Aug 09

Bonefish and San Francisco

With global warming a fact of our modern world, it could very well be that bonefish will some day be cast to on the mud flats off Sausalito.  Don’t rush out and haul that flats skiff from the Keys just yet.  I’m sure there is a lot of food fit for a bonefish in the Bay, but the water is, in a word… cold.   Bonefish don’t love cold water (78 is their ideal) and that Bay water is frigid (gets as warm as 73 in spots, but as cold as  46… which is fatal), as is the water along the coast extending down most of the length of California.

I have been bemused to see several sources list the northern range of bones on the West Coast as extending up to SF Bay.  One of these sources is the website of the Florida Museum of Natural History Ichthyology Department.  Some months ago I set out to discover the source of this statement of fact.

Turns out there is a bonefish in the CA Academy of Sciences collection that was caught off Sausalito back in about 1914 or so.  How that fish got there, I have no idea.  If you look at catch reports from piers, party boats and other anglers it is very clear that no bonefish are, or have been, taken in the Bay in the 90 or so years since then (or at least no one has talked about it).

There have been whales up the Sacramento River, but I wouldn’t include the Sac in the stated range of those whales.

Basically… I’m calling BS.  Bones do inhabit some of the back bays in San Diego, but not really any further than that.  Californians are just going to have to wait a few hundred or thousand years to find bones in SF Bay… sorry.