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Introduction of Fish Species to Oregon



By Bob Judkins


The information contained herein comes from The Coming of the Pond Fishes by Ben Hur Lampman (1946), Binfords & Mort, Publishers, Portland, Oregon.


Mid-May 1880

April 1880 by Lane County purchasers (name of buyer lost to the records) for fish farming.


Captain John Harlow, ex-mariner; his ferry crossed Sandy River at Troutdale.  35 German carp from California.  Escape of the Carp occurred late in May 1881 Flood.  First stocking of public waters.


1882 report of the United States Commissioner of Fisheries lists a total of 960 carp distributed to 48 applicants in 17 counties:  Benton, Baker, Clackamas, Clatsop, Douglas, Lake, Lane, Linn, Marion, Multnomah, Polk, Tillamook, Umatilla, Union, Wasco, Washington, and Yamhill.  Similar distributions continued to 1896.


Washington Territory November 26, 1885.  Young Carp from the U.S. Fish Commission distributed in Vancouver, Washougal, LaCamas, Union Ridge, Kalama and Collins Landing.


First planting of Shad June 27, 1871, Sacramento River at Tehama, California.  10,000 Shad fry in presence of the California Fishery Commissioners.


A few Shad taken in the Columbia 1876 or 1877, maybe from Sacramento planting.


United States Fish Commission, 1885, 50,000 Shad in Willamette River; 10,000 Snake River near its junction with the Columbia; 1886, 550,000 fry Willamette River at Albany; 300,000 in the Columbia at Wallula Junction, Washington.


1882-1883 Silver Lake, Washington, Cowlitz County.  Unknown.  Descended to the Lower Columbia.  Freshet.


July 31, 1880, Yamhill and Willamette Rivers Catfish, J.B. Underwood.


1889 or 1890, catfish released by Douglas Minto in a slough on Mintos Island in the Willamette.



1892 Clear Lake, Skagit County, Washington, 75 fish; private pond Vancouver, Washington, 25 fish.


1893 Boise River, Idaho, 100 adults; Willamette near Salem.


Laws enacted by the Oregon Legislature in 1913 and 1915 defined Catfish, Bass and Crappie as game fish and made their sale unlawful.


April 1893, Multnomah Rod & Gun Club proposal to stock Largemouth Bass from Washington Fish Commission in the Willamette because a fisherman must go 30 to 40 miles from home to get any sort of fishing.


1888 (approximately) E.W. Bingham in two reaches of the Willamette.  First official planting in the Willamette by the United States Fish Commission occurred a few years afterward…1893(?)


Heaviest release of record for Oregon, 500 yearling fish near Salem by United States Fish Commission.


July 1895           75 Doves Lake, Salem

                          25 Mill Creek near Dalles

                          75 Branch of Powder River, Baker County


1892, United States Fish Commission, 1597 fish in Boise River.


Mr. Burghduff, Master Game Warden of Oregon (1921-1925), 425 in Oswego Lake 1923.  United States Bureau of Fisheries had frowned upon the tentative suggestion.


1924 Mr. Burghduff, upper Willamette River.


1925, 5000 fish planted in Yakima River by N.E. Palmer, State Game Protector.


1934, second planting by N.E. Palmer.


(The Bass is not a "suck-egg")


April 1893, Multnomah Rod & Gun Club proposal to stock Largemouth Bass from Washington Fish Commission in the Willamette because a fisherman must go 30 to 40 miles from home to get any sort of fishing.


Trout limit 1904, 125 fish, no closed season.  1941 Oregon State Game Commission in cooperation with United States Fish & Wildlife Service and United States Forest Service intensive study of stocking Oregon streams with hatchery Rainbow Trout.



1893, a large shipment of spiny-rayed fish brought to Salem by United States Fish Commission contained Crappie, Calico Bass, Sunfish, Largemouth Bass, Catfish, Channel Catfish, and Rock Bass.  These fish were seined from Illinois River.


1894, United States Fish Commission report 50 Largemouth Bass and various Sunfish were released in Willamette River.


1892, Crappie, United States Fish Commission, Boise River, Idaho.


1905, Lewis and Clark Centennial Exposition.  Federal exhibit of spiny-rayed fish.  Released in Guilds Lake.  Already present in our waters.


Probably Yellow Perch in Exposition introduction.


Arrived Spring 1921, McKenzie Trout hatchery.  Six frogs placed in a hatchery pond.  Frogs came from Idaho.


1924 or 1925, Deputy Warden Fred O. Haldeman released Bullfrogs from Brightwood on Mount Hood Highway to the Sandy River.


July 1879, United States Fish Commission introduction of Striped Bass in San Francisco Bay, 135 small fish.