The History of Steelhead and Rainbow Trout in Ventura County. Volume II Scientific and Historical Accounts

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1 The History of Steelhead and Rainbow Trout in Ventura County Volume II Scientific and Historical Accounts by Jim Kentosh United Water Conservation District DRAFT OF FIRST EDITION November 3, 2008 Published by United Water Conservation District, Santa Paula, California 106 N. 8th Street, Santa Paula, California (805)

2 Table of Contents Preface Chapter Subject 1 Evidence from Native Americans 2 California Missions 3 Early Hatcheries and Planting 4 Early Scientific Publications 5 Accounts of the Old Days List of References 2

3 Preface This Volume II was prepared by Jim Kentosh, Manager of Resource Planning of United Water Conservation District. It is a work in progress. Request for Additional Information Obviously, a report like this will never be complete. There are undoubtedly newspaper and scientific articles we haven t found, books we haven t read, diaries we don t know about, and places we haven t looked yet. That is the reason the words FIRST EDITION appear on the title page of both volumes. As we find additional information, we plan add it to this history, and create new editions as necessary. Anyone with relevant information is invited to send it to United Water Conservation District. Copies of the complete reference should be provided, along with a note of where the original or copy can be found. For books, the publishing company name and date is also important. 3

4 Chapter 1 Evidence from Native Americans 2004 Study of Midden Piles Several archeologists have studied Native American village sites to determine their food sources. Gobalet et al. [2004] surveyed the archeological record of California to gain an understanding of Native American fisheries and to locate prehistoric distributions of freshwater and anadromous fishes. Over 152,000 fish remains were identified and added to prior totals. In their conclusions they state: To construct the Emeryville Shellmound and other shellmounds in eastern San Francisco Bay, the Native American peoples conspicuously deposited their refuse in a single location to enhance the mound s size. Their legacy is a stunning archaeological record of salmonids, bat rays, and sturgeons among the oyster shells Ostrea lurida, mussels Mytilus edulis, and clams Macoma nasuta. These and other middens provide an imperfect record, but they can help establish which fish were present in local waters before the onset of the dramatic environmental alterations of the 19 th century. In particular, this resource is a useful tool for justifying conservation efforts to reestablish steelhead, salmon, and other native freshwater species and to restore prior aquatic habitats like Tulare and Buena Vista Lakes. The archeological record also provides evidence of long-distance transport of marine and freshwater species by Native Americans and demonstrates how the composition of species can differ greatly between two proximate locations. Of the usefulness of their work, the authors write: Archaeological studies have the serendipitous potential to uncover unexpected species that were driven to extinction before being documented or to find species outside their native ranges because of human transport. Archeological and paleontological resources are perhaps the only remaining ways to address some questions regarding prehistoric and early historic fish distribution. For Ventura County, the authors reach the following findings: No salmonid remains were identified from coastal San Mateo, Ventura, or Orange counties, although Skinner (1962) reported steelhead and coho salmon in Pescadero and San Gregorio creeks (San Mateo County), and Swift et al. (1993) considered the Santa Clara and Ventura rivers (Ventura County) and San Juan Creek (Orange County) to be steelhead streams. In other investigations in these 4

5 counties, neither Follet (1963, 1965, 1966a, 1976) nor Fitch (1967, 1969) found any salmonids. Steelhead remains were found along the Santa Ynez River, which once supported a large steelhead run (McEwan 2001b), and the finding of Malibu Creek salmonid bones was consistent with the distribution of contemporary runs (Moyle et al. 1995). The archeological materials from the Santa Margarita River confirm the long history of steelhead in an area where documentation of the species has been poor (Swift et al. 1993). Among their conclusions, the authors state Steelhead were documented at numerous prehistoric coastal archaeological sites within their known range from San Francisco to San Diego, and their native status in these streams is unquestioned. Salmonid remains were rare in these coastal streams, however, and only steelhead were documented from this region. Over 117,000 fish remains were evaluated to make this judgment. Here, the authors seem to be making the point that steelhead were known to exist south of San Francisco, yet their remains were rare. No salmon remains were found south of San Francisco. To further support their findings, they write: Salmonid centra are easily recognizable even as microscopic fragments, which further reinforces the salmonid s lack of abundance in the archeological materials. The low numbers of salmonid remains found in the overall archaeological survey may indicate some kind of bias against salmonid remains. Gobalet et al. [2004] admit as much because of the low number of salmon remains near Tulare lake, an area with ethnographic evidence of salmon consumption by Native Americans: Small sample sizes hinder some studies, but the large samples from Tulare and Buena Vista lakes suggest that the archaeological record alone is inadequate for addressing questions of the former presence of fishes, particularly salmonids. This statement supports the view that the archaeological evidence is just one of several major types of evidence that need to be considered altogether. It should also be noted that Gobalet et al. do not cite any ethnographic evidence of salmonid use by Native Americans in Ventura County. The absence of steelhead bones in local middens may have other causes, as described by Gobalet et al. [2004] in the following: Absence from the archaeological record might also reflect cultural taboos or distaste of certain species. 5

