Seal Viewing Tips for Visitors to Casa Beach
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- You are most likely to see a live birth of a harbor seal pup between February 4 and March 4 of any given year.
- You are most likely to see the greatest number of seals on the beach between April 24 and June 6.
- You are least likely to see any seals on the beach between 8am and 6pm during the months of July, August, and September.
Pupping Season (December 15 to May 15)
- The sandy beach is closed to the public by City Ordinance between December 15 and May 15 each year. To watch the pregnant seals and their newborn pups, stay on the mid-landing behind the chain, or you can observe from the sea wall or the sidewalk above Casa Beach.
Non-Pupping Season (May 16 to December 14)
- If you choose to go on the beach (May 16 – December 14), and there are seals on the beach, please stay behind the City’s guideline rope.
- When it’s hot and sunny, the seals typically leave the beach each morning by 7:00 or 8:00am at the latest. They’ll gradually return to the sand in the late afternoon or early evening, once the shade and/or tide has cooled off the sand. Seals need to rest a minimum of 10-14 hours per day to replenish their oxygen supply and restore their body temperature after diving for fish as deep as 1,500 feet.
- In the summer, starting at sunset, seals will be ready to return to the beach to haul out after a day of fishing. Most likely you will see a lot of bobbing heads in the water. This is a sign that the seals want to come ashore, because they need to rest. As long as people are by the water’s edge on the beach, the seals will be too scared to leave the water. Although you’re not required to do so, if you find yourself in this situation, the best thing for the seals would be for you to move back behind the City’s guideline rope – or leave the sandy beach entirely and observe from the mid-landing or the sea wall.
- Please remember that it is always a violation of the federal Marine Mammal Protection Act to disturb the seals’ natural behavior. The harbor seals are also protected by State Law as well as the City of San Diego’s Municipal Code.