Wednesday, May 16, 2012

5/16 L112 encropsy, Ken Balcomb, algae, farm fish virus, BC LNG, snakehead fish, 'gas tax,' eelgrass, lingcod, Ebey Slough, killing sea lions



Snakehead fish (PHOTO: Mike Stocker, Times-Colonist)
New blog: Walking the Talk at Lake Padden   

Congratulations to Kathy Fletcher and Eric Olsson who are being honored today by the Pacific States-British Columbia Oil Spill Task Force for their tireless efforts to protect state waters from spills, especially Puget Sound. Washingtonians honored for their oil spill prevention work  

Ashley Ahearn of EarthFix gets a gold star for the next three stories:

A new report out Tuesday stops short of determining what killed a young female orca that washed up near Long Beach, Wash. The scientists who produced it for a federal agency came up with new details about the whale’s trauma, bruising and hemorrhaging, and lack of broken bones. The necropsy report’s findings have whale experts suspicious of naval activity as a possible cause of her death. The Navy is in the process of renewing its permits to conduct sonar and explosive tests in the Northwest. Report Inconclusive On What Killed Orca L112  

Baleen hangs from the walls in Ken Balcomb’s house where others might display prints or paintings. Where some people keep coasters and coffee table books, he keeps an intact orca skull. Instead of cloth placemats he uses laminated photos of dorsal fins. For the past 36 years Balcomb has trained his eyes on the watery horizons of Puget Sound, documenting the movements of one of the most endangered populations of whales on earth.  A Man And The Orcas  

Algae populations boom during sunny warm weather. The spring snowmelt funneling out of rivers into Puget Sound also provides a lot of nutrients for the algae and calm winds have made for an ideal growing environment. Algae Boom in Puget Sound  

A salmon farm north of Tofino is preparing to kill its fish after tests confirmed infectious haematopoietic necrosis virus. IHN, which presents no risks to humans, is naturally carried by Pacific salmon, trout and herring, which have developed a natural immunity, but can cause high mortality among Atlantic salmon.  Island salmon farm culling fish after virus confirmed  

Four global energy firms led by Shell Canada say they are going to develop a 12 million-tonnes-a-year liquefied natural gas plant at Kitimat, the largest by far of four LNG proposals for the B.C. Coast. The announcement Tuesday catapults Shell and its partners into the leading LNG developer in Canada in terms of size.  Shell, Asian energy giants to build largest LNG plant in B.C.

Burnaby park officials are investigating the reported sighting of a snakehead fish at the lagoon in Central Park. A person made a recent video and posted it online with the comment: “Was at Central Park on Mother’s Day, took a walk around the lagoon to check out the carp and Koi. To my surprise I spotted a snakehead fish, a very large one.” Burnaby park officials probing nasty snakehead fish allegedly spotted at Burnaby's Central Park lagoon  

When is a tax on gasoline a "gas tax"?  In June, the court is scheduled to hear a lawsuit over the state's "Hazardous Substances Tax." Voters approved the tax in 1988 to deal with the environmental impacts of toxic chemicals. It falls mostly on petroleum products like fuel and oil, which are the biggest culprits, and currently adds about 3 cents per gallon to the price of gasoline.
Cheaper gas or money to fight pollution? Court could decide


Like true grasses on land, eelgrass responds to longer, warmer days by growing new leaves and sometimes forming small, inconspicuous flowers. Eelgrass competes for light with the mat of algae and diatoms [a single-celled algae] that floats above like green clouds. Russel Barsh and Madrona Murphy explain: Eelgrass – a zoo of strange and small animals  

Those hoping to catch lingcod this week should be prepared to put in some time.  Most of the lingcod caught in Puget Sound of late seem to have been too small to legally keep, but there are still anglers catching legal lingcod. The Point Defiance Boathouse Marina reports that you simply have to be willing to put in the work. Fishing Report for May 16

Ebey Slough has been known by that name for about 150 years. Now, suddenly, some different ideas for renaming the northernmost offshoot of the Snohomish River are floating around. Marysville's idea triggered a recent slew of letters and commentary in The Herald suggesting the name Ebey should be expunged from the body of water altogether. Ebey’s name on slough raises question

A federal judge will decide by the end of May whether to stop the government from killing sea lions that eat endangered wild salmon bottled up at Bonneville Dam on the Columbia River. U.S. District Judge Michael Simon heard more than three hours of arguments Tuesday on an injunction request from The Humane Society of the United States. The group wants to keep sea lions alive while its suit against the killing goes through the courts.  Judge to rule on killing of sea lions

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 207 AM PDT WED MAY 16 2012
SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY IN EFFECT THROUGH THIS AFTERNOON
TODAY
SOUTHWEST WIND 15 TO 25 KT. WIND WAVES 2 TO 4 FT. W SWELL 6 FT AT 8 SECONDS.
TONIGHT
W WIND 15 TO 25 KT...EASING TO 10 TO 15 KT AFTER MIDNIGHT. WIND WAVES 2 TO 4 FT...SUBSIDING TO 1 TO 2 FT AFTER
 MIDNIGHT. W SWELL 6 FT AT 9 SECONDS.

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