It’s being called a conservation success story.
Some 12,000 native, endangered, coho salmon smolts were evacuated from the blaze last year to a local hatchery.
“Today, I’m really happy that these fish made it through the CZU wildfire,” said Matt Rowley, the board chair of the Monterey Bay Salmon & Trout Project, which was overseeing the effort. “They’re real fighters. They’re going into the wild and they’ll swim out to the sea over the next week or so and grow big and come back and repopulate this creek.”
The volunteers would scoop the fish from a large tank and bring it over to a funnel with a large pipe leading down to a creek. Rowley said the fish have been handled and transported a lot in their young lives.
He noted that now, the cycle is not broken, and they can continue to produce fish to support the watershed population.
“They’ve never been in the wild before,” said one volunteer. “They’ve never been in a stream, but when they get in that water, they know what to do.”