Mile 116 Report

March 28, 2021
by alaingamerica

Seven Devils cliffs, Cape Arago South Cove
Sunday 5:00 PM
52° F
Calm/Light from the N
Tide Level:
0.0 ft
Humans / Pets:
Walking / Running:
Cars/Trucks parking:
Activity Comments:
A lot more people than I expected, but, it was a very pleasant day and a minus tide. I met 4 people on the trail down to the beach, not included in my count.
Notable Wildlife:
I saw over 20 gumboot chitons out at the point in the low exposed areas. There are vast carpets of sea urchins. Saw my first red sea urchins. (I didn't even know they came in red until a few weeks ago.)
Dead Birds:
Fish & Invertebrates:
I did find one ochre sea star wasting away. I submitted another Sea Star Observation to MARINe.
Again, I didn't notice the drift line. D'oh!
New Development:
Natural Changes:
Landslides/major boulder falls

I did walk my complete mile (as much as can be walked) this time. I paid special attention to the tidepools on the Northern edge of South Cove and around the point. Many people came to enjoy the pleasant weather and the minus tide. I found one ochre sea star with wasting disease and sent an observation to MARINe. I saw markers, so I know my walk around the point was into a routinely monitored area. I found 25 ochre sea stars, the majority healthy seeming. Also found two healthy seeming blood sea stars. I was astounded by how many gumboot chitons I saw. I've found them before in the tide pools on the Northern edge of South Cove, but they were super numerous out toward the point. Most seemed healthy, but a few looked in distress. There is also an abundance of purple sea urchins. They carpet the low intertidal area. Most are well established, drilled down into the rock, but I saw juveniles and others that hadn't drilled out their own home yet. There does seem to be more abundance out at the point compared to the pools in the cove.

  • The first good day of the year
    Nice warm weather and a minus tide brought a lot of visitors. I can't blame them!
    South Cove, Cape Arago
    March 27, 2021
  • more erosion
    Erosion continually happens in the cove. This chunk fell down near an area I have seen surfers short cutting before. Cause and effect??
    Bluff mid-north of cove
    March 27, 2021
  • Survey markers
    These designate there is a routinely monitored area nearby.
    Around the point
    March 27, 2021
  • Spring kelp
    I saw a lot of this kelp which struck me a being young growth, but what do I know?
    Through out the low intertidal areas
    March 27, 2021
  • Ochre star regrowing arms
    Though I've heard of it, I've never seen this before. It seems unusual to me because sea stars are generally more symmetrical than this one seems to be heading. Sent photo to MARINe
    Around the point
    March 27, 2021
  • Bright orange algae
    Saw a lot of this bright orange what I assume is algae. And the ubiquitous sea urchins.
    Throughout the cove in the low intertidal areas.
    March 27, 2021
  • urchin carpet
    A typical sight at the point. Yards and yards of sea urchin homes, plus plenty of muscles and barnacles above.
    All around the point.
    March 27, 2021
  • red sea urchin
    A first for me, red sea urchin
    Tip of point, to the North.
    March 27, 2021
  • footlong gumboot chiton
    Many good sized gumboot chitons, this one was a foot long, at least
    Tip of point, North
    March 27, 2021
  • distressed chiton
    This gumboot chiton seems distressed
    Northern edge, close to tip.
    March 27, 2021
  • dead chiton
    I'm pretty sure this gumboot chiton is freshly dead
    Northern edge
    March 27, 2021
  • leather chiton
    Finally have a good field guide. Katharina tunicata, known as Black Katy chiton, leather chiton, sea prune and small Chinese slippers
    Northern pools
    March 27, 2021
  • California mussel
    Northern pools
    March 27, 2021
  • henricia leviuscula
    Hard to get a good photo, but I saw two of these blood stars deep in a low crevice
    Northern pools
    March 27, 2021
  • sick ochre
    The dreaded Sea Star Wasting Disease. Photo sent to MARINe. Thankfully, this is the only sick sea star I found, an ochre sea star.
    Northern pools
    March 27, 2021
  • lone arm
    I'm pretty sure than sick sea star left this arm dangling. Photo sent to MARINe
    Northern pools
    March 27, 2021
  • red sea anemone
    I don't think I've ever seen these open
    Northern pools
    March 27, 2021
  • multi-colored star
    This is the first ochre star I've seen that looks to be both purple and orange.
    Southern pools
    March 27, 2021
  • tire
    I was not prepared to lug this out of the cove. It is becoming part of the environment.
    Southern pools
    March 27, 2021
  • line in the sea
    I was struck by this line in the sea on my way up the trail. It doesn't appear to be any kind of wake. IDK
    waters of South Cove
    March 27, 2021
Other Mile 116 Reports (40)


