborn millions of offspring at the Benbow Dam on Eel River, Mr. Nordenholt passes the blame to others. As the Director of Natural Resources for this State, Mr. Nordenholt cannot side step such blame. When the natural resources of California are being destroyed willfully, negligently, or unwittingly, it is certainly the duty of the head of the Department of Natural Resources to order the condition remedied immediately. Mr. Nordenholt's unsolicited letter of explanation of the Benbow Dam situation follows:

"The Ferndale Enterprise, Ferndale, California.

"Gentlemen: The following is a history of the fishway at the Benbow Dam in which it is believed you are interested.

"Upon the completion of the Benbow Dam, November 1931, a temporary fish ladder was installed and worked satisfactorily for that season. Immediate notification was served by the Division of Fish and Game to have the Benbow Company install a permanent fishway to be in operation for the next run of fish; but, before this could be accomplished, court action was necessary to compel the Benbow Company to fulfill obligations required by law.

"In October 1932, this permanent fishway was completed and was generally in accord with the plans furnished by the Division of Fish and Game with its operation proving successful. During an inspection in September 1934, it was noted that the foundation under the fishway was being undermined and that the structure was in danger of collapsing. When called to the attention of Mr. J.E. Benbow, he stated that the structure [was] so tied-in that it was perfectly safe.

"Under waters higher than known in many years, the fishway collapsed the latter part of January 1936, with nine pools being demolished. Mr. Benbow was immediately notified to remedy this condition and a temporary fishway was completed and opened on January 28, with a check by officials of the Division of Fish and Game showing that this temporary structure was serving its purpose.

"During the middle of February 1936, high water damaged the temporary structure which, however, following necessary repairs is again in successful operation. As soon as field conditions permit, the Division has the assurance that the Benbow Company will make permanent repairs.

"In summing up the fishway at the Benbow dam, there can be no question that during its operation, it successfully handled the up stream movement of the fish during their spawning season and it is logical to assume that upon the completion of permanent repairs, the fishway will again serve its required purposes.

"There is some question of slippage of the land to which the fishway is tied and a thorough investigation has been ordered.

"Very truly yours, G.D. Nordenholt, Director Natural Resources."

The Enterprise accepts Mr. Nordenholt's explanation and his assurance that the Benbow fish ladder will be made adequate as soon as field conditions permit...

FE (3 April 1936) Early Ferndale History Related by Dr. Dungan--

"...[Father] came to Humboldt county in February 1853 on foot direct from the mines, carrying his blankets on his back...

"Vividly standing out in my memory of boyhood days were these things--the almost endless rainfall in winter and spring; the hub-deep, muddy roads through brush and timber for about half the year; the devastating floods of the Eel River; the moving back of roads and fences and the clearing off of acres of driftwood.

"First salmon cannery in California was built here. Probably occurring in the early sixties, father told of the greatest freshet when the Eel River washed out a new channel, down from near Singley's to opposite our home, leaving the old channel which we called Old River and an island between, the lower end of which was part of father's large tract of brush land. At the time we left the farm in the late eighties, father estimated the river had washed away five hundred acres of his property. Besides being a farmer, father was in the salmon fishing business. It will probably be news to all that he owned the first and only salmon cannery in the state at the time. Associated with him was a Mr. Requa. This was during the late sixties, I think. I can only remember the old, dismantled cannery and the piles of scrap tin-plate we children used to play with.

"Father used to relate why he had to close the cannery. Commission merchants of San Francisco were holding two seasons' pack for better prices and money was scarce. Price of canned salmon advanced, the canned goods were sold and the commission men absconded with the proceeds. These circumstances forced him to close up the cannery and continue the salt salmon industry.

"The indebtedness of a few thousands dollars with interest of one per cent a month hung on father's neck for many years, and, strange as it seems, the canning business eventually lifted this onerous burden.

"Along in the eighties the Pacific Coast Packing Company established a salmon cannery near the mouth of the river close to the Morgan farm. At the time I have in mind, canned salmon was not much in demand, so the canning company refused to pay but one cent a pound for salmon delivered at their plant. They had formerly paid one and one-half cents and two cents. The fishermen refused to sell. Father owned most of the seining grounds, river frontage of his property. He was forced by circumstances to deliver his fish to the cannery. The run of salmon was large and his catch kept the cannery going. At the end of the season, canned salmon had gone up and the company voluntarily paid him one and one-half cents. They also took a ninety-nine year lease at a good figure on his river frontage. Here were several thousand dollars thrown into father's lap. The twenty-year indebtedness and mortgage on the farm were lifted. And a few thousand dollars left over..."

FE (17 April 1936) Two Fish Ladders Promised at the Benbow Dam--Assurance was received on Tuesday night at Garberville that not only one fish ladder would be built over the Benbow Dam this summer but two ladders would be placed there. At a meeting sponsored by the Eel River Sportsmen's Association, Director of Natural Resources George D. Nordenholt pledged himself to the construction of at least one adequate fish ladder at the dam site and possibly two. Following an informal dinner at the Hotel Benbow before which Mr. Nordenholt inspected the dam and ladder, he appeared before a group of 100 interested citizens from Eureka to Laytonville and outlined the history of the dam...

FE (1 May 1936) Trout Fishing Season Opens Today, May 1--Rain or shine--today might as well be a holiday in Ferndale! Everyone who can during the day cast his lure into a dark pool or swift riffle in search of the canny trout [will do so]--for it is the opening day of fishing season. The best fishing will be in the smaller streams and the indications are that all will be clear...

The State Division of Fish and Game estimates that 20,000 anglers will try their luck today. They base their figures on ten percent of last year's 224,000 licensed anglers being "orthodox" trout fishermen who take their fishing seriously and wouldn't think of missing the opening day.

In describing the various species to be found in California, the department of natural resources had this to say about the state's trout:

"Most abundant of all California trout is the gamy and delectable rainbow, which is found in mountain, coastal, and foothill streams and in lakes wherever it is native or where it has been planted by the fish and game division.

"The brown trout, often called the Loch Leven, is a native of Europe, but also is most abundant in California.

"In coast-wise streams and lakes from the Mad River north, one is likely to run across the cut-throat trout, which is grouped with a species including the black-spotted trout of Lake Tahoe.