6 The distaste option is unlikely for steelhead. Any cultural taboos would have had to have been highly localized, as steelhead were used to the north near the Santa Ynez River and to the south at Malibu Creek. One might surmise that the Native Americans were not able to carry captured fish any distance to the village sites studies. This possibility was contradicted by Gobalet et al. [2004] in the following statement: Identification of fish remains from archaeological sites on the California coast were consistent with prior reports of regional exploitation of the same species. Marine species were also found inland, sometimes at considerable distance from the ocean, and freshwater species were present at great distances from their likely sources. And so, it appears that if Native Americans had utilized steelhead as a food resource, they would have carried that food to their prominent village sites. Recollections by Old Timers and Natives To explain the difference between the ethnographic record and the archaeological record of fish bones, Gobalet et al. [2004] provided the following account: Diamond (1992) provided an example of how the ethnographic record might be influenced by peoples like the stone-age New Guinea hunters with whom he lived. Tales recounted by these hunters gave the impression of great accomplishments. The reality was that the hunters killed few kangaroos during their lifetimes but incessantly bragged about those events. Ethnographers in California could have been swayed by similarly exaggerated accounts of local fishers regarding salmon, while most of the fishery catch included Sacramento perch, minnows, and Sacramento suckers, the predictable species considered unremarkable by the fishers. Both the archeological and ethnographic records are potentially flawed, but these are the best information sources we have. Apparently, what was true for stone-age hunters applies equally well to old-timers of our modern civilization. Discrepancies between tales of steelhead and the actual reports in newspaper account suggest that little has changed in the selective memory of fishermen. 6

7 Chapter 2 California Missions November 9, 1822 Letter by Father Jose Señán In a letter written in 1822, Father Jose Señán described the fish-related food resources of the San Buenaventura Mission [Nathan 1952], as follows: Item 6. There are neither pearl fisheries nor valuable shells on our beaches or on those near by. Although our small cove, called Nuestrea Señora de los Remedios, does not abound in fish, a number of species of excellent quality are found at a distance of 3, 4 or 5 leagues. These include the swordfish which, despite the disagreeable appearance of this ferocious cetacean, has very white flesh, tender and delicate in flavor. Only a few days ago I heard an Englishman say he preferred it to salmon. A single one, supplemented by ordinary rations, is sufficient for 40 persons. Near the [Channel] Islands many cabezon [sculpin] are caught. This too is an excellent fish, either fresh or dried. Also near the islands, as well as along our beaches at a distance of about 4 leagues, an abundance of chimuya [rockfish] is to be found. This fish much resembles the cabezon, but is red in color and not so fine in quality. It is worth mentioning that for every 200 or 300 chimuya caught, there are two or three cod [probably California ling]. In the waters 5 leagues to the west, large numbers of needlefish, yellowtail, and sardines (mostly of the herring species) are taken. A good many small whales and sea lions pass along our coast, but [fur] seals are rare. In years gone by the Mission used to catch many sea otters, by dint of great effort and skill, but hunting them now is a waste of time, for the Anglo-Americans and the Russians have finished them off. The few remaining ones have fled, disgusted by so much persecution. It is not certain whether the small cove is the Ventura River estuary, or a true cove that might have formerly existed east of the river mouth. In any case, there is no mention of trout or steelhead. 7

8 1915 History of the California Missions In writing of the Mission of San Buenaventura, founded in 1782, Saunders and Chase [1915] relate the following: This Mission s gardens and orchards at that time supplied fruit and vegetables to the whaling ships that were wont to call at Santa Barbara. The gardens were along the banks of the Ventura River, which was also famous for its trout. The period of which they were writing was a few years before Mission letter A letter describing the San Buenaventura Mission [Nathan 1952] describes the land south of the mission as follows: Item 3. Toward the south the Mission property abuts upon a great swamp, which begins only 775 Castilian varas from the beach. The lands to our west are of little or no value because of cliffs, forbidding and interminable ridges and ravines, and almost impassable trails. 8

9 Chapter 3 Early Hatcheries and Planting Information on early planting of steelhead and rainbow trout is useful to explain angling reports that appear to conflict with other evidence of the historic size of the steelhead runs in the Santa Clara River. Early Trout Planting in California In their Status Review of West Coast Steelhead, NOAA [ ] discussed artificial propagation in California as follows: Artificial propagation of O. mykiss began in the 1870s in the San Francisco Bay area (Behnke 1992). These fish were presumably rainbow trout. From 1877 to 1888, egg taking stations were established on the lower McCloud River (upper Sacramento River Basin) for propagation of redband trout and coastal steelhead, with no apparent effort to separate the two forms (Behnke 1992). From that time, O. mykiss has been widely propagated, and stocks have been transported literally around the globe. Behnke (1992, p. 174) stated that the overwhelming majority of brood stocks of rainbow trout maintained around the world originated mainly from various mixtures of coastal steelhead. Therefore, in evaluating artificial propagation of steelhead, it is also important to consider the propagation of rainbow trout. The popularity of O. mykiss as a cultured species makes it infeasible to discuss each propagation facility on the west coast in this document. Behnke (1992, p. 174) noted that, in California alone, 169 hatcheries and egg-taking stations drew on diverse populations of rainbow trout from 1879 to A list of major steelhead propagation facilities currently in operation is provided in Appendix C. Annual hatchery production of steelhead on the west coast of North America increased from about 3 million juvenile steelhead in 1960 to over 30 million in 1985 (Light 1989). The majority of hatchery produced steelhead are from the Pacific Northwest states of Idaho, Washington, and Oregon, predominately in the Columbia River Basin (Light 1989). 9

