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California fish and game (Volume 1952-1954) online

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ermen, the wildlife resource belongs to all of the peo-
ple of California and the conservation education pro-
gram is designed to reach all of them.

The conservation education section was planned as
an important segment of the reorganization plan com-
pleted near the close of the last biennium, although the
section did not actually come into full operation until
earl\- in 1953 when Robert D. Calkins, iModesto ne\\s-
paperman, was appointed as first conservation educa-
tion director.

Conservation Education Activities

Activities of the section included dissemination of
information concerning general status and condition of
California wildlife, notices of open seasons, regulations,
conservation measures, and policies of the Fish and
Game Commission and the department. This was ac-
complished through releases, to newspapers, radio
stations and television stations, distribution of the



omong the medio for conservation education. This hatchery
model was shown o* the California State Fair.

monthly bulletin Outdoor California to license agents,
officials of organized sportsmen's groups, and others
whose positions require an up-to-date knowledge of
conservation matters, servicing of outdoor writers,
providing abstracts of angling and liunting regulations,
publications of angler's guides to promote fishing in
areas where heretofore pressure has been light, publi-
cation of pamphlets on various species of fish and
game, providing information to schools and civic or-
ganizations and explanation of various cooperative and
public hunting programs.

In addition the section mailed more than 100,000
pieces of literature in response to direct inquiries from
throughout the State concerning conservation and
wildlife questions, and distributed nearly 2,000,000
pieces of literature through license agents and other

.Another development of importance was the visual
aids program, in which seven motion pictures suitable
for showing both at public meetings and for television
were produced. Old film alread\- on hand was revised
and edited and two entirely new films were under way
at the clf)se of the bicnnium. Other visual aids included
exhibits for use at fairs, sports shows, and organization
gatherings. Also operated by the conservation section
is the library which contains conservation materials
for use of the staff, people, and sportsmen.

One basic change in the program was elimination of
a procedure under which conservation pamphlets were
produced for distribution, on request, to schools
throughout the State for elementary classroom use.
This uas on the recommendation of the Senate Interim
Committee on Fish and Game.

Publications on Sale

Another major change was that of a revised distribu-
tion policy and reduction in size of the California Fish
and Game scientific quarterly publication, and placing
of many department publications on sale at cost. It was
estimated that many thousands of dollars per year in
new revenue will be realized from the sale of depart-
mental printed materials. A portion of the savings real-
ized by reductions and cutbacks in technical publica-
tions was placed into the new monthly bulletin Out-
door Calif or7iia.

Total expenditures of the section during the first
full 12-month period of full operation were $151,309,
or 2 percent of the total department expenditure for
the period. This represented a cost of about one cent
per citizen. This percentage is the lowest of any com-
parable states, whose -wildlife resources are far less
valuable than those of California.

New Program Organized

During the biennium the section organized and su-
pervised a new program for hunter safety training
pursuant to action by the California Legislature. The
new law required that each hunter under 16 who had
not previously held a license must obtain a certificate
of competence in handling firearms by taking a course
of instruction supervised by the department. The
hunter safety training program of the National Rifle
Association was adopted and the NRA contributed its
services in developing the California program.

Efforts were continued to interest school administra-
tors and curriculum people in bringing conservation
instruction into the public schools of the State. At
present conservation is not recognized by state law as
a subject required in the curriculum, and there are
relatively few teachers trained to teach the subject.
The conservation education director became an active
member of the Conservation Education Committee of
the Department of Education during the biennium.

With California leading the Nation in rate of license
increase, and in decrease of \\ildlife habitat due to agri-
cultural and urban encroachment, the need and de-
mand for conservation education activity has spiraled
since World War II, and will continue to increase if
the human pressure on wildlife continues to increase.


In accordance w ith a request of the Fish and Game
Commission in January, 1954, the Wildlife Conserva-
tion Board concentrated its activities on completion of
existing projects, and financing new projects requiring
low operation and maintenance costs when completed.

