Experiential Education: The Roger Thomas Fund

Golden State Salmon Association provides inner city and disadvantaged children with exciting, hands-on fisheries learning experiences including opportunities to attend unforgettable hatchery salmon fish releases and charter boat ocean fishing trips.

Roger Thomas Youth Fishing Endowment Fund

The Roger Thomas Youth Fishing Endowment Fund is used to get youth under the age of 18 out fishing. These funds provide kids an opportunity to experience, often for the first time, an unforgettable fishing trip that lasts a lifetime, and inspires the next generation of fishermen and women. 

Through this GSSA experiential education program, kids from all over the San Francisco Bay Area have caught their first salmon or other fish, had their first boat ride, and learned about the salmon lifecycle and challenges this keystone species faces in California. Kids have fished on charter boats out of Sausalito, Emeryville, Berkeley and San Francisco’s Fishermen’s Wharf. 

Hatchery Release Experience

In addition to the Roger Thomas Youth Fishing Endowment fund, GSSA’s Hatchery Release Experience program brings kids from underserved areas on a charter boat to witness the release of hundreds of thousands of hatchery-raised salmon smolts into the ocean for the beginning of their journey to maturity and ultimate return to the State’s watersheds. Often a child’s first time on a boat or even seeing a wild fish in-person, our educational activities are designed to inspire the next generation of environmental advocates through hands-on and on-water experiences that will stay with them for a lifetime. 

Fishing and Experiential Education Partners

GSSA has partnered with the San Mateo Police Activities League, the Richmond Police Activities League and the Salesian Boys and Girls Club in San Francisco to make these programs a success.

If you know of youth organizations that would like to get involved in our Roger Thomas fishing program, please reach out to us at Info@goldenstatesalmon.org or call GSSA at 855-251-4472

Who was Roger Thomas

Roger Thomas

Roger Thomas was captain of the charter boat Salty Lady, a founding member and chairman of the Golden Gate Salmon Association, (now the Golden State Salmon Association) and chairman of the Golden Gate Fisherman’s Association, a group made up mostly of charter boat owners.  He was a member of the California Outdoor Hall of Fame, and a lifelong advocate to keep west coast salmon fisheries alive and sustainable. 

Getting more youth and future generations out on the water and fishing was very important to him. When Roger passed away in 2017, he left the GSSA a grant to take kids fishing, known as the Roger Thomas Fund. 

If you would like to contribute to the Roger Thomas fund and help us carry this legacy into the future, please donate below.