December 3, 2022 - alaingamerica
I returned to Mile 116 for a Sea Star Observation Survey. Dispite the area I had decided to check being flooded by the incoming tide, I did have another questionable find. I have sent the picture off...
  • possible distressed sea star
  • recently diseased cormorant
November 20, 2022 - alaingamerica
The weather had very light cloud cover, but I logged it as Sunny. The kelp in the wrack line looked old to me, but it was very crusted with salt, which may have fooled me. I found lots and lots of...
  • Cloud cover
  • Sea Star
  • erosion
  • Cliff walls
  • Looking back at beach
  • Not much water
  • Gumboot Chiton
  • Southern cliffs
  • future fallen trees
  • fallen tree
  • Pink anemone
  • grocery shopping
  • unique sea moss
July 16, 2022 - alaingamerica
A minus tide occurs this Summer weekend and Parks had a sign encouraging the public to explore the tidepools. I believe this does account for the increase in visitors. A pleasant day to do so. I'm...
  • tidepool sign
  • Cloudy day
  • Unusual find
  • Pidgeon Guillemot
  • dwarf limpets
  • Another unusual find
  • Red Sea Urchins
  • clam sign?
  • Sea Lettuce
  • Vultures
May 1, 2022 - alaingamerica
I came for the minus tide since the weather would be dry. Very light human use. Very healthy seeming population of Pisaster ochraceus, and a possibly corresponding healthy seeming population of...
  • Wave action
  • mud
  • Fresh kelp
  • Baby Sea Sacs
  • Spring green
  • Ochre Star
  • White surf grass
  • rain rivulets
  • Coralline Algae
  • Not sure
  • Wild
  • Similar Wild
  • Hanging around
  • gumboot chiton
  • OIMB students
  • Getting into it
  • driftwood plant
January 9, 2022 - alaingamerica
After a week of heavy rain, it was a lovely sunny January day at the South Cove. The rains softened the trail up enough to form foot "steps" down to the beach. A couple saw some land slide, said "it...
  • Sunny Cove waters
  • foot "steps"
  • Alternate 'trail"
  • Erosion
  • Styrofoam in driftwood
  • Upright coralline algae
  • Mossy Chiton and friends
  • A boat in the ocean
  • A look back
  • Another look back
  • Easy walking


