Species #50 — Chinook Salmon
Species: Chinook Salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha)
Location: Humboldt Bay, Eureka, CA
Date: August 11, 2013
This trip was something special. With my brother and a few of his friends, we opted to go to the Central California Coast. Of course fishing was on the docket, but my main reason for the trip was Glass Beach, California, a location not far from Fort Bragg.
We stayed in Woodland on the way down, with my Uncle Sam and Aunt Mary, and after parting ways, we headed west to the coast.
Everything went south from there. Since this story will be an upcoming column this summer (it already ran, so read it here), I won’t go into too much detail, but basically these things happened:
1) My headlights went out as I made my way north along Highway 1 (a notoriously windy and dangerous road), and we basically drove blind.
2) We couldn’t afford a hotel, and there were no showers, so we paid for a carwash after visiting Glass Beach to wash each other off. We used the car to block traffic, as we stripped down to our underwear and pressure washed one another.
3) Glass Beach itself was a disappointment. Years of unregulated commercial gathering had destroyed this once-beautiful destination.
4) I took a salmon charter out of Eureka. I caught mostly Coho Salmon (which had to be released), but I did manage to catch a few Chinooks.
5) The largest salmon boated was nearly taken by a sea lion. Fortunately for the angler who caught it, the gaff can be a persuasive tool.
That was more or less it. I’ll keep it simple because I don’t want to cannibalize my own writing.