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California fish and game (Volume 1954-1956) online

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ity and conditions for a sport fishery. San Diego is
one of the few cities that has long permitted fishing
in its domestic water supply and the success of the
San Diego program is of far-reaching importance to
anglers all over the State.

Other major habitat improvement work consisted
of the construction of a large number of pool-creating
devices in some of the smaller streams and flow main-
tenance dams throughout the State. A new rock-
masonry flow accelerating structure, an improvement
over the log and rock dams and deflectors tried in
1953-54, was developed and installed on some South-
ern California streams.


Major efforts were exerted by the Conservation
Education Section to increase public understanding
and acceptance of sound deer management practices;
prevention of damage to streams by logging opera-
tions; and the complicated effects of water develop-
ment on California fish and wildlife.

With licensed sportsmen most specifically con-
cerned, and additional millions of people also vitally

Conservaiion education covers many phases of wildliSe management and
calls for varied approaches,

(Fish and Game Photo)

interested in the welfare of their wildlife resources,
every public media in the State was provided with
information and educational materials on these sub-
jects of vital importance.

Approximately 8,000,000 pieces of mimeographed
or printed material, half of which were angling and
hunting regulation abstracts, were made available to
the public upon request during the biennium.

Hundreds of public schools which requested infor-
mation on wildlife were also provided materials avail-

Working with the Interdepartmental Committee on
Conservation Education, Fish and Game supported
various efforts to improve wildlife conservation mate-
rials available to the schools from various sources, and
to seek ways of expanding and improving conservation
education training available to student teachers in
various state colleges.


Specifically designed as a guide to school teachers
was the Home and Hunter Safety Training handbook
produced cooperatively by the Departments of Fish
and Game and Education. A series of handbooks,
designed for future use as supplemental classroom
material, also was undertaken by Fish and Game. The
first two handbooks. Waterfowl of California, and
Upland Game of California, had their preliminary
printings while Big Game of California and Trout of
California were in production. These handbooks were
to be offered for sale at cost to California schools for
the 1957 school year.

A number of school districts purchased copies for
local use of several of the department's motion pictures
on wildlife subjects during the biennium, and scores
of schools borrowed loan copies of these films for
short periods.

As a service unit of the department, the Conserva-
tion Education Section handled an increasing load of
requests for all kinds of information concerning wild-

life. Methods for collecting the basic information from
department personnel throughout the State were im-
proved, while economies were effected in producing
and disseminating such information to the public,
schools and public media.

Special requests for information and photographs
from authors, legislative committees and other agencies
of government numbering more than 100 were
handled by the section.

A series of anglers' guides, designed to interest fish-
ermen in high-mountain areas where the trout are
now under-utilized, was expanded. Purpose of such
guides is to bring about more extensive use of trout
which maintain themselves at small or no cost to the
department and to thus relieve some of the fishing
pressure on more accessible waters where hatchery-
raised trout are planted by the department.


Approximately 200 radio stations were regularly
serviced with information on fish and game matters.
In cooperation with department personnel, the section
assisted in the airing of about 75 "live" radio and
television shows.

Personnel also cooperated with program directors
in planning television shows, obtaining the services of
department personnel and visual material for use on
such shows. In some cases Conservation Education
personnel appeared on shows in person, along with
local leaders or instructors, particularly on programs
explaining the new hunter safety training program.

Nearly 3,000,000 people viewed the department's
two new and five revised wildlife conservation movies
during the biennium and another 48,460 saw the three
hunter safety films. The seven movies were shown to
an authenticated audience of 155,939, comprised
mainly of school students, conservation club members,
and members of fraternal, social, civic and service or-
ganizations. The films were also shown on television
to an estimated audience of 2,603,500 viewers.

In addition to regular duties, Conservation Educa-
tion personnel handled special problems during the
biennium. The hunter safety training program, the
in-service training program and the logging pollution
problem were chief among these.