October 9, 2021 - alaingamerica
A pleasant day at South Cove, not many visitors. A stranded California Sea Lion, a call went out to the Stranded Marine Mammal Network. Saw a Mottled Sea Star, Evasterias troschelii, and may do a Sea...
  • Calm Clear Day
  • Less Driftwood than usual??
  • Sick looking California Sea Lion
  • Not SSWD
  • Live Mottled Star
  • Pisaster ochraceus
  • smallish gumboot chiton
  • Pale Sea Anemone
  • Artful Algae
  • WD40 used as fishing lure
  • Unique beach visitors
  • deer navigating the cliffs
  • Minimal beach wrack
  • Tableau of death
  • Fall colored kelp?
July 31, 2021 - alaingamerica
A pleasant weekend day out at the Cape brought several groups to the South Cove, despite it not being a minus tide (when I typically do my reports). Three people fishing reported catch 3 fish each. A...
June 27, 2021 - alaingamerica
A lovely day during a minus tide event had many visiting the tidepools. I found my first Sea Cucumber! Also got several views of a lemon dorid. Did a Sea Star survey and did not find any wasted Sea...
  • The beautiful South Cove on a Sunny Sunday morning
  • crab tracks?
  • Peculiar limpet
  • Beautiful coralline algae
  • California Sea Cucumber
  • Enlarged Cucumber
  • Blood Star
  • mystery
  • Sea Lemon with Gumboot
  • On the move
  • glow in the dark anemone
March 20, 2021 - alaingamerica
I didn't do a complete survey today. But wanted to say more than I could in a dispatch.  I was at the Southern tidepools 3 days ago for Sea Star Observation Survey Training and we found 24 stars, one...
  • Harlequins
  • Mysterious creature
  • Valve open
  • Another mysterious creature
  • Detail view
  • Possible sick Star?
  • Lunch?
  • Sea Urchins
  • Mottled Star from Wednesday
  • Possible lesion
March 20, 2021 - alaingamerica
I didn't do a complete survey today. But wanted to say more than I could in a dispatch.  I was at the Southern tidepools 3 days ago for Sea Star Observation Survey Training and we found 24 stars, one...
  • Harlequins
  • Northern Kelp crab?
  • Anemone eating cucumber?
  • Detail view
  • Star among urchins
  • Sea Urchins
  • Unhealthy star?
  • Lesion?
  • Mottled Star
  • Pair of Harlequins
February 7, 2021 - alaingamerica
I'd heard about some significant tree blow downs on the pack trail,  but found the usual situation in the cove. There's always small trees and dirt sloughing off the steep cliffs. Really pleasant...


October 17, 2020 - alaingamerica
The weather cleared during my visit. The sea was very calm. I decided to spend more time in the high tide zone and so noticed evidence of a land slide that happened earlier this year. The extra...
  • Weather clearing
  • Driftwood construction
  • burned driftwood
  • dead crabs
  • dead gumboot chiton
  • old slide
  • Surviving the slide
  • Snorkeler
  • Halloween? litter
  • Red Kelp
July 25, 2020 - alaingamerica
Pleased to see so many  families exploring South Cove's tidepools respectfully.  I  saw a racoon out there. I  do depend on other visitors to cue me in on interesting finds, but in all my years of...
  • Map
  • Racoon siting
  • Sea Star
  • Sea urchin
  • Staged?
  • Micro plastic
June 27, 2020 - alaingamerica
Many people enjoying the tidepools and beach as the weather began to get better in general. Wasn't able to get to S. Cove during the parks shutdown. This was the second low tide happening on the...
  • Mussel beds
  • Beauty shot of mussel beds
  • Sea Urchins are home
  • Gumboot chiton
  • Sandy Chiton
  • Chitons
  • Sea Stars
  • Sea Anemone
  • Live crab
January 19, 2020 - alaingamerica
Fairly low tide during daylight hours on a dry day brought only a few visitors. Muddy trail access inspired creative entry points. Seasonal waterfalls flowing heavily. Observed a breeding pair of...
  • Low tide to compare to King Tide
  • worm trails on tide pool rocks
  • pale anemone
  • emerged nudibrach?
  • Sea Star
  • Chiton
  • Limpet family
  •  creative access points
  • creative access points
  • Seasonal waterfall
  • Seasonal waterfall
  • Harlequins
  • Beauty shot
January 11, 2020 - alaingamerica
Though Cape Arago was receiving possibly record number of visitors, no one was trying to surf or otherwise visit South Cove. The tidepools were completely submerged, numerous driftwood were tossed by...
  • Submerged tidepools
  • Floating driftwood
  • Driftwood shifting in the surf
  • Most of access trail not impacted
  • Heavy visitation creates traffic