10 Early Numbers of Steelhead Produced by Hatcheries Cobb [1911, p. 154] provides a history of the construction of hatcheries in California. He also provided information on the numbers of steelhead trout produced by hatcheries beginning in Information from two of his tables is summarized below: Output of State and Federal Hatcheries before 1911 Year Number of Steelhead Trout Eggs Produced Number of Steelhead Trout Fry Produced , , ,184, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,800 From Cobb 1911 Between 1894 and 1898 the eggs and fry were produced by the United States Fish Commission. In those days, live eggs were transported to be hatched in other areas. The State built its own hatcheries and produced the fry shown in 1902 and afterwards. Note that this table includes only steelhead and does not include rainbow trout produced in hatcheries. Evidence that early trout planting introduced steelhead to coastal streams An early account by Horace Dunn [1887]of planting rainbow trout, and how it introduced steelhead into a coastal stream, is found in a notice in the Bulletin of the United States Fish Commission published on June 6, Apparently, the fish commissioner of California, S. Throckmorton, introduced rainbow trout into a stream on his property. 10

11 Some years later, a 14 pound steelhead was caught in that stream. The detailed account follows: The Salmo irideus, or red-banded trout of the McCloud River of California, having been introduced into Atlantic waters, it may interest you to learn how this variety of fish has thrived when introduced into the coast range streams of this State which empty directly into the Pacific Ocean. On the 12th day of April, 1887, John L. Durkee, while fishing in a small stream which empties into the Pacific Ocean in Marin County, about 7 miles from Saucelito, caught a red-banded trout (Salmo irideus) that weighed about 14 pounds. The fish was a female, and had come into the stream to spawn, it being in a gravid condition, so that about a quart of eggs (estimated) flowed from it while being taken from the water. When taken to Saucelito, about five hours later, the fish weighed just 12 ¼ pounds. This trout was undoubtedly one of a lot planted by the late Mr. S. R. Throckmorton, then fish commissioner of this State, in the stream where it was caught on the property belonging then to that gentleman. The marking was a brilliant cochineal color on the gill-cover, say 2 ½ inches in diameter, and a welldefined stripe or band of the same color 2 inches wide extending from the gillopening down the median line to and including the tail. So far as I know, the largest specimen of this variety of trout taken in the native stream (McCloud River) has weighed 6 pounds, the fish never migrating from that place to the ocean, a distance of somewhere about 400 miles. This species of trout, under the direction of the late commissioners, Messrs. Redding and Throckmorton, were placed in many of the streams of Sonoma, Marin, San Mateo, and Santa Cruz Counties which empty directly into the Pacific. From these short streams, ranging from 30 to 150 miles long, the fish have ample opportunities to migrate to the ocean, and do so, having been taken in brackish water at the mouths of the streams on various occasions. They seem not only to thrive faster (from abundance of food, no doubt), but take on an outer coating of color (like marking of lead), which they afterwards lose after being in fresh water some time. Red-banded trout are today called rainbow trout. This capture of what was obviously a steelhead must have been a rare occurrence, to have merited this publication. It shows how widespread early trout planting was, and how it introduced steelhead to small coastal streams. Manual of Fish Culture In 1900, The U.S. Commission of Fish and Fisheries published its Manual of Fish Culture, which provided details on how to raise and plant rainbow trout. 11

12 The Fish Car Era In the early days, trout were transported from hatcheries via railroad cars. These cars brought steelhead fry into the Santa Clara River. In a 1979 publication by the U.S. Government Printing Office entitled The Fish Car Era of the National Fish Hatchery System can be found the following discussion of early fish transportation methods: Things were different a century ago. The science was still young. And it was the beginning of what a few Fish and Wildlife Service veterans can fondly recall as the Fish Car Era. The problem in 1872, when the U.S. Fish Commission was first set up, was how to quickly move fish from hatcheries to far-off waters throughout the country. Because of transport limitations, fish were generally first planted in areas near the rearing stations. Long-distance rail shipments of fish began in 1874 (and perhaps earlier), just 5 years after the first transcontinental rail linkup, when 35,000 shad fry were transported from the east coast to the Sacramento River. The report continues Rail shipments of fish increased as the interest in managing streams and lakes spread. Containers were shipped in baggage cars, accompanied by Government fish culturalists With the volume of such traffic steadily rising, the Fish Commission decided in 1881 to purchase a fish car a baggage car specifically equipped for carrying fish In 1882, the Commission invested $7,334 in a new and improved version The car was reinforced so it could carry as much as 20,000 pounds of fish, water and equipment at passenger speeds So successful was Fish Car. No. 2 that a third coach was built in 1884 and added to the fleet The rise in the number of Government hatcheries prompted the purchase of another fish car in Each car was more advanced than its predecessor The modern Fish Car Era was ushered in with the delivery in 1916 of the first steel car, Fish Car No. 7, which had a fish-carrying capacity of 50 percent more than the existing wooden models. And so, early in the history of California, the capacity to transport large numbers of hatchery fish was available. The last fish car was taken out of service in Fish transportation is now done primarily by truck. Results of Early planting of rainbow trout in Missouri. Maynard [1887] described a successful introduction of rainbow trout into Missouri, as follows: October 9, 1885, I went to the head of Spring River with Dr. E. P. Hansard, of Pierce City, Lawrence County, Missouri, to classify a trout said to be found there. On beginning fishing he immediately landed a 17-inch fish that proved to be a 12

