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I Volume 33

San Francisco, January,


Number 1 1





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LEE P. PAYNE, President Los Angeles

W. B. WILLIAMS, Commissioner Alturas

HARVEY HASTAIN, Commissioner Brawley

WILLIAM J. SILVA, Commissioner Modesto

H. H. ARNOLD, Commissioner Sonoma

EMIL J. N. OTT, Jr., Executive Secretary Sacramento


A. C. TAPT, Chief San Francisco

A- E. BurghdufC, Supervisor of Pish Hatcheries San Prancisco

L. Phillips, Assistant Supervisor of Pish Hatcheries San Prancisco

George McCloud, Assistant Supervisor of Fish Hatcheries Mt. Shasta

D. A. Clanton, Assistant Supervisor of Fish Hatcheries Fillmore

Allan Pollitt, Assistant Supervisor of Fish Hatcheries Tahoe

R. C. Lewis, Assistant Supervisor, Hot Creek Hatchery Bishop

Wm. O. White, Foreman, Hot Creek Hatchery Bishop

J. William Cook, Construction Foreman San Prancisco

L. E. Nixon, Foreman, Yosemite Hatchery Yosemite

Wm. Fiske, Foreman, Feather River Hatchery Clio

Leon Talbott, Foreman, Mt. WTiitney Hatchery Independence

Carleton Rogers, Foreman, Black Rock Ponds Independence

A. N. Culver, Foreman, Kaweah Hatchery ■. Three Rivers

John Marshall, Foreman, Lake Almanor Hatchery Westwood

Ross McCloud, Foreman, Basin Creek Hatchery Tuolumne

Harold Hewitt, Foreman, Burney Creek Hatchery Burney

C. L. Frame, Foreman, Kings River Hatchery Fresno

Edward Clessen, Foreman, Brookdale Hatchery Brookdale

Harry Cole, Foreman, Yuba River Hatchery Camptonville

Donald Bvins, Foreman, Hot Creek Hatchery Bishop

Cecil Ray, Foreman, Kern Hatchery Kernville

Carl Freyschlag, Foreman, Central Valley Hatchery Elk Grove

S. C. Smedley, Foreman, Prairie Creek Hatchery Orick

C. W. Chansler, Foreman, Fillmore Hatchery Fillmore

G. S. Gunderson, Fish Hatcheryman, Sequoia Hatchery Exeter

Harold E. Roberts, Foreman, Mt. Tallac Hatchery Camp Richardson

E. W. Murphey, Fish Hatcheryman, Stream Improvement Yreka

James Hinze, Foreman, Fall Creek Hatchery Copco

Preston Bills, Foreman, Mt. Shasta Hatchery Mt. Shasta

Brian Curtis, Supervising Fisheries Biologist San Prancisco

Joseph Wales, District Fisheries Biologist Mt. Shasta

Leo Shapovalov, District Fisheries Biologist Stanford University

William A. Dill, District Fisheries Biologist Fresno

Elden Vestal, Senior Fisheries Biologist June Lake

Alex Calhoun, Senior Fisheries Biologist San Francisco

Willis A. Evans, Senior Fisheries Biologist Pasadena

Chester Woodhull, Junior Aquatic Biologist Stockton

Scott Soule, Junior Aquatic Biologist Fresno

Garth I. Murphy, Junior Aquatic Biologist Upper Lake

John Maga, Junior Sanitary Engineer - San Francisco


J. S. HUNTER, Chief San Prancisco

Ben Glading, Acting Assistant Chief San Francisco

James P. Ashley, Game Biologist San Francisco

Donald D. McLean, Game Biologist San Prancisco

R. E. Curtis. Game Manager San Francisco

Carlton M. Herman, Parasitologist Berkeley

John R. Wallace, Supervisor, Predatory Animal Control San Francisco

C. Van Ornum, Supervisor, Game Farms San Prancisco

William P. Dasmann, Game Range Technician San Prancisco

R. W^. Enderlin, Assistant Game Biologist, Federal Aid Project 19R ^"?""i

Howard Twining, Assistant Game Biologist, Federal Aid Project 22R— — -_-Chico
Henry A. Hjersman, Assistant Game Biologist, Federal Aid Project 24R

San Prancisco

John E. Chattin, Assistant Game Biologist, Federal Aid Project 25R_ Berkeley

Arthur L. Hensley, Assistant Game Manager, Fur Management San Francisco

David M. Selleck, Assistant Game Manager r^Ing City

Russell M. Bushey, Assistant Game Manager, Madeline Plains Waterfowl

Management Area - Madeline

li. H. Cloyd, Assistant Game Manager^ Gray Lodge Refuge -Gridley

J. S. Dow. Assistant Game Manager, Elk Refuge Tupman

(Continued on page facing back cover)

