As summer warms the temperatures, the crystal clear waters around the island become irresistible. Contemplating a dip? Here are 7 Catalina things to see underwater.
Kelp forest: This is what they mean when they talk about “Catalina’s undersea gardens.” Kelp is one of the fastest growing organisms on earth and around Catalina it creates spectacular forests that are home to a surprising array of marine life. Check it out on the Glass Bottom Boat Voyage or glide over the top of it on the Frog Rock Kayak Tour.
Garibaldi: The California State Marine Fish is prevalent in Catalina waters, with their bright orange coloration making them easy to spot from above and below the surface. No matter how you choose to explore beneath the sea, you are bound to see this bold, beautiful fish.
Bat ray: One of Catalina’s more interesting sea creatures are bat rays. Frequently seen on sandy bottoms, these graceful animals can be seen from Undersea Expedition.
Sea lions: These playful marine mammals are masters of their environment and love to check out divers and snorkelers. To catch them topside, book the Dolphin and Sea Lion Excursion.
Giant black sea bass: One of the largest fish on the Pacific coast has been making a steady comeback after nearly being fished to extinction early in the 20th century. These long-lived giants are a fascinating site – catch a glimpse on a Discover Scuba Diving experience or a Guided Snorkel Eco-Tour.
Moray eels: With their snake-like appearance and ominous teeth, moray eels are one of the undersea garden’s fiercest-looking critters. A favorite subject for underwater photographers, morays can be seen in the Casino Dive Park.
Leopard sharks: Catalina Island is home to many harmless species of sharks, including leopard sharks, which can be seen on the Undersea Expedition and in the Casino Dive Park. These beautiful fish grow to about six feet and only pose a threat to invertebrates and small fish.