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It was no small decision Sunday for Bodega Bay fishermen

  • Dan Beltran helps hang flags aboard the "Cape Ommaney", decorated with salmon cutouts in honor of this years theme “Save the Rivers, Save the Salmon”, for the annual blessing of the fleet event in Bodega Bay, California on Sunday, May 1, 2011. (BETH SCHLANKER/ The Press Democrat)

While some fishermen decorated their boats Sunday morning and paraded in the blessing of the fleet event in Bodega Bay, others went fishing.

Sunday was the first time in years that fishermen were faced with such a conflict: to parade or to take advantage of the first day of salmon season.

It was no small decision since this is the first time in years North Coast fishermen haven't had severely restricted or canceled salmon fishing seasons due to depleted stocks.

Blessing Of The Fleet In Bodega Bay

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In the last few years the fleet parade and blessing have been bittersweet. In 2006, some fishermen protested that year's deep season cutbacks by draping their boats in black flags.

That wasn't the case Sunday morning. The parade was a colorful, upbeat event as about 15 boats, mostly fishing boats, motored out to the mouth of the bay.

There they gathered for the annual blessing to keep the fishermen safe and give them a good season.

But it was one of the smaller parades in recent years, which some attributed to opening day of the fishing season.

Longtime fisherman Lorne Edwards decided to parade Sunday, not fish.

He decorated his boat, Outsider, and joined the bay line-up with a party of family and friends.

"We're going to go have some fun. We're not making it about work," said Edwards.


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