Born and raised in California, Kauai Fish and Game Warden Roland Israel (1890-1941) settled on Kauai in 1919 and acquired a homestead in Wailua that he worked successfully until he sold it 1926.
In that same year he was appointed Kauai Fish and Game Warden, a post he held until 1940, when ill health forced him to suddenly resign.
It was in 1920, six years before Israel’s appointment, that the first ever batch of rainbow trout eggs were successfully delivered from California to Kauai and hatched in Kokee.
The trout fingerlings were then released in Kokee streams and Kokee was opened for trout fishing in 1923.
Later, as Kauai’s fish and game warden, Roland Israel became expert at hatching and releasing trout at Kokee – as many as 25,000 annually.
He was also participated in the introduction of ring-necked pheasants on Kauai.
Native to Asia and widely introduced elsewhere as a game bird, ring-necked pheasants were first brought to Hawaii in the 1860s.
Israel released 200 of these birds on Kauai in 1932 and 150 in 1933, following their arrival on Kauai aboard the interisland steamer Hualalai.
They’d been reared at the Territorial farm on Oahu, and Israel released them at Hanalei, Kawaihau, Lihue, Koloa and Waimea.
Another game bird Israel stocked on Kauai is the guinea fowl, native to Africa.
These birds had been obtained from stock in Panama, and like the ring-necked pheasants, they’d been reared at the Territorial farm on Oahu.
Three thousand of them were released by Israel in 1938 in the upper sugarcane fields and hills of Kauai.
Junglefowl — the primary progenitor of the domestic chicken originally domesticated in Asia at least 5,000 years ago – were first introduced to Hawaii by Polynesian settlers centuries ago.
In 1939, Roland Israel supplemented the progenies of these Hawaiian junglefowl on Kauai when he released 249 of them at Kokee.
The feral chickens now running wild on Kauai are an inbred mix of the descendants of the original Hawaiian stock, Israel’s released birds and fighting cocks and domestic chickens gone wild.
Hank Soboleski has been a resident of Kauai since the 1960s. Hank’s love of the island and its history has inspired him, in conjunction with The Garden Island Newspaper, to share the island’s history weekly. The collection of these articles can be found here: https://bit.ly/2IfbxL9 and here https://bit.ly/2STw9gi Hank can be reached at email@example.com