California Fishing & Hatcheries

1858 March 22, Lowell Daily Citizen and News - The California Farmer says a fisherman with a single net, in 28 days, took from the Eel River 16,000 salmon. At Smith River 500 were taken in 30 days. At Rogue River, in Oregon, this noble fish is more plentiful than in Connecticut in olden times.~

1878 January 29, San Francisco Bulletin - Catfish are being shipped to Virginia City, Nevada, from the sloughs of the Sacramento River.~

1907 December 18, Evening Tribune (San Diego, CA) - Redding, Cal, Dec 18 - The three United States fisheries at Baird, Battle Creek and Mill Creek in Shasta and Tehama counties have taken 75,000,000 salmon eggs in the season now closed. Three hundred thousand were shipped today from Baird in this county to Buenos Ayres, Argentine republic. They will be sent first to London and thence to South America and will be five weeks in transit.~

1929 April 21, Plain Dealer (Cleveland, Ohio) - ". . .The output of the California fish hatcheries for 1928 includes approximately 52,000,000 trout and 27,000,000 salmon. California operates 25 hatcheries and 12 egg taking stations, its work being confined almost wholly to trout and salmon."~


Egg Collecting Station: Woodsen (1881 - 1884)

"Little is known regarding the operation of this station. What information is available indicates it was operated by a Mr. Woodsen, an early settler who homesteaded property bordering Lake Annie, near Fort Bidwell, Modoc County. Lahontan cutthroat trout, of unknown origin, migrated from Lake Annie into the tributary stream to spawn during the spring of the year. Mr. Woodsen took eggs from the mature fish and turned them over to the State. The fish were then sold to residents of Fort Bidwell, but primarily to the fort military installation." - Earl Leitritz


Hatchery:  Almanor

1916 - Almanor Hatchery was established in 1916 below Big Meadows Dam of the Great Western Power Company on Lake Almanor, Plumas County, California. It produced 261,000 rainbow eggs in 1918 and 282,000 in 1919. The water supply failed too early in the summer to permit rearing fry at the station, and all eggs taken had to be transferred to Clear Creek and Domingo Springs Hatcheries. - Leitritz, Earl. 1970. A History of California's Fish Hatcheries 1870-1960. Fish Bulletin 150. State of California.~


Hatchery:  Baird

Livingston Stone named the Fish Hatchery Baird for Professor Spencer F. Baird (1823-1887), the first United States commissioner of Fisheries. Stone with the help of his assistants Myron Green and William T. Perrin established the Fish Hatchery beginning in 1872 located 18 miles N of Redding on the McCloud River.

The flood of 1881 ravaged the camp, so the hatchery building, boarding house and stable were built new on higher ground.

The Salmon Breeding Station closed 1883/1884 during the disturbances caused by building of the railroad in the Sacramento River Canyon.

In 1888, Baird re-opened to supply eggs to the newly established Sisson Hatchery.

During later years, Baird Hatchery was primarily a handling station for eggs from Battle Creek and Mill Creek hatcheries and by 1935 she closed.

The Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) existed from 1933 to 1942 and was known to have occupied the hatchery buildings in 1941-42 and possibly sooner.

Baird's fate was forever sealed with the building of Shasta Dam and the holding waters covering the site in 1943-44.~

See also:  Under Shasta County, Baird (Community)



Hatchery: Battle Creek

1906 February 6 (Tuesday), The Shasta Courier, Semi Weekly - E. Markwick, who is erecting the new Government fishery building at Battle Creek, was in town Monday buying supplies. He says the past week of pleasant weather has enabled his crew to make good progress in excavating and now he is waiting for the arrival of the Oregon timber and lumber to be used in building construction.~


Hatchery:  Coleman


Hatchery: Crystal Lake

1947 - present. "Located near Cassel in Shasta County on the south shore of Baum Lake, a short distance downstream from Crystal Lake. The hatchery consists of 24 raceway type ponds, 6 residences, and operations buildings. Construction started in 1947 with Wildlife Conservation Board funds. This was the first large undertaking with these funds. The ponds were put in operation in October 1947.

During the first year of operation, a serious infection of ceratomyxa caused heavy losses of fish. During the next year, heavy losses necessitated changing the water supply from Crystal Lake to Rock Creek, a small stream adjoining the property.

Crystal Lake Hatchery was completed July 1955 at a total cost of $272,299.43. It furnishes catchable-sized trout for Modoc, Lassen, and eastern Shasta Counties.

The property on which the hatchery is situated was originally owned by Frank G. Baum, widely known for his pioneering in hydoelectric power. Remains of his homemade powerhouse at the Crystal Lakes falls are still in evidence. His outstanding electrical inventions and designs are widely used in modern hydroelectric powerhouses today.

