California Coastal fish species

Pacific Coast

California’s new marine protected areas are creating an underwater menagerie.

Leopard Shark - A harmless, and elusive fish, the Leopard shark can be found in the warm, shallow waters of California’s La Jolla Cove. Photo: Brian Gratwicke, Flickr stream, creative commons

Garibaldi - The Garibaldi is the California state marine fish and is so bright that on clear days they can be seen from Laguna bluffs flashing through the water. Photo: Joseph Dovala

Giant Sea Bass - Black sea bass are believed to live over 100 years, and reach lengths of 7 1/2 feet and can be spotted throughout the Italian Gardens on Catalina Island. Photo: King Damus, Flickr stream, creative commons

California Sheephead - California sheephead favor rocky reef habitat and kelp forests, and Palos Verdes’ coastline has great quantities of this habitat. Photo: Ed Bierman, Flickr stream

Rays - Anacapa Island provides great habitat for bat rays, kelp and burying themselves in sand in order to surprise prey. Photo: Katie Strait

Elephant Seal - Elephant seals are long distance travelers that migrate over 10, 000 miles twice a year, returning to California beaches twice a year. Photo: Pat Ulrich

Gray Whale - Each year more than 20, 000 gray whales migrate to calving areas in the lagoons of Baja, Mexico. Big Sur and the Point Reyes Lighthouse are favorite viewing spots. Photo: James Dorsey

Puffin - Tufted Puffins spend most of their lives far offshore diving to feed on fish, but may be seen with some regularity at the Farallon Islands. Photo: Ram Papish

Sea Otter - Sea Otters are often visible from the shore of Monterey Peninsula, sleeping wrapped in fronds of kelp or foraging for food. Photo: Steve Zalan

Blue Whale - Blue whales are the largest animals ever known to have lived on Earth and can be seen from Monterey Bay. Photo: Ken Bondy

California is creating a network of underwater parks, called marine protected areas, that are designed to help the state’s unique coastal species and ecosystems thrive, while at the same time providing access to people who want to enjoy the natural wonders of the coast.

If you dive, snorkel, paddle or boat in one of California’s new underwater parks, here are 10 species you might find:

La Jolla Cove: Leopard shark

La Jolla is one of California’s best places to see leopard sharks, and in the summer, hundreds of these harmless fish may be present. Leopard sharks have the same shape and profile as other sharks but have distinctive dark spots on a grey or brown body. They range from 2 to 6 feet in size and frequent warm, shallow areas in rocky or sandy bottom. At La Jolla, you may find them in as little as knee-deep water.


University of California Libraries Species profiles: life histories and environmental requirements of coastal fishes and invertebrates (North Atlantic) : American shad
Book (University of California Libraries)

You supposed to be a marine?

2011-03-01 16:44:21 by not-a-clown-fish

Bat·fish   /ˈbætˌfɪʃ/ Show Spelled
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–noun, plural ( especially collectively ) -fish, ( especially referring to two or more kinds or species ) -fish·es.
1. any of the flat-bodied, marine fishes of the family Ogcocephalidae, as Ogcocephalus vespertilio, common in the southern Atlantic coastal waters of the U.S.
2. a stingray, Aetobatis californicus, found off the coast of California.
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