Jake and Juju at the aquarium

Salty didn’t get to go fishing this weekend.  What I did have time to do though was explore the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach, CA with Jake and Juliana.  My primary interest in doing so was to occupy the kids for a few hours.  If I was lucky, I’d also get to spend some time observing some of my target species in the big California/Baja tank.

Goal #1 accomplished.  Kids had a great time seeing the fish, and interacting with them in the touch pool.  Goal #2, only semi-accomplished.

When I wasn’t sitting there fantasizing about the tank being a test area/demonstration tank (a la Bass Pro Shops), I did notice a few things worth sharing…

1. The only fish that consistently hugged the bottom were:  sculpin, sand bass, sheephead, cabezon (along with others like the leopard shark who aren’t targeted sport fish)

2. I noticed that the white seabass (WSB) were mid-column and lower when we got there (mid-afternoon) and were mostly on top later in the day. Not sure if that behavior can be translated to the real thing, or it was something to do with the tank itself (feeding time later?), but something to store away in the brain and test on a future trip.

3. The bigger calicos hung out mid-column, next to structure…either in the kelp or next to the faux rocks on the side.

I’ll be down in San Diego on Wednesday to do the Deep Drift Rockfishing.  In the meantime, here are some pics from the aquarium…

Canary Rockfish: a protected species in SoCal

Yellowtail: not a homeguard

Sandies hugging the bottom

 

 

 

 

 

 

So Cal MPA map: red = no take

Giant Spider Crab

Big Queensland Grouper, not from SoCal

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bank Perch: a tasty SoCal fave

Sea Dragon: not So Cal, but very cool

 

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