Exploring California’s Marine Protected Areas: Point Conception State Marine Reserve

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Cruising north along the Santa Barbara coast can be smooth sailing across sheltered waters, with the majestic backdrop of the Santa Ynez Mountains towering above expansive kelp beds and calm sandy beaches. As you get close to Point Conception, however, wise mariners know that smooth sailing can simply be the calm before the storm. Continue reading

Creature Feature: Lingcod

Two color variations of lingcod. The green variation sometimes has turquoise colored flesh, though biologists have yet to determine the cause. The blue-green tint disappears during cooking, and the fish tastes the same regardless of coloration.
Two color variations of lingcod. The green variation sometimes has turquoise colored flesh, though biologists have yet to determine the cause. The blue-green tint disappears during cooking, and the fish tastes the same regardless of coloration.

Lingcod may be found statewide off California. This fish lives at or near the bottom, in a wide range of habitats including rocky areas and kelp beds, especially where there is strong tidal movement. They occur most abundantly in water shallower than 350 ft., but will often go into deeper water and have been caught as deep as 2,700 ft. off southern California. Continue reading

Creature Feature: Striped Bass

striped bass

Striped bass were introduced to California in 1879, when 132 small fish from the Navesink River in New Jersey were released into San Francisco Bay near Martinez. In 1882, three hundred more fish were released into lower Suisun Bay. By 1892 a flourishing commercial fishery had developed, which was closed in 1935 in an effort to build a robust sport fishery. Continue reading