Bibliography Background About KRIS

Eel River Fisheries Articles and Excerpts 1945-1955

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]


VE Day, 8 May 1945

VJ Day, 14 Aug. 1945

FE (5 Oct. 1945) Random Thoughts By Waldner--Charlie Peterson and Emily Hullander caught three salmon in the Fulmor pool Wednesday; the only salmon caught that day as far as we heard. Charlie, an optimistic youth of 83, was disturbed about taking time off from his fishing to have a minor operation one day this week. On leaving the doctor's office, he was asked how he felt. "Oh, fine, fine," he answered, "everything is fine. I can still get out to the river by 2 o'clock."

FE (22 Feb. 1946) Steelhead Season Closes Thursday--Steelhead fishing will be officially closed next Thursday, Feb. 23, but weather conditions may have concluded the season already...

The past season has been one of the poorest steelhead seasons in a long time and few days were good. As soon as the rivers became about clear and low enough to lure the sportsmen out another rain would come to spoil their chances. Local sportsmen managed to squeeze a few good days out of the weatherman in the early part of November and for a short spell prior to Christmas.

FE (12 April 1946) Random Thoughts By Waldner--Elmo Reidy mentioned at the C. of C. that perch were being taken in large quantities by commercial fishermen at the mouth of Eel River...

From the way our game fish, salmon, and our crabs are being removed from their native breeding and feeding grounds just off shore, it will not be long before a perch will be quite a sporting fish to catch off a dock at Camp Weeott.

Only last week one boat, let me repeat that, one boat brought 16,000 pounds of crab into Eureka for processing and shipment elsewhere. Not enough crab pickers could be located to pick the crabs before they spoiled. Those that spoiled, some several hundred boxes, were unceremoniously dumped to clear the decks for further hauls.

FE (26 April 1946) Local Trout Season Opens Wed., May 29--...In a letter from the State Division of Fish and Game, the latest closing orders include the following statement:

"Glenn, Humboldt, Lake, Mendocino and Trinity counties: All streams tributary to the Pacific Ocean on the coast of Humboldt County and all portions of said streams from their mouths to their headwaters, including tributary streams, lagoons (except Big and Stone Lagoons), lakes (except Lake Pillsbury and its tributaries) and reservoirs, closed from May 1 to May 28, both dates inclusive..."

Of considerable interest to sports fishermen of California at this time are statements made by Governor Earl Warren at a meeting of the Porterville Fish and Game Protection Association Monday.

The California governor said in his talk, "We must undertake an ever-increasing program of artificial propagation and distribution in order to balance our natural resources ledger. The methods used in past years in propagating trout have been too slow. We must develop more hatcheries and rearing ponds and get more fish into our streams and lakes as speedily as possible. We must have more game farms for upland birds.

"What the State government has tried to do during recent years about the problems of our decreasing fish and game supply has not been enough, but it can be the foundation for all-out effort from this day forward. I am determined that we are going to do everything possible to restore California to her former and rightful position in the world of outdoor recreation.

"The State Division of Architecture is drawing plans for two new hatcheries, one at Cedar Creek in Humboldt County and a $225,000 installation in Shasta County. The latter, at Crystal Lake, will be the first warm-water hatchery in Northern California and the second largest fish hatchery in the nation..."

FE (12 July 1946) Random Thoughts By Waldner--Chet Schwarzkopf did more than write a good story when he penned "Home from the Sea" for Colliers (July 13). Buck of the Gaff Mark, his hero character, will make Eel River more widely known than Walter Thoresen did with his 18 lb. steelhead in the "Field and Stream" contest some years ago.

Buck of the Gaff Mark, a twelve pound steelhead with a yearning for the upper reaches of the Eel River, comes into the mouth of Eel River, goes up through Palmer and Weymouth pools and finally makes it over Benbow dam, throwing flies and spinners to right and left of him in his progress. He makes it up the river, spends the winter and is glad to get back to the ocean several months later.

Buck is a rather real character and about one percent of the readers of Chet's story will say "That's him, all right. He's the one who took my tackle, the big bully." The other 99 percent will begin wondering about this Eel River, look it up on the map and some day come searching for Buck or his progeny...

FE (6 Sept. 1946) Let's Go Fishing--This column, which is to be a weekly feature if the salmon in Eel River continue to run and it does not rain too hard, will endeavor to give a cross section of the fishing in southern Humboldt...may be big or small; it may stretch to great length with the perspective of imagination or it may wither under the light of truth. We make no predictions either about the column or fishing. Like fishing, you can take it or leave it.

To begin with, we noticed in a Shell Oil Company pamphlet called "Finger Tip Tours," that the Eel river and the Klamath are the only rivers in California specifically mentioned as steelhead rivers. The statement reads, "Steelhead (sea run rainbow and cutthroat trout, weighing up to 30 pounds), in coastal streams from Ventura County north. Klamath River run starts in late summer and fall; Eel River, late fall and winter; Central California, coast streams, winter; southern coastal streams, late winter."

That, of course, makes Eel River important. In all but the Eel and the Klamath rivers, steelhead fishing is a vague, seasonable but unpredictable sport. You might as well say that only out of generosity is any place other than the Eel or Klamath mentioned...

Elmer Christensen, living at Camp Weeott, has the edge on most Eel River fishermen as he can go out in his nice boat most any time. He has caught three salmon in the past few days. Col. Tom Monroe was on the lower Eel with Rex McBride Tuesday and the colonel is now more sold on Humboldt than ever, having caught an 18 pound salmon with light tackle.

Capt. and Mrs. Roy Crockett of Cape Mendocino light station looked rather tired and disappointed Wednesday afternoon on their way home from all day on the Fulmor and Dungan pools. Roy said there were thirty boats trolling and he saw but five salmon taken.

Rae Wright and John Brazil spent an unprofitable Tuesday on the Fulmor. They said the river was loaded with salmon that jumped at everything but refused to touch anyone's lure.

Many of us think of fishing here as a local proposition--ours by right of eminent domain or some such phrasing. But it is too good to be ours alone. For example, on Wednesday a man came into our office and subscribed to the Enterprise. His name was Walter Christensen and he was from Santa Rosa. We assumed he must be visiting with friends but he told us he and his wife had not even known anyone here but had been vacationing here for a number of years just to get the fishing for two weeks. He said he liked the fishing, the country, the people, and, most important to us, the Enterprise; and he was subscribing so he could keep in touch with things while they were away for 50 weeks. You may meet Walter on the river as he and his wife will be here for another week. They caught four salmon at the mouth of Eel River Tuesday.

Sam McGuire of Port Kenyon brought in one of the largest salmon to date. His was caught on Tuesday and weighed 33 pounds.

FE (13 Sept. 1946) Let's Go Fishing--Lower Eel River fishing has been dull this week. Art Becker claims the salmon are all moving or have moved upstream. On Wednesday morning at 11 o'clock Art stopped at Fernbridge and watched several schools of the big fellows heading for their spawning grounds. Not a fish was reported from the upper tide water pools. Your reporter tried casting between the upper and lower Singley pools but with no better results than fly or bait fishermen.

"Scotty" Ferguson caught two salmon yesterday morning at Eastlick. This may indicate another run coming in or it may only indicate there will always be a Ferguson on Eel River...

Charlie Thompson broke the ice with a 16-pounder on Thursday of last week. He fished near Eastlick. Charlie wonders how any salmon get into Eel River as on the day he caught his first there were some 16 commercial fishing boats on the Eel River bar, within a half mile of shore. According to men living at Camp Weeott, this situation is not unusual as commercial boats are reported daily as fishing in the swells just outside the breaker line off the mouth of Eel River. The same situation exists at the mouth of Bear River and the Mattole River.

FE (20 Sept. 1946) Let's Go Fishing--For the past week Eel River has overshowed all other streams with its salmon fishing. The best September fishing in years, most of the old timers are saying and the large number of salmon up to forty pounds that have been landed by novice and expert certainly proves something or other. So many visitors were on the river that its regular patrons were somewhat lost in the scramble.

After fishing all week without a bite, Bud Howard of San Jose caught a 22 and a 10 pounder Friday evening just before he had to leave the hospitality of his host, Kip Noble.

Eel River salmon were featured at a Merced Lions Club dinner this week. Dr. Stanley Shaffer and T.L. Anderson, members of the club, hauled a fine catch of frozen salmon home with them Sunday. They went to the Klamath first but found the rough treatment on Suicide Row too much for them so came back to the Eel. Dr. Shaffer caught a 20-pounder on Thursday, a forty on Friday and a 17 and 25 on Saturday. Mr. Anderson was starting to reel in his line ready to go home Saturday evening when he hooked and landed a 40-pounder. All the fish were frozen and on their way to Merced Sunday...

Dr. and Mrs. Roy Briggs, who are living in Fortuna temporarily, landed a forty-pounder Saturday below Cock Robin.

FE (27 Sept. 1946) Let's Go Fishing--The salmon fishing on Eel River has continued good with the largest number of fish reported from Eastlick and Fulmor. The light rain of last week did not change fishing conditions in either the Eel or smaller streams although some larger trout were reported caught over the week end above the Mattole lagoon area.

John Enos, who headquarters on Goble Lane, admits to the best Eel River fishing in a number of seasons. Out of five trips to the river he was successful three times with salmon ranging from 24 pounds to 32 pounds. His fish were caught around the snags which lie in the pool below Fulmor. John claims this part of the river has a gravel bottom and is better than Fulmor with its sand bottom.

It is always a thriller to get an Eel River salmon on a line but it is doubtful if anyone ever got as much thrill out of a salmon as Raymond Olsen did. Ray returned to Ferndale Saturday direct from eleven months in Tokyo and on Monday he landed two salmon on the river. His brother, Melvin, came up from Sacramento just to see how Ray would behave on the river and he also caught two. Bob Olsen, a third brother, went along for the ride.

Seward Berry and Herb Mikkelsen, prominent men about Main street, showed the world how businessmen can have fun and work too. Tuesday morning they got out on Eastlick pool soon after daylight and each caught a salmon. They were back in town ready for business at 9 a.m. Seward's contribution to his wife's larder weighed 33 pounds. Herb's was eight but he had the fun of losing two others.

