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does anyone know if you can find octos between santa barbara and half moon bay in the wild. i know you need a collection permit but i think i can get one. does anyone have experience seeing them in the tide pools in this area
If you're looking for some good tidepools in HMB, I highly recommend the south side of HMB....San Gregorio, Pescadero. The tide there is pretty rough, so don't even bother if it's high or rising....it'll knock you off the rocks pretty quick...but in a low tide, the pools are teeming with life - you'll probably have some decent luck there!
I've got a few diver friends who actively dive in areas between Fort Bragg and Santa Barbara and both have mentioned seeing octopuses. I'm not exactly sure what they were seeing, probably GPO's. There is an old wreck near Fort Bragg that seems to have quite a few treasures.
I believe that O. rubescens and GPOs occur in that area, but I haven't seen them. Going from memory, I think rubescens is less likely to be found in tidepools, and maybe likes to be in kelp forest roots. Bimacs get up to at least Santa Barbara, but I'm not sure how much further north they get and how common they are. I think there are some other dwarf species near Monterey, but I'm not certain.