"The steelhead trout also is found over a wide area of California in coastal streams from Ventura county northward. By far the most popular localities for steelhead fishermen are the Klamath and Eel Rivers on the north coast.

"Dolly Varden trout, occasionally imported from Alaska, are not wide spread in California, but the eastern brook with its bright red spots, has proved a most popular imported game fish throughout the State."

FE (1 May 1936) Ad: Introducing our spring line of fishing tackle for early season fishing. A line of fishing tackle for all needs such as poles priced....50c and up; reels priced....40c and up; lines priced....15c and up; trout flies, all patterns, 3 for....25c; leaders and leader gut....10c. These are but a few items of our complete line of tackle. Trout season opens today. Fishing licenses for sale. Becker's Billiard Parlors.

AU (25 Sept. 1936) Gamey half pounders and occasionally large steelhead are being caught with fly and spinner in the Eel River according to the Outings Department of the National Automobile Club. Fernbridge and the Jetty pool seem to be the favorite spots at the present time.

FE (2 Oct. 1936) Eel River Fishing now Improving--Among the local fishermen to "connect" on Eel River are Henry Frey, John Brazil, Henry Condoni, Sam Kelly, Art Smith and Charlie Kennedy of Fernbridge. Don Smith of Eureka...caught a 35 pound salmon and Gene Sapp hooked three salmon and Kelly caught four.

The fishing seems to be about equal from the mouth of the river on up to the Snag pool. Charlie Kennedy's catch was a 37 pound salmon at Snag pool, the largest yet reported. Practically all of the salmon have been taken on a spinner.

Some of the fishermen at the Dungan pool this week were P.H. Ensminger, who got a 35-pound salmon; Jess Needham, 30-pound salmon and an 18-pound salmon; Mrs. Ted Fork a salmon [no weight given]; Mickey McClellan a 21-pounder; Collins a 30-pounder, Joe Dickerson a 20-pounder; J.P. Meng a 20-pound salmon and Radio Chief Szabla a 22-pounder.

The fly fishing has been fairly good above Fernbridge with a number of steelhead being reported caught during the week.

Most of the salmon taken on the troll have weighed between 15 and 20 pounds with an occasional large fish.

FE (2 Oct. 1936) Fish Derby to be held in Eel River--Sponsored by the Eureka Junior Chamber of Commerce a fish derby which will crowd the waters and shores of lower Eel River will be held October 18th. Almost $400 in prizes are being offered to the winning participants...

FE (9 Oct. 1936) Local Fishing Derby Sponsored by Ferndalers--Through the cooperation of two Ferndale business houses, the Red Front Store and Beckers Billiard Parlors, Ferndale fishermen can enjoy another "largest fish" contest that may bring them valuable prizes and possibly fame. According to J.J. Bognuda and George Becker, owners of the respective sporting goods stores, they are offering jointly a number of prizes for the best fish caught in Eel River...

FE (23 Oct. 1936) Live in Ferndale to be Lucky--"You can't lose if you live in Ferndale" is getting to be a stock phrase with many people. As proof of the statement Ferndalers can proudly point the figurative finger to Young Wesley Kausen, winner of $300 worth of fishing equipment in the Eel River Fish Derby sponsored by the Eureka Junior Chamber of Commerce...

Last Sunday, Wes tried his luck against 400 other anglers and caught a 36 1\2 pound salmon that won for him a beautiful boat and an outboard motor. 399 anglers moaned that they had not caught a larger fish but everyone admitted they were glad that Wes had won it as long as it couldn't have been themselves. Wes, the 14-year-old son of Mr. and Mrs. Ed Kausen of north Ferndale, is seen regularly fishing on Eel River and his prize was well earned.

Harold W. Hansen, Eureka Isaac Walton convert, captured the only steelhead caught on fly during the day. His prize was a Thomas rod. Nat Oberdorf of Fernbridge landed a 14 pound steelhead on spinner to claim the $25 casting outfit offered. Hansen used a number 10 Railbird as his lure.

FE (13 Nov. 1936) Fly fishermen from all parts of the United States took advantage of the fishing in Eel River this week. On Wednesday there were at least forty boats trolling on Fulmor pool and others scattered along the river as far upstream as Weymouth...

Steelhead, silversides and chubs weighing from two to twelve pounds were the rewards to those who tried the fishing and it was reported that about two hundred fish were taken during the Wednesday holiday from the one pool.

FE (4 Dec. 1936) Hook and Line--Peter Maier, Golden State's number one fisherman, brought in a beautiful 16 1\2 pound steelhead this week. The "fighting fool" was caught at the lower end of the Dungan pool on a No. 5 Starkey spinner. The fish leads the George Becker-Joe Bognuda fish derby for steelhead caught on a troll. Pete also caught a 32 pound salmon in the upper end of the Dungan pool...

Scotty Ferguson was the first to enter the Becker-Bognuda derby with a 44 pound salmon caught on troll and he still holds the lead. Hugh Boutwell held the lead for some time in the steelhead caught on fly division with a 12 1\2 pounder but the Robarts brothers, Tick and Penny, stepped in this week to take the honors away from him with a 12 pound 13 ounce steelhead and a 14 7\8 pound steelhead, respectively.

FE (11 Dec. 1936) Hook and Line--The expected run of winter steelhead has invaded Eel River and many fine catches are being made every day. The fish range in weight from nine to twelve pounds with a few weighing over fifteen pounds. All of the fish are terrific fighters and have given the fishermen plenty of excitement during the past week. They are being caught from the mouth of the river as far upstream as the Ellery pool. Most of them have been taken on a No. 4 1\2 or No. 5 spinner in either the all copper or all nickel. A few have been hooked on a silver-in and copper-out spinner.

Mrs. Ralph Luick of Loleta caught a 16-pound steelhead on fly early this week. Mrs. Luick was upholding the Golden State Company's reputation. She will enter her fish in a national competition although she is not eligible for the local Becker-Bognuda contest.

Mr. and Mrs. Ock Fowler fished for two days off Cock Robin Island bridge without landing a fish, but they are not discouraged. According to reports many fish have been caught at the Cock Robin bridge during the past week, however. Carl Bertelsen brought in five steelhead from that location on Tuesday.

