Friday, December 8, 2017

12/8 Sturgeon poacher, BC pipe work, Andeavor ok'd, Longview coal, dam options, BC bridge, stormwater, barred owls, Vic Clip, cetacean ban

Sturgeon poacher [Scott Boyd/Emerald Sea Photography]
Sturgeon Poacher
Scott Boyd in Emerald Sea Photography writes: "One of the odder looking fish that Pacific Northwest divers will encounter is the Sturgeon Poacher (Agonus acipenserinus), which can grow up to 12 inches in length[. T]hey have a slender, tapering body that is covered with scales that are actually modified bony plates. Found from Northern California to the Bering Sea in Alaska, in shallow waters to depths of about 200 [feet], these fish have very small mouths, that are surrounded by clumps of cirri. These cirri actually contain their taste buds which are used to grovel through the sand and silt bottoms it prefers to inhabit in search of a tasty shrimp or other very small invertebrate. Poachers are very slow moving, and although easily startled, will typically only move off a short distance before settling again to the bottom…. These fish are fairly common in Puget Sound, and I see them frequently at Fox Island, Owen Beach and Les Davis."

Kinder Morgan cleared to start work on Trans Mountain pipeline expansion despite Burnaby's objections
The National Energy Board issued an order Thursday saying Kinder Morgan Canada's Trans Mountain pipeline expansion is exempt from having to comply with two sections of bylaws in Burnaby, B.C., that were standing in the way of the $7.4-billion project.  The NEB order, which comes three days after the regulator heard the case in Calgary, says the company is not required to comply with two sections of the city's bylaws — which required the company to get preliminary plan approvals and tree-cutting permits — as it prepares to begin construction in the area. Kinder Morgan had filed a motion to have the NEB overrule the bylaws on a constitutional basis, because it claimed Burnaby was delaying a project approved by the federal government. (CBC)

Skagit County hearing examiner approves Andeavor permit 
Skagit County Hearing Examiner Wick Dufford has approved a permit for the Andeavor Anacortes Refinery's proposed Clean Products Upgrade Project. The decision comes five weeks after the Nov. 2 public hearing on the shoreline substantial development permit, during which dozens raised environmental and safety concerns about the proposed project. The Andeavor refinery is the former Tesoro refinery at March Point near Anacortes. Kimberly Cauvel reports. (Skagit Valley Herald)

Environmental groups to join suit over coal permit
Environmental groups will have a seat at the table in Millennium Bulk Terminals’ legal battle with the state Department of Ecology. Cowlitz County Superior Court Judge Michael Evans Wednesday granted five environmental groups’ request to formally join the lawsuit as intervenors in support of Ecology. Millennium is suing Ecology over its denial of a water quality certification for its proposed $680 million Longview coal dock. Evans’ decision Wednesday means the environmental groups will now be listed as parties in the case who can file briefs, motions, appeals and other actions. The intervenors include five groups in the Power Past Coal Coalition: Washington Environmental Council, Climate Solutions, Friends of the Columbia Gorge, Sierra Club and Columbia Riverkeeper. Marissa Luck reports. (Longview Daly News

Options Get Narrowed For Future Of Snake, Columbia Dams And Salmon
Federal agencies are a step closer to deciding how best to manage the Columbia River system and protect endangered fish. They outlined goals for a range of plans at a public meeting Thursday. A series of public meetings this past year gave the agencies plenty to think about. They received more than 400,000 comments about how to protect endangered salmon and steelhead and, at the same time, maintain navigation channels for river traffic, control floods, and meet hydropower demands. The agencies have narrowed down their options to 230 possible ideas that could help solve problems in the dam system — problems that range from warm waters that kill fish to droughts that shrink irrigation supplies. Courtney Flatt reports. (NWPR/EarthFix)

Province scraps plan for fixed link to Sunshine Coast
Building a bridge or road link to British Columbia's Sunshine Coast has too many technical and financial hurdles, so the provincial government says it's giving up on the idea. The former Liberal government launched a feasibility study on the idea of a fixed link in November 2015. The NDP government has released a report with the announcement that it wouldn't be proceeding with the plan. Bridgette Watson reports. (CBC)

What makes stormwater toxic?
Researchers are trying to determine which chemicals in stormwater are contributing to the deaths of large numbers of coho salmon in Puget Sound. It has prompted a larger question: What exactly is in stormwater anyway? Eric Wagoner reports. (Salish Sea Currents)

Barred owl invasion results in 150 of the raptors taken to rehab facility
A veritable barred owl invasion is underway. More than 150 of the raptors have been brought dead or injured to a local wildlife rehabilitation facility, in addition to numerous sightings in downtown Vancouver…. OWL has received 156 barred owls this year: 80 died, 51 were released back to the wild, and 25 remain in care. Most are young owls born earlier this year and now striking out on their own for food and habitat. Injuries typically occur during collisions with cars and windows, but some also eat rats that have been poisoned. Larry Pynn reports. (Vancouver Sun)

Clipper sinks Vancouver-Victoria ferry plan at 11th hour
Seattle company Clipper Navigation Ltd. has cancelled plans to run a passenger ferry between Victoria and Vancouver. Clipper acquired a new ferry and was set to operate between the two harbours starting in spring 2018. However, the cost of upgrading the dock in Vancouver was ultimately too high, CEO David Gudgel said. (CBC)

Animal advocacy groups intervene in Vancouver Aquarium lawsuit
A lawyer for two animal advocacy groups appeared in court Thursday to oppose the Vancouver Aquarium’s bid to quash a bylaw banning cetaceans. Arden Beddoes, who is representing the groups Animal Justice Canada and Zoocheck, made brief submissions before B.C. Supreme Court Justice Andrew Mayer on the aquarium’s argument that the Vancouver park board’s bylaw amendment violated the aquarium’s freedom of expression. The two groups were granted intervener status in the court case after the aquarium filed a petition seeking to overturn the bylaw, which was passed at a meeting of the board in May. Keith Fraser reports. (Vancouver Sun)

Now, your weekend tug weather--
West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  215 AM PST Fri Dec 8 2017  
 E wind 15 to 25 kt. Wind waves 2 to 4 ft. W swell 4 ft  at 14 seconds.
 E wind 15 to 25 kt. Wind waves 2 to 4 ft. W swell 4 ft  at 13 seconds.
 E wind 15 to 25 kt. Wind waves 2 to 4 ft. SW swell 6 ft at  11 seconds.
 E wind 15 to 20 kt easing to 5 to 15 kt after  midnight. Wind waves 1 to 3 ft. SW swell 7 ft at 11 seconds.
 E wind 10 to 20 kt. Wind waves 1 to 3 ft. SW swell 7 ft at  11 seconds.

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