December 25, 2019 - alaingamerica
I have always been curious what is happening at my mile during high tide. I generally go at low tide to access the most sand and tide pools I can.  Since Christmas day had a king tide, I did a brief...
  • King tide st South Cove
November 1, 2019 - alaingamerica
Nice day at the beach. Not many vistors despite the fair weather. Saw lots of crab shells in the wrack line. Not sure if it's a molt. See pix. Tide higher than when I normally visit.
  • wrack line
  • eyeballs?
July 4, 2019 - alaingamerica
A beautiful 4th of July at the South Cove. Many people accepting the invitation by the Park to explore the tidepools. Most people on their best behavior, though I did see some kids climbing a crumbly...
  • Drift line
  • Tidepoolers
  • Tidepoolers
  • six rayed sea star
  • Rock or Eel fish
  • Driftwood re-arrangement
  • bleached eel grass
  • White stuff on rocks
  • lots of lumps on the beach
  • live snail
  • live snails
  • Chiton
  • Limpets
  • Blooming bush
April 21, 2019 - alaingamerica
I came armed with two fully charged camers and didn't see anything unusual. Beach was cleaner than last time.
  • Fisherman
  • Catch of the day
  • Minus tide
February 17, 2019 - alaingamerica
A very nice day. Went to try and get better photos of the Harlequin group I saw last time, but if they were there, they were out of range for photos. My battery ran dead fairly soon anyway. I...
  • Heron
  • South Cove
January 26, 2019 - alaingamerica
Very quiet day, despite the fine weather. Saw a boat closer in than I've ever observed. 3 Cormorants and a flock of Harlequin ducks. Two Sea Stars. 3 Chiton, one a gumboot I'll swear I photographed...
  • small net
  • Close in boat
  • beach access
  • Dead fish
  • Gumboot Chiton
  • 3 cormorants
  • Chiton
  • Chiton


May 19, 2018 - JamieF
A beautiful day out, great low tide. People were respectful of the intertidal habitat. Having the watchful eyes of several OIMB graduate students on hand was no doubt a helpful factor.


April 2, 2017 - alaingamerica
One of the first nice weekend days of the season, and the most humans visiting the mile that I personally have ever seen.
February 19, 2017 - alaingamerica
Just a cursuray visit. Saw four people and 1 dog in total. 3 vehicles in car park. Noticed lots of small plastic fragments in wrack line. Found a boat bumper (?) from Cape Sebastian. Wonder if more...
  • Tree falling further?
January 29, 2017 - alaingamerica
Not much evidence of the recent high tides. Found unusual to me things in the low drift line. An abundance of small snails on rocks. I myself murdered quite a few by walking out on the rocks. Doesn't...
  • red sea anemone


January 1, 2016 - JamieF
Walked on beach southward along boulder field to furthest extent practical and returned. Mostly found refuse and very little/no marine bird or mammal remains.


May 9, 2015 - alaingamerica
A high number of people for this mile, enjoying the low tide. Will be returning with a mission to track the number of sea stars and sea urchins. Will edit report once I identify the unusual creature...
  • This creature is roughly adult hand sized, rounded and firm to the touch. You can see the  hermit crabs that were dancing around on it's surface.
  • New trees down in slide" "Directly south of beach access trail
January 1, 2015 - JamieF
Collected approx. 60lbs of litter, mostly plastics (see photo)Erosion of cliffs ongoing.


December 13, 2014 - alaingamerica
The big news is the landslide, which threatens the access trail to the south cove. The slide began last winter and continues to move. (I have been remiss in visiting my mile and wish I would have...
  • Was modified last spring after initial slide. Narrow, muddy, slick, unstable looking
  • There was ground water flowing on either side of the landmass.
  • Exposed tree roots. Wouldn't be surprised if it dropped before the winter is over
  • Probably exposed during initial slide.
  • Obvious slump of land detaching from main part of cliff
  • Beach access formerly went through this area, just uphill from here, the State put in railroad tie steps and switched the trail back
  • A memorial bench used to rest on this concrete pad. The State removed it before it could fall into the chasm. The trail is being undercut at the far edge of the concrete pad
  • a view across the chasm made by the landslide.
  • A small trail used to skirt the edge up top. No more.