Gaufuiinja Fimi and Gwir


\(>i,ume33 issued .MARCH IT), I'JlT No. 1



A of tlic Estjiblisliiiiciit of llic Kiiij^-Necked I'lieasaiit in

Calif()iiii;i IlENicv A. II.ikrsmax 3

A'itamiii A. Ivoquiroments in dame Birds

N. B. Nestlkr, K. Stow and W. R. Kaup^mann 13

California Sea Lion Census for 194G

Bureau of Marine Fisheries 19

Tiie Ett'ec't of Explosives on Marine Life J. A. Aplix 23

Pismo Clams of San Quintin, Lower California J. A. Aplix 31

Publications of the California Fish and Game Commission 35


The Range of the Ruffed Grouse in California

Alden H. Miller 53

Further Observations on Deer Foot \Yorm Infection

Carlton M. LIerman 54

In Memoriam

John O'Connell E. L. ^Macaulay 55

Reports 56

California Fish and Game is a publication devoted to the conservation of wild-
life. It is published ciuarterly by the California Division of Fish and Game. All material
for publication Should be sent to Carlton M. Herman, Editor, Division of Fish and Game,
Strawberry Canyon, University of California, Berkeley 4, California.

The articles published herein are not copyrighted and may be reproduced in other
periodicals, provided due credit is gi\'en the author and the California Division of Fish
and Game. Editors of newspapers and periodicals are invited to make use of pertinent

Sub.scribers are requested to notify the Division of Fish and Game, Ferry Build-
ing, San Francisco 11, California, of changes of address, giving old address as well as
the new.





Iluniiii of (I'lniir CiDnorriil inn
California iJivixion of Fish nnil (Imne


Surprisinji^ly, many persons living in California arc under tlie
impression that the ring-necked pheasant is a native bird. It is easily
understood tor this princely gamcbirtl has been present within the
boundaries of the State longer than the earliest memory of the niaj(M-ity
of the population. Its presence dates back more than a half century
although there was no legalized hunting until 1933 in most y)arts of the
State. It is the ]nirpose of this paper to attempt to trace the history and
development of the ring-necked pheasant population in California. This
present study is a part of a general investigation into the life history and
management of the ring-necked pheasant in California. ^

Information concerning early attempts at pheasant acclimatization
was obtained from the Biennial Reports of the California Fish and Game
Commission and those of its parent body, the State Board of Fish Com-
missioners. Later data was procured from copies of the quarterly Cali-
fornia Fish and Game, from records of the Ilayward State Game Farm
(no longer existent) and from those of the present state game farms.

Grateful appreciation is extended to Mrs. Hilda Grinnell for the use
of the bibliography begun by the late Dr. Joseph Grinnell and kept cur-
rent by her, to Miss Susan Chattin for the use of files of literature and
publications in the librarj- of the ]\Iuseum of Vertebrate Zoology, and to
Mr. Howard Twining, leader of the present pheasant project, for val-
uable suggestions and helpful criticism in the preparation of the manu-
script. Thanks are also due present and past Fish and Game personnel
who have given much helpful information.

Early Liberations

The earliest state liberations of pheasants occurred in 1S89 when,
because of the success which Oregon experienced in acclimatizing pheas-
ants, Mr. W. H. Shebley was sent by the State Board of Fish Commis-
sioners to Oregon to procure ring-necked pheasants from farmers and
from others breeding the birds. He obtained about 140 birds, at $10 a pair,
which were released in jMonterey, Sacramento, ]\Iarin, and Nevada Coun-
ties, and in some localities in the San Joaquin Valley.

However, private liberations had already been made of English
pheasants, a strain developed by centuries of hj-bridization between the
Chinese ring-necked pheasant (Phaswnus colchicus torquaius) and the
black neck pheasant (Phasianus colchicus colchicus). According to
Belding (1890) a liberation was made in the woods of Santa Cruz County

1 Submitted for publication September, 1946.

- Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration, Project California 22-R, The life history and
management of the ring-necked pheasant in California.



but notliing has been seen or heard of them since. "This liberation must
have been made in the late 1870 's or in the early 1880 's for the informa-
tion was based upon a report dated October 12, 1885, by Mr. Ramon E.
Wilson of the California Sportsman's Association, in which he dates it
" Some years ago * * *."