The commission at that time requested that the
board not approve additional projects which would
impose appreciable outln\s for operation and mainte-
nance until the Department of Fish and Game had



balanced its budget, or additional operating funds were
made available.

During this biennium the last $2,000,000 appropri-
ated b\' the Legislature became available for expendi-
ture, making a total of $12,000,000 in capital invest-
ment for fish and game from the State's share of the
pari-mutuel Horse Racing Fund.

Eleven new projects were approved and allocations
made. Of these two were projects previously ap-
proved, from which funds allotted had been with-
drawn. In addition funds were allocated for improve-
ment, development, or expansion of six existing fish-
eries projects and two waterfowl developments. Ten
projects were completed during the biennium.

A second policy change was the decision to acquire
property through negotiation, without condemnation,
by the Department of Fish and Game. This decision
was made after the Attorney General advised that such
action was within the scope of the Wildlife Conserva-
tion Act.

Changes of Board Membership

Vacancies on the Wildlife Conservation Board Joint
Legislative Advisory Committee caused by the deaths
of Assemblyman Lester T. Davis and Senator George
J. Hatfield were filled by appointment of Assembly-
man Frank P. Belotti and Senator Ed. C. Johnson.
Other members of the joint committee were Senators
Ben Hulse and Charles Brown, and Assemblymen
Thomas M. Erwin and Lloyd W. Lowrey. Department
of Finance Director John M. Peirce replaced James S.
Dean, retired, on the board, and Wm. J. Silva, Presi-
dent of the Fish and Game Commission, served as
chairman of the board during the biennium.

Fish Hatchery and Stocking Projects

Darrah Springs Hatchery, among the largest in the
United States, was completed and placed in operation.
Mt. Shasta, Crystal Lake, Moccasin Creek, Fish Springs,
Hot Creek, and Mojave Hatcheries were in full pro-
duction. Hot Creek Hatchery and Black Rock Rear-
ing Ponds were being further expanded to increase
production with but small increase in operating costs.

An allocation of $40,000 was made for land acquisi-
tion for a proposed hatchery on the American River
below Nimbus Dam. Land is to be provided by the
Federal Government and $10,000 of the |40,006 was
authorized to enlarge the outlet pipe from Nimbus
Dam to the federal salmon hatchery, to permit carry-
ing adequate water for an adjacent state trout hatch-
er)', if and when it becomes desirable. There were no
immediate plans laid to construct this trout hatchery
until the actual need for an additional hatchery in
this section of the State is fully demonstrated.

Tahoe Hatchery expansion was held in abeyance
pending the outcome of the present catchable trout
program. Possibly the needs of this area can be served

better and more economically by the American River

San Joaquin Hatchery on the San Joaquin River
below Friant Dam and Cedar Creek Experimental
Hatchery in northern Mendocino County were being

After intensive search for an alternate site for the
San Gabriel Hatchery, the board decided to wait
until contemplated and existing hatcheries were in full
operation before further action would be taken.

Stream Flow Maintenance and Improvement

While only two projects are recorded as completed
during the biennium, good progress has been made on
others and work is still proceeding. Initial allocations
of funds for such work in Fish and Game Regions II,
1\', and Y were nearl\- exhausted and requests for ad-
ditional funds were to be made based upon recent

Waterfowl Projects

The Wildlife Board revamped its waterfowl man-
agement area development program. Because of an
excessive value placed upon San Luis Island by the
court, this project was dropped. Of the seven key
waterfowl management areas originally to the board
proposed, Butte Sink, Lower and Upper San Joaquin
\^alley, and Madera Waterfowl areas were canceled
and the balance of unexpended funds transferred to
one authorized project in the Central San Joaquin

One new unit of the Imperial Valley Waterfowl
area, to replace lands inundated by the continued rise
of Salton Sea, was authorized and funds for its acqui-
sition allocated. Acquisition of the land is progressing.

