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California. Dept. of Fish and Garre.
Biennial Report 1952-1954.

I California. Dept. of Fish and Game.
Biennial Report 1952-1954.

(bound volume)

JCalifornia. Dept. of Fish and Game,
n Biennial Report 1952-1954.


(bound volume)

California Resources Agency Library

1416 9th Street, Room 117

Sacramento, California 95814



Department of

^'» ,^^jf%



1952 - 1954







of the


November, 1954




William J. Silva, Chairman, Modesto

Lee F. Payne, Los Angeles Carl F. Wente, San Francisco

Harley E. Knox, Son Diego Weldon L. Oxiey, Redding



Letter of Transmittal 4

Report of the Director 7

Water Projects 1 7

Wildlife Protection 2 1

Inland Fisheries 2 7

Game Management 45

Marine Fisheries 5 9

Appendices 79









Goodwin J. Knight


Seth Gordon



^i>partxitatt ai ^xbI] dxth (§nmt


His Excellency, Goodwin J. Knight

Governor of the State of California
Sacramento, California


A\'c have the honor to submit herewith the Forty-third Biennial Re-
port, covering the period July 1, 1952, through June 30, 1954.

This report covers the period during which the department put into
effect the decentralized reorganization plan established by the Legisla-
ture on June 1, 1951, and the transfer of headquarters from San Fran-
cisco to Sacramento, to create a more efficient operating agency.

In addition the report contains accounts of activities and plans of the
Wildlife Conservation Board, the Marine Research Committee, and the
various branches of the department in fostering the conservation and
wise uses of California's wildlife resources.

A summary of important policy decisions of the Fish and Game Com-
mission and important new legislation affecting fish and game also is

Respectfully submitted.








Hunfing, angling license buyers continue fo increase.
Deparfmenfal reorganization plan placed in effect.
Water projects added as staff function.
Ten-year plan presented to legislative committees.
Conservation education activity stepped up.


"Conservation Is the Triim/ph of Cormnon Sense Over Ignorance and Greed'"

—California Junior Chamber of Commerce

Believing that an informed public is the best guarantee of wise use of California's wildlife resources,
and fully able to judge the effectiveness of conservation programs to tiiat end, the department con-
solidated and materially strengthened its program of conservation education during the past two years
in an effort to keep abreast of the ever-increasing population pressures and the record numbers of
anglers and hunters afield in California.

At the same time the task of maintaining, protecting
and increasing, where possible, fish and wildlife re-
sources, consolidating gains effected by reorganization
on a decentralized plan passed by the Legislature in
1951 and making long-range plans for the future,
were major goals of everv department emplo\'ce.

Indications are that the complexity of these tasks
will increase rather than decrease or reach a plateau
in the years to come. During the past two years the
numbers of anglers and hunters increased at a rate
even faster than the tremendous population gains
which show no signs of slackening.

In 1952 the number of license holders was 1,600,000.
As of the close of the biennium there were 1,871,000
or a gain of one-fifth in only two years. This in-
creased army of hunters and fishermen made their
presence known with continuing requests for more
fish in the streams and lakes, more game birds and
mammals, and more places to hunt and fish.

As cities grew larger and more and more lands
were developed for intensive agriculture and industry,
resulting in material loss of wildlife habitat, need and
demand grew for assured public access to hunting and
fishing areas heretofore unreachable.

Other lovers of the out-of-doors who do not
hunt, but enjoy and make use of California's wild-
life resources in other ways are also concerned with
expanded access.

Recreational Attractions

Ironically, one of the main factors in bringing to
California this tremendous migration has been this
State's great and unparalleled year-long recreational
attractions, including its opportunities for hunting
and fishing. Thus the numbers of outdoorsmen who
become new residents of California add to the pres-
sure on wildlife in greater proportion than normallv-

In spite of these conditions the Department of Fish
and Game was able to show substantial progress in
many wildlife management fields. Its hatchery and
trout planting program, expansion of waterfowl
management areas where the public can hunt, more
cooperative pheasant hunting areas, big game man-
agement, stream improvement, upland game habitat

improvements, and- efforts to make available closed
areas have made substantial contributions to the over-
all wildlife picture.

The darkest picture, and one of constant concern
to the department, is the condition of the ocean fish-
eries. During the biennium the State's commercial
ocean catch dropped to a 20-year low. Sardines as a
commercial catch have virtually disappeared from
offshore waters. Alarming danger signals are being
observed in the anchovv and Pacific mackerel fishery.
Warnings of this condition have been made repeatedly
by department scientists. On the other hand ocean
sportsfishing has increased materiallv in recent years,
and shows signs of matching inland angling in popu-
larity with Californians.

