Friday, September 8, 2017

9/8 Butterfly, orcas return, Salmon R. restored, fish farm protest, Paul Allen $, shellfish harvest, big ship

Monarch Butterfly [Stephanie Hazen/KUOW]
Where Have the West’s Monarch Butterflies Gone?
It’s September, the month when monarch butterflies are at their peak in the Pacific Northwest. These are western monarchs, not the eastern monarchs that spend their winters in Mexico. Western monarchs breed in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and eight other states and then migrate to their winter home in California. New research shows these monarchs are disappearing even faster than their eastern cousins. Scientists are trying to figure out why.  Eilís O'Neill reports. (KUOW)

Southern Resident orcas make it back to Puget Sound in good condition
Killer whale observers were gleefully surprised this week when all three pods of Southern Resident orcas came into the Salish Sea — and all were in reasonably good shape. Remember, these same whales have been missing from Puget Sound for practically the entire summer — a period when they traditionally remain in and around the San Juan Islands while feasting on salmon. This summer has generated concern among those who understand the ways of whales. Some observers have feared that the orcas, wherever they were, might not be getting enough to eat…. (Chris Dunagan reports. (Watching Our Waterways)

B.C. Hydro dismantling river diversion on Island, coho expected this fall
Crews employed via a joint effort by B.C. Hydro and area First Nations are restoring and reshaping a portion of the Salmon River after the course was temporarily diverted in August to facilitate the removal of a timber crib diversion dam. The Salmon River Diversion Project was constructed between Campbell River and Sayward in the late 1950s to divert water from the river along a three-kilometre canal system into Brewster Lake and the Lower Campbell Reservoir to generate power…. The restored Salmon River riverbed is expected to be ready for the coho run this fall. Cost of the work is estimated at $14.2 million. (Times Colonist)

First Nations leaders rally to support salmon farm occupation
Dozens of Indigenous leaders and protestors rallied outside the Vancouver Convention Centre today urging the province to dismantle salmon farms along the B.C. coast. The calls came as environmentalists and members of the Musgamagw Dzawada'enuxw and the Kwikwasutinuxw Haxwamis First Nations occupy two Marine Harvest Canada salmon farms in their territorial waters. They say the salmon farms pose a threat to wild fish populations. Jon Hernandez reports. (CBC)

Seattle billionaire Paul Allen bankrolls deep ocean climate-change project 
Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen gives $4 million for Seattle scientist’s dream of an array of aquatic robots to track deep ocean temperatures. Sandi Doughton reports. (Seattle Times)

Yesterday's item about Puget Sound rockfish brought forth the following comment from reader Tony Angell: "I think of  how important the conditions and existence of near shore caves are throughout the inland waters and coastal locations.  These places are among the most poorly described and documented however.  We think only of surface habitat unless it focuses on the importance of eel grass and kelp beds not to mention the sandy and muddy substrate.  These caves are extraordinary retreats for innumerable species at different intervals of their lives from reproductive periods to protective retreats.  Years ago,   I was diving in BC waters and entered a cave and was immediately enveloped in darkness when what was surely a sixty lb. ling cod shot out from a dark recess not unlike a torpedo.  Its velocity and proximity spun me around and I watched it turn broad side as it reached the light of the cave entrance.  One big animal.  Had we collided I would have been the loser and it was an incident I shall long remember." Thanks, Tony!

Shellfish harvest resumes in Samish Bay
Farmhands were back to work Thursday gathering oysters from Samish Bay following a two-week harvest closure due to illnesses traced back to oysters gathered from the bay in August. Scott Blau of Blau Oyster Co. and Bill Dewey of Taylor Shellfish Farms said the Samish Bay companies are glad that oyster harvest has resumed. Kimberly Cauvel reports. (Skagit Valley Herald) See also: Tacoma Narrows, Commencement Bay shellfish harvest closed for PSP, Health Department says  Kenny Ocker reports. (Tacoma News Tribune)

Big ship coming to Bellingham; Port hopes more to follow
A very big ship will soon be arriving in Bellingham Bay, another sign the shipping business is finally making a comeback in the area. The 590-foot MV Diana Bolten is scheduled to dock at the Bellingham Shipping Terminal on Sept. 28 and unload 10,700 metric tons of organic corn and soybeans that are destined for local markets, according to the Port of Bellingham. As of Thursday afternoon, the ship was nearing the Panama Canal. The corn and soybeans are coming from Turkey, a major exporter of organic products to the U.S. Dave Gallagher reports. (Bellingham Herald)

Now, your weekend tug weather--
West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  247 AM PDT Fri Sep 8 2017  
 Light wind becoming NW 5 to 15 kt in the afternoon. Wind  waves 2 ft or less. W swell 5 ft at 17 seconds. A chance of  showers in the morning then a slight chance of showers in the  afternoon.
TONIGHT  W wind 5 to 15 kt becoming SW to 10 kt after midnight.  Wind waves 2 ft or less. W swell 5 ft at 16 seconds. A slight  chance of showers after midnight.
 E wind 10 to 20 kt becoming SE 5 to 15 kt in the  afternoon. Wind waves 1 to 3 ft. W swell 4 ft at 15 seconds.  Showers likely in the morning then a chance of showers in the  afternoon.
 W wind to 10 kt in the evening becoming light. Wind  waves 1 ft or less. W swell 6 ft at 11 seconds.
 Light wind becoming NW to 10 kt in the afternoon. Wind  waves 1 ft or less. W swell 6 ft at 13 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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