Meandering Angler: Fish and Wildlife release 200,000 baby salmon

The restoration of California salmon into the Bay preserves the long-term health of the population — and the future of fishing on the Sacramento River.|

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife, working with the Golden State Salmon Association, released 200,000 baby salmon into San Francisco Bay near Richmond Sunday.

The young fish were transported from a hatchery in the Sacramento Valley to the release point in the Bay because the Sacramento River has less water and is warmer than usual, factors that would severely decrease their chances of survival.

From there, the little fish are expected to pass under the Golden Gate Bridge and into the Pacific Ocean where they will spend a few years growing and getting stronger before migrating back into the Bay and up the Sacramento River to spawn.

The Richmond site is expected to provide a better survival benefit compared to the traditional CDFW release sites near Vallejo.

The Golden State Salmon Association also secured the charter boat Salty Lady to take children from the Richmond Police Athletic League, a youth benefit organization, to see the release close-up from the water.

The Golden State Salmon Association is a coalition of salmon advocates that includes commercial and recreational salmon fishermen and women, businesses, restaurants, a Native tribe, environmentalists, elected officials, families and communities that rely on salmon. GSSA’s mission is to restore California salmon for their economic, recreational, commercial, environmental, cultural and health values.

The ocean salmon season re-opened Thursday off the Sonoma Coast. Capt. Rick Powers of Bodega Bay Sportfishing said last week there are plenty of salmon out there and expects the opening days’ action to be good. Call Rick at 707-875-3344 to reserve a spot on his party boat.

It’s still early summer and time for fly-fishers to find good fishing before the heat really sets in. Several Northern California streams, including Hat Creek, the upper and lower Sacramento River and the McCloud River, are all fishing good right now.

My first choice is always the upper Sacramento River, mainly because, it is only a three and a half hour drive from Sonoma, and there are so many easy public access points. Dottie and I rent our favorite shack on the Sac near Dunsmuir, and enjoy good fishing without seeing many other anglers.

Bob Grace, owner of the Ted Fay Fly Shop in Dunsmuir, has the local knowledge and a great access map that shows you the best places to fish. If it is your first time on that river, I recommend you hire a guide. Bob can put you in touch with the best for that area. Call him at 530-235-2969.

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