Thursday, June 29, 2017

6/29 Starving orcas, Skeena sockeye, postal crow, shellfish toxin, Chesapeake dead zones

American black bear [Steve Kazlowski]
American black bear Ursus americanus
American black bears are the most common and widely distributed  bears in North America. In Washington, black bears live in a diverse array of forested habitats, from coastal rainforests to the dry woodlands of the Cascades’ eastern slopes.... The statewide black bear population in Washington likely ranges between 25,000 and 30,000 animals. As human populations encroach on bear habitat, people and bears have greater chances of encountering each other. Bears usually avoid people, but when they do come into close proximity of each other, the bear’s strength and surprising speed make it potentially dangerous. Most confrontations with bears are the result of a surprise encounter at close range. All bears should be given plenty of respect and room to retreat without feeling threatened. (Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife)

UW professor's study links food scarcity to orcas' failed pregnancies
A team of researchers has isolated lack of food as the primary factor — bigger than vessel traffic, bigger than toxins — limiting recovery of resident killer whales. In a paper published Thursday in PLOS ONE, a team lead by Sam Wasser, professor of biology and director of the Center for Conservation Biology at the University of Washington tracked the nutritional, physiological and reproductive health of southern resident killer whales — the J, K, and L pods of orcas that frequent the Salish Sea, including the San Juans and the waters of Seattle. The study links low reproductive success of the whales, with a total population of just 78 animals, to stress caused by low or variable abundance of their favorite prey: chinook salmon. Lynda Mapes reports. (Seattle Times) See also: Orca researchers need all the poop they can get. These dogs help them find it  Craig Sailor reports. (Tacoma News Tribune)

Skeena River sockeye returns at historic lows
This year's return of Skeena River sockeye is setting up to be the worst on record. As a result, First Nations along the river have agreed not to remove sockeye from the river, a decision made only once before when the same run returned in dismal numbers in 2013. The low numbers have also prompted Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) to close the region's lucrative sports fishery to all salmon species until July 15. The ministry said it's still unclear how many sockeye it expects this year, but in 2013 the total estimated return was around 450,000. As of June 27, 2017, just shy of 13,000 sockeye had returned. By the same day in 2013 a total of more than 25,000 sockeye had made their way up the river. Ash Kelly reports. (CBC)

You've got mail: Canada Post restarts delivery in area where Canuck the crow injured mail carrier
An East Vancouver resident and his neighbours are getting their mail back after Canada Post temporarily suspended delivery over several crow attacks. Shawn Bergman said his landlord alerted him Tuesday to the mail delivery. "I was quite surprised," Bergman said. "I thought [Canada Post] would get in contact with me." (CBC)

Biotoxin closes all Whatcom beaches to recreational shellfish harvesting
All of Whatcom County, including all of Point Roberts and all of Larrabee State Park, is now closed to the harvest of molluscan shellfish due to the presence of paralytic shellfish poisoning biotoxin. Kie Relyea reports. (Bellingham Herald)

Chesapeake Bay Dead Zones Are Fading, But Proposed EPA Cuts Threaten Success
rive east from Washington and eventually you run smack into the middle of the Chesapeake Bay, the massive estuary that stretches from the mouth of the Susquehanna River at Maryland’s northern tip and empties into the Atlantic 200 miles away near Norfolk, Va. The Chesapeake is home to oysters, clams, and famous Maryland blue crab. It’s the largest estuary in the United States. And for a long time, it was one of the most polluted. Ari Shapiro and  Sam Gringlas report. (NPR)

Now, your tug weather--
West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  223 AM PDT Thu Jun 29 2017  
 N wind to 10 kt becoming NW in the afternoon. Wind waves  2 ft or less. W swell 5 ft at 10 seconds.
 W wind 10 to 20 kt becoming 5 to 15 kt after midnight.  Wind waves 1 to 3 ft. W swell 4 ft at 10 seconds.

"Salish Sea News & Weather" is compiled as a community service by Mike Sato. To subscribe, send your name and email to msato (@) Your email information is never shared and you can unsubscribe at any time.

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