Wednesday, December 12, 2018

12/12 Spieden Is., sea lion kill, Skagit funding, Van Is fishing, Frognal logging, journalists, local news, Dave Zeeke, GBH comment, Antarctica melt

Spieden Island [USGS]
Spieden Island
Spieden Island is a privately owned island (James Jannard—founder and major shareholder of Oakley, Inc.) in the San Juan Archipelago.... It has a land area of 516.4 acres (209.0 ha) and no permanent resident population as of the 2000 census... Two miles long, half a mile across at its widest point, and 374 feet above sea level at its highest point, it is less than a mile north of San Juan Island, across the Spieden Channel.... Spieden Island was named by Charles Wilkes during the Wilkes Expedition of 1838-1842, to honor William Speiden, the purser of the expedition's Peacock. In the 1970s and 1980s the island was used for big game hunting; game animals were imported and a lodge, airstrip, and small hangar built to accommodate visitors. This no longer occurs due to the risk of shots carrying across to highly populated San Juan Island. The Island Institute, an environmental education camp run by Jane Howard, was located on the island. It is no longer in operation.The resident animal population still includes exotic animals such as Mouflon sheep from Corsica, fallow deer from Europe, and Sika deer from Asia.(Wikipedia)

Bill To Allow Killing Sea Lions To Help Northwest Salmon Heads To Trump's Desk
Congress has agreed to make it easier to kill sea lions threatening fragile runs of salmon in the Northwest. A bill approved by the House Tuesday changes the Marine Mammal Protection Act to lift some of the restrictions on killing sea lions to protect salmon and steelhead in the Columbia River and its tributaries.... The Endangered Salmon Predation Prevention Act had already cleared the Senate. If it is signed into law by President Trump, it would streamline the approval process for the states of Oregon, Washington and Idaho as well as several Northwest Tribes. The Columbia River Intertribal Fish Commission celebrated the news that several tribes will now have the authority to manage sea lions.... Critics say sea lions are being unfairly blamed for problems that are actually caused by dams. Cassandra Profita reports. (OPB)

Skagit County nets $1.3 million in salmon funding
Of $18 million in grants the state Salmon Recovery Funding Board announced Monday for fish projects in 30 counties, Skagit County netted the largest sum — $1.3 million. The majority of that funding was awarded to a project sponsored by Seattle City Light and the Skagit Land Trust. The Salmon Recovery Funding Board awarded about $1 million to that project, which will involve purchasing at least 100 acres in the Skagit River watershed that provides habitat for threatened chinook salmon and steelhead trout. Kimberly Cauvel reports. (Skagit Valley Herald)

Spawning salmon have one less barrier in an urban creek
Restoration projects like one along Highway 531 in Arlington are gradually undoing damage to habitat. Melissa Slager reports. (Everett Herald)

Summer fishing closures proposed for Vancouver Island streams
The province is proposing summer fishing closures for most streams on southern Vancouver Island in response to droughts in recent years that produced stressful conditions for fish. Fishing can put an added burden on fish stocks when stream flows are low and the water temperature is warmer than usual, said Brendan Anderson, a senior fisheries biologist with the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations. Megan Thomas reports. (CBC)

OPINION: No to whale-watching moratorium: Done responsibly, it can help our orcas survive  Responsible, commercial whale watching both protects whales on the water and contributes to their recovery off the water. David Bain writes. (Seattle Times) OPINION: Yes to whale-watching moratorium: Cut the engine noise, save the orcas  Will suspending vessel-based whale watching be enough to save this population? No, but it will help. Tim Ragan writes. (Seattle Times)

Lacey scuba gear business fined $197,000 for dumping hazardous waste in toilet, storm drain
Seasoft Scuba Gear of Lacey has been fined $197,000 for dumping hazardous waste down a toilet, into a storm drain and on to the ground, the state Department of Ecology announced Tuesday. The waste, which contained lead and arsenic, was created by removing corrosion from lead shot reclaimed from shooting ranges. The clean lead was used to manufacture diving weights, according to a news release. Property leased by the business at 8294 28th Court NE is now listed as a toxic cleanup site. Rolf Boone reports. (Tacoma News Tribune)

