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Back  |  USA: California Coast  |  Channel Islands (North)

The Goldfish Bowl  |  USA: Pacific Northwest

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Anacapa Island
Channel Islands National Park

Type: Saltwater-OpenOcean
Snorkling, Beginner, Intermediate

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Boulder Pile / Shelves, Kelp Forest, Eel Grass Beds


Aptly named, The Goldfish Bowl is offers a good variety of fish including garibaldi, sheephead, calico bass and senorita wrass that can be found along the rocky reef and kelp, large schools of blue rockfish cruising through the water column while bat rays soar along the sand. The shallow reef begins in the cove at the base of the steep cliffs at the water line and extends outward approximately 100 yards to about 60 deep where the rocky reef turns to a sandy bottom. The inner protected portion of this cove is what is called The Goldfish Bowl.

The variety of life that may be seen here offers a great experience to both the diver and snorkeler. Keep your eyes peeled for giant sea bass which show up here in the summer. Beyond the edge of the reef you may encounter schools of yellowfin tuna swimming higher in the water column.

Special Restrictions:

Currents and be severe, especially the farther west you venture. Conditions tend to be milder toward the shallower east point within the protection of the cove. When there is current then this site should be reserved for intermediate divers with at least some diving experience. When the current is still then it is enjoyable for all levels.

How to get there:

The Goldfish Bowl is located on the north side at the west end of West Anacapa Island in a cove where very steep cliffs drop straight down to the water.

As with all dive sites at Anacapa Island, you will need a boat to access them. It is recommended that you select a local charter from Santa Barbara, Ventura, or other local charter that offers service to Anacapa Island. Anacapa Island is more protected from storms and thus tends to offer clearer, warmer water than the other islands in the northern Channel Islands, making it an ideal, and reliable, charter destination especially for visitors, less experienced divers and snorkelers.

Thanks to ChevaYEA for submitting this site!
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