Skip to main content
Original Issue


'Feel like a kid again'

For 30 years Clarence Pautzke has devoted his energies, of which he has an extraordinary abundance, to the wildlife of the state of Washington. His notable contribution to sportsmen was development of the state's steelhead trout, netting mature fish and transporting them (see above) to artificial spawning grounds. Today Washington rivers, stocked by Pautzke with millions of the fattened offspring, offer the best steelhead fishing to be had in the world.

Now, at 52, Biologist Pautzke might be expected to ease off and plan a life of retirement. That's not the case: on May 1 he moved energetically to Juneau to become assistant fish and game commissioner of the wildlife-rich state of Alaska.

"We've got it all fresh and new here," said Pautzke last week, "and our job is to encourage industry and population without sacrificing our wildlife. We've learned in the other 48 states, and we'll use this knowledge to save Alaska for the future."

Clearly, Clarence Pautzke has already fallen under Alaska's spell. "I flew over the Lynn Canal the other day," he rhapsodized, "and I saw clouds of spawning herring in the water, millions of them in schools a mile long. And after them came the sea birds, the porpoises and the sea lions.

"It's so damn big I feel like a kid out of college again, starting all over."