Abundance of salmon in Bay Area leads to lower prices

ALAMEDA, Calif. (KGO) -- Salmon lovers, we've got some good news! Due to fishery management and just the perfect weather conditions, there a whole lot more Chinook salmon, also known as King salmon available this year than in decades.

At JP Seafood in Alameda, fourth generation fishmonge rJoey Pucci takes pride in the relationship he has with his customers, and knows almost everyone who comes to his tiny seafood counter by name.

"Fish my dear! That is for you! You just keep that in your pocket thank you very much!" smiles Joey to a woman named Louise.

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"I've been seeing Joey a long time," she says as she beams, putting the free salmon in her reusable tote bag.

Joey is selling up to 80-pounds of salmon per day thanks the most bountiful season decades. He says Louise's freebie today doesn't have to do with the abundance of fish.

"You gotta go back to the '70s and '80s when we've had the good abundance like we've had this year!"

That's just how he likes to treat his longtime clients.

"I love sharing what I do, she comes in almost every day," he said.

Salmon seaons runs from May to October. This year the harvest looks particularly healthy in Morro Bay, Monterey Bay, and San Francisco Bay.

Most of the salmon come from the Sacramento River and its tributaries, where fish spawn, then swim to the ocean. The salmon that gets caught now is the first class to benefit from record rainfall in 2017 when California's five-year drought finally ended.

In addition to the added rain and favorable ocean conditions, regulators imposed restrictions to prevent overfishing.

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As a result, consumers are seeing prices drop by 30-percent to even 50-percent depending on the cut. Joey says this is just the beginning of salmon's resurgence.

"Next year should be better, the following year it should be even better! It makes me happy!" he exclaimed.

This is a bright light for now, in the wake of concerns over climate change.

See more stories and vidoes about salmon and other fishing topics.
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