Over 20 boats braved 30+ knot winds to participate in the Bodega Bay Fisherman’s Festival Boat Parade and Blessing of the Fleet on Sunday, April 23. This was the 50th anniversary of the annual festival, which usually marks the opening of salmon season (sadly, salmon season has been canceled this year). Decorated boats motored up the channel, and upon their return to the marina, were blessed by local clergy.
Aboard their Beneteau 423, EJ Flyer, Janice Dahms and Evan Gomberg of Occidental were the only sailors in the parade this year — the strong winds kept their colorful pennants flying proudly!
This is the first year since 2008 that the salmon season has been closed for both recreational and commercial salmon fishing. Despite this year’s heavy rains, the low fish stock is caused by the prior eight years of drought. The Golden State Salmon Association is doing what it can, but for now, nature just needs time to recover.