This reduced the key waterfowl management areas
proposed for purchase by the board to four.

See Appendix for status of Wildlife Conservation
Board Funds.

Rearing ponds ai Darrah Springs Hatchery, largest trout installation in
the Stale.




During rwo years of tremendous, unprecedented
hunting and fishing pressures, California's wildlife re-
sources appeared to be holding their own, and in some
cases making numerical gains. In most cases encroach-
ment on natural habitat, pollution of streams, and sky-
rocketing demands for water posed the greatest threats
to wildlife. \\'here natural conditions were good, the
hunter or fishcmian did not make dangerous inroads
on the supph".

As the new bicnnium started, however, every effort
was being made to further improve efficiency of oper-
ation to bring expenditures of the department even
with income.

At the end of the biennium, the Fish and Game
Preser\ation Fund reserve stood at approximately
$.\3: 1.000.

Another major factor in maintaining existing popu-
lations of wildlife has been the work of the wildlife
protection personnel in the prevention of violations
through conservation education of the public, and in
the apprehension of violators.

The deer kill fell off after the severe winter of 1951-
52, but during the 1953 season the bag climbed back to
the second best >ear on record.

At the end of the biennium deer numbers were on
the increase \irtually throughout the State. Two mild
winters which made for good feed conditions w'as
one of the major factors in the increase. Special deer
seasons were held during the biennium where mate-
rial crop depredation or pasture damage was being
done, or where local interests requested special hunts,
and backed their request with proper evidence. In-
vestigative work continued on deer browse and range
conditions, and other matters pertaining to good deer

Good Populations

Surveys have indicated extremely good populations
of quail, doves and pheasants. Ducks and geese re-
mained at high levels, and record bags were reported
during the biennium.

In addition to the virtual disappearance of the sar-
dine off California, weak spots developed in several
other categories of the ocean fishery. The take of
Jack and Pacific mackerel and anchovies declined
alarmingly, and only the younger fish predominated.
Sports fishing continued to grow, especially the salmon
sports fishery which is beginning to rival the com-
mercial catch in economic importance. Efforts of the
department brought about beginnings of new shrimp
and oyster fisheries for California.

During the two-year period the planting of catch-
able trout in roadside streams and lakes reached new
highs, as did aerial planting of fingerlings, but at the
same time continued efforts were made to improve
streams as natural habitat for wild fish. Experiments
were carried out to introduce new forage fishes for
the warmwater species. Salmon and steelhead runs held
fairly steady, and numbers of sturgeon increased to
the point that an open season was declared late in the
biennium, the first in 36 years.

Wildlife of the Future

While the department was occupied during the
biennium with reorganization, meeting increased de-
mands on wildlife by hunters and anglers, accelerating
the hatchery program, wildlife habitat acquisition and
improvement, the problems of California's future fish
and game needs played a highly important role in
department thinking.

As departmental reorganization freed headquarters
staff members from various operation duties, planning
for the future was crystallized into a 10-year plan for
meeting future needs of both w^ildlife and holders of
hunting and angling licenses.

Improved research and intensified field investigations
continued to point up new and better ways of further
expanding wildlife production in its natural habitat.
So far only the surface has been scratched; much more
can be done.

The best use of fish, game and other wildlife re-
sources can be realized only if the people have the
opportunity to get where these resources are located.
The average citizen should have access to uncrowded
places which he can enter legally to enjoy wildlife
in the manner of his choosing, without too much cost
and effort. On the other hand, an ample number of
remote-hard-to-get-to wilderness areas should be re-
served and maintained for those willing to exert them-
selves enough to reach them.

Observation by the department showed that there were enough
sturgeon fo warrant an open season beginning in April, 1954.