George Becker considered he had a completely successful day Tuesday. He caught five steelhead and a chub and won five gallons of gas from Barney Kausen. He used a No. 4 1\2 copper spinner for the steelhead, a No. 5 Wilson Bronze for the salmon and Barney's punch board for the gas.

Crab season opens in Eel River next Tuesday. Unless a heavy storm occurs between now and the 15th the crabbing at the mouth should be the best in years.

Dead fish are strewn along the banks of the river from the Jetty pool on up above Weymouth. There were so many rotting salmon near the Weymouth bridge that the stench was like a heavy fog.

On investigation it was found that almost every fish had spear or gaff wounds in its body and had been slit open. Evidently the fish were not wanted, but the spawn was.

Whoever it is that is illegally spearing or gaffing the salmon along the upper rises does not need the fish for food and his wanton destruction should be stopped. Probably five or six males are killed before one spawn-bearing female is found. The spawn is then taken and sold to fishermen for bait. Any fisherman who buys such bait should stop to consider the consequences.

FE (26 Feb. 1937) Eel River Fishermen win National Honors--Startling even the local fishing enthusiasts was the news that the first five prizes in the senior division of the western rainbow trout class of the annual fishing contest conducted by "Field and Stream," national sports magazine, were won on fish caught in Eel River. In the junior division of the same class Eel River also won the first place. That the territory included in the western division extends from the Mississippi River to the Pacific Coast and takes in Canada and Alaska makes the news even more startling.

Walter Thoresen of Eureka took first prize with an 18 pound steelhead caught at the Fernbridge pool using a 7 ounce rod, light line and a No. 6 shrimp fly. His catch brings him $75 in merchandise.

Clark Varian of this city took second prize with a 17 pound 10 ounce steelhead and won $50 in merchandise. Bert Harris of Eureka was third with a 16 pound 10 ounce beauty and was awarded $35 in merchandise. Harris also won honors in the same contest in 1932. Mrs. Ralph Luick of Loleta won fourth honors with a 16 pound 1 ounce steelhead. It is believed that Mrs. Luick is the first woman to win high honors in the contest. Her prize amounted to $25 in merchandise. K.D. Robarts of the city was fifth place with a 15 pound 10 ounce fish and was awarded $15 in merchandise.

First place in the junior division went to Gene Silvius, 14 year old Eureka boy. He caught a 14 pound 5 ounce steelhead in the Fernbridge pool the same day that Thoresen took his prize. Young Silvius used a 5 ounce rod, light line and a fly tied by himself.

Unquestionably the publicity that Eel River fishing will receive throughout the United States and Canada from the remarkable record will prove of great value to the entire county as well as to the Redwood Empire.

FE (30 April 1937) Permit to Plant Fish here Refused--At the regular meeting of the Ferndale Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday it was brought out in a report given by J.J. Bognuda that the State would not furnish fish for planting in Salt River or its tributaries. Officials of the State Fish and Game Commission claim that Salt River is a polluted stream and are against planting the fish in such water. The ban also includes Williams, Francis and Reas creeks since they are tributaries of Salt River.

It was the belief of several persons in attendance at the meeting that the pollution of Salt River has been practically eliminated during the past few years and they expressed a desire to have the State re-check the water. It was stated that the State was not particularly concerned with the sewage outfall but with milk waste reaching the River, however, local authorities claim that the two local creameries have reduced their milk wastes to a minute quantity and would in no way interfere with fish life...

FE (4 June 1937) W.F. Kaliher and Captain Dondero of the State Fish and Game Commission released several thousand fish from land locked pools along the Eel River near Weymouth Inn this week. The two state game wardens have requested that anyone knowing of other land locked pools in which fish are imprisoned report to them, Weymouth Inn or the Enterprise and means will be taken to release the fish immediately.

FE (2 July 1937) Trout Being Planted in Northern Streams--Forty five thousand young trout were planted in Price Creek above Weymouth Inn on Tuesday of this week. The planting is the first of a series of plantings being made in Humboldt and surrounding counties this year in order to restock many of the smaller streams.

FE (6 Aug. 1937) Ferndalers make First Eel River Steelhead Catches--Probably the first catches of the famous Eel River steelhead this year were made by Andrew Anderson of this city. Mr. Anderson caught twelve early in the season and is still dragging them in. Jerry Jorgensen, Jr. caught two last Friday morning at Snag pool. Fonce Brian brought in five out of the Jetty pool this week. Fritz Fleisher is reported to have caught a ten pounder yesterday morning.

The fish are being caught on troll and fly casting. A few half pounders have been taken below Fernbridge and a good run is expected to begin at any time from now on.

Bud Olsen was exhibiting a freak fish caught near Fernbridge this week which was finally judged to be a shad common to northern waters. It weighed four pounds, was about 18 inches long and its meat was white.

FE (27 Aug. 1937) A few salmon are being taken on troll in the Ellery pool. Half pounders and steelhead are being taken from Snag pool on up beyond Weymouth. Not many local fishermen have been out lately but the river will soon be lined with boats since the crab season closes August 31st and the crab fishermen will start chasing the wiley salmon and steelhead.

FE (10 Sept. 1937) Random Thoughts by Waldner--A man by the name of A.C. Albiston, of Helena, Trinity county, was arrested this week and fined $10 for having a spear in his possession within 300 feet of the Trinity river. I don't know the circumstances but evidently Mr. Albiston knew he was breaking the law for he pleaded guilty and paid his fine.

We don't condone the Trinity county gentleman's act on breaking the law but it makes us think that there is too much legislative effort expended on the "little fellow" and next to nothing on the "big fellow" as far as conservation of natural resources is concerned.

The man from Trinity county could not kill as much as 1,000 pounds of salmon in a season if he did nothing else but spear every day. Yet one commercial boat off the mouth of the Klamath can kill 10,000 pounds of salmon in one day.

Assemblyman William B. Hornblower of San Francisco said at the past session of the legislature, "I say that the fish in the streams and the game in the fields belong to the sportsman, the ocean to the commercial fisherman."

The commercial fishermen are allowed to kill the salmon as they attempt to enter the rivers to spawn. Then because only a few salmon can reach their spawning grounds they must be protected in order to reproduce fish to maintain the increasing fleet of commercial fishing boats. That evidently is the opinion of some of our legislators!

