The California Department of Parks and Recreation’s Plumas National Marine Sanctuary, located about 150 miles north of Los Angeles, has the third-highest concentration of marine mammals in the state and is home to the largest population of sharks in the United States.
This past March, the sanctuary had its second-highest population of humpback whales.
“If you’re looking to see a whale that’s the size of a large, medium or large-sized car, you’ve come to the right place,” said biologist Michael P. Johnson, who works at the Plumas Marine Sanctuary.
“The only place in the world that you can see a humpback whale is in the ocean, which is a big deal.”
“Humpbacks are big, powerful, aggressive creatures,” Johnson added.
“They are known to go after large fish.”
But for the average visitor, it’s rare to see humpback, blue whale or bull sharks.
Instead, the best spots to see these marine mammals are the oceanfront, and there are a number of ways to do so.
In the past few years, there have been a number the California Department’s Office of Marine Mammal Resources have developed, including the Golden Gate Bridge and the Pacific Ocean.
The Golden Gate bridges and the ocean surrounding the bridge are the largest marine habitat in the U.S. for humpbacks, according to the Department of State.
The Golden Gate and Pacific Ocean beaches are also home to one of the largest concentrations of sharks, according Johnson.
The Bay Bridge, which spans the bay between San Francisco and Los Angeles and was the first bridge in the country to have a steel hull, is the largest shark habitat in California, Johnson said.
And in 2016, the Bay Bridge hosted the world’s largest bull shark catch, according the California Parks and Wildlife Department.
The Bay Bridge and other marine habitats are also known for their great white shark, which can grow to as large as 15 feet and weigh as much as 1,000 pounds.
“It’s one of our favorite marine wildlife, so there are always people who go out there and see them,” Johnson said of the bay.
“There are always groups of people, and they get a great deal of attention.”
And although they are commonly seen on the Golden State beaches, the species is not considered endangered.
According to the California State Fish and Wildlife Service, California’s marine mammals have a “red threat rating,” meaning the population is “not considered threatened.”
“The Golden State is a very special place,” Johnson noted.
“Humpback whales and bull sharks are so well-known here that they’ve been known to come here for generations.
It’s a very unique place to be a whale and a shark.”
In addition to the Golden Gates and Pacific, Johnson added that the ocean is home the largest concentration of sharks at the Palomar Islands in California.
It is home in particular to two species of sea lions.
These large sea lions, known as calico cats, can reach lengths of up to 20 feet, according Tokels Oceanographic Institute.
The Palomars are also famous for their humpback dolphins, which are among the largest animals in the Pacific.
They are known for swimming to depths of 3,500 feet and reach speeds of up 60 mph, according Brown University.
A few months ago, Brown researchers set up cameras and surveys on the Palomas in an attempt to find humpback dolphin sightings.
But it was not until this past spring that researchers were able to catch a humpbacks humpback off the Paloma Islands.
“We’ve been doing surveys off the coast for 20 years and never caught one,” Brown University biologist Dr. Jeff Fishell said.
“But we’re really looking forward to the chance of finding a humpbacked dolphin again.”
Humpbacked dolphins are known as the “most beautiful marine mammals” in the sea.
The species are considered threatened by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.
According to Brown University, the largest humpback population in the western Pacific is at the Aleutian Islands off the northern coast of Alaska.
Humpbacks can weigh as many as 700 pounds and live up to 150 years.
Hulks can grow up to 6 feet long, with a body length of more than 15 feet.
They live off the land and in the water.
Humpheads are one of several marine mammals found at the Golden Golden Gate, where there are currently about 150 humpback populations, according KCBS-TV in Los Angeles.
But unlike many other marine mammals, humpbacks do not hunt.
Humps are “primarily herbivores,” which means they rely on the food they eat for sustenance.
“Hampbacks are very adaptable, they can live anywhere in the environment,” Johnson explained.
“When we have populations, they’re not as isolated as they are in the Atlantic.”
Humphrey said he has always been a hunter, but that this year has been different