Not All Available

Onlv 40 percent of California's land is readily avail-
able for public use toda\', and much of this is remote,
rough countrw Similarly, onl\' a portion oi California's
existing wildlife is available for wise use. The term
"wise use" is not confined solely to licensed fishermen
and hunters. All Californians, now and in the future,
should have the opportunity of enjoying their wildlife
resources. Students of nature, the photographer, the
skin diver, disciples of Audubon, and millions of other
citizens who do not actually "harvest" wildlife, all
have an equal right to share in this great heritage, and
it should be made available to them.

Today fish and game of California is sustaining a
resource which at the end of the biennium was putting
an estimated $720,000,000 annualh- into California's
economic bloodstream bv sportsmen in their pursuit
of wildlife. In addition commercial fishing, fur trap-
ping and allied industries were pumping another
$280,000,000 into California business life.

Even the most conservative estimates show that
in 1965 the State will have 2,580,000 license holders.
But experience has shown that the number of license
holders increase more rapidly than the population, and
for that reason the number of fishermen and hunters
ma\- reach 3,000,000 b\- that time.

Ceiling Not Foreseeable

These projections are based on estimates of popula-
tion increases, made b)' the Department fif Finance
and on the historical average percentage of increase in
license bu\ers over a 25-\'ear period. There is nothing
in the record to indicate what the ceiling might be.
Loss of fish and game, or lack of opportunity to make
wise use of the resource, are the only factors which
might materially change the above predictions.

Now as to the past, future, and proposed expendi-
tures, this is the situation. From 1945 through the fiscal
year of 1955 approximateh' $62,050,000 will have been
spent for \\ ildlife.

In this connection it should be noted, that except for
$12,000,000 made available from pari-mutuel revenue,
all of the above funds have come from buyers of
licenses, special tags (i.e., deer and pheasant tags),
commercial fishing taxes, etc.— none from general tax

If income for fish and game welfare for the next 10
vears continues from present sources at current rates,
and is projected on the accelerating line of license buy-
ing increase, there will be available from 1955 through
1956 a total of $93,500,000.

Considering an average annual $9,350,000 income
foreseeable from the present rate base, the expenditure
to service and sustain the billion dollar industry for the
next 10 years is less than 1 percent annually.

All signs point to the probability that wildlife will
not hold up under the anticipated pressures of the next

LICENSED ^ToT8!c;So''''-



ANGLERS NOW/ j 248 000^

1,263, 000^/ _X


936,025 /-^

— 639,000



1950 1954



license huyer^ fiove heen increasing of a fa^ier raie than the popula-
tion. Above is a projection of what faces f/ie State's wi/diife resources
in fhe future.

10 years with the relati\clv small investment now being
made to sustain it. The present investment will be
absorbed simply in providing minimum services to the
new customers at present levels, increasing numbers of
customers with the increasing hunting and fishing pres-
sures will definitel>' result in demands and needs for
more and improved operation services— more fish and
game wardens, more \\ ildlife field men, more informa-
tion and education, more people to handle the house-
keeping chores of administration, plus additional
equipment. Some of this increased operational load no
doubt can be readil\- absorbed b\' the income from
new customers. But there's no point in ignoring the
fact that some of the present services of Fish and
Game administration could well be further improved.
And as the population increases new services will be
needed and demanded b\' the people.

Over the vears certain expansions in personnel have
been unavoidable. For example, when federal aid funds
became available 1 5 years ago, a sizeable group of new
emploN'ees was added. Recently, with the addition of
new functions, especiall>' operation of expanded facil-
ities provided b\' the Wildlife Conservation Board
funds, additional cmplo\ecs were necessary to man




Bstimated cost of
recommended project

Marine fisheries __ $7,100,000

Inland fisheries _ „ 11,500,000

Salmon and steelhead program 3,950,000

Subtotal for fisheries improvement $22,550,000

Hunting opportunities 20,000,000

Economic survey 15,000

Tota Is - - $42,565,000

Average per year $4,256,500

Estimated annual

operation and
maintenance costs




* This represents estimated annual cost of operating fully developed program. During period of develop-
ment, the operating costs will be approximately half of the ultimate cost of operation.