13 rainbow trout, sometimes known as the California red-sided trout. Soon afterwards another of the same species was taken, weighing a little over 4½ pounds when dressed. In a study of the stream for about a mile I saw over 100 trout, ranging from 12 to 18 inches in length, and about 30 of the larger size were taken. At the head of the river, which is an immense spring, and within 100 yards below, I saw many thousands of the last hatching, which were 4 or 5 inches long. Thirty or forty were caught during this last summer a mile or so below the head of the river, where the water gets s warm in summer as it does in any of these streams, which shows that these fish will thrive all over this section of Missouri. These trout are the remnants and progeny of 1,500 fry planted June 10, 1882, and their growth is extraordinary. Even if they had been planted one or two years before, the growth is surprising, and shows that with a little care and expense all these streams can be made alive with a remarkably fine game fish, which is also an excellent and delicate table fish. It is, moreover, more hardy than is generally supposed. I have planted it in the shallow creeks of the Wyoming plains, where the water gets so warm and is always so alkaline that scarcely anything but the hardy cyprinoids can live, and the rainbow trout has done well in them. CHEYENNE, Wyo., March 29, This story demonstrates just how early plantings of rainbow trout were being done. Early Trout Planting in the Santa Clara River Cam Swift [1993] wrote of historical plantings of rainbow trout and steelhead: Beginning in the 1890s and extending through the late 1930s fingerling rainbow trout were planted into almost all possible waters in southern California (CFG LB). Included were stocks identified at the time as both rainbow trout and steelhead (Bucack and Gall 1980). Of hatchery planting in southern California, NOAA Fisheries [ ] wrote Southern California Compared to many other areas, the hatchery effort in southern California has not been extensive. Between 1910 and 1940, sporadic introductions of steelhead into various streams within rivers occupied by this ESU were made with small lots of more northerly stocks, primarily from Scott Creek, Central California ESU (Bryant 1994). No records were found pertaining to hatchery activity in this region between 1940 and Since the early 1970s, steelhead from state hatcheries have periodically been released in this area, but not on a large scale. For example, about 50,000 Mad River Hatchery steelhead have been planted in Southern California streams in the last 20 years, mainly in the Ventura River and Arroyo Seco Creek (CDFG 1994). 13

14 In the above, NOAA Fisheries is referring to steelhead planting, and not about rainbow trout planting. The hatchery effort for rainbow trout has assuredly been extensive. NMFS wording in the above paragraph ignores their own admonition in the same publication that, in evaluating artificial propagation of steelhead, it is also important to consider the propagation of rainbow trout. Jarrett s 1983 Historical Account of Planting In her history of Fillmore, Jarrett [1983] wrote, Mother Nature took care of stocking the Sespe for a long time, but as early as 1911, the streams were being supplied by the state hatchery. In October 1916, the State Game Commission shipped 30 cans of fingerlings to the Brownstone Station west of Fillmore where they were met by a dozen local fellows who had volunteered to get those 75,000 baby fish into the creeks. They didn t just dump them from a tank truck then, you know. They d lay the open pack cans they look like milk cans down on their sides under water, and the little ones would just swim out when they felt acclimated. Charlie Brown was there, of course, with a borrowed horse. He tied a can to each side of the animal and walked with it some 6 miles up the trail to Westfork to plant those fingerlings, no doubt drooling and dreaming of fried trout all the way. Nowadays, nobody has to hike far with those cans. A helicopter just carries them as far up the streams as possible, and the fellows ride along to empty them. No sweat. Here is an interesting account of steelhead planting for research purposes. For his master s thesis Mark Moore (Moore 1980b) planted steelhead trout in the Ventura River. His description is as follows: Steelhead Planting The Ventura River below the Robles Diversion Dam supports a heterogeneous salmonid population consisting of migratory steelhead and resident rainbow trout (Tippets, 1979). The population of wild juvenile steelhead was not determined prior to the initiation of the study but was believed to be relatively small. To facilitate the assessment of mortality and growth rates of juvenile steelhead, the existing salmonid population was augmented by planting a total of 40,000 juvenile steelhead in the Casitas Springs study area: 11,000 in 1976; 9,000 in 1977; and 20,000 in The majority of the planted steelhead were obtained from the Mad River Hatchery. However, due to a late adult run at the Mad River Hatchery in 1977, eggs were transported in the eyed stage from the Mad River facility to the fish hatchery at Humboldt State University where slightly warmer incubating 14

15 temperatures shortened the hatching time, producing fish of nearly the same length at the time of the planting as the fish planted in 1976 and An additional 2,000 juvenile steelhead were provided by the Humboldt State University Fish Hatchery in Moore does not state what happened to his fish, whether they migrated to the ocean and returned as steelhead adults in subsequent years. 15

