On Wednesday, April 19, 2017, volunteers from the Monterey Bay Salmon and Trout Project worked together to release Salmon smolts. First they carried nets of fish from the Kingfisher Hatchery to the tank truck, then to the banks of Scott Creek where they planted 5” Salmon smolts into the stream so they can swim out to open ocean.
The Salmon were trucked from the hatchery on Big Creek about two miles to an open pool on Scott Creek where they were carried by buckets from the truck to the creek and released.
Lea Bond, biologist and technician with the National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), was the last one to pass the fish to Scott creek. The fish quickly swam downstream and out to sea for a year or two of ocean travel, before returning to Scott Creek to spawn.
The Kingfisher Hatchery, located on Big Creek in northern Santa Cruz county, has been raising Steelhead for over 25 years and Coho Salmon for the last five years. During that time, the hatchery has raised an average of 33,000 Steelhead per year and 6,000 Coho Salmon over the last five years.