If you're going surf fishing off La Jolla, California, this Friday the 13th, you'd better be careful. That's because stingrays have invaded this beach area just north of San Diego, stinging 41 people in just one day this week, according to a report by the San Diego Union-Tribune.
The majority of those stung on Wednesday, July 11, were at La Jolla Shores, according to the report, which goes on to say that stingray injuries are common this time of year, especially in the La Jolla area. Yet, Wednesday's tally was higher than usual, lifeguard Lt. John Everhart told the Union-Tribune. At least one stung beachgoer was taken to a hospital for a nonlife-threatening injury, he said. Others were treated in a makeshift triage area set up on the beach.
In my opinion, for stingrays to have invaded this beach in such immense numbers (I am assuming they are plentiful by the number of people stung), they clearly have chosen this particular beach area for the purposes of procreation. It's hard to predict when the rays will clear out, but until then, be extra cautious if you surf-fish in this area.
As many shallow-water anglers know, a stingray sting is painful, temporary and generally not life-threatening. According to the Union-Tribune report, lifeguards treated the injured on Wednesday by having them soak their stung limbs in buckets filled with hot water. By shuffling one's feet on the bottom of the ocean floor, you can avoid stepping on a stingray's barbs, and it also helps scare a stingray away from your feet, ankles and lower legs.