Juvenile rockfish have been phenomenally plentiful this year, appearing in numbers above sea palms off the mainland beaches. I really like their insolent expressions. They look like spoiled young magnates. Not many will live to adulthood, though.
Water was green and fish were few on the East side of Refugio today. It's the season of kelp spawning and the water above the kelp looked completely cloudy. Kelp needs cold water to reproduce and today it was 51F. Clouds of tiny salps and jellfish fogged the scene elsewhere, and clouds of krill (well, probably mysid shrimp) gathered off the reef. Thick colonies of corynactis covered the Big Ledge. To the south, in deeper water, sea apples are taking over the bottom, covering it with their lacy white tentacles. At least two sculpins had found homes there. One was bld, the other very shy. I was glad to have brought the D700 on its first beach dive.
Juvenile Treefish are usually very wary: even more so than the adults. This one, at Rat Rock at the West end of Anacapa Island, was curious. After a few snaps he returned to his excellent digs nearby, but then peeked out again. It was a game of peek-a-boo. His lips show a little pink, the start of the full pink lips of an adult.
This was (and still is) the biggest ling cod I've ever seen. At first I thought it was a leopard shark. It was in the marine reserve on the north side of Anacapa, at Rat Rock, relaxing on the bottom under a sea palm. Despite its protected status in the reserve, it took off after I'd taken only a couple of snaps.
Goldfish point is next to the Goldfish Bowl on the north side of Anacapa, and is named for the orange garibaldi that congregate there. These were not garibaldi, but their cousin damselfish, blacksmith. They often congregate in big schools. The young ones have the remarkable coloring of their smaller tropical cousins, which gives them their Latin name: chromis.
Angel sharks are fairly common again this summer, after being rare for about 5 years. The name presumably comes from their large wings. This one was out on top of the sand, and waited patiently through about 10 shots, before shooting off itself. I try to stay away from the mouth end, because they might mistake my glove for a tasty fish. Angel sharks are related to Atlantic "monk fish", which sometimes show up on restaurant menus.
Here's a more typical view of an angel shark. Usually the eyes poke through the sand, and sometimes some of the body and tail.