Judge reverses Frognal order, says logging can move ahead
An environmental group wanted to halt work at the Mukilteo-area subdivision until a court hearing next year. Noah Haglund reports. (Everett Herald)

Time Magazine Person of the Year 2018 recognises journalists
Killed and imprisoned journalists - "The Guardians" - have been named 2018's "Person of the Year" by Time. The magazine featured four different covers with journalists who have been targeted for their work this year.... Time said they were chosen "for taking great risks in pursuit of greater truths, for the imperfect but essential quest for facts, for speaking up and for speaking out". (BBC)

Starving The Watchdog: Who Foots The Bill When Newspapers Disappear?
There are plenty of ways today to pay little—or nothing—to read the news. There are free blogs. There's Facebook and Twitter. Who needs a subscription to a local newspaper?Millions of Americans have decided they don't. But new research suggests this strategy may have costs in the long run. That's because newspapers are not like most things we buy. If you decide not to buy a watch or a cappuccino, you save money. But if you decide not to pay for a police department, you might save money in the short run, but end up paying more in the long run. Whereas most of us treat newspapers like consumer products, new research from Paul Gao, Chang Lee, and Dermot Murphy suggests that they might be more like police departments. Gao, Lee, and Murphy looked at how newspaper closures might affect the cost of borrowing in local governments. What they found is a price tag that may give many taxpayers sticker shock. Shankar Vedantam reports. (Hidden Brain/NPR)

The News Tribune publisher David Zeeck leaves amid McClatchy shakeups
The McClatchy Co., owner of The News Tribune in Tacoma, announced Tuesday that the paper’s publisher and executive editor, David Zeeck, is leaving after 24 years. Zeeck's departure is the latest in a series of recent newsroom management changes by McClatchy amid a slump in its stock price.... Rebecca Poynter, McClatchy’s vice president of local sales for the west region and publisher for The Idaho Statesman, will replace Zeeck while maintaining her current role. She will also take over as publisher of the company’s other newspapers in Western Washington, The Bellingham Herald and The Olympian.... Asia Fields reports. (Seattle Times)

Reader Don Norman responds to yesterday's news article about Great Blue Herons eating young salmon [Hungry great blue herons in Stanley Park eating young salmon]: "I always have to respond to any GBH report, but in this case, it deals with the tags found.  Gary Shugart from the UPS Slater Museum in Tacoma collected excrement from a Caspian Tern colony in Tacoma and we found lots of coded-wire tags.  We gave a summary of that at the Puget Sound Research Conf. back in 2001.  If one was to place sheets or some way to collect the scat over time, one could estimate when the salmonids were eaten!  Perhaps someone knows where the Caspian Terns are nesting in Puget Sound as they are all over, or roosting, as indeed they are in the Duwamish, as I saw reports of over 400 in eBird.  It was easy to separate the Coded-Wire Tags out.  A great volunteer project. It would be great to get a reader for checking scat from other heron colonies!  The large hairy bolus scat found under some colonies indicates rodent predation, especially Townsend's Voles, which I do not think are being pit-tagged. Don's paper: Thompson, C., D. Norman, E. Donelan, A. Edwards, and M. Tirhi.  2001.  Breeding Phenology and Diet of Caspian Terns in Southern Puget Sound.  Presentation: Puget Sound Research, Feb. 2001, Bellevue, WA"

East Antarctica's glaciers are stirring
Nasa says it has detected the first signs of significant melting in a swathe of glaciers in East Antarctica. The region has long been considered stable and unaffected by some of the more dramatic changes occurring elsewhere on the continent. But satellites have now shown that ice streams running into the ocean along one-eighth of the eastern coastline have thinned and sped up. If this trend continues, it has consequences for future sea levels. There is enough ice in the drainage basins in this sector of Antarctica to raise the height of the global oceans by 28m - if it were all to melt out. Jonathan Amos reports. (BBC)

Now, your tug weather--
West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  226 AM PST Wed Dec 12 2018   

 SW wind 20 to 30 kt. Wind waves 3 to 5 ft. W swell 15 ft  at 13 seconds. A slight chance of showers in the morning then  rain in the afternoon. 
 S wind 30 to 40 kt becoming SW 20 to 30 kt after  midnight. Combined seas 15 to 18 ft with a dominant period of  15 seconds. Rain.

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