There has been much less mist and much more sun the past three days (6/22-6/24), and we have continued to explore the coast between our house in Little River and Ft. Bragg, our next stop.We walked a trail along the headlands just south of Mendocino Bay, near Chapman Point:

6.23.15 Mendocino-002

That’s the town of Mendocino in the background.

We’ve found fishing spots, and watched the tide come in.

6.23.15 rising tide

The afternoon that we watched the waves crash here, south of Chapman Point, I saw the afternoon sun glinting in a pool of water and saw empty abalone shells, though they were too deep to reach. Since it was just about high tide, we decided to return the next morning at low tide and see whether we could fish them out.

At low tide the next day, I was able to fish out these shells with the fishing pole.

6.23 fishing for abalone shells-004

This is what I pulled out:

abalone shells

The largest of these shells, on the right, is just about 7 inches long, the minimum size for taking abalone if you have a permit. Unfortunately, since these five shells were all together and don’t show much evidence of tumbling in the waves, they may be what’s left of an abalone poacher’s activity. The poacher would remove the abalone from the shell and hide the meat, discarding the shell. The legal limit is 3 abalone per day and each has to be a minimum of 7 inches long–only one of these would have been legal. Legally taken abalone must be tagged through the animal and one of the holes in the shell until the abalone is processed for consumption. Not much chance of that here. I am hoping that there will be less poaching during July when the abalone season is closed. During that month, anyone in the water with a float will be suspect, so I believe people will avoid diving. That may keep the abalone going a bit longer.

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