These salmon coming into Eel River now are Chinook salmon, according to the experts. Officially they are known as Oncorhynchus tschawytscha, but it is easier to catch them than pronounce the name. Their average weight is 20 to 25 pounds. The largest authentic catch on rod and reel was in 1910 when F.R. Steel caught an 83 pounder in the Umpqua River, Oregon. A market fisherman at Petersburg, Alaska in 1939 caught a Chinook in a trap, weight 125 pounds. The Chinook, when in fresh water, feeds on flies, aquatic insects, crustacea and worms. Adult salmon in salt water eat herring, anchovies, sardines, candlefish, shrimp, squid and crustacea. They do not feed and rarely strike after they reach fresh water on their way to spawning grounds. Their general color is silvery, having a bluish-olive tinge on upper sides which becomes darker on the back; head darker slate color and entire body covered with a metalic sheen. Upper part of body marked with small dark spots which are profuse on dorsal and caudal fins. Chinooks are also called Blackmouth, Quinnat, Columbia River salmon, Sacramento River salmon, Tyee, Tchavicha, Tsehawytscha, King and Spring salmon. The last two names will be as debatable as the two previous names are unpronounceable, but that's what it says in the book. They live on both coasts of the North Pacific, as far south as Monterey. None took any interest in the recent experiments at Bikini...

FE (4 Oct. 1946) Let's Go Fishing--Salmon trolling in the lower Eel River continued to be the major interest again in the past week with good fishing all week. Sunday and Monday were among the best days with a large number of salmon being taken from the Fulmor pool on down to the mouth. Sunday also saw the river bulging with every available boat.

V.G. Drinkwater, the sage of Camp Weeott, is on the river regularly with his usual good luck. He is now expecting a run of silversides any day and when Mr. Drinkwater expects, it is a certainty. The silversides, he says, will be followed by hookbills and he predicts the big hookbills will come into the river in about two or three weeks. He may be off on his dates but he is positive there is much more good fishing due in Eel River for the rest of the season...

The largest salmon caught in Eel River this season was brought in Tuesday by Lou Martin. Weighing 42 pounds it managed to haul Lou's boat all over the lower Fulmor before it was landed. Sime Smith had one on at about the same time which must have been equally as large, judging from its actions, but it straightened out the tough hooks and made its get-away...

Mr. and Mrs. Emil Hullander have been doing right well on the river but are wondering what they are doing wrong. Their first catch of the season was a 16-pounder, but since then they have only caught five and eight pound salmon. On one trip they were about ready to go home with no fish when a two-pounder jumped into their boat...

FE (11 Oct. 1946) Let's Go Fishing--Fishing slacked off the past week, with few salmon being taken although many boats were on the river. No sign of the steelhead run has appeared but this should be along most any day. Rain last week failed to make any appreciable change in the river level or to open any of the lagoons south of Eel River...

Guests at Weymbuth Inn have been in on the good fishing and report the first steelhead. Leigh Heminway of Mill Valley caught a 13 1\2 pound steelhead on fly in Weymouth pool Monday. Clem Ady of San Francisco landed a 6 pound chub at the Weymouth pool on Sunday after taking a 16 pound salmon at Dungans the previous day. Larry Silke, owner of the Inn, and a number of guests caught limits of half-pounders in the Weymouth pool daily from Friday to Tuesday. Frank Cook of San Mateo brought in a 22 pound salmon from Fulmor on Sunday and the largest salmon for Inn fishermen was a 28-pounder caught by Lt. Dowling of Letterman Hospital, San Francisco, on Friday.

Flash--Mrs. Ferl Schierholtz of this city brought in a ten pound steelhead from the Fulmor pool yesterday morning. She fished with Mr. and Mrs. Stanley Hoffman of San Francisco and Penny Robarts. The party landed 4 salmon Wednesday.

FE (18 Oct. 1946) Let's Go Fishing--Fishermen were as abundant as ever on Eel River this week, but the salmon were out on strike for fewer barbs and tastier lures, apparently. At any rate, approximately no fish were taken in Eel River in the past week.

Trollers were using flies and a few near-catches were reported. Someone was said to have landed a silverside but we doubt it as no one around town could name the mysterious fisherman. Most of the trolling was in the vicinity of the Cock Robin bridge snags and a few steelhead, half-pounders and chub were caught--but in a rather low percentage compared to the number of boats.

The lower Singley pool had some 25 fly fishermen and spinner casters each morning and a few half-pounders were taken early each day. Fernbridge pool has had no activity. Palmer creek pool was almost as quiet but some fishermen caught steelhead at Weymouth.

The experts are now awaiting the run of hookbills which generally arrive in Eel River about November 1. The hookbills are not as accurate on their timing as the Capistrano swallows but will come close to that date. With them will be some silversides and bluebacks, although these are among the fast disappearing species and will be in limited numbers.

First inkling of the impending hookbill run came appropriately from Sid Nielsen of Arcata. Sid, who is almost as native to Eel River as the salmon, landed a hookbill this week end...

FE (25 Oct. 1946) Let's Go Fishing--Salmon fishermen on the Eel had great luck on Sunday and Monday but the run tapered off Tuesday. A heavy rain freshened up the river but was not the cause of the good fishing as the run did not start until Sunday evening. The water raised a few inches, enough to encourage many salmon to start their upstream journey. By Monday morning the salmon were hitting the first riffle between the lower and upper Singley pools and going on into the lower Fernbridge pool. Wednesday was probably the best fishing in recent years on the Eel...Wednesday morning there were 75 boats on the Fulmor pool, some having pulled out because of the congestion. Every boat had salmon or had made "near misses." Most of the salmon were large, around forty pounds average.

Charley Peterson, who came up from Santa Rosa to be here for the fishing, landed a forty-pounder Monday while fishing with Emil Hullander. They took four more salmon over the week end.

Bobbie Hull, fishing with his father Everett Hull Tuesday morning, was one of the few to make catches that morning. Bobbie got two salmon about ten pounds each.

A.J. Randolph of Lodi, fishing with Rex McBride Tuesday, caught a seven-pound steelhead. Taken by the junior past commander of the Lodi Legion post, the single steelhead will likely become large and numerous enough to provide a salmon barbecue for the big Lodi post enroute to Lodi. Fighting steelhead seem to bestow the characteristic of expansiveness upon their conquerors.

Charlie Thompson, the most patient fisherman to troll on Eel River, caught his first salmon Monday. After countless trips up and down the stream this year, he landed a 24-pound salmon during Monday's run.

Andy McBride caught a 32 pound salmon at Fulmor Wednesday morning. The salmon was just a few inches shorter than Andy is tall...

Commercial fishing out of Humboldt Bay closed October 15 with a total season catch reported at approximately 3,000,000 pounds of salmon. Division of the season's catch among the commercial fish companies at Eureka were as follows:

The Tom Lazio Fish Company purchased a total of 622,497 pounds. This included the catch from Crescent City. Practically all of this was either shipped as fresh fish or frozen.

Approximately 710,000 pounds of salmon were handled by the Consolidated Fisheries, Inc., of which 250,000 pounds were mild cured and the rest shipped fresh and frozen.

The Theo. Weissich Fish Company handled 511,800 pounds, of which 110,000 was mild cured, 108,000 frozen and 293,000 shipped as fresh fish.

A. Paladini, Inc., which has docks at both Eureka and Fields Landing, handled 209,556 pounds. Of this, sixty per cent was shipped fresh and frozen, 30 per cent mild cured and about ten per cent smoked.

The New England Fish Company handled 333,315 pounds which was both mild cured and shipped fresh.

The Joe Balestrieri Fish Company handled approximately 500,000 pounds of salmon which was chiefly shipped as fresh and frozen fish.

The Hallmark Fish Company handled about 84,280 pounds of salmon and the NorCal Company at Fields Landing handled about 20,000 pounds.

FE (6 Dec. 1946) Steelhead Fishing Receives Setback by high Water--Local fishermen were disappointed this week by a surprise rise in local streams which again sets back the possibility of good fishing indefinitely. Both the Mattole and Bear Rivers were in perfect condition for steelhead fishing last week end and many fishermen tried each stream. No one reported a catch, however.

Eel River at Weymouth and the Van Duzen near Yager Creek were also in excellent condition and numerous catches of steelhead were reported from there. It appeared on Monday that Eel River was dropping and clearing sufficiently to ensure good fishing on down to tidewater. However, heavy rains in the mountains Tuesday brought a rise of several feet and by Wednesday Eel River covered most of its bar at Fernbridge. The river seemed to be holding this high level and it is doubtful if it will clear for several weeks, if at all.

FE (27 June 1947) Arcata Legion to Stage Fish Derby--Arcata Post, American Legion, will stage a public fish derby at Dungan pool in Eel River on October 5...

Winners of the prizes will be determined by the largest salmon or steelhead caught on rod and reel on the first Sunday in October...

FE (29 Aug. 1947) Let's Go Fishing--Everyone who ever lived in Ferndale or visited here more than a day or two realizes that as soon as county fair week is over, all thoughts turn to fishing. This column will attempt, against odds, to report on Ferndale's avocation. We say "against odds," for we have found year after year that fishing information is generally conceded to be top secret hereabouts. In brief, legend has it that when the limit of steelhead is caught near a certain snag in the Fulmor pool one day, there will be other steelhead waiting to be caught there next day. But despite this inaccuracy, we will go ahead with the column anyway; a lot of Enterprise readers seemed to like it in previous years.

There appears to be an early run of steelhead in Eel River and a rugged salmon [or] steelhead temperment has been removing the tackle consistently from some of the early fishermen. Elmer Christensen reports he lost two sets of tackle and three salmon in the past week but he did catch two others. Weight around 20 pounds. See Elmer at Camp Weeott for details. Harold Farley at Weeott has taken out a number of visiting fishermen with fair luck. Everett and Ed Kausen are reported to have caught four salmon over the weekend, just where we do not know, except that it was in Eel River.

Andrew Anderson is reported to have brought in the first salmon of the season (or, perhaps this run) getting one Friday and another on Saturday out of the Fulmor pool...

Palmer Creek pool, fished mostly by Eureka and Fortuna sportsmen, supplied plenty of activity Sunday with a dozen or so steelhead weighing up to nine pounds reported caught on both spawn and fly. Half-pounders are reported as far up stream as Eel Rock...

FE (5 Sept. 1947) Let's Go Fishing--Fishermen had better luck catching fish this week than your reporter had catching fishermen to learn what they did. Art Becker landed a 24-pound salmon at Dago Bend Wednesday morning. Verne Oeschger, visiting from Stockton, also was among the lucky Eel River anglers. Verne landed a 25-pounder at Eastlick Tuesday. Jim Marvel fished at Eastlick early Tuesday morning and brought in an 18-pounder. Jim thought when he left the river that he was the only one who had caught a salmon but later found out he was only one of a number of successful trollers which led him to remark philosophically, "I guess we seldom look past our own boat." He claims credit for his catches goes to the fancy "Marvel special" spinner he uses but we are unable to describe the gadget as our binocular fogged up with anticipation...

