From WikiName
Jump to: navigation, search
Sardine boats, San Pedro, California
Offloading sardines, San Pedro, California

Sardines are members of the worldwide herring family. The Pacific sardine (Sardinops caeruleus) is native from southeast Alaska into the Gulf of California. Sardines are schooling fishes, and schools of 10 million individuals have been recorded. Sardines are used both as a baitfish as well as for freezing whole and canning.

Toward the end of the 19th century, tremendous quantities of sardines could be found along the coast of southern California. During the early decades of the 20th century San Pedro's fishing industry helped fill the demand for inexpensive sardines across the United States.

In the News~

July 10, 1856 [SBG]: “Ten cases sardines—halves and quarters—For sale by Lewis T. Burton & Co., State Street.”

June 20, 1885 [SBDI]: “A. Larco in one haul of his seine last Tuesday caught close to 3 tons of sardines… They were disposed of to the Chinamen, who, after pickling them in brine, forward them to San Francisco, and from there they go to the Flowery Kingdom where they are held as a rare treat, and none but the rich can indulge in the luxury of eating them. He got 3-5 cents per pound for the fish, which may be considered a remarkable haul, one that had considerable money in it.”

June 11, 1886 [SBDI]: “What is wanted in Santa Barbara above everything else, barring the railroad, is a sardine establishment, for curing and packing in a proper state, sardines. At certain seasons of the year, tons upon tons of the most delicious sardines are caught, that if properly handled would satiate the mind of the most money-making individual, and in time would prove a fortune. Our fish (the sardines) are much superior to those caught in the Mediterranean and imported to this country, thrown upon our market at an extravagant figure, but the fact that they are ‘imported’ seems to act as part of a magic in selling this commodity.”

February 25, 1889 [SBDI]: “Professor Charles H. Gilbert, on board the United States fish commission steamer, Albatross, stated to a reporter of the San Diego Sun that he knew of no place in the world where sardines can be secured in greater quantities than in San Diego bay…”

August 18, 1892 [SBMP]: “At Quava Val Dez, fish are usually abundant. For several days the harbor was full of sardines and with them came the sharks, which drove them up onto the beach and kelp where we picked up over 5,000 in a single morning. As they rushed upon the beach they created considerable excitement among the campers. An Indian war dance is the only thing that approaches it in wildness. Of course this excitement was confined principally to the male population of the camp.”

June 17, 1894 [LAT/TI]: “The fish canning and curing establishment at this place, it is said, is the largest of its kind in the world. The sardines that abound in the waters of San Pedro Bay are the genuine spotted variety found in the Mediterranean, and are pronounced by connoisseurs to be infinitely superior both as regards quality and flavor… The company’s sloop Alpha made a haul of six tons of sardines one day the past week, and this was, in comparison with other hauls made previously, considered a poor one.”

July 24, 1896 [LAT/SB]: “…The fishermen say the roar of an approaching school of mackerel can be distinctly heard half a mile away, and their position accurately located. The noise is caused by vast schools of mackerel chasing and jumping after the myriads of sardines and anchovies now in the channel waters…”

January 1, 1897 [LAT/SP]: “The Haniman fish cannery plant was destroyed by fire several months ago and has not since been rebuilt, but the California Fish Company’s sardine packing establishment at East San Pedro has been in continuous operation during the year, save when a scarcity of fish made it necessary to shut down till more sardines could be caught. The cannery was closed for repairs a few days ago, but will reopen in a week or two, as soon as the repairs can be completed…”

January 12, 1897 [LAT/SP]: “The sardine cannery at East San Pedro is ready to open again after two or three weeks spent in repairs. The boat Alpha, connected with the cannery, made a phenomenal haul of sardines in the inner harbor close to the cannery this morning. Over seven tons of the fish were taken.”

March 28, 1897 [LAT/SP]: “The southern California’s fishing sloop Alpha brought in a catch of seven tons of sardines yesterday.”

April 15, 1897 [LAT/SP]: “The Southern California fishing steamer Alpha was crippled at sea yesterday by breaking a propeller shaft. Mr. Duffy towed the crippled vessel in port with his steam launch. The Alpha had four tons of sardines aboard.”

