Exploring California’s Marine Protected Areas: Blue Cavern Onshore State Marine Conservation Area and Blue Cavern Offshore State Marine Conservation Area

Just twenty miles off the coast of Los Angeles, Santa Catalina Island is home to about 4,000 people and nine marine protected areas (MPAs), including Blue Cavern Onshore State Marine Conservation Area (SMCA) and Blue Cavern Offshore SMCA. Continue reading

Help CDFW Manage the Recreational Spiny Lobster Fishery – Return Report Cards On Time

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California spiny lobster
CDFW photo by D. Stein

Divers and hoopnetters are reminded that the deadline for returning 2017-2018 Spiny Lobster Report Cards is approaching. Report card holders must submit report card information online or return their cards to the address printed on the card by April 30, 2018. Information collected from the cards provides the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) with data necessary to monitor and manage California’s spiny lobster fishery. Continue reading

2018 Grunion Run Schedule Now Available

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Grunion spawning on a sandy beach
CDFW photo

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife has published its annual schedule of predicted grunion runs in 2018. Intrepid nature lovers and grunion hunters can use the schedule to stake out a beach late at night and perhaps catch a few fish, or just observe their unusual mating behavior.

Grunion, are small, slender fish with bluish-green backs and silvery bellies. These fish ‘strand’ themselves Continue reading

Exploring California’s Marine Protected Areas: Laguna Beach State Marine Reserve and State Marine Conservation Area

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Laguna Beach SMR and SMCA. Also shown are Crystal Cove SMCA to the north, and Dana Point SMCA to the south. (click to enlarge)

The idyllic shoreline of Laguna Beach is made up of rocky headlands with towering cliffs, sandy beaches and a myriad of tide pools teeming with life. It is also home to one of the largest coastal “no-take” marine protected areas (MPAs) in southern California. Located adjacent to a densely populated city, the area is a popular attraction for scuba diving, snorkeling, swimming, beach walking and sun bathing. These popular activites make Laguna Beach State Marine Reserve (SMR) and Laguna Beach State Marine Conservation Area (SMCA) two of the most visited MPAs in California’s statewide network.

Laguna Beach SMR and SMCA, along with 48 other MPAs along California’s southern coast, were established in 2012 to protect critical marine species and habitats, including intertidal tide pools Continue reading