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Dead squid wash up on south Orange County beach

September 22, 2011 |  4:12 pm

Hundreds of dead squid have washed up on a beach in San Clemente, puzzling some beachgoers, but officials said it was a natural occurrence and not a cause for alarm.

The Orange County Register reported that 100 to 200 Humboldt squid washed up overnight.

Ian Burton, a marine safety officer, said the squid, about 18 inches long, were covering the beach when he came to work Thursday morning. City maintenance crews spent a couple of hours cleaning them up, he said.

Andrew Hughan, a spokesman with the California Department of Fish and Game, said the squid die-off was a natural occurrence. The squids spawn, then die.

"They do what they do, and then they call it in," he said.

David Schmitt, a manager at Davey's Locker Sportfishing & Whale Watching in Newport Beach, said fishing excursions have been catching thousands of Humboldt squid over the last few days. He said the coast periodically sees an invasion by the squid.

"They show up, and they eat everything in sight, not including people," he said.

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-- Abby Sewell

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