16 Chapter 4 Early Scientific Publications We are interested in the status of steelhead trout before their distribution was disrupted by human activities such as dams and hatchery planting. Primary sources should then be written by scientists alive in the late 1800s and early 1900s, before fish populations were affected by development in California Publication by the British Museum An early mention of steelhead (Salmo gairdnerii) and rainbow trout (Salmo irideus) was published by the British Museum in 1866 [Gunther 1866]. They did not mention any common names for the fish. The publication provides a brief physical description of the fish. Irideus are said to be a non-migratory species of rivers of Upper California. The authors were doubtful whether gairdneri are truly a distinct species, 1874 Discovery of Subterranean Trout An early account of trout near the Santa Clara River can be found in a issue of the Popular Science Monthly [Youmans 1873], which contains the following brief article: Subterranean Fish. For the purpose of supplying water to a new wharf at Point Hueneme, southeast of San Buenaventura, Cal., an artesian well was sunk not five feet from high-water mark. At the depth of 143 feet a strong flow of water was obtained, which spouted 30 feet high. A goose-neck was fitted on the bore so as to reverse the flow. One day while the agent was absent, the men noticed fish in the waste-water. On his return attention was given to the fact, and the well was found to be filled with young trout, thousands of them being thrown out at every jet. These trout were all the same size (about two inches long), and perfectly developed. They had perfect eyes. There is no stream nearer than the Santa Clara River, several miles distant. There are no trout in the lower portions of the river. The temperature of the water is the same as that of the wells of this country (64º Fahr.), too warm, of course, for trout to live long in. American Journal of Science. We can only speculate as to the source of these subterranean trout. The most likely possibility is that they became entrained in the underground aquifer in springs near the coast, where steelhead may have been attracted to spawn. Of interest is the comment that there are no trout in the lower portions of the Santa Clara River. That was in , while groundwater was still artesian in the Oxnard plain. 16

17 1880 Survey by Jordan and Gilbert In an 1880 Proceedings of the United States National Museum (p. 452), Jordan and Gilbert wrote The writers have been engaged during most of the present year (1880) in making investigations of the fish and fisheries of the Pacific coast of the United States, in the interest of the United States Fish Commission and the United States Census Bureau. Extensive collections have been made at each of the principal fishing ports from New Westminster to San Diego. In the present catalogue is given of the species now known to inhabit the Pacific Ocean between the mouth of Fraser s River on the north and San Diego on the south. The names of the species not seen by the writers are placed in italics. A vertical column is given for each of the principal localities, and a cross in any column opposite the name of a species indicates that we have obtained or examined, while in the field, specimens from the locality in question. In the last column, S. indicates a general southern distribution, most usually from Point Concepcion or Monterey to Magdalena Bar or Cape San Lucas; N. indicates a general northern distribution, usually from Monterey or Cape Medocino to Sitka, or beyond; C. indicates the distinctly California fauna, the abundance being usually greatest about Monterey and San Francisco. In their table, they listed 270 species of fish, most of which they observed in the field. Their table is reproduced below for Salmo gairdneri (steelhead trout) and S. irideus (rainbow trout). Name Puget Sound Columbia River San Francisco Monterey Bay San Luis Obispo Santa Barbara San Pedro San Diego Greest abundance 212. Salmo irideus Gibbons + C Salmo gairdneri Rich N. They found fish that they considered to be rainbow trout in Monterey Bay, but nowhere else. They found steelhead in Monterey Bay and north, but not south of Monterey. It is to be noted that their survey was of ocean fish, and not of fresh water fish. One can surmise that what they found in Monterey bay as irideus were smaller steelhead. No steelhead or ocean-going rainbow trout were found south of Monterey. 17

18 1880 Description by Jordan and Gilbert In that same volume of the Proceedings (p. 29), Jordan and Gilbert published more detailed information on some of the species listed above. Of this work they state: It is the purpose of this paper to present a list of the species of fishes known to occur along our Pacific coast, between the Mexican boundary and the boundary of British Columbia, together with notes on the distribution, habits, size, value, etc., of each species, in advance of the publication of a general descriptive work. The paper is to be considered mainly in the light of a contribution to our knowledge of the geographical distribution of fishes. The common names here given are, in all cases, those heard by the writers among the fishermen on different parts of the Coast. Of rainbow trout and steelhead they wrote 53. Salmo irideus Gibbons. California Brook Trout; Rainbow Trout. From Mount Shasta to San Luis Rey River, in streams of the Coast Range and west slope of the Sierra Nevada. Less common north of California, and seldom seen in salt water. It is not often sent to the market of San Francisco. It seems to be much smaller in size than the other species of the coast, rarely becoming more than 18 inches in length. The largest specimens seen are from McCloud River, and very deep bodied. 54. Salmo gairdneri Richardson. Steel-head; Hard-head; Black Salmon. Found in the mouths of the large rivers from the Columbia northward, and occasionally in the Sacramento. It appears with the salmon and is usually thought to be migratory, but is probably not so, or migratory to a small degree. It spawns later than the salmon, and most of the individuals taken during the time of the salmon run in the spring are spent, and their flesh is of no value. In other rivers than the Columbia, and at other seasons it is esteemed an excellent food-fish. Its length is about half that of an ordinary Quinnat salmon; the body is less deep and the tail heavier. The usual weight is from 14 t0 18 pounds. It is never canned, as the flesh is pale and grows paler when boiled, and the bones are firm and stiff. Interestingly, Jordan and Gilbert found King Salmon from the Ventura River northward, as follows: 57. Oncorhynchus chouicha (Walb.) J. & G. Quinnat Salmon; King Salmon; Chouicha; Chinnook Salmon; Spring Salmon; Columbia River Salmon; Sacramento Salmon; Winter Salmon; White Salmon. Sawkewy. From Ventura River northward to Behring s Straits, ascending Sacramento, Rogue s, Klamath, Columbia, and Frazer s Rivers in spring, as well as the streams of Alaska, Kamtschatka, Japan, and Northern China; in fall ascending these and probably all other rivers in greater or less abundance; the young taken in Monterey 18

