Juan Creek

Juan Creek was also known as Alviso Creek. The ground around Juan Creek was very steep and although there was an abundant supply of timber it was a hard place to operate before the bulldozer entered logging operations.

There have been several small mills here. The last, a nearly new mill, was destroyed by fire in 1944 and was never rebuilt.

The Juan Creek area (it was never really a town) had a store, a saloon and a few overnight accommodations.

Juan Creek was a well known place for catching night fish with nets. People used to come and camp on the beach when the night fish were running. The fishermen use either A-frame nets or casting nets. When the night fish are spawning they hurl themselves into the surf zone and thrash ecstatically in the pea gravel beach. The two main kinds of osmerids found here are Hypomesus pretiosis (or “day fish”) and Spirinchus starksi (“night fish”). The night fish run January through June on the full moon; day fish run June through January at high tide.

The pictures left and right above show how surf fish were caught

The picture right shows a surf fisherman with his net. The location is not known but could easily be Juan Creek area.

Hank Simonson (a club member who has passed on) related that surf fish were a “cash crop” for quite a few of the locals. He and his friends would take a pick-up onto the beach and fill the back with surf or night fish. They would take their catch into Noyo Harbour where they would sell it for 5c a pound to commercial fishermen who, in turn, would sell it as cat food.