With the recent news of his passing, California Trout honors the memory of William James Quinn, “Bill”, a particularly special person to our organization. Bill passed away peacefully last month, surrounded by family.
Our legacy is partly owed to Bill Quinn; he was one of the initial members of California Trout, serving as a Founding Governor and Vice President. Richard May, CalTrout’s Founder, fondly remembers Bill as his “right-hand man in the formative years of CalTrout.”
Bill Quinn was instrumental in forming the Committee of Two Million (CCO2M) and getting the California Wild & Scenic Rivers Act of 1972 passed. CCO2M, named after the number of licensed anglers in California at the time, was a grassroots effort by CalTrout leaders and volunteers to save the state’s last free‐flowing rivers from dam‐builders. The Committee led the successful battle to enact the California Wild and Scenic Rivers Act, putting a final nail in the coffin of efforts to build a dam on the Eel River. (See Bill, plus Richard May and other founding member of CalTrout, in the above photo with then-Governor Reagan as he signs the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act into law.)
We invite you to listen to Bill himself as he tells the story of CalTrout and the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act in the video below, filmed by Mike Wier.
Bill, we thank you for your dedication to protecting our native fish and waters. Rest in Peace.
Thank you Bill Quinn and Dick May. Please don’t forget fly fisherman, environmentalist and my late father, Joe Paul, founder of the Committee of 2 million and Cal Trout, whose wife, my mom, the late Berdeen Paul, is the lone woman in the picture above signing the bill into law as my dad’s representative after he died earlier in March of 1972.