The responsibilit\' of the California Department
of Fish and Game in these significant times is clear.
Its primary duty, in conjunction with its policy-
making body, the Fish and Game Commission, is to
perpetuate, manage, and, a\ here possible to increase
the wildlife resources of the State, consistent with
their wise use and habitat needs.

Appreciation for Outdoors

These responsibilities become greater and more
difficult to effect, not only because of the increased
numbers of hunters and fishermen, but through pres-
sures of advancing civilization and growth. It has
become a matter of integrating a sound wildlife
management program with a burgeoning industrial
and agricultural growth, so that the California citizen
of today and tomorrow can continue to develop an
appreciation for outdoor living and the character
building values derived therefrom.

Encouraging signs have been developing in the
philosophy of forward thinking Californians along
these lines during the past two years. Planners are
beginning to find a place for outdoor life and
recreational possibilities in their schemes of future
development. The Department of Fish and Game has
and will continue to encourage this important trend
of thinking.

Important as long-range planning is to our wild-
life resource, the problem of meeting angling and


This icene on the Son Gabriel River on opening day of fhe J 954 Irout

svoson illusirolei Ihe kind of fishing pressure California's streams and

lakes are getiing.

hunting pressure on a da\-to-day basis reaches pro-
portions w hich are hard to visualize. In two years the
number of licensed hunters and fishermen has in-
creased b\- 300,000. Many of them are trout fishermen
who expect to fill their creels in spite of the fact that
natural reproduction of wild fish has reached the
point of no return in many streams and lakes. Thou-
.sands are pheasant hunters expecting success in areas
where agriculture and urban expansion have cut
natural habitat alarmingh". Duck hunters increase
while more and more marsh land, absolutely neces-
sar\' to the species, is being reclaimed and developed.

Habitat Improvement

To keep apace with these pressures, the department
has embarked on programs of habitat improvement in
field and stream; game management to attain a balance
between numbers of deer, existing range forage, and
hunter harvest; a vast program of planting catchable
trout in roadside waters where fingerling planting has
reached the point of no return; constant efforts to
improve streams through flow maintenance dams,
clearance of obstructions, removal of trash fish and
restocking with desirable species; a program of screen-
ing irrigation water diversions to keep all fish in the
rivers, and ladders to preserve migratorv fish such as
salmon and steelhcad; watering devices for quail, main-
tained game farms, and developed waterfowl manage-
ment areas.

The problem of reducing waterfowl depredations on
agricultural crops has been attacked with increasing
success. Land and water development agencies now
are working more closely with the department in plan-
ning for future water conservation structures and

A stepped-up program of hunter safety was inaugu-
rated during the latter part of the biennium as a result
of far-sighted action by the State Legislature. This leg-
islation required hunters under the age of 16 years,
applying for a license for the first time, to show evi-
dence of at least four hours instruction in handling
firearms, and in the rudiments of hunter safety and

Plans were completed for a department-wide train-
ing program designed to increase the operating effi-
ciency of Fish and Game personnel and thus save thou-
sands of dollars of license fees and other funds which
can be diverted to more productive channels.

This is the picture of the past two years. It is a pe-
riod of notable gains in many wildlife fields, reverses
in some others. It is a period of constantly expanding
hunting and fishing pressure, of lessons learned the
hard way, and of lessons learned in the field of depart-
mental research. It has been two years of new, bold
steps by the commission and the department in the
fields of fish and game management. Above and be-
yond all of these things, it has been a "shakedown
cruise" for departmental reorganization, and a period
for looking ahead.

10-year Estimate

Near the end of the biennium several legislative
groups, cognizant of all of these factors, requested that
the director prepare a 10-year estimate of future needs
of California fish and game. The estimate was pre-'
sented at a joint meeting of the Assembly Subcommit-
tee on Public Lands, Grazing and Forest Practice,
Assemblyman Lloyd W. Lowrey, Chairman; Senate
Interim Committee on Public Lands, Senator Edwin J.
Regan, Chairman; Assembly Committee on Agricul-
ture, Assemblyman George A. Clarke, Chairman;
Assembly Committee on Conservation, Planning, and
Public Works, Assemblyman Francis Lindsay, Chair-
man, on June 23, 1954.

This estimate, to be discussed at length in other parts
of this report, poses problems and implications directly
affecting millions of Californians, whether they be
hunters or fishermen, students of nature, photographers
of wildlife, disciples of Audubon, skin divers, or
merely lovers of the out-of-doors.

