GSSA is California’s leading voice for salmon protection and restoration, particularly in the Bay-Delta ecosystem, which produces most of the salmon caught in the state. Our board represents the entire California salmon community, including commercial and recreational fishermen, charter boat skippers, inland river guides, restaurants, fishing manufacturers and retailers, tribal members and more.
John McManus – President
Current GSSA president. McManus is a former media director for Earthjustice, a national environmental non-profit, a lifelong conservationist, former commercial and current recreational fisherman, and a former 15 year news executive with CNN.
Cat Kaiser – Events Manager
Cat Kaiser, the events manager at Golden State Salmon Association joined the team in February of 2018. Cat came to GSSA after years of traveling, and a long career in the wine and hospitality industry. Her time is spent working on GSSA’s fundraising dinners, administrative and legislative projects, and assisting the GSSA President and board of directors with all things salmon. In her free time Cat can be found on the ocean fishing for salmon, tuna, and anything else that swims, or on a mountainous river in a drift boat with her golden doodle, Scarlet and a fly rod chasing steelhead, rainbow and brown trout.
Barry Nelson – Policy Advisor
Barry Nelson – Current GSSA policy consultant. Nelson is the former executive director of Save the Bay, a former senior policy analyst for California water issues at the Natural Resourced Defense Council (NRDC), a current water conservation consultant, and a popular blogger on complex environmental issues.
Dennis Whitaker – Marketing Director
Board of Directors
Vice Chair and Executive Committee member
Creator of USAfishing.com website, former commercial fisherman.
Commercial salmon troller
Owner Johnson’s Bait, Yuba City, Fish and Game Advisory Commissioner, District 3 Sutter County.
Owner Johnson Hicks Marine Electronics, Santa Cruz, and Sausalito.
Commercial salmon and crab fisherman with roots that go back generations in the Tomales Bay and Bodega Bay area.
National Sales Manager for P-Line, a leading fishing tackle company. Don is a lifelong fisherman and one of the best steelhead fishermen on the west coast.
Owner International Sportsmen’s Expo
Secretary and Executive Committee member
Owner Pro Troll tackle, veteran Central Valley salmon advocate and activist going back to the listing of winter run salmon in the late 1980’s.
Chair and Executive Committee member
Founder West Marine
Vance Staplin is a former inland rivers fishing guide. He now represents multiple lines of fishing and outdoor gear and deals with outdoors folks throughout the state.
Treasurer and Executive Committee
Attorney and environmentalist.
Captain of charter boat New RayAnne, CA Charter Boat representative to the Pacific Fisheries Management Council, member of Golden Gate Fishermens Association
One of the Sacramento River’s best fishing guides.
A former commercial and current recreational angler and writer of a weekly fishing column.
Executive Committee member
Chairman Coastside Fishing Club, Half Moon Bay-based non-profit, member Pacific Fisheries Management Council, general counsel American Sportfishing Association.
Executive director, Monterey Salmon and Trout Project
Executive Committee member
Executive Director, Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen’s Associations.
Captain, New Sea Angler, a charter boat out of Bodega Bay.
Chief of the Winnemem Wintu Tribe, along the McCloud River watershed.
Ted Wilson is a caterer and restaurant owner who specializes in sustainable seafood.