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Lombard Of The Intertidal
San Francisco California
Locally renowned raconteur, fisherman, tubist, writer, tenor, home made instrument designer, puppet guy, eel master, former employee of {insert name of ambiguously titled semi federal agency of fish data collection here}.
Interests: Fishing, baseball, blondes, puppetry, quality cigars, fine ales and spirits, harmonicas, tubas, night smelt, monkeyface eels, surf smelt... you know stuff like that.
Recent Activity
Dungeness Crab Most of you know about the challenges the dungeness crab fishery has faced these last few years. But for those who don't please read my (totally rambling and biased) summary at the bottom of this page. Commercial crab season finally opened and despite the fact that the crabbers have been forced to fish with only half of their gear, the catch totals have been good thus far. It should also be noted that the price is not exorbitant (yet) and most commercial fishermen are at least reasonably happy (for now). For sporties. Check the CA DFW regs page... Continue reading
Posted Feb 9, 2024 at Coastal Update
Summer/Fall 2023 Shore fishing update/assessment Image taken from "@Thegreenkane/X" (I have no idea who that is or what it means) Well, with no salmon season and the usual predicted delay to the start of dungeness crab, I'm honestly not sure what to write for a fall update. Let's begin with a bit of griping about the summer... The elusive Pacific sardine Maybe if some of my beloved forage fish (surf smelt, or night smelt, or sardines, or mackerel or... ?) had shown up in numbers worth noting I'd be a tad more optimistic. But they didn't and so I'm not.... Continue reading
Posted Oct 13, 2023 at Coastal Update
As many of you may know, I am a bit obsessed with the osmeridae—or true smelts. The two local (market available) smelt species in our part of California are the surf smelt and the night smelt (though the endangered longfin and delta smelts also belong to the osmeridae). The more fishy, scaley, behemoth known as a jacksmelt, or it's equally fishy and scaley cousin the top smelt are not true smelts but silversides—think flying fish or grunion. Continue reading
Posted Apr 19, 2023 at Coastal Update
Coastal Update Winter 2023 The Spawn is On! (note the foam) Spinnaker, Sausalito. 1/20/23 1pm) Wow. I've been praying to Poseidon for rain for about a decade and now we've had a decade's worth of rain in one month! Careful what you ask for, I guess. I gave my two cents in this story: On Your Mark, Get Set, Spawn: The Annual SF Bay Herring Run Is About to Begin. If you're tempted but don't know how to cast a herring net...I'll plug my new coastal foraging class dates HERE. Anyway here's the skinny on the storm of the decade:... Continue reading
Posted Jan 20, 2023 at Coastal Update
Coastal update Hi all! Kirk here with your Sea Forager Winter update. Crab Depending on who you ask, local dungeness crab fishing has been terrible to fair to excellent to disturbing. For instance John “Champion de la Banana” Bebelos, everyone's favorite son of Hellas, and the guy who makes all the crab snares for Sea Forager, informs us that this is “the worst year ever” in Pacifica. A random sampling of jetty wall crabbers heading back to their cars with empty buckets last weekend in HMB seemed to confirmed this... While Sea Forager shore fishing master (and beach picker) Jack... Continue reading
Posted Nov 19, 2022 at Coastal Update
Coastal Update Hi everyone! Kirk here with the Sea Forager Fall update. Red Tides Yucky water (Photo by Darwin BonGraham, The Oakside) I've lived in the Bay Area for 30 years and I've never seen anything like this. Basically what's happening is a sort of perfect storm of conspiring problems. It's actually reducible to a very simple equation: a = naturally occurring phytoplankton bloom (red tide) b = abnormally high temperatures (global warming, maybe?) c = too much nitrogen (from treated human excrement) in the water d = dead fish everywhere (DFE) So... A + B + C = DFE... Continue reading
Posted Sep 16, 2022 at Coastal Update
Coastal Update Spring/Summer 2022 I'm back! After a two + year Covid-induced hiatus from doing walking tours and on-shore fishing classes, I will be offering (limited) tours this year! But here's the thing. I want to take fewer people and prioritize private groups. I'm offering a single chartered halibut trip with Adam on Thursday, May 12th, plus new dates for my San Francisco coastal fishing & foraging walking tour and a couple Mega Low Tide tours in Half Moon Bay. Book those here: Sea Forager Tours and read details below! I also want to take a moment to alert you... Continue reading
Posted Apr 29, 2022 at Coastal Update
Coastal Update 2021 (It's Not All Bad News) The hazy scrim of smoke lingering in the skies over our ever-burning California seems to have mingled with the resident fog and produced an eery post-apocalyptic red-grey cloud bank which hovers about 60 feet above sea level at all times of the day. And that's your coastal update for 9/21. Thanks. And good luck out there! Kirk-out Heh... just kidding. But given the state of the world—and California—right now, it seems odd not to mention that our figurative house is on fire. So if you're looking to get out into some cold,... Continue reading
Posted Sep 7, 2021 at Coastal Update