Needless to say, a fish and game department which
confined its efforts to problems of the day, season, or
biennium, would not be properly discharging its trus-
teeship to the people. The California Department of
Fish and Game has endeavored to, through research,
common sense and hard work, to meet and solve to-
da>'s problems. At the same time it is attempting to
anticipate those of the future. California's wildlife
heritage of today is worth hundreds of millions of
dollars annually to present residents of the State. With
an intelligent program for the future, carried out by
Lin enlightened citizenry, the value of that heritage to


generations of Californians yet unborn can be im-

Departmental Reorganization

During the past two years the Department of Fish
and Game has been undergoing a sweeping reorganiza-
tion, involving decentralization and reorientation of
functions and operations. As set up by the Fish and
Game Reorganization Act of 1951, the former Division
of Fish and Game became the Department of Fish and
Game with a director, appointed by the Governor, in
full charge of all administrative operations and per-
sonnel. At the beginning of the biennium, there still
was much to accomplish in the implementation of the
reorganization act, such as appointment of regional
managers, heads of the various staff functions, setting
up of physical facilities both in the field and at central

Through competitive examinations, interviews, and
careful screening, the most qualified men available
both in California and elsewhere were selected for
new positions in the department. Former bureau chiefs
were assigned to staff duties as heads of four new
branches. They were: Ben Glading, Game Manage-
ment; Alex J. Calhoun, Inland Fisheries; Richard S.
Croker, Marine Fisheries; and E. L. Macaulay, wild-
life protection. All are veterans of California Fish and
Game. Regional managers chosen were James D.
Stokes, Region I at Redding; Robert D. Montgomery,
Region II at Sacramento; Robert L. Jones, Region III
at San Francisco; William Morse, Region IV at Fresno;
and John F. Janssen, Region V at Los Angeles. Near
the end of the biennium Phil Roedel, formerly of the
Termmal Island Laboratory, became Manager of Re-
gion IV.

Primarily, the purposes of the reorganization were
to do a more businesslike job, to assure maximum re-
sults for the funds expended, and to bring adminis-
trative responsibility as close as possible to the people
being served.

Physically, this entailed moving the headquarters
from San Francisco to Sacramento, establishment of
the five regional offices, and integrating the work and
functions of the various field stations with their re-
gional administration. Each regional manager has com-
plete control of all operations, manpower and equip-
ment under his jurisdiction, with the exception of
Marine Fisheries and some research functions.

Policy-making Functions

Under the reorganization act, the Fish and Game
Commission continued its highly important policy-
making and regulatory functions, with the director
administering the department in conformance with
those policies.

Regional offices have relieved the central staff of
enormous volume of administrative work, allowing

time to be properly spent in planning and research.
The hunting and angling public now can call upon
five regional operating staffs familiar with the prob-
lems of the locality, and coordinated \\'ith a head-
quarters group responsible for state-wide planning and
research. Through decentralization, local .supervisors
of the various functions are located in the field where
they can take action based on intimate knowledge and
field work. Under the old s\'stem all of the top special-
ists were located at central headquarters in San Fran-
cisco w ith no coordination on the field level.

Administrativelx', streamlining of the Fish and Game
accounting office has made possible better budgeting
and distribution of budget status reports to the oper-
ating and staff functions early each month. This fur-
nishes the various functional supervisors current infor-
mation on expenditures and availability of funds, so
that programs can be carried out efficiently'.

Among other major accomplishments of the reor-
ganization on a line and staff basis -was establishment
on October 1, 1952, of a functioning conservation edu-
cation section at staff level, of a separate business
function, a change-over to a central pay roll s>stem,
including the decentralization of personal records, de-
centralization of the licensing functions, setting up of
a water projects and pollution section apart from the
branches, an engineering section centrally directed,
headquarters auto pool, central files, and a steno-
graphic pool.

The department's reorganization plan is the practi-
cal application of policies and practices long adhered
to by successful business organizations. In public af-
fairs in general, and within the California Department
of Fish and Game in particular, the aim is application

Game farms and most other management activities now are handled by
the regions. This is a view of the pens at China Game Farm.



of the same delegation of authoiity and fixed responsi-
bility for results. Especialix" important is the bringing
of that delegated authorit\- close enough to those who
are served, to resolve on the local level many of the
frictions and niisundcrstandings which cause grief and
loss of efficiencN", particularly in the field of wildlife

Drain on Reserve Decreases

.■\ major concern during the biennial period was the
problem of bringing expenditures in balance with reve-
nue. Marked progress was made in this direction.

.\n overdraft of S.HO.OOO for the Fiscal Year 1951-52
was made on the Fish and Game Preservation Fund
reserve of 56,124,499 which had been accumulated
during war \ears. The overdraft occurred before re-
organization was undertaken and generally resulted
from expansion of maintenance, operation and service
activities outlined as essential to preservation, protec-
tion and restoration of California wildlife resources
b\' tiic Wildlife Conservation Board in its report of
.May, 1950.

