California. Dept. of Fish and Game.

California fish and game (Volume 1952-1954) online

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this case was very minor compared to value of the
crops which were saved. By using this water for ducks
the economy of the State received a much greater
benefit in agricultural production than the same
amount would have produced if used for irrigation.
A major victory toward obtaining water for water-
fowl \\as the passage of the Grasslands Bill.

During the past two \ears the Department of Fish
and Game has begun to activel\' participate in the
planning of water developments in cooperation with
the public and private agencies \\ho are now making
the plans to meet the future water needs of California.

Under the terms of Public Law 732 (the so-called
Wildlife Resources Act of 1946), the department may
submit recommendations to the Federal Power Com-
mission for protection of fish and wildlife resources
affected by the construction of federal projects or
projects under federal license. By working with the
public utilities it has been possible to have these rec-
ommendations included in all licenses for power de-
velopment which have been issued in the past two
years. These have included new power projects under
construction on the Feather, American, Stanislaus,
Kings, and San Joaquin River watersheds.

Of even more importance are major developments
proposed in the past two years which are now under
active study by the Department of Fish and Game.
Major water projects have been proposed for nearly
every watershed in the State.

The department also conducts active programs in
cooperation with the other conservation agencies
working in California. The U. S. Fish and Wildlife
Service, for example, has an active program as do
many other federal agencies, such as the Bureau of
Reclamation, Corps of Engineers, Forest Service, and
the Soil Conservation Service. Nearly every land and
water development program has serious implications



for California's tisli and wildlife and it is essential that
the protection of these resources be included in any
plan of development.

Encouraging Development

One encouraging development of the past two years
has been the recognition of the importance of fish and
wild life b\- the Legislature and other state agencies.
In 195.^, for example, the Legislature added Sections
526.> and 526.6 to the Fish and Game Code. These
measures insure that future water developments in
Mono and In\o Counties will not jeopardize the fish-
erics resources either by drying up the stream or by
operating power generation facilities in such a manner
as to fluctuate stream flows below the dams.

The department has been actively participating in
the State's study of the feasibility of a salt-water bar-
rier in the Delta. The proposal to build such a struc-
ture to prevent the intrusion of salt water and as a
water conservation measure may seriously jeopardize
the Central \'alle\- salmon, steelhead, and striped bass

It is possible that the barrier could eliminate these
fish entirely. \"alue of the fisheries must be included in
costs of the project before such a barrier is built. The
department has made economic evaluations of these
fisheries resources and has been actively designing fish
protective facilities in the event such a barrier is found
feasible. This is the first time that technical fisheries
personnel have been assigned to work with engineers
of the Division of Water Resources in such an investi-

In addition, the department has reviewed all appli-
cations to appropriate water filed with the State Divi-
sion of ^^'atcr Resources. Cases in which there is a
definite threat to the welfare of fish, are protested by
Department of Fish and Game with a statement of
conditions under which the protest can be withdrawn.

During the past biennium 1,055 applications have
been investigated by the department and 62 protests
were filed. Only one formal hearing was required and
in all but 12 cases, which are still pending, the depart-
ment's protest has been upheld and the permits for di-
version contain a clause specifying that certain mini-
mum flows will be bypassed below the point of diver-
sion at all times.

Pollution Control

Unprecedented growth of California has continued
and water pollution control agencies are faced with a
major problem of protecting the State's water from
pollution. The department, in cooperation with the
other pollution control agencies, has continued its pro-
gram of protecting fish and wildlife and has investi-
gated over 700 applications for waste discharge. Rec-
ommendations were submitted to the Pollution Control
Board in all necessary cases.

Major interest in pollution control has centered on
the many new industries which are proposing to locate
in California. Most of these new plants present indus-
trial waste problems which are new to California, such
as the pulp and paper industry. Importance of waste
disposal has tended to be neglected in industrial loca-
tion studies in the past and the department is actively
undertaking a program to point out the importance of,
protecting fish and wildlife before the industrial plants
are constructed.

