Tag Archives: Bodega Bay

Bodega Bay crabbers head out to sea to retrieve fellow fisherman’s gear, aid his family after tragedy

The two skippers left dock before daylight, crawling through dense fog on an uncertain quest made all the more challenging by how little they could see beyond the bows of their fishing vessels. Commercial crabbers Tal Roseberry and Dick Ogg weren’t entirely sure where to look Wednesday as they worked off someone else’s personalized plotter. But they were bent on retrieving the crab gear and last catch of a fellow fisherman, Ryan Kozlowski, who lost his life on the water last week. Kozlowski died sometime late Feb. 24 or early Feb. 25 after he apparently fell overboard from the Seastar, a 42-foot vessel that had become “his passion” in the few years he had owned it. >click to read< 17:58

A Fundraiser For the Spirit of Ryan Kozlowski – A few words from Dick. To make a living from the ocean is a difficult way of life. Too many times, unforeseen situations occur that end a life too soon. Ryan Kozlowski was a very special man. Please honor his life and spirit by contributing what you can to offset the loss of his vessel and support his family. >click to read<, and please donate if you can.

Fisherman found dead in water near Bodega Bay identified

The fisherman whose body was found last week in the water near Bodega Bay has been identified as a 30-year-old Sonoma man, authorities said. Ryan Kozlowski, a commercial crab fisherman, was identified by the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office Coroner Unit. His body was found about a mile from his boat, F/V Seastar on Friday by a Coast Guard search crew. >click to read< 07:57

The Bodega Bay crab industry grew out of food demand during World War II

On a stormy spring day along the Sonoma Coast in 1951, brothers Steve and Bill Smith wove stainless steel wires around the sides of a steel crabpot in preparation for a day of crab catching. By the early 1950s, there were five fishing operations at Bodega Bay and about 100 fishermen who saw commercial crab fishing as a good side hustle, according to news reports at the time. Previously, Smith Brothers Fishery was the sole fishing business on the bay. Crab processing plants also employed women workers through the 1940s and 1950s to pick, weigh and pack Dungeness crabs. 18 photos, >click to read< 11:08

Approval granted for removal of grounded American Challenger

The U.S. Coast Guard’s top commander has authorized use of federal dollars from the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund to dismantle a 90-foot, decommissioned fishing vessel grounded on the rocks off the Marin Coast since last March. But the long-awaited consent means little until rough winter ocean conditions subside long enough to make salvage operations safe, officials said. The salvage “is approved, so it’s just a matter of time now,” said Eric Laughlin, a spokesman for the California Fish and Game Department’s Office of Spill Prevention and Response, which is handling communication for Unified Command. >click to read< 19:02

American Challenger: Salvage of grounded fishing vessel delayed – again.

The junked American Challenger vessel has listed more sharply in the months since it ran aground off the northern Marin coast, littering the shore with debris. And now officials have determined that the decommissioned fishing vessel is unsafe even for contract crews to board the vessel to weatherproof it for winter. “We’re on the verge of getting this thing removed from there,” Kinsey said, “and I just think as painfully slow and seemingly endless as the bureaucratic reviews have been, the good news is everyone has gotten to the place of, ‘Yeah, we’re going to get this thing out of here.’ Photo’s, video, >click to read<  Search results for American Challenger, >click to read< 15:47

Grounded 90-foot vessel American Challenger to be refloated

Hopes are to have the 90-foot American Challenger refloated and towed away later this summer, according to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s Office of Spill Prevention and Response. The decommissioned commercial vessel grounded north of Dillon Beach on March 6 after running adrift under tow from Puget Sound to Mexico, where it was to have been scuttled. The tugboat operator towing the decommissioned vessel said later that a steel shackle connecting the boats failed in Bodega Bay, ultimately causing the American Challenger to drift into shore, though a Coast Guard crew was monitoring it at the time. photos, >click to read< 13:40

