Early South Coast Conservationist: Theodore Hoover (10)


Theodore “Tad” Hoover was an early conservationist–and an honorary Fish and Game warden, a job he took very seriously.

In the 1930s, near full retirement, he was patrolling Waddell Creek on a Sunday, as was his custom, when he discovered three high school boys. They were fishing the headwaters of Waddell Creek far up in Big Basin country outside the Hoover preserve.

Upon questioning the kids, Hoover discovered they had been fishing without a license and had caught more than the legal limit of trout–way over the limit.

The boys explained that part of the catch was from the previous day and that they intended to bring home the entire batch to friends and family to show what great fishermen they were.

If that excuse wasn’t good enough, the boys offered another: the only reason they were there was because the game warden’s brother, President Hoover, had had terrific luck at that spot.

Theodore Hoover was unimpressed with both explanations even though one of the boys was the son of a state senator. He arrested them, confiscating as evidence the prize of their efforts, a magnificent 24-inch trout.

When the case came to trial, it was Theodore who urged the judge to be lenient.

…to be continued…