The La Jolla Ecological Reserve is a sight to behold. It was established in 1976 by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. The reserve was created to protect and conserve the area’s marine life. The reserve stretches approximately eleven acres along the rocky intertidal zone and is teeming with marine life today. In our latest blog, we share the top 5 most fascinating sea creatures in La Jolla.
California Sea Lions
Sea lions are at the top of our list of fascinating sea animals in La Jolla Cove. You can find hundreds of them basking under the Southern California sun with their flippers up and slumped on the rocky terrain. California sea lions are the largest species of sea lions. They are intelligent, social, and are quite the water acrobats. While seeing them plopped on their backs with their bellies to the sun is a sight to experience, there’s not like seeing them zip along in the water. Sea lions can swim up to 25 miles an hour, flipping and turning, and reach depths of up to 600 feet.
The next on our list is none other than the infamous Garibaldi, aka the California State Fish. They take their name from Giuseppe Garibaldi, an Italian military leader known for helping unite Italy and sporting his bright orange attire in the 1800s. These large fishes’ exteriors are reminiscent of Giuseppe Garibaldi’s clothing, and there truly isn’t a more suitable name for them. Thanks to their bright color, Garibaldis are easy to spot. And thanks to conservation efforts, you can find them throughout La Jolla cove. Garibaldis are one of the largest damselfish. They inhabit shallow waters, feed on small invertebrates, and are incredibly social.
Sea lions and garibaldis are must-sees in La Jolla. Another resident worth mentioning is the California Sheephead. California Sheepheads are large-bodied fishes that can reach lengths of up to three feet. They primarily feed on algae, crustaceans, and mollusks. California Sheepheads can weigh up to 20 lbs and live up to 25 years. An interesting fact about them is that they are protogynous hermaphrodites; they are born as females and develop into males as they mature.
It’s no secret that there are sharks in our waters. And while most people stay away because of them, they’re also a great reason to take the trip below. Leopard Sharks, in particular, are neat creatures to observe. They pose little to no threats to humans. Leopard Sharks feed on crabs, shrimp, bony fish, squid, and octopus. They can grow up to six feet and weigh up to 100 lbs. Leopard Sharks can swim up to eight miles an hour and can be found swimming alongside other Leopard Sharks.
Sea lions, garibaldis, California Sheepheads, and leopard sharks are abundant in La Jolla Cove. Another must-see in La Jolla Cove are the gray whales. The cove is a popular spot to observe them and their young. Each year gray whales migrate from north to south and back. Migration season runs from late December to mid-April. The best times to spot them are typically 30 minutes before and after low tide when the water is calm.
Experiencing the Wonders of La Jolla Cove
La Jolla Cove offers a unique and unforgettable scuba diving experience. Our amazing scuba tours provide a safe and exciting way to explore the underwater world, where you can observe the exotic sea creatures mentioned above and more. Our knowledgeable guides will take you through the best spots in La Jolla Cove, providing an unforgettable experience for even the most experienced divers. Book your scuba tour today! Call or text (858) 397-8213 or click here.