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The California Garibaldi Fish

The California Garibaldi is part of the damselfish family, native to the northern, subtropical parts of the Pacific Ocean

kayak_la_jolla_with_the_garibaldiThe garibaldi is the official “marine fish” of the state of California and has a protected status in California coastal waters.  Garibaldi are renowned for their brilliant orange color and grow up to 35 cm in length.  Garibaldi can be found in Pacific Ocean, from Monterey Bay to Baja California.  In San Diego, the Garibaldi can be found most commonly in and around La Jolla Cove.  The Garibaldi can also be seen along the rocky reefs, just a few feet from the La Jolla Caves.

Where Garibaldi live

They live at depths of up to 30 meters, usually in association with reefs and typically over rocky sea bottoms. The Garibaldi and other local La Jolla marine life are visible in between the surf grass, which grows along the nearby rock reefs.

The surf grass provides protection from predators like the California sea lion, brown pelican, and other birds. Our guided kayak tour paddles amidst the rocky reefs and surf grass to look for the Garibaldi, and other fish that reside in La Jolla.

The juvenile Garibaldi have little blue spots along their sides and are quite a bit smaller than the adult Garibaldi.  Once the juvenile garibaldi lose their blue spots, it’s the indication that they’re ready for reproduction.

What Garibaldi eat

Garibaldi feed mainly on invertebrates that they remove from rocks. Adult garibaldi maintain a home territory. The male garibaldi clears a sheltered site within his territory, and the female then deposits eggs within the nest. The male subsequently guards the nest until the eggs hatch.  For this reason, Garibaldi can be seen in the same areas over and over because of their extreme territorial nature.

The Garibaldi, our California State fish, is one of many beautiful species within the La Jolla Ecological Reserve. Check out all of the local fish and marine life of La Jolla one of our La Jolla Kayak Tours.  Kayak San Diego to check out the Garibaldi easily! The Garibaldi are visible from right atop your kayak on a clear day!

Check out the Garibaldi from on top of your La Jolla kayak rental!  Special Pricing for Advance Reservations. Reserve Now Online!