English pheasants were released at San Mateo at very nearly the
same time and, although a flock of 22 was subsequently seen, the experi-
ment was not considered a success. The Country Club of Marin County
introduced English pheasants prior to 1889 but the birds soon dis-
appeared. As frequently was the case with early attempts, glowing
reports of success were made immediately following the liberation. A
period of silence ensued to be followed by the dour admission that no
trace of the liberation remained.

In 1891 the State Legislature passed an act protecting introduced
game birds for a period of four years; a violation of the act would be
constituted a misdemeanor.

In the spring of 1894 Mongolian pheasant (Phasianus colchicus
mongolicus) were obtained and 67 were distributed by the State Board
of Fish Commissioners to private aviaries in various counties where it
was believed the birds would do well. The plan was to liberate all birds
produced from this parent stock upon public grounds. After the flush of
excitement had subsided it was admitted that the experiment had not
been altogether successful. A few birds were released but the locations
were not noted. In addition to this indirect method an unknown number
of pheasants were imported and released in different sections of the
State in 1895 or 1896, notably in Santa Clara, Kern, and Tehama Counties
by the State Board of Fish Commissioners.

In the fall of 1897 an agent was again sent to Oregon to purchase
Mongolian pheasants. Three hundred twenty-three were purchased and
released in five-pair lots in almost every section of the State. Reports
from almost every shipment reported that "nides of young birds have
been seen during the past season * * *."

During this same period, according to the Biennial Report for
1899-1900, 93 Mongolian and 150 English ring-necked pheasants were
purchased and liberated subsequent to September 1, 1898. The Mongolian
pheasants were imported from Hong Kong at a cost of 75 cents per bird
while the English pheasants were procured in Oregon, cost unknown.
Reports of success were all of a negative nature with the exception that
"nides of young birds have been seen in Humboldt, Santa Clara, and
Fresno Counties.'' Ultimate success of the liberations was then con-
sidered doubtful except in the moist regions of the State. One wonders
whether that author lived to see the successful pheasant populations in
the Sacramento Valley during rice cultivation.

The next Biennial Report spoke optimistically of increases in pheas-
ant populations, with Santa Clara County probably at the head of the
list. It was reported that pheasants numbered about one thousand on the
Morrow Ranch near San Jose, Santa Clara County. Favorable reports
also came from Fresno, Humboldt and Santa Cruz Counties, with occa-
sional occurrences noted in Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo Counties.
The author of this report felt that these counties offered the best game
warden protection for the birds and that this was solely responsible for
the increase.


The snceeodinff report njjjiiii li;iii(lc(| llir bouquet to Sniifa Clara
County, followed by favonible rejjorts from Fresno, Ifuriiboldt, Santa
Cv\\7.. Jind TCei-ii roimtics. V>y ^'M)^)-{)i] llic pi-icc of irnportfd rin<.'-n<'<-kf<l
plioiisanis had i-iseii to a point, that, the Coiiiinission decided it \v(»uld be
iiioi-e economieall.y sound to eneoui-ajre private individuals to raise jjlieas-
ants tlian to purchase them For ion. Xo further state liberations
were made until ;ifter the inception of the first state f^Muie farm.

The Hayward State Game Farm

With the desire for rinpf-neeked in California, a state
ji'ame farm was authorized in 1008. l\li\ J. i;. Ar^'abrite, a suceessful
raiser of pheasants in Ventura County, was en^'ajjed as superintendent.
F. W. Van Sicklen, a member of the State Fish and Came Commission,
was instrumental in estal)lisliin<i' this i)r()ui-am. The choice of a site finally
fell upon some 45 acres located one mile west of Ilayward, Alameda
County. The pheasant breedins' stock came fi-om vai-ious sources: Cre«:r)n
and California breeders and from Wenz and ^Mackcnsen of YardJey.
Pennsylvania, importers of European stoclc.

Of the twelve hundred younp: pheasants raised dnrinp the first sea-
son, about e\^]\t hundred were distributed to the "best" sections of the
State. Siskiyou, Humboldt, and Inyo Counties received the larprest num-
bers, rangfing from 75 to 80 birds in each liberation. Twenty counties
received pheasants from the Hayward State Game Farm during the first
year of its operation.


Ring-necl<ed Pheasant Liberations, Hayward State Game Farm

1909-1918, Inclusive

Ntimher Number

Year liierafed Year liberated

190n 578 191.-. r.oi

1910 94 lOlC. 9.")

