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Gray Smoothhound - Mustelus Californicus

The gray smoothhound is a common shark in the shallow estuaries of central California during the spring and fall. Slender and tan-gray in dorsal coloration with a small spiracle the gray smoothies can often be seen finning the surface in the shallows of the Elkhorn slough in Moss Landing Ca; which is situated at the extreme eastern end of the Monterey bay. Smoothhounds range north toward Oregon to north eastern Mexico and spend alot of their time just outside the breakers close to shore foraging for sand crabs.
Often caught by commercial inshore net fisherman and discarded. It is considered common in bays to 25 fathoms and along rocky drop off sloping shores. It is often the target of recreational archers in the Elkhorn Slough Wildlife Reserve; an activity that has spurred several vigorous protests in recent years from environmental and local surfer organizations.
Gold colored albino specimens have been collected in the Elkhorn slough but are exceptional.

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