California’s native salmon struggling in 5th year of drought

STINSON BEACH, Calif. (AP) — California’s iconic native salmon are struggling amid five years of drought.

On a recent fishing trip by the Salty Lady charter boat just north of the Golden Gate Bridge, fishermen were hooking native Chinook salmon that had been born at state and federal hatcheries and then carried in trucks for release downstream.

Golden Gate Salmon Association president Victor Gonella says trucking is the only reason the state’s vital fall-run salmon survived the previous two years of drought.

Federal authorities have named another native California salmon, the winter-run Chinook, as one of the nation’s eight most endangered species.

Native salmon support a $1.4 billion commercial and sport fishing industry for salmon in the state. They are also critical food sources for West Coast animals ranging from orcas to bears and eagles.