Nearly 17 million juvenile salmon will be trucked directly to the San Francisco Bay release sites.
The California government hopes the release strategy will maximize the survival rate of salmon and increase their numbers.
Commercial and recreational salmon fishing brings in about $ 900 million annually to the state.
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California is implementing a new strategy to keep its economy afloat – releasing 17 million salmon in San Francisco Bay.
Millions of hatchery-reared chinook salmon will bypass drought-stricken California shores to be released directly to cooler sites downstream of San Francisco Bay, with the goal of maximizing their survival rate amid certain storms. some of the most extreme environmental conditions the state has ever faced. .
By the end of June, approximately 16.8 million young adult salmon, also known as smolts, will travel more than 30,000 miles by truck from hatcheries to direct release sites around the coast.
At release sites around the bays of San Francisco, San Pablo, Half Moon, and Monterey, salmon will be released to make their way into the cooler ocean waters.
By transporting the fish directly to the release sites, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) believes more salmon will survive and reach full size, avoiding the arduous journey they would otherwise have to take. According to the CDFW, at least 50 to 100 miles of the waterways that fish would typically cross on their way to the ocean this year will be warmer and shallower than usual.
The CDFW estimates that California’s commercial and recreational salmon fishing industry generates more than $ 900 million in annual revenues.
Helping the fish – and by extension, the salmon fishing industry – thrive will make a “significant contribution to the California economy,” the CDFW said in a statement.
“Trucking young salmon to downstream release sites has proven to be one of the best ways to increase survival in the ocean in dry weather,” said Jason Julienne, hatchery supervisor. from the north-central region of the CDFW, in a statement.
According to an April CBS report, the western United States could be entering a severe and extensive drought season. Governor Gavin Newsom also declared a drought emergency in April in Sonoma and Mendocino counties in northern California.
“In the short term, this (initiative) gives us hope. And we are happy that they are moving these fish. But it is also a very sad testimony to what is happening with our rivers in the middle of this state.” John McManus, environmentalist and executive director of the Golden Gate Salmon Association told CBS.
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