Through the 1952-54 Biennium during which reor-
ganization and decentralization took place, increases
in maintenance, operation and service expenditures
continued with the opening of more new hatcheries,
new \\aterfowl management areas, increase in cooper-
ative hunting acreage management, hunter safety pro-
gram and other similar activities. Such increased ex-
penditures were kept at a practical minimum and the
reorganized department was able to absorb much of
these activities with exi.sting personnel. Improved effi-
ciency of operation also was credited with helping to
reduce the overdraft of 5260,648 recorded at the end
of the 195.^ Fi.scal Year and the further reduction of
the overdraft to 5152,66.^ at the end of the 1954 Fiscal

This closing of the gap between expenditures and
revenue was accomplished during a period of rising
revenue, true, but the increased number of dollars re-
ceived was more than offset by the loss in value of
those dollars resulting from inflation.

Whether providing new services and absorption of
new operations by the existing organization had
reached its limit, and whether the point of maximum
efficiency under the reorganization plan had been
reached during the biennium could not be definitely

Fish and Game Commission

Importance of the five-member Fish and Game
Commission as a policy-making body, and in providing
strong leadership in the State's conservation program,
was highlighted during the biennium by numerous
decisions which are having far-reaching effects in both
conservation and in providing better hunting and an-
gling opportunities for millions of Californians.

Probably the most important of these was the pro-
mulgation of a new system of advance registration and
granting of reservations to hunt on state-controlled
waterfowl management areas. This matter was studied
thoroughly by the commission, and later became estab-
lished policy and was placed in effect for the 1954
waterfowl season. Believing that the unattached hunter
should have an opportunity for advance reservation of
hunting dates, the plan was studied from every angle,
and presented to various interested organizations for
review. Granting of reservations was to be made by
lot, with any vacancies to be filled on a first come,
first served basis.

Regulations governing cooperative hunting areas
were streamlined to assume more efficient manage-
ment, and to add areas which formerly could not
qualify for lack of size.

Sweeping amendments were made in existing pheas-
ant policies and new^ ones inaugurated to improve
hunting, and at the same rime to effect economies in
pheasant planting.

The commission set up a priority system for plant-
ing of birds raised on Department of Fish and Game
bird farms, with top priority on the basis of access by
the general public. A policy of providing as many
shootable birds without expansion of the game farms
was adopted.

Fighting for Existence

Recognizing that several species of important com-
mercial ocean fish are literally fighting for their exist-
ence in the face of heavy pressure, the commission
continued to press for a legislative program for author-
ity to control the catch of sardines, anchovies, Pacific

An advance registration system for waterfowl hunting areas was set up

by tfie Fish and Game Commission to eliminate long waiting lines like
this one at Colusa Refuge.



mackerel and jack mackerel as a fundamental resource
management tool. Its program along this line failed to
materialize by July, 1954. Public knowledge of the
condition of these resources increased materially dur-
ing this period and interest in protecting and maintain-
ing the species intensified.

At the same time members of the commission stood
firm on important policies designed to protect the
ocean fishery offshore. Its policy on oyster bed allot-
ments was strengthened, as was the regulation on
control of oyster pests in imports.

It denied permits for reduction of ocean fish as a
conservation measure, although permits for reductions
of specified ocean trash fish were granted.

Continued scrutiny and strengthening of regulations
concerning offshore blasting in seismic explorations
were carried on during the biennium.

In the implementation of its deer management pol-
icy, adopted the previous biennium, the commission
laid down rules and regulations for special deer hunts,
and decreed that various groups or individuals asking
for such special hunts prepare supporting evidence to
back their requests at public hearings.

As a result of a ruling by the Attorney General, the
commission abandoned its former policy concerning
planting of state-raised trout in certain private waters
of the State. Previously the commission had required
that owners of such private waters open at least a third
of their shore line to public fishing after state fish were
planted, but the opinion held that the commission was
without authority to impose this requirement.

Two new members of the commission were ap-
pointed during the biennium, including Harley E.
Knox, former Mayor of San Diego, succeeding Han-ey
E. Hastain of Brawley, and Weldon L. Oxley, insur-
ance executive of Redding, succeeding Paul Denny of
Etna. William J. Silva of /Modesto served as chairman
during 1953 and 1954. Other members of the commis-
sion at the biennium's conclusion were Carle F. Wente
of San Francisco and Lee F. Payne of Los Angeles.

Conservation Education

An important step in strengthening wildlife conser-
vation in California during the biennium was the coor-
dination and realignment of the department's entire
conservation education program.

It is based on the concept that ignorance and greed
are the two major enemies of wildlife, and an informed
public is the surest weapon with which to defeat these
twin enemies.

The new conservation education program of the
Department of Fish and Game is designed to make
available comprehensive information on California's
wildlife resources to as many people as possible,
through funds provided by the users of the resource
themselves. Although these funds come from hunting
and angling license holders and from commercial fish-




OR. Less

30 YARDS..

12 GA




MORE Birds than








D E P >

\ R





M t

Educational posters tike ft^is one help prevent wasteful long range
shooting of waterfowl. This sign is posted at all public shooting areas.

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