Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Brief notes from Rainbow Lagoon

Remember how I derided Rainbow Lagoon for being overhyped as a natural area?

Well, this little park has surprised me again. I was walking from downtown Pine to the Long Beach Gay Pride celebration, when I noticed a huge school of bass swimming in the shallows!

School of fish in Rainbow Lagoon

Consultation with my ichthyological buddies have indicated that this was a school of mixed species, including sand bass (Paralabrax nebulifer, top) kelp bass (Paralabrax clathratus, bottom):
Closeup of fish in Rainbow Lagoon

There may have been other species as well!

In deeper (and, sadly, unphotographable) water, I saw a huge flatfish--almost certainly a California halibut (Paralichthys californicus). Definitely keep an eye out for these monsters next time you're by the lagoon!

Where did these fish come from? Did they swim in naturally with the tides? Or (I suspect) were they stocked by the Aquarium as a way of brining the ocean closer to the public?

If anyone knows, send me an email!

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