Fish Friday – Chinook Salmon

This is kind of a special Fish Friday. Normally, here at CFD,  we highlight fish that divers are likely to see. This is kind of a special occasion however as I ran across an interesting article in the Western Outdoor News about a lonely and apparently very lost Chinook Salmon being caught and released in Santa Monica Bay last week.

The largest of the Pacific salmon, Chinooks can grow to up to 135 pounds during their years at sea before returning to spawn in their home streams and rivers. They are highly sought after game fish and certain runs, such as winter run Chinooks in the Sacramento River,  are even ESA listed. The species range doesn’t include any Southern California rivers so what this guy was doing here is a mystery and apparently the reporter who wrote the story forgot to ask. Fake news with cool fish.

Have a great weekend and we’ll see you out there.

Click here to visit the California Department of Fish and Wildlife page to learn more about this wide ranging salmonid.

Fish Friday – Big Bad Bocaccio

Bocaccio photo courtesy of D. Gottshall

This weeks fish, if it were a boxer, would always be leading with it’s chin. Growing up to 3 feet in length, the bocaccio is instantly recognizable by it tremendously long lower jaw, extending past it’s eye socket into a distinctive bulb-shaped ending. While very popular with anglers and spearos, it’s also showing signs of being over fished,  being federally listed under the Endangered Species Act as a species of concern.  It’s interesting to note, that like other rockfish and unlike most bony fish, bocaccio give birth to live larval young. The more you know.

Judging by it’s expression, even this bocaccio is shocked by the length of it’s lower jaw. Photo courtesy of NOAA.
The namesake of the Bocaccio and inventor of the comma, Sebastian R. Bocaccio.


Sláinte! It’s the Fish Friday Gaelic Edition – How about a “Gliomach” with butter?

With Fish Friday falling on St. Patricks Day, I thought I’d take a little creative license and go with the Gaelic name of an invert we’re all familiar with. Say hello to the spiny lobster, a familiar and popular resident of the California Kelp forests. Unlike his Atlantic and Irish counterpart, he is clawless, but the fact remains he is everybody’s favorite dinner guest.

Have a great St. Patricks Day and an even better weekend. See you out there.



So that’s what the claws are for? Makes sense.

***************Quick reminder, the season ended so take a few minutes to send in your report card results to the CADFW. The information is invaluable and  better data means better management.*********

Fish Friday – Giant Sea Bass

Stereolepis gigas is truly the King of the Reef. Anyone that’s ever encountered one under the kelp canopy knows. Ranging up to 8 feet from tip to tail and over 5oo lbs, these gentle giants have become more commonly encountered by divers since the the end of gill netting in 1994.  That is a great thing to say the least. So hail to the King. Thank you very much.

Photo by P. Colla

TBT – The Scripps Institution of Oceanography and Los Angeles County Underwater Unit 1966

A lot of people don’t know this but formal dive training as we know it today was born out of a relationship between the Scripps Institution of Oceanography and the County of Los Angeles in the early 1950’s. As a matter of public safety in response to a rash of scuba-related deaths, officials in Los Angeles decided to develop formalized standards and procedures to create a system by which divers could be safely certified. The newly formed County Underwater Unit, looking to pursue a point of authority in the field, reached out to SIO and their Dive Safety Specialist Conrad Limbaugh for help developing standardized training for recreational divers. This resulted in the first formal instructor training program for scuba certification. The rest is history. All, and I mean all,  of the current training agencies and their procedures can be traced directly back to the Los Angeles County program and this pioneering partnership.

The partnership continues as every year the Los Angeles County Underwater Instructor Certification Course returns to SIO for a weekend of hard ocean training and expert lectures. The photo below is from 1966 and it marked the first year the county handed out the Conrad Limbaugh Award, accepted posthumously by Connie’s widow Nancy. This award remains one of the most prestigious honors in diving.

When people ask you where diving started, you can now tell them. See you out there.

In the foreground, the large man walking away is Dr. Glenn Egstrom, Dive Officer Emeritus for the University of California system and a dive master for the 1966 UICC.
2017 UICC Candidates being briefed at Scripps Pier by SIO Diving Safety Officer and 2016 Conrad Limbaugh Award winner Christian McDonald.