100,000 pounds of salmon were taken one day last week by the fishing fleet off the mouth of Eel River and a few miles to the south as far as False Cape. That is great news for a few hundred men. It should be sad news for several million people. 100,000 pounds of salmon represent 5,000 twenty pound salmon (more than are taken in Eel River by sportsmen during a season). Most of these salmon were destined to enter Eel River to spawn. Millions upon millions of tiny eggs were destroyed in one day's "take."

The men, women and children who fish on Eel River are allowed to catch two salmon per day. They pay well for that privilege. Adults pay $2.00 license fee to the state and probably average $100 per year in money spent for equipment, gasoline and incidentals. They also contribute to Fish and Game Clubs with the one object of conserving fish life that the next generations can also enjoy the strange pleasure of wading along the banks of a swift mountain stream, sitting beside some quiet pool or rowing a boat in the deeper pools in order to feel the tug of a fish on a light line.

Yet in one day commercial fishermen destroy more fish than nature can reproduce in many years.

And we and our legislators worry about making new restrictions on the sports fishermen to aid conservation!

If there ever was a cart before the horse it is the attitude obtained by our legislators on the conservation of fish life. It is not their fault, on second thought, it is ours. Those legislators are placed in their offices by us--by you and me. After they are in office you and I forget them.

But the few men who are making millions by destroying the source of a great natural resource don't.

100,000 pounds of salmon killed in one day. One million potential trout wiped out at the same time. And the $2.00 fee we pay to the state for the privilege of catching a few fish each year goes toward the propagation of more fish. More fish! Every time 10,000 small trout are planted in some stream we stand up and cheer but when a million or more trout are destroyed in a day by commercial fishermen we go comfortably on about our knitting.

Boy! I sure got wound up on that one, but I remember what the commercial fishing inside Eel River did to the stream and all its branches.

FE (24 Sept. 1937) Although not many fish have been caught yet in Eel River many of the fishermen who have tried the various pools expect a good run to come into the river within the next few days. Don Smith caught a nice steelhead early Tuesday morning at Fulmor and George Becker caught a 21 pound salmon and a nine pound steelhead both on fly Wednesday. A 41 pound salmon was caught by Miss Beth Fork, a 15 year old Eureka girl, Sunday at the Dungan pool. Ed Kausen also caught two nice fish the latter part of last week and it is rumored that as Max Larsen decided it was time to quit fishing and go home and was taking in his line, a nice 20 pound salmon decided to come home with him.

FE (5 Nov. 1937) Fishing now good on Eel River--So many false reports have been circulated this fall concerning the fishing on Eel River that the Enterprise has hesitated to make any comment on the situation, however, reports received this week from authentic sources make it appear that the salmon have finally come into the river. Beginning last week salmon were being taken in a fair number from the mouth of the river to Dungan's pool.

Yesterday several persons caught fish early in the morning in the Fulmor and Ellery pools. The fish that were taken yesterday appear to be the forerunners of the salmon known locally as "Eel River salmon" and are quite large. These salmon seem to be distinctive to this river and start coming into the river between the 6th and 10th of November. If they hold true to form this season there should be excellent trolling on any of the lower pools this week end.

FE (24 Dec. 1937) Random Thoughts By Waldner--...One of the first answers to the questionnaire printed in the Enterprise about depletion of steelhead in Eel River came from Dr. F. Leslie Herrick. Dr. Herrick is one of the most active of California's conservationists and we print his reply in full:

"Have just noticed your inquiry as to the causes of fish depletion. Mr. Nordenholt's four statements are correct to a certain degree, however, he makes no mention of the damage done by commercial fishermen at the mouths of the Klamath and Eel Rivers. That to me ranks as place number one. Diversion of water means little on Eel River but contamination of the streams by the mills is a big factor. Diversion is a big factor in other regions of the state. I would answer 'yes' to all of Mr. Nordenholt's premises but think that commercial fishing inside the three mile limit around the two northern California sport streams is the cause of the greatest depletion of fish life. I believe closing the side streams would help fishing a lot also. Let people fish all main streams but no branches."

During the first high water a few weeks ago, Lee Cathey and his son, Shirley, went out to see the river. The water had dropped considerably the day they went and had left a number of shallow pools on the river bar. In one pool the Catheys counted 43 large dead salmon. Out of curiosity they cut the salmon open and found that all were males. Not one contained spawn. It seems queer that there would be so many male salmon found and no females. Maybe that is one of the causes of the depletion of the salmon.

FE (7 Jan. 1938) Random Thoughts By Waldner--Times sure do change. In the month of December 1936 Eel River fishermen won all the major honors in a national fishing contest with the many and large steelhead caught in the river. December 1937 no one caught any fish in Eel River. In fact, the 1937 season was about the worst on record. It was so bad that when a fisherman caught a fourteen pound steelhead (just one) in Mad River last week the newspaper blazed forth with headlines almost as big as they had previously used for the Panay sinking. It was that big an event locally.

But there is always a silver lining some place. Most of the experts (i.e., those who talk a good fishing trip as well as catch some fish) claim that the high waters of the fall and winter have allowed the fish to get up stream to spawn and we will have an abundance of fish next year and the year after.

Be that as it may, I have my doubts. There will probably be a fleet of commercial fishing boats lying off the mouth of Eel River to exterminate the 1937 crop of fish when they return to their river some time in the future.

FE (28 Jan. 1938) Mendocino Sportsmen show Interest in Eel River Fishing--The following article printed in the Ukiah Redwood Journal of January 25th will be of interest to Humboldt County fishermen:

"The proposed rebuilding of the Cold Creek hatchery at Red Mountain creek near Piercy will be discussed at a meeting of Eel River sportsmen February 11 at Belle Glen.

"According to advices received from the northern section of the county, some fear has been felt that such a hatchery might curtail fishing in the South Fork of the Eel River. Anxious to have the hatchery in their section, resort owners of that section would not stand for further restriction of the fishing season.

"It is believed the hatchery would probably be built about two miles up Red Mountain creek from the Eel River and the Redwood Highway. A good logging road already makes the canyon easily accessible."

