The Huntington Beach Fishing and Recreation Club members are committed to being responsible with our marine and fresh water resources so that they will be here for generations to come.  As part of that effort, the Club participates in the Ocean Resources Enhancement and Hatchery Program.  Club members nurse young White Sea Bass in their pen located in Huntington Harbor until they are big enough to release.

“White Sea Bass Grow out project

Here is the HBF&RC crew working at the WSB grow out pen 5/25/22.  Later that evening between 1300 to 1400 WSB were released to go into the wild.  The crew that cleaned the pen and feed the fish for several weeks consists of Bob Robey, Ray Heslop, Walt Jeffrey’s and Tom Groseclose.  Give these club members a special thanks for being part of a very successful program to increase the population of this great sports fish.

The recent success reported in efforts to restock white sea bass off Southern California is the evidence needed for the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) to reprioritize the Ocean Resources Enhancement and Hatchery Program (OREHP).

A new study has found that the White Sea bass hatchery has made a far greater positive impact on wild fish population levels than previously reported.  A new study by the Hubbs SeaWorld Research Institute (HSWRI) and the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR) used a genetic-marker methodology for identifying the fish-stocking efforts.  When applied to white sea bass, it has convincingly shown that previous estimates of Southern California’s OREHP contribution to the once-depleted white sea bass population have been greatly underestimated. 

Validation of the white sea bass hatchery success was shared on April 25, 2022, with a press release from HSWRI and the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR).  HSWRI is the entity in charge of the hatchery itself.  This genetics-based study shows the hatchery’s contribution to wild stock to be far different than previously understood.  The new analysis based on archived tissue samples, showed that 30 percent of adults sampled were hatchery fish (as opposed to less than 1 percent previously estimated by the state). In addition, 46 percent of smaller fish caught in the wild sample surveys of fish less than two years old were hatchery fish. 

There is a 99.99 percent confidence level that the results are able to distinguish between hatchery and wild fish.  This study changes everything in a positive way.”