Baum Lake was ranked with the outstanding Canadian lakes for its large brown trout by a national fishing magazine." - A History of the California Fish Hatcheries 1870-1960~


Hatchery: Domingo Springs

1916-1937 -"A fish hatchery was established at Domingo Springs, Lassen County, in 1916. In 1917, the plant was moved to Rice Creek, one of the main branches of the North Fork of the Feather River above Lake Almanor during the summer of 1919, a permanent building was erected and a substantial trap constructed one-quarter mile below the falls in Rice Creek. This station was to furnish fry for the area surrounding the west side of Lake Almanor, as well as the lakes and streams in Mount Lassen National Park and surrounding country.  It was damaged by flood in 1937, and because of the very cold water, with consequent slow development of eggs and fish, the station was abandoned."- Leitritz, Earl. 1970. A History of California's Fish Hatcheries 1870-1960. State of California.~


Hatchery: Hat Creek

1885 April 18, Shasta Courier - A force of men are at work on the state fish hatchery. It is located at the crossing of Hat Creek on the Winters Road.~


Hatchery: Mill Creek

1874 January 26, San Francisco Bulletin (San Francisco, CA) - The dam which raised the water in Mill Creek, Tehama, and supplies the power of the North Star Flouring Mills, was carried out by the recent high water.~

1902 - 1945 - Mill Creek Hatchery

This federally owned establishment near Los Molinos, Tehama County, was operated in 1912 by the California Fish and Game Commission. Salmon eggs collected at Sisson Hatchery had been hatched at Sisson, but prospects for the coming season were unusually promising, and it was believed that the hatchery capacity would be exceeded. Therefore, by agreement with the federal bureau, the State operated the Mill Creek facility.

Mill Creek rises in the foothills in the northeastern part of Tehama County and empties into the Sacramento River about a mile above the town of Tehama. Salmon were captured by racks installed in the stream. The Bureau of Fisheries operated this hatchery in conjunction with Battle Creek and Baird Hatcheries. In 1945, work here was incorporated into operations of the newly built Coleman National Fish Hatchery. - A History of California's Fish Hatcheries 1870-1960 by Earl Leitritz, Inland Fisheries Branch, Fish Bulletin 150, 1970, State of California

1901 June 18, Evening News (San Jose, CA) - NEW FISH HATCHERY PROMISES TO PROVE SPECIALLY SUCCESSFUL - Local sportsman are interested in the announcement made that the fish hatchery recently established by the united States Fish Commissioner on Mill Creek, in Tehama county, about two miles north from the town of that name, is giving promise of becoming one of the most important in the State. A leading fish culturist says that while but one retaining dam is in position there and the plant is yet in a crude condition, there are great prospects ahead for the new site chosen for the propagation of fish.

This is made especially true, he says, by the fact that salmon seem less inclined each year of late to come as far up the Sacramento as had been their spawning habit of previous years. This is occasioned, it is contended by some, through the waters of the Sacramento river being impregnated with slag, consisting of fine glass like particles for many miles below Redding.

The slag is from the Keswick smelter. It is said to enter the gills of the fish and eventually kill them. The take of eggs at the famous Baird and Battle Creek fisheries in Tehama county [s/b Shasta County] has diminished yearly since the installment of the big smelting plant named.

Great interest is being shown by the members of the Fish and Game Association of the county in all efforts to advance the growth of young fish, and the failure of other hatcheries in Tehama county [Shasta county} on account of the slag in the streams has made the subject a matter of special concern.

The efforts to have the local streams stocked with 150,000 trout fry is considered most promising and the outlook for good sport another season is prime.~

1902 October 4, Evening Tribune (San Diego, CA) - Tehama, Cal - United States Fish Commissioner Leroy Ledgerwood with a crew of men from the Battle Creek hatchery has arrived here. They are now preparing to commence operations at Mill Creek hatchery, which is located about two miles north of here on about the 25th inst. or immediately after the first rain of the season when salmon are expected to commence running quite freely.

A force of twenty men employed by the Northern California Power Company has arrived here from the south. They will work south from here to Corning and Vina and north to Red Bluff erecting new poles and wires, also putting up new transformer buildings and putting in new transformers at the several different points. It is estimated that one month's time will be required to complete the work.~

1904 December 18, Anaconda Standard (Anaconda, MT) - San Francisco, Dec. 18 - The Mill Creek hatchery is now engaged in preparing  a shipment of 1,000,000 salmon eggs for South America. This shipment will leave Tehama on Dec. 22 for New York, where it will be transferred to a steamer leaving there for Buenos Ayres.~

1906 January 23, Salt Lake Telegram (Salt Lake City, UT) - Tehama, Cal., Jan 23 - A shipment of 1,000,000 salmon eggs to New Zealand will be made today from this point by the Mill Creek Hatchery.~

1912 February 4, San Jose Mercury News- A million young salmon have been planted in Mill Creek near the hatchery. J. Kimmeriek, who has had charge of the hatchery for the past two years, has been promoted to take charge of the station at Reno, Nevada, and will leave at once for his new post. He will be succeeded by J. Hopper of Baird.~

1935 July 8, Riverside Daily News (Riverside, CA) - " Funds requested. . . repairs to fish hatcheries included Tehama on Mill Creek, Calif., $15,000; Anderson on Battle Creek, Calif., $12,000.~

1938 April 15 - 1939 Jan 1, E. L. McKenzie of Red Bluff served as a Fish Commissioner.~