FE (18 March 1938) Opinions of Others: "I have lived in Eel River section more than thirty years...I have watched the gill net fishermen do their fishing stunts, and have seen the seine men pull their seines some times having horse help haul with them, bringing to shore tons of fish. In September, 1913, I had the refrigerator box capacity of one-half ton.

"I hauled salmon with team and spring wagon from Klamath River to Eureka, the trip taking a full day and night to make the drive. I remember October 7, 1913, the opening night of Eel River commercial season. There had been no heavy rain to raise the water to let the fish travel up stream. Fulmor, Dungan, Fernbridge and all of the lower Eel River pools were full of fish.

"Fishermen cast their nets soon as the hour open season sounded. It was only a short space of time when boats began to weigh in their catches.

"[At] the station of Ferrari and Davidson, at the Dungan ferry crossing, two hundred tons of salmon were caught so quick that the fish buyers called enough. Peter Ferrari rushed to San Francisco to attend to the selling of the fish. The weighing in station was a sight that brought many spectators.

"Box lumber had to be hauled from Loleta and made into boxes. It took a crew of men to box and haul them to Loleta. Peter Ferrari by shrewd manipulation among those San Francisco wholesale fish sharks managed to get two cents per pound for the fishermen. The market was glutted. The river still teeming with fish was not encouraging to fishermen who had been waiting for months to get at their trade.

"I was a fish merchant delivering fish to the doors of families from Humboldt bay to Holmes Flat each week. Fishermen furnished me salmon all dressed for three cents per pound. Auto trucking was in its infancy those days. We hauled with horses which took time.

"I inserted reader ads in both Eureka dailies and took a stand at the corner of Fourth and F streets. Sliced salmon sold at five cents per pound, whole fish selling for four cents. Eurekans will remember the crowds; it was like a free bread line. There were more than one hundred fishermen employed in the industry in the Eel River valley.

"Commercial fishing brought thousands of dollars each year into Humboldt business stabilizing the livelihood of the public in general. It was believed that the commercial fishing was depleting the hordes of fish each year. A state law was passed closing Eel River to commercial fishing.

"Within the last five years sport fishing has been taken up with greater success each year until now there are thousands of people, many of whom come hundreds of miles to fish. These tourists are contributing more money to the county than the commercial fishing industry.

"In the summer of 1914 I purchased a seine with one-inch square mesh and caught smelt which run in Eel River. These smelt are about eight inches in length and very palatable. They sold readily at three pounds for twenty-five cents. Twenty pounds sold for a dollar.

"It is reported that sport fishing brings more money than the commercial fishermen. There is a difference of opinion: The sports covet too much and having the financial funds at their disposal get more than their share. For instance during commercial fishing season we common people, the working class, could either take a net and catch a supply of fish to salt and smoke for the ensuing year or we could purchase the fish from the fishermen at a reasonable price. Since the closing of commercial fishing on Eel River the sports are so covetous that special wardens are asked to see that no one can use a net.

"The Eel River Fish and Game Club requested that William Kaliher be sent here for he was very successful against violators during past seasons.

"What effect has the commercial fish season had on the health of our citizens and the taxes of us land owners? First the Indians [are] deprived of their rightful food. The spearing season is no more and closed each year before a raise in the water would permit spearing up stream to Scotia. Working men have no chance for fish as they have to work during the day and at night the sports warden is busy and keeps him from having any fun to try and get a feed of fish.

"This is what a gentleman sport said about his cost of fish. He keeps an account of his expenses as he travels most all of the year to many fish streams. Each fish caught cost him five dollars each. Local sport fishermen no doubt could tell the same story if they would sit down and do some figuring...

"There has always been an opinion among taxpayers of Eel River valley that a person paying taxes living along the river should have all the fish he needs for home consumption.

"The crab market a few years back was shipping crabs to the southern markets. The home market fish went up in price until the local people could not afford to eat them, for single crabs sold at fifty cents each. Local people revolted. An ordinance was passed closing the market to outside shipping...

"Many people believe that our fish streams should be used for the whole population and not for a favored few as at present. There should be market fishing for local consumption as is the crab market. No alien should be allowed to fish and anyone caught shipping to southern markets should be punished by a stiff jail sentence...W.H.S."

FE (13 May 1938) Game Club Protests Eel River Closing--The Eel River Valley Fish and Game Club met in the Fortuna Fire Hall on Monday evening with the main point of discussion being the attempt of a small group of San Francisco men to close that portion of Eel River to fishing from Feb. 28th to Sept. 1st, from Scotia to the mouth of Eel River. Also that portion of the South Fork of Eel River from the Garberville Bridge to Benbow Dam, from Sept. 1st to Feb. 28th.

This attempt of a small minority group to legislate on the seasons and portions of this river met with a decided disapproval of the members of this club and it was decided to send a representative from the club to the next meeting of the Fish and Game Commission, which will be held in San Francisco on May 18. Fred Krieg of the club agreed to make the trip and act as representative. At the same meeting of the Fish and Game Commission the topic of hatchery problems is to be discussed and attempts made to secure more hatchery facilities for this county.

FE (17 June 1938) Fish and Game Club Holds Meeting here, Monday--The Eel River Valley Fish and Game Club held their regular meeting in the Ferndale Town Hall, Monday evening, June 13th, with the reports of the representatives from this club to a recent meeting of the Division of Fish and Game Commission held in San Francisco. At the meeting the subject of an attempt to change the season for fishing on Eel River was discussed and through the intervention of delegates from this county, the Fish and Game Commissioner decided to leave the seasons and, in fact, all laws as they are until a survey of fish and fishing conditions in Eel River are studied and proper recommendations made.

It was also reported that work on the survey of Eel River has been started and will progress as the season rolls around. Although this survey may take several months it is believed the true reasons for the depletion of the fish will be determined ...An appropriation for work on the fish ladder on Benbow Dam was also made at this time...

FE (5 Aug. 1938) Fish and Game Club to hold Important Meeting--The Eel River Valley Fish and Game Club will hold its regular August meeting in Monday...One of the most important discussions on the program will concern the planting of young trout in southern Humboldt streams...

Another subject of importance to this district which will be considered will be the commercial fishing regulations off the mouth of Eel River. Complaints have indicated that many of the commercial fishing boats have been fishing inside the protected area at the mouth of the river...

