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

Section contents:

Gray whale fluke: Image credit-Steven Swartz, NOAA

Marine mammals

for October

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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.

Marine mammal events in October:

  • In October, blue whales, and, to a lesser extent, humpback whales begin to migrate southward, leaving Monterey Bay, as part of their seasonal migration to the semitropical waters, where they will spend the winter.
  • Common dolphins, Risso's dolphins, and Pacific White-sided dolphins are still visible, though they will become less common by the end of the month.
  • California sea-lion populations reach a yearly peak in September and October, as adult sea lions (mostly males) hang out on the Central Coast after mating in Southern California (especially on the Channel Islands).
  • Steller sea lion females and their babies leave Ano Nuevo Island in September or October and head out to sea. Although they have begun foraging for food on their own, the young sea lions may stay with their mothers and continue to nurse for up to a year.
  • In late September or early October, juvenile (1- to 3-year-old) elephant seals arrive at breeding areas at Ano Nuevo, Big Sur, and the Farallon Islands. White sharks gather in these areas in October to hunt the young seals (and occasionally attack surfers and divers by accident). During prime season at Ano Nuevo Island, up to 10 white sharks have been seen swimming near the island on a single day.
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