April 29, 1897 [LAT]: “The Southern California Fish Company’s boat Alpha, which has been laid up for repairs, went to sea this morning and returned shortly with a large catch of fine sardines for the cannery.”

May 18, 1897 [LAT/SP]: “The Southern California Fish Company ‘s boat Alpha, brought in a catch of five tons of sardines Monday noon.”

June 20, 1897 [LAT/SCat]: “The crew of the sloop Alpha, which came over Wednesday evening, made one cast of their great net Thursday morning, and caught four tons of sardines, which they at once took to the cannery at San Pedro, returning to Avalon Bay in the evening. They have caught with this seine as high as fourteen tons at one haul. The sardines are caned in mustard, tomato catsup and spices. Mackerel are also canned. Seventy people are employed in the cannery and seven on the sloop.”

September 12, 1897 [LAT/SP]: “The power schooner Alpha used for catching sardines was used for a trip to Portuguese Bend.”

October 30, 1897 [LAT/SP]: “The California Fish Company, which has its packing plant in East San Pedro, will ship a carload of sardines for Philadelphia Saturday. This makes the third carload sent out this month. One went to Minneapolis, Minnesota, and another to New York City. This week’s catc, as made by the crew of the company’s fihsing boat Alpha, has amounted to twenty-one tons. The carload sent to Philadelphia will at that point be divided into three lots, which will be respectively sent to Washington, D. C., Wheeling, West Virginia, and Baltimore, Maryland.”

October 31, 1897 [LAT]: “The California Fish Company’s gasoline sloop Alpha, used for catching sardines, will probably be libeled within a few days, under suit brought by customs officers to compel the owner to have a licensed engineer, and also a licensed pilot, accompany the boat. The company’s contention is that the law requiring both a licensed engineer and a licensed pilot to accompany such a boat applied only to vessels carrying passengers or freight for hire. The Alpha, which is of twenty-two tons register, does neither, and therefore is not amenable to that requirement of the law. The company further contends that the master of the Alpha is both a licensed pilot and a licensed engineer, and that as far as the Alpha while in the sardine-catching business is concerned, one man is all that is needed to perform the functions of those two positions.”

November 2, 1897 [LAT/SP]: “The sloop Alpha brought a five-ton catch of sardines to the cannery today.”

November 25, 1897 [LAT/SP]: “The operations of the California Fish Company have had a temporary interruption because of a difference of opinion existing between the management and the Federal authorities. This difference affects only the gasoline schooner Alpha, which has been used in catching the sardines packed by the company. The license for the Alpha expired on November 18 and the customhouse officers have refused to issue a new license. The boat has been in charge of one man holding a master’s and an engineer’s license. The company contends that, as the boat does not carry passengers for hire, only on licensed officer is necessary. The position assumed by the government is that the boat should carry a licensed master and another man who is a licensed engineer. Pending a settlement of the case, the company is fitting out the schooner J. Willey, which will be in use by next Monday, in place of the Alpha. The sardines packed at the cannery have hitherto been caught from the Alpha, which would pass over all the waters of this neighborhood in search of the fish. Not infrequently big catches would be made near Catalina Island and other distant points.”

December 1, 1897 [LAT/SP]: “Pending the settlement of the snit between the United States authorities and the California Fish Company relative to the operation of the gasoline sloop Alpha, the boat used for catching the sardines packed by the company, the power schooner Dawn has been engaged. This little vessel came into port this afternoon with four tons of the fish. Assistant United States District Attorney Finlayson, who has charge of the government’s interests in the case, has said he desired to bring it to as speedy a conclusion as consistent, so it is expected the case will be settled within a few days.”

December 11, 1897 [LAT]: “The libel of information against the gasoline sloop Alpha was dismissed yesterday in the United States District Court. The libel alleged that the Alpha had acted in defiance of the United States statute, which provides that all vessels of more than fifteen tons burden carrying freight or passengers for hire shall have a licensed captain and engineer. It was proven that the Alpha was merely a fishing boat, owned and operated by the California Fish Company of San Pedro, and used only in catching mackerel and sardines and transporting them to the wharf of the company.”

