[UPDATED with Death Stench:] Holy Calamari! Orange County Waters Squid-y (Again)

UPDATE, SEPT. 27, 4:09 P.M.: Newport Beach officials were scheduled today to remove 200 to 300 dead squid that washed up on Little Corona Beach Friday.

That will hopefully remove the death stench, too.

The city had hoped the tides would return the Humboldt jumbos to the sea from which they came, but that didn't happen and the decaying corpses stunk up the village like only decaying corpses can.

The former squid could not be immediately removed unnaturally because Little Corona is part of a protected conservation area, Michelle Claud-Clemente, the city's marine protection and education supervisor, told Corona del Mar Today.

Actually, the city ought to consider leaving the dead squid be. Their odor would eliminate the need for what the City Council calls an ""Enhanced Corona del Mar Entry at MacArthur and East Coast Highway."

Pitched as a traffic improvement project, the work would actually replace a lane of road so sidewalks could be widened to allow outdoor dining at the Bungalow, Rothchilds, Café Panini, Crow Bar & Kitchen and Ruby's Diner, resident Ron Hendrickson writes in a Daily Pilot Community Commentary.

I don't care how good the chow is at all of those places, but no one's going to want to eat at them while the smell of dead squid fills their nostrils. Even with a Groupon!

ORIGINAL POST, SEPT. 24, 8:20 A.M.: Hundreds of dead squid washed up on South County beaches this week, and thousands more are turning fishing boats from Dana Point to Long Beach into inky-and-stinky-water messes (to the delight of catch-starved anglers).

The Humboldt squid, which can reach 7 feet in length and 100 pounds in weight, do create quite a spectacle (dead, alive, deep-fried), but the latest infestation is raising alarm.

From Pete Thomas Outdoors:

Recent invasions off California and even beyond, off the Pacific Northwest, caused scientists to become concerned that the voracious squid, which could be harmful to other fisheries, are expanding their territory to include West Coast waters.

Strandings of squid on beaches have historically preceded infestations in localized areas, and it's apparent that such an infestation is occurring off Orange County. This might have something to do with a considerable decrease in blue whale sightings in the same areas during the past two days.

It used to be the jumbo squid appeared off Southern California every four or five years, spurred by a warm current or some other anomaly. Their historic range was off South America but in recent years they've been entrenched in Mexico's Sea of Cortez.

But, as the Weekly has also reported, the Humboldt are showing up in our waters much more often than every four or five years.

From August 2008:

From Feb. 2010:

If their appearance is an anomaly, it's an anomaly that's become very routine.


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