Located about 20 miles north of Crescent City, Pyramid Point State Marine Conservation Area (SMCA) is the northernmost marine protected area (MPA) in California’s network of 124 MPAs. Covering approximately 14 square miles, including nearly three miles of shoreline, this SMCA stretches from the California-Oregon border down the coast to just north of Hunter Rock and Prince Island, two large sea stacks near the mouth of the Smith River.
This MPA encompasses sandy beaches, offshore rocks, and soft seafloor habitats to a depth of more than 120 feet. The habitat diversity of Pyramid Point SMCA attracts many species including flatfish, rockfish, anemones, abalone, and one of California’s only breeding colonies of tufted puffin. Offshore rocks and submerged reefs provide structural habitat important for nearshore rockfish and offer foraging habitat for pinnipeds, like seals, and cetaceans, like dolphins. The shoreline adjacent to Pyramid Point SMCA includes long stretches of beaches accessible to visitors via multiple pull outs along Highway 101.
It is unlawful to injure, damage, take, or possess any living, geological, or cultural marine resource, EXCEPT:
Recreational take of surf smelt by dip net or Hawaiian-type throw net is allowed. Includes take exemptions for the following tribe:
California Code of Regulations Title 14, Section 632(b)(1)(opens in new tab)
MPA size: 13.99 square miles
Shoreline span: 2.9 miles
Depth range: 0 to 124 feet
- Sand: 12.48 square miles
- Rock: 3.20 square miles