Friday, August 18, 2017

8/18 Huckleberry, whale protection, stranded whale, more dam water, Japanese beetle, safe clams

Black huckleberries [Powell River Books Blog]
Black Huckleberry Vaccinium membranaceum
Black huckleberries are among the most delicious of all our Vaccinium species, and they are produced in great abundance on some sites, especially old burns that have only sparse tree regeneration. In parts of the Cascade Mountains the berries are picked for sale…. These juicy, flavorful berries were gathered from mid summer to fall and eaten fresh or cooked, mashed and dried into cakes…. The Kwakwaka'wakw cooked the berries with salmon roe, and the Sechelt smoke-dried them using the plant's own branches as fuel. (Native Plants of the Pacific Northwest Coast)

Smoothing the way for whale protection
In the wake of a confrontation between a whale-watching boat and the Royal Canadian Navy two weeks ago, both sides are working together to protect whales from underwater explosions. At a meeting Wednesday at CFB Esquimalt, Pacific Whale Watch Association spokesman Dan Kukat met with the navy’s environmental and demolition experts and base chief of staff Danielle Smith. The two sides agreed to streamline communications to allow Kukat to alert the navy immediately when whales are spotted near Bentinck Island in Race Passage, so blasting can be stopped. Navy ships from CFB Esquimalt often conduct exercises with explosives at Bentinck Island in Juan de Fuca Strait and follow protocols to stop blasting if boats or whales breach a one-kilometre buffer zone. Louise Dickson reports. (Times Colonist)

Three in five vessels honour Port of Vancouver go-slow request to protect killer whales
Almost 60 per cent of ocean-going vessels are so far honouring a request by the Port of Vancouver to go slow in critical habitat of endangered southern resident killer whales in the Salish Sea, according to preliminary statistics for the program’s first week of operation. “We’re very encouraged, after week one, with those participation rates,” Orla Robinson, manager of the port’s Enhancing Cetacean Habitat and Observation program, said in an interview. “They’re pretty impressive.” …. The port is asking ships this summer to voluntarily slow to 11 knots — up to about a 40-per-cent reduction — when transiting Haro Strait to reduce noise levels for the killer whales. Larry Pynn reports. (Vancouver Sun)

Juvenile gray whale stranded on remote Kalaloch area beach struggles to return to depths
A juvenile gray whale that stranded itself on a remote Kalaloch beach in Olympic National Park on Wednesday morning was struggling to stay alive late Thursday afternoon. Unrelenting waves on the remote Pacific Coast beach had pushed the 25-foot-long female, estimated to be 1 to 2 years old, 20 feet farther upland from where she was first spotted at 9 a.m. Wednesday, Dyanna Lambourn, a state Department of Fish and Wildlife marine mammal biologist, said Thursday afternoon. Paul Gottlieb reports. (Peninsula Daily News)

Northwest Scientists Make The Case For Spilling More Water Over Dams
On Wednesday, dozens of scientists made their case for spilling more water over dams in the Columbia River Basin. In a letter sent to Northwest lawmakers in Congress, they outlined and “reaffirmed” scientific evidence that more spill is critical to protecting threatened and endangered salmon and steelhead. Earlier this year, U.S. District Court Judge Michael Simon ordered Columbia River dam managers to spill more water by 2018 to help fish protected under the Endangered Species Act. But several Northwest lawmakers are aiming to block that order with a bill they’ve introduced in Congress. Spilling more water over dams reduces the amount of hydropower produced and raises the price of electricity. Cassandra Profita reports. (OPB/EarthFix)

Invasive Japanese beetle spotted in False Creek
An invasive species of Japanese beetle never before seen in B.C. has popped up in False Creek. According to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA), a live beetle was found in a trap put out by the City of Vancouver in July. It has since been identified as the Popillia japonica, which had previously only been spotted in eastern provinces. The beetle poses no risk to human health or food safety, but is known to attack the roots, leaves and fruit of a wide variety of plants, crops and trees. (CBC)

Shellfish harvesting is back on in Whatcom County
Whatcom County public beaches are once again open to shellfish harvesting. The Whatcom County Health Department said in a news release that biotoxin levels have dropped to a point that residents can now harvest molluscan shellfish, which includes clams, mussels, oysters and scallops. Dave Gallagher reports. (Bellingham Herald)

Now, your weekend tug weather--
West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  247 AM PDT Fri Aug 18 2017  
 W wind 5 to 15 kt. Wind waves 2 ft or less. W swell 4 ft  at 11 seconds. A slight chance of showers.
 W wind 10 to 20 kt. Wind waves 1 to 3 ft. W swell 4 ft  at 9 seconds.
 W wind to 10 kt rising to 15 to 20 kt in the afternoon.  Wind waves 1 ft or less building to 1 to 3 ft in the afternoon. W  swell 4 ft at 8 seconds.
 W wind 15 to 20 kt easing to 10 kt after midnight.  Wind waves 1 to 3 ft subsiding to 1 ft or less after midnight. W  swell 4 ft at 9 seconds.
 Light wind becoming W 5 to 15 kt in the afternoon. Wind  waves less than 1 ft becoming 1 to 2 ft in the afternoon. W swell  4 ft at 10 seconds.

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