I have been thinking about kelp because when I was surf fishing it was a real nuisance.  Paradoxically, where there’s kelp there’s fish, so that should be a good thing for the fisher person, but when I fished near kelp beds all I caught was kelp.

Also, out on the bluffs, I have been noticing lines in the water that I can’t remember having seen in some time, but which I do remember from last fall and summer.  I mean the lines, having retreated for a while, seem to be making a come back.  This could have to do I suppose with winds or water level, but I have been noticing little black stick like things poking up through the water.


Lines in the water 

These are the tops of kelp.  So now I have a theory.  Wouldn’t it make sense to say, since kelp are plants, albeit alga, that they need light to grow, and that possibly in the winter months (when there is less day light), the kelp die back a bit, and then when the days get longer, the kelp make a comeback.  Thus the lines in water.

Fish love kelp.  So maybe that’s why we haven’t seen dolphins in some months.  We figured we were coming at the wrong time of day and just missing them. But, perhaps, they weren’t there because the kelp had died back, the fish population had dropped, and the trip along the surf wasn’t worth it for the dolphins since there isn’t much there to eat.  Of course, the dolphins may have migratory patterns.

Anyway, that’s my hypothesis, and if it is correct, I should start seeing dolphins again pretty soon.

I did a little research to check my hypothesis and found this assertion:

The kelp beds along the Pacific coast are the most extensive and elaborate submarine forests in the world. The genus is best developed as the species Macrocystis pyrifera from the southern California Channel Islands to northwestern Baja California.

Little did I know looking out over that water that right below the surface is a sort of kelp equivalent to the Amazon Rain Forests.  The Macrocystis pyrifera is sometimes called the Sequoia of Kelp because they can grow to 200 feet long.  They grow well along the Santa Barbara coast, because the Channel Islands act to moderate wave action and so help the kelp to maintain their “holdfasts.”


Kelp Forest