FE (9 Sept. 1938) Random Thoughts By Waldner--The salmon are beginning to make their annual trek into Eel River...

FE (6 Jan. 1939) Eel River Fish Problems to be Reviewed--Members of the Redwood Empire Council of Fish and Game Clubs received an invitation last week to attend a meeting in Sacramento this month at which time the particular problems of fish conservation on Eel River will be discussed. The invitation was sent by A.C. Taft, chief of the bureau of fish conservation.

FE (13 Jan. 1939) A meeting concerning the conservation of fish life in Eel River was held yesterday afternoon at the Palace Hotel in Ukiah. Mr. Leo Shapovalov of the Division of Fish and Game explained his findings in the Eel River fish life surveys to representatives from this county and Mendocino.

FE (3 Feb. 1939) New Game Warden Installed at Benbow--In an effort to obtain a more complete knowledge of the fish life of Eel River an additional assistant game warden has been appointed and has been placed at the Benbow dam south of Garberville where a 24-hour per day fish count is being made. The new man is Carl Tegen and he will assist Elden Vestal and Ira Taylor. The purpose of the extra assistant is to determine the number of fish using the fish ladders at the dam during the night. If it is found that a sufficient number of fish attempt to use the two ladders at night at least one ladder will be kept open continuously.

Material has been ordered for the installation of a trap to prevent the upstream fish from going down the ladders and a study of the fish trapped on either side of the dam will be made. The number of fish counted at the ladders up to January 29th totalled 17,925 and were segregated as follows: King Salmon, 5,998; Silver Salmon, 6,854; Steelhead, 5,073.

FE (24 Feb. 1939) Opinions of Others--Editor's Note. The letter printed below was prompted by the following news release of last week:

Detroit, Feb. 16--(U.P.) William L. Finley of Portland, Ore., vice president of the National Wildlife Federation, today pleaded for an international agreement between the United States, Canada and Mexico to halt "exploitation" of west coast fisheries.

Speaking before the annual federation conference, Finley warned that both the salmon and sardine industries, which earn approximately $30,000,000 annually, would be destroyed in 30 to 50 years if present conditions continue and "much sooner" if suggested plans are adopted.

Salmon runs gradually will die if many more dams block the spawning grounds in the upper reaches of west coast rivers, Finley predicted. The vast schools of sardines likewise will go if other states do not follow California's law-making to control the industry, he said.

Finley said that salmon runs on the Sacramento river in California were on the point of "final disappearance" and never could be brought back because of the number of dams on the tributaries and the present construction of a 500-foot dam blocking the headwaters of the stream.

The letter written by a Humboldt conservationist is as follows:

"Mr. Wm. L. Finley, vice Pres., Wild Life Federation, Portland, Oregon.

"Dear Sir:

"It was a pleasure to read your article on the conservation of Salmon on the Pacific Coast which appeared in a United Press news dispatch of February 16th. There are many people in this vicinity who heartily agree with your ideas of conservation.

"There is no doubt that the Salmon and Steelhead are being rapidly depleted on the Pacific Coast. The Government, State and Federal, are establishing fish hatcheries and providing game wardens, who are inefficient and are overlooking the important phase of preserving fish life. The fish taken commercially and by sport fishermen in 1937 in this area was far fewer than taken in at any previous time. In 1938 we had practically no fish.

"I observed on the Eel River, near Garberville, California, in the middle of January a heavy run of spawning Salmon. The upper river was literally filled with these fish who were successfully spawning up as far as the dam at Benbow. Two ladders are provided there and only one operated successfully. Thirty-five hundred fish passed over this ladder in that week; thirty-three hundred of these were steelhead.

"My supposition is that only the late Salmon are getting up into the streams without great losses. At this season commercial fishermen cannot take them in the ocean and the high muddy water protects the fish in the lower regions of the streams.

"The following are the principal reasons for the disappearance of the Salmon in this locality.

"1. Dams on the upper reaches of the river and in some instances on the lower rivers.

"2. By commercial fishermen at sea killing off the smaller Salmon as they catch them and throwing them back into the sea. There is no market for small fish.

"3. By unlawful practice of spearing and snagging Salmon along the rivers.

"This killing of heavy spawn laden Salmon by the thousands is the most contemptible crime against our natural resources. There is a law against spearing and the state provides plenty of wardens still there is practically nothing done about this unlawful practice.

"The game clubs are now all 'hot and bothered' about a 15 trout limit for fishermen. The fish taken by fishermen compared to the fish killed by blocked spawning grounds and ripe fish speared is negligible. In cutting down the trout limit they are attempting the equivalent of trying to sweep the Pacific Ocean back with a broom.

"Something will have to be done by just such leaders as yourself, or our streams will be entirely depleted in a very short time.

"Very truly yours, L.A.V."

FE (8 Sept. 1939) Fishing at the mouth of Eel River has been generally good all week. Not a great many salmon have been landed but a few of the big fish have been taken each morning. Frank Bruga brought in the largest salmon of the week when he caught a forty-seven pounder Wednesday. He also caught several others only a few pounds lighter.

FE (15 Sept. 1939) Random Thoughts by Waldner--Camp Weeott King Pin Charlie Thompson reported at the Chamber of Commerce Tuesday on the fishing at the mouth of Eel River. Charlie said that an average of 50 good size salmon per day had been taken at the mouth for ten days or more but that on Monday the average had dropped to three. When asked when the next run of salmon would begin Charlie stated positively, "September 14th at 6 a.m. The salmon will weigh from 18 to 33 pounds."

That was yesterday but we haven't had time to check up.

FE (3 Nov. 1939) Random Thoughts By Waldner--The top of Fernbridge has been one of the most popular places in the county for several weeks for sight-seers...watching the big salmon slowly dying in a land-locked pool. Most of those who watched the spectacle cheered when a salmon was caught by a fisherman in the pool below...

I don't know what to do about it--it gives me a cold chill when I drive over the bridge but that doesn't help. I guess we must live and learn but we live too swiftly and learn too slowly, it seems to me, or some one would find a way to help those fish up stream to their spawning grounds.

