Science For Fisheries

1870 – 1894

Even as additional species began to disappear from the wild, further protections emerged, including the establishment of our first national parks. In addition, the first state game code was enacted, the Commission on Fish and Fisheries was established, and organizations like Sierra Club and Audubon Society were founded.
Woods Hole Marine Biological Laboratory

Woods Hole Marine Biological Laboratory (est. 1885)


COMMISSION ON FISH AND FISHERIES: U.S. Commission on Fish and Fisheries, one of the two precursors of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, is authorized, with Spencer Fullerton Baird appointed as its first Commissioner.  Learn more.


FISH HATCHERIES ESTABLISHED: Congress authorizes the establishment of fish hatcheries. The first federal hatchery is established on McCloud River, California, providing salmon eggs for use in the Atlantic Ocean.  Learn more.

YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK: Yellowstone is established as the first national park, land to be held in trust for all the people. It is administered by the U.S. Army “to provide against the wanton destruction of fish and game…”  Learn more.


PLUMED BIRD PROTECTIONS: Reacting to new fashions, Florida passes a law protecting plumed birds and their eggs.  Learn more.


FIRST STATE GAME CODE: New York’s Act for the Preservation of Moose and Wild Deer, Birds, Fish, and Other Game is the first uniform State game code, replacing town or county codes.  Learn more.


WILD PASSENGER PIGEONS DISAPPEAR: Passenger pigeons are hunted to extinction.  Learn more.


ALBATROSS LAB: Spencer F. Baird directs the design and construction of Albatross, the first ocean-going marine biology lab.  Learn more.


LAST COMMERCIAL BUFFALO HUNT: The year of the last commercial buffalo hunt on the Great Plains.  Learn more.


BUFFALO INVENTORIED: The William T. Hornaday expedition takes inventory of buffalo in the U.S. and finds only 540.   Learn more.

AUDUBON SOCIETY: The first Chapter of the Audubon Society is announced by George Bird Grinnell.  Learn more.


WILD BUFFALO DISAPPEAR: Wyoming closes the season on buffalo too late; there are no free-ranging buffalo left to hunt.  Learn more.

YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK: Yosemite National Park is established.  Learn more.


SIERRA CLUB: Sierra Club is founded by John Muir, and organized by Gifford Pinchot.  Learn more.


ODE TO THE BUFFALO: George Bird Grinnell writes the “Ode to the Buffalo.”  Learn more.