The American Cyclopædia (1879)/California, Gulf of
CALIFORNIA, Gulf of (Span. Mar Bermejo, Red sea), a gulf of the Pacific, separating the peninsula of Lower California, on the west, from the Mexican states of Sonora and Cinaloa, on the east. It is about 700 m. long, and from 70 to 150 m. wide. Its coasts are indented with many small bays, and numerous islands stud its surface. The Colorado river discharges its waters into the upper extremity of the gulf, and several streams empty into it from the east. The ports of Loreto, La Paz, and Guaymas are situated on its shores. The N. portion is full of shoals, hidden rocks, and dangerous currents; the S. portion is safer for navigation. The California coast abounds in pearl oysters, and the fishery, now little pursued, was formerly very important.