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MBSTP (Monteret Bay Salmon & Trout Project) update

by Sam Bishop"

Hi everyone,
I have been asked to start a newsletter section on a great organization that SCFF has supported financially and physically for decades, the Monterey Bay Salmon and Trout Project (MBSTP). Over the years many of us have volunteered to help in fin clipping, clean ups, repairs, releasing fish into the San Lorenzo River, Scott Creek, trapping Steelhead at the Felton Diversion Dam and so on. I am the volunteer Treasurer for this charitable organization.
There is no way I could do a short paragraph or two and bring everyone up to date on the MBSTP history and what it does today. For that I must ask you all to go to our website, www.mbstp.org.
The challenges we have faced have been daunting, yet there it is, our hatchery right here in Santa Cruz County, dedicated to (1) the preservation of the southern strain of endangered Coho Salmon and (2) ditto Steelhead, (3) coordination and facilitation of the release of millions of King Salmon smolt into Monterey Bay (they are raised in a different hatchery) and (4) STEP – an education program for youngsters that was started and flourished primarily due to the efforts and dedication of our long time SCFF member Barry Burt.
This complicated hatchery (burn damage severe this summer), with a half million dollar budget is run by only 3 paid employees, a Hatchery Manager (whose home burned to the ground this summer), a Fish Culturist (moving away, so we are recruiting) and an Executive Director.
Here is where we stand right now:
HATCHERY: Post fire cleanup is finished at Kingfisher Flat (the name of the hatchery), we’re starting to wrap our heads around the rebuild process/timeline. We are working on a procedural guide to get the facility back in operation, contacting agency funders and private donors re: the rebuild expense. There’s a ton of work to be done, and it’s not going to be cheap.
CHINOOK releases: We expect to be hearing back about CEQA (California Environmental Quality Act) processing for Santa Cruz wharf very soon, then it goes through the 30-day public comment before being officially given the go-ahead. Monterey is all set to go for the release. We’re expecting that release in late May/early June.
STEELHEAD: Lack of rain has prevented our ability to trap and count Steelhead. The Felton diversion dam has to be inflated and the stream flushed before that can happen.
STEP (Salmon & Trout Education Program): An application to the NOAA BWET grants program for the funding of STEP has been filed which would come online next year. This grant would pay for the creation of videos and digital content to supplement STEP in a distance-learning format.

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