Frederick C. Cleaver was born on June 27, 1916, in Everett, Washington, the first son of an English sailor and an Iowa farmer’s daughter who met on a train near Tacoma, Washington. He grew up in Kalama, Washington, where he graduated from high school in 1933, earning two letters playing football as a 135-pound guard.
He earned his B.S. degree from the School of Fisheries of the University of Washington in 1941 and his Ph.D. degree from the same institution in 1967.
He worked for the Washington Department of Fisheries from 1942 to 1948, for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Honolulu, Hawaii, from 1948 to 1951, for the Oregon Fish Commission from 1951 to 1956, and again for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service from 1956 until his retirement in 1976. Dr. Cleaver’s duties and assignments included research into the methodologies of determining sustainable yields of various fisheries, including Alaska king crab, salmon, and steelhead trout, and conducting biological research on various domestic and international fish populations, including flounder, herring, and tuna. In 1968, he became program director of the Columbia River Fisheries Program, where he managed programs to increase the runs of salmon and steelhead through the operation of hatcheries, establishment of bypass fish-ways at migration obstructions, and installation of screens at dangerous river diversions. He wrote and published numerous scientific papers, and reports from his research were instrumental in commercial fishing negotiations with Canada, Japan, and the former U.S.S.R.
He married Rosemary Hays of Portland, Oregon, in 1941. Rosemary passed away in June 1993, ending their long marriage of 52 years.
He belonged to many professional societies, including the American Fisheries Society, the Pacific Fishery Biologists, and, of course, the American Institute of Fishery Research Biologists—the organization that he helped establish in 1956.
Fred Cleaver died on February 6, 2002, at the age of 85, in Portland, Oregon.
Anonymous. 2009. Herbert W. Graham [obituary]. AIFRB Briefs, 38 (1): 5-6.
Skud, Bernard. 2007. Herbert W. Graham: happy 102nd birthday!! AIFRB Briefs, 36 (5): 6-7.
Personal communications: Teri Frade, Karen Heise-Gentile, Suzan Oliver, Bernard E. Skud.