Happy Father's Day! Time to hit the water. Summertime and...a few fish are jumping. At least salmon season is opening soon…read on! And if you're looking for the perfect Father's Day gift, get him a Sea Forager Seafood gift certificate or book, available in the store. 🎁 Chinook Salmon Thus far salmon fishing has been limited to the ocean waters south of Pigeon Point, with a dizzying array of openings and closings, and long boat rides for most people. This state of affairs is set to end on June 26th when the season opens in earnest between Point Arena and... Continue reading
Posted Jun 18, 2021 at Coastal Update
Photo: Sky News SF It may surprise you that despite the dystopian smokey skyline, covid-19 pandemic, social unrest, pre-election anxiety, wildfires, heatwaves, economic collapse and climate change, the fish are still doing their thing. More or less. Here's my take on what's going on locally this season: Salmon September brings with it the distant hope that salmon will start showing up closer to home as they move closer to the Golden Gate en route to spawning grounds on the Sacto. I say distant hope, because this year's season has been rather underwhelming. There were essentially two good weeks. And a... Continue reading
Posted Sep 13, 2020 at Coastal Update
Hear ye! Hear ye! For those about to rock...we salute you! Your quarterly coastal update is a little different this time, and to our new members, allow me to welcome you and assure you that henceforth your regular coastal update will be chock-full of news about our seasonal fisheries, coastal foraging tour dates and fun fishy events (when the time is right), and other coastal happenings. But this coastal update is different. Special. Quite possibly life-altering. Not content to limit myself to the wonders of the sea, I have embraced the animal kingdom in its entirety and created a strange... Continue reading
Posted May 18, 2020 at Coastal Update
Herring, harmonies, and help wanted: Well... herring season is starting to look about as close to a total bust as I've ever seen. Not to be alarmist but... damn. I spoke with some biologists who indicated they're seeing a few scattered schools in the usual spots: Sausalito, Richmond etc. But not enough for anyone to drop a net on. There was a short, relatively minor spawn on the east side of T.I. (in the cove near the Coast Guard station) about a month ago, but that's been it. Despite the low spawning numbers DFW opened the commercial season. Which would... Continue reading
Posted Jan 21, 2020 at Coastal Update
May the Yule Tides Wash Over You With Salty Holiday Salutations! The commercial crab season just opened and with any luck we'll be celebrating our local herring soon. Despite the bleak herring predictions for this year, the season is still open (as far as the writing of this email,) and this will may be the last season with no sport limit on herring catch. Although trends in the herring population indicate that the biomass is as low as ever, herring populations have fluctuated throughout history, so we may just be in a natural dip. Regardless, everyone should witness at least... Continue reading
Posted Dec 17, 2019 at Coastal Update
Winter is here! In the Bay Area (for most people) that means one thing: crab. Or I should say it's always meant crab until now. Now it means something else. Not sure what that is, exactly. I'm open to herring becoming the banner winter resource, but the rest of the populace seems to be lagging on this. In any case, I have a lot of thoughts/feelings/opinions on the current state of the crab fishery which I'll share in my next post. I'm putting together a nuanced message about the current furor over whale entanglements. But as for the sporty season....... Continue reading
Posted Nov 21, 2019 at Coastal Update
SEPTEMBER EVENTS! 1. EVENTS! I'll be discussing The Sea Forager's Guide to the Northern California Coast and singing sea songs with The Fishwives at the Spaulding Marine Center in Sausalito on Saturday, September 7th (family-friendly outdoor gig!) INFO. And save the date - we'll be celebrating our 6th birthday party at The Homestead in SF on Friday, September 20th! Fish butchery class at the Eat Real Festival in Jack London Square, Oakland, on Sunday, September 22nd. Of course, we'll bring the music too! TICKETS. 2. HELP WANTED! Sea Forager CSF is looking for a part time delivery driver and/or seafood... Continue reading
Posted Sep 3, 2019 at Coastal Update
PRAISE POSEIDON, WINTER IS OVER! 1. SPRING FISH (HALLELUJAH)! The halibut bite is red-hot, the night smelt have returned to our local beaches, and the salmon opener is just around the corner. As a fisherman and fishmonger, I'm deeply happy to say that winter is behind us. Join me on a tour, enjoy fresh local seafood in my CSF, or if you're looking to get on a charter boat, check out my friend Adam on F/V Gatherer (pictured below). Mention Kirk the Sea Forager and get a discount on your next excursion! 2. EVENTS! Join the Fishwives family road trip... Continue reading
Posted May 14, 2019 at Coastal Update
