San Diego Bay - Including the San Diego River and Tijuana Slough - Collection Journal and Map, 1965

Map showing collection areas around San Diego Bay, CA.


The area referred to here as the San Diego Bay Area covered the entire length of coastline stretching southward from the mouth of the San Diego River to the Mexican border. As indicated on the enclosed map, after all the steep inaccessible cliff areas, the barren stretches of exposed sandy beach, the naval stations and harbors, the state park and city waterfront lands were eliminated, there remained only six possible collecting spots in this entire area. These were covered thoroughly and they are described in further detail below.

San Diego Bay

The vast majority of the approximate 40 miles of shoreline that encircled San Diego Bay was either highly developed commercial waterfront land or private Naval property. A careful survey of this shoreline turned up only four natural looking collecting spots in the entire bay and further checking at minus tide eliminated two of these as undesirable.

Area a consisted of one side of a mile long, firm, sandy mud cove in which no Zostera was seen at all and only a few scattered rocks were present in the section beneath the bridge. A fair amount of flat tidal zone was uncovered here at a good minus tide and the water at the tide edge was shallow enough to allow for considerable wadding and examining of the lower tidal zone. Both the bridge pilings and the exposed burrow-ridden flats showed considerable evidence of a dense and varied population of attached and buried tidal life. This was by far the richest and most interesting area in the entire bay.

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Map showing collection areas between the San Diego River to the north and Tijuana Slough to the south

New and distinctive species found here:

Cerianthus sp. (only in one muddy drain area)

Mactra californica

Characteristically abundant species found here:

Schizothaerus nuttallii

Chione undatella

Callianassa californiensis

Area b and c both located much further down into the bay, turned out to be undesirable for collecting purposes, as the bottom exposed at low tide was far too soft to walk on. Only the upper most tidal zone was accessible and the only tidal animal seen in either of these two areas was Cerithidea californica.

Area d was for the most part very similar to the above two areas except for one small block long stretch of firm sandy mud shoreline that turned out to be very rich in the anemone Harenactis attenuata, a species found only once before. At one low minus tide, at least 25 specimens of this species were seen within this block long stretch. In addition to this, a rare find of two specimens of the mantis shrimp Chloridella polita were found and another new unidentified species of anemone.

Tijuana Slough

As shown on the map, Tijuana Slough was found to be only accessible from the north end, but this turned out to be the better area for collecting marine life, as the two southern tributaries were chiefly fresh or at least brackish water.

Area f Both sides of the mile long, narrow, sandy-mud tidal inlet extending northward from the mouth of the slough were covered thoroughly at good minus tides and although only two new species were found, Modiolus rectus (Straight Horse Mussel P113) and Hesperonoe complanata(?), this still proved to be a very rich area. No Zostera and few if any rocks were seen here, but on the wide sandy-mud bars exposed at low tide in this shallow inlet you could count the specimens of Dendraster excentricus (Sand Dollar P53) - the most abundant animal here - by the hundreds.

Other very abundant forms were:

Area e, far up in the slough, turned out to be very unproductive for collecting and only Cerithidea californica (California Horn Snail P79) was seen here.

One further note worth mentioning concerning these two areas that nowhere in any of the areas covered in either San Diego Bay or Tijuana Slough was any evidence of Zostera growth seen.

Of the 68 different species found in San Diego Bay and the 44 different species in Tijuana Slough, all were personally collected between the limits of the high high tide zone and the low low tide zone in the areas indicated and only live specimens found were included here.


Coronado bridge over the San Diego Bay

San Diego Bay Area

Thumbnail image of a structure at Point St. George with link to more information about Point St. George.

Agate Hunting in Crescent City

Agate thumbnail image with link to information about collecting Agate in Crescent City, CA.

Crabbing in Crescent City in 2011

Crab thumbnail image with link to information about crabbing in Crescent City.

Point St. George Information

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Hemigrapsus oregonensis

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

Collection journal for Point St. George ---- >

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