Bleak salmon season awaits commercial fleet as Bodega Bay Fishermen’s Festival returns

Bodega Bay will host its 44th annual Fisherman’s Festival this weekend, celebrating the ocean-going traditions that long supported this coastal village long reliant on its harvest from the sea. The two-day event, capped Sunday by the Blessing of the Fleet, coincides with the historic start of the salmon season, a catch still critical to the community’s prosperity. This year, however, like many in recent memory, commercial anglers on the North Coast await word of just how poor that king salmon harvest is expected to be. “It is bleak,” said veteran fisherman Dave Bitts, president of the Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen’s Associations. “I’m referring to it as ‘scraps of a season.’” California’s salmon season has been troubled before. But this year the state’s historic drought has exacted what may be its steepest toll, decimating a generation of fish a few years ago in shrunken streams, with far fewer adults now showing up to spawn. Click here to read the story 17:05