Forum Index > Pacific NW History > Chetwoot Lake Fish Stocking 1946
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Brian Curtis
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PostTue Jan 12, 2021 4:06 pm 
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I don't think this film of the Trail Blazers stocking fish in Chetwoot Lake in 1946 has been posted here before. It was filmed by what was then known as the Washington State Game Department, now WDFW.


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that elitist from silverdale wanted to tell me that all carnes are bad--Studebaker Hoch
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Brockton
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PostTue Jan 12, 2021 8:28 pm 
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Very interesting to watch backpacking without all our modern fabrics and light weight equipment and everything.

I like how they always had energy for hazing, dunking people in the lake and such.
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Anne Elk
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PostWed Jan 13, 2021 1:13 am 
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The organ accompaniment is a hoot.  biggrin.gif   Thanks for sharing this.

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"There are yahoos out there.  Itís why we canít have nice things."  - Tom Mahood
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Brian Curtis
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PostWed Jan 13, 2021 7:17 am 
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We also have a behind the scenes report of the activities in the film from the 1946 Trail Blazer Annual Report:

STATE GAME DEPARTMENT FILMS PLANTING OF BIG HEART AREA

Most of the members will long remember the epic picture making trip on July 26, 27 and 28, 1946. State Game Department cooperation made it possible to film the entire trip in color...with sound to be included. And in addition, pack horses were loaned along with a packer to aid in the heavy carrying.

With Mrs. Patsey Sinkey and her companion, Mrs Eilene Van Horn, the party started on Saturday morning, meeting at the Skykomish restaurant at 2 A. M.

The fry, half Cutthroat and half rainbow were picked up at the holding troughs at the ranger station, 10,000 in all.

Start of the colored movie showed weighing in of the fish and transfer from troughs to back-pack cans. The party then moved up the Foss River road to the washed-out bridge where pack horses awaited the extra luggage. In addition to the four cans of fish there were three rubber boats, heavy movie equipment, extra sleeping bags for the two girls and a good deal of food. The pack horses were very welcome in view of the steep climb ahead.

Trip was under way by six o'clock, the mules carrying the rubber boats and some of the packs, Trail Blazers and visitors carrying the cans of fish and movie equipment.

Scenic shots were secured along the way, as well as back-packing pictures. First stop was made at a waterfall about half way to Copper Lake where the fish were tempered and a rest time declared.

Another rest period was taken at Copper Lake. Also someone got the idea of dunking the president in the lake...and adding to the insult...the incident was repeated upon the request of Patsey! And filmed! It was also at this point that the president had a rough time finding his fishing equipment, his lunch and his good humor.

Because of a report from a trail crew that the trail was out above Little Heart Lake, the pack string dropped its load and turned back. It was then necessary for most of the party to double-pack... and to the everlasting credit of good sportsmanship let it be recorded that both Patsey and Eilene shouldered heavy packs and began the steep climb to Big Heart Lake. Many were the angry mutterings of all hands when the blocked trail was found only a quarter of a mile from our objective! And further, several of the members and visitors not only carried loads to Big Heart, but returned to Little Heart for a second pack and a second stiff climb back up the mountain.

Because of the slower progress of the picture taking party, several Trail Blazers and visitors rushed the cans of fish ahead to Angeline Lake, tempered them and released the fry. Some of these men also made that heart-breaking return for second packs! Those who planted the fish were: Paul Butler, Dale Kellerblock, Clarence Carlson, Sr., Con Mattson, Hank Hoff and Ray Lawyer. Out of the four cans, only 200 fry were lost.

Around the camp fire Saturday night there wasn't a great deal of "horse-play". But there was a pleasurable interlude of music... furnished by Thurman Robertson with his guitar...and singing, participated in by one and all. Everyone hit the sack fairly early, anticipating a busy Sunday ahead.

Sunday morning all hands turned out early and made ready to greet the gang bringing in fish scheduled for Chetwoot Lake. Rubber boats were inflated and hot coffee was ready for the arrival of Don Fletcher, Charley Yadon, Harold Smith, Art Hemstad and George Barker. After a short rest and breakfast a party of eleven, including Patsey, Eilene and most of the new arrivals set out in rubber boats for the far end of Big Heart Lake.

The three cans of fish were rushed ahead for planting in Chetwoot as they looked bad. Patsey took a good deal of time getting shots of the party in action, mountain scenery and general local color. Besides the movie there were a great many stills taken for use in various publications. Chetwoot was reached at last with everyone feeling tired but happy over the many pictures filmed.

During the short rest proceeding lunch, it was discovered that although there was cream and sugar and a coffee pot present, there was no coffee. Mortimer was properly fined at the next regular meeting for the over-sight.

The Cutthroat that survived were few. For although the Forestry Department had been notified far in advance of the proposed planting, they had not starved the quantity of fish ordered. As a result most of the fry did not come through.

