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Strange Fish Catches off San Diego Signal Big El Niño

Strange fish catches off the coast of San Diego are signaling a big El Niño is coming, scientists say.

El Niño is an extreme weather pattern that sometimes forms in the eastern Pacific. It changes the temperature of the ocean and atmosphere, resulting in erratic weather and disruptions to marine food chains all over the globe.

The last really big El Niño event was back in 1997, and most scientists around the globe believe another big one is on the way.

One of the tell-tale signs is the recent number of unusual fish catches off the coast of San Diego.

According to, marine scientists are noticing an unusual northward shift of tropical fish reminiscent of the ’97-’98 El Niño event.

“We’ve already started to see very unusual fish catches here,” marine research physicist Tim Barnett told “The first yellowfin tuna was caught in May — that has never happened before to anybody’s recollection…And the other thing too is the first dorado Mahi Mahi — first of June,” Barnett added, “that has never happened before. They really like the warm water and you normally don’t see them here until September.”

Barnett believes appearance of the tropical fish in northern waters is a potential indicator that another big El Niño event is on the way.

Barnett also said that yellowtail were caught as far north as Kodiak Island in Alaska during the ’97-’98 El Niño event.

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Strange Fish Catches off San Diego Signal Big El Niño