Centerville beach is attracting more regular fishermen than any one specific area with hundreds of surf fishermen, their families and spectators all enjoying the beach over the weekend. Beginning Saturday afternoon, hundreds of pounds of smelt were dipped from the surf each day through Tuesday...

The largest boat load catch of Sunday morning came to the Mert Bertelsen boat and Mert says it was all due to super skill, no luck. Mert got a 12 and a 25 pound salmon; Frank Bruga, Jr., landed a 14 pounder; and R.D. Van Aucker, trolling for the first time, made a valiant fight to land one 22 pounder and one 26 pounder, eight and one-sixteenth ounces. In his excitement, Van could not find a scale with finer weight graduations. Either of Van's fish out-weighed previous catches made this season by Golden State men so the battle of the creamery men is on. All five salmon were caught along the Morgan bank...

Eastlick, up until Wednesday afternoon, continued to be the favorite spot for lower Eel River fishermen. The favorite lure seemed to be a number 4 bronze Starkey. No catches were reported from Fulmor pool but jumping fish indicated the pool was loaded. On upstream, the steelhead fishermen had big days at Palmer Creek and a few half pounders were taken around the mouth of the Van Duzen and Weymouth.

George Hackett came in with a 20-pounder. John Brazil caught a steelhead, and Bill Mikkelsen caught two steelhead and an 18-pound salmon, all in Eastlick during the first three days of the week..

FE (12 Sept. 1947) Let's Go Fishing--..Rae Wright landed a 35 pound salmon near the snags below Cock Robin Monday. Bill Spengler, big Eureka sportsman, was victorious in a tussle with a 33 pounder the same day. The Van Aucker, Bruga, Bertelsen trio on Sunday managed to get one salmon; a nice one caught by the novice Van Aucker under direction by Bertelsen, supervised by Bruga...

Kip Noble caught a salmon a day for two days last weekend. One weighed 24 pounds. Peter Albonico caught a 20-pounder Wednesday which should give him some sort of prestige when he enrolls at the College of Agriculture at Davis next week..

Someone has done a good deed for Eel River salmon just below Fernbridge. The deep Fernbridge pool was beginning to drain through the gravel bar with only a shallow, wide riffle running almost parallel to and underneath the bridge. A narrow curving channel of fair depth was dug this week at the lower end of the Fernbridge pool and should provide enough water for the salmon and steelhead headed upstream.

FE (19 Sept. 1947) Let's Go Fishing--Ross Canfield came back for some more fishing and was successful Sunday at Fulmor and Tuesday landed two at Eastlick. Bill Anderson brought in one salmon Tuesday, or maybe it was Harold Lauridsen who caught it. Mrs. Herman Klingler caught a 20-pounder Wednesday morning, her first. Sunday, on Fulmor, Mrs. Bob Enos hooked a salmon but husband, Bob, became so excited he had to land it for her, though he claims she was the one who was excited. Who's Excited?...

Salmon anglers, including sport and commercial fishermen, together with cannery operators, are urged by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to keep an eye out for salmon with two missing fins.

300,000 young Chinook salmon were marked and released at the Coleman Hatchery in 1945 and 1946. All of the fish were shorn of their adipose fin (the small fatty fin on the back) and the original lot also lost the right ventral fin (one of the pair of fins on the belly just in front of the tail). On later releases, the left ventral fin was cut off.

These salmon were subjected to prolonged feeding prior to their release. The scientists hope to determine whether the attention given the salmon prior to their release has better conditioned them for survival.

Persons catching fin-clipped salmon are urged to cooperate by: 1. Cutting off and preserving the fin scars. 2. Taking a scale sample from the salmon. 3. Recording the sale and locality of the catch and the length, scale and sex of the fish. These scale samples are vital because they yield growth records of the fish. 4. Sending the fin scars, scale samples and catch data to the U.S. Fish and WIldlife Service, North Rotunda, Museum Building, Stanford University, California; or to the Bureau of Marine Fisheries, California Division of Fish and Game, Ferry Building, San Francisco 11, California; or by giving the material to the nearest Fish and Game Warden.

Out at Weymouth Inn, Leigh Heminway of San Francisco has caught several steelhead in the past week with two 7-pounders taken in Weymouth pool Tuesday. He has also been consistent in bringing in half pounders every day. Mrs. Harry Silke of the Inn regretfully admits she has not done so well. Says she has been to Fulmor and Dungan several times but each time a day late.

FE (26 Sept. 1947) Let's Go Fishing--Fishing in Eel River slacked off this week after some good flurries early in the week and late last week. A few silverside salmon were taken this week which may mean that the early run of chinook is about ended and a run of silversides [is] on its way. Although the silverside salmon is smaller (12 to 14 pounds) than the chinook (18 to 35 pounds), many fishermen prefer to take the smaller fish for the spirited battle they give the angler. Most of them react much the same as steelhead.

Probably our last chance to report on R.W. Van Aucker's fishing progress will be today for he moves to Coos Bay, Oregon, next week...Last weekend, fishing with Frank Bruga, Jr., our hero landed a 30-pound salmon on the lower Fulmor without a gaff. The feat was watched and cheered by all fishermen in the vicinity and bets were on the salmon when it made its first leap from Frank's lap. It was hauled back to the boat by Van who made one more try at lifting the slippery heavy-weight over the gunn'le. The latter try was successful.

Bruga caught a chub and a 25-pounder Sunday and, fishing with Kip Noble on Monday evening, had more of the same at the lower Fulmor.

The Nobles are competing for the largest salmon with Mrs. (Dora) Noble one up on husband Kip. Thursday of last week she landed a 36-pounder near the Cock Robin snags...

FE (26 Sept. 1947) Upstream Travel made Easier [photo with caption] Salmon and steelhed with the urge to go upstream to spawning grounds on Eel River have their routes marked out now. Instead of allowing Eel River to flow over wide, shallow areas, state fish and game employees have built gravel dams across many of the shallow areas to create channels deep enough for the fish to swim on their upstream journey...

FE (3 Oct. 1947) Let's Go Fishing--Monday was the "big" day on the lower Eel River with at least 50 salmon being taken between the Cock Robin Island bridge snags and Fulmor pool. In fact, the boat without a fish was the exception. The one major exception was Alfred Jorgensen who drew a blank for the first time after a limit almost daily...Henry Hindley caught a 44 pound salmon Monday.

Tuesday's fishing slacked off but Mrs. Harry Silke was one of the lucky ones with a 16 pound silverside and an 8 pound chub to her credit...

Weymouth pool, upstream, has neither had many fishermen nor fish caught, most of the activity being downstream. Fred Nelson of Sacramento, a guest at Weymouth Inn, took the lower river and brought in a 16-pounder and a 19-pounder on Sunday, and a 20-pounder Tuesday. Despite the lack of activity at Weymouth, there has been fair fishing for steelhead and half pounders there. The largest steelhead brought in this week weighed 5 1\2 pounds and the few who have been fishing this pool have been rewarded with either a steelhead or half pounder each day.

Reports of Wednesday fishing include Mrs. Ed Kausen with one salmon and Clem Ady of Oakland, a guest at Weymouth Inn, who took a 33 pounder at Fulmor.

FE (10 Oct. 1947) Let's Go Fishing--Trolling on the lower Eel hit the skids this week, mainly because of high tides and heavy winds. The slight taste of fresh water sent a lot of big salmon upstream about mid-week and on Wednesday Fernbridge was nearly blocked at times as motorists stopped to watch their spray-throwing progress up the narrow channel under the bridge...

FE (10 Oct. 1947) Eel River Derby won by Eurekan--Arcata Legion Post's Fish Derby held in Eel River Sunday brought at least 250 boats, 500 fishermen and as many spectators for the first event of its kind to be held in lower Eel River. With the bulk of the fishing confined to the short strip of river between lower Cock Robin and the Fulmor pool, there was little room for any fancy trolling or casting...

The largest salmon weighed in was caught by Arne Simonsen of Eureka who landed a 29 pound 2 ounce salmon about 10 a.m. and on a home made spinner. He was awarded an outboard motor and a plywood boat. L.H. Biondini of Loleta was second with a 29 pound, one-quarter ounce salmon landed on a willow leaf spoon. His award was another outboard motor. Third prize, a rod and reel, went to Wes Duncan of Arcata for a salmon weighing 28 pounds 10 ounces. Fourth was Roy Simmons of Fortuna who won a pair of waders on his 28 pound salmon. Mrs. Lila Stone of Santa Cruz took fifth with a 24 pound, 3 ounce [salmon] and collected a pair of hip boots for her effort.

Besides the prize-winners, the following anglers weighed in their catches. Many fish under 20 lbs. were not submitted: [22 names with fish weighing from 22 lbs. 13 ozs. to 6 lbs. 3 ozs.]

FE (17 Oct. 1947) Let's Go Fishing--Sunday and Monday saw some good salmon caught in the lower Eel River but heavy winds on Tuesday slowed up the trolling again...Eel River rose a few inches following last week's rain and gave the salmon a great chance to start upstream for their spawning grounds...Fernbridge was the most popular spot for fishermen and spectators who lined the bridge many times during the week to observe the salmon fight their way up the two channels under the bridge...

FE (28 May 1948) Fishing Season Opens Sunday--The only safe prediction for the coming fishing season is that the season will open in Humboldt County on the morning of May 30. Most streams of the county were in good, clear condition at mid-week for early trout fishing with more water than usual at this time of the year but not too much. Yesterday's light rain along the coast should not affect the streams unless the rains continue.

All streams, unless specifically posted as closed, are open to fishermen for both trout and salmon. Trout bag limit is 15 per day. Angling hours are from one hour before sunrise to one hour after sunset. Angling licenses may be purchased locally at Beckers Billiards or the Red Front Store.

FE (3 Sept. 1948) Let's Go Fishing--Elmer Christensen brought in a 10 pound steelhead caught in north bay Sunday. He promised to bring us a round-up on the fishing activities at Camp Weeott to date but has not, so we suppose there has not been much doing...

Ronald Ring, Jr., of Camp Weeott, caught his first salmon, a 25-pounder, in Eel River's Dago Bend this week.

Louis DeMello was one of the lucky ones with one salmon at Snag pool. Veteran fishermen like Bud Olsen are still on the blank list but, like Bud, are out trying as often as time permits.

Mrs. Keith Ferguson gets honorable mention this week having hooked a salmon and lost it at Howe Creek pool but it is better to have hooked and lost than never to have hooked at all.

