Monday, February 4, 2019

2/4 Eulachon, BC coal port, fisher ESA, roe-herring fishery, Dewatto Bay, WA wolves, Ranker replacement, Intalco fine

Eulachon [Wikipedia]
Eulachon Thaleichthys pacificus
Eulachon are commonly known as smelt, candlefish, or hooligan. Eulachon are a small, anadromous fish (moving between freshwater and saltwater) and are found from northern California to southwest Alaska. The southern distinct population segment is listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. (NOAA Fisheries) If you like to watch: Watch a Fish Transform From Animal to Candle  (National Geographic)

Proposed Surrey coal shipping terminal cancelled by port authority
A proposed Surrey coal shipping project that has drawn sharp criticism from environmentalists and some local governments has had its permit cancelled by the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority, effectively killing the project for now. According to the port authority, the  project — proposed by Fraser Surrey Docks — was required to meet 83 conditions, but failed to meet a key condition that it show substantial progress on construction had been made by Nov. 30, 2018. As a result, the port authority cancelled the permit. Rafferty Baker reports. (CBC)

Agency seeks input on giving fishers threatened species status
Cat-sized, furry carnivores called fishers were once common throughout the forests of the West Coast. About two months after several of the critters — which are related to weasels — were relocated from Alberta, Canada, to the North Cascades for the first time, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service reopened a proposal to give the fisher protections under the federal Endangered Species Act. The Fish & Wildlife Service announced the start of a public comment period Thursday to relaunch an effort to determine whether the Pacific fisher found in Washington, Oregon and California should be listed as a threatened species. Kimberly Cauvel reports. (Skagit Valley Herald)

MP backs call for moratorium on roe-herring fishery in strait
Courtenay-Alberni MP Gord Johns has added his voice to a growing chorus urging a moratorium on the roe-herring fishery in the Strait of Georgia.The NDP politician told the House of Commons that herring represent the prime food source for chinook salmon. The salmon, in turn, are the preferred prey of endangered southern resident killer whales, whose numbers have dwindled to 75. Federal Fisheries Minister Jonathan Wilkinson responded that government makes its decisions based on science and evidence, and that one of the five herring stocks on the B.C. coast is open to a commercial fishery “based on the abundance of the stock that exists there.” The other four stocks on the coast are considered too low to support commercial roe-herring fisheries, although limited spawn-on-kelp commercial fisheries are proposed on the Central Coast and in the Prince Rupert district.  Lindsay Kines reports. (Times Colonist)

Owners of Dewatto Bay tideland property take state to court
It was the start of a love affair. These are words that Marlene Iddings, 86, uses to describe the tideland property she and her late husband, Lloyd, purchased at Dewatto Bay in 1959.... The Iddings family has been entangled in a lawsuit with the state Department of Natural Resources since 2015, with both parties claiming ownership of more than 7 acres of tidelands.  The suit is set to go to trial in Mason County Superior Court this spring, though a Kitsap County judge will preside over the case since Mason County judges have recused themselves. Joining the Iddings are nearly 20 other landowners whose properties would be directly impacted by the outcome of the case, since the state has proposed leaving the Iddings with about a 3-acre slice of tidelands that would domino into their neighbors’ properties. The implications of the case extend beyond Dewatto Bay. In court filings, the state has noted that if the court finds that the Iddings have legal title to the tidelands, the state can still take them without compensating the Iddings, since for decades the public has harvested on those tidelands. Arla Shepherd Bull reports. (Kitsap Sun)

Researcher says Washington wolf population likely larger than estimates
The number of wolves in Washington state is likely much higher than previously thought, according to a University of Washington researcher who spent two years studying the animals using scat-sniffing dogs. Samuel Wasser said his dogs detected 95 wolves in one area of Stevens and Pend Oreille counties, in the rural northeast corner of the state, during the 2016-17 season. That approached the total number of wolves wildlife officials estimated for the entire state....Wasser told a state Senate committee recently that it’s possible the population of wolves is closer to 200 animals. State wolf managers also addressed the panel, saying Washington’s wolf population has grown on average 30 percent per year. Nicholas Geranios reports. (Associated Press)

Democrats pick finalists to replace Ranker
Democrats in the 40th Legislative District picked three finalists Saturday to replace former state Sen. Kevin Ranker of Orcas Island. Former state Rep. Kristine Lytton received a majority of votes from precinct committee officers from throughout the district. Anacortes City Councilwoman Liz Lovelett had the second-most votes, and Trevor Smith, a member of the Northwest Washington Central Labor Council, the third-most. Smith, who did not attend the meeting, said in a statement he is not seeking the appointment and supports the leading candidate. The finalists will appear for interviews Tuesday in front of the three county governing boards within the district. Those boards will appoint one to replace Ranker. Brandon Stone reports. (Skagit Valley Herald)

Ecology fines Intalco for air pollution at Ferndale aluminum smelter
Washington state officials fined Alcoa’s Intalco Works aluminum smelter $27,500 for exceeding its air permit several times over the past two years, it was announced Friday.... Ecology said Intalco’s fluoride and particulate emissions were above the legal limits but weren’t hazardous to people. Robert Mittendorf reports. (Bellingham Herald)



Now, your tug weather--

West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  300 AM PST Mon Feb 4 2019   
GALE WARNING IN EFFECT THROUGH THIS AFTERNOON
  
TODAY
 E wind 25 to 35 kt. Combined seas 7 to 10 ft with a  dominant period of 14 seconds. A chance of snow showers in the  morning. 
TONIGHT
 E wind 15 to 25 kt easing to 10 to 20 kt after midnight.  Wind waves 1 to 4 ft. W swell 6 ft at 15 seconds.

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