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Home of the fairy shrimp

Only 13 percent of California's vernal pools remain

Vernal pool
Vernal pool

I remember seeing tiny fish in a shallow pool of water no more than a couple inches deep. My dad said that they must’ve been left there a by a wading bird that transported the eggs stuck to its legs. “That’s how a lot of ponds end up with fish, but these won’t make it. This is a vernal pool.”

A vernal pool is a temporary pool of water that has no true inlet or outlet and usually occurs in the springtime. The soil required for vernal pools to hold water is usually high in silt and clay.

Vernal pools rarely host fish, so amphibian and insect species unable to withstand competition or predation can flourish. Vernal pools have great variances in acidity and salinity. For these reasons there are organisms that live only in or around vernal pools. One is the fairy shrimp, a tiny crustacean used as fish food.

Over 80 percent of vernal pool plants are annuals that bloom simultaneously. Wildflowers may include yellow carpet, meadowfoam, goldfields, and sky blues.

Past Event

Vernal Pool Walk

  • Saturday, March 26, 2016, 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.
  • 11101 Taloncrest Way
  • Free

Due to population growth and development, only about 13 percent of the vernal pools that once occurred in California remain. Naturalist Mike Kelly is hosting walks to see the plants and animals that live in or around the short-lived pools.

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Vernal pool
Vernal pool

I remember seeing tiny fish in a shallow pool of water no more than a couple inches deep. My dad said that they must’ve been left there a by a wading bird that transported the eggs stuck to its legs. “That’s how a lot of ponds end up with fish, but these won’t make it. This is a vernal pool.”

A vernal pool is a temporary pool of water that has no true inlet or outlet and usually occurs in the springtime. The soil required for vernal pools to hold water is usually high in silt and clay.

Vernal pools rarely host fish, so amphibian and insect species unable to withstand competition or predation can flourish. Vernal pools have great variances in acidity and salinity. For these reasons there are organisms that live only in or around vernal pools. One is the fairy shrimp, a tiny crustacean used as fish food.

Over 80 percent of vernal pool plants are annuals that bloom simultaneously. Wildflowers may include yellow carpet, meadowfoam, goldfields, and sky blues.

Past Event

Vernal Pool Walk

  • Saturday, March 26, 2016, 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.
  • 11101 Taloncrest Way
  • Free

Due to population growth and development, only about 13 percent of the vernal pools that once occurred in California remain. Naturalist Mike Kelly is hosting walks to see the plants and animals that live in or around the short-lived pools.

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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