Fortunately, no serious fish mortalities have oc-
curred during the past two years. There are still many
locations in the State where additional waste treatment
facilities are needed before adequate protection can be
given to our aquatic resources, particularly in those
areas where seasonal food processing wastes contribute
the major portion of the pollution load.

The department also has intensified its program of
law enforcement and technical investigations of water
matters. For example, the San Francisco region has
assigned one of its wardens to full-time work on pollu-
tion problems. Technical investigations have included
long-range surveys to determine the effect of the in-
creasing industrial waste load in the Carquinez Straits
area and on the Central Valley salmon streams.

The t-bntinuing pollution control program on the
upper Sacramento River has been intensified. Drainage
from abandoned copper mines and slag deposits poses
a serious threat to the fisheries resources of the Sacra-
mento River. An investigation of all possible sources
of pollution has been completed and it has been found
that these discharges do not pose a serious threat to the
Sacramento River with the present flows. However, it
is quite possible that serious fish mortalities could re-
sult if the flow was reduced at the time of high runoff
in the Spring Creek drainage, in Shasta County.

. .i. ..'i.

An example of what pollution can do to the State's fisheries when left





F ■*





Arrests increase 27 percent over previous biennium.
Technical equipment increases effectiveness of warden staff.
Reserve warden program expanded.
Hunter safety training program carried out by brancfi.




Of all the activities of the department, probably none was so directly affected by the huge increase
in hunting and angling license holders during the biennium as was the Wildlife Protection function.
The increased work load was brought about by the greater numbers of hunters and fishermen on
almost every section of California's more than 150,000 square miles and its 1,200-mile coastline, and
by the addition of a new activity, the hunter safety training program.

Increased hunting and fishing activity was reflected

in a 27 percent increase in the number of arrests over
the previous biennium. Addition of patrol boats, com-
munications equipment and more use of aerial patrol
and reconnaissance bulwarked operations of the

Departmental reorganization brought administrative
changes in that the assistant chiefs of patrol, fornierlv
in charge of six patrol districts, were assigned as ^\■ild-
life protection supervisors, reporting to the five re-
gional managers. Marine Patrol, headquartered at
Terminal Island, reported to Region V. All members
of the Bureau of Patrol, with the exception of the
Chief Staff Officer, Wildlife Protection Branch, one
staff assistant, and a clerical assistant, were transferred
to the various regions in January, 1953.


Faced with several years of mounting hunting cas-
ualty lists, and the prospects of even more hunters in
the field in the future, the 1953 California Legislature
enacted a measure, now embodied in Section 424 of
the California Fish and Game Code, providing that
* * * "no hunting license shall be issued to any per-
son under the age of 16 years unless he presents * * *
either evidence that he has held a hunting license in
this State during a prior year, or a certificate of com-
petency as provided by law. * * *"

Intent of the act was primarily to prevent hunting
casualties which annually mar the sport, to prevent
many gun accidents not directly resulting from hunt-
ing activitv, and secondarily, to instill in the young
hunter the principles of conservation, good sportsman-
ship and proper conduct in the field.

Prohibitive measures designed to prevent accidents
had long been on the books but still the number of
casualties increased in direct proportion to the number
of untrained people in the hunting field. However, in
New York, where a hunter safet>' program based on
education and legislation requiring junior hunters to
present evidence of competency to handle firearms, a
decrease in casualties of 75 percent was recorded dur-
ing the five years prior to 1953.

The original bill was introduced by Assembly-
woman Pauline Davis of Portola, and a companion
measure introduced in the Senate bv Senator Pressley
Abshire of Sonoma.

