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Dive Park Oct 3

Discussion in 'SoCal' started by lamarpaulski, Oct 4, 2014.

  1. lamarpaulski

    lamarpaulski Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Calif.
    779
    283
    63
    Made 2 dives October 3rd (friday)...water was warm shallow in low 70s..saw a couple small yellowtails upon entering water. Thermocline at about 50ft dropped temp to low 60s. Viz wasn't great with particulates and strong surge maybe making it 30ish. The Park's kelp has mostly died off and that really makes it seem naked and very bedraggled to me. Hope kelp grows back ASAP with cooling water temps.

    The highlight of the diving was videoing the thriving colony of Cardinalfish..last May I struggled mightily to spot one but now they have increased in numbers, seemingly, and look pretty healthy.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-avppBY_YQU&list=UUlwbSlCXD3TvfEpXUpwQzLg (no, they aren't juvenile blacksmiths)

    I met a bunch of nice fellow divers including a couple of LAPD officers, a family from Arizona and the infamous Dr. Bill.


    The immediate vicinity of the Park was being heavily impacted by the installation of stadium seating for an air show- fyi. Also, as I was leaving, a very large cruise ship unloaded an invasion force of tipsy sun-burned young people dressed (more or less) in grass skirts, inflatable pool toys, pirate hats, bikinis and coconuts. Youth.

    I made my escape back to the peace and tranquility of the mainland.
     
  2. drbill

    drbill The Lorax for the Kelp Forest Scuba Legend

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: Santa Catalina Island, CA
    22,761
    5,904
    113
    Good to see you at the dive park yesterday. After unsuccessfully trying to find the cardinalfish back when you told me about their location, it is great to now see them on almost every dive (only two on a night dive so far... and one was munched when my video lights highlighted it for a hungry kelp bass).

    I'm concerned about the kelp recovery in the near-term. In warm water years when it has been greatly reduced over the last 10 years, the invasive Sargassum horneri has come to dominate the landscape, largely choking out the giant kelp. I fear that will be the case this winter as well. The kelp will come back, but it may be delayed a bit.
     
    lamarpaulski likes this.
  3. stevensamler

    stevensamler DIR Practitioner

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Culver City, California, United States
    286
    82
    28
    Isn't the sargassum Horneri on it's way back.

    ---------- Post added October 5th, 2014 at 08:07 PM ----------

    Three weeks ago I noticed the growth and was saddened but I also noticed in deeper waters the kelp starting to grow?
     
  4. drbill

    drbill The Lorax for the Kelp Forest Scuba Legend

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: Santa Catalina Island, CA
    22,761
    5,904
    113
    Yes, indeed, the Sargassum horneri is beginning to take over both because (as an annual) it is its growing season and because the warm water/low nutrients and Hurricane Marie's storm surge pretty well decimated much of the giant kelp (Macrocystis) at the dive park.
     
  5. fnfalman

    fnfalman Orca

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Southern California, USA
    5,271
    727
    113
    Very cool video. Even have the Garibaldi and female sheephead making their presence known to back up the story that this is indeed in SoCal.
     
  6. lamarpaulski

    lamarpaulski Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Calif.
    779
    283
    63
    Thanks fnfalman ! Slowly improving. Cardinalfish were in significantly greater numbers this dive than I noticed in last couple seasons. In fact, I had figured their little colony had failed until Dr. Bill posted otherwise. Looks like they're reproducing. They also were considerably less shy this go around so video came out OK.

    Despite all the divers the Park gets it remains a very cool place to see all kinds of unique marine life.
     
  7. drbill

    drbill The Lorax for the Kelp Forest Scuba Legend

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: Santa Catalina Island, CA
    22,761
    5,904
    113
    I hope you are correct that the cardinalfish are reproducing here. However, it could also be that the warm waters this year allowed more larvae to reach the island and develop.
     
  8. lamarpaulski

    lamarpaulski Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Calif.
    779
    283
    63
    Good point..you're the Biologist...I just figured since population seems centered in one smallish area it was mostly self-generating. My imagination of larva drifting in from San Clemente Island or Mexico would be more scattered situation but what do I know. Presumably the fish have ways of finding their own kind...scent ?

    ---------- Post added October 9th, 2014 at 07:56 AM ----------

    I also saw at least one last year that had very engorged / swollen mouth/throat and I just read the Cardinalfish family are mouth-breeders.

    PS..none of fish seen last Friday had that appearance.
     
  9. drbill

    drbill The Lorax for the Kelp Forest Scuba Legend

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: Santa Catalina Island, CA
    22,761
    5,904
    113
    Certainly the distribution suggests self--propagation but as you mentioned many species can sense the presence of either good habitat or other individuals as larvae using chemical sensing and settle based on that. Only a genetic study would answer the question definitively and I'm not about to take DNA samples!

    The one I saw in 2004 had the appearance of carrying eggs in its mouth, but as you observed I've not seen that this year.
     

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