On July 1, 1954, a new law required that youths
under 16 could not obtain a hunting license before
completing a minimum four-hour course in the safe
handling of guns. Since the law went into effect a
total of 41,740 juniors attended classes set up by the
Conservation Education Section's hunter safety train-
ing program, which was spearheaded in the field by
the wardens. A total of 4,654 adults were certified as
volunteer instructors, through cooperation of the Na-
tional Rifle Association. Much of the load of teaching
was shouldered by reserve wardens, school teachers,

Somewhere under this pile of togs and slash is Hunter Creek. Careless log-
ging practices have rendered this stream useless for spawning.

(Fish and Game Photo)

sportsmen's organizations, and other volunteers. Cali-
fornia's instructors made up nearly half the number
certified bv the NRA to teach such courses in the
United States.

Outstanding Record

Only two trained junior hunters were involved as
shooters in accidents during the 1955 hunting season,
which was the first full opportunity to view the re-
sults of the training program. Including a junior
hunter victim of an unidentified shooter, the casualty
rate among the trained junior hunters was only 1 in

Of the some 9,000 untrained junior hunters afield in
1955 (who previously held licenses and were not re-
quired to take the safety course), 14 were involved in
casualties, of which four were fatal shootings. The
casualty rate among untrained juniors was one to
every 650 untrained junior hunters afield. The trained
junior was almost 17 times as safe as his untrained
counterpart, and nearly twice as safe as the adult

A study of hunter casualty reports indicated that
thev were occurring not only because of careless gun
handling but also because of some visual deficiency on
the part of the shooter. This led to participation by
the department in laboratory and field tests of visual
acuity, particularly in regard to visibility of various
colors of clothing under hunting conditions. The de-
partment cooperated with the National Rifle Associ-
ation and the California Optometric Association in set-
ting up and carrying out the tests. Preliminary results
indicated that the traditional red is not as readily dis-
cernible in the field as many other colors, and that
yellow may be the easiest color to spot.


Under the direction of the Conservation Education
Section, a department-wide in-service training pro-
gram was organized during the biennium. The pro-

gram provides new employees with basic orientation
training and offers functional on-the-job training as
well as cross-functional training in all activities of the
agency. With the organization and much of the con-
tent of the training program completed, responsibilit\'
for the program was to be transferred from this sec-
tion to the personnel section in the next biennium.

The program got under wa\' in late November,
1954, with the appointment of a full time training offi-
cer. Preliminary groundwork included establishing
contacts with cooperating agencies such as the State
Personnel Board Training Division and the Depart-
ment of Education, collecting a basic training library
and making a review and report of post-training activ-

Training the Trainers

The program was inaugurated in three phases. First
was the "train the trainers" phase, in which top level
supervisors, in four groups of 10 each, were given a
72-hour course. This was followed by 48-hour ver-
sions of the same course given in the regions to second
line supervisors who had taken the 72-hour course.
First line supervisors were the students in the third
phase. Leaders were supervisors who had been trained
in the first two steps.

The training policy is to provide the opportunit\'
for maximum development of the capabilities of all
employees so they may progress individually and to
provide for maximum efficiency within the depart-
ment. The training policy also includes emphasis on
the importance of the employee's relationship with the
general public.


Special efforts were made during the period to make
known to members of the logging industry the serious
effects on fish life in Northern California streams re-
sulting from careless logging practices. A surve\'
showed 925 miles of steelhead and salmon spawning
streams were lost by logging, slash and silting pollu-
tion, or by removal or destruction of riparian vegeta-

Proceeding on the thesis that an informed public
is the best guarantee of good conservation practices,
this section inaugurated a series of bulletins designed
to inform the logging industry of the needs of fish life.
Three bulletins were published and a fourth was under
production. These were augmented by direct con-
tacts with industry leaders. The program was coordi-
nated with law enforcement activities and public
meeting presentations. A start was made on a motion
picture on the subject and at the close of the biennium
the program was beginning to show results in the pre-
vention of further damage and in the cleaning up of
debris filled streams by logging operators.


