|Squamish fishing on Capilano River (CBC)|
At the mouth of the Capilano River, members of the Squamish First Nation have engaged in rock weir fishing for generations. Using rocks as barriers to trap salmon in small ponds, and simple nets to move them to land, the annual harvest helps feed the community for months…. But in a year where some salmon stocks are at record low numbers, and recreational salmon fishing on the Fraser River has been completely banned, traditional activities are causing modern grievances for some…. The Supreme Court of Canada ruled in 1990 — in a case involving the Musqueam Indian Band — that Aboriginal rights to fish for food on traditional rivers are protected. "This is a sanctioned fishery and it's for the Squamish Nation under their communal license," said David Loop with Fisheries and Oceans Canada. Justin McElroy and Kamil Karamali report. (CBC)
Maury Island pier being removed to protect Puget Sound marine life
Crews from King County Parks and the State Department of Natural Resources began removing an derelict pier on Maury Island this week. Officials said the pier is treated with creosote, a chemical that can seep into the water as the pier ages. That chemical is known to kill herring eggs, a fish that's a staple for salmon and migrating birds. DNR officials said removing the pier's 150 pilings and other structures will improve vital shoreline habitat in the 275-acre natural area on Maury Island. The area is home to endangered species like orcas, Chinook salmon and bull trout. (KOMO)
Esquimalt’s clout on sewage treatment plant softer: expert
Esquimalt may have kiboshed sewage treatment plans at McLoughlin Point two years ago, but that won’t likely happen this time around, a legal expert says. Administrative lawyer John Alexander said as long as the plan abides by zoning regulations, council won’t have much power to turn it down. The Capital Regional District’s project board released a final report Wednesday recommending a single wastewater treatment plant at McLoughlin Point, to be completed by 2020. Unlike earlier proposals for McLoughlin Point, the plant’s footprint would be small enough to fit current zoning. It also involves tertiary treatment, setbacks and other adjustments that Esquimalt Mayor Barb Desjardins has hailed as victories for the municipality. The CRD board will vote on the plan next week, to meet a Sept. 30 deadline for federal and provincial funding. Amy Smart reports. (Times Colonist)
Improved water quality could mark end of Priest Point swim advisory
For the first time since 2004, the beaches at Priest Point Park in Olympia are undergoing tests for bacterial contamination — all in the name of public health and safety. The Budd Inlet waters have been under a permanent swim advisory since 2004 because of the presence of fecal bacteria known as enterococcus, which can cause illness from exposure. However, the swim advisory’s days may be numbered. Last spring, the nonprofit Surfrider Foundation’s Capitol-Olympia chapter launched the Blue Water Task Force in a partnership with Thurston County and the Department of Ecology. The task force’s goal is to retest the beaches at Priest Point Park to determine whether they are safe for recreation — and eventually make the case for lifting the swim advisory. Andy Hobbs reports. (Olympian) See also: Dyes Inlet closed for shellfish harvesting (Kitsap Sun)
How Sea-Tac biologist prevents birds from creating the next ‘Miracle on the Hudson’
Seven years ago, a US Airways pilot was forced to make an emergency water landing in New York’s Hudson River after his Airbus A320 struck a flock of Canada geese and its engines failed. Everyone survived and media organizations dubbed the incident “The Miracle on the Hudson.” Now Hollywood has its hold on the story, with Tom Hanks playing the titular character “Sully,” the pilot who decided to ditch…. Steve Osmek is a wildlife biologist at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. He’s in charge of keeping birds and other wildlife from disrupting airline operations and endangering passengers. Lately, things have been busy for Osmek. Evan Bush reports. (Seattle Times)
Green crab invade farther north on B.C. coast
Last week, an invasive species known as the European green crab was found in Puget Sound. The marine-focused environmental group that found the crab, Washington Sea Grant, is still trying to find out if it was just a lone crab, or if a population has been established. And, while the alarms are sounding in Washington State, green crab populations are already establishing themselves off British Columbia’s coast and are moving further north. Alaska Fish & Game Invasive Species Coordinator, Tammy Davis, said the green crab found in Puget Sound last week isn’t a concern for Southeast Alaska. Aaron Bolton reports. (KSTK, Stikine River Radio)
State rejects proposed nonlethal plan to transport targeted wolves
Washington state officials have rejected a proposal by a wildlife preserve to save the Profanity Peak wolf pack targeted for extermination. “We received the proposal to relocate the remaining Profanity Peak pack members to California, but that approach just isn’t feasible,” said Eric Gardner, assistant director of the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), in an emailed statement. Lorin Lindner and Matthew Simmons, co-founders of the Lockwood Animal Rescue Center, a 4,000-acre preserve near the Los Padres mountains in Ventura County, Calif., offered to use helicopters to find and tranquilize the wolves, then move them to the preserve. Vernal Coleman reports. (Seattle Times)
Hawaiian seafood caught by foreign crews confined on boats
Pier 17 doesn’t even show up on most Honolulu maps. Cars whiz past it on their way to Waikiki’s famous white sand beaches. Yet few locals, let alone passing tourists, are aware that just behind a guarded gate, another world exists: foreign fishermen confined to American boats for years at a time. Hundreds of undocumented men are employed in this unique U.S. fishing fleet, due to a federal loophole that allows them to work but exempts them from most basic labor protections. Many come from impoverished Southeast Asian and Pacific nations to take the dangerous jobs, which can pay as little as 70 cents an hour. With no legal standing on U.S. soil, the men are at the mercy of their American captains on American-flagged, American-owned vessels, catching prized swordfish and ahi tuna. Since they don’t have visas, they are not allowed to set foot on shore. The entire system, which contradicts other state and federal laws, operates with the blessing of high-ranking U.S. lawmakers and officials, an Associated Press investigation found. Martha Mendoza and Margie Mason report. (Associated Press)
Now, your weekend tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 244 AM PDT FRI SEP 9 2016
TODAY LIGHT WIND...BECOMING NE TO 10 KT IN THE AFTERNOON. WIND WAVES 1 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 5 FT AT 9 SECONDS.
TONIGHT W WIND 5 TO 15 KT...BECOMING TO 10 KT AFTER MIDNIGHT. WIND WAVES 2 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 4 FT AT 11 SECONDS. A SLIGHT CHANCE OF RAIN AFTER MIDNIGHT.
SAT SW WIND TO 10 KT...BECOMING W IN THE AFTERNOON. WIND WAVES 1 FT OR LESS. SW SWELL 3 FT AT 13 SECONDS...BUILDING TO W 5 FT AT 10 SECONDS IN THE AFTERNOON. RAIN LIKELY IN THE MORNING...THEN A CHANCE OF RAIN IN THE AFTERNOON.
SAT NIGHT W WIND 5 TO 15 KT...BECOMING TO 10 KT AFTER MIDNIGHT. WIND WAVES 2 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 6 FT AT 11 SECONDS.
SUN W WIND 5 TO 15 KT...BECOMING NW TO 10 KT IN THE AFTERNOON. WIND WAVES 2 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 6 FT AT 10 SECONDS.
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