The Current Magazine Summer 2018 - Page 8

JOE PAUL, 1915 - 1972

Successful efforts by organized anglers to protect, preserve, and improve California's wild trout waters and free-flowing rivers began along the banks of Hat Creek in 1967. A remarkable man led the way.

The Hat Creek Wild Trout Project, which rehabilitated the famous trout stream, was headed by Joseph Paul, who conceived and refined the project's purpose, meaning, and direction, and who worked tirelessly to make it a reality. It was Joseph Paul who conceived and founded the California Committee of Two Million and who directed that coalition of citizens to sponsor and finally win the historic victory which became The California Wild and Scenic Rivers Act. It was Joseph Paul who conceived and co-founded, along with Richard May, California Trout, an organization of anglers destined to achieve many successes for the benefit of wild trout and steelhead and their habitat. And it was Joseph Paul who guided his co-workers to plan and win the establishment of The California Wild Trout Program which placed a score of trout waters under special management similar to Hat Creek and based upon the lessons learned at the iconic fishery.


Tuli Potts and Drew Braugh relax on jwoody debris structure. Photo by Val Atkinson