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1 million young Chinook salmon released into San Pablo Bay

VALLEJO -- State wildlife officials hope one million fall-run Chinook salmon will think of San Pablo Bay as home after they were introduced there this week.

Truckloads of the fish, known as smolts, were released Monday but only after sunset to reduce predation by birds, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife said in a press release Friday.

Chinook Salmon Released Into San Pablo Bay
Chinook salmon released into San Pablo Bay.  Source: CDFW

"Our hope is for these fish to contribute to harvest and inland spawning returns over the next several years," said Jason Julienne, a senior environmental scientist for the agency.

California has increased its hatchery production to compensate for poor environmental conditions in recent years that have contributed to low salmon stocks and closed recreational and commercial salmon fishing seasons, according to the wildlife agency.

The salmon were borne in tanker trucks from the Feather River Fish Hatchery in Oroville to the waterfront campus of the California State University Maritime Academy in Vallejo.

Twenty-five percent of the smolts carry coded-wire tags and a small dorsal fin is clipped to mark their hatchery origin. The coded-wire tags will help CDFW scientists and hatchery managers evaluate the release, the agency said.

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