To boost the local salmon population, local fishermen received Monday morning the first delivery of 160,000 baby salmon — also known as smolts —from two Department of Fish and Game tankers for the net pens at Pillar Point Harbor in Half Moon Bay.
In the first year of the project to increase juvenile salmon in the oceans, the Coastside Fishing Club released an estimated 180,000 juvenile salmon last year in Half Moon Bay. Jim Anderson, a Half Moon Bay commercial fisherman who is involved in the project with other fishermen from the local Coastside Fishing Club, has been working on the project since 2011 after receiving state funding.
Just last March 20, club members volunteered to vaccinate the baby salmon at the Feather River Hatchery in Oroville.
By May, the Department of Fish and Game will transfer this year’s Coastside crop of 420,000 baby salmon over the course of several loads in tanker trucks to the specially built net pens in Pillar Point Harbor. After being acclimated to sea conditions, the salmon will then be released from the pens for the short swim out to an ocean full of food.
Salmon season opened April 6, 2013, and according to the Pacific Fisheries Management Council forecast, 834,208 salmon are available for fishermen off the Bay Area and Central Coast, and more than 1.55 million in all, including salmon from the Klamath River and elsewhere up north.