ROCKPOOLING ON THE GOWER
with Jim Hall (Swansea)


There were some very big tides predicted around the middle of September and in Swansea  Bay where the tide goes out for half a mile on the very low springs. I went down to Mumbles Pier in the bay. The so called 'fouling organisms' of interest to rockpoolers were cleared during restoration work on Mumbles Lifeboat Station, but the attached life has now returned to the supports and Plumose Anemones were in abundance, in all the colours of white and shades of orange, and this year there were some of the biggest I have seen on the shore, up to 40 mm across the base and to 90 mm in height. They draped down from the supports like deflated balloons. When the tide comes in they will expand with a gorgeous array of stinging tentacles arranged in concentric circles to catch the microscopic zooplankton. Amongst the anemones there were both sea-spiders and the smaller spider crabs.
  Port Eynon

At the beginning of September a visit to Port Eynon proved interesting because of the discovery of three Brittlestars and a single Shore Urchin, Psammechinus miliaris. To reach the rocky area I walked across the large expanse of sand. There are rock pools and boulders covered with seaweeds but it is in the area of loose rocks that most discoveries are made.


LOUGHER RIVER ESTUARY

Parking is good - access easy

Mysids - Baby Mullet - Baby Bass - Baby Flounders - Baby Herring.


RHOSSILI
Worms Head Island

from Swansea - 16 miles.

Parking is good - food available, access for

Worms Head - 1 mile walk across the cliff tops to the Causeway.

The Causeway to the Island of Worms Head is the place tocollect.  An area of about 16 metres wide by 160 metres long, all
rockpools everywhere.

Only for the Fit, however, because on the return journey onemust climb back up about 16 metres to the cliff tops and around onemile back to the car park carrying buckets half full of water with specimens (the more specimens - the more buckets) plus all your nets and gear.

I would expect to find almost every rock pool fish in this area, and most of the invertebrates.


FALL BAY

from Swansea l4 miles.

Parking 1/2 mile away - access difficult, only

Workable at low tide.




PORT EYNON - HORTON
2 villages at each end of same beach.
Access is   easy - parking good and cooked food available. From
Swansea 12 miles.

Most rockpool fish available but this bay has an abundance of
Daisy Anemone.  Snakelocks anemones - both grey and green/purple tips varieties.  Dahlia Anemone.


SLADE

Not recommended as access difficult and parking  is impossible.


OXWICH

      Access is good - car parking excellent;

From Swansea - 10 miles.   Hotel on beach for good food and bar meals.
 

   Edible Crab


A reef runs out on the right-hand side of the beach and this is the place for rockpool type fish and most inverts - many unusual
specimens taken here at differnt times of the year.  Off the reef and the beach in open sea one may catch baby soles and baby
plaice.


THREE CLIFFS BAY

Access good but walk of l mile from any of two parking areas.

From Swansea - 8 miles.
 

Off the beach one will catch baby turbot and brill around May/June. Weever fish most times and small rays after dark
(only to be done in groups off course for safety's sake).


PENNARD
High Cliffs - mostly inaccessible and dangerous.
  Small areas of sand at low tide only.


PHWLL DU

Access difficult - Car parking bad.

Medium-sized beach of pebbles - the only one in this area -collectability unknown - I would not expect much because the
pebbles are potato sized!


BRANDY COVE

Access difficult - no car parking.

A small sandy cove but not worth the effort.


CASWELL BAY

Access good - Parking good, snacks available.

From Swansea - 6 miles.

A popular swimming and surfing beach - nice for the family but because of its popularity I do not collect here.  There is one
good area of rock pools, however, between Caswell beach and Brandy Cove only at low water.




LANGLAND BAY

Access good - parking good; food and drink  available.

From Swansea - 5 miles    Popular swimming and surfing beach -good for families and for fishing. Plenty of pools but all are
very flat and shallow - collecting has not proved productive.


MUMBLES

Access good - parking good; food and drink available.

From Swansea - 5 miles.

Mumbles in summer can be very crowded - hence one needs to pick one's times for collecting carefully. All rockpool fish and
inverts can be found in the hundreds of pools.  Some babies of large deep sea fish also are caught here.  On the Spring tides,
Mumbles is the place for Plumose Anemones of all colours.



 
 

Studying a map of the Gower Peninsula it will be noted that I only list Bays on the South Side.
 
 

Access to the North side is mostly very difficult with bad or no parking and very long walks involved.  Results do not warrant
the effort.

by Jim Hall (Swansea)

 
 
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