Wharf Walks - Shark History of the Monterey Bay

Monterey's Fisherman's Wharf Association Continues "Wharf Walks - Walking Tours at Monterey's Old Fisherman's Wharf" on Saturday, September 7th  focusing on the “Shark History of the Monterey Bay!"


August 2019. Monterey, Ca. The Monterey Fisherman's Wharf Association continues to team up with noted Monterey Bay Fisheries Historian and author, Tim Thomas, who is offering monthly "Wharf Walks - Walking Tours at Monterey's Old Fisherman'sWharf" (www.montereywharf.com) on the first Saturday of every month from 10:00 AM - Noon.


Wharf Walks will be held on Saturday, September 7th with a focus on the "Shark History of the Monterey Bay."   Tours meet at the head of Old Fisherman's Wharf (near the pink "Harbor House" store, #1 Old Fisherman's Wharf, Monterey. Advance reservations are required by calling Tim Thomas at (831) 521-3304 or via [email protected].


The tour is for ages 10-adult only and the cost is $20 for adults and kids are $15 (10-15 years).  Group Rates are also available. 


Respected Fisheries Historian, Tim Thomas, conducts monthly “Wharf Walks” on the first Saturday of every month with a focus on the history of salmon fishing on August 3rd. According to Thomas, F. E. Booth, the “Father” of the modern sardine industry, was in the salmon business along the Sacramento River before moving to Monterey around 1896 due to the large salmon landings then being made by mostly Japanese fishermen. Booth came here because of the large salmon landings--not sardine.

When he couldn't get contracts from the Japanese salmon fishermen, he began to experiment with the large sardines that would appear in the bay in later summer, early fall months. Around 1900, the City of Monterey leased the small piece of property next to the Monterey Wharf to a man named H.R. Robbins.

On Mr. Robbins lease, it says': "For the purposes of sardine cannery, reduction plant and dance hall." Booth bought him out in 1903, got the salmon contracts from the Japanese fishermen and continued to can sardine as a secondary fishery until WWI. 

In 1909, it was reported at the end of the three month salmon season at the time, there were 185 salmon boats working the Monterey Bay (about 145 of them were Japanese-owned). They were catching an average of one million pounds of King Salmon in those three months.

Also, it was sport fishermen and tourists from the legendary Hotel Del Monte that introduced fishing salmon with trolling lines and a rod and a reel that revolutionized the modern fishing industry. About 90% of that early salmon was going to Europe—mostly to Germany.


Monterey Bay Whale Watch


Monterey Bay Whale Watch (http://www.montereybaywhalewatch.com) on Monterey’s Old Fisherman’s Wharf will offer a $3.00 off coupon for all Wharf Walks participants of the September 1st Wharf Walk. 


About Wharf Walks


For thousands of years people have made their living fishing the Monterey Bay, beginning with the Rumsien Ohlone, the Native People of the Monterey area. From abalone to rockfish, everything was fished and utilized and the Monterey Bay was a multi-cultural stew, made up of whalers from the Azores, squid fishermen from China, salmon fishermen and abalone divers from Japan, and Sicilians fishing sardines in the "dark of the moon." This entertaining tour of Old Fisherman's Wharf and the waterfront will take us back in time to explore the history of the Monterey Wharf, early history of the Monterey waterfront, including the canneries. Discover some of the people and cultures of Monterey's colorful past and hear fascinating stories about Old Fisherman's Wharf and those who worked and walked there.  


About Tim Thomas


Tim Thomas, fourth-generation native of the Monterey area, is a popular speaker and lively tour guide. For 16 years, he was historian and curator for the Monterey Maritime & History Museum and has worked with the Monterey Bay Aquarium, California State Parks and the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. He is author of "The Abalone King of Monterey: 'Pop' Ernest Doelter," "The Japanese on the Monterey Peninsula" and co-author of "Monterey's Waterfront."


About Monterey’s Old Fisherman’s Wharf


A visit to the beautiful Monterey Peninsula just isn’t complete without a rendezvous with Old Fisherman’s Wharf. Built in 1845 for regular passenger and freight service, the Wharf was recently a main location for the filming of the hit HBO series, Big Little Lies, Season One.


Known as the “Whale Watching Capital of the World™” and a top destination of visitors from around the world that attracts 4 million visitors per year, Monterey’s Old Fisherman's Wharf features 13 restaurants, 3 candy shops, 8 gift shops, 4 whale watching firms, 2 fishing companies and sailing, glass bottom boat rides, Bay cruises, fish markets and the Wharf Theatre.


Enjoy award-winning dining, special events, viewing an array of marine life, and strolling leisurely in a gorgeous setting overlooking the Monterey Bay on the only Wharf that features live theatre. Savor delicious cuisine at a myriad of fabulous restaurants featuring stunning views and award-winning Italian food, sustainable seafood, steaks including the region’s famous clam chowder and calamari. Enjoy salt water taffy, homemade chocolates, caramel apples, cotton candy and many other yummy treats. 


View sea otters, sea lions, dolphins, whales, sea birds and other wildlife up close and personal that also share the Wharf. Watch people who have gone out and caught their own fish on the local and chartered fishing boats return with their own “catch of the day”.  Celebrate the first location in Monterey County where tender abalone was cooked and served in a restaurant. Check out the many fun shops to find the perfect memento of your visit and a variety of unique gifts. Take in the exquisite views and enjoy the “best place to walk and people watch” in Monterey County!  Situated near downtown Monterey, Old Fisherman’s Wharf is conveniently located along the Monterey Bay Recreation Trail.


Monterey’s Old Fisherman’s Wharf continues to feature its popular “Enjoy the Wonders of the Wharf” free VIP Card promotion available on the website with two dozen special offers for both locals and visitors. By showing a local ID with “939” in the zip code, locals can park for free for two hours Monday through Thursday in the parking lot adjacent to Old Fisherman’s Wharf.


For more information about Old Fisherman’s Wharf, go to www.montereywharf.com or call 831.238-0777.