Xcar the end of the biennium a study of the work
load and operation of the warden staff was set up. The
shorter work week, new responsibilities such as the
hunter safety training program, patrolling new public
shooting areas, new legislation and the constantly in-
creasing armv of anglers and hunters, as well as others
who flock to the outdoors, have materially increased
each warden's daily task during the past 10 years.

This is the one group of specialized fish and game
workers that has remained more or less static in num-
bers for more than a decade.

No Cost Estimate for More Service

No estimate of cost to raise the current level of
service is included in the proposed 10-year plan, all of
which is outside of the presently scheduled fish and

game program. However, attention is called to the
fact that the Fish and Game Commission has gone on
record as being opposed to further capital investments
in new facilities, or expansions of services, until op-
erating funds are assured.

In order adequately to meet and solve the problems
ahead, the people responsible for wildlife have out-
lined a series of steps which can be taken during the
next 10 years to perpetuate and make California wild-
life available to maximum numbers of its people.

The proposals summarized in the appendix, Table 6,
represent the combined thinking of sportsmen, busi-
nessmen and others vitall\' interested in wildlife, as
well as the thoughts of the fish and game workers who
are hired by the people as custodians of California's
\\ ildlife resources.




Alost people are gradually realizing the importanc-e of fish and game to the economy of California
but it is more difficult to realize that this tremendous asset is completely dependent upon an adequate
water supply. The future of these resources appears bleak unless their importance in future Cali-
fornia water development plans is realized.

The Fish and Game Commission's water polic\' has
recognized that California's expanding population
must work and eat but that it is equally essential that
outdoor recreation be provided for the well-being of
this expanding population. There also is a tremendous
food resource involved which can be self-perpetuating
if fisheries are \\ isel\- managed.

Alany old water developments were constructed
with no consideration for fish and wildlife and the
Department of Fish and Game is actively trying to
rehabilitate streams which have been dried up for
many years, by securing flow releases.

California's waterfowl are suffering in a similar man-
ner and the millions of acres of natural marsh in the
Central \'alle\' have been reduced to perhaps 100,000
acres. As a result, serious crop depredation problems
have occurred as these birds use agricultural land.

Establishment of Water Projects Coordinator
Early in 1953 a new function was undertaken by
the department with a staff section being made re-
sponsible for water problems relating to wildlife.
Work of this section is largely planning for the future
of fish and game in California. It is also attempting to
rehabilitate the many streams which have been affected
by diversions which were built many years ago when
no consideration was given to maintaining stream
flows for fishing and recreation.

In 1953 the department was successful, for example,
in securing water release below Florence Lake Dam
on the South Fork of the San Joaquin River in Fresno
County in cooperation with the Southern California
Edison Company. Ever since this dam was built in the
earlv twenties summer stream flow has been inade-
quate to allow the development of a trout fisher\' for
the many thousands of people who now visit this area
yearly. Release of 10 cubic feet per second into this
stream will allow the Department of Fish and Game
to develop this easily accessible area to meet increas-
ing recreational need.

Water problems are not confined to fisheries alone.
The future of waterfowl in the Pacific Flyway de-
pends to a large extent on securing land and water for
wintering areas. Concern of agricultural groups is well
appreciated and crop depredations pose a constant
threat. Land which has formerly been used by water-
fowl is being reclaimed for agriculture. This is an-
other case where a relatively small amount of water
can pay real dividends if it is available when needed on
waterfowl management areas and other natural habitat

The Grasslands Problem

In 1952, for example, a serious crop depredarion
problem developed in the lower San Joaquin \'alley.
No relief was afforded b\' herding because the birds
simply moved to another rice field and continued to
cause severe crop losses. In this case a small amount of
water was secured from the Bureau of Reclamation
for flooding in the grasslands area.

State Economy Benefits

As soon as these lands were flooded the department
was able to herd the waterfowl off agricultural lands
successfully into flooded areas. Cost of the water in

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