SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS RADIO) – Although there are other fish in the sea, it's not going to help salmon fishermen if there's not enough water left for salmon in the future.
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This year's salmon season ended before it even truly began, leaving local salmon fishermen worried about seasons going forward.
"We're basically losing a lot of our capacity to provide food for Californians," said Sarah Bates, captain of the Bounty, a Bay Area salmon fishing operation.
If Bates and other commercial fishermen can’t bring in any salmon, it's not hard to imagine what that could mean for the local seafood restaurants that rely on those hauls.
Customers love the city’s freshly caught seafood at establishments that ring the Bay.
"There are two things they want – salmon and crab," said Tom Creedon, the owner of one such establishment, Scoma’s Restaurant in San Francisco right by Fisherman's Wharf.
There are environmental factors adding pressure to the local salmon fishing industry, and it’s more than likely that these issues will continue.
"During the drought that we’re coming out of, decisions were made about how to divvy up the little bit of water that there was," said John McManus, with the Golden State Salmon Association.
"And when they made those decisions, they just didn't leave enough for salmon," he said.
Going forward, a little more water allocated for salmon in the future would be a huge help, especially for Bates and the rest of the salmon fishing community.
"Salmon is our main moneymaker during the summer months in San Francisco," she said. "I think as a port and as a fleet and as a community, we’re looking at some really hard times."
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