We've just returned from a delightful (but brief) visit to Humboldt Bay on the northern California coast. Fishing and lumber are the mainstays of this region, and we saw plenty of evidence that business is booming. Fortunately, the weather was fantastic with foggy mornings followed by sunny mild days -- a welcome change from those colder overcast days of summer!
The Eureka harbor was calm and colorful, as it sheltered local commercial boats resting between fishing runs into the rough coastal waters. Local fish include sturgeon, salmon, steelhead, and cutthroat trout. The quiet estuaries and sandbars also support oyster beds that produce over half the oysters farmed in California. During migration season, I'm certain this food-rich area is a popular with egrets, herons, ducks, and other fowl on the move.
We spotted several commercial boats stacked with crab pots, getting ready to deploy them on the ocean floor. Sometimes these boats are out to sea for days, as the lucrative crabbing areas change during the season and sometimes can be hundreds of miles off shore.
Humboldt Bay is a natural shipping depot for forest and lumber products. With the lush redwoods and coastal forests nearby, the port was a focal point of shipping and milling activity.
Although forest harvesting has decreased over time due to dwindling resources and conservation, there's still evidence of limited milling activity and timber production. Resource management, efficient use of the precious timber, and modern distribution of products is now the norm. Stack, wrap and deliver those trees, please!