Tuesday, August 14, 2018

8/14 Yellowjacket, feeding J50, saving orcas, dtich water, Camp Cloud, marine worms, drought times

Yellowjacket [Gary McDonald/BugGuide]
Yellowjacket Vespula pensylvanica
The western yellowjacket is native to regions of North America, largely in areas with northern temperate climates. Its reproductive behavior is constrained by cold weather, which successfully reduces the number of western yellowjackets in cold months. However, in the absence of cold weather, this wasp's population can explode.... The western yellowjacket is often a pest to humans.... Concentrated garbage has become an alternative food supply, and colonies have emerged in and around areas of human impact, such as recreational parks and resorts. Though they tend not to sting unless a violent struggle occurs, they nonetheless violently protect their nests and can sting repeatedly. (Wikipedia) See also: As Oregon's Yellow Jacket Population Peaks, Expert Urges Safe Co-Habitation Brian Bull reports. (KLCC)

Scientists attempt to feed live chinook to ailing orca J50, but did she eat?
In an unprecedented intervention with a wild, free-swimming whale, federal scientists on Sunday attempted to feed live hatchery chinook salmon to a starving orca. The result of the effort Sunday afternoon was inconclusive. Scientists could not tell what happened to the fish. And the orca appeared to take no note of them. The orca, J50, is a 3 1/2-year-old member of the J Pod of the southern resident clan of killer whales, and believed to be dangerously malnourished. Yet she did not change her swimming pattern or in any other way seem to take note of, let alone eat the salmon, said Brad Hanson, wildlife biologist with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s NW Fisheries Center in Seattle. Lynda Mapes reports. (Seattle Times) See also: 'This type of thing has never been tried before,' says biologist on effort to help 3-year-old orca  Lisa Johnson reports. (CBC)

Task force narrows list of ideas to save killer whales from extinction
The term “no silver bullet” has been heard again and again as dozens of experts from throughout the state examine ideas that might help avoid extinction for Puget Sound’s beloved orcas. The Southern Resident Killer Whale Task Force, created by the governor, is considering short-term actions — such as increasing hatchery production of Chinook salmon to help feed the whales. But it is becoming uncomfortably clear that there are no easy answers, no “silver bullet,” as the task force heads toward the finish line for drafting an emergency recovery plan.... Whether it comes down to small forage fish or any number of other issues — from hatcheries to habitat recovery — task force members say improving the food supply for Puget Sound’s endangered orcas continues to remain as complex as it is urgent. The Southern Resident Killer Whale Task Force is scheduled to meet again on August 28th in Anacortes, Washington. Chris Dunagan reports. (Puget Sound Institute)

Whatcom County agricultural and conservation communities unite in a rescue mission
During the Dog Days of August, water is worth its weight in gold to the local agriculture community. Without water, most crops won’t grow. So what would cause Twin Brook Creamery owners Larry Stapp and Mark Tolsma to voluntarily take water away from their own fields by turning off their irrigation and instead pump water into a stream north of Lynden? Would you believe fish? That’s exactly what they did, according to a Sunday press release by Whatcom Family Farmers, in an effort to save coho salmon, steelhead, resident trout, stickleback and other marine life, including muscles and crawdads, that were stranded along the east side of Double Ditch Road close to the Canadian border. The agriculture community worked alongside the conservation and environmental community Monday to help relocate the fish and agricultural wildlife to the other side of the road, where water was still free flowing. David Rasbach reports. (Bellingham Herald)

Anti-pipeline protesters in Burnaby refuse to douse sacred fire and dismantle camp
Occupants of Camp Cloud, the longtime anti-pipeline protest encampment in Burnaby, say they will continue to ignore a court-ordered injunction to dismantle the site and douse the flames of their sacred fire. Camp spokesperson Kwitsel Tatel said about a dozen protesters have not complied with a B.C. Supreme Court ruling that structures, shelters and vehicles had to be dismantled and the fire put out by Sunday night. Tatel said she has advised the remaining protesters to do whatever they consider as their safest option and that some of the protesters have offered to tie themselves to structures in anticipation of police intervention. Behdad Mahichi reports. (Vancouver Sun)   

Marine Worms Are Eating Plastic Now
On land, earthworms chow down on dead leaves and fungi and poop out tiny bits of organic matter that enrich the soil. In the sea, it turns out that some marine worms chew on floating plastic and poop out microplastics—a troubling discovery brought to light in new research by scientists in South Korea. Concerned about the effects of plastic pollution on marine ecosystems, scientists from the Korea Institute of Ocean Science and Technology collected eight discarded buoys that were adrift off the Korean coast. The plastic buoys were made out of expanded polystyrene, better known as styrofoam, and the researchers wanted to see if anything was living on them. Led by environmental chemist Sang Hee Hong, the team found all sorts of organisms on the surface of the buoys, from seaweed and sea squirts to crabs. But when they took the buoys apart, they were surprised to find marine worms living inside. Buried deep within the buoys, polychaetes were chowing down on plastic. Michael Allen reports. (Hakai Magazine)

Washington Is Abnormally Dry This Year, Oregon Even More So
The U.S. Drought Monitor says the entire state of Washington is abnormally dry. In Oregon, nearly 90 percent of the state is facing moderate to severe drought. “What we’re experiencing is part of what the entire Western United States is experiencing,” Kristin Johnson-Waggoner said. She’s a communications manager with the Water Resources Program in Washington Department of Ecology. Last winter, snowpack in Washington was exactly where it needed to be so that when it melted, there was plenty of water in rivers and streams. But in May, the weather was unseasonably warm and dry. “That sort of depleted that reservoir that we would have depended on, Johnson-Waggoner said. Emily Schwing reports. (Northwest News Network)

Now, your tug weather--
West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  243 AM PDT Tue Aug 14 2018   

TODAY  E wind to 10 kt. Wind waves 1 ft or less. NW swell 4 ft  at 7 seconds. Haze and areas of smoke in the morning. 

TONIGHT  W wind to 10 kt. Wind waves 1 ft or less. W swell 5 ft  at 14 seconds.


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