A few of the larger fish fought their way up stream after the slight rise in the stream a week or so ago. I am sure of that for a few days ago dead fish were lying on the bank of the river at the Weymouth summer bridge--speared by some so-called human being, their bodies slit open and spawn taken to be sold or to be used legally at other parts of the river. The persons who commit such crimes smell worse than the decaying fish they have left.

FE (24 Nov. 1939) Random Thoughts By Waldner--No rain yet and the salmon continue to die in Eel River. Rain is too undependable to be taken in as a partner of the Fish and Game Commission but it looks as if we will have to go out and dig that channel in Eel River ourselves if we can't have the help of either the rains or the Commission.

FE (20 Sept. 1940) A large number of Silver King [?] salmon have been taken from Camp Weeott to the mouth of Eel River during the past week. The fish average from 15 to 25 pounds with the largest catch to date being a 40 pounder taken by Harold Farley. Farley brought in a 35 pounder. The early morning and evening fishing has been the best and when the salmon first enter the river. Few have been caught above Camp Weeott and it appears that the salmon are biting as they enter the river but are moving on upstream to their spawning grounds as quickly as they can. Sufficient water is in the river to allow them to clear the riffles.

FE (15 Nov. 1940) Outdoor California--Heavy Run of Steelhead and Salmon. Early November rains started salmon running in most of the streams from San Francisco north to the Oregon line. On several of these streams the California State Division of Fish and Game maintains counting stations at fish ladders or racks to determine the number of fish that migrate up these streams to spawn.

At the Benbow Station on the Eel River over 6,000 king salmon were counted through the ladders by the end of October. A large portion of these fish were grilse or jack salmon...

Staff members of the Division of Fish and Game state that the run of steelhead and salmon this year exceeds the count for years previous. In fact, at some of the stations the number is almost double the count of last year...

FE (6 Dec. 1940) Eel River Gains Recognition as Great Winter Fishing Area--[captions for two photographs] James Marvel, Ferndale, with record-breaking 51 1\2 lb. Eel River King Salmon. Harold Farley, Camp Weeott, and his 47 1\2 lbs. Silver King Salmon taken in Eel River.

Excellent weather, a sufficient early rise in water level and a continual run of salmon and steelhead this fall has given the sportsmen of Humboldt and Eel River [a] fishing season equaled nowhere else in the country. Not only have the local fishermen taken advantage of the Eel River fishing but many prominent sportsmen from distant parts of the state and nation have also enjoyed the season here. From the amount and size of salmon and steelhead taken in the fifteen mile stretch of Eel River from its mouth to Weymouth the river is becoming renowned as one of the great sports [illegible]...

To date this season the largest fish caught in the river is a fifty-one and one-half pound King salmon taken by James Marvel of this city on October 24th. The salmon was taken with trolling tackle at the Upper Fulmor pool with a number six brass spoon. The length of the fish was fifty inches. Other large fish were taken the same day by Mr. and Mrs. Marvel and on the following day Mr. Marvel also caught a forty-seven pound salmon.

The second largest fish to be taken in the Eel was caught by Harold Farley of Camp Weeott several days before Mr. Marvel's catch. The Camp Weeott sportsman's Silver King salmon weighed forty-seven and one-half pounds and was landed near the mouth of Eel River after a battle lasting almost two hours. A trolling rod, 22 pound test braided line and a number five hammered bronze spinner were used.

Camp Weeott, Fulmor, Dungans, Snag, Fernbridge, Palmer Creek, Harris and Weymouth pools and the Cock Robin Bridge have all been the scene of innumerable sporting battles. In addition to the spinner lures, the Red Ibis fly has proved successful for the salmon and a number of steelhead have been taken on Golden Demon flies. Boats, usually removed from the river by this time, are still available in several locations. Any of the above named pools are expected to furnish excitement until heavy rains set in or the end of the season.

One of the most popular spots for the fishermen has been Cock Robin bridge where forty to fifty anglers have lined the rails of the bridge with casting outfits and fly rods on holidays and week ends.

FE (13 Dec. 1940) Crab Fishing Opens on Eel River Sunday--The "more abundant life" of Eel River will bring to the sports fishermen of this county another deep sea delicacy when the crab fishing season opens Sunday. With conditions at the mouth of Eel River ideal for crab life fishermen are expecting one of their best seasons in many years. Ten crabs may be taken per day, seven inches across the back and no females are the only limitations placed on the crab fisherman.

Steelhead, half pounders and salmon fishing continues to attract hundreds of fishermen to the river, also. From the mouth to Weymouth the river is being fished with good success and flies, spinners and bait are being used to make the catches.

FE (3 Jan. 1941) Ferndale Pioneer Celebrates Eightieth Birthday Today--Not three score and ten but a full four score of interesting, active years will be celebrated today by Jacob H. Ring at a birthday party at which the immediate members of his family will be present. For fifty-three years Mr. Ring has made the Main Street of Ferndale his headquarters, seeking the pleasures of retirement only ten years ago but maintaining his interest in the business and civic affairs of the community even though not actively engaged in business.

Born in Norway on the shores of Lake Mjosen, Mr. Ring arrived in Minnesota with his parents as a youngster of four of five years of age. When but seventeen he cast aside the ties of family and moved west...With Ferndale as his destination he traveled with his brother, Ingvald Ring, the two young men bringing three fine horses belonging to his older brother Dr. J.H. Ring, already in the west...

Mr. Ring's management of his drug store, his generous nature and his native humor are well known to every person who lived in Ferndale and few men have gained and held more true friends of all ages than Mr. Ring.

Perhaps because of his Norwegian ancestry, the ghosts of Lake Mjosen, Mr. Ring has devoted many hours and days to the fields and streams and mountains of Humboldt and it was through his knowledge of fishing as a youngster that Eel River was first discovered to be a sports fishing stream. Probably an age-old instinct first drew him to the lakes and the streams of Minnesota where he became an expert fisherman as soon as he was allowed to wander short distances from his parents' home. There he learned the wiles of the pickerel and it was his treasured pickerel lures, brought to California by him, that snared the first salmon to be taken with hook and line in Eel River.