19 Bay, Puget Sound, etc., in summer in considerable numbers. This salmon, by far the most important fish in our Pacific waters, reaches a weight of about 70 pounds. The average in the Columbia River is about 22 pounds; in the Sacramento River about 18; in other rivers usually still smaller. Of this account of king salmon, Hubbs [1946] wrote The king salmon, Oncorhynchus tshawytscha (Walbaum) has also been recorded from Southern California. Jordan and Gilbert (1881: 39) gave its range as extending northward from Ventura River, I believe on the basis of an observation by Evermann. Subsequent authors repeated this statement of southern limit. Here Hubbs is mentioning the observations by Evermann, who lived in Santa Paula from 1879 to 1981, and may have been familiar with the types of fish caught in Ventura County. So, if Evermann helped determine the range of salmon, why did he not do the same for steelhead? Jordan s publications at this time did not place steelhead in the Santa Clara River Article by Jordan and Gilbert In the American Naturalist magazine, Jordan and Gilbert published a description of Pacific Salmon similar to their 1880 article. The authors made efforts to relate the scientific name of each species to common names in general usage. For Chinook salmon they write As vernacular names of definite application, the following are on record: a. Quinnat Chouicha, king salmon, c quinna, saw-kwey, Chinook salmon, Columbia River salmon, Sacramento salmon, tyee salmon, Monterey salmon, deep-water salmon, spring salmon, ek-ul-ba ( ekewan ) (fall run). Again they write that Chinook salmon were found as far south as the Ventura River, as follows: Only the quinnat has been noticed south of San Francisco, and its range has been traced as far as Ventura River, which is the southernmost stream in California which is not muddy and alkaline at its mouth. This is an important observation. It presumably shows that Jordan and Gilbert were familiar enough with southern California rivers to know that the Santa Clara River, just 5 miles south of the Ventura River, was muddy and alkaline. It also provides the earliest explanation, however inadvertent or incomplete, for why anadromous fish may not have been very common in the Santa Clara River. 19

20 1884 Description of Jordon s Expeditions In the 1884 annual report of the Smithsonian Institution [Jordan 1884], Jordan described his fish collecting tours in California, as follows: 1880 In November, 1879, I was appointed special agent of the U.S. Census Bureau, in charge of the enumeration of the fisheries and other marine interests of the Pacific coast of the United States. I was also instructed by the U.S. Commissioner of Fisheries to undertake a thorough study of the fish-fauna of that region, and to make extensive collections of the fishes for distribution by the U.S. National Museum to the chief museums of the world. Mr. Charles H. Gilbert was appointed assistant in this work. Special assistance in Puget Sound was rendered by Mr. James G. Swan, of Neah Bay, and about San Francisco by Mr. William N. Lockington, then of San Francisco. Important volunteer aid was also given by Miss Rosa Smith, of San Diego, by Mr. Charles J. Smith, then of Astoria, and by Capt. Andrea Larco, of Santa Barbara. Mr. Gilbert and the writer reached San Diego about January 1, The time between that date and November 1 was devoted to an exploration of the coast from the Mexican boundary as far north as Saanich on Vancouver s Island, most of the important points being visited at least twice, at different seasons. The chief points at which collections were made are San Diego, San Pedro (Wilmington), Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo (Port Harford), Monterey, Soquel, San Francisco, Humboldt Bay, Astoria, Neah Bay, Seattle, Tacoma, Victoria, Saanich Arm, and New Westminster. Few coasts have been so thoroughly explored, so far as the shore fishes are concerned. We had, however, no means of collecting fishes from any great depth. The results of these explorations have been given in numerous short papers in the Proceedings of the U.S. National Museum for 1880 and 1881, in the Synopsis of the Fishes of Noth America, and other papers. Our reports to the U.S. Census Bureau still remain unpublished. Some 55 species new to science were obtained by this expedition, and the number of species of shore fishes known from the pacific coast of California, Oregon, and Washington was raised from about 200 to nearly 275. Series of specimens containing each from 50 to 250 of these species have been distributed to some 75 different museums, in various parts of the world Book by Goode G. Brown Goode was assistant secretary of the Smithsonian Institution in charge of the U.S. National Museum, and a former U.S. Commissioner of Fisheries. His 1887 book [Goode 1887] American Fishes stated the following about steelhead and rainbow trout: The Salmo Gairdneri, of Richardson, is usually known as the Steelhead. The name Hard-head is sometimes applied to it, and it is known to the Russians 20

