Thursday, October 3, 2019

10/3 Pollock, raising steelhead, pipleline rules, feeding grizzlies, IOSA, Deepwater Horizon, whale app, quake app, HI corals, bird decline

Walleye pollock [Wikipedia]
Walleye pollock Gadus chalcogrammus
Walleye pollock range from the northeastern Pacific Ocean from the Seas of Japan and Okhotsk, east in the Bering Sea and Gulf of Alaska, and south in the northwestern Pacific Ocean along the Canadian and U.S. west coast to Carmel, California. The highest densities of most populations are in the North Pacific Ocean, including the northern Gulf of Alaska, Bering Sea, and the Sea of Okhotsk, suggesting that walleye pollock populations in the Puget Sound are relatively isolated and genetically distant. (WDFW)

Proposal made to raise steelhead at area fish farms
The company whose collapsed fish farm off Cypress Island in August 2017 allowed hundreds of thousands of Atlantic salmon to be released into the region's waters may use its remaining net pens to raise steelhead trout.  That company, Cooke Aquaculture, has applied for permits to begin raising steelhead at its floating facilities in Puget Sound, where the state Legislature no longer allows the raising of Atlantic salmon. On Tuesday, the state Department of Fish & Wildlife announced plans to approve those permits. Fish & Wildlife also determined the proposal doesn't warrant an environmental impact statement, or EIS, under the state Environmental Policy Act. "This proposal will likely not have a significant adverse impact on the environment," Fish & Wildlife documents state. Kimberly Cauvel reports. (Skagit Valley Herald)

Pipeline rules adopted years after deadly explosion, spills
U.S. transportation officials on Tuesday adopted long-delayed measures that are meant to prevent pipeline spills and deadly gas explosions but don’t address recommended steps to lessen accidents once they occur. The new rules from the Department of Transportation apply to more than 500,000 miles of pipelines that carry natural gas, oil and other hazardous materials throughout the U.S. In the works for almost a decade, the rules came in response to a massive gas explosion in San Bruno, California, that killed eight people in 2010, and large oil spills into Michigan’s Kalamazoo River in 2010 and the Yellowstone River in Montana in 2011 and 2015. Matthew Brown reports. (Associated Press)

B.C. First Nation feeds hungry grizzlies 500 salmon carcasses 
When Richard Sumner saw how emaciated the grizzly bears were in his neck of the woods, he knew something had to be done. Sumner, chief councillor of the Mamalilikulla First Nation, says the creeks and streams on the nation's territory, which  encompass the islands off the northeast coast of Vancouver Island between Alert Bay and Knight Inlet, are no longer rich with salmon, and resident bears are starving and travelling outside traditional hunting grounds in a desperate effort to find food. So the Mamalilikulla people fed them. (CBC)

Protecting the San Juans and Southern residents from oil spills
Thousands of vessels travel throughout the Salish Sea annually, either to pass through for commercial purposes or putter around for recreation. Each ship, boat and ferry that floats within the waters surrounding the islands brings with it the possibility of an oil spill — some more dangerous than others. An oil spill in the Salish Sea could mean the extinction of the already endangered Southern resident orcas. Islands’ Oil Spill Association was created in 1988 to help mitigate the effects of a spill on the San Juan Islands. Mandi Johnson report.s (Islands Sounder)

Nine Years On, the Deepwater Horizon’s Well Is a “Hellscape”
When biological oceanographer Clifton Nunnally of the Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium and his colleagues used an underwater robot to inspect the wreckage around the Deepwater Horizon’s wellhead in 2017, one of the first things they saw was a solitary boot, a somber reminder of the lives lost in the disaster. No one had seen the area up close since 2012. “Everywhere we looked, it was part carnage and part ghost town,” Nunnally says. Charles Choi reports. (Hakai Magazine)

Washington State Ferries launches new whale alert app
Washington State Ferries has launched a new whale report alert app to help provide ferry captains with more accurate location information on whales throughout Puget Sound. Recreational boaters will be able to report whale sightings on the app, but will not have access to the app data. Access to data from the Whale Report Alert System will only be available to commercial operators like ferries, ships and tugs. (KIRO)

Earthquake Warning App To Come To Washington State Next Year
Washington state officials have announced an earthquake warning phone application is expected to be available for download October 2020. KING-TV reports that the app ShakeAlert was designed to send people an alert on how much time they have before earthquake shaking reaches them. ShakeAlert was developed by the U.S. Geological Survey and research universities in California, Oregon and the University of Washington. (Associated Press) 

Record Heat Thrusts Hawaii Corals Into 'New Era' Of Bleaching
Hawaii’s corals are in peril, jeopardizing an important source of security, revenue and food for the state. The ocean has been too hot for too long this summer for these tiny animals to handle. It’s causing the corals to expel the symbiotic algae that lives inside them, which leaves their bony skeletons fragile and white. This is the third widespread coral bleaching in Hawaii since 2014. It happened once in the 1980s and once again in the 1990s, scientists said, but it’s on track to become an annual event by 2040 without a dramatic reduction in carbon emissions globally and stronger resource management locally. Nathan Eagle reports. (Civil Beat)

Bird decline
Regarding the article in Science about the decline in birds over the last 50 years, reader Don Norman writes: “I have been helping operate a monitoring station south of Tacoma at the Morse Preserve where volunteers have been banding birds for the past 24 seasons and the news is not all bad for birds (see the MAPS program at  Because the site had been used for grazing prior to being given to the Tahoma Land Conservancy (now FORTERRA), its recovery (succession) and the careful elimination of non-native species, thanks to the work of Tahoma Audubon, is showing that several species are holding their own or increasing.  However, on my Breeding Bird Survey route (see the USGS Breeding Bird Survey for lots of data – a major source of the decline information), I am seeing swallows are definitely showing a decline.  But the species declines for golden-crowned kinglets are especially worrisome, as they are the canaries of the coniferous forests.  But the data collection is difficult, and changes in weather, not only just locally when the surveys are conducted, but also the tropical weather for the neotropical migrants, and even the North Atlantic Oscillation, which guides some of our winter weather, are correlated with productivity and survivorship. What is clear is that tracts of forest (or riparian areas) need to be large, at least 75 acres, to protect many species, and the removal of non-natives and the retention of large trees, snags and logs is critical.”

Now, your tug weather--

West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  244 AM PDT Thu Oct 3 2019   
 SE wind 5 to 15 kt becoming S 10 to 20 kt in the  afternoon. Wind waves 1 to 3 ft. W swell 5 ft at 9 seconds.  Showers and a slight chance of tstms. 
 SE wind 5 to 15 kt. Wind waves 2 ft or less. W swell  7 ft at 11 seconds. Showers likely in the evening then a chance  of showers after midnight.

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