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Anchovies (Engraulis mordax) [Northern anchovy] range between Vancouver Island, British Columbia and Cabo San Lucas, Baja California Sur, Mexico. Most schooled adults are concentrated in inshore waters, although pelagic schools are also found. Anchovies average about seven inches in length, and nearly all marine predators include anchovies in their diets. They are also commonly used for live-bait fishing.

In the News~

July 30, 1912 [SBMP]: “A school of anchovies so numerous and densely packed that they crowded each other out of the water was the rather unusual sight witnessed by a party of Santa Barbarans who spent Sunday fishing in the waters about Santa Cruz Island. A five-gallon can full of the little fished was dipped out of the water with a landing net. The phenomenon was witnessed in Prisoners' Harbor.”

August 25, 1912 [SBMP]: “Herding anchovies with a rowboat new pastime at Santa Cruz Island. The fish story season is just getting a fair start, if one may be pardoned on the strength of a yarn that came all the way from Cueva Valdez, Santa Cruz Island yesterday, in charge of Captain Short of the launch Charm. The charter left a party of Carpinterians and Ventura people camping at Valdez, having taken them from Ventura early last week. Captain Short reports that a vast school of anchovies appeared off the Valdez coast, and he and one of the campers put off in a skiff to round them up. They succeeded in stampeding the little fish to the beach, the breakers carrying them to the sand where they piled several inches high, and for a 500-yard stretch. ‘There were bushels of ‘em,’ says Captain Short. ‘We gathered all we could take care of, but it would have required a whole cannery to handle the whole catch.’”

August 24, 1914 [SBDNI]: “The phosphorus on the channel waters continues to grow in brilliance; large schools of anchovies and mackerel make the whole waterfront sparkle at night. Sunday afternoon a large school of mackerel was seen off Miramar. Today the schools of anchovies tempted the larger fish in near to shore.”