TIBURON (KCBS) – A year after vandals disrupted the popular annual event, kids from the North Bay on Monday helped to release 10,000 king salmon into San Francisco Bay to help restore the population.

It’s a ritual that goes back to 1973, but didn’t happen in 2011 – when activists cut the fish nets, thereby allowing the fish to swim free before the official release date.

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Under a shroud of secrecy this year, the volunteer teens from the Tiburon Salmon Institute again got to participate in the release of the salmon from their pens. The fish will head to sea and eventually back to the Feather River, where they were initially raised, in a hatchery.

KCBS’ Jeffrey Schaub Reports:

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“It just means a lot to me because we helped so much,” one Petaluma high schooler said. “And we do a lot to help the environment.”

“It’s important because, in the past few years, we’ve seen the very strong decline of salmon,” added a 13-year-old boy.

“If we let salmon go, we’re going to probably end up letting other species go,” he added. “And then eventually we won’t have any fish left.”

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