Where to find Abalone

Last Modified 15-Jun-97

In Northern California

Try the rocky coastline north of the Russian River's mouth when looking for abalone.

Look for kelp on the surface.

  • This means there are rocks below
  • Abalone live on the rocks (their foot does not stick very well to sand or loose substrate)

Illustration: Where to look (kelp beds and rocks offshore)

Where to look when under water?

  • Abalone on the north coast are intertidal (above the low tide mark; in the surf zone) down to 60 feet [18.3m].
  • Abs like cracks, crevices, vertical and inverted surfaces, and sheltered areas
  • Many times if you find one ab, there will be others in the same area.
  • Look around the base of rocks
  • In the spring (between storms), there will be very little kelp on the surface or near the bottom (the winter storms rip out most of the kelp). This means you will be able to see the bottom more easily than high summer (when the kelp is thickest)

Illustration: Abs in cracks and inverted

  • In the summer, the kelp will form a thick canopy on the surface and about 3 to 4 feet [0.9 to 1.2m] from the bottom making it more difficult to find the abalone.

Illustration: Abs under the kelp

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Last Modified 15-Jun-97