By Don Ford

SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX) — Salmon season is here and, so far, fishermen are thrilled.

At Pier 45 on the San Francisco waterfront, commercial salmon fishing boats line up to offload their catches, which are up to twice as big as many predicted.

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Larry Collins, is one of the wholesale salmon buyers on Pier 45. He says this year is special. “We haven’t had a season like this in 10 or 15 years. Basically, the reason we are having this kind of a season is that, three years ago, we had 150 percent of normal rainfall.”

Collins, himself a fisherman for 30 years, believes rain in the past couple winters filled California rivers so baby salmon could find their way to the ocean. He says river flows are key.

“We need minimum flow requirements in the salmon-producing rivers and we could have a salmon season like this every year.”

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Skipper Jim Moser has been at sea catching salmon for five days.

“Bodega Bay’s been the hot spot. There’s fish at Half Moon and at one time — down south earlier — Monterey Bay. It’s all been good.”

Executive Director Pacific Coast Federation of Fisherman’s Associations, Noah Oppenheim says“ They grow in the ocean for a couple years and when they return, they’re big three-foot fish! It’s amazing.”

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Soon, in your local store, you may be paying less for higher quality salmon as they reach the market.