21 as Seomga. The name Mykiss is said to have been in former years in use in Kamtchatka. Large individuals are often called Salmon Trout. The Indian name Humaana is said to be given to it on the Upper Columbia. It reaches the weight of twenty-two pounds, the average weight when fully grown being about sixteen. Young specimens have not very often been captured. It is found always, from the Sacramento river northward at least to Kodiak, Alaska, close to the coast. In the Columbia and Frazer Rivers it occurs in abundance in the spring at the time of the Salmon run. Gravid females were taken by Bean at Sitka in June. The species sometimes exceeds 25 pounds in weight. None have yet been noticed to the eastward of the Cascade Range, and as far as appearances go it is a permanent inhabitant of river mouths. It probably spawns late in the fall or in the winter, as many of those taken at the first run of the Salmon are spent fish, with the flesh white and worthless. Its history, writes Jordan, is still obscure. According to Pallas, it migrates singly, form June to September; some remaining all the year in the rivers, returning to the sea in May. It feeds in the fresh waters, on any living thing. Hence, unlike the other Trout, which during the ascent of the rivers grow lean with fasting, breeding, and exertion, this species is plump and well fed, and, with Salvelinus malma only, does not perish in the winter. Elsewhere than in the Columbia this species is highly valued as a food fish. When taken in the Columbia, in spring, little or no use is made of it. Its flesh is pale, and its bones too firm for it to be used in canning, while old individuals taken in the canning season are usually spent and worthless. In the Sacramento it is not very common. Salmo irideus is called the Rainbow Trout, Brook Trout, Mountain Trout, Speckled Trout, Golden Trout, and by various other names. It does not reach a weight of more than five or six pounds, so far as we know, and most of them, as taken, are fingerlings ranging from four inches to a foot in length. It is found in streams west of the Sierra Nevada, from near the Mexican line to Oregon, and is said to occur in the northern part of Lower California. The southernmost seen by Jordan were in the San Luis River. Few have been observed in salt water. It may probably run into the sea from streams in which the lower waters are clear. It feeds on worms, larvae, and the like. It is a fish of little gaminess or activity, which has not often been brought into the markets of San Francisco, and at present has little economic importance, although of course a good table-fish. It has been rather extensively introduced into the waters of the Eastern United States, and has been reared artificially in large numbers by the U.S. Fish Commission on the McCloud river in California, and thence distributed eastward and across the Pacific. It is important to note the common name mountain trout, which is what these fish were often called in Ventura County in the late 1880s. 21

22 1895 Report by Jordan on Arroyo Grande Creek. In his report on the fishes of San Luis Obispo County, Jordan (1895) wrote the following passage related to Arroyo Grande Creek: In this stream and in the others trout are occasionally taken and sometimes salmon enter them from the sea. Lopez Creek, a mountain tributary of Arroyo Grande is the best known trout stream in San Luis Obispo County. It is said by anglers that the brook trout exist in the mountains and the salmon trout come up from the sea and promiscuously mix with it. This seems another way of saying that the brook trout (irideus) and the salmon trout (gairdneri) are but forms or states of the same fish. The individuals which run to the sea grow larger and are more silvery in color than those which remain in the brooks. Although not describing Ventura County, this is an important account providing direct observations that steelhead and rainbow trout interbred in small streams in southern California. Throughout his writings, Jordan has not been consistent in describing steelhead and rainbow trout. Here he implies that they are the same species. But in other, later, writings he argues against that view Catalogue by Jordan and Evermann 1) One of the earliest scientific accounts of rainbow trout and steelhead in Southern California is given by Jordan and Evermann [1896], who wrote Bulletin No. 47 for the Smithsonian Institution entitled A Descriptive Catalogue of the Species of Fish-Like Vertebrates Found in the Waters of North America, North of the Isthmus of Panama. They classify steelhead as Salmo gairdneri, and rainbow trout as a separate species Salmo irideus. Of steelhead, which they also call salmon trout, they wrote: Length 30 inches. Coastwise streams from Santa Ynez Mountains, Santa Barbara County, California, northward to British Columbia, west of the Sierra Nevada and Cascade Range, especially abundant in the Lower Columbia, ascending the Snake River as far as Auger Falls. Also common in the Russian River and Klamath River. A large trout, abounding in the mouths of the rivers, reaching a weight of 20 pounds or more, migratory like the salmon, and ascending rivers fully as far. It spawns later than the salmon, (in early spring in the Snake and Salmon rivers in Idaho), and is found in the lower parts of the rivers, spent, at the time of the spring salmon run. It is then nearly useless as food, but at other times it is similar in quality to other trout. In streams where it is resident, it rarely exceeds 5 or 6 pounds. Resident forms seem to pass into irideus southward and should be carefully compared with the latter; northward into kamloops, while in the Lower Snake river it seems to intergrade with mykiss, through the form called gibbsii. In the Lower Columbia, according to Dr. Gilbert, it is well separated from mykiss on the one hand and from 22

23 the non-migratory S. irideus masoni on the other. Both young and old are there well separated from irideus. (Named for Dr. Gairdner, its discoverer, an employee of the Hudson Bay Company at Fort Vancouver, mentioned by Richardson as an able and promising young naturalist.) It is important to note that they do not place these larger steelhead in Ventura County in their era. Of Salmo irideus, which is what they call rainbow trout or coast range trout, Jordan and Evermann [1896] wrote: Color bluish above, the sides silvery; usually everywhere above profusely but irregularly spotted, the spots extending on the sides and on the vertical fins; spots on caudal small; belly nearly plain; sea-run specimens nearly plain silvery; with red lateral band and blotches. Weight ½ to 6 pounds. Mountain streams of the Pacific Coast; the typical form found in the brooks of the Coast Range in California, from the Klamath River to the San Luis Rey. Abundant and variable, probably entering the sea, and perhaps growing larger there, becoming a Salmon Trout. This form differs from Salmo gairdneri chiefly in the larger scales. Other characters are its small size and brighter colors; both sexes with a red lateral band. It is subject to large local variations, some of these land-locked in peculiar brooks, (e.g., Purisima Creek in San Mateo County, California, where the individuals are small and brightly colored, popularly regarded as distinct species). Its range extends form the coast of Washington southward to San Diego County, California (Rio San Luis Rey). It is thought by some anglers that the young fishes hatched in the brooks from spawn of gairdneri remain in mountain streams for from six months to three years, going down to the sea with the high waters of spring, after which they return to spawn as typical gairdneri. Those which are landlocked or do not descend remain irideus all their lives. As against this view we have the fact that to the northward irideus and gairdneri are always distinguishable and the scales in gairdneri are always smaller than in typical rainbow trout. Jordan and Evermann did not make a separation between steelhead and rainbow trout based on anadromy they noted that rainbow trout (irideus) also have a sea run form. They did not have access to genetic information to classify steelhead and rainbow trout. It is now known that steelhead and resident trout are the same species. Nevertheless, they should have been reasonably certain of the ranges of those fish. It is interesting to note that they place the limit of the range of the larger steelhead considerably north of the Santa Clara river. Evermann s Time Spent in Santa Paula Barton Evermann, one of America s best known early ichthyologists, lived in Santa Paula early in his career, and would have had local knowledge of the types of fishes found in 23

