The Butte Lodge Outing Club (BLOC) was founded in 1923 on the basic principles of outdoor sportsmanship, game and habitat conservation. The club’s acreage lies between the Sacramento River and Butte Creek. Over the years, the club has maintained its rich duck hunting tradition through the devoted efforts of its members. Club members and families have enjoyed life-long friendships and the camaraderie of outdoor sportsmanship that connects older and younger generations to one of California’s premiere wetland and wildlife settings. In 1923, the first shoot took place on the Butte Lodge Outing Club land.
In the early 1920s, the club’s land was called the Doake property and was primarily used by farmers to grow rice. Robert Finnie had the vision to recognize this area of land was prime duck hunting land. Finnie contacted friends and sportsmen in the Colusa, Marysville and San Francisco bay area to form a 75 member duck club. Finnie took the responsibility of buying the land. The original membership fee was $1,000 and the duck club extended over an area 1,000 acres in size.
Finnie built a road along Butte Creek to reach the duck club site and a clubhouse on stilts four feet high above the recorded flood level. The original clubhouse consisted of a clubroom, dining room, kitchen and dormitory with 20 double deck bunks. Finnie also became the first president of the club.
Today, the wetlands of the Sacramento and San Joaquin Valley are only a small fraction of their size at the turn of the 20th century. What remains of wetlands is an estimated 500,000 acres, which is about 15 percent of the original 3,420,000 acres. The wetlands area for BLOC is part of the Pacific Flyway, a migratory link for ducks and geese that traverses the Klamath, Tule Lake, Butte Basin, Colusa Trough and San Francisco bay area.
For more information about the club and its rich history, please refer to the pamphlet, The History of the Butte Lodge Outing Club 1923-2003.