On Wednesday afternoon a team of MBSTP volunteers and staff led by veteran MBSTP activist Matt McCaslin, along with NOAA scientists from the Southwest Fisheries Science Center, and CDFW representative Jon Jankovitz used a seine net to corral the fish in the San Lorenzo Lagoon near the Riverside Avenue Bridge.
This was the first opportunity of the season for MBSTP to capture some returning brood-stock. There had been no opportunities for fish to enter local watersheds until the San Lorenzo openedFriday night January 24th. The seining revealed 19 coho and 109 steelhead. The coho all appeared to be 2-year old males from the Spring 2013 smolt plants in Scotts Creek. These fish were dip-netted out and scanned for Passive Integrated Transponders (PIT tags). These subcutaneous rice-grain sized transponders confirmed that four of the coho were released by MBSTP & NOAA in Scotts Creek last Spring. One fish had an unknown PIT tag number.
The coho were taken to the MBSTP hatchery to be folded into the spawning matrix. They will help increase the genetic diversity of the remaining Southern Coho. Soon MBSTP will be receiving permits to collect steelhead brood-stock from the San Lorenzo Lagoon as well. The river water levels are too low for the fish to make it up to the spawning reaches. We hope that enough rain will come so that there can be successful spawning in the River this year!