After a good rest, the whole group returned to Big Heart Lake, then ferried back via the rubber boats to the camping spot on the outlet. Around the fire that evening all was well until Patsey discovered that her camera hadn't been in focus because of slight damage while in transit. The whole party was downcast until all agreed that on the next day the trip to Chetwoot would be repeated and the pictures filmed again.

This was done. And Patsey and Eilene not only made that trip and completed the movie, but also had to hike all the way out...and with packs. In fact everyone leaving on the last day was fully loaded, for the boats and additional equipment had to be back-packed.

One highlight of the trip worthy of mention was the mummified dunking of Burke Judd, Monday morning, which ended by a near-general dunking of all members and visitors. It seems that Mr. Judd was thought lacking in hospitality in not passing along a bit of bottled refreshment. He was securely wrapped in a tarp, carried to the waters edge and dunked. The idea caught on and soon there were a number of wetter and wiser Trail Blazers. Strangely enough, a goodly part of this action found its way into the movie film.

Chairman Clarence Carlson together with Con Matson and seasonal chairman Ray lawyer are to be commended for the fine job they did in the preparation of this three day event. With a total of 39 men and two women to take care of, the work was simply tops.

One of the first results of the picture taking was a two-series article in the Post Intelligencer appearing on September 24th and 25th, to the surprise of most of the members of the Trail Blazers. Although the first release sounded rather flowery, the second story was quite down-to-earth. There were also several large murals posted at the Puyallup Fair as part of the Game Department exhibit on out-door life.

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that elitist from silverdale wanted to tell me that all carnes are bad--Studebaker Hoch
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RichP
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here and there
PostWed Jan 13, 2021 8:01 am 
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Very interesting. Thanks, Brian.
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Sculpin
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PostWed Jan 13, 2021 8:43 am 
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This is great!

Brian, do you know the current status of Chetwoot?  I think I was last there in 1988  rolleyes.gif , but at the time the fish were the worst I had seen in terms of oversized heads, thin little bodies, and a uniform 8-9 inches long.  But at least they bit like crazy!

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Between every two pines is a doorway to the new world. - John Muir
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Brian Curtis
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PostWed Jan 13, 2021 8:45 am 
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I'm pretty sure the fish are still just like they were when you were there. That is very typical for lakes where fish are naturally reproducing and have overpopulated the lake.

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that elitist from silverdale wanted to tell me that all carnes are bad--Studebaker Hoch
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Randy
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PostSat Jan 16, 2021 1:10 pm 
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Fantastic read and film. Thanks for sharing.
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timberghost
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PostMon Jan 18, 2021 7:37 am 
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Brian Curtis wrote:
I'm pretty sure the fish are still just like they were when you were there. That is very typical for lakes where fish are naturally reproducing and have overpopulated the lake.

Quite the opposite I fished around the lake in my raft a couple years ago and the fish were quite healthy with decent sized up to 12 in which is pretty good for a lake of this size and elevation.
I recall there being a cabin at the outlet of Big Heart but the cabin in the movie was a different location maybe Little Heart across the outlet. Is this where the Curtis raft got it's design from?
Too bad there's not more Patsey & Eilene's in WA.
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Sculpin
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PostMon Jan 18, 2021 9:15 am 
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timberghost wrote:
I fished around the lake in my raft a couple years ago and the fish were quite healthy with decent sized up to 12

Perhaps both conditions exist.  If you fish from shore, you get the weak ones with big heads, which know not to swim out with the big honchos.  But out on the raft, you just might catch a big honcho.

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Between every two pines is a doorway to the new world. - John Muir
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Brian Curtis
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PostMon Jan 18, 2021 9:30 am 
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timberghost wrote:
Quite the opposite I fished around the lake in my raft a couple years ago and the fish were quite healthy with decent sized up to 12 in which is pretty good for a lake of this size and elevation.

That's good news!

Quote:
Is this where the Curtis raft got it's design from?

The Curtis raft got its initial design inspiration from the single person Air Force surplus rafts we used to be able to buy back in the 1970s. They were the lightest rafts available at the time and had a built in spray skirt/rain jacket.

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that elitist from silverdale wanted to tell me that all carnes are bad--Studebaker Hoch
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timberghost
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PostThu Jan 21, 2021 8:41 am 
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Brian do you wear a patch on your shirt like that on your stocking trips?
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Brian Curtis
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PostThu Jan 21, 2021 11:31 am 
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No, but looking at those guys had me thinking about it! I've got some patches.  smile.gif  I do often wear a Trail Blazers t-shirt.

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that elitist from silverdale wanted to tell me that all carnes are bad--Studebaker Hoch
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timberghost
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PostFri Jan 22, 2021 6:55 am 
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Is that the Wick dry one?
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Brian Curtis
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PostFri Jan 22, 2021 12:49 pm 
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Yeah, it is a synthetic t-shirt.

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that elitist from silverdale wanted to tell me that all carnes are bad--Studebaker Hoch
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