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California IN BRIEF : SACRAMENTO : Salmon Fishermen to Face Lean Years

From Times staff and Wire reports

Commercial salmon fishermen off the Central California coast may face lean years beginning in 1991 when the fish feel the full impact of the drought, a state Department of Fish and Game scientist said. “It looks like an unhappy coincidence of factors down the road,” said Alan Baracco, a marine biologist for the department’s ocean salmon project at Rancho Cordova near Sacramento. Salmon caught off Central California spawn in the Sacramento and San Joaquin River watersheds, where breeding conditions are deteriorating because of low stream flows and warm water. In 1988, ocean fishermen unloaded a record 9.6 million pounds of salmon at San Francisco, Monterey and smaller harbors in the region. The catch declined to 3.7 million pounds in 1989, and probably will be about the same in 1990, Baracco said.


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