F/nnon Reservoir, El Dorado County, purchased by Wildlife Conservation Board funds and to be JeJ>caled exclusively to angling.

CFish and Game Photo)

Taking stock of California's dwindling natural re-
sources, and cognizant of the necessity to provide for
future recreational needs, the 1947 Legislature created
the Wildlife Conservation Board and charged it with
the task of establishing "a coordinated and balanced
program resulting in the maximum revival of ^\■ildlife
* * * and in the maximum recreational advantages to
the people."

To finance this program, the Legislature appropri-
ated $12,000,000 from horse racing pari-mutuel funds.
Since 1947 the board has administered this fund, \\'ith
additional legislative grants, for capital outlav projects
it deems essential and suitable for wildlife production
and preservation and which will enhance recreational
values. The board, which is responsible only to the
Legislature, consists of the President of the Fish and
Game Commission, the Director, Department of Fish
and Game, and the Director of the Department of
Finance. Three members of the Senate and three mem-
bers of the Assembly serve as an advisory group to
the board.

During the first year of this biennium, the Wildlife
Conservation Board concentrated on completing proj-
ects invoKing waterfowl management areas and fish
hatchery ccjnstruction. By the end of the second year
these two programs were almost completed. Some
work remains to be done on Gray Lodge and Imperial

Waterfowl Management Areas and minor hatchery
capital outlay also ma\" be required.


The second year of the biennium saw the intensifi-
cation of the \\armwater fish program, and access to
inland fishing waters.

The 195.1 Legislature approved a recurring annual
appropriation of $750,000. The first amount became
available Jul\- 1, 1955. Those supporting this legislation
pointed out that the waterfowl and catchable trout
programs were almost fully developed, but that much
work w as needed to provide suitable w armw ater fish-
ing for the ever-increasing population.

A survey revealed a great potential in developing
existing reservoirs, including public water supplies, as
w ell as such bodies of waters as dredger ponds, coastal
lagoons, sloughs and oxbow lakes. When impounded
waters were not available for development, it was
proposed to construct new reservoirs for fishing and
recreational use.

Public access to fishing waters and public lands is
a growing problem and the Wildlife Conservation
Board has recognized this by instituting a long-range
program of correction. Its three major facets are in-
land angling access, coastal access and access to public
hunting lands.



The board continued its practice of approving only
projects which did not burden the Department of Fish
and Game with additional operating expenses. The
angling access program and the warmwater fish pro-
gram are the two major programs in this category.

During the biennium 15 new projects, involving a
total expenditure of f598,000 were approved. Three
were hatchery and stocking projects, seven warm-
water and other fish projects, three fell in the fish
screen and ladder category and the others were in-
cluded in the inland access program.

In addition, the board allocated $25,000 for project
evaluations, surveys, engineering studies and property

Additional allocations, totaling f 1,503,000 were made
to 19 old projects. Hatchery and stocking projects
led the list with six, followed by five flow maintenance
and stream improvement jobs, four in the category
of warmwater and other fish, three waterfow 1 projects
and one in the coastal angling access program.

Twelve projects were completed during the bien-
nium and three were canceled and funds recovered.


The Joint Legislative Advisory Committee was
composed of Senators Charles Brown, Ben Hulse and
Ed. C. Johnson, and Assemblymen Frank P. Belotti,
Thomas M. Erwin and Lloyd W. Lowrey. Depart-
ment of Finance Director John M. Pierce and De-
partment of Fish and Game Director Seth Gordon
continued to serve on the board. Harley Knox replaced
William J. Silva as chairman during the biennium.

E. E. Horn continued as the board's coordinator.
Because of the increased workload, the board author-
ized and the State Personnel Board established the
position of assistant coordinator.


