California Commercial Salmon Season 2017

California Commercial Salmon Season 2017

Despite the abundance of rain and favorable spawning conditions we've seen this winter, the impact of the drought years on the King salmon is upon us. The salmon who hatched during the drought years will be ready to return to spawn this winter, and low returns are expected. As a result, although we will have a salmon season, the most productive months and regions for salmon fishing in California will be closed for commercial fishing.

What's Happening with the Animal Fair Crew this Winter?

The Animal Fair crew has switched into winter mode. We expect to have Black Cod (Sablefish) available once every two month period (Nov/Dec, Jan/Feb, March/April) and will give advance notice before the sales. Otherwise we are immersed in our alternate professions for the winter. Rich is diving for Sea Urchins, and Laura is hiking in the streams looking for salmon and observing their spawning activities. We'll be in touch and wish you all the best this holiday season!

Animal Fair hoodies will be available soon!

Animal Fair hoodies will be available soon!

Black Cod Fishing, sale october 12th & 13th!

Black Cod Fishing, sale october 12th & 13th!

It's time for a Black Cod sale!

Salmon season has ended! We have spent the last few days turning our Salmon troller into a Black Cod pot puller for the winter season.

We'll have fresh Black Cod (sablefish) available Wednesday and Thursday, October 12th-13th, for $10/lb.

We are taking orders in advance for this sale. Please open the link below to place an order and we'll contact you with your confirmation and appointment once we return with the Black Cod to fill it! 

Click on this link to order Black Cod:

 10/12 & 10/13 2016 Black Cod Form

Thank you for your support!

The Animal Fair Crew,

Rich, Laura, & Brent


Come join us!!!

Hi Fishy Friends and loyal supporters.  We wanted to take a rare quick moment to let you know of an event that is we feel is worth attending on Saturday, October 1st, 6:30pm in the Mendocino Village at the Gallery Bookshop.  Kirk Lombard, author of The Sea Forager's Guide to Northern California will be hosting a discussion on coastal foraging; and I am told that there will be sea shanties performed as well.

Weather you love the sea, sea food, foraging, fish or fishing stories, or all of the above please come down to take part in this event.  We hope to see you there!  Oh yeah, I have read the book and highly recommend it also! (Brent has read; Laura and Rich are soon to follow)

Kirk Lombard, author of The Sea Forager's Guide to Northern California at Gallery Bookshop & Bookwinkle's in Mendocino

Saturday, October 1st, 6:30pm  Join Kirk Lombard for a fun and informative conversation about coastal foraging on the California coast. Camilla Lombard is bringing her squeezebox, so expect a sea shanty sing along, too! Kirk Lombard combines a startling depth of knowledge with wry humor and colorful storytelling to guide readers’ quests to hook fish, dig clams, and pick seaweed for themselves. Lombard, a former staff member at the state Department of Fish and Game and founder of the foraging tour company/seafood delivery service Sea Forager Seafood, insists that his readers follow all regulations and encourages sustainable practices above and beyond what the State of California requires. Leighton Kelly’s stunning, occasionally idiosyncratic illustrations complement practical instructions for gathering a variety of fish and seafood and delicious recipes for what to do with each catch.  About Kirk Lombard: Kirk Lombard lives in Moss Beach, California, with his fishwife Camilla Lombard and their two kids, Django and Penelope. Kirk writes, fishes, sings a skull-cracking baritone, dabbles in papier-mâché sculpture, plays tuba for the SF-based band Rube Waddell, and, with Camilla, runs Sea Forager Seafood, a sustainable, subscription-based seafood delivery service based in San Francisco.

See the full book tour schedule HERE

Hit and Miss Fishing......

  Salmon fishing in September.  That makes me think of the Logging Show earlier this month over Labor Day Weekend.  Why, you may ask? Well, on display next to the steam donkey is another late 19th century engine called a hit and miss engine.  The little engine sputters and wooshes in and awkward manner; the entire time one thinks that it is just about to sputter itself out, but keeps on going.  Now maybe I am getting a little abstract, but that is what the last few days of salmon fishing have been like for Rich and Laura. Two days of trolling around without a salmon to show for it.  We will see what today brings (fingers crossed).

 It is just the way September goes sometimes; the fish have to stop biting sometime.  It may seem sad today, but it just makes me hope for Sablefish "tomorrow".  Mmm.... Black Cod. Flaky, firm (when cooked properly), buttery rich, loaded with omega 3s.  Suddenly I am hungry for Black Cod tacos!  Coming soon!

Calm Seas again.......

Laura and Rich have patched their boat up and are out again this morning fishing for salmon.  The salmon really start becoming "elusive" in September as the ocean starts transition to winter.  The "bait fish" that the salmon feed on, having gone through their spawning season disperse into smaller schools and move closer to shore amongst the rocks.  This makes the catching a little more difficult, but I am hopeful that they will bring back enough to have a sale.  Unless the ocean weather comes up again everyone should prepare for a sale in 4-5 days from now (as soon as 3 days).  Keep an eye out for email notifications!

Catching California.......

The Animal Fair Crew, Rich and Laura, set out this morning to start fishing "locally".  They were hoping to start fishing out front of Fort Bragg and then decide to move north to as far as Shelter Cove or as far south as Point Arena if needed.  Unfortunately they ended up "Catching California" with their fishing gear, breaking a trolling pole and having to "limp" their way back to the Harbor.  They are currently assessing the damages and are hoping to find a pole and be up and running within a few days.

Temporary Salmon Closure.....

There is an unexpected salmon fishing closure and Rich and Laura are taking advantage of the break to have a Full day off!  Fishing will resume again on Thursday September 1st, however Laura and Rich will probably leave for Shelter Cove on Wednesday August the 31st.  Most of the "veteran" customers already are aware that the season usually slows down dramatically in September, but that shouldn't keep all off us from hoping for an unusually large catch.  I for one am keeping my fingers crossed!!

Seeking the Wild King Salmon......

Rich and Laura headed out this morning on relatively calm seas in search of Salmon.  They are hoping to have a sale on Sunday the 28th or Monday the 29th.  Look for an emailed sales announcement Saturday or Sunday morning.  There have been more whales out and about then Laura has seen on the water which makes the fishing a little more challenging; but a little more fun too.  Ask Laura when you come down to the boat and she can probably tell you a "tale" of a whale from their most recent fishing trips.