Saving the Salmon

Humans find a new way to do their part to help Bay Area salmon

By Joe Rosato Jr.
|  Friday, Jun 4, 2010  |  Updated 5:30 PM PDT
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Coho Salmon Troubles

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Salmon on ice, overhead view

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Coho Salmon Troubles

Numbers of returning Coho salmon in the Lagunitas Watershed in Marin are at dangerous lows following drought conditions.
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This year will mark the first time in three years that Bay Area salmon fishermen will be able to fish.

But the disaster that has devastated salmon runs on the Sacramento River are far from over.

One environmental group is doing its part to try and help bring back the salmon populations.

Members of the Sacramento-based Fishery Foundation haul massive pens out in the San Joaquin Delta to acclimate hatchery salmon that are trucked in from fish hatcheries. 

The salmon are corralled into nets where they are fed and given an hour to adjust to the cold temperatures.

Before this technique was used, the fish were pumped directly into the Delta where they went into a temporary shock. In the meantime, sea birds and other predators saw it as a perfect dining opportunity.

Trevor Kennedy of Fishery Foundation said the group has pumped about 14 million salmon into the Delta this year.

They'll swim out to sea where they'll spend several years, before returning to the Delta system. With all the barriers they face, Kennedy said the pens give them one more chance at survival.   

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