December 19, 1897 [LAT/SCat]: “Avalon. The San Pedro fish cannery boat Alpha came over Tuesday, but did not cast her net next morning, as there were no sardines in the bay.”

January 1, 1898 [LAT]: “The only important fish-preserving industry in Southern California is at San Pedro, where the California Fish Company commenced packing sardines four years ago. The packing plant owned by the company is valued at $15,000, and the vessels and gear are estimated as worth $12,000, the payroll of the company averaging $3000 per month. Seventy-five people are employed. During 1897 the company packed about 15,000 cases of sardines.”

February 18, 1898 [LAST/SP]: “Sardines for packing at the cannery have been hard to find during the past fortnight. The company’s power sloop Alpha sailed this afternoon for Catalina Island, hoping to find fish in the waters about there.”

March 4, 1898 [LAT/SP]: “The sloop Alpha brought in several tons of sardines this morning. This is the first time that they have been running well for nearly a month.”

March 27, 1898 [LAT/SP]: “The sardine canning company’s fishing boat, Alpha, had a rough passage coming from Redondo to this port Friday evening, and lost her seine skiff.”

May 5, 1898 [LAT/SCat]: “Avalon…. If the fish cannery boat Alpha comes into the bay in the morning or evening, she is at once boarded for [Los Angeles] news.”

December 11, 1898 [LAT/SP]: “The sardine fishing company’s power sloop Alpha broke her crank shaft Thursday and will be idle till a new shaft can be attached.”

January 22, 1899 [LAT/SCat]: “Avalon. The sardine boat Alpha from San Pedro was in the bay yesterday, but got nothing more than the marble heart from the local fishermen, who are not at all pleased to have this boat swoop down periodically on their preserves and carry away from ten to fifteen tons of sardines at one fell swoop. The little fishes seem to have taken to deep water, as their presence has been missed for some weeks.”

March 29, 1899 [LAT/SP]: “The California Fish Company’s powerboat Alpha brought in two hauls of sardines Monday, the first catches of consequence that had been made in three weeks.”

April 29, 1899 [SBMP]: “A factory may be established in or near this city [Santa Barbara] ... At San Pedro, a lobster cannery is very successfully conducted, and the lobsters used are the Santa Barbara Island crawfish... The genuine sardines, which are very difficult to obtain elsewhere, are found in countless numbers in the channel in their proper season, and the canning of these favorites would be a favorites would be a leading feature of the work...”

May 21, 1899 [LAT]: “Wealth of the sea… For several years there has been a large sardine packing-house at San Pedro, the product of which finds a ready market throughout the country, at prices not based on the quotations for so-called sardines from Atlantic waters, but on the prices received for real French sardines.”

October 18, 1899 [LAT/SP]: “The California Fish Company’s powerboat Alpha came into the bay this afternoon with a load of sardines. That kind of fish has been uncommonly scarce of late.”

October 30, 1899 [LAT/SB]: “During the past two or three days great schools of sardines have been running in the channel, coming in close to shore with the tides. Several large catches have been made.”

November 5, 1899 [LAT/SCat]: “Not withstanding the incursion made on the sardines by the canning boat Alpha, there are still millions of these little fish in the bay. How they manage to exist in such numbers is a mystery, for their enemies are legion. Besides man, schools of yellowtail, large numbers of seals, hundreds of shag, or ‘hell-divers,’ and various other kinds of fish and fowl are following after the little fellows and devour great quantities of them daily.”

March 28, 1900 [LAT/SP]: “The California Fish Company’s powerboat Alpha brought to the East San Pedro cannery Monday ten tons of sardines caught off Catalina Island.”

July 11, 1900 [LAT/SCat]: “The appearance of the fishing schooner Alpha, belonging to the sardine packing company of San Pedro in the bay last evening turned the current of conversation of a coterie of Tuna Club members to the subject of the preservation to the future of the small fishes, which are used as bait, and without which the waters hereabouts would be a waste…”

August 1, 1900 [LAT]: “The schooner Alpha arrived from San Pedro the first week to engage in sardine fishing. These fish are particularly abundant about here now.”

