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Digital Exhibits

Bureau of Fisheries

Secretary of Commerce, Undersecretary of Everything Else 

Herbert Hoover as Department of Commerce Secretary, 1921-1928 

Herbert Hoover began fishing as a young boy growing up in Iowa. The lifelong hobby informed his leadership of the Department of Commerce's Bureau of Fisheries.

Bureau of Fisheries

An avid fisherman himself, Hoover took a keen interest in the Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Fisheries.  Under Hoover, the bureau reopened shuttered fisheries, conducted important biological and environmental research, and advocated for the creation of new federal fisheries.[i]

In 1923, Hoover accompanied President Harding to Alaska during the president’s “Voyage of Understanding.”  There, Hoover personally met with fishermen and canners to get their feedback on his plan for the Bureau of Fisheries.  The input informed department policy in the years to come.

“Our research in the Bureau of Fisheries not only cast light on biological problems but also resulted in a material increase in the number of fish."

~Herbert Hoover, Memoirs


[i] Burner, David. Herbert Hoover: A Public Life. 162-3. [DOC Library E 802 .B87 1979]; Hoover, Herbert. Memoirs, Volume 2. 73, 149; Eleventh Annual Report of the Secretary of Commerce, Department of Commerce, Government Printing Office, 1923, 36-37.