Thursday, October 26, 2017

10/26 Gorge Creek, Atlantics survival, BC fish lab, park fee hike, water use fine, Leque Is wildlife

Lizardfish [Klaus M. Stiefel]
Living in the Sand
Coral reefs get all the press, but there are many creatures, such as this lizardfish, living in the sandy expanses surrounding the reefs. Their superpowers? Camouflage, toxins, ambush, and stealth. Photos and text by Klaus M. Stiefel (Hakai Magazine)

Source of Gorge Creek water contamination located
Investigators have determined the Gorge Creek contamination in Esquimalt, B.C., was caused by a cross contamination between sewer and storm water pipes. The contamination was first reported to the township on July 29, which forced organizers to cancel the sixth annual Gorge Swim Fest in early August. After three months of testing, a significant source of the contamination was traced back to wastewater entering storm drainpipes instead of the correct sewer pipes. The township is working with the property owner to repair the connection. Test results found E. Coli and a disinfecting chemical in the water, suggesting a septic tank cleaning truck may have been the culprit. (CBC)

Fugitive Fish Make Scientists Ask: Can Atlantic Salmon Survive In The Wild?
Atlantic salmon have been entering Pacific waters for decades. Most of them have died of starvation.  But that doesn’t mean they aren’t capable of colonizing the Northwest. Last summer’s escape of more than 100,000 Atlantic salmon from a fish farm in Puget Sound has renewed a debate among scientists about whether or not these fish can survive long term in the Pacific Northwest. John Volpe, a professor at the University of Victoria, says the odds have never been better for these fugitive fish. That’s because there aren’t as many steelhead to compete with. EilĂ­s O'Neill reports. (KUOW/EarthFix)

Premier orders review of fish lab’s ‘integrity’
Premier John Horgan has asked his deputy minister to lead a review of the province’s animal health lab that has landed Agriculture Minister Lana Popham in hot water at the B.C. legislature. Horgan tasked Don Wright with sorting out whether allegations about the “integrity” of the lab’s science are founded…. The allegations come amid fish-farm protests and questions from the Opposition Liberals about the appropriateness of Popham’s political role in launching the review. The province says a scientist, Kristi Miller-Saunders, challenged the integrity of the lab’s research when interviewed for a report on the CTV program W5. Miller-Saunders is head of the molecular genetics program at the Department of Fisheries and Oceans’ Pacific Biological Station in Nanaimo. Amy Smart and Lindsary Kines report. (Times Colonist)

Washington Congressman Offers Alternative To National Park Visitor Fee Hikes
As the federal government weighs whether to increase entrance fees for some national parks, a congressman from Washington state is proposing a different way to address a big maintenance backlog. The National Park Service is taking public comment on possible visitor fee increases for the peak season at places such as Mount Rainier National Park and Olympic National Park. Democratic U.S. Rep. Derek Kilmer, whose district includes Olympic National Park, is co-sponsoring a bill that would use revenue from oil and gas royalties to pay for park maintenance projects. He says parks face about $11 billion in repairs, from re-paving roads to fixing trails and visitor centers. Ashley Gross reports. (KNKX)

Whatcom berry farmer agrees to pay $80,000 fine for illegal water use
A Whatcom County farmer fined for illegally watering his raspberries and failing to submit records on water use has agreed to pay $80,000, the Washington State Department of Ecology announced Wednesday. Gurjant “George” Sandhu originally faced Ecology penalties totaling $102,000. He appealed to the state Pollution Control Hearings Board before reaching a settlement with Ecology that included the reduced fine. Kie Relyea reports. (Bellingham Herald)

Skagit Wildlife Area's Leque Island reopens to public
The fields of Leque Island are again open to the public for walking, bird-watching and waterfowl hunting. The state Department of Fish & Wildlife recently reopened the island just west of Stanwood following a three-month closure for restoration work, according to a news release. During the closure, several new channels were dug throughout the island, making way for more water to disperse and to create habitat for fish and birds…. Much of Leque Island was once saltwater marsh, which provided habitat for young salmon and other wildlife before dikes were built around it in the early 1900s to allow for farming, according to the release. Kimberly Cauvel reports. (Skagit Valley Herald)

Now, your tug weather--
West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  241 AM PDT Thu Oct 26 2017  
TODAY
 E wind 5 to 15 kt. Wind waves 2 ft or less. W swell 5 ft  at 10 seconds.
TONIGHT
 E wind 5 to 15 kt. Wind waves 1 to 2 ft. W swell 4 ft  at 10 seconds.

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