August 2, 1900 [LAT/SP]: “The California Fish Company’s powerboat Alpha came into port today with a haul of sardines taken off the shore of Santa Cruz Island. On account of the scarcity of the fish in local waters the Alpha has been going as far as San Diego and elsewhere after them.”

October 26, 1900 [LAT/SP]: “The powerboat Alpha brought in nine tons of sardines for the San Pedro cannery Wednesday.”

November 4, 1900 [LAT/SP]: “The powerboat Alpha, with a good haul of sardines for the East San Pedro Cannery, became disabled off Redondo Friday by a break in her engine and endeavored to make this port under sail. She drifted all night with barely a breeze enough for steerage way, and that only part of the time. She was towed into the inner harbor by a launch.”

November 16, 1900 [LAT/SP]: “The sardine cannery’s fishing boat, Alpha, came into port with six tons of sardines Monday.”

December 18, 1900 [LAT]: “Sardines scarce at Santa Catalina. Supervisors asked to restrict the catching of them. Numerously signed petition filed by the people of Avalon… The fishing sloop Alpha, belonging to the San Pedro Fish Canning Company, has for several seasons been making almost daily invasions into the Bay of Avalon and dragging enormous purse nets for the capturing of smelts, sardines, anchovies, etc…”

December 25, 1900 [LAT]: “Catalina sardines will be protected. The Board of Supervisors had sardines for its first course yesterday, but partook of them very scantily, with the understanding that they should be served up again next Monday. The board was considering the numerously-signed petition of the property owners and fishermen of Avalon that an ordinance be passed prohibiting the capture of sardines, smelts, anchovies, etc., with a purse net within three miles of the bay. The petition was filed last week… The California Fish Company, with headquarters at San Pedro, whose boat Alpha, catching in Avalon Bay, occasioned the petition for a prohibiting or restricting ordinance… Professor Holder of Pasadena also talked piscatorially for the passage of such an ordinance as proposed… Petitioners stated that they would be satisfied with a one-mile ordianance, and by next Monday, doubtless, the various interests will get together and settle upon such an arrangement. Whatever limit is fixed it is probable that it will pertain to the county’s entire coastline."

January 3, 1901 [LAT]: “The matter of protecting the sardines of Avalon Bay, Santa Catalina Island, has been amicably settled without the aid of the Board of Supervisors. When the two factions met yesterday to compromise their differences, it was agreed that the Tuna Club should withdraw its lengthy petition, asking for an ordinance, forbidding sardine fishing within one mile of the coastline of island or mainland within the county, in consideration for which the fish company agreed to keep away from Avalon Bay. This agreement covers the next twelve months, and must be renewed from year to year. The Tuna Club maintained that the enormous catches of the company’s boat Alpha had lessened the sardine supply to such an extent that the game and market fishes of Santa Catalina Island were leaving for other waters…”

February 15, 1901 [LAT/SP]: “The powerboat Alpha came into port today with a six-ton haul of sardines.”

March 20, 1901 [LAT/SP]: “The California Fish Company is about to expand its facilities for catching sardines for the operation of its packing plant at East San Pedro. The twenty-four-horsepower gasoline engine, which for several years has been in use in the company’s powerboat Alpha, will be installed in the company’s schooner, J. Willey, and a sixty-horse-power gasoline engine will be installed in the Alpha, so as to increase her speed to ten miles per hour. That will give the company two powerboats suitable for the pursuit of the sardines.”

June 5, 1901 [LAT/SP]: “The new engines for the California Fish Company’s sardine-fishing boat Alpha, arrived from San Francisco on the steamer Corona Monday. The engines which have been used in the Alpha will be installed in the company’s boat J. Willey, so that the company may have two powerboats instead of one cruising for sardines.”

