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Welcome to the Sonoma County Gazette ARCHIVE of PAST EDITIONS. Our NEW WEBSITE is up and running, so GazExtra is serving as your path to archived articles. Thanks for being part of our Sonoma County community...stay in touch...e-mail me - VESTA

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Around Bodega Bay - January 2012

Winter in Bodega Bay is an interesting time.  As the traffic on Highway 1 dies down, the boat traffic in the channel picks up with crab season in full swing.  Even if we need the rain, we savor the sun-filled days and clear, windless nights.  It’s a great time to stargaze on the beach.  This year, we are enjoying a relatively dry winter (so far).  And typically, it’s warmer at the coast than it is just 5 to 10 miles inland.  We’ve learned not to pay any attention to the weather channels predictions of temperature, as their information comes from a station several miles away from the coast.  It’s a locals paradise this time of year.  No waiting, no crowds and plenty of crab.  If you still think of the Sonoma Coast as a place that is constantly fogged in, then it’s high time you got out here in the winter months.

It’s true, those of us fortunate enough to call Bodega Bay home, have to drive inland for a look at changing seasons.  There is a kind of sameness to this coastal area through the year that makes you feel safe.  In winter, the air turns cooler, there is a sense of calm, more birds move in to town, the headlands begin to turn a little greener.  You have to want to see the seasons change here in Bodega Bay, you have to slow down and take it all in.

Occupy Bodega Bay
This is the time of the year when the birds actually occupy Bodega Bay - over a hundred species of them!  The Bird Walk Park on the south end of town is a great place to spot many of the feathered residents.  But if you are looking for something a little more structured, The Madrone Audobon Society will be hosting a bird walk on February 4th.  The walks are recreational and educational in purpose, and all levels of expertise are welcome. Bring field equipment, wear comfortable shoes and layered clothing for variable weather conditions.  Get more information at their website:

Coho Salmon Released
In December, representatives from the following organizations participated in a Coho Salmon release at Salmon Creek:  The U.S. Army Corp of Engineers, National Marine Fisheries Service, The Nature Conservancy, State of California Department of Fish and Game, Gold Ridge Resource Conservation District, Salmon Creek School, Occidental Arts and Ecology Center, Dragonfly Stream Enhancement, Salmon Creek Watershed Council, Prunuske Chatham, Inc.  This was the third annual event and 174 salmon were returned to the wild.  The first Coho Salmon, released three years ago, are expected to return this year to spawn.  California Coastal Coho Salmon has been designated as an endangered species under the federal Endangered Species Act. It is unlawful to fish for, capture, keep, or possess under any circumstances a California Coastal Coho Salmon.

The Russian Anniversary
2012 marks the 200th anniversary of the Russians settling Bodega Bay and what was known as Port Rumiantsev.  The Rancho Bodega Historical Society is organizing groups all around town and planning several commemorative events.  The Cabaret, an annual event at The Grange, will start the series of events in late February, which will end with The 39th Annual Fisherman's Festival in late April.  “The Lady Washington”, a tall ship, will be docked in the harbor for a few days on it’s annual trek back to Washington State.  Visitors will be able to board and tour the ship, which is a similar vessel to what the 1812 Russians would have arrived in.  Check out all the details at and make plans join the celebration! 

You Be The Judge
Coming up soon is the annual Chowder Day.  Up to 14 area restaurants will compete for bragging rights.  The $5 ticket is a bargain and helps to raise money for the Bodega Bay Area Chamber of Commerce Independence day celebration in July.  To participate, just stop in at the Sonoma Coast Visitors Center at 850 Highway 1, starting at 10am on February 11.  You’ll get a map of all the locations and a ballot to cast your vote - you be the judge!  For more details, visit

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