The California Outdoors Hall of Fame 2016 class includes Capt. Roger Thomas, a longtime charter boat skipper in the Bay Area. The Golden Gate Salmon Association recognized Thomas in a press release:
“Roger Thomas has probably done more to keep our salmon fishery alive than anyone since the late Zeke Grader,” said GGSA executive director John McManus. “Roger has worked tirelessly for decades to represent the interest of salmon fishermen and salt water anglers and we all owe him a debt of gratitude.”
Among the many hats Thomas has worn are the years he served on the Pacific Fisheries Management Council, the group that sets ocean salmon fishing seasons, among its many duties. The season setting process is an arduous affair that in recent years has required a balancing of various interests to get a sustainable fishing season. Thomas’s even handed work on the Council won him the respect of both recreational and commercial salmon fishermen.
In addition to running charter fishing trips out of Half Moon Bay and Sausalito, Thomas runs whale watching and nature tours where he’s introduced untold thousands of people to the incredible natural world just offshore of the San Francisco bay area. Since first running a charter boat in 1968, Thomas has spent more than 10,000 days on the ocean fishing or studying wildlife.
Born in Gilroy, Thomas began fishing out of nearby Monterey Bay and has been working to improve water and fishery issues for over 40 years. Today he runs the Salty Lady, a state of the art comfortable 56 foot Westport charter boat made in Washington state.
Other members of the new class include climber Hans Florine and posthumous honors for journalist Larry Green and Southern California saltwater icon Paxson Offield.