Dr. Livingston Stone

  

Dr. Livingston Stone - Fish Culturist. Pioneer in Striped Bass Stocking.

Dr. Livingston Stone - Fish Culturist. Pioneer in Striped Bass Stocking.Dr. Livingston Stone was born in Massachusetts in 1836/ he graduated from Harvard in 1857, entered Meadville Theological School, and was ordained a Unitarian Minister, He resigned his clerical duties in 1866 and began a career in fish culture.

In 1870, Dr. Stone was one of the founders of the American Fisheries Society striped bass, its first secretary and one of the drafters of its constitution.

In 1872, Dr. Stone was named U.S. Deputy Fish Commissioner and assigned to establish the Baird Hatchery the first Federal fresh water fish hatchery located in California.
He published the classic fish culture book "Domesticated Trout" the same year and it soon became a standard manual for fish culture.

In 1873, he was assigned the task of moving fish across the continent by railroad.

In 1898, he was recognized as America's Senior Fish Culturist. Stone early on recognized the interaction between the biological science and fish culture and was the first to recommend and request a trained biologist for hatchery staff.

He was an early advocate of preserving salmon runs on both coasts and in 1892 asked the piercing question, "What hope is there for the salmon in the end?" He is one of America's greatest fish culture pioneers, and an early advocate in establishing the Federal Fish Culture Program.

1989 Enshrined into the "NATIONAL FISH CULTURE HALL OF FAME", Spearfish, South Dakota.

Livingston Stone is known as the "Father of Fish Culture on the Pacific Coast."
In 1997 the Livingston Stone National Fish Hatchery was built beside the Sacramento River near the base of Shasta Dam.

Elkhorn River Train Wreck

Dr. Livingston Stone also deserves special recognition for his first-hand account of his disastrous first attempt to transport fish to the Pacific Coast In 1873, in a well-equipped aquarium train car paid for by the California Fish Commission.

Like a modern day Noah, Dr. Livingston Stone loaded the aquarium train car with an assortment of East Coast fish intending to transport them to California.

Stone and his entourage made it as far as the Elkhorn River in Nebraska. ( See Story: A Disaster of Firsts )

As Dr. Stone told it:

"After leaving Omaha, we stowed away as well as we could the immense amount of ice we had on the car; and, having regulated the temperature of all the tanks, and aerated the water all around, we made our tea and were sitting down to dinner, when suddenly there came a terrible crash, and tanks, ice, and everything in the car seemed to strike us in every direction. We were, every one of us, at once wedged in by the heavy weights upon us, so that we could not move or stir. A moment after, the car began to fill rapidly with water, the heavy weights upon us began to loosen, and, in some unaccountable way, we were washed out into the river. Swimming around our car, we climbed up on one end of it, which was still out of water, and looked around to see where we were. We found our car detached from the train and nearly all under water, both couplings having parted. The tender [car for carrying fuel and water behind the engine] was out of sight, and the upper end of our car resting on it. The engine was three-fourths underwater, and one man in the engine-cab crushed to death. Two men were floating down the swift current in a drowning condition, and the balance of the train still stood on the track, with the forward car within a very few inches of the water’s edge. The Westinghouse air-brake had saved the train. If we had been without it,  the destruction would have been fearful. "One look was sufficient to show that the contents of the aquarium-car were a total loss.

No care or labor had been spared in bringing the fish to this point, and now, almost on the verge of success, everything was lost. The fish that were intended to stock the waters of California were a total loss to the co-signers. (His fish train car contained 60 adult black bass, 60 catfish, 60 yellow perch, 12 hornpouts, 12 glass-eyed pike, 50 breeding eels, 1000 tautog, 20 striped bass, 50 yearling perch, 40 large lobsters, 1 barrel of young selected oysters, 190,000 Hudson River Shad fry and 100,000 young eels.)

After the accident some saltwater species died but the others or a vast number of them remained near the scene of the accident in a pond of water left by the receding river water.

G.H. Collins and several other men leased a lake one mile from Millard Station and transferred what fish they could. The lease was for 10 -15 years. The area was to be developed into a summer resort..

"Not deterred from his mission to transport fish to the West Coast, and not to be outdone, Dr. Stone immediately set out for the Hudson to procure young fish for another attempt.

This time—still 1873—it was a success. He transported 35,000 young fish safely over 2800 miles and released them in the Sacramento River.

In 1879 the first Striped Bass when across the continent to California.


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