1908: Creek Stocked with Thousands of Rainbow Trout


Story by  John Vonderlin

Email John ([email protected])

Hi June,
I came across this article on the California Newspaper Archive website(cbsr.tabbec.com).
This is from the June 28th, 1908, issue of “The San Francisco Call.”

Through the efforts of H.W. Hagen of this city [San Mateo], a confirmed disciple of Izaak Walton, the Pescadero creek and its tributaries is to be stocked with 40,000 rainbow trout, which should bring those streams back to their old time reputation for fishing in a few years. Hagen is bearing the expense and made his application to the fish and game commission through Deputy Game Warden J.S. Hunter, who perfected the necessary arrangements.


There were several items in this short story that interested me. The first was the mention of Izaak Walton, who’s famous treatise, “The Compleat Angler,” I had skimmed through some years ago. This 350 year old book still resonates with people. Below is an excerpt from the Wikipedia article about him.

About Mr. Hagen I only know he was the town of San Mateo’s Treasurer for several years after the turn of the century.  Mr. Hunter married into a pioneer Coastside family.
What really piqued my interest was the subject of the article. A plant of 40,000 fish over a hundred years ago in Pescadero Creek? I was curious about where the fish that were used came from. So, I did some research on the historical stocking of local streams. I must say I’m quite surprised by what I’ve found out given all the environmental literature about this area I’ve read in the last few years. I’ll detail that in a future posting.
I had to chuckle inwardly at the fact a Deputy Game Warden was able to make the arrangements a hundred years ago and nowadays the same process might take a decade with 46 different agencies adding their input. Ahhhh. Progress. Enjoy. John
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