The Wildlife Conservation Board authorized the
hiring of a special consultant to make a field survey
of the Sacramento and San Joaquin Rivers and the
Delta area and to report on the need for angling
access along with a series of suggested access sites.
This survey was in progress as the biennium ended.

Two access sites were purchased from the U. S.
Bureau of Reclamation. One was a two-acre parcel
located along the Sacramento River near Redding. The
other consisted of two acres, five miles east of Vina
on Deer Creek in Tehama County.

As the biennium closed, a number of angling access
sites along the Sacramento, Feather and San Joaquin
Rivers in the Delta area and along the ocean were
being planned for development.

This program was deferred until the major hatchery
and waterfowl projects could be completed. It consists
largely of constructing fishing access facilities at reser-
voirs and creating new impoundments where seasonal
runoff can be secured. Certain facilities were also nec-
essary to safeguard the public health where municipal

water supplies were involved. Operation and mainte-
nance of these projects is planned almost exclusively
by counties or cities.


On the following projects the board authorized, in
addition to land acquisition, such facilities as access
roads, parking areas, fishing docks, launching ramps,
sanitary facilities and fencing:

San Diego City Reservoirs-San Diego County;

Whittier-Narrows— Los Angeles County;

Santa Margarita Lake-San Luis Obispo County;

Inland Lake— San Bernardino County;

Finnon Reservoir— EJ Dorado County.

Four projects in this category received additional
allocations to complete the development. Construc-
tion was completed on Ramer Lake, Imperial County,
and was continued on Lindo Lake, San Diego County,
and .Avocado Lake, Fresno County. The Salton Sea
project, a program to establish a fishery in this 225,-
000-acre body in Imperial County, was continued with
encouraging results.

The Los Serranos Warmwater Fisheries Manage-
ment Station at the Serranos Game Farm near
Chino and the Plaskett Meadows Public Fishing Area
in Glenn County were approved and construction

The Dallas Warner warmwater fishing project re-
ceived no new allocations but work was completed
during this period.

Stream Flow Maintenance

The stream improvement program in Southern Cali-
fornia was continued. This allocation was made after
a survey revealed these small impoundments provide
exceptional fishing.

Allocations were made to continue the highly suc-
cessful stream flow maintenance program in El Dorado
and Alpine Counties within the El Dorado National
Forest. A similar program carried on within the Tahoe
National Forest in Nevada, Placer and El Dorado
Counties likewise received an additional allocation.

The stream flow maintenance program was con-
tinued in the Emigrant Basin area in the Stanislaus
National Forest and in the Granite Creek Basin of the
Sierra National Forest through additional fund alloca-

During this biennium four projects were completed.
They were the Dry Lake Level Maintenance, Twin
Lakes Level /Maintenance, Hume Lake Dam Level
/Maintenance and the San Diego Flow Maintenance

Although the stream flow maintenance and im-
provement program met with considerable success, it
was becoming increasingly difficult in some areas to
locate adequate and economically feasible small dam


(Continued on page 46)



Arfisi's conception of Oroville Dam, key unit in the California Water Plan.

(Department of Water Resources Photo from drawing by Warren S. Ludlow of the Division of Highways)

Unprecedented demands for water throughout the
State has kept the department hustling during the bi-
ennium to preserve and protect streams for fishing
while simultaneously exploring the fish production
possibilities of existing impoundments and future man-
made lakes for recreation.

Activities ranged from investigations of applications
for water use permits, of which there were more than
one per day during the period, to construction of
small dams to insure maintenance of stream flow.

The vital need for legislation to reserve water for
fish, wildlife and recreation, in accordance with the
policy adopted by the Fish and Game Commission,
was stressed by the department whenever the occasion
presented itself.

The Department of Water Resources supported this
position in early 1956 when it announced it would ask
the Legislature to enact measures "for the full imple-
mentation of the California Water Plan," including
"provisions authorizing the maintenance of live stream
flow in the interest of fish, wildlife and recreation as
a beneficial use of water."


