To be specific, the Humboldt squid are back in California. Their opening act was a mass stranding on Black's Beach in San Diego last Saturday. A lifeguard had the most poetic commentary on the matter:
"Of course, as you might imagine, there were some odors associated with that," he said. "The only thing left on the beach right now is the scent of dead squid and seagull footprints."
As usual, everyone seems to be afflicted with amnesia regarding the regularity of such strandings over the past decade.
“I was just walking out of the water and it just freaked me out,” said Adam Ehdaid who was looking at the Humbolt squid at Black’s beach. Adam surfs every other day here, and says he’s never seen anything like this.
Also par for the course, people assume that the stranded squid died after spawning. This guess is based on the fact that many other species of squid do, in fact, die after spawning. However, when I sampled stranded Humboldts in 2009, none of them were sexually mature--blowing a big hole in that theory. So why do they strand? We still don't know!

The squid quickly followed up the stranding with more vigorous appearances at sea, biting lures throughout Southern California.
One sports fishing expedition on Wednesday came back with 990 of the large creatures. Dave Schmitt of Davey's Locker Sportsfishing describes the scene as "pure mayhem ... and they're just everywhere."
This is welcome news for the dozens of teachers waiting patiently to receive squid from Squids4Kids, an outreach program I help to run. We had to put everyone on a waitlist as our supplies dwindled over the last year, but now it looks like there might be an opportunity to restock . . .