California Starfish
California Starfish
California Starfish California Starfish
California Starfish
California Starfish
California Starfish
California Starfish

A Nudibranch found and photographed along the California coast.

A colorful Nudibranch found in California.

Picture of a Crab found hiding along the California coast.

A Crab found hiding along the coast of California. nudibranch1j

Golden Gate North to Point St. George

During 1966, I completed the last six months of my four and a half years of collecting from Oregon to Mexico. By the middle of January, I had completed coverage of the San Diego area. So, I again packed-up my worldly possessions (including many more tidal records, specimens, and photographs) and headed northward for the last leg of my project. I relocated to the Olsen’s Motel in Petaluma for approximately three weeks to cover the area between the Golden Gate and Drakes Bay. This coverage produced only two additional collection sites of significant richness to be included on my statewide map. They were Bolinas Lagoon and Duxbury Reef. By the middle of February, I moved on to the Holiday Motel in Santa Rosa to cover the coastline from Drakes Bay northward to Gualala River.

I spent another three weeks in this location and most of it was concerned with collecting at the four additional sites of significance that I discovered along this stretch of coast. The sites were: McClure’s Beach, Tomales Bay, Bodega Bay, and Bodega Harbor. My collecting at both Tomales Bay and Bodega Harbor will always bring pleasant memories, including digging Schizothaerus at Dillon mudflat, and the eerie charm of the “Bird’s” house in Bodega Harbor.

By the first of March, I moved on again to the Coast Motel located three miles south of Fort Bragg. From here I covered the approximately 75 miles of coast from Gualala River northward to Rockport. Working full-time, this took another three weeks and produced four additional collecting sites of significant enough richness to be included on my statewide map. The four sites were: the area above Point Arena, the area below Cabrillo Point, Kibesillah Gulch (Bruhel Point), and Dehaven Creek above Westport. Distinctive north Pacific species were becoming more and more obvious now, and one of my fondest recollections is the abundance of the Red Abalone at Kibesillah Gulch. Not only were they abundant, they were also very large. This species had been much smaller and less abundant in Central California and not found at all by me south of the Monterey Peninsula.

During the first week of April, I was ready to move again. This time I settled at the Silver Side Motel in Fields Landing, which is located on the southeastern shoreline of Humboldt Bay. From here, I spent another three weeks covering everything along the coast from Rockport northward to Trinidad Head. Most of this time was spent covering the shoreline within Humboldt Bay. However, in addition to this collecting site, two others were added to my statewide map as rich collecting areas. These two sites were the area below Cape Mendocino and Trinidad Head. I will always remember the very pleasant experience of digging large and abundant Washington Clams (the most delicious clam I have ever eaten) in Humboldt Bay and my supreme effort in digging out a single specimen of the Geoduck in the same bay. The latter experience almost resulted in my drowning, as I frantically dug out the beast and then raced the incoming tide to keep from being cut-off from the shore.

The first week of May found me on the move again, this time to the Plaza Motor Court in Crescent City. From this location, I covered the remaining coastline from Trinidad Head to the Oregon border. It took me another two weeks of intensive full-time collecting to cover the approximate 75 miles involved and resulted in the addition of three more sites to my statewide collecting map. These sites were: Klamath Rock Point, Crescent City Harbor, and Point St. George. My most memorable experiences were: (1) digging razor clams by hand in the surf at Clam Beach north of Point St. George; (2) collecting large and abundant Cancer productus for eating at Point St. George; and (3) observing the tidal wave (Tsunami) damage and reconstruction in the Crescent City Harbor.

In late May, I made the last relocation that would be involved in my four and a half years of collecting. Having completely covered the 330 miles of open coast from San Francisco to Oregon, I packed my very large file of tidal collecting records, specimens, and photographs into my old 1956 Chevrolet and headed southward again for the San Francisco Bay Area. I settled into the Millet and Mission Bell Motels in Daly City and from there, covered the last remaining area from San Francisco to Half Moon Bays. It took me most of the month of June to finish up and most of this time was spent in the San Francisco Bay. This final coverage added two last collecting sites to my statewide map, which now totaled 50 significant collecting locations from Oregon to Mexico. The two additional sites were San Francisco Bay and Point San Pedro. The total of 50 locations represented a very complete and comprehensive coverage of the California coast. It was a difficult but interesting and exciting effort.

Collection Journals by Location:

Recreation, Aliso, and Dana Points ---->

Elkhorn Slough ---->

Pacific Grove, Monterey, 17-Mile-Drive, and Malpaso Creek ---->

Humboldt Bay ---->

San Diego Bay ---->

Point St. George and Crescent City ---->

More Photos ---->

Collecting and Photographing Intertidal Invertebrates Along the California Coast (continued from previous)

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California Starfish

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