February 23, 2012 - junebugrudd
Everything was quiet and reasonably undisturbed. Kelp, shells, rocks, wood and land- and ocean-based debris in the driftline. Common Loons and dabbling ducks in the bay. Major cracks and landslides...
  • Major erosion of walkway down to the beach
  • Trees falling, more erosion
  • Tide pools alive!
  • Example of litter at this site
  • Healthy bunch of beach wrack


December 23, 2009 - alaingamerica
Due to the tide height, this was not an ideal day for a CoastWatch of mile 116. Anything that might wash up was certainly submerged or floating in the cove. However, I was very surprised at the...
  • Note call numbers on plane. It was heard that this plane was associated with the group of 10 surfers visiting mile 116 on this day.
  • Majority of party of 10 surfers visiting mile 116. (and me in the blue coat)
  • I've learned that South Cove is in the very Northern part of their range, but it is unusual to see them at the beach!
October 3, 2009 - alaingamerica
The South Cove appears much as it always does, beautiful and serene. Only myself, my partner and two other visitors during my visit. I have never noticed Black Oystercatchers in the cove before. They...
  • top view of octopus remains found on beach this trip.
  • bottom view of octopus remains.
  • I think this guy lives in this area. I have a photo of another Heron from a previous visit. Maybe it's the same one?
  • I'd never noticed this snail before, so I'm posting it here.
May 25, 2009 - alaingamerica
Extremely low tide offered opportunity to look at rarely exposed areas. Found a vivid royal purple sea star. Overheard one tidepooler telling another she saw two dead sunfish. Many animal casings(...
  • A shot of south cove at a -2.4 tide.
  • Another shot, the north side of south cove. The most exposed rock I've ever seen there.
  • I was impressed with the coloration of this ochre sea star. I've never seen such a vivid purple. Hopefully it shows on the picture.


December 5, 2008 - alaingamerica
Was able to positively identify ducks I saw last time as wintering Harlequins. Great Blue Heron was confident we would not be charging out over the rocks to harm it, though it did keep a watchful eye...
  • Great Blue Heron at South Cove, Cape Aragon, December 2008
  • GBH flies out to sea from South Cove, Cape Arago
  • Wintering Harlequin adult male in breeding plumage, swimming in the waters of South Cove, Cape Arago
  • 3 adult male Harlequins in breeding plumage, sunning on rock in South Cove, Cape Arago
  • Need help identifying this.  Was found in South Cove, Cape Arago. Is about the size of two digits of an index finger. Thank you!
September 21, 2008 - alaingamerica
This visit was a few months from my last visit. I found this quite helpful in observing how the piles of kelp I saw last visit are being broken down. My goal is to get to my mile much more frequently...
  • Pretty day, eh?
  • Another reference point. Pic looks like could have been taken at Leslie Gulch.
  • Such a nice day at the beach!
  • Sorry for poor quality. I needs me a telephoto and an idenfication guide...
June 22, 2008 - alaingamerica
Heavy thick mats of kelp and seaweed in driftline. State Parks ranger, who was guiding a tidepool walk, assured me large kelp piles were normal. Two dead purple shore crabs. Heavy human impact (42...
February 2, 2008 - alaingamerica
The mile looks much the same as last visit. It seems like a new tree has slid down the bluff. Erosion is continuing at northern border of mile 116. Five rain-fed waterfalls flowing at full force...


June 16, 2007 - alaingamerica
Many people taking advantage of the very low tide. Oregon State Parks had a ranger guide people through the tidepools. I observed enthusiastic, but respectful exploring. Very light wrackline....
March 11, 2007 - alaingamerica
Was the first warm, sunnyish weekend day. Lots of people in love with the tidepools. Kelp/algae and land-based debris in driftline. Sunstars, urchins, chitons, pink anemone and seaweeds in South...
  • I would like to see this critter open some day!