The Fish Sniffer - Coastside Fishing Club Will Acclimate 360,000 King Salmon This Year
Coastside Fishing Club Will Acclimate 360,000 King Salmon This Year

Written By: Dan Bacher, June 11, 2014
Species: Saltwater Salmon
Location: Golden Gate,

Coastside Fishing Club Will Acclimate 360,000 King Salmon This Year
Coastside Fishing Club Will Acclimate 360,000 King Salmon This Year Coastside Fishing Club Will Acclimate 360,000 King Salmon This Year

The Coastside Fishing Club will receive 360,000 young king salmon from the state-run Feather River Fish Hatchery in Oroville this spring and release them into the ocean after feeding them and allowing them to become accustomed to ocean waters.

“This year's effort aims to increase the number of adult salmon in the ocean fishery, primarily in 2016, by allowing these young fish to bypass dangers such as deadly water project pumps and aquatic predators lurking in the degraded Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta,” according to Marc Gorelnik of the Half Moon Bay-based non-profit organization. “State and federal water projects, now aggravated by drought, have decimated populations of young salmon seeking their way to the Pacific Ocean.” 

Using donations and volunteer labor from its membership, Coastside Fishing Club purchased, assembled and floated a specially designed floating net pen that is anchored in Pillar Point Harbor.   

They'll be transported in a tanker truck that will release the fish into Coastside Fishing Club's floating net pen. Each fish carries an implanted coded wire tag that will allow identification as these fish are harvested in the ocean or return to the hatchery.

The first of three loads of young salmon arrived at Pillar Point Harbor on May 22 and were released to the ocean by Coastside Fishing Club volunteers late on May 27. During this time, the young salmon acclimated to salt water and were regularly fed while being protected from predation from birds and other fish. 

“While we were preparing for the release, the feeder went off so we all got to see the food thrown the length and width of the pen and the ensuing feeding frenzy,” said Coastside President Dan Wolford. “After that, we pulled the net enclosing the young salmon but they seemed to stay there, happy with their surroundings.” 

The second load of salmon arrived on May 29 and the last load will be received on June 5. As adults in 2016, it is hoped these salmon will be drawn back to waters near Half Moon Bay to be caught by local anglers, both recreational and commercial.

This is the third consecutive year of Coastside Fishing Club's efforts to boost local salmon populations. The benefits of efforts in 2012 should be realized in 2014. “Some of those fish have already been caught in 2013 as two-year-olds, mostly in California waters but some in Oregon and Washington,” said Gorelnik.

Along with the coastal net pen operated by the Monterey Bay Salmon and Trout Project in Santa Cruz, Coastside's salmon releases have should much greater survival than other release strategies for hatchery fish.

“Our two year old fish have a ration of 76 fish per 100,000 that have been caught, compared to 18 per 100,000 with the hatchery salmon acclimated in the San Pablo Bay acclimation pens,” said Gorelnik.

The Feather River Chinook salmon released into the ocean every year by the Monterey Bay Salmon and Trout Project have contributed greatly to the fishery of the region. In fact, many of the fish return as adults to the harbor, allowing children who have never caught a salmon before to catch big, bold Chinooks from shore.


Coastside OPM Classic Halibut And Striper Derby Set For June 21

Coastside Fishing Club will sponsor the OPM Classic halibut and striper derby on June 21, 2014 at Oyster Point Marina in South San Francisco. The angler catching the largest fish will win the $1000 grand prize and $2000 in other cash prizes will be awarded.

The event will feature a free raffle, including a six-person charter on the Reel-Lentless, rods and reels, tackle sand gift certificates to local tackle stores.

Anglers who enter by June 15 will also receive a free T-shirt. Free food will be provided by The Grill Crew.

The entry fee is $40.00. Anglers can fish from any marina or launch ramp.

There is free entry for kids 15 and under. A rod and reel will go to the first 50 kids at the weigh.

The deadline to enter is June 20. Information, rules and registration available at




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