AVALON – What would have been the eighth annual Flying Fish Festival has been canceled due to a lack of kelp beds, which is where the leaping fish laid their eggs.
In an email correspondence to The Log, Catalina Island Chamber of Commerce Director of Marketing and Film Liaison Donna Harris confirmed the chamber made the decision to cancel the event because the kelp beds were diminished due to warm waters and storms that hit the island this past summer and winter.
“The flying fish mated and laid their eggs in the kelp so we don’t know if they will be back and in what numbers,” she said. “It’s very sad but we’ll have to wait and see what happens this year.”
From late May to September every year, flying fish can be spotted off Catalina Island. They are known to soar out of the water at heights of up to 30 feet and glide as far as a quarter-mile. The fish put on the best shows at night, when they are lured by lights from viewing boats.
Typically held in May, the event offered four days of family fun on the island. Events ranged from the Taste Around of Avalon to a boat-building competition, races, live music and free guided tours of the Wrigley Memorial and Botanic Garden.