(KRON) — The Golden State Salmon Association completed the first release of 200,000 juvenile salmon in the City of Richmond on Sunday evening, according to a press release from the the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW).

The GSSA worked with the CDFW, the City of Richmond, and the Richmond Police Activities League (PAL) to conduct the release. PAL even brought along a group of students from Richmond to watch the release.

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KRON4 spoke with GSSA President John McManus about the importance of the release, “The state has hatcheries that produce salmon, but in a year with drought like this the rivers have a very weak flow.” Due to that weak flow and all of the man made dams in our area, the young salmon are unable to make it out to the ocean.

Historically these releases have been completed in Vallejo, but after some advocacy by GSSA and others, the City of Richmond agreed to host the release. McManus says this is important because, “the closer to the ocean we can release them, the greater the survival of baby salmon is.”

The boat called Salty Lady picked up the group of students and volunteers before the 7 p.m. release and took them all offshore to watch. Then a few trucks filled to the brim with young salmon were driven up to the edge of the shore and connected to a wide tube. That tube filled will salmon and poured into the ocean.

The GSSA is looking forward to hosting more children on their summer fishing trips, “we’ll be running one or more trips this summer out salmon fishing in a month or two,:” McManus told KRON4. For more information about the GSSA please visit their website.