Seasons in the Sea - A month-by-month guide to Central California sea life

Section contents:

Sandy Beach; Image credit: Oregon Dept. Fish and Wildlife

Sandy beaches

in August

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Diver-at-work symbol (c) Kim Fulton-Bennett This page under construction.
Here are some of the topics that will be covered in this chapter. More text and images will eventually be added to this section. Thank you for your patience.

Sandy-beach events in August:

  • As northwest winds and wind-generated waves decline, sand continues to move toward shore and build up exposed beaches. This process will continue until the first winter storms (typically in late October).
  • Sand dollars broadcast spawn all summer, with a peak in August and September.
  • Pismo clams spawn mostly between August and October (their larvae need warm water and dinoflagellate blooms for survival)
  • Sanddabs (a common flatfish off sandy beaches) spawn.
  • Beach hoppers (amphipods) do most of their mating in fall, when beaches are wide and stable.
  • The first migrating shorebirds appear on Central Coast beaches and estuaries. Western sandpipers and sanderlings return after nesting in Alaska to feed on mole crabs, beach hoppers and sand-fly larvae. Marbled godwits and willets migrate through in large numbers after nesting in Canada and Alaska. Some will stay the winter. Others head to Southern California or areas farther south.
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