The May 11th MBSTP Chinook Salmon Enhancement release from the Santa Cruz Harbor was a complete success. The NEW protocol released 120,000 Salmon smolts into the Monterey Bay outside the mouth of Santa Cruz Harbor. These fish will grow to consumable harvest size in three years.
The day began at 7:30 AM at the SC Harbor launch ramp. Chuck, Seth, Jeremy, Ralph Carrasco and I met with Bill Smith, Mokelumne Hatchery Mgr., to assemble and launch the new Barge Pen. Many of our Net Pen crew from previous operations like Corky Fugitt, Morrow Whitcomb, Steve Rudzinski, Tom & Carolyn, Ed & Terry, Larry Wolf, Allen Bushnell, Jessie Bush, Jeff Goyert, Jim Tolonen and Craig Bowman arrived to help. Mary Hermansky documented the project with pictures. Special THANKS to Phil Gomez and our friends and supporters at KSBW NEWS for media coverage.
The fish arrived in two tank trucks from Mokelumne Hatchery at 12:30 PM, driven 120 miles, led by Phil, CDFW veteran driver. The fish were loaded into the Net Barge and Santa Cruz Vessel Assist Captain Monte Ash began towing the Net Barge slowly out the mouth of the Harbor. Mike Baxter provided assistance and media support with his boat as Chuck and Jessie sailed with SC Harbor Patrol providing steering assistance and emergency support. Seth Bowman and Ralph Carrasco, wearing wet suits, rode the Net Barge out the mouth of the Harbor to release the fish from the net.
Special THANKS to Latisha Marshall, SC Harbor Master, and Dennis Smith, SC Port Commissioner, for their permissions, help and support of MBSTP and Salmon Enhancement.