Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Golden Gate Salmon Association Protects California Chinook Salmon

The Golden Gate Salmon Association (GGSA) is the name for a newly-established organization aimed exclusively at the protection and restoration of California’s Central Valley chinook salmon. A number of fishing organizations have allied to form this “umbrella” salmon group to raise funds, coordinate efforts and bring new resources to the table to save Central Valley salmon and the fisheries they support. Those organizations include Pro-Troll - a major fishing gear manufacturer, the Golden Gate Fishermen’s Association – representing Northern California charter boat operators, and PCFFA.  Victor Gonella, a prominent auto dealership owner and sportsman is spearheading the effort.  GGSA’s target membership is organizations and individual commercial trollers, recreational anglers, fish processors and seafood restaurants, recreational fishing businesses and manufacturers, fishery scientists, environmentalists, and affected tribes.   

The California Central Valley is the second largest salmon producing river system in the lower 48, second only to the Columbia/Snake system.  Central Valley kings migrate from their natal Sierra streams through the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta and San Francisco Bay estuary to the Golden Gate out into the Gulf of the Farallones, moving south to Santa Barbara and extending north as far as Southeast Alaska. In a typical year, Central Valley kings account for 90 percent of California’s salmon harvest and up to 50 percent of the ocean salmon catch off Oregon and Washington.  The precipitous decline of these salmon in recent years is attributed principally to the increased level of water diversions from the Bay-Delta estuary – i.e., the effect of these massive pumps changing the flow through the estuary and the damaging the food web of the estuary to feed the insatiable water appetite of San Joaquin Valley agribusiness and Southern California land development. The loss of flows further exacerbates water quality problems, predation of baby salmon, the growing number of invasive species, and shallow water habitat loss.

This is the first time since 1956, when commercial and recreational fishermen, fish processors and scientists came together to form Salmon Unlimited, that there has been such an effort in California.  Salmon Unlimited was successful in helping to prevent the loss of that state’s salmon for a period of over 30 years, but its decline has brought home the need for a new coordinated effort that GGSA is being organized to carry out.  The first coordinating meeting was held on 9 December in San Francisco and a governing Board will be established in early January.  A website -- still in development -- has also been established. For more information, go to: www.goldengatesalmonassociation.org.

source: Fishlink Sublegals

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