Capt. Roger Thomas Spirit Lives on as Kids Take Salmon Limits

Capt. Roger Thomas Spirit Lives on as Kids Take Salmon Limits

GGSA Staff

The Golden Gate Salmon Association (GGSA), a coalition of salmon advocates working to protect and restore California’s largest salmon runs, helped share the love of the late Roger Thomas by launching a fund Thomas left to get more kids out fishing. GGSA partnered with the San Mateo Police Activities League (SMPAL) to fund a fishing trip for 15 kids aboard Roger’s old boat, the Salty Lady, now run by Capt. Jared Davis. 

Roger Thomas was a founding member of GGSA and its chairman until his passing in January 2018. 

“A good time was had by all and Roger seemed to be proudly smiling down on all of us,” said Captain Davis. “Getting these kids out fishing, and the fun they have, is what it’s all about.” 

The day started at 5:30am with giggling young girls sharing pastries in a corner of the boat’s house while others tried to catch up on their sleep. Shortly after, all eyes were seaward as the boat cruised under the Golden Gate Bridge. Some of the kids were more cautious and concerned about how the day was going to play out while others keyed off the older boys, who grew up in the PAL program, and were along to help chaperone. 

The boat first took a wide swing to the south to check spots on the San Mateo coast but eventually ran north to find fish off the Marin County coast.  Feeding whales marked the bait and gave the kids quite the show.  In no time, the fishing turned on and the kids took turns, quickly picking up limits and extras for the adults on board. 

“Some of these kids have never been on a boat or caught a fish. Most of them certainly haven’t come home with fish the size of the ones we got today, they will be heroes to their families for a while,” said retired police officer and SMPAL volunteer Paul Jung.

“The retired police officers and chaperones at SMPAL, GGSA, and the Salty Lady crew showed these kids a day on the water they will never forget, and hopefully a lot of fresh salmon dinners in their future,” said GGSA president, John McManus. “We’re grateful to Roger Thomas’s foresight in creating this opportunity to introduce kids to the wonders of salmon fishing off our beautiful coast. We expect to do a lot more of these trips to fulfill one of Roger’s last wishes and we also want to thank all of those who helped get this fund and program up and running.” 

The Golden Gate Salmon Association ( is a coalition of salmon advocates that includes commercial and recreational salmon fisherman, businesses, restaurants, a native tribe, environmentalists, elected officials, families and communities that rely on salmon. GGSA’s mission is to restore California salmon for their economic, recreational, commercial, environmental, cultural and health values.

Currently, California’s salmon industry is valued at $1.4 billion in economic activity annually and about half that much in economic activity and jobs again in Oregon in a normal season. The industry employs tens of thousands of people from Santa Barbara to northern Oregon. This is a huge economic bloc made up of commercial fishermen, recreational fishermen (fresh and salt water), fish processors, marinas, coastal communities, equipment manufacturers, the hotel and food industry, tribes, and the salmon fishing industry at large.

Trip Photos