1911 112 1917 r.S

1912 1,355 1918 KA

1913 1,141

1914 __ Total 4,lSn


Estimate of 1916 Ring-necked Pheasant Population
Locality County Number

Williams Colusa 200-300

Eureka Humboldt 700-SOO

Fortuna Humboldt 500

Big Pine Inyo 1.000

Cloverdale ^Lake 500

Susanville Lassen 100

Snelling Merced 150

Pacific Grove Monterey 200

Napa Napa .300-.".0<"»

Grass Valley JSTevada 100-200

Milpitas and Coyote .Santa Clara 2,000

AVatsonvillo Santa Cruz Several hundred

Lodi San .Toaquin 7.5-100

Fort Jones Siskiyou 75-100

Greenview Siskiyou Several hundred

Yreka Siskiyou 200

Porterville and Lindsav Tulare Several hundred

Total Estimated 1916 Population G,900-S,150


Figure 1. Ring-necked pheasant liberations from the Hayward State Game
Farm, 1909 through 1918, inclusive. Figures are the numbers liberated within each

This aiLspicious beginning was followed by a succession of happen-
ings which tended to remove the aura of success being ascribed to the
game farm. Vandalism included the opening of pens allowing the birds
to escape and the scattering of poisoned wheat in the remaining pens.

In 1911 Mr. "William N. Dirks was engaged as superintendent of the
Hayward State Game Farm. Through his far-sightedness in retaining
records of all game farm transactions and through his cooperation by
furnishing information for the preparation of this manuscript, it has


been possible to dcteriiiiiic the iiiiiiil)ri-s anrl fjeneral locations of pheasant
libei-alions. These i-ecords are now in the I''ish and (iariic Ijibrary, located
ill the Ferry llnihlinj;, San Fi'anei.sco. Thirteen hundred filty-five pheas-
ants were lil)i'rate(l in 1!ML'. Aceoi'diiiu: to ( Ii-iiiiiell, I'.ryant, and Storer
(1918) the total iiiinibcr of pheasants liberated by the Fish and (iame
Comniission up to IDKi was ap])i-oxiiiiately five thousand. Tablf 1 listH
the total annual liberations of pheasants I'roni the Ilayward Statf (Jatne
Farm while Fi^'ure 1 indicates in whieii counties the liberations were
made and th(> lunnbers involved.

In 1916 Fish and Game Commission deputies made estimates of the
then existing pheasant populations. Tiiese estimates are j)resentcd as
Table 2.

After fifty pheasants had been liberated near Coyote Lake, Santa
Clara County, encouraging re})orts were received in 1904 from this
locality, according to Griunell, l)ryant, arul Storc^r (1918). The Commis-
sion had previously issued encouraging reports for this county as early as
1900 and had phiced it at the head of the list in 1902. liy 19lV) phea.sants
Avere well scattered over the Santa Clara Valley, especially in the
Milpitas area, north of San Jose.

Mr. J. S. Hunter reported seeing two broods of young and several
adults on the Forgeus Ranch near AVillianis, C'olusa County, in June,
1916. This was the first published report of success for a region that was
destined to provide some of the best pheasant shooting in the State.

In the Biennial Report of the Fish and Came Commission for the
period 1014-15, decision for the abaiulonment of the game farm was
announced. It was believed that sufficient attempts had been made to
stock the State with ring-necked pheasants. During the 10 years of its
operation the Hayward State Game Farm raised for liberation 4,183
pheasants. IMany of these were shipped by express and altiiough no record
of subsequent losses were kept, the actual number of birds liberated was
probably less.

Limited though its facilities and output were, liberations had been
made in at least 31 of the 58 counties. Some of these liberations were
successful and formed established nuclei for later large populatiorus. It
is know^n that sites in Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, and Inyo Counties have
supported limited pheasant populations from the time of early releases,
possibly to the carrying capacity of the particular habitat. As the entire
State is surveyed, probably other original successful sites will be dis-

Pheasant Establishment

About the time of the termination of the Hayward Game Farm,
there were indications that pheasants were becoming numerous in certain
areas. Seven ranches in Santa Clara County reported destruction of nests
by mowers. Crop damage by pheasants was reported from Owens Valley
with a request that there be either an open season on pheasants or that
they be entirely unprotected. Reliable observers reported that pheasants
were especially numerous in this area between 1924 and 1926 before the
inception of the present state game farms system and their mass libera-

In a letter to Dr. Joseph Griunell dated December 9, 1920. Mv. W. A.
Strong wrrote in part " * * * in regard to the ring-necked pheasant I


find that they are pretty well established around Milpitas and April
24th, Mr. D. B. Bull took me to a nest containing 16 eggs far advanced
in incubation * * *. The orchardist informed ns of several nests that
were destroyed by the mowing machines * * *. A few days later, upon
another trip I noted three more ring-necks, near Alviso, on the same road.
The last few days I read in the papers of hunters killing three more and
paying one hundred dollars fine each * * *."

