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Bay Area Fisherman Excited For Rebounding Salmon Season

SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS)— After years of watching their industry collapse, Bay Area commercial fishermen are saying this salmon season is rebounding to near-record levels. That's good news for salmon lovers and fisherman who've been struggling to make ends meet.

In an effort to save the dwindling salmon population, local fishermen saw their salmon seasons canceled and shorted in years spanning 2008 to 2010. 2011 saw a little bump, but finally this year's forecast looks like the one they've been waiting for.

"11 to 15 pounds is a really beautiful looking fish. It's time to fire up the barbecue," said Larry Collins, president of the San Francisco Commercial Fishermen's Association.

KCBS' Holly Quan Reports:

He said the season began a little slow this week.

"We'll start unloading it on the weekend probably Friday or Saturday. The weather's supposed to be better next week, so a lot more of the boats will get out," he said.

Collins hopes it starts out trickle, but hopes it becomes a flood.

The estimates are nearly three times higher than any previous number since fishery managers started forecasting in 1985.

Local fishermen usually pull Dungeness crab in the winter, salmon in the summer and halibut in between.

"Salmon's always been 50 to 70 percent of my income so we're really glad to see the season back."

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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