It all started as a vision from Milt Shedd, the co-founder of Sea World, an active fisherman in Newport Beach who realized a need for White Sea Bass in Southern California. Starting in the mid-1950’s, the White Sea Bass numbers dropped to nothing. Sheds wanted to utilize Hubbs – to spawn White Sea Bass, but there was a need to raise fingerlings. Bill Shedd (Milt’s son) took the reigns to approach angling clubs in Southern California. Jock Albright was president of the Balboa Angling Club in 1992 and was approached by Shedd and helped get the ball rolling with the help of the AFTCO Staff to establish volunteers in Newport.
Albright approached the City of Newport Beach’s Marine Division and they gave the White Sea Bass project a mooring in the harbor. He also approached Swift Slip who were experienced in fishing wells to raise fish. The first pen in Orange County, with the design adopted from the Salmon Pens in the Channel Islands, was launched in 1993.
Substantial funds were donated to the White Sea Bass Pens from the Pfleger family, various donations from prominent families in Newport Beach as well as the proceeds from the North/South Marlin Tournament. All these donations directly went to the cost of running the pens for the year and to establish a base fund for future years.