HERRING Herring, help wanted, and tours, oh my! 1. HERRING! There's no commercial herring season this year but there is no reason why everyone reading this shouldn't be able to go out and catch their own. Herring spawn close to shore all over the bay in January and February and you don't even need a boat to catch them, just a throw net. We've been waiting on tenterhooks since the Candlestick herring teaser a couple weeks ago, which was beautiful but short-lived. The rains are promising, and in a poetic twist, I'm betting that the "silver darlings" might just show... Continue reading
Posted Jan 17, 2019 at Coastal Update
HOLD ON TIGHT, HERE COMES ANOTHER YEAR! "It's the most wonderful time of the year..." that's right, because it's herring season! And with the commercial herring season most likely closed (no buyers coming down from up north this year) the only herring you're gonna get are the ones you catch yourself. Follow me on twitter and instagram for herring updates @seaforager, and join me at he Sausalito Herring Festival on January 27th where we'll be singing ribald oceanic odes to our favorite clupeid. Best wishes to you and yours for a fishy new year! And if you're looking for a... Continue reading
Posted Dec 22, 2018 at Coastal Update
The Sea Forager gift guide is here! Sustainable seafood gift certificates, coastal foraging gift pack, books, hats, and everything except the smell of low tide. SHOP 1. NEW COASTAL FORAGING TOUR DATES: January 12th in S.F. and February 18th at 3pm in Half Moon Bay - TICKETS & gift certificates (Sea Forager Seafood CSF members get 50% off tour tickets!) 2. SUSTAINABLE GIFTS! The Sea Forager's Holiday Gift Pack is the perfect gift for your coastal foraging friend, and foodies will love CSF gift certificates, The Sea Forager's Guide book, hats, aprons, and more on the STORE. 3. KNOW YOUR... Continue reading
Posted Dec 4, 2018 at Coastal Update
HOW TO FIND YOUR OWN SEAFOOD on NPR! 1. UPCOMING TOURS: Join me for my San Francisco coastal foraging tour on October 27th, November 17th, and my Mega Low Tide foraging tour in half Moon Bay on December 22nd - details HERE. As always, CSF members get 50% off! 2. MORE VIDEOS: From clam digging to salmon fishing, night smelt hunting, fish prep and more, subscribe to my youtube channel and see it all. 3. MORE LOCATIONS, MORE FISH: with 46 locations and home delivery, sustainable seafood is just around the corner. Drop me a line if you'd like to... Continue reading
Posted Oct 24, 2018 at Coastal Update
I have some new Sea Forager VIDEOS for you and a few other announcements... 1. EVENTS: Join me for cocktails and adventure storytelling night on Thursday, August 23rd at the Verde Club with Backcountry Hunters & Anglers and C.C. Filson INFO. And SAVE THE DATE! September 28th: Please help us celebrate 5 years in this sustainable seafood adventure at The Homestead Bar in San Francisco from 6-8:30pm. 2. NEW VIDEOS: KQED recently captured my night smelt hunt & feast with the Fishwife, plus more hook to cook videos about local anchovies, salmon, and shad. Subscribe to my new youtube channel... Continue reading
Posted Aug 14, 2018 at Coastal Update
Happy Summer! In case you missed it, I'm now making regular Sea Forager VIDEOS! Look behind the hook and watch a monkeyfacee eel rob me blind and take the bait from my very fingers, learn how to find and enjoy your local seaweed, how to skin a shark, how to dip for night smelt, how to find sea urchins with a five year old, why we fish, and so, so much more. Please subscribe to my new youtube channel! Here are a few new ones... "Finger Poling" For Monkeyface Eels Urban Guerrilla Shark Skinning Sea Forager: Four Days Off 20... Continue reading
Posted Jun 15, 2018 at Coastal Update
I'm happy to announce that after a long hiatus from cyber-space, I enter Spring 2018 with a bunch of new VIDEOS! Have a look behind the hook, and learn how to catch and pickle herring, make your own surf perch ceviche, catch trout on a ladder in the freezing cold, and witness how a master (not me) fillets a halibut. Though you may have enjoyed my detailed written ramblings, I'm hoping that you'll appreciate the edited, sound-tracked, and live-action thrill of my P.O.V. even more. Here are a few videos to kick things off, and you can look forward to... Continue reading
Posted May 2, 2018 at Coastal Update
According to DFW there have been 2 minor spawns. One in Balena Bay (Alameda, near the rockwall) and Point Richmond (outer Jetty). Other than that it's been rumors. Nothing but rumors. Grade C rumors. Fake news! Not-even-worthy-of-mentioning rumors. And yet, since I'm getting so many texts and e-mails from folks I don't even know, I'm mentioning them. If for no other reason than just to let everyone know how little info I've got. How much leg work I've already done. And what constitutes a real tip and a bogus one. Unbelievably someone called to tell me there was a spawn... Continue reading
Posted Dec 21, 2017 at Coastal Update
Hello everybody. Time for the Sea Forager Coastal Update! But first, here's what we're up to in the next few months: Mega Low Tide Monster Clam Tours with spots still open (TICKETS HERE): 1. December 31st, 2pm 2. January 29th, 2:30pm Sausalito Herring Festival 2018: Stay tuned for details, The Fishwives sea shanty trio will be performing! Crab Crab image by Leighton Kelly, all rights reserved. Dungeness crab season opened with a fizzle. The inshore/shallow water numbers have been disappointing. The folks who tied more rope onto their pots and dropped them in deeper water have been doing better—but not... Continue reading
Posted Nov 20, 2017 at Coastal Update