More Sharks in the Future! Thanks El Niño 2017

30 04 2017

We may need to change the name of this site to “Trestles Shark Crowd” in the future.

Over the last few years, the number of shark sightings has increased at Trestles and other local surf spots.  Shark experts say the increase in sightings comes with increased numbers of sharks off the Southern California coast due to improvements in the local fishery.   The good news is that after decades of efforts, the Southern California fishery has improved, reflecting a general improvement in many, though not all, portions of the local ocean environment.   The bad news is that means surfers need to become even more aware of their surroundings while taking advantage of California’s many great surf spots.  And, from time to time, we are going to see beach closures like other sharky areas of the world.

In the evening on Saturday, April 29, 2017, a woman was bitten by a shark while swimming with fins in the shallows of Church, that classic surfing area at the mouth of San Onofre Creek in the San Onofre State Beach, at the northern edge of San Diego County.  You can read more details in this Orange County Register article.   This article references remarks by Dr. Christopher Lowe, a shark researcher at California State University Long Beach.  Not only has Dr. Lowe been quick to remark in the past about the improvement of Southern California fisheries, but in this article he described to the reporter how El Niño conditions a couple years ago extended the amount of time juvenile sharks have stayed in local waters to eat and grow.

Assuming Dr. Lowe is correct (and he is considered an expert for good reason), more shark sightings are likely just around the corner.  The National Weather Service prediction center of the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) predicted on April 13, 2017, that it is very likely an El Niño is going to form in Fall 2017.  As the water warms and reverses the effects of ocean currents, it will also be more likely that hammerhead sharks will show up at Southern California beaches, heading north from their usual foraging areas in warm Mexican waters.  And juvenile great white sharks will have less reason to head south to to those warmer waters after birth.  So, they will be hanging out even longer off our coast, increasing the number of shark sightings.

We are not predicting some sort of Sharknado, but we will likely hear more reports of shark sightings near our favorite surf areas.

So, tune into Trestles Shark, er Surf, for more info in the future.

[By the way, we can personally attest that only a small percentage of surf spot shark sightings are reported through the media.  Most surfers would say that sharks are just part of the ocean environment.  We enter their world every time we paddle out to catch a few.  So, why both reporting a natural occurrence.  Welcome to the Crowd Ms./Mr. Shark!]

San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS)

16 03 2011

Trestles and SONGS

First it was the earthquake.  Then, it was a tsunami.  Now it’s nuclear disaster.  How much more can our Pacific take?  Not to mention the deep pain for our poor friends and family in Northern Japan?

The Trestles Surf Crowd is entwined with all these issues, especially the tsunami and nuclear parts.

Looking at this aerial photo (courtesy of Google Earth), you can see what Trestles surfers live with everyday.  Sure our best neighbor, SONGS,  is taking center stage again in the seemingly never-ending nuclear energy controversy.  Sure we want to make sure Edison and SDG&E are doing all they can to protect us and our home away from home.

But, if you ask most Trestles surfers what they think of surfing next to a major nuclear plant, you’ll likely get the same response.  No big deal.  Life is all about managing the risks.  If we were afraid of every risk, we would never get to enjoy that epic triple overhead day or that shallow grinding barrel.  Just deal with the risks.

We’re not cavalier, just not willing to stop living; let’s take it one day at a time.

Can somebody pass me the iodine?

And, don’t forget to contribute what you can where you can toward the Japan relief work.  What goes around comes around — the earth that is, literally.