Thursday, October 29, 2015

10/29 Bull trout, warm water, farm fish, BC LNG, precipitation, Shell drill, whale watch boat

Salvelinus confluentus ("grizzly bear of the fish world") USFWS
Skagit River a 'stronghold' for threatened bull trout
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service recently released a recovery plan for bull trout that highlights the Skagit River as a major player in existing populations of the fish on the Washington coast. According to the recovery plan, the upper and lower portions of the Skagit River are two of five places in the Coastal Recovery Unit that are “current population strongholds” for the fish, which have been listed as threatened since 1999 under the Endangered Species Act. The Fish and Wildlife Service estimates it may spend $380 million on bull trout recovery in the coastal unit over the next 25 years. Kimberly Cauvel reports. (Skagit Valley Herald)

Federal Fish Managers Brace For Another Warm Year In The Northwest
The summer’s early snowmelt, record temperatures and drought in the Northwest killed young hatchery fish and adult fish returning to spawn. And federal experts are expecting 2016 to be even worse for fish. Seventy U.S. Fish & Wildlife managers passed around a microphone this week in a hotel conference room. They told scary stories about warm Northwest water. The Columbia River heated up this summer, and nearly the entire run of returning sockeye was lost. Anna King reports. (KPLU)

Atlantic farmed salmon routinely mislabeled as ‘wild,’ study finds
An Oceana investigation of salmon marketed during the winter months in the Midwest and East Coast found 43 percent of this fish mislabeled. Most often, Atlantic farmed salmon was falsely marketed as wild salmon, and restaurants mislabeled this fish much more frequently than grocery stores and retail markets. The investigation was based on  82 samples collected in Chicago, New York, Washington and Virginia, and all were analyzed to determine their salmon species. An earlier, and broader, Oceana survey of 384 salmon collected during the peak of the 2012 summer salmon season found that only 7 percent of the sampled fish was mislabeled. Hal Bernton reports. (Seattle Times)

Squamish Nation wants more input on proposed B.C. LNG plant given initial OK
The Squamish Nation says the B.C. government's conditional approval of a proposed liquefied natural gas export facility did not fully assess how the project would impact its aboriginal rights. Chief Ian Campbell says the province granted an environmental assessment certificate for the Woodfibre LNG plant this week without full consultation with the First Nation. Campbell says the Squamish Nation is looking forward to further discussions with the government because many of its own conditions for approving the facility are different than those set out in the certificate. (Canadian Press)

Finally! Significant Snowfall and Heavy Precipitation in Northwest Mountains
Cliff Mass writes: "We have waited a long time for this and finally it is close at hand:  significant mountain precipitation and snowfall over the Pacific Northwest…." (Weather Blog)

Towering Polar Pioneer oil rig returns to Port Angeles Harbor for month-long visit
The looming Polar Pioneer oil rig floated back into Port Angeles Harbor on Wednesday, escorted by a small flotilla as it concluded its two-week journey to the city from the Arctic waters of Alaska's Chukchi Sea. The 355-foot-tall Transocean Ltd. rig was accompanied by an 87-foot U.S. Coast Guard patrol boat, three 25-foot response boats and four tugboats before dropping anchor, Coast Guard spokesman Dana Warr said. Paul Gottlieb reports. (Peninsula Daily News) See also: Shell Reports $7.4 Billion Loss, Blaming Low Oil And Gas Prices (KPLU/NPR)

Tofino whale-watching boat modifications raise concerns
The whale-watching boat that capsized near Tofino, B.C., had undergone major modifications that may have caused it to become less stable, CBC News has learned. Last Sunday, six people were killed when the MV Leviathan II tipped over. The Transportation Safety Board said most of the passengers were crowded on one side of the outside deck, which may have destabilized the vessel when it was hit by a wave from the opposite side. The Leviathan II was originally built by Vancouver-based RivTow Industries in 1981 as a tug boat, and was named the Crown Forest 72-112. In 1996, it was converted into a whale-watching vessel and renamed. The major change to its design was a new deck added to the top of the vessel. (CBC)

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 300 AM PDT THU OCT 29 2015
SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY IN EFFECT FOR FRIDAY
TODAY
SW WIND TO 10 KT. WIND WAVES 1 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 8 FT AT 13 SECONDS. A CHANCE OF SHOWERS IN THE MORNING.
TONIGHT
S WIND 5 TO 15 KT. WIND WAVES 2 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 8 FT AT 12 SECONDS. A CHANCE OF SHOWERS IN THE EVENING... THEN RAIN AFTER MIDNIGHT.

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