A final check shows the present Eel River fishing to be as dull as this week's fishing column. The salmon are entering the river but are not stopping to fool around and get curious about fishing lures. They are jumping and active in the tidewater pools but are also running up the river in a hurry as can be seen at the various riffles above tidewater.

FE (10 Sept. 1948) Let's Go Fishing--Eel River fishing was better during the past week or maybe it appeared that way since there were more fishermen on the river. The weekend holiday was perfect for many who tried the local fishing, the weather, that is. Estimates made indicated that about one salmon was taken for every ten boats on the river, a long way from good fishing but still accounting for quite a few fish. A Loleta correspondent says there were 17 salmon taken out of Dungan pool on one of the holidays.

This early stage of the salmon run is merely a warm-up for the main season which should soon be in full swing here.

Otis Smith who comes up from Hemet each season is doing well with a 32-pound salmon from North Bay and an 18-pounder out of Snag pool.

Don Christensen of Santa Rosa brought in a 15 pounder from Belli banks.

Frank Steeves gave the Port Kenyon sportsmen something to try for with a 26-pounder out of Eastlick Slough. Eastlick also supplied two salmon of 18 pounds each, one for George Setterlund and one for Don Ferguson. Nis Dyhrberg landed a nice steelhead at Eastlick also...

Fritz Fleisher, on a visit here from Los Angeles, registered a 5 pound steelhead, pardon, 5 pounds, 4 ounces, from Palmer Creek pool, and a 9-pounder out of Snag pool. He used a Starkey and a number 3 spinner.

Lee Nielsen's vacation here at the home of his mother turned out to be a complete success. After fishing for two weeks he managed to land a 30 pound salmon at Morgan pool the day he was to leave for the east.

Francis Spiller of San Francisco, a guest of George Hindley, now understands the comprehensive hospitality of Ferndalers. George wanted him to try the Eel River fishing so bought a rod and some tackle that would get by temporarily and sent him off to Dago Bend. The San Franciscan made a test run with the new tackle and landed a 26 1\2 pound salmon.

The Chamber of Commerce deal on the boat landing at Fulmor is working out nicely for local fishermen. About 40 individuals have signed up for boat space at the public dock. Herb Mikkelsen, in charge of the dock for the C of C, says there are a limited number of boat spaces left for this season but he expects these to be taken within the next week.

FE (17 Sept. 1948) Ad: Eel River Fish Derby--Over 50 Prizes--Sunday, September 26, 1948. Catch The Big Fish And Win A 16-Foot Motor Boat And Trailer. Prizes For Both Fishermen And Spectators. Sponsored by Loleta Chamber of Commerce.

FE (17 Sept. 1948) Let's Go Fishing--Adults around town may not have been too successful in the past week's fishing but the youngsters--ah, yes, leave it to the uninhibited kids. They don't need a boat, an outboard, hand-tied flies, tapered lines or any of the treasured equipment of the true sports fishermen. They don't even need the pools of Eel River or some remote Klamath riffle to haul them in. Beginning Friday evening after school, there were more freshly caught fish seen on Main Street than generally seen in a season. The kids had again discovered Francis Creek. Seems there is a nice hole right in behind the Red Front Store and they fished from there upstream to about Becker's. Jimmy Gleason, who came to Ferndale a few months ago with his dad, landed a 16 inch trout almost off the back porch of Andy Genzoli's store. That was Friday evening and between Jimmy, Smokie Swan and a couple of the Alva Wilson boys, there were at least 35 nice trout taken out of the creek before dark. Next morning Bernhard and Herbert Hansen joined the intrepid fishermen and by 8 a.m. there were dozens of strings of big trout, ten-twelve inches long, along Ferndale's main thoroughfare. Actually, there may have been only four or five strings of fish but the kids scooted around town so fast showing them off, we lost count.

Friday was a good day on the river. Harold Lauridsen caught a 32 pound salmon and a 20-pounder. Sam McGuire landed a 25-pounder and a 15. Jim Marvel caught a 25-pounder and a 20...

Mr. and Mrs. Frank Bruga and Mrs. Kip Noble tried the river Monday. Although Frank has been out a number of times this season, apparently he and Mrs. Noble merely went along for the ride. Mrs. Bruga, enjoying her first fishing trip of the season, caught an 8-pound steelhead and a chub salmon in Eastlick.

FE (24 Sept. 1948) Let's Go Fishing--...Lee Hemingway of Sonoma, a guest at Weymouth Inn, landed a 11 1\2 pound steelhead on fly at Weymouth yesterday morning. A number of half-pounders were also brought in by Weymouth guests during the day. Salmon were reported rolling at the Weymouth summer bridge yesterday morning but none was taken.

Some of the local fishermen reported landing salmon during the week include Keith Ferguson a 20-pounder at Fulmor Wednesday; Dr. Clarence a 22-pounder at Dungans last Thursday; Dr. Wayne McKee tried to match his partner on Saturday but came home with a fish one-forty-fourth the size of the salmon, a half-pounder; Levin Martin caught two salmon, a 20 and a 26-pounder in Dungans. Jim Marvel landed another salmon but it could not have been very big as no weight was reported on it. Jimmy Thomsen landed a 24 1\2 pounder at Belli Banks.

Twenty-two distant fishermen are awaiting word from Harry Silke at Weymouth Inn telling them that the "run is on in Eel River." Harry is as anxious as his potential guests but too honest to tell them the fishing is very exciting here as yet.

Mr. and Mrs. Mario Gattavara of San Francisco visited and fished with Elmo Reidy three days last weekend. They got in a lot of visiting but landed only one 6-pound steelhead which made their visit a success, however.

FE (1 Oct. 1948) Let's Go Fishing--Fishing livened up somewhat on Wednesday with 10 to 18 salmon being taken in the lower Fulmor. Rev. Gilbert Jensen, out with Dr. Wayne McKee, landed a 20-pounder, his first experience. Wayne, when asked why his guests always managed to land a salmon while he has caught nothing this season answered, "If they ask a fish, shall I give him a serpent."

Others reported landing salmon at Fulmor Wednesday were Manuel Rocha, Jim Marvel, Frank Deniz...

Mr. and Mrs. E.R. Smith of Berkeley are guests at Weymouth. They are renewing their prewar fishing trips with Elmo Reidy and the three of them were on the river yesterday. H.P. Schroder and L.H. Lutz of Richmond, also guests at Weymouth, brought in a 20 1\2 pounder from Dungan Wednesday...Mrs. Maud Bartholomew of Palm Springs, now vacationing at Weymouth, landed a 20-pounder at Fulmor Wednesday. Other Weymouth guests have brought in an abundance of half-pounders (up to 3 pounds) and plenty of "pan-fries."

FE (1 Oct. 1948) Eel River Derby top Prize won by Leland Anderson--Approximately 500 fishermen crowded into 200 small boats Sunday to participate in the Eel River Fish Derby sponsored by the Loleta Chamber of Commerce. Marion Newburn of Newport Beach was the first fisherman to capture a prize with the first fish of the derby soon after it opened. Her salmon weighed 17 pounds and also won 10th place for her in the derby.

Leland Anderson of this section won first award in the derby with a salmon weighing 33 pounds 14 ounces. R.W. Patterson of Eureka was second with a 23 pound 4 ounce salmon and Scott Braley of Sunset Beach third with a catch of 22 pounds 12 ounces. First prize was a motor boat and trailer, second and third prizes were outboard motors.

Hildred Allen and Ruth Winters tied for first and second in the Ladies' special division, each landing an 18 pound 12 ounce salmon. Mrs. Mabelle Woodruff of Eureka was third with an 18 pound 8 ounce catch, and Mrs. Marion Newburn took fourth place.

All winning contestants were awarded appropriate fishing equipment prizes. Winners, their residence, and weight of their prize salmon are listed as follows (4th to 19th prizes): [the weights ranged from 21 lbs. 2 ozs. to 6 lbs.]

FE (8 Oct. 1948) Let's Go Fishing--...Ellery and Dungan pools were alive with jumping fish, but all too smart to take the fishermen's lures on Tuesday...

Half pounders were being taken on fly several times this week from the Jetty pool on upstream past Weymouth. Ed Nielsen is reported as landing a steelhead this week.

Jim Marvel landed a 27-pounder at Fulmor late Wednesday afternoon.

Eel River will swarm with visiting firemen (and engineers, etc.) from the Southern Pacific Rod and Gun Club all day Sunday. Fifty members of the club will arrive at Fortuna Sunday morning for their annual fishing trip on the river...

FE (15 Oct. 1948) Let's Go Fishing--Fred Williams caught a 22-pound salmon Saturday morning at the old Cock Robin bridge...

Coming to fish in Eel River as they do, we are not surprised that the biggest salmon reported to us this season were caught by southern Californians. Cecil Cooley of El Monte landed a 44-pounder at Snag pool last week while his fishing partner, Ross Dana, of Big Bear Lake was in the running with a 33-pounder at Snag. Mr. and Mrs. Dana...have fished the Eel for seven consecutive years. Mr. and Mrs. Cooley have the past four seasons in a row...

Snag and the lower Fernbridge pools are the favorites of most visitors and the banks are generally lined with bait fishermen, fly-casters, and spooners. Talk to any of them and they sound like old timers until you learn they are from Los Angeles or thereabouts...

Mrs. R.W. Hawkins of San Luis Obispo, visiting at the home of her mother, Mrs. William Normile, got into the Eel River win column with her catch of a 22-pound salmon at Dungan's last week...

FE (22 Oct. 1948) Let's Go Fishing--...Apparently Eel River is full of salmon but for some reason or another they have been smart enough to throw the lures. A great number of salmon were reported in the river on Friday--jumping everywhere, but comparatively few were taken.

Guests at Weymouth were doing well at Weymouth and Howe Creek pools. Allen Curtis of Oakland landed a 37, a 24, and two 6-pound salmon in two days. Philip Antrobus of San Francisco brought in a 14 pound salmon and a 3 pound chub. Karl Mausser of San Mateo caught three chubs. Mr. and Mrs. Harold Goodrich of Oakland landed a 15 pounder and a five pound steelhead. Jane Silke (the boss's wife) set a good example for her guests with a 27-pounder, a 17, and a 12.

FE (12 Nov. 1948) Let's Go Fishing--Eel River fishing came to life this week with a Ferndale Day up around Weymouth on Tuesday. Stragglers who missed the Tuesday fishing and tried it on Wednesday found the fish had moved on upstream or someplace. Ray Wright and John Brazil got the limit at the McCoy pool. In Howe Creek pool Harley Boots landed a steelhead and two salmon.

