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The King Is Back: Local Salmon Shortage May Be Over

Salmon via Shutterstock
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Good news for seafood lovers -- after years of waiting, the local salmon recession may have ended.

Salmon season opened May 1, and according to the Los Angeles Times, initial reports look promising that the king of salmon, chinook, is making a comeback.

Local fisheries bring in 5 to 7 million pounds of king salmon in a good year. This year's catch should total almost 3 million pounds, according to the California Salmon Council. In the past two years, there was a very limited supply, and back in 2008 and 2009, salmon season was called off entirely due to the severe shortage.

Low catches were attributed to water diversions from rivers that produce salmon and ocean conditions that reduced the amount of kill, which salmon eat.

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Salmon is the third-most popular seafood in the U.S., after shrimp and canned tuna, and about 600 million pounds are consumed annually, according to Smithsonian Magazine. Unlike the more common Atlantic salmon raised in fish farms, California's coast is where king salmon is caught, the fancy kind served as steaks, not in cans.

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