Massive anchovy school attracts onlookers for a third day

SAN DIEGO - For the third day in a row, a massive school of anchovies could be seen migrating off the coast of La Jolla. The school is attracting a lot of curious onlookers.

"A GoPro would've been nice, can't lie," said La Jolla resident Clara Wiederrich.

She and her friend Niko were in the water at La Jolla Shores in the right spot at the right time as the anchovies swam by. 

"All you see is the anchovies everywhere and you could swim toward them and they're parting around you and above you," Clara said.

When asked if it was scary, she said, "No, I mean a little bit, I guess … when you're looking off in the distance and all you see is this black mass."

The lack mass looks more like oil slick from above, but video from underwater shows an incredible sight. From a dive earlier in the week, divers estimated the wall of fish to be about 15 to 20 feet deep and stretching as wide as a football field.

"It was so thick you couldn't even see the sand below it," said Solana Beach resident Dane Goddard.

He brought his family visiting from Hawaii down to the beach. They were also caught in the middle.

"It was really interesting," he said. "We were trying to catch 'em and play with them. We were able to lift a few out of the water. It was really kind of neat. I've never seen that before."

Catherine Goddard, who is visiting from Hawaii, told 10News, "It was like what is that? … They came in waves. It was like a shadow. It was a total surprise."

It is a surprise for local scientists as well. They are not sure what is attracting them, especially considering the water is warm and in the low 70s.

The last time the Northern anchovy made an appearance so grand was about 30 years ago.

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