The Hackett family replenished their larders in good fashion Tuesday in Howe Creek pool. George Hackett caught three salmon; Merle Hackett landed three more; Vernon Hackett managed to land one. Richard Hackett drew a blank...

FE (19 Nov. 1948) Let's Go Fishing--Our entries in last week's fishing column failed to distinguish between salmon and steelhead. Some of the salmon listed as caught were steelhead. Next time when in doubt, we will say "so many fish."

Armistice Day saw an army of fishermen along the Eel with most of the fishermen trying the pools from Fulmor upstream to Weymouth. Few fish were taken but these included a number of four and five pound steelhead. Experts agree the steelhead run has not arrived yet.

At the Weymouth summer bridge there were 58 parked cars (by actual count) with from two to five passengers all out for the Armistice Day fishing. Another 50 or more cars were scattered around the area with more fishermen...

On Saturday Leo Christen landed a 41 pound salmon in the Harris pool. A guest of Leo's, William Gnoss of Novato, brought in two 26 pound salmon, a 15-pounder, and two winter steelhead from the Harris pool over the weekend.

Scotty Ferguson landed a 25-pounder at Harris pool Thursday and another on Friday.

Johnny Brazil keeps in the "win" column with one at Weymouth on Monday and, with Harley Boots, who also got one, another in the McCoy pool on Tuesday...

FE (14 Jan. 1949) Winter Fishermen get Weather Break--With ten days or more of bright clear weather, streams in the southern Humboldt area have cleared and given fishermen some of the best winter fishing in the nation. Eel River has been clear for a week although it is carrying a larger volume of water than usual...

...the streams local fishermen are interested [in] and which are open to trout fishing until the end of February are as follows: Eel River from the mouth to a point below the Van Arsdale Dam in Mendocino County; South Fork of Eel River from Dyerville to Rattlesnake Creek in Mendocino County excepting for a closed portion of some 3,000 feet below Benbow Dam; the Van Duzen is open from its mouth to Bridgeville...

FE (8 April 1949) Nor. California Steelhead win 4 Places in Contest--Northern California again came into national recognition in the sports world with four of the top ten Rainbow Trout (steelhead) of the "Field and Stream" magazine's 1948 contest (limited to fly casting) being taken in the area...

Eel River got into the running twice in the top ten with a 17 pounder taken by Harry M. Hornbrook of Eureka for fourth place, and a 12 pounder taken by F. Martin Riggs. The Hornbrook steelhead was taken Jan. 1 on a Winston rod, Young reel, Newton line and a self-tied red optic fly. Riggs' steelhead in tenth place, taken Nov. 15 while visiting here with Mr. and Mrs. Young, weighed 12 pounds and was caught with a Powell rod, Pfleuger reel, Ashaway line and red bucktail fly...

FE (26 Aug. 1949) Salmon Enter Eel Tues. on Schedule--Salmon hitting for their spawning grounds came into Eel River Tuesday evening like jet propelled torpedoes, according to witnesses at the river, and were the first major run of the great sporting fish to make the entrance this season. Records kept by John Brazil and other sports fishermen of this section show the run to be on schedule, their data showing the first run can be expected in the Eel between August 24 and 27 each year.

With all the pools to themselves and plenty of freshwater urging them on up to the far reaches of their home water, the Tuesday salmon spread themselves thin. Only one 30-pounder was reported taken at Dungan's pool Wednesday morning. Bill Cook of Loleta won the first honors. Fishing was limited to a few early birds or there may have been more caught.

FE (9 Sept. 1949) Let's Go Fishing--Palmer Creek pool, we heard, is "lousy," if you will pardon the fishermen's language, with fish. But the way we first heard it there was a period after the word lousy. There are hundreds of half-pounders, trout, and some salmon in the Palmer pool and it is unfortunate [that] it is that way. Palmer pool is the farthest upstream the salmon can go. They can work back and forth below that point in tide water but the Eel is too low to allow them beyond. Bulldozers have been deepening channels between pools above Palmer Creek but fish and game experts are apparently putting in the deeper channels for the smaller fish so they don't become landlocked in a disappearing pool. They have not made a connection from the upper part of the river to Palmer pool as it would be suicide for the salmon if they did. The big fellows would expect a good stream on up above but would soon find they had worked themselves into water too shallow for their existence. At least, that is the theory and it sounds reasonable. Better let them stay in tide water and hope for an early and heavy rain that will give them a natural flow to follow...

Eel River is lying dormant with few fishermen trying it...Charlie Shaffer, a senior at Fresno high...landed a 28 pound salmon in Dungan pool Tuesday of last week to become one of the few to tie into that first run.

Centerville Beach is the high key of sports fishing here with literally tons of surf fish being taken there over the weekend. All day fish now...

Bill Mikkelsen says there were plenty of fish jumping in the Dungan pool yesterday morning but no one caught any. He estimated many of them at around 20 pounds...

FE (30 Sept. 1949) Let's Go Fishing--The Eel River Fish Derby Sunday was a great success despite the fact that few fish came to the party. 400 or more boats worked up and down the pools below Dungan's with everyone having a good time and an occasional salmon exploding the calm serenity of the day. A threatening rain failed to materialize the preceding night, holding off until Tuesday when a half-hearted reminder of winter was forthcoming. Hundreds of salmon in the river, dormant more or less on Sunday, perked up by Tuesday and more of them took the limited number of anglers' lures that day than struck the multitude of lures on Sunday. The light rain must have awakened their urge to fight their way up to their ancestral spawning beds...

The only fish anyone talks about this week is a 46 pound salmon taken by someone at Dungan's on Tuesday. It was caught on spinner but who caught it no one knows or will tell.

Use of barracuda jigs has made the fishermen at Dungan's look as if they have chronic St. Vitus dance. They drop their heavy lures, let them lie momentarily, then give a jerk. The jerk is supposed to galvanize the salmon out of his lethargy into dynamic hunger which causes the fish to grab the lure. We wonder if 90 percent of the jerks are not made with the hope a salmon can be snagged by "accident." The idea is imported from southern California and won't last long.

FE (30 Sept. 1949) 32 Pounds of Fighting Eel Salmon wins Derby for Sidney M. Nielsen--With actual derby entrants numbering between 400 and 500 and with at least double that number among the spectators who lined the banks of the Eel River, the Loleta Chamber of Commerce annual Eel River Fish Derby came to a successful conclusion Sunday evening. Sidney M. Nielsen, former Ferndaler and now making his home in Eureka, won top honors with a salmon weighing 32 pounds 5 ounces. He was awarded a Wizard boat and trailer. Mrs. Adrian Young of Arcata came close to the winner with a second prize fish weighing 32 pounds 9 ounces. Her prize was an outboard motor. Third prize, an outboard motor, went to J. Howsley of Rohnerville with a salmon weighing 28 pounds 12 ounces.

FE (6 Jan. 1950) Random Thoughts By Waldner--The winter steelhead fishing was good over the weekend with the Weymouth summer bridge being the spot of the week...

FE (8 Sept. 1950) Let's Go Fishing--Fall fishing in Eel River took a spurt this past week with several salmon and one steelhead reported. Most of the fishing, and no one has said it is good yet, has been around the lower part of Eel River. Sid Nielson won the season's honors from his brother, Darrel, when he landed a salmon last week but brother Darrel came back with a vengence and captured a five-pound steelhead on Monday.

Russell Steeves caught two salmon, Frank Bruga another, and Harold Lauridsen leads the boys with three to his credit. No one has mentioned weights of fish the salmon have not yet attained a size worthy of boasting about. The few caught, however, are early run and the big ones should be on their way soon. A number of half pounders were taken over the weekend in the vicinity of Fernbridge.

FE (15 Sept. 1950) First Korean War casualty from Eel River valley.

FE (15 Sept. 1950) Let's Go Fishing--Fishing improved along the Eel River this week with more fish caught but maybe more fishermen trying...

Andrew Anderson of Albany landed a 30 pound salmon over the weekend and the salmon is continuing to grow, having been reported by friends later as weighing 35 pounds.

Goble's Grocery crew is keeping itself in fresh fish with Rich Tonini landing a salmon Tuesday morning and Mert Bertelsen bringing in another Wednesday morning. Mert's was a big fellow--variously reported from 39 to 49 pounds. Rich is supposed to have lost 3. They fished near Fernbridge.

Frank Berti and Tommy Thompson caught two salmon and lost one fishing in the lower part of the river Wednesday morning. One of the Holbrooks (which one we don't know as they all fish) landed a 15 pounder Wednesday in the same location.

FE (15 Sept. 1950) Fishing Boat Dock at Fulmor Place made Available--Facilities for docking row boats at a centrally located wharf on Eel River are again being provided by the Ferndale Chamber of Commerce...The float is located at the end of the Fulmor road on property leased from the Fulmor ranch. In addition to giving good protection to the fishing boats, it provides easy access to all of the lower Eel River pools...

FE (29 Sept. 1950) Eel Salmon Derby on Sunday; $2,000 in Prize Awards--Local and many visiting sportsmen will compete Sunday for some $2,000 in prizes being offered in the annual Eel River Salmon Derby sponsored by the Loleta Chamber of Commerce. Extent of the derby will be from the upper end of Dungan pool to the mouth of the river...

Certain types of tackle including barracuda jigs, feathered jigs, fresh spawn and anchovies have been rules out of the contest...

FE (6 Oct. 1950) Random Thought By Waldner--We have a note from a subscriber living south of San Francisco for a number of years which tells us he is anxious to get today's Enterprise to see how the Eel River Salmon Derby came out. He adds, "I can remember when we (naming two Ferndale friends) caught 28 salmon in one day." No, it was perfectly legal and he was not boasting; just recalling the difference between the number of salmon in the river then (maybe 30 or 35 years ago) and now. With dozens, possibly hundreds, of fishermen trolling the river Sunday, there were 48 salmon caught for Sunday's derby.

FE (6 Oct. 1950) Eel Salmon Derby Winners Announced--Loleta Chamber of Commerce sponsored Eel River Salmon Derby on Sunday attracted a large number of fishermen who managed to weigh in a total of 48 fish within the time limits set for the contest. First prize, a 12-foot boat and trailer, went to Raymond Bresee of Arcata with a 23 3\4 pound salmon. Mrs. Elna Anderson of Oakland was only ounces under the first place when she landed a 23 1\4 pound salmon for second place and a new outboard motor as the prize. Third place went to Terry McGovern of Eureka who was awarded a $75 fishing outfit...

