|Wade Peeler & Friend (John Olynyk/CBC)|
It was an Instagram-worthy "bucket list" moment and the most amazing wildlife encounter John Olynyk has ever had. But don't, he implores, try to replicate it. On Sunday, Olynyk and his kayaking buddy Wade Peeler put in at Spanish Banks beach in Vancouver, planning to go looking for the humpback whale he'd been keeping an eye on for days. Olynyk first spotted the whale last Thursday; he was biking around Stanley Park and the whale was feeding off Third Beach. Friday and Saturday, the humpback was still cruising the harbour, so on Sunday, Olynyk and Peeler hit the water. Lisa Johnson reports. (CBC)
Puget Sound salmon fishing season negotiations break down
Negotiations between the state and treaty tribes over fishing in Puget Sound broke off Thursday, leaving the prospect of a fishing season in limbo. At the same time, federal fishery managers have approved a limited salmon fishing season off the state’s Pacific coast. As co-managers, the state Department of Fish and Wildlife and Puget Sound treaty tribes negotiate salmon fishing seasons, based on preseason run forecasts. Jeffrey Mayor reports. (Tacoma News Tribune) See also: Very conservative ocean summer salmon fishing seasons set to begin July 1 Mark Yuasa reports. (Seattle Times)
Drill for 'worst case scenario" oil spill in Puget Sound
Two tankers collide in Puget Sound. More than 4,000 gallons of oil are spilling into its fragile waters, and the race against time is on. It's a simulation of a "worst case scenario" oil spill in the San Juan Islands -- wildlife endangered, habitats threatened, livelihoods at risk…. To keep that from becoming a reality, new technologies were tested Thursday in the San Juans. Faster oil skimmers called "current busters" allow workers to get oil out of the water three times more quickly than before. Drones are deployed to help supervisors see how big the spill is, how fast it's moving and where it's headed. They fly over volunteer vessels who stand on-call, ready to respond whenever needed. All that information will soon be analyzed by the Department of Ecology and its partners to determine what they can improve upon should this "worst case scenario" one day become a reality. Eric Wilkinson reports. (KING) See also: Oil spill drill south of Lummi Island tests cleanup process (Bellingham Herald)
Dead orca could reignite controversy over satellite tracking program
A federal program that uses satellite transmitters to track killer whale movements has been suspended after pieces of a metal dart associated with a transmitter were found embedded in the fin of an orca discovered dead two weeks ago in British Columbia. The whale, L-95, a 20-year-old male named “Nigel,” was found dead floating near Nootka Island along the west coast of Vancouver Island. He was the same whale who was tracked for three days off the Washington Coast by researchers with NOAA’s Northwest Fisheries Science Center after they attached a satellite transmitter on Feb. 23. Chris Dunagan reports. (Watching Our Water Ways)
Judge: Tideflats liquid natural gas plant records not to be disclosed
Puget Sound Energy has won a court injunction to temporarily prevent the city of Tacoma from disclosing hazardous-materials information about a proposed Tideflats liquid natural gas terminal. Pierce County Superior Court Judge Frank E. Cuthbertson issued an order Thursday granting the utility company’s request to bar city officials from disclosing records related to the plant’s hazardous materials assessment, which an environmental activist had requested. The utility company wants to build a $275 million facility to supply the Totem Ocean Trailer Express (TOTE) shipping company with liquid natural gas and store up to 8 million gallons of the fuel on site. Derrick Nunnally reports. (Tacoma News Tribune)
Salmon study wins Salish Sea Science prize
Scientists who showed how copper damages salmon's sense of smell and helped create legislation to remove copper from car brake pads are honored with the prestigious Salish Sea Science prize. A team of U.S. scientists will be awarded the SeaDoc Society's prestigious Salish Sea Science prize this week for groundbreaking research they performed demonstrating the impacts of copper to salmon. The work, led by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration scientists Drs. Jenifer McIntyre, David Baldwin, and Nathaniel Scholz, was instrumental in the passage of landmark legislation in Washington state to phase out the use of copper and other metals in motor vehicle brake pads. (Islands Sounder)
Development Near Salmon-Bearing Streams Gets New Restrictions
Building in flood zones is about to get harder across much of Oregon, due to new federal recommendations. The government published the recommendations, called a biological opinion, in response to a lawsuit from environmental groups. The Audubon Society of Portland, National Wildlife Federation, Northwest Environmental Defense Center and Association of Northwest Steelheaders had argued that federal flood insurance was encouraging development detrimental to threatened salmon. Will Stelle, regional administrator for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, said the agency recommends FEMA make several efforts to change the flood insurance program. Rob Manning reports. (OPB)
Furry Forest Creature Won't Get Federal Protections
A weasel-like creature that lives in northwest forests will remain unprotected. Thursday, the US Fish and Wildlife Service said it won't list the 'fisher' as an endangered species. That decision could affect the animal's population across the west. Fishers look like a cross between a mink and wolverine…. Dave Werntz is with Conservation Northwest. The cat-sized animal has struggled across the west for more than 60 years. But just a few years ago, Werntz and others reintroduced the fisher in Washington and saw the species rebound. That's one reason the federal government decided not to list west coast fishers as endangered. Paige Browning reports. (KUOW)
Salish Sea Pilot releases new Georgia Strait and Puget Sound cruising guides
The 2016 Salish Sea Pilot cruising guides are here and along with the Gulf Islands, Desolation Sound and the San Juan Islands, they’ve added two new tomes to the mix: Georgia Strait & the Sunshine Coast and Puget Sound. Covering the Sunshine Coast, Howe Sound, Burrard Inlet, Vancouver, the Northern Gulf Islands, Comox and Powell River, the Georgia Strait ebook guide is a comprehensive look at everything from anchorages and hidey-holes to where to park your dinghy and get provisions. And the Puget Sound guide hits on every spot from Olympia and Shelton to Hood Canal, Seattle and the lakes, up to Deception Pass and out to Port Angeles. Andy Cross reports. (Three Sheets NW)
Now, your weekend tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 251 AM PDT FRI APR 15 2016
TODAY W WIND TO 10 KT...BECOMING NW 5 TO 15 KT IN THE AFTERNOON. WIND WAVES 2 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 10 FT AT 13 SECONDS...SUBSIDING TO 7 FT AT 12 SECONDS EARLY IN THE MORNING.
TONIGHT SW WIND 5 TO 15 KT...BECOMING SE AFTER MIDNIGHT. WIND WAVES 2 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 6 FT AT 11 SECONDS. A CHANCE OF SHOWERS.
SAT SE WIND 5 TO 15 KT...BECOMING E TO 10 KT IN THE AFTERNOON. WIND WAVES 2 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 5 FT AT 15 SECONDS. A CHANCE OF SHOWERS.
SAT NIGHT LIGHT WIND...BECOMING SE TO 10 KT AFTER MIDNIGHT. WIND WAVES 1 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 6 FT AT 17 SECONDS.
SUN SE WIND 10 TO 20 KT...BECOMING E 5 TO 15 KT IN THE AFTERNOON. WIND WAVES 1 TO 3 FT. W SWELL 7 FT AT 15 SECONDS.
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