With over 75 miles of pristine coastline and numerous rivers and lakes, there are a lot of marine activities in Mendocino County! For this post, we’ll take a look at some of our favorite crustaceans and other creatures and flora that live in the ocean waves.
When October rolls around, it’s time to celebrate the sea snail, otherwise known as abalone, at the World Championship Abalone Cook-off & Festival. Judging tickets are sold out this year, but you can still come down to the Fort Bragg harbor and enjoy the festivities. Abalone has been sought after for centuries as a food and the shells used for decorative purposes. In Mendocino County, ab diving is permitted from April to November (except July) and is highly regulated. Did you know the largest abalone recorded in California is 12.34 in (31.3 cm), caught by John Pepper somewhere off the coast of San Mateo County in September 1993?!
November is the kick-off season for one of the county’s premium bounties: the Dungeness Crab. Prized for their delicate taste and exquisite texture, we’re so crazy about crab that we have our own festival every January! Book your Crab Cake Cook-off tickets early; they sell out every year. Chefs from around the county craft a delicious assortment of crab cakes for your tasting pleasure, which are served alongside a fine selection of wines and craft brews from around the county. Join us on Friday January 28 for an all-you-can-eat crab cioppino feed.
Who doesn’t love the king of the sea… King Salmon? Found in relative abundance off the Mendocino coast, these fish are a delicious addition to menus throughout the county. Telstar Charters and North Coast Fishing are just two of the outfits that run salmon fishing trips during the season.
Another notable product of the ocean deep is edible seaweed. Mendocino Sea Vegetable Company has been harvesting sea vegetables since 1980. Packed with nutritional and healing properties needed now as never before, seaweeds are rapidly moving from Asian cultures, where for centuries they have been regarded as food for kings and gods, into the natural healing foods and even gourmet cuisine markets of the Western world.
Come and experience the waves of Mendocino County!