In this photo taken Monday, July 22, 2019, chinook salmon is seen after being unloaded at Fisherman's Wharf in San Francisco. California fishermen are reporting one of the best salmon fishing seasons in more than a decade, thanks to heavy rain and snow that ended the state's historic drought. It's a sharp reversal for chinook salmon, also known as king salmon, an iconic fish that helps sustain many Pacific Coast fishing communities. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)

Off the hook: California king salmon rebounds after drought

August 21, 2019 - 10:05 pm

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — California fishermen are reporting one of the best salmon fishing seasons in years, thanks to heavy rain and snow that ended the state's historic drought.

It's a sharp reversal for chinook salmon, also known as king salmon. The iconic fish helps sustain many Pacific Coast fishing communities.

A marine scientist with California's fish and wildlife agency says commercial catches have so far surpassed official preseason forecasts by roughly 50%.

The salmon rebound comes after three years of extremely low catches resulting from poor ocean conditions and California's five-year drought.

This year's adult salmon are the first class to benefit from record rainfall that filled California rivers and streams in early 2017, making it easier for juvenile chinook to migrate to the Pacific Ocean.