June 19, 1901 [LAT/SP]: “The powerboat Alpha, operated by the California Fish Company in taking sardines from neighboring waters, made her first trip Monday with her new engines of sixty-horse power, which was installed in place of the thirty horse power one which has been propelling her for several years…”

January 15, 1902 [LAT]: “Sardines and their protection constituted a subject of deep inquiry before the Board of Supervisors yesterday. Nor was the day devoted exclusively to the ‘small fry.’ The tuna and the yellowtail, with an occasional fly at the big jewfish, were also in the swim… The occasion was the hearing of a yard-long petition signed by the county’s leading sportsmen, two or three hundred in number, asking the board to pass an ordinance prohibiting purse net fishing in the Pacific Ocean within a mile of the coast line. Against this petition was filed the vigorous protest of the California Fish Company, whose fishing boat Alpha scours every nook of quiet water in this stretch of the sea for sardines, which are canned at San Pedro…”

January 31, 1902 [LAT/SP]: “The power sloop Alpha, employed in the sardine trade by the California Fish Company, has been out nine days and her prolonged absence has caused uneasiness… The California Fish Company’s power sloop J Willey was sent out this morning… The Alpha, although not a large boat, is one of the staunchest of her kind on the coast. A new set of gasoline engines was recently installed in her so as to give a much greater power…”

January 15, 1902 [LAT]: “Sardines and their protection constituted a subject of deep inquiry before the Board of Supervisors yesterday… The occasion was the hearing of a yard-long petition signed by the county’s leading sportsmen, two or three hundred in number, asking the board to pass an ordinance prohibiting purse net fishing in the Pacific Ocean within a mile of the coast line. Against this petition was filed the vigorous protest of the California Fish Company, whose fishing boat, Alpha, scours every nook of quiet water in this stretch of the sea for sardines, which are canned at San Pedro… The people of Avalon are taking a special interest in the fight. Avalon does not want the fish disturbed in its bay on a wholesale plan. Just a year ago a similar agitation resulted in a compromise with the California Fish Company, wherein it was agreed that the Alpha should not fish in the bay for twelve months. That agreement has expired now, and again is fish protection before the county authorities. The Tuna Club, with piscatorial headquarters at Santa Catalina, is heading the protection campaign…”

March 23, 1902 [LAT/SCat]: “Avalon. The San Pedro fish cannery boat Alpha made another haul of sardines in the bay this morning, taking only the remnant of the school which escaped last time, amounting to perhaps five or six tons. The residents here are rejoicing that the Board of Supervisors has at length passed an ordinance prohibiting the seining of bait fish in this bay, and are only sorry that nearly three weeks must elapse before it becomes operative. The cannery people deny that the Alpha entered Avalon Bay on a recent occasion, and seined more fish than they could carry away, and that they turned loose any of their catch in a bruised or battered condition. There were a dozen fishermen near the Alpha when the carnage ceased, who testify that tons of sardines, the estimates varying from two to four, were dumped out of their nets after every bucketful they could make stick on the boat had been loaded on her. All who are familiar with the boat and have seen her loaded many times over, say that they never before saw her so heavily loaded. There were fish fore and aft and amidships; boards were set up as the farmer does when hauling pumpkins, and the fish were heaped up, pressed down, shaken together and running over. A former engineer on the boat says that they rarely take aboard more than eleven tons of fish, as they are not fixed for carrying more conveniently, but says possibly they had fifteen tons on the occasion referred to, as in all his experience he had never seen the boat so heaped with fish.”

July 25, 1902 [LAT/SP]: “The schooner Alpha arrived yesterday with three tons of sardines for the Southern California Fish Company.”

October 2, 1903 [LAT]: “Sly sardine out of sight. Shortage of little fishes the world over… This year’s local pack less than one carload… The Alpha, of the California Fish Company, has been making two trips a week in search of the elusive game, but so far this season has met with the poorest of fisherman’s luck… The waters from this vicinity to Santa Barbara yield the same sardine which is taken off the banks of Brittany in France…”

October 31, 1903 [SBI]: “The new gasoline sloop Alpha, engaged in the sardine trade, arrived here yesterday evening from San Pedro, whither she had sailed with eight tons of little fish taken in the vicinity of Prisoners’ Harbor, Santa Cruz Island. Vast schools of the little fish are now running in the channel, and they are handled at a cannery at San Pedro that is getting a great reputation for its product. The sardines caught in the Santa Barbara channel are of the finest quality, and, packed in pure California olive oil, they make a delicacy that is a very strong competitor of the best imported in its line.”

December 11, 1903 [LAT/OP]: “The California Fish Company’s boat Alpha made a big haul near the pleasure wharf today, catching between eight and nine tons of sardines in her purse nets.”

