Posted by John M. on July 04, 2003 at 17:24:29:
The soupfin sharks are in town! La Jolla, that is. Soupfin sharks are a 5-7 foot, grey, sharky-shark (look like a stereotypic shark). Recently, they seem to show up in the kelp beds off La Jolla around this time of year (seen in 2000, 2001, not much in 2002, and now in 2003). They travel in little groups which seem to patrol in circuits (you'll see the same individuals over and over again). They seem to be non-aggressive, and will bolt if you're noisy or if you get too close. They seem to prefer warmer water -- such that all the sightings this year, with a colder thermocline, have been in the top 10-15 feet of warmer water. In previous years, without the big thermocline, they've been spotted a couple feet off the bottom.
Today, during a 2 hr 5 min dive, we had literally hundreds of sightings of soupfins... although the most individuals we saw in any one group was nine. (I doubt there were hundreds of individuals in our little area, though there were certainly more than nine.)
Go to La Jolla Cove and head out to the kelp straight out from the Cove (ask a local where Buoy A would be, if it were there at the moment). Head towards the outer edge of the kelp and look in the top 10-15 feet of water. Once you spot your first one, just hang out and wait... you'll see more, and they'll keep circling around past you.
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