Positive news for salmon fishers

Many Sonoma anglers and outdoor enthusiasts gathered at a special dinner of the Golden Gate Salmon Association hosted by Sam Sebastiani and Darius and Sarah Anderson at Ramekins last Friday. The fund-raising event was well-attended and featured Sam’s excellent La Chertosa wines, good food and an excellent presentation on the value of salmon to California, not only in terms of the sport and commercial fishing benefits, but also how wild salmon runs actually improve the land for farmers.

Scientist Joe Merz, Ph.D., described how GGSA is working with many Central Valley farmers to improve salmon spawning habitat, while also actually improving the productivity of their farms. Congressman Mike Thompson, a longtime advocate on behalf of both farmers and fish and wildlife commended the GGSA for its work and pledged his support.

The takeaway I got from the information was that it doesn’t have to be fish versus farmers. Both can benefit from wise management of the water resources. The GGSA keeps plugging away at making that point. Progress is slow, but progress nevertheless.

In a related subject, the GGSA announced that a study that they paid for has convinced the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to truck all their baby fall run salmon from Coleman hatchery to San Pablo Bay. In addition, this science looks to have 100 percent of all the state hatchery fish from the Feather, American and Mokelumne hatcheries also truck past the problems (pumps) in the Delta and expected low and warm river flows this spring.

Recent studies from 2007 to 2112 have shown that more than 94 percent of fall-run salmon smolts released from Coleman never even make it to San Pablo Bay. For more information go to goldengatesalmonassociation.com.

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