Under terms of the legislation, to go into effect ^\■ith
issuance of 1954-55 hunting licenses, the Director of
the Department of Fish and Game was assigned the

task of translating the measure into action. Administra-
tivelv, the function was assigned to the Conservation
Education Section, with the field work to be accom-
plished by members of the warden staff. Work of
preparing the program began in the fall of 1953 and
some classes were graduated in iMarch of 1954. Leg-
islation also provided that the department could coop-
erate with an\' reputable organization whose purpose
is promotion of gun safety.

Ideal Safety Course

Consideration of material available showed that the
National Rifle Association of America hunter safety
course was ideal. It required only four hours of in-
struction for the student, utilized the services of vol-
unteer instructors qualified by NRA and approved by
the department, and excellent textbooks, reference
materials and charts were available at low cost and on
short notice from the National Rifle Association.

The department approved the recommended course
of training, and an agreement was made with NRA
to certify and service instructors, provide materials at
cost to instructors and report to the department the
number of instructors qualified and students trained.

Response to the new program was immediate ,and
enthusiastic. Sportsmen's and educational organiza-
tions offered wholehearted cooperation from the start.
All Wildlife Protection Branch personnel were quali-
fied as hunter safety instructors and instructional ma-
terials prepared by the headquarters conservation
education staffs.

At the close of the biennium, when certificates of
competence were first required, 3,195 hunter safety
instructors had been certified by NRA, and about
1,000 junior hunters trained and ready to present evi-
dence of competency as required by law for the 1954
hunting season. Indications were that 15,000 to 20,000
juniors would be checked out during the 1954 hunting

The junior hunter is taught reasons for the course,
and is shown that all hunter casualties stem from either
ignorance or carelessness. Next step is the mechanics
of shooting safely, and acquisition of a working knowl-
edge of weapons and their proper care.

He also hears discussion of danger of becoming lost
in the woods and how to conduct himself if lost, fish
and game laws with emphasis on the intent of con-
servation measures, safe hunting techniques, fire pre-



Training and refresher courses are maintained for fhe warden staff.

venrion, leaving a clean camp, and proper conduct in
the field. Also stressed is the need for improved rela-
tions between the sportsman and landowner, and
finally, the concept that the individual hunter alone
can prevent accidents. A final written examination and
demonstration of safe gun handling completes the
course. When possible the student fires 15 rounds of
.22 caliber ammunition under supervision of the in-

Wildlife Protection Branch personnel made use of
the department manual, hunter safety films, "Shooting
Safets,'" "Trigger-Happy Harry," and "The Making
of a Shooter," and other materials. Wardens not only
contacted interested groups, but stimulated interest
where it was lagging, contacted instructors already
certified, helped integrate the 3,500 license agents into
the program, assisted in local publicity for the pro-
gram, and worked with sportsmen's groups.

To create a uniform system of training, an instruc-
tor training course was developed by the department
in cooperation with the .\lameda Adult School and the
western representative of the National Rifle Associa-
tion. The State Department of Education approved
the instructor training course for adult classes, and at
least 30 communities held hunter safety classes. Many
schools participated in tiic program.

Cooperation from every type of organization was
forthcoming, and much of the credit of a successful
start of the program goes to these public spirited


.■\rrcsts by Fish and Game wardens during the bien-
nium totaled 16,271, or an increase of 27 percent over
the previous t\\o-year period, with more than one-
third relating to inland fishing.

Average fine levied by the courts in fish and game
violation cases was |37.09, or a total of 1598,588.14.
Convicted violators were sentenced to serve a total of
12,836 days in jail. Significantly, the percentage of
cases dismissed by the courts, or in which the defend-
ant was found not guilty after a trial, was only .75 of
1 percent. (See Table 9, Appendix.)

During the biennium three years of undercover
work by game management agents of the U. S. Fish
and Wildlife Service and Department Wardens was
climaxed with the conviction of 12 Sacramento Val-
ley waterfowl market hunters and seven San Francisco
Bay restaurant operators. In federal court they shared
sentences totaling six years and nine months in jail,
14,900 in fines, and seven years of probation. Federal
Judge Oliver J. Carter, in passing sentence on the
market hunters, stated that the violators were victims
of the unwillingness of their communities to respect
the fish and game laws, believing that the crime is in
being caught, and not that a wrongful act had been
committed. He further stated that the ring leader was
raised in an attitude of complete moral blindness on the
question of game laws, a matter for which his commu-
nity was partially responsible.