Half Moon Bay: Commercial crab fishing set to start Monday

Commercial crab fishing season will start Monday, Jan. 11, in the Half Moon Bay area after local fishermen reached an agreement with seafood companies,,, The agreement means local Half Moon Bay fisherman will sell fresh crab on Johnson Pier at Pillar Point Harbor as early as Friday, Jan. 15. Local stores could see fresh crab arrive that weekend, according to Half Moon Bay fisherman Frank Souza. “We’re excited to get it started and stop all the phone calls and the stuff we are not good at,” Souza said. Fishing associations representing San Francisco, Bodega Bay and Half Moon Bay have reached a gentlemen’s agreement not to start setting down nets and gear in fishing waters until 8 a.m. Monday,, >click to read< 08:48

California Crab Fishermen Reduce Asking Price To $3.10; Representative for Processors Says COVID-19 Effects On Dungeness Market Continue – >click to read<

Bodega Bay Crabbers struggle to protect whales frequenting their waters–while still making a living.

Mark Gentry pauses for an afternoon yerba mate on the dock by his boat, whose deck is littered with crusty lines and vinyl yellow “bib” coveralls. Tall piles of circular mesh crab pots sit idle nearby; this year’s crab season ended early as whales moved through the area.,, Since 2015, crabber Dick Ogg says he and his colleagues have been doing “everything we can to fish alongside the whales and coexist with them,” including starting a lost gear removal program and working to remove potentially dangerous excess slack from buoy lines. They even voluntarily delayed the 2019-2020 crabbing season due to high whale activity.  CDFW senior scientist Ryan Bartling points out that these programs weren’t just implemented by crabbers but actually suggested by them, as part of a working group of fishermen, regulators, and nonprofit representatives who convened to find solutions. >click to read< 18:50

Dungeness crab fleet readies for opener as weather hampers season start for some

A monthlong delay in the opening of the Dungeness season will conclude this weekend, allowing the commercial fleet to get out on the water and start pulling in traps on Sunday.,,, many small-boat captains in the North Bay plan to wait even longer for ocean conditions to calm, so it’s safer to deploy their heavy fishing equipment. “It’s day by day,” veteran Bodega Bay fisherman Tony Anello said. 17 Photos, >click to read< 15:20

Bodega Bay crab fleet to sit out Dungeness opener to avoid whales, urging other ports to do same

Bodega Bay’s commercial crabbing fleet has agreed to voluntarily forgo Friday’s scheduled Dungeness crab season opener, an extraordinary step aimed to avoid potentially harmful encounters with endangered humpback whales,,  The Bodega Bay fleet, which was unanimous in its decision Tuesday, is hoping to persuade nearby ports to follow suit, resisting the urge to get out on the water for the time being,,, >click to read< 08:00

Coast Guard rescues 3, continues search for 1 after boat capsizes off Bodega Bay

The Coast Guard rescued three people Saturday evening after a commercial fishing boat capsized approximately 30 miles north of Bodega Bay, while a search continues for the last man aboard the boat. An emergency position-indicating radio beacon from the 54-foot Miss Hailee notified Coast Guard Sector San Francisco watchstanders of a distress at approximately 5:30 p.m. >click to read< 06:57

Three rescued, one still missing in ocean search off Bodega Bay coast>click to read<

Bodega Bay fisherman killed in freak accident off Moss Landing

A veteran of Bodega Bay’s commercial fishing fleet died this week off the California Coast in a freak accident aboard his 33-foot vessel, Amoorea, apparently after his water-protective clothing became snagged in the propeller shaft, pinning him between the shaft and the hull of the boat. Dan Nguyen, a Vietnam native who arrived on the West Coast in the early 1990s with tales of serving as a U.S. scout during wartime, subsequent imprisonment and, later, killing a guard to escape the North Vietnamese, already was unconscious when a deckhand discovered him badly injured in the engine room, the U.S. Coast Guard said. >click to read< 08:25

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