Tag Archives: Bodega Bay

45th Annual blessing of the Bodega Bay fishing fleet marks a shorter and uncertain salmon season

The Karen Jeanne rocks and sways as Dick Ogg steers out of Bodega Harbor, past the rocky breakwall where surf-casting fishermen wave from their perches.Behind him, an array of boats fall into line, each decorated with signs and flags, their decks full of fishermen, families and friends. To some this route is a familiar morning commute, the first turn on a many-miles journey in pursuit of albacore tuna, salmon, Dungeness crab or sablefish, depending on the season. To commercial fishermen the harbor marks the safe haven after a dangerous journey. For others, today offers a rare boating adventure – a chance to picnic, take photos and crack open a beer before noon.>click to read<21:29

Uncertain salmon season launches in Bodega Bay

The rising hum of activity in the port of Bodega Bay over recent days reveals an unexpected level of interest in the commercial salmon season that starts Tuesday, despite a 3-month delay and what’s been an extremely grim outlook for the beleaguered fishery. A large proportion of the local fleet has been gearing up to head out to open ocean, ready to drop their lines and test the waters. But the satisfied, even boisterous enthusiasm that once characterized the marinas during pre-seasons past has diminished during years of struggle in the fishing industry, some say. A time that once carried the promise of hard work and dependable results now brims with uncertainty. click here to read the story 21:20

Bodega Bay Fisherman’s Festival celebrates its working waterfront with Blessing of the Fleet

In a tradition that stretches back nearly 60 years, local fishermen gathered their fleet off Doran Spit on Sunday to receive a blessing for bountiful catches and safe returns. Skippers, aboard boats sporting colorful maritime decorations in their rigging, tuned their VHF radios to channel 09 and cranked up the volume so their crews, friends and family aboard could hear local clergy pray for them in the annual blessing of the fleet. “We praise you for the vast abundance of the sea,” said Pastor Neal Miller of the Fisherman’s Chapel in prayer. Miller was joined aboard the New Sea Angler by Pastor Jerry Lites of Bodega Bay Church and Father Gary Moore of the Diocese of Santa Rosa. After a few lean years, the Bodega Bay fleet is praying the Lord will manifest that abundance onto their hooks and into their crab pots. The blessing of the fleet, which has taken place every year since 1958, is appreciated by both captains and crew. 14 great images, click here to read the story 13:12

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

Crab fishermen strike for higher price per-pound from Bodega Bay north through Oregon and Washington

Crabbers from Bodega Bay north through Oregon and Washington to the Canadian border went on strike Wednesday afternoon after wholesale Dungeness crab buyers sought to lower the per-pound price fishermen earn for the much sought-after crustacean. Fishermen have agreed to either cease crabbing in areas off the Sonoma Coast where the Dungeness crab season has already opened, or delay the start of their season in hopes of retaining the $3-per-pound price they have earned fishing in Northern California’s rich waters so far this year, according to Lorne Edwards, president of the Bodega Bay Fisherman’s Marketing Association, an industry trade group. Read the rest of the story here 07:48

Crab Fishermen Rescue Entangled Whale Near Bodega Bay

Three fishermen on the boat, Legacy, risked their lives to save a whale entangled in crab pots near Bodega Bay. They didn’t have time to call for help, it was an emergency situation. Legacy crewman Valentine Parnell described the initial encounter with the whale. “Mark comes along side it and we notice that its blowhole was spouting off…it’s trapped. Absolutely trapped,” Parnell said. Legacy deck boss Ken Garliepp said, “I mean it was cutting into him to where he was bleeding, so I don’t know how long it would have been til he’s getting ripped apart by sharks. He definitely needed help.” Using boat hooks, the men snagged lines and started cutting. Piece by piece the old lines slowly came off. At first the whale resisted, but then something miraculous happened. Video, read the story here 10:22

Bodega Bay boats set out for Dungeness crab along Sonoma Coast

The full force and focus of the West Coast crabbing fleet has turned on the waters off Sonoma County, where newly opened fishing grounds are expected to yield the next crop of holiday Dungeness crab. Local fishing vessels left docks in droves before dawn Friday to start setting traps in a fishery whose bounty has made the sweet, succulent crustaceans an important cash crop around the North Coast. Boats from around California, as well as Oregon and Washington, where the crab seasons have been delayed, have also joined in the latest opening, making for crowded, derby-style action that gives the advantage to the very biggest boats, crabbers say. “I’ve never seen this many boats and this much gear north of Point Reyes,” Windsor crabber Ben Platt said by phone Friday off the Sonoma Coast as he deployed traps earlier set in Half Moon Bay, where he started the season. 11 great images, read the story here 08:30

Bodega Bay – Optimism for the coming Dungeness crab season is building

nya-genovese-painting-crab-buoys-bodega-bayOptimism for the coming Dungeness crab season is building amid growing evidence that last year’s historic problems with toxic algae along the California coast may not be an issue again this year. The Nov. 15 commercial season opener is still nearly six weeks out, so there are no guarantees at this point. But testing of sample crabs suggests the fishery will likely open on time, making the shellfish available for the lucrative holiday markets, according to state officials. “We believe that the worst may be behind us,” state Sen. Mike McGuire, chairman of the Joint Legislative Committee on Fisheries and Aquaculture, said during a Tuesday hearing at the UC Davis Bodega Marine Laboratory. Fishermen and consumers, who have turned Dungeness crab into a must-have winter treat, can thank cooling ocean temperatures for the brightening forecast, officials said. Read the story here, nine images.  14:34

Coast Guard, partner agencies respond to fishing vessel aground near Salmon Creek Beach

The Coast Guard and partner agencies responded to a fishing vessel Sunday that ran aground in Bodega Bay, Calif. Coast Guard Sector San Francisco Command Center watchstanders were notified at 1:24 a.m., that a 54-foot fishing vessel, the Verna A II, had run soft aground near Salmon Creek Beach. When the master’s efforts to refloat his vessel were unsuccessful, a motor lifeboat crew was launched from Coast Guard Station Bodega Bay, along with two swimmers and a crew aboard a personal watercraft from Bodega Bay Fire. The master was removed from the vessel and transported to the beach due to safety concerns. The vessel is aground near freshwater wetlands neighboring the highway one bridge. The Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund has been opened for $50,000 and Parker Diving and Salvage has been hired to conduct fuel and oil removal operations. Link 08:41

The Pirates of Bodega Bay – Crab Fleet still testing crabs with Domoic Acid

A little-known fact is, Pirates in the 17th and 18th Centuries created one of the first democracies, voting for their captains and quartermasters, and voting them out if things didn’t work out. They weren’t made to walk the plank afterwards, they were merely demoted to the rank of members of the crew. Amazingly these high ideals are still held today, at least by the commercial fishing fleet in Bodega Bay. On Feb. 15, a hearty battle broke out (only verbal) among the fishermen who have recently seen their world fall apart with the dispute over tainted crab. It was somewhat like a manly square dance with captains and crew changing sides frequently but in the end, they all came to an agreement. Lots of info, Read the article here 09:20