Friday, July 13, 2018

7/13 Poacher, ESA change, fish food, salmon guts, kill seals, seamount protection, puffins, thanking Trump

Sturgeon poacher []
Sturgeon poacher Agonus acipenserinus
Poachers are small, slender fishes covered with hard, spiny plates. They have two dorsal fins and undulate their pectoral fins to swim. The sturgeon poacher is found at shallow to moderate depths on soft bottoms. It feeds primarily on amphipods, copepods and shrimp. They are found from Alaska to Baja California. (Marine Life of Puget Sound, the San Juans and the Strait of Georgia)

Lawmakers Set Sites On Changes To Endangered Species Act
Federal lawmakers are making a move to change the Endangered Species Act.  On Thursday, members of the U.S. House announced legislation they say will “modernize” one of the country’s seminal environmental laws, originally passed in 1973. Members of the House Western Caucus say the nine pieces of legislation are designed to streamline the administration of the Endangered Species Act, provide more local control and protect property rights. At an event held outside the U.S. Capitol and livestreamed via social media, the lawmakers said only 3 percent of listed species have recovered and been successfully removed from the endangered species list. “That means the Endangered Species Act is the most inept program we have in the federal government,” said Rep. Rob Bishop, R-Utah. Jes Burns reports. (OPB/EarthFix)

Could anchovies and other fish take pressure off salmon and steelhead?
A recent influx of anchovies into Puget Sound may have saved some steelhead from predators, but researchers seek more evidence to prove the connection. Our series on the Salish Sea Marine Survival Project continues with a look at these and other potential impacts from predators on the region's salmon and steelhead. Chris Dunagan reports. (Salish Sea Currents)

Save salmon gut contents for science
Calling all salmon anglers. Local scientists need your Chinook salmon guts to learn more about differences between the diets of summer Kings and winter Blackmouth. Resident Chinook salmon – Blackmouth – are the focus of a collaborative study involving Lopez-based nonprofit laboratory Kwiaht as well as scientists at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association, the state Department of Fish and Wildlife and Long Live the Kings. With the help of local anglers, including contestants in local derbies, researchers were able to see what Blackmouth were eating in different parts of the San Juan Islands over the course of the winter fishing season. Herring was the clear favorite but many other things were found in Blackmouth stomachs, including Pacific Sand Lance and several kinds of shrimp. The study of winter diet will continue for two more years before it develops into a long-term diet-monitoring program run by anglers themselves. (Islands Sounder)

Farmers’ group sees harbor seals as Salish Sea problem
More than just habitat improvements are needed to save killer whales and bring Chinook salmon back, a farming group says. While June Congressional action on protecting salmon is a positive step, it focuses only on Columbia River sea lions. Save Family Farming’s research shows that to restore endangered Chinook runs and preserve orca whales, it’s even more important that legislators address the unique — and largely unreported — problem of harbor seals in the Salish Sea. Using the latest science studies, a new social media campaign and web page are focusing on the role protected mammals, especially harbor seals, play in the decline of Chinook salmon and local killer whales. This is the message that Washington state’s family farmers are working to bring to the public and policy makers. The Endangered Salmon and Fisheries Predation Prevention Act (H.R. 2083) was passed June 26 by a bipartisan group in Congress, including the entire Washington delegation. However, the bill — introduced by Reps. Jaime Herrera Beutler and Kurt Schrader — is specific to the Columbia River sea lions. The issue with sea lion predation has gotten far more attention than the Salish Sea harbor seal problem that also needs urgent attention if Chinook salmon and southern resident killer whales are to recover. (Lynden Tribune)

Haida Nation wants shipping traffic banned from culturally significant underwater volcano
The Haida Nation wants tighter restrictions around a marine protected area that is the site of an ancient undersea volcano from which springs a supernatural being central to some of the nation's traditional stories. Known as the SGann Kinghlas-Bowie Seamount Marine Protected Area, it encompasses a grouping of about three volcanoes which rise 3,000 metres from the seafloor to about 24 metres from the surface of the Pacific Ocean. The Haida Nation wants to restrict shipping traffic in the area. Currently, it is only a "voluntary exclusion zone," said Haida Nation President Kil tlaats'gaa Peter Lantin. Jorge Barrera reports. (CBC)

Puffins face challenges but return to Cannon Beach every spring 
TO SOME OF US, the tufted puffin is living, flying proof that Mother Nature — or whatever force causes creatures to evolve in garish plumages with inexplicable appendages — has a sense of humor. Go ahead: Look at one up close, and convince the person next to you it is not some odd result of crossbreeding a cormorant with a rodeo clown. To others, they’re a thing of rare beauty — a striking amalgamation of color, charisma and ingenuity that serves as a jewel in the crown of many a northern Pacific Ocean seascape. Whichever your preference, those placing a face-to-face encounter with Fratercula cirrhata (from the Latin for “little brother” or “little monk”) on their bucket list might want to get a move on: Places that afford those opportunities are shrinking every year, possibly as a result of climate change. Nowhere is this more evident than the maritime climes of Washington and Oregon, where the squat, web-footed, stubby-winged-but-irresistible birds, who spend much of their lives at sea, make landfall to breed and lay a single egg in a rock-face burrow each spring. Ron Judd reports. (Seattle Times)

Pardoned ranchers return home to Oregon, thank Trump
Father and son ranchers pardoned by President Donald Trump after becoming the focus of a battle about public lands flew home Wednesday to Oregon and were greeted by relatives and riders on horseback carrying U.S. flags.... Just 25 miles away is Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, which was taken over in 2016 by armed protesters angered by the five-year prison sentences given to the Hammonds after they were convicted of setting fires on federal land. The standoff lasted 41 days, ending when occupation leaders Ammon and Ryan Bundy were arrested and LaVoy Finicum was killed by authorities.... The occupiers insisted the Hammonds were victimized by federal overreach involving management of public lands that make up almost half of the U.S. West. Andrew Selsky reports. (Associated Press)

Now, your weekend tug weather--

West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  240 AM PDT Fri Jul 13 2018   

TODAY  Light wind becoming NW 10 to 20 kt in the afternoon.  Wind waves less than 1 ft becoming 1 to 3 ft in the afternoon. W  swell 5 ft at 9 seconds. 

TONIGHT  W wind 10 to 20 kt becoming SW to 10 kt after  midnight. Wind waves 1 to 3 ft subsiding to 1 ft or less after  midnight. W swell 5 ft at 9 seconds. 

SAT  Light wind becoming NE to 10 kt in the afternoon. Wind  waves 1 ft or less. W swell 6 ft at 8 seconds. 

SAT NIGHT  W wind 5 to 15 kt in the evening becoming light.  Wind waves 2 ft or less. W swell 4 ft at 8 seconds. 

SUN  Light wind becoming NW to 10 kt in the afternoon. Wind  waves 1 ft or less. W swell 4 ft at 8 seconds.

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