Get Hooked Seafood

California King Salmon/ David and Garret Rose/ Troll


Garrett Rose grew up fishing with his dad, David, in Morro Bay. David started out as a trawler and was one of the few brave fishermen to volunteer to partner with The Nature Conservancy in 2008 to convert his trawler to long line and commit to integrating their research on the new gear into his operations. These days, David still fishes groundfish, but he also takes in squid and salmon off his boat, the Kai Honi II. A couple years ago, Garrett bought another of his dad’s boats, the Taurus. It has been so fun to watch him take on ownership of his fishing business with serious determination and success.

Garrett has a diversified fisheries portfolio with a rock crab permit, a long line permit for sablefish and thornyhead, a Dungeness crab permit, a deeper nearshore rockfish permit, a salmon troll permit, and a little used urchin permit just in case he finds a moment to go diving!  You can find Garrett selling his catch at the Saturday Fishermen’s Market almost every weekend.


Salmon are one of Planet Earth’s most impressive and tasty life forms, able to live in oceans, rivers and lakes, and migrate thousands of miles between their feeding grounds and home spawning turf. King (Chinook) Salmon in California are particularly adept at handling the diverse and fluctuating rivers and ocean environments of our neck of the woods.

Although King salmon can stray as far south as the Santa Barbara Channel, they are more plentiful to our north, so each year a handful of Santa Barbara fishermen head north to chase the fish wherever they may be off the California coast.

The California troll (hook and line) fishery is a very small, tightly regulated fishery that only opens a few weeks at a time to ensure sustainability. The recent rainy years in Central California have lead to an upswing in population size for the species.  Each salmon is hand caught, and gutted bled and iced immediately on the boat to product a top quality product.

Salmon fishing has been an extremely important fishery in California historically. The decline of salmon has been a major cause of the decline in the number of fishing boats in California, from over 6000 in the late 1980’s to 1500 today.
Populations of salmon in California have been hard hit by over a century of damming, mining, and water diversion that has destroyed salmon river habitats. Today, battles to restore and protect the remaining salmon populations have never been more heated due to the fight over water with big-ag interests in the Central Valley.  California fishing associations have long joined forces with environmental groups to fight water diversion. Thanks to these protections and recent wet years, King salmon stocks are trending up.
Seafood watch rates California King Salmon a ‘good alternative’ because, on the upside, the fisheries management has been successful in reaching ‘escapement’ goals – allowing the vast majority of salmon to complete their life cycle, and escape the sharp end of a fishing pole. What keeps it out of the green ‘best choice’ is that Seafood Watch would prefer that monitoring programs to detail the proportion of escaped fish that are hatchery born vs. wild born, and they currently do not.