The arrest and violation figures tell only part of the
story. Hundreds of thousands of miles covered by au-
tomobiles, boats, airplane and on foot checking hunters
and fishermen are a part of it. Many day and night
hours spent waiting for violators to return to their
illegal nets, obtaining evidence, inspecting catches,
arresting poachers, and countless other details com-
plete the major portion of the picture.

Wardens also have contributed major assistance in
the catchable trout planting program, followed by in-
tensive patrol in the newly planted areas. The patrol
has cooperated in fish rescue work, cleaning and in-
spection of fish ladders, inspection of stream flow
maintenance dams and regulated the flows therefrom.

Members of the warden staff have worked with
other functions by reporting suspected fish and game
diseases to local headquarters, and in census taking,
fish population trends, pollution control, public use,
and success in hunting and fishing areas.

They worked closely with farmers during the bien-
nium on crop depredation reports, waterfowl herding
and other activities relating to crop damage by wild-

But the story of the warden's duties would not be
complete without mention of his public service activ-
ities. Because of his knowledge of the terrain and
experience outdoors, the game warden is called into
almost every search for a lost hunter or fisherman in
the mountains. He is constantly called upon to speak
before sportsmen's and other public gatherings to ex-
plain the law enforcement program as well as policies
and programs of the department.

Because of his qualifications and experience, other
enforcement agencies look to the warden for assistance



in emergencies of all types. Work performed by fish
and game wardens in floods, fires, accidents and other
emergencies has been notable and varied during the

In addition wardens made heavy contributions of
time and effort in adding to their efficiency with
firearms through the medium of pistol and rifle com-
petition throughout the State. At the same time these
public matches provided opportunities to acquaint
sportsmen with safety measures, and with department
programs and literature. These are off-duty activities,
with the wardens paying their own entry fees and
providing their own ammunition.

Normal duties of the warden .staff, as prescribed by
the State Personnel Board include responsibility for
patrol and investigation involved in enforcement of
laws for protection of wildlife, and in prevention of

Other regular duties are apprehension of violators,
service of warrants, making arrests, preparation and
presentation of evidence in court, investigations and
recommendations on requests for permits to keep
game birds in captivity, investigation of crop depre-
dations by game birds and animals, inspection of stor-
age plants, boats, restaurants and other places where
fish and game may be stored, seizure of illegal bags,
and public information work.


During the biennium the activity of the reserve
patrol was accelerated, providing material assistance to
the regular force in meeting requirements of the grow-
ing army of hunters and fishermen in California.

This was particularly true on opening days of the
various seasons and heavy hunting and fishing week-
ends. Reserve wardens are expected to perform at least
one tour of duty a month, generally on weekends.
However, many of the reserves, who constitute an
invaluable service to California sportsmen, put in addi-
tional time at night and on week days.

Prospective members of the reserve attend regular
weekly training sessions over a 10-week period, and
must successfully pass an examination before receiving
their appointments. They receive no salary or ex-
penses, and make their tours of duty in company with
a member of the regular staff.

Reserve warden leaders were carefully selected dur-
ing the biennium, and were held responsible for effi-
cient operation of their units. They have not hesitated
to terminate appointment of any reserve warden who
failed to meet the public with courtesy, consideration,
and in a spirit of helpfulness.

At the end of the biennium there were 246 active
members of the reserve warden staff, with 12 units
operating in the central and southern portions of the
State. Units are located at Fresno, Sacramento, Los
Angeles, San Diego, Sonora, Terminal Island (marine),

Tulare, Merced, Stockton, Bakersfield, and Tulare.
Others were in the process of formation at the close
of the biennium.