In 1921 Mr. Charles Follett of Merced wrote that " * * * as many as
50 or 60 birds could be seen in morning flocks in the vicinity of Antioch. ' '
He further stated that teen-aged hojs would " * * * bring barley sacks
as full of pheasants as they could get them and some in their coats * * *
to be sold to restaurants of Isleton, Rio Vista, Ryde, "Walnut Grove,
Locke and Courtland."

The Inter-Game Farm Period

Demand for liberation of additional pheasants became strong in the
1920 's so the Fish and Game Commission contracted with Mr. E. H.
Lewis, a private breeder, to furnish five thousand ring-necked pheasants.
Inyo County received three thousand five hundred of these in 1925 in the
vicinity of Lone Pine, Independence, Bishop, and Round Valley. This
information was furnished by Mr. Carl J. "Walters, deputy at Inde-
pendence at the time, who made the liberations with Mr. Lewis. Eight
ranches in San Diego County received one thousand three hundred birds
and two hundred fifty more, augmented by fifty purchased by the local
sportsmen, were released in the Modesto area.

That pheasants had increased phenomenally in Inyo County is
indicated by the opening of a pheasant season during 1925. The area
included Inyo and ]\Iono Counties (District 4^) . Hunting was permitted
from December 1-7 with a limit of six birds per season. The pheasant
population was heavily hunted and the season was not reopened the
following year. At this same time the pheasants were being deprived of
suitable habitat by the drying up of Owens Valley. This was accomplished
by the Los Angeles Water System which operated a series of wells and
reservoirs feeding the Los Angeles aqueduct.

The Present State Game Farms

Plans for a state game farm in Napa County were already under
waj^ by this time and Mr. August Bade, who was experienced in raising
game birds in the State of Washington, was chosen superintendent. Con-
struction was begun in 1925 and pheasants were liberated in the following
year. During the first year of its operation the Yountville State Game
Farm liberated 3,032 pheasants, 75 percent as many as were liberated by
the Hayward State Game Farm in its 10 years of operation. Production
increased at an accelerated rate until 1942 when 43,740 rink-necked
pheasants were liberated. In the following few years, because of the
influence of World War II, production dropped. During the first 20 years
of its operation, the Yountville State Game Farm, the Los Serranos State
Game Farm (established near Chino in 1929), and subsidiary game
farms, jointly liberated at least 309,428 pheasants. This figure was
derived from signed receipts for birds and from game farm reports.
However, it is felt that the loss of receipts and the liberation of birds
from state-distributed eggs would undoubtedly swell the total to 325,000


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I'^icrino 2. Uiiig - ticcked iiheasant lil>trat ions fnnii state gam- fainis, l'.i26
throush 11)-15, inclusive. Figures ai-e the numbers liberated \\ithin each county. Records
are incomplete for Inyo and Kern Counties.

or more. Every county in tlie State, with the exception of Alpine County,
has received state-reared pheasants. Table 3 lists the annual liberations
from the present state game farms from 1926 to 1945, inclusive, Avhile
V\g. 2 depicts the additional numbers of rinji'-necked pheasants released
during this same period and in ^vhich counties they were released.

Hunter and Fry (1941) record the six leading pheasant counties
as being Butte, Glenn, Sacramento, Yolo, Colusa, and Sutter, based upon


estimates derived from questionnaires filled out by hunters. None of
these counties were considered possessing good pheasant habitat during
early attempts at pheasant acclimatization. Santa Clara County which
once held the lead in estimated pheasant numbers, is not mentioned
among the leading pheasant counties. The reasons for this change are
quite apparent and are primarily the result of changes in agricultural
practices. Clean cultivation became pronounced in Santa Clara County
in the early 1920 's while the opposite condition appeared during World
War I in the Sacramento Valley with the introduction of rice culture.
Coupled with this change in agricultural practice is the preponderance
of small farms and ranches in Santa Clara County while most of the
holdings in the Sacramento Valley are large. Generally this latter condi-
tion means less disturbance to the resident pheasant population.

The question naturally arises as to whether the rink-necked pheasants
are actually established to the point where they can maintain their popu-
lation or if the birds that are shot are the ones which are liberated in such

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