FE (13 Oct. 1950) Let's Go Fishing--Fishing in Eel River perked up after last week's rain with the river being whip-lashed to a lather from Weymouth to the mouth. On Sunday there were from 50 to 75 fishermen within talking distance at Weymouth summer bridge and that area. An equal number lined the banks of the Singley and lower Fernbridge pools--almost too close for casting. A number of fish were taken during the earlier hours and from then on spasmodically through the day. It must have been good for we saw Bob Christensen and his son, Larry, sitting on the edge of Weymouth Bridge so late it was almost illegal.

Lee Petersen who grew up a few yards from the Fulmor and Dungan pools is back in his native haunts early each morning before work and doing all right. Landed a salmon each of two mornings this week in the Singley area.

Don Marks recorded three near-misses and four catches at Fernbridge pool over the weekend.

Wes Kausen landed a King salmon at Snag pool Tuesday morning. His dad, Ed Kausen, has been one of the regulars but we have no reports on his progress.

Palmer Creek has been getting the big play but maybe because it is so handy to the highway. People don't like to walk far these days...

FE (27 Oct. 1950) Let's Go Fishing--...Over the weekend the Eel River suddenly came to life and everyone was taking salmon each day from the mouth to Fernbridge. Trolling was good from Eastlick to Fulmor and casting kept the fishermen busy on upstream as far as Weymouth. Ed Nielson on Tuesday morning said he was the only fisherman on the river who did not catch a fish. Quite an admission for any fisherman but fairly truthful on conditions.

Monday around Fulmor pool Hugh Boutwell and his son landed one salmon, as did Micky McClellan. Frank Berti, on the other hand, had good luck Friday, fishing with Tommy Thompson and no luck Monday fishing with George Ure...George Holbrook landed a big salmon at Fulmor--estimated weight 40 pounds. Everett Hull came home with two silversides and a chub salmon. Darrell and Sid Nielson caught five over the weekend and Sid's son-in-law, Carl Clogston, caught three after Sid bent Carl's spinner around to the right angle and sent him back into the game.

John Lorenzo, Sr. landed a 28 pound salmon in the Fulmor pool Tuesday.

Lee Petersen can take lessons from his young son, Rickie, for Rick has landed a salmon every morning without fail at the Singley pool. One morning his 23-pounder was the biggest caught by anyone--and almost as big as Rick, or at least Rick thought so for awhile.

So new arrivals in Ferndale will understand the common language of the day, we list the best known fishing pools in the lower Eel River starting at the mouth of the river and working upstream.

The Eel River bar is the swift water where the Eel enters the ocean. Just to the north of the bar is North Bay--no salmon but good for crabs at times. Above the entrance is generally referred to as Weeott as far as Camp Weeott. The slough on the ocean side of Camp Weeott is Salt River while the smaller slough, which the Camp Weeott road follows, is Cheney Slough. Dago Bend pool is just above Camp Weeott at the western tip of Cock Robin Island. The river surrounds the island with East Lake or Eastlick Slough or pool on the south and the meandering Eel on its north. Next is Fulmor pool, then Dungan's, Lytle, Snag and Singley. Singley is the first pool below Fern Bridge and, naturally, Fernbridge pool is under and above the big bridge. Palmer Creek pool is next, then Harris, Miller, East Ferry, Bryant and Jetty pools. The Jetty pool is downstream from the end of the Grizzly Bluff road where it goes on out into the gravel bar directly east of Grizzly Bluff school. Above the old Grizzly Bluff road are the Early, Pollard and Van Duzen pools with the Van Duzen pool being any place in the neighborhood of Weymouth summer bridge. Above the Weymouth bridge are the Renner, Weymouth, and Howe Creek pools. Beyond that the pools are far apart, separated by long shallow riffles. One of the best of these latter pools is High Rock pool, a mile or so below the junction of the South Fork of Eel and the main Eel River at Dyerville.

FE (9 March 1951) Eel River Steelie tops Nat'l Contest--Probably the most important sum of money in Ferndale this week was a $25 check made out by "Outdoor Life" magazine to Arthur Dedini. The check, a reasonably generous payment for a few hours pleasure, was also accompanied by a citation stating Mr. Arthur Dedini of Ferndale, California, had caught the second largest rainbow trout in the magazine's national fishing contest for 1950. The Dedini catch was listed in the Western Rainbow Trout, Fly Casting Division.

A "steelhead" to all us outlanders, the prize fish weighed 14 pounds 13 ounces and was caught just above the Harris pool on Eel River January 3, 1950. Art says he was "just under the wire," for the Eel started to rise on January 7 and its muddy water stopped fishing for that part of the season. He modestly admits his steelie would not have been so near the top if fishing in the Eel had been good this fall but the Eel's rise on October 28 stopped the best of the end-of-the-year fishing also.

FE (27 April 1951) Careful Friend, Don't fish There!--Trout season opens tomorrow except--and we emphasize "except"--in waters tributary to the Pacific Ocean in Humboldt County and that includes every flowing stream in the county. You can fish in the county tomorrow, if you must, but be certain you confine your efforts to Big, Stone, Freshwater or Clam Beach Lagoons...

Bag limits are 15 trout, salmon or whitefish but not more than 10 pounds and one fish.

A half million anglers are expected to whiplash California streams which do open to trout fishing tomorrow.

FE (28 Sept. 1951) Fishermen to try for many Prizes in Sunday Derby--$2,000 in prizes will be distributed to winners in the fifth annual Eel River Fish Derby to be held Sunday...

[The derby's outcome was never reported in subsequent issues and there was no "Let's Go Fishing" column in 1951.]

FE (2 Nov. 1951) Eel River Clears Again for Fishing--Salmon fishing has improved in the past week following the rains which raised Eel River to some extent and muddied all the streams. But fishing reports came from around Weymouth where Mrs. Ed Nielson landed three salmon on Monday at the Weymouth pool. Rae Wright also landed three on Tuesday near the mouth of the Van Duzen. Mrs. Jane Farley reported a 15-pounder caught near Camp Weeott Sunday...

FE (19 Sept. 1952) Lower Eel Fishing Beginning to show some Signs of Life--Fishing in the Eel River has shown some signs of action with a few salmon being taken daily in the lower Eel River pools and spasmodic catches as far up stream as Fernbridge pool. So far the tides have had little effect on the trolling and fish have been taken on anything from a low to a high tide provided the seaweed and moss has not been too heavy. Half-pounders have provided considerable excitement for the casters who line the banks morning and evening generally around the Snag and lower Fernbridge pools.

Harold Farley reported yesterday that the Dago Bend area was getting fairly good with at least one salmon being taken daily by the regulars on the pools. Sam Swenson of Loleta says he has never seen so many salmon in Dungan's pool and Louie Biondini of Loleta brightens this statement by adding that Dungans came to life Tuesday with many strikes accounting for several good catches. Ferndale enthusiasts have been specializing on the Fernbridge pool. Fifteen or twenty boats are on the pool each morning to make it crowded but still roomy enough to make it worth while. Emil Berti brought in two salmon at Fernbridge Wednesday morning and Charlie Branstetter landed one the same morning. Randall Branstetter landed a 15-pounder Tuesday morning at Fernbridge but his fishing partner, Lee Petersen, has as yet failed to break into the charmed circle. Harold Lauridsen is also on the list of lucky ones.

The Ferndale Chamber of Commerce boat dock at Fulmor pool is filling up nicely with about twenty boat spaces already taken for the season. Docking privileges are $10...[and] there is room for about another twenty boats at the dock...

FE (3 Oct. 1952) Eel River Derby Ready for Sunday--The Sixth Annual Eel River Fish Derby, sponsored by the Loleta Chamber of Commerce, will be held this year on Sunday, October 5, starting at sunrise and continuing until 3:30 p.m...Fishing grounds from upper end of Dungan's pool (Mozzini slough) to mouth of the Eel River. No fishing in any other sloughs or bays.

FE (10 Oct. 1952) Loletan Takes 1st in Eel River Derby--Hundreds of Northern California anglers and thousands of spectators took part in the Sixth Annual Eel River Fish Derby Sunday which saw Louis Biondini of Loleta claim the first prize outboard motor with a 29-pound catch...

John Peterson, Arcata, won the second prize...with a 28-pound catch while Mrs. Curtis Meng of Loleta took third place and the $75 fishing outfit with a fish weighing 25 pounds, 12 ounces. Fourth, fifth and sixth prizes...went to the following: Don Yarger, Loleta, 25 lbs.; H.B. Boutwell, Loleta, 24 lbs. 8 oz.; and C.E. Hackett, Eureka, 24 lbs. 5 oz.

FE (21 Nov. 1952) Eel River Fishing good this Weekend--Eel River was expected to be clear enough for good fishing this weekend with a number of sharp, cold days holding off more rainfall. The river raised a foot or two from the inch and a half of rain last week, giving the schools of trapped salmon [a] chance to go on up stream for spawning. The heavier flow of fresh water poured on out into the Pacific and may have issued an invitation to additional schools of Eel River bound salmon to come on up.

FE (5 Dec. 1952) Fishing Shot...Eel River fishing continued fairly good until Tuesday of this week when the water began to rise. Many anglers took advantage of the weekend fishing and several good catches were reported. Heavy rain in the mountain regions started Eel River to rising by Tuesday night and on Wednesday most of the river bar at Fernbridge was covered.

The storm which started Wednesday night and blanketed northern California with moderate rain yesterday will keep the river muddy and above fishing level at least over the coming weekend.

FE (3 April 1953) Ferndale Creeks now State's First Junior Fishing Reserve; Gov. Warren Signs Bill; Shows Enthusiasm by Donating $10 to Start Stream Restocking Fund--Ferndale has had many "firsts" in its history as a California community and its people look back on them with pride. This week Ferndale is at the biginning of a new first--an idea which began in the community, gained strength locally and expanded to win unanimous legislative approval. Late Wednesday afternoon the chief executive of California, Governor Earl Warren, gave enthusiastic support to the Ferndale proposal when he affixed his signature to Senate Bill 125 creating a Junior Fishing Reserve in streams in and about Ferndale [Francis, Williams and Reas], the first of any California streams to be reserved wholly for the fishing pleasure of children [14 and under], the first Junior Fishing Reserve in the state...

FE (29 May 1953) Tomorrow Big Day for Fishermen; but bad Day for Trout--Trout season is officially open in this area tomorrow morning at sunrise but no one is particularly excited about it--least of all the trout. Humboldt County streams from the ocean beach back into the Trinity mountains are running as much water as they do in a normally wet January or February. Too much water, too muddy, and too much natural feed will keep bag limits down to a minimum if anyone is willing to try his luck.