Before he had set foot in Ferndale he noticed a spent salmon on the bank of the river where he first crossed it at Singley's Ferry. He remarked at the time that there should be plenty of good sport here. That was in October and the rains came soon but he stood the pleasantries and friendly ridicule of his new acquaintances whenever he mentioned sport fishing in the Eel River. It could not be done, he was told. The fish could only be taken in seine nets by commercial fishermen, his friends told him. But he was convinced it could be done and it was a memorable Saturday afternoon in 1888 that he and his brother, Ingvald, borrowed a row boat near the present site of Camp Weeott to quietly try the pickerel lures from Minnesota.

It was but a few minutes after rowing into the stream that the first strikes were felt and a short time later that the positive tug of a game fish made his line taut. Commercial fishermen lined the banks of the river, repairing their seines and taunting the two queer men in the boat. Several minutes elapsed after the first fish was securely hooked before the audience knew what had happened. As the salmon made several leaps out of the water it dawned upon the watchers that here was a new sport they had never seen before and it was with difficulty that the thirty-six pounder was landed amid the swarm of boats that took to the water, manned by an excited lot of gesticulating, advice-giving commercial fishermen.

No more popular a hero ever walked the streets of Ferndale than Mr. Ring that evening. His pickerel tackle was inspected and discussed by everyone. A telegram to the east soon brought 100 dozen [?] of the metal and feathered lures, so many that Mr. Trost, partner of Mr. Ring, dispaired of a ruined business. However, Mr. Trost's fears were soon allayed when it was found that the order had to be duplicated to meet the initial demand.

Year after year, including the past season, Mr. Ring continued to find pleasure and relaxation on the Eel River. He did not confine his experiments and original sports ideas to Eel River, but, like the Norsemen, wandered into the unknown portions of the country where he could enjoy many other days on the smaller streams of the county, studying the habits and characteristics of the Humboldt trout and aiding materially in the classification of the game fish of this section. His consistent "good luck" as a fisherman comes from a knowledge of fish not excelled by any other resident...

FE (18 April 1941) Don't plan Fishing Trip for May 1st--...The fishing season does not open in Humboldt and several adjoining counties until June 1st, according to the latest bulletin from the State Division of Fish and Game...

In Humboldt county the following portions of streams will be closed as specified for the entire year:...South Fork of Eel River for a distance of 3,000 feet below the Benbow Dam of the Benbow Power Company.

FE (12 Sept. 1941) Fishing in Eel River Continues good--During the past week, bait, spinner and fly fishermen have been doing a land office business in many of the lower Eel River pools and it appears to the experts that the run of good fishing will continue. No fishing was possible Sunday at the mouth of the river due to the heavy wind but forty to fifty boats trolled at the mouth of the river Monday to bring in a number of 6 to 20 lb. salmon. Tuesday and Wednesday mornings were also good at the mouth with twelve to fifteen salmon being caught. The fishing was best for about an hour and a half before and after slack tide.

Among the local fishermen making catches near Camp Weeott were Mr. Henry Hindley, Frank Bruga, Frank Sowerby, Pat Rasmussen, George Heney, Harold Farley and K.D. Robarts. C.A. Boots caught a 12-pounder but was worried badly about the still "bigger" one that got away. Sam McGuire also lost a big one.

Yesterday was also reported fairly good and another report indicated the steelhead and half pounders were crowding the river around the Pleasant Point section. No large fish were taken at any distance above the mouth.

FE (17 Oct. 1941) Random Thoughts By Waldner--...That broad grin on Walter Jorgensen's face this week is due to his being the only one to catch a salmon in Fulmor pool last Thursday morning. Walter wasn't overly excited about his feat, except that he is more than willing to let you know his salmon weighed 18 pounds, 2 1\2 ounces.

FE (14 Nov. 1941) Lower Eel River Fishing Attracts Many--One hundred and fifty-six boats with an average of three fishermen to a boat were counted in Eel River between Eastlick and the mouth on Armistice Day. Seventy-two cars used the parking and other facilities on the county property at Camp Weeott during the day. Although fishing that day was not considered good, many smaller salmon from three to seven pounds in weight were taken on fly.

On Wednesday the first of the King Salmon entered the river with Joseph Shaw of this city taking the honor of landing the first one, a 22-pounder. The run Wednesday was expected to be the start of the larger runs which generally come at this period.

Boat owners at Camp Weeott were able to supply all those wishing to rent boats, although the unprecedented demand brought out many privately owned boats which were generously loaned to the boatmen.

FE (14 Nov. 1941) Random Thoughts By Waldner--Sometimes fish get to "acting smart" and it was probably in that mood that one silverside salmon said to another salmon in Eel River Monday morning, "Watch me get this guy's spinner--like taking candy from a baby!"

And the fish might have been right had it not been that Frank Jewett, five-year-old scion of fishing parents, Mr. and Mrs. Charlie Jewett of Ferndale and Eureka, knew just what to do by years of experience. Frank gave his rod the expert from-the-wrist jerk and the smart salmon had caught himself. Frank landed his first salmon by himself without the aid of accomplices or mirrors. Although the salmon weighed but two pounds on the scales, it was the biggest and finest ever taken by man, according to Frankie...

FE (21 Nov. 1941) Industrial Leaders Enjoy Eel River Fishing--Not only enjoying their fishing excursion on Eel River, but "having the time of their lives," several nationally known industrial leaders spent a day last week as guests of local residents at the mouth of Eel River. Taking time out from their pressing duties were Stuart M. Crocker of New York, vice president of the General Electric Company; Allan Jones of San Francisco, Pacific Coast manager for the same company; R.E. Fisher, vice president of the Pacific Gas and Electric Company; J.J. Krohn of Arcata, manager of the California Barrel Company; and J.W. Coon of Eureka, manager of the northern division of the Pacific Gas and Electric Company. The group, escorted to Eel River by Mr. Krohn and Mr. Coon, were guests at the Camp Weeott cabin of Everett Hull of this city and were taken fishing on the lower Eel River by Hull and George Heney.

The fishermen had unusually good luck in getting strikes although their technic [sic] at landing the salmon failed in a number of cases to bring the fish closer than the sides of the boats they were using.

Mr. Crocker was especially enthusiastic about the fishing and the local countryside in general, making remarks such as "Boy! if I only lived nearer to this," a number of times during the day...

7 Dec. 1941 Pearl Harbor

[No news about fish during the War. Ferndale Enterprise Editor Waldner called into the military, leaving his wife to manage the paper during his absence.]