What to do at Anchor Bay Campground
North coast waters average 10 to 15 feet visibility in the spring and summer, but visibility improves in the fall. While SCUBA-clad sightseers and spear fishers are common enough, the snorkelers dominate. Abalone has been the most popular target in this fishery. However, Abalone season has been closed indefinitely. Regulations are strictly enforced, penalties can be severe. Know before you go! Please refer to regulations by the California Fish and Wildlife department for details.
Equipment rentals and air fills may be available 4 miles south in Gualala at JR’s Home and Auto Center (call to confirm availability at 707-884-3534).
For ocean conditions from Salt Point State Park, call (707) 847-3222. Please note, this is a recorded message.
For the boat fisher, your aluminum boat of 12 to 14 feet, or inflatable (with an outboard in the 10 to 25 HP class), is launchable with a little know-how. The launching area in Chicken Cove is a quarter-mile from the beach entrance so it is necessary to have launch wheels attached or you can use the camp’s launch cart. Launching ends when the sand goes out (from about November to May). Anchor Bay staff can provide boat shuttle to the cove, subject to scheduling and beach conditions. For the shore fisher, just walk out any old time and start fishing.
Anchor Bay is also great for crabbing during crab season.
There are some fresh water fishing possibilities during winter runs of steelhead on the Gualala River.
Tackle and information on local conditions are available in Gualala at Gualala Sport and Tackle (707) 884-4247 and at JR’s Home and Auto Center (707) 884-3534. Please refer to regulations by the California Fish and Wildlife department for details.
This sport has boomed. More folks are discovering a more intimate connection with the hidden magic of this rugged coastline. Anchor Bay’s ocean-level access makes kayaking accessible for all levels of experience. For launching, we recommend Chicken Cove, a 1/4 mile up the beach. The 3/4-mile paddle out to Fish Rocks Island is a world class experience.
Kayak rentals are available at Adventure Rents in Gualala. For an experienced kayaker’s point of view, with both pictures and text, visit Mike’s Kayak Journal.
Tide pooling, sand castle building, sun bathing, surfing, boogie boarding, skim boarding, jogging, or doing nothing at all. For the kids, the water is cold but safe with proper supervision. A lightweight surf suit can provide warmth during extended periods of time in the water. At times a small lagoon/pond forms where our creek meets the beach. This is a favorite spot for the younger kids. There is no lifeguard on duty.
The annual California Grey Whale migration between Baja California and the Bering and Chukchi Seas brings all 20,000 migrating whales right past us. The first southbound whales are usually spotted here in late November, and sightings continue throughout the winter. However, they tend to stay farther offshore during this leg and are more difficult to spot. During the northbound leg, beginning in early spring, they tend to hug the coast more closely. Late in the migration, the cows with their new calves will often come right inside the bay. Best sightings are late March to early May.