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Fishermen's Journal


The Long Beach Aquarium

Monday 6/22 I made it to the Long Beach Aquarium. It's a nice facility, something we fishermen will surely enjoy. There's good news and bad news here. The best deal is to get a family or individual yearly pass. I pleaded ignorance as was able to get the individual pass for $35, though they now want $45. The family pack was $85, it probably went up as well.  The basic individual admission is about $14.00.  

My first impression is that the display doesn't have the impact Monterey has. The jelly displays aren't up to standards set by Monterey, and there's no big tuna tank. But, if you like tropical fish, they've got a nice display - but so does Super Pets. The big tank filled with yellowtail, barracuda, black seabass, sheepshead...is worth sitting down and watching for hours though. And, I'd bet that the other displays will be improved over time. The staff was excellent, lots of folks to talk to, doing a great job. If your family is getting tired of you going fishing without 'em, well here's something that will make everyone happy. Spend a couple hours at the tank, you'll get your fish fix, learn a bit about fish behavior, and keep things peaceful at home. All in all, I give it four stars. I'll be back, too.

The Aquarium of the Pacific is located at 100 Aquarium Way in Long Beach, California, off Shoreline Drive.

From Los Angeles:
Take the 405 Freeway south to the 710 Freeway south;
Follow signs to downtown Long Beach and the Aquarium exit;
The Aquarium exit will lead to the Aquarium parking lot.

From Orange County:
Take the 405 Freeway north to the 710 Freeway south;
Follow signs to downtown Long Beach and the Aquarium exit; The Aquarium exit will lead to the Aquarium parking lot.

Making the pitch.
I could have bad dreams about these things. Your basic spider crabs...
Your basic rock hopper.
It's a poor pic, but a great tank filled with active yellowtail, barracuda and a lot more. This was a dandy display tank!
The more I looked at the smelt, the more my CharkBait pattern matched. Hmm, I guess I did a good job on that one!
Plan on spending about two hours at the exhibit. I zipped through in about an hour, but I knew I'd be back a bunch. One thing you might want to do when you visit: park at Shoreline Village. Parking at both lots is $6.00. But, at Shoreline you'll get a couple bucks off if you make a purchase. So, grab a beer on your return, or some ice cream for the kidletts. It's a nice little walk around the harbor, one worth doing regardless of saving money. Also, another option is to take the red tram from Belmont Shores. It's a buck, I believe and takes you right to the doorstep of the exhibits.
They've got some nice sharks tank-bound, again there are some great behaviors to study.
Shovelnose Chark
There's a nice goat lurking in the tank with the black seabass couple. This fish is in the yellowtail dominated main tank.
This 3" flattie was a blast to watch zipping around the tank. I'm sure there are more flatties in the main tank, they just didn't do anything while I was there...
You'll get a kick out of watching the little schooling ocean catfish. They are cute little critters!
The black seabass couple were a high point. Interesting fish, they seem more intelligent than their tank mates. I can't say they are brighter, but the have a regal character compared to some of the more hyper fish in the tank.
I've returned a couple times since my initial visit and am happy to report that there are more things being added all the time. The structure is still very open, and I'd love to see still more use made of the space. After only a few months you can see some signs of "kid damage" like gum on the carpets...hopefully the locals won't try to etch the glass or otherwise deface the property. Long Beach has a gem in the making, if they can continue to improve, and keep the maintenance up.
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Last modified: 06/09/13.