...Eel River, never good so early, is two to three feet above its normal late spring flow. Local coastal creeks like Fleener, Guthrie, Oil, Singley and Davis creeks were clearing to a murky shade not too bad for spinner or bait but were all running pretty swift and full. Bait or lures in these streams will have to be more than fancy to attract many of the well-fed trout.

Francis, Reas, and Williams creeks have cleared fairly well but are still running too much water for good fishing. Clear weather will make them perfect for the closing of schools in a week to ten days...

FE (29 May 1953) Random Thoughts By Waldner--For those who might wonder about the size of trout to be caught in the three streams now reserved for junior fishermen--we refer them to a window display in the Citizens Furniture. Those preserved cutthroat trout were caught in Francis, Reas, and Williams creeks in late April and would give any fisherman a thrill. No one broke the law; Col. Ronald Ring caught them on a special scientific research permit.

FE (3 July 1953) California Out-Of-Doors--The Department of Fish and Game reports the largest number of steelhead trout in nine years in the South Fork of the Eel River. The department says it counted nearly 20,000 steelhead ascending the Benbow dam fishway on their way to upstream spawning grounds in April. This would amount to an increase of some 40 percent over the run last year.

FE (21 Aug. 1953) Junior Fishing Reserve Report. Col. Ring Completes Study of Streams--Early this summer the state legislature and Governor Earl Warren established a sports fishing area in Ferndale and vicinity that is unique in this state and equalled only in few other states of the union. The legislation, supported enthusiastically by Senator Arthur Way, created a Junior Fishing Reserve in the three small streams on the Ferndale watershed, Francis, Reas, and Williams Creeks...

Local people who had supported the legislation believed the next step had to be a comprehensive study of the streams and their fish life. In this they were fortunate in interesting Col. Ronald Ring, USA (Ret.), who has donated several months of his time to an exhaustive survey and made his personal recommendations for stream improvement from his findings. Col. Ring's report is published in full in this issue of the Enterprise.

Few if any persons could be as specifically qualified to make the survey as Col. Ring. The son of Dr. and Mrs. H.J. Ring of this city, he became an ardent sportsman as a youngster and fished the three streams innumerable times as a boy. After graduating from Ferndale High he attended the University of California and was enrolled in a pre-med course when World War I called him into army service...He served through World War II and retired with the rank of colonel after its conclusion.

Following his long army service, he enrolled at Oregon State University where he majored in a two-year course of Wildlife Conservation. Returning to Humboldt recently, he has been making his home with Mrs. Ring at Camp Weeott and his study of the local streams has been by special permit from the state.

Col. Ring's complete report is as follows:

A Tentative Report on Cutthroat Trout

in the Tributaries of Salt River

During the period April 24-28, 1952, specimens of Salmonoids were taken from the main tributaries of the Salt River as follows:

Williams Creek--

6 Cutthroat trout-- 8 1\2 to 15 1\2"

1 Silver salmon--5 1\2"


1. These fish were apparently stopped by low water conditions in pools below two dams. The Cutthroat were trying desperately to get over these dams with no success. (For a description of the type dam see Comment 4 in the Overall Summation.) Both of these dams were constructed many years ago. The lower one is about 300 yards from the creek junction with Salt river (tide water) and the two dams are about 150 yards apart. Two Cutthroat and one Silver salmon were taken below the lower dam and the other four Cutthroat below the upper dam. All Cutthroat were trying desperately to get over these dams. They would make short leaps and swim vigorously in the thin sheet of water then drop back exhausted usually less than half way up the face of the dam. At the rate of effort it was estimated that better than 50 fish were in the upper pool and less than half that number in the lower one.

2. Typical fresh water coloration was mostly absent. Only one showed a faint orange red at the throat.

3. Two females in the upper pool spawned loosely even under careful handling.

4. Small Silver salmon are prevalent in the tide water of Salt river and the one taken was probably an opportunist that had moved up to feed on loose spawn.

5. Collections on this and all other creeks were made using angle worms as bait.

6. Scale readings have not been made of any of the specimens taken.

Francis Creek--

6 Cutthroat trout--5 1\4 to 6 1\4"


1. Two unsuccessful attempts to collect were made below the lower dams on this creek.

2. The specimens taken were on a hundred yard stretch about 2 1\2 miles upstream from Ferndale on the Silva ranch. Some brush and trees lined the banks and many years ago it was a spawning area.

3. Coloration: spotting was distinct with but little evidence of pink, red or orange. Throat coloration was faint but distinguishable.

4. Condition: small but sturdy and well fed.

Reas Creek--

6 Cutthroat trout--5 1\4 to 6 1\2"

2 Rainbow trout (young Steelhead)--6 1\2 to 7"


1. Collection was purposely made on a non-spawning open field area (Chapin ranch) with the objective of taking young (yearling) fish moving downstream. This area had no trees or brush of any quantity along the stream and the few small holes (1 to 2 feet deep) offered little cover except turbulence.

2. Color and condition factors for Cutthroat were the same as for Francis Creek.

3. The Rainbow trout were in good condition although somewhat longer and more slender than the Cutthroat. Not even a faint pink or red coloration was noted and they are believed to be young Steelhead. (Attention is invited to Comment 7 under Summation.)

4. This small creek runs a slightly less volume of water than the other three.

Russ Creek--

3 Cutthroat trout-- 5 1\2 to 11"


1. The smallest (5 1\2") trout was taken below the upper dam at Fern Cottage. Its condition and coloration were similar to those taken in Francis and Reas creeks. There was no evidence, either at this or the dam 300 yards above, that any large number of spawning fish had failed to get upstream. Forty to fifty years ago large numbers of mature fish were frequently stopped at this time of the year by low water.

2. The larger trout (9 1\2 and 11") were apparently a spawning pair and were taken below the upper dam. Continued effort failed to obtain more fish and none were observed attempting to scale the dam. No further fishing effort was made at any point on this stream.

a. The condition of these two trout was exceptionally good--deep and stocky.

b. The female showed little coloration but the male was unusually vivid. The cheeks, sides and throat were blood red. In fact, on landing the fish it appeared at first to be bleeding profusely. Of the many cutthroat taken in Oregon this Reas Creek fish was more outstandingly colored. Both fish appeared ripe to spawn and a favorable gravel spawning riffle ran down from the pool.

Overall Summation


1. The four streams sampled form the main drainage network of the Salt river. Other small tributaries are either seasonally wet or too small to support fish life in any but negligible quantity. The Salt river gives evidence of having been a drainage bed of the main Eel river. Since white settlement it has been a tidal slough.

2. Forty to fifty years ago all of these main tributaries had fine runs of Cutthroat trout. Cropping commenced on April 1st and the fishing effort (with minor exceptions) ceased about mid-May. Fine catches up to 18" long were made yearly by both adults and children with the latter predominating. (Personal observation and experience corroborated by older fishermen still present in the Eel river valley.) During the summer and fall only a few fish over 7" long remained in the deepest holes. Not knowing the migratory habits of these fish it was always a source of surprise when the large runs came back each year. There was little evidence of the streams being used by other salmonid species although occasional strays were reported.

In recent years reports of local fishermen indicate a decrease in these runs.

3. Many years ago the streams were well lined with timber and brush in the hilly reaches and, even after they entered the valley floor of the Eel river, their progress was marked by alders, willows and brush. Embedded logs assisted in forming holes 5 to 6 feet deep. Rearing conditions for small fish were [sic] excellent with fair water level through the summer and fall.

Today stream ecology is materially changed. Much of the vegetation (trees and brush) has been removed. Old logs have rotted out and in places the streams have been channelized into ditches which are quite shallow during low water. There is a noticeable absence of deep holes along the entire course of the streams. Rearing conditions for young fish are noticeably poorer. The Salt river particularly in the upper part is filling up. Summer and fall water levels of these creeks are lower. There is little to encourage the adult fish to recondition in these streams after spawning and spring rains are over.

4. The dams, one or more of which exist on all of these streams, are of the same type. They are concrete structures (some over 50 years old) with retaining walls, a broad level spillway lip, and an inclining flat face which runs only a thin sheet of water at low levels. At this time they are too high to jump and the water too thin to swim up. However during high water the fish traverse these dams with little difficulty. A necessity for providing migratory ladders was probably not known or required at the time of construction.

It is believed that, in usual years of precipition, these dams offer little or no barrier to the bulk of the runs. However, it is not infrequent that the April fish are trapped below these dams and do not complete the breeding cycle. Under existing regulations these trapped trout cannot be legally taken and most or all of them will have returned to tidewater before the opening date of the season. The possibility of material decrease in the runs, caused by two or more successive years of unfavorable spring water levels, does exist.

The inclining faces of these dams seldom exceed eight feet and it is believed that the simple expedient of chipping the spillway at a point 1 1\2 feet wide and 1 1\2 inches deep would concentrate a falling sheet of water, without retaining sides, that would be traversable at all times. It is also believed that it would be better to use the approximate center of the lip than to attempt to use a present concrete wall as a retaining side.

5. Fishing effort this year indicated success in the following order: Williams, Russ, Francis and Reas. However, Francis probably took the heaviest fishing effort. The few holes in the lower streams produced the best results. Only a few limit catches were made and a number of large fish, one reported at 2 1\4 pounds, were taken. Although most of these were taken on the upper river below the mouth of Williams creek, a few large fish were taken below Port Kenyon.

The condition factor of the spent fish was good. Even when the season was opened on the first of April, spent fish appeared to be in good condition. It is significant that their flesh was prized at that time in a community which was sensitive to salmonoid deterioration and often rejected as unfit salmon that had been too long in fresh water--even in the tidewater of the Eel river.

6. Sticklebacks, creek lampreys and salamanders are found in all of these creeks but the predominant game fish life is Cutthroat trout.

7. In regard to the young steelhead taken in Reas creek, local information from several persons indicates that plantings of young hatchery "Rainbow" were made in Francis, Russ, and Reas creeks sometime in the early 1930's. A few mature Steelhead have been reported moving up Reas creek to spawn.

8. Professor John DeWitt, head of the Fisheries Department of Humboldt State College, has examined several small (5 1\2 to 6 1\2" approx.) specimens of Cutthroat trout taken from these streams and states that some are mature fish. This would indicate a small creek adaptation voluntarily landlocked.

9. In some rivers of Oregon a late summer and early fall fishery exists on Sea Run Cutthroat trout (usually called "Bluebacks" locally). These runs consists largely of mature fish that will spawn during the following early spring. However, at this time (fall) they move in and out of the tidal basin, without going above tidewater. The Salt river appears to offer the same ecological conditions as these Oregon rivers but no such fishery has been developed.

