Because they would have dried up on the beach, we removed a few to take a closer look and to try to identify them. Here's a small cluster in Eric's hand:
If you think you're seeing eyes, you are! These are small fish eggs that were attached to the kelp. Many of the tiny fish embryos appeared to be in the later stages of development — every now and then they would wriggle around inside of their clear, rounded capsules or pods.
Many details were visible under the microscope:
We're not sure what type of fish these are. They appeared to be very long, with a dark checkerboard pattern running along the back.
If you have experience identifying local fish eggs or fish embryos and have thoughts about what species of fish this might be, we'd be very interested in hearing about it!