24 Ventura County. An account by Mark Jennings (1997) of Evermann s life includes the following: Jordan s moving to Indiana University upset the Everman s plans to attend Butler University. They were wondering what to do (and going through all the stress of raising a new baby) when an offer of the principalship of the schools of Santa Paula, California, arrived during the spring of The large sum of money offered and chance to collect birds in southern California was more that they could pass up and so the Everman s packed up their belongings and six-month old son, and headed west. Everman served s the Superintendent of Public Schools at Santa Paula from August 1879 to July 1881 (Palmer, 1933). Because of recent oil strikes to the north and south of Santa Paula, the region not only had the cash to spend on enhancing the educational facilities of the area, but also the faculty as well. Thus Everman served as the very first principal of the Santa Paula public school system (then ungraded). The primary and elementary schools were not to be separated until the Santa Paula Academy, precursor of Santa Paula Union High School, was built in 1889 (Raitt, 1988). Besides teaching and administrating the small district, Everman was also responsible for coaching the boys in baseball (Figure 3) and other sports. There was ample time to collect fishes, birds, and other natural history specimens as the region (see Evermann, 1886a, 1908) had only been worked in a limited way during by the naturalist James Graham Cooper (Coan, 1981). In late December 1879, Jordan and Gilbert arrived in California to begin a survey of the fishes and commercial fishing industry of the Pacific Coast for the Census Bureau (Jordan, 1922; Pietch and Dunn, 1997). They enlisted the help of Everman and through the efforts of Jordan, he was hired as a temporary Assistant the United States Fish Commission during the summer of 1880 his first paid position as a naturalist (Evermann, 1930, 1931a). This work also increased his interest in the study of fishes because of the discovery of so many new marine species. (Note: Everman changed the spelling of his name to Evermann a few years after leaving Santa Paula.) Jennings reported that Evermann took up his first formal studies in fishes after his time in Santa Paula. Nevertheless, his interest in birds would have undoubtedly caused him to visit riparian zones along the river and creeks. Based on Jordan s 1984 report to the Smithsonian Institution, it does not appear that Evermann went on the California fish collecting expeditions. But he helped compile the results of those studies. Hubbs (1946) credited Evermann with establishing the limit of king salmon as far south as the Ventura River. So it could be significant that Evermann s later accounts of steelhead (ref) placed them north of the Santa Clara River. 24

25 That he took an interest in Southern California fish is evidenced by the fact that the San Gorgonio trout, inhabiting streams around San Gorgonio Peak northwest of San Bernadino, was at one time named Salmo evermanni. However, this species was later found to be a derivative of planted trout and the name abandoned. Kinney s 1900 Book Forest and Water At the time of writing his 1900 book Forest and Water, Abbot Kinney was vice-president of the American Forestry Association, president of the Southern California Forest and Water Society, and president of the California Academy of Sciences. Therefore his book can be considered to be a scientific account. He wrote of the Forest Reserves, which we assume are equivalent to today s national forests. Of fish in the reserves he wrote The streams of the southern portions of the Reserves are like nearly all the characteristic rivers of Southern California dry at intervals and often throughout almost the entire length from the mountain to the sea, but in reality flowing on beneath the deep sand bed in which they are seemingly lost. Such are the San Gabriel and Los Angeles rivers, the Santa Ana at times, and others which can be traced into the green heart of the Sierra Madre mountains, where under normal conditions they are rushing, living streams, the home of the rainbow trout. The Sierra Madre mountains are in northern Santa Barbara County, but it is not certain what range Kinney is talking about. Of trout streams in the range, he wrote In ascending such a stream the trail winds across it again and again, and it is not in the deep pools that we shall always find the largest fish, but along shallows. Here is the home of the rainbow trout, Salmo irideus, a marvelous creature in blue, silver and red, ranging up to six pounds and more. This is the common trout of the Coast Range and of the Sierra Nevada mountains. About it there is a little mystery. Some affect to believe that it is merely the young of the Steelhead, while others contend that it is a distinct species. The existence of this fish is seriously threatened by over zealous anglers who fish for numbers alone and who take out the small fry by thousands every year. The largest trout of the southern portion of the Reserves is the steel head, Salmo Gairdneri, a magnificent creature, attaining at times a weight at times (sic) of twenty pounds, and leaping when hooked four or five feet in the air. In the Santa Ynez it finds its way forty or fifty miles up into the range to spawn. It is a most attractive fish in appearance, having a rich olive-hued back, sides gleaming with silver, while the head, fins and tail are dotted with black. In Southern California the Santa Ynez and the adjoining streams are its favorite haunts; where excellent sport is had in early spring, the fish coming in at this time to spawn. 25