Pacific Grove, Monterey Bay, 17-Mile Drive, and Malpaso Creek - Collection Journal and Maps, 1962 - 63

Map showing collection areas around the Monterey Peninsula and the surrounding area.

The following is a record of the results of two years of intensive collecting of the invertebrates found throughout the rocky intertidal areas of the Monterey Peninsula and Carmel Bay region. The specific geographical range of this collecting as shown on the enclosed map extended from Fisherman's Wharf in the city of Monterey, along the shoreline of the Monterey Peninsula, across the stretch of Carmel Bay and southward down the coast to Soberanes Point; a distance covering approximately 25 miles of shoreline. It is the unanimous consensus of students and experts of our intertidal invertebrates that this 25 miles covers one of if not the richest collecting areas to be found along the entire 1,100 miles of California coastline from Oregon to Mexico.

It should be noted that only part of this 25 miles is covered by this collection record. This was not due to any lack of initiative on the part of the author but rather to such physical and legal barriers as fenced private property, marine refuges and state park land, which take up nearly half of the 25 miles concerned. Despite these limitations, however, enough of the area between the city of Monterey and Soberanes Point was intensively covered over a span of two years of collecting at virtually every good minus tide and in every accessible location to give a representative listing of the more common and conspicuous invertebrates to be found in this intertidal area.

At this point a clarification of terms may help in setting up proper limitations and thus avoiding possible confusion. This record deals only with intertidal invertebrates in the area previously described and intertidal is defined as those invertebrates living between the upper limits of the highest high tide zone and the lower limits of the lowest low tide zone.

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Map showing collection areas between Monterey Bay to the north and Soberanes Point to the south

Thus any invertebrate living exclusively below the water edge of the lowest low tide or above the splash zone of the highest high tide would not be considered an intertidal specimen and thus would not be included here.

All collecting for this record was done in this area between lowest low tide and highest high tide and no attempt was made to secure specimens either by dredging or skin diving below the water edge of the lowest low tide of the years concerned. It should be further noted that this collection record deals basically with those more or less common and conspicuous tidal animals and again no attempt has been made to include the vast world of microscopic shore life. Of the 393 different species included here, all were personally observed or collected by the author within the area indicated. Only living specimens were considered, thus if only the shell of a species was found it was not considered conclusive proof that the living animal existed here and so it was not included in this listing.

A short description of the physical formation of the shoreline concerned here will help the reader to orient himself to the area. The majority of the shoreline of the Monterey Peninsula from the city of Monterey to Point Lobos and southward to Soberanes Point (which includes the shoreline along 17-Mile Drive) is made up of rocky granite cliffs and ledges most of which are partially or fully exposed to surf action. Interspersed along this rocky shoreline in semi-protected coves and inlets are short stretches of sand and gravel beaches.

A factor of no small significance when one is considering the richness of this tidal area is a dense formation of offshore kelp beds which encircle much of the peninsula and which not only give food and cover to offshore marine life but also tends to serve as a protecting buffer decreasing the full impact of surf action and thus providing a more desirable habitat to much of the shore-life found here. As there is a near complete absence of soft rock in this area, practically no soft rock boring animals are found here.

Collecting in a given intertidal area over a two-year period brings to light the fact that there is a considerable amount of change that occurs both in the presence and activities of at least some tidal animals. Some of these changes apparently have a definite yearly seasonal cycle and can be fairly accurately predicted. Thus some species will be found abundantly at a given location at one season of the year and rarely found or completely absent during another season. Also the egg laying activities of some species can be fairly accurately predicted on a seasonal basis while for other species this is not true. All such seasonal variations observed in the area of this collection are included.

After careful consideration it was decided that the most logical method to use in recording the various species collected, including all important information pertinent to them and their habitat, was in a tabular form listing them by major phylum, class and order. The tabular form used may leave something to be desired but it was the best method applicable to the field data obtained. The tabular headings are self-explanatory and an earnest attempt was made to be as objective as possible in recording field observations without jumping to hasty conclusions from observed relationships or apparent relationships. Where a reasonable doubt existed it was recorded as such. The same applies to the identification of the different species found. When a reasonable doubt existed as to the proper identification of a species this doubt was noted as such.

As all of this collecting and recording was and is the exclusive work of one individual without the benefit of an impartial check, there are no doubt errors to be found in it. But despite these errors it is still maintained that this record comprises a representative listing of the more common and conspicuous invertebrates to be found in this intertidal area.

Granite shoreline in Pacific Grove, CA. View of the Pacific Grove shoreline.

The shoreline along Pacific Grove's waterfront

Another view of Pacific Grove's rocky coast

Gumboot Cave The steep cliffs near Malpaso Creek. Malpaso Creek, south of Carmel, CA.

Gumboot Cave
The most beautiful sea cave I found during 4 1/2 years of collecting.

My near death spot
On a cold Saturday morning, I fell into the deep cold water. Only a mad scramble back up the slippery cliff saved me from drowning.

Malpaso Creek
This was one of the steepest sites I collected at.

The granite and shell covered beaches of Pacific Grove.

Small pieces of granite and shells cover the beaches of Pacific Grove

Cryptolithodes sitchensis

Thumbnail image of Cryptolithodes sitchensis (crab) - angle 1 with link to larger images. Thumbnail image of Cryptolithodes sitchensis (crab) - angle 5 with link to larger images.

Pugettia richii

Thumbnail image of Pugettia richii (crab) - angle 1 with link to larger images. Thumbnail image of Pugettia richii (crab) - angle 5 with link to larger images.

Scyra acutifrons

Thumbnail image of Scyra acutifrons (crab) - angle 1 with link to larger images. Thumbnail image of Scyra acutifrons (crab) - angle 5 with link to larger images.

Some of the Crabs Found Here

Fishing Baja 2000
Fishing the Sea of Cortez off Cerralvo Island

baja160t pollard160

U.S. Civil War - 1862
Jessup Pollard, 28th Reg. Massachusetts

Also On This Site


Battle of the Bulge
William Morris,
275th Infantry, 70th Division

Collection journal for Humboldt Bay ---- >

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