Aided by the addition of a new 35-foot motor patrol
vessel Yellou-tail, a fleet of 12 patrol boats continued
the important Marine Patrol of California's 1,200-mile
coastline and its 1,500 miles of inland navigable waters
during the biennium. This fleet consisted of the 83-foot
Albacore, based at Sausalito and covering the coast
from there to the Oregon line; the 63-foot Bonito,
based at San Francisco and working from there south
to Morro Bay; the 63-footers Marlin and Bluefin, based
at Terminal Island, whose assignments were from
Morro Bay to the Mexican border and around south-
ern offshore islands. Besides these large, well-equipped
boats, the Marine Patrol operated eight others, ranging
from the 21 -foot Mimwu; at Antioch, to the 45-foot
Tuna, at San Francisco.

The larger boats carry radar, depth finders and other
detection equipment. They were supplemented by 25
marine wardens based all along the coastline who main-
tained a constant patrol of fish markets, canneries,
piers, landing places and beaches. During the biennium

The radio repeater station at White Mountain, Inyo County, part of the
communications networft.


■v m ■'■



checking suspicious nets in fhe Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta is part of
the warden's daily routine.

Heavy woric pressure is on the warden staff during the opening week-
ends of seasons like deer, pheasants, trout and waterfowl. Here deer
tags are checked in the high Sierra.

marine wardens devoted increasing time to the grow-
ing sports fishery as well as to the commercial in-

Causes for arrests during the biennium ranged from
failure to hold a sports angler's license to illegal nets
on a purse seiner, boarded at sea under cover of dark-
ness. Checking of commercial landings and cannery
packs was another important additional duty. Collec-
tion of marine fishery statistics also was carried out by
marine wardens during the biennium, assisting in gath-
ering knowledge necessary for intelligent management
of the ocean fishery.


An increase of radio communications equipment to
296 units during the biennium has added greatly to
the patrol efficiency of Wildlife Protection. It has en-
abled supervisors to contact and direct wardens in the
field, wardens to communicate with each other and
their headquarters, and patrol airplanes, boats and
vehicles to work together as a team.

At the close of the two-year period covered in the
report, there were 207 mobile radio units installed in
patrol cars, boats and airplanes. There were 52 Handie-
talkie units used b\' \\ardens while on foot, in small
boats or on undercover work where larger mobile
units would be impractical. Three portable land sta-
tions were available for temporary stations on special
hunts, cooperative areas and rush periods. These are
effective and practical because of small size and ease
of transport and installation. One portable mobile relay
station, equipped with its own po\\'er supply, wzs
available for use in strategic areas where communica-
tions are needed for a limited period only. For location
of the 22 permanent land stations, see Table 7, Ap-


During the biennium more than 119,000 was de-
posited in the Fish and Game Preservation Fund as a
result of sale of equipment used in illegally taking fish
and game. Sales by sealed bid were held in the various
regional offices.

A total of 643 items, including guns, tackle, nets,
spears, and other sports and commercial gear, was
auctioned for 1 19,206, \\-ith sales being held at all five
regional headquarters in Redding, Sacramento, San
Francisco, Fresno and Los Angeles. Most illegal items
were sold at the Los Angeles office of the department.

Added investigative work by wardens resulted from
1953 lcgislati\e action relating to hunter casualties.
These changes provided for permanent revocation of
a hunter's license for killing or wounding a human
being, and a five-year revocation in cases involving
domestic animals. Wardens investigated these cases and
made reports transmitted to count\' district attorneys
for action.



Emphasis placed on sound management of existing fisheries.

Greatest expansion of trout hatcheries in history recorded.

Stream and lake improvement program highlighted as manage-
ment tool.

New forage fish introduced into California waters to improve warm-
water fishing.

Branch surveys 142 streams and 321 lakes to obtain data for
fisheries management.




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