10. In regard to the development of Williams, Francis and Reas creeks as a recreational fishing project (recent Bill) for children: The State Department of Fish and Game, civic organizations of Ferndale, and individuals have contributed to a fine start. Most heartening of all is the cooperative spirit which has been evidenced by the landholders along the stream banks. However, there is still much to be done to fully develop the potential of this fine undertaking.

11. Pollution tests have not been undertaken. From observation, it is believed pollution within this drainage unit is not highly detrimental to the breeding runs due to the cleansing action of high water levels at that time. However, during low water, toxicity, low oxygen, and higher temperatures will lower the rearing potential and may be detrimental to reconditioning adults.

Francis creek below Ferndale probably has the highest pollution factor but this will be abated somewhat when the new sewage system (now under construction) is completed. Farm and home pollution is known to exist on all of these streams but remedial abatement is possible.


1. That Sea Run Cutthroat Trout still use all of these streams, with the possible exception of Russ creek,* for spawning. That it is the original and predominant species of Salmonidae indigenous to these waters. The period for spawning is probably late February to early April. A few will overlap at both ends.

*(An additional tide control dam added in recent years may have partially or completely stopped the runs. Present fish may be landlocked.)

The species exists in sufficient numbers to sustain the present rearing capacity of the creeks and permit cropping after mid-April. That a short open season (April 15 to June 30, both dates incl.) would offer better cropping in the creeks and prevent molestation of the young during low water.

That yearly plantings of Sea Run Cutthroat fingerlings should be made in these creeks which should be concurrent with stream improvement and immediately following the closure of the season (July 1). That such plantings should start in 1954 and cease when the full rearing potential of the improved streams has been balanced. That by this method a high cropping level can be reached which will be based on natural restoration and interim (4 years, est.) supplementation by plantings. That the number of fingerlings planted each year be determined for each creek on the basis of stream surveys. It is believed that fingerling mortality in these streams will be fairly low due to the absence of predatory adults of the same or any other species. This last statement is predicated on July plantings.

That by this method prescribed, a sustained natural fishery will be built without creating an artificial condition by the planting of larger trout for cropping. The latter neither encourages stream improvement nor has any permanent balance.

3. That a small stream adaptation of the Cutthroat species, which completes its entire life cycle in fresh water, also exists in these creek (Prof. DeWitt's investigations coupled with reports of local fishermen).

That the development of a fishery, based exclusively on this adapted small form, would neither be an abundant nor an attractive one. Present and\or future stream ecology will favor a more satisfactory and abundant fishery on the Sea Run form.

The comparatively small size (8 1\2 to 18")* of this Sea Run Cutthroat (as compared to the same species in the waters of Oregon) indicates that even this form is the result of small creek influence. A possibility does exist that this fish does not go to sea but spends the low water period in the tidewater of Salt river. Although a similar adaptation is not known of by this investigator, and is considered improbable, further investigation should be made.

*(18" is the longest fish authentically recorded although the 2 1\2 pound fish reported may have been longer. Very few are taken over 14" in length.)

4. That present stream ecology can be materially improved and the fish runs increased under the guidance of the State Department of Fish and Game. That full cooperation can be expected from the public concerned.

5. That the tidal slough of Salt river, with its fresh water tributaries and fish life, forms a unit which should be separately managed. That the clearly defined drainage network, coupled with a minimum overlapping or intermingling of salmonoid species, forms an ideal management unit that can be dealt with by itself and without interference with the management of other fish life of the main Eel river and its other tributaries. That the management requisites for the recreational project, which includes the three tributaries (Williams, Francis and Reas creeks), should be paramount in the overall management of this unit. That such consideration will not conflict with efficient overall management.

6. That no further plantings of species, other than Sea Run Cutthroat, should be made in this unit.


1. That the Salt river and its tributaries be managed as a separate unit.

2. That a fishery, based on Sea Run Cutthroat trout, be fully developed within this unit.

3. That the following management procedures be undertaken:

a. an educational program for the people particularly the youthful fishermen, residing in the area. This to be conducted by the Public Relations Section of the California Department of Fish and Game and cover:

(1) Stream improvement.

(2) Pollution abatement.

(3) Stream and Fish management.

(4) Conservation and sustained yield.

b. Commencing in 1953:

(1) Stream surveys to determine corrective measures to be taken before the fall rainy season commences.

(2) Alteration of dams on the creeks to insure fish migration during low water. This to be effected without materially affecting the functional efficiency of the dam and without expense to the landholder.

c. Commencing in 1954:

(1) An open season from April 15 to June 30 (both dates inclusive).

(2) Fingerling plantings of Sea Run Cutthroat trout to be made following the closure (June 30, 1954). The number to be predicated upon the full carrying capacity of each stream as determined by a Department Fish Biologist.

d. On a four year plan:

(1) Continue efforts and provisions under a, b, and c preceding.

(2) Continue yearly plantings to include 1957.

e. That "Dingle Bill" funds be appropriated for the following use:

(1) Alteration of dams.

(2) Other stream or recreational improvements made under the supervision of the California Department of Fish and Game when performed by:

(a) A contracting agency.

(b) A responsible civic organization.

(c) A landholder concerned.

4. That no further plantings of other than Sea Run Cutthroat trout be made in this unit.

5. That further investigations be made to verify or disprove the comments, conclusions, and recommendations made in this report. That such investigations be made by one or more qualified fish biologists.

Investigations and Report by:

Ronald L. Ring

Col. U.S.A. Ret.

FE (11 Sept. 1953) Getting Ready for Eel Salmon Fishing; but no one Rushed--With a few reports of salmon being taken in Eel River, local sports fishermen began getting their boats into the river and warming up their outboard motors this week. Like all early season salmon catches the reports have been unconfirmed but exciting.

The fishing dock at the end of the Fulmor Road is providing space for a number of local boats and will probably be filled to capacity within a short time...

FE (2 Oct. 1953) Eel River Fish Derby Sunday; River in Great Condition for Event--Loleta's Chamber of Commerce sponsored seventh annual Eel River fish derby will get underway at sunrise (6:15 a.m.) Sunday morning to provide a full day of sports fishing with special awards going to both participants and spectators...Fishing grounds from the upper end of Dungan's pool (Mozzini Slough) to the mouth of the Eel River. No fishing in any other sloughs or bays...

FE (23 Oct. 1953) [Two photos with captions] Eel River fishermen who use the boat landing at Fulmor's have one of the most protected and ideally located docks on the river. In a narrow finger of the river extending southeast into the Ferndale side, it lies about half way between Cock Robin Island and Dungan. A heavy growth of trees on each side of the short backwater stops most of the storms which whip the river and damage many boats elsewhere in early winter storms.

The finger of water lies on the Fulmor property and arrangements were made several years ago by the Ferndale Chamber of Commerce to lease the approach and open the area to public use. Operating the landing dock as a public convenience proved impractical for the local civic group and this year its management was turned over to Mr. and Mrs. Henry Christensen...

FE (28 May 1954) Fishermen can get out on the Streams Bright and Early--Fishing season will open in the northern California area tomorrow morning at one hour before sunrise with good prospects for early trout in nearly all of the smaller streams from the coast into the mountains. Daily catches are limited to 15 trout...

The Ferndale Junior Fishing Reserve, established by the state legislature last year, will be in its second season and provides that three local streams shall be reserved for fishing by youngsters not over 14 years of age...

FE (11 June 1954) [Photo with caption] Proof which should make adult fishermen envious was brought out of Ferndale's Junior Fishing Reserve by Kenneth (Butch) Steeves last week when he landed the two oversize trout he proudly displays in picture. The large trout was 16 1\2 inches long and weighed a pound. The "little one" weighed a half pound and was a mere 12 inches long. Both were caught by Butch fishing alone in a pool on the upper portion of Reas Creek, one of the three streams in the Ferndale Junior Fishing Reserve.

Reports of similar catches by local youngsters have been made but Butch's prizes were the first of the season. Donald O'Connell landed a 15 inch cutthroat in Reas Creek after the Steeves' haul...

FE (1 Oct. 1954) Eel River Fish Derby Sunday--Loleta's 8th annual Eel River Fish Derby will take place on the lower Eel River Sunday...

FE (8 Oct. 1954) Eureka Sportsmen win top Prizes in Sunday Fish Derby--Loleta's annuual Eel River Derby first prize Sunday went appropriately to J.E. Fish of Eureka. Mr. Fish landed a salmon weighing 25 pounds two ounces. Mrs. Wally Strong of Eureka came in with a 25 pound salmon to take second place and third place went to George Larsen of Eureka with a 23 1\2 pounder. A 19 1\2 pound salmon caught by Tex Barker of Eureka won fourth place...

FE (26 Aug. 1955) To Begin Study of Eel River Fish Life--According to George Black, biologist with the Fish and Wildlife Service at Eureka, a large-scale cooperative study with the Fish and Wildlife Service and Department of Fish and Game will soon get underway in the Eel River system.

The purpose of this study is first to determine the size of the salmon and steelhead runs on each major tributary of the Eel River drainage; second to determine the amount of spawning gravel available under various flow conditions; third to test different types of gear and techniques which can be extended to other streams of the North Coast area.

The United States Bureau of Reclamation is furnishing funds to finance the federal share of the project.

As part of the program in the lower Eel, a weir will be established near Fortuna. Fish migrating upstream will be tagged with green tags at this point and released above the weir.

Checks on the progress of fish migration will be made in the following ways: The California Department of Fish and Game counting station will report tagged fish at Van Arsdale station on the main Eel; Benbow Dam and Cedar Creek counting stations will report tagged fish on the South Fork Eel. The Fish and Wildlife Service will operate three large traps in the Eel below Dos Rios, recording fish going up the Middle Fork and main Eel. Recoveries of fish on spawning gravel will be made on the main spawning streams by a joint program between the State and Federal agencies. Black requests the whole-hearted cooperation of sportsmen in returning tags to the California Department of Fish and Game. This will give valuable information on the sportsmen take, helping to give an assessed value on the sport fishing on the Eel and determine ways of improving it.

The physical survey of spawning gravel on the Eel will be made under different flow conditions throughout the summer and winter at six mile-long stations. These stations will be located on the South Fork, North Fork, Van Duzen, Middle Fork and main Eel.

FE (11 Nov. 1955) [Photo caption] Randall Branstetter came back to Ferndale with two of the season's biggest salmon from Eel River early Saturday morning. The salmon in his right hand weighed 42 pounds and the other 36 pounds. Both were taken at Snag pool Saturday morning on trolling equipment. The big fish were fresh from the ocean and in perfect condition. A 30-pounder was brought in to Ferndale the day before by Don Slocum.

FE (23 Dec. 1955) Worst Flood!