Fishermen based in San Luis Obispo County say the unusually warm water along the coast is attracting some seldom-seen, warm-water fish species to the area.
Local recreational saltwater anglers are reporting occasional landings of barracuda and white seabass. Both of these species are most commonly in Southern California waters, said Loch Dreizler, Port San Luis facilities manager.
“Those species are not unheard-of around here, but they are definitely more common south of Point Conception,” he said.
Morro Bay commercial fisherman Jeremiah O’Brien, who fishes all along the West Coast, said he too has encountered some unusual fish species as a result of extremely warm ocean water temperatures.
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“It’s been an exceptionally warm year with some odd species,” he said.
O’Brien said he was fishing off Oregon and hooked four dorado and landed two. Dorado, also known as dolphinfish, are not commonly found north of Southern California.
Albacore are also being caught as far north as Sitka, Alaska, O’Brien said. Albacore like warmer water and are not normally found north of British Columbia.
O’Brien said he has also been seeing a lot of pelagic octopus close to the shore off the Central Coast. As their name implies, pelagic octopus are normally far out to sea and in warmer water.