February 26, 1904 [LAT/SP]: “Arrived — Thursday February 26. Sloop Alpha from Catalina with sardines for California Fish Company.”

March 1, 1904 [LAT/SP]: “Arrived — Monday, February 29. Sloop Alpha with five tons sardines for California Fish Company.”

April 14, 1904 [LAT/SCat]: “Avalon. A large school of yellowtail made a rush on the school of sardines which has been hovering here for a week pas and drove the small fry almost out of the water. They fled from the big fish and in their efforts to escape many were crowded up on the beach. Three of the yellowtail were caught by anglers from the pier.”

June 5, 1904 [LAT/SP]: “Arrived — Saturday, June 4. Sloop Alpha from Santa Monica with 9 tons sardines.”

June 6, 1904 [LAT/SP]: “Arrived — Sunday, June 6. Sloop Alpha from Santa Monica with 5 tons sardines for California Fish Company.”

June 8, 1904 [LAT/SP]: “Arrived — Tuesday, June 7. Sloop Alpha from Santa Monica with six tons sardines.”

June 9, 1904 [LAT/SP]: “Arrived — Wednesday, June 8. Sloop Alpha from Santa Monica with four tons sardines.”

June 11, 1904 [LAT/SP]: “Arrived — Friday, June 10. Sloop Alpha from Santa Monica with five tons sardines.”

August 18, 1904 [SBMP]: “The guests at Pelican Bay Inn were treated to a rare sight early yesterday morning. A great school of yellowtail drove the bay full of sardines, and in an effort to escape the big fish, the small fry actually leaped out of the water onto the rocks at East Point. Their splashing could plainly be heard by the cottagers in the pines above the inn... The fishing sloop Alpha, San Pedro, made a catch of eight tons of sardines off Prisoners' Harbor Friday.”

March 17, 1905 [LAT/SP]: “Considerable discussion as to the whereabouts and safety of the power sloop Alpha, which has been absent since the terrific southeaster of Saturday and Sunday has been heard here, but those persons familiar with the staunch little craft and Edward Young, her master, state that there is no need to worry, and that when the weather settles she will come safely home with her usual cargo of sardines…”

June 11, 1905 [LAT/LB]: “The sardine boat Alpha steamed in east of the pier this morning in pursuit of an enormous school of sardines, the first seen here since the storm in March. The crew dropped a purse seine within the 1000-foot limit and drew it in, loaded with fish. Notice was sent the City Marshal who, after satisfying himself of the violation of the city ordinance, secured a John Doe warrant for the captain of the Alpha, but was too late to serve it, as the Alpha was en route to San Pedro with its sardine flag flying…”

July 9, 1905 [LAT]: “The shortage of sardines along the Pacific Coast, south of Santa Barbara, has been a matter of great concern during the last three years to the California Fish Company, which operates a canning plant at San Pedro. Until recently, there have been hardly enough sardines to keep the plant running at its full capacity, although it has utilized the larger sized fish… The ideal sardine for canning weighs about one-quarter of an ounce, and from sixteen to eighteen of them go into a four-ounce can…”

February 21, 1906 [SBMP]: “The fishing sloop Alpha of San Pedro waters came in from the islands yesterday and dropped anchor at this port. She has been on a cruise up the coast in search of sardines which are canned at San Pedro...”

May 18, 1906 [LAT]: “The fish-cannery boat Alpha hauled in ten tons of sardines off Catalina Island and released several tons for which there was no room on board.”

July 14, 1906 [SBMP]: “Fish by the billion. Sardines by the ton are swarming in the Santa Barbara channel. Such reports were brought in yesterday by fishermen. There are 'billions of them' according to one who has taken census of the deep. The presence of the little fish bespeaks good fishing for some time to come, for the larger fish prey on the sardines.”

May 26, 1906 [LAT]: “The boat Alpha is working Avalon Bay for a gold mine, making a haul every other day and taking enough sardines to keep the San Pedro cannery busily employed.”

