Chinook (King) salmon have been released from the Santa Cruz Harbor into the Monterey Bay for many years by the Monterey Bay Salmon and Trout Project (MBSTP). These releases have significantly more beneficial than detrimental impacts on the local economy, environment, and society.
According to information gathered by Bob Anderson, Director MBSTP, who in turn received this information from retired MBSTP fish-‐rearing facility manager Dave Streig, MBSTP was first approached by multiple fisheries agencies in 1987 to see if they were willing to participate in a net-‐pen operation. MBSTP agreed, and in 1987 the first operation released about 88,000 salmon from Moss Landing Harbor. In 1989, MBSTP expanded their operations to include two additional locations, Monterey Harbor and Santa Cruz Harbor. In 2005, both the Monterey and Moss Landing operations were discontinued due to those locations being overrun by increased sea lion populations, leaving the Santa Cruz Harbor net-‐pen program the sole release location. In 2008 and 2009, no salmon smolts were available due to ocean conditions. By 2010, Santa Cruz processed 180,000 salmon, and increased, in 2011, to 240,000 fish. In 2015, MBSTP will continue their release number at two-‐ hundred and forty thousand.