The opening of domestic water supply reservoirs
for recreational use is another subject which received
a great deal of attention.

The department has encouraged fishing on water
supply reservoirs under the regulations of the State
Department of Public Health which insure that the
sanitary quality of the water is not adversely affected.
The Wildlife Conservation Board has done much to

encourage the opening of previously closed reservoirs
by allocating funds for recreation development.

An attempt was made by the 1955 Legislature to
pave the way toward making public fishing on res-
ervoirs possible, but it failed to become law.

Nevertheless, substantial advances were made in this
phase of the water program. At the end of the bien-
nium it was apparent that directors of many water
districts were no longer turning deaf ears on proposals
to open their impoundments to fishing; in fact, many
were looking on such proposals with considerable in-
terest. And the Department of Public Health was de-
veloping a new policy and criteria for recreational
use of water supply reservoirs.


In April, 1955, the Department of Fish and Game
completed its portion of the Division (now Depart-
ment) of Water Resources' report on the development
of the upper Feather River service area.

In the report, the construction of five small res-
ervoirs in the upper watershed was recommended as
a part of the Feather River project. These reservoirs
would be built to develop the recreation and fishing
potential of this area. They would be operated for
stream flow maintenance in the north and middle
forks and would be used specifically for recreational

The 1956 Legislature appropriated funds for acquir-
ing the dam sites and for detailed planning of these
reservoirs. This was the first time the State had recom-
mended the construction of upstream dams for recrea-
tional purposes.





The single biggest water project completed during
the biennium was the United States Bureau of Rec-
lamation's Folsom project on the American River near
Sacramento. This large multipurpose dam and power
plant was completed in 1955 and created a number of
problems for the department.

Construction cut off a major portion of the spawn-
ing area for salmon and steelhead of the Anierican
River. On facts developed by the department and on
river basin studies, it was necessary for the Bureau of
Reclamation to construct a large hatchery below the
dam to preserve these runs. This hatchery is operated
by the department, but all costs are paid by the
Bureau of Reclamation.

Another problem has been to develop the fishing
and recreational potential of the reservoir. The recrea-
tional facilities were not built at the same time as the
dam and it was necessary for the Legislature to appro-
priate funds for the recreational development in 1956.
The fisheries will be managed by the department while
tiie facilities will be managed by the Division of
Beaches and Parks.


The largest water development project authorized
during the biennium was the Trinity River Project of
the U. S. Bureau of Reclamation. Plans call for a large
dam on the Trinity River near Lewistown to divert
the flow of the Trinity River into the Sacramento
Valley through a series of power plants. The dam will
cut oflF most of the spawning areas of the Trinity
River salmon and steelhead.

The department was particularly concerned that the
project be planned to maintain the fisheries, and that
the plans include a large hatchery to replace the
spawning areas cut off by the dam, as well as to main-
tain adequate flows below the dam for the preserva-
tion of fish life.

Authorization Act Unique

The authorization act for the project was approved
by the President on August 12, 1955. This act was

unique in that the Secretary of Interior was specifi-
cally directed to adopt appropriate measures to insure
the preservation and propagation of fish life, including
definite flow releases in the Trinity River and Clear

The project is now under construction and the De-
partment of Fish and Game, together with the U. S.
Fish and Wildlife Service, has been carrying out ex-
tensive studies to determine the size of the runs that
w ill be affected in order to design properly hatchery
facilities and trapping facilities that will be required
to protect fish life during the construction period of
the project.

The U. S. Bureau of Reclamation, the U. S. Fish
and Wildlife Service and the Department of Fish and
Game have reached substantial agreement on the
measures to be taken to preserve the salmon and steel-
head of the Trinity River.

Bureau Pays Costs

As in the case of the Folsom Project, the facilities
will be operated by the department but all costs will
be paid b\' the bureau as a part of the cost of the
whole Trinity River Project. Even though the dam

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