May 19, 1908 [SBI]: “Fish are plentiful… The waters of the channel are filled with sardines, which are the principal food for yellowtail, Spanish mackerel and sea bass…”

September 1, 1910 [SBMP]: “The San Pedro fishermen are again invading the Santa Barbara channel, and before many days the entire fleet of 20 or 30 boats may be expected here. Captain Short of the Charm and other channel mariners report that the fishing around the islands is improving rapidly, there being large schools of sardines, bonita and albacore.”

September 1, 1910 [SBI]: “Captain Short took a trip to Santa Cruz Island today to attend to some private business and will return this evening. He reports that one or two fishing boats from San Pedro have arrived at the islands and that more are on the way. The sardines are just beginning to run well and in a few days there should be fish of all kinds in the channel.”

September 8, 1910 [SBMP]: “There is a marked improvement in the fishing in the channel. The Vamoose, out recently with a party of railroad men, returned with about 150 pounds of albacore and bonita, and reported the waters off Goleta swarming with sardines. There are now about 15 of the San Pedro fishing launches making their headquarters here. Their favorite fishing grounds are off Carpinteria and Rincon. They leave their anchorage here about sundown and return in the early morning with their catch.”

January 31, 1917 [OT]: “Authorities on fish say the canneries have exhausted the tuna supply in this section, and that the attentions of canners has been turned to the Hawiian islands, where the supply is regarded as inexhaustible, as it was regarded here a few years ago. Captain Bay Webster says that it is difficult to catch an albacore now in these waters. It is a fact that the canneries at and near San Pedro have turned their attention to sardine canning in order to keep their plants going.” Ventura Free Press.

August 9, 1916 [SBDN]: “The crawfish season, which opens October 15th, gives promise of being the best in these waters for years, according to fishermen who are already getting their traps and paraphernalia in shape and taking the outfits over to the islands… Yesterday between the wharf and the point, more than 200 large herring and several halibut weighing from 12 to 15 pounds were caught. Good catches of jack smelt and rock bass were also taken. ‘I never saw the fishing better so close in,’ said Captain G. W. Gourley at the wharf. ‘The favorable weather and the fact that large schools of sardines are running in the channel helps to make the sport so fine. Anglers who have been going up in the mountains for trout are finding equally as great sport in the harbor.’ Several parties are out today and expect to meet with equally as good luck as those who went out earlier.”

October 16, 1917 [TI/Avalon]: “Italian sardine fishermen at San Pedro are demanding a higher price for their fish delivered at the canneries. The men want $18 a ton. It is said that the men of Monterey Bay get $10 a ton for sardines.”

August 15, 1918 [SBMP]: “A scarcity of bait in the channel waters is driving many fishing boats shoreward. At least 15 gasoline launches were lined up at Stearn’s Wharf last evening waiting for a favorable opportunity to cast for sardines.”

November 8, 1918 [SBMP]: “Information yesterday conveyed the fact that the channel waters the past season have been productive of good results in heightening the value of the miniature sardine, which, heretofore, has not been looked upon as a financial possibility. The sardines that are caught between here and the islands, is rapidly taking on major proportion, twenty-one companies having entered the field of preparing fish for the domestic as well as the foreign market. Local fishermen use seines. Tiny fish are gathered into small powerboats from the seines, and when the boat is secured, the fishermen-captain takes his catch to the cannery. Here the fish are shoveled onto a conveyor belt that carries them to the first process in the canning operation. They pass from the conveyor belt to the scaler, a revolving drum that removes the scales. From the scaler they are passed to the cutters. More than 280 fishing boats are required to keep the canneries operating at normal output.”

December 10, 1918 [SBMP]: “As the result of a fire that started from backfiring of the engine of the launch Swallow, at Gull Island near Santa Cruz, one fisherman was drowned and another badly burned about the face and hands late Saturday, according to information reaching the mainland yesterday. During the excitement that ensued, Tony Salvo jumped overboard and was drowned. The flames spread to the launch Royo, owned by A. G. Adrada, which was also burned to the water’s edge, at a loss of $4000. The Swallow was valued at $5000. With other boats in the fishing fleet, the two launches went to the island in search of sardines. The Swallow was fishing for McCrosky Packing Company of San Pedro and the Royo for the Van Camp Sea Food Company, also of the same place. The surviving members of the two crews were taken to San Pedro by another fishing boat.”