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Sonar heard in Puget Sound – through WA State ferry!


Washington State ferry workers and passengers on the Clinton-Mukilteo route heard sonar sounds above water (presumably coming through the hull) that lasted for about an hour this afternoon (Wednesday 2/29/2012).  Jenny Atkinson, Executive Director of The Whale Museum said that the Washington State Ferries operations center had called the Musuem’s stranding/sighting hotline to report that [...]

NOAA’s search & tag cruise embarks


Last update — 3/2/2012, 10:00 Brad Hanson and his colleagues from the Northwest Fisheries Science Center, including Marla Holt and Dawn Noren, embarked today (2/16/12) from Newport, OR, aboard the NOAA ship Shimada (MMSI 369970147) to search for southern resident killer whales (SRKWs) along the outer coast of Oregon and Washington, and possibly California and [...]

Glimpses into the Columbia spring chinook fishery


In our on-going efforts to monitor Pacific salmon dynamics and interpret them from the perspective of southern resident killer whales, today brings news of a 6-hour commercial net fishery opening on the lower Columbia River.  It’s amazing that it’s even worth going out in a boat when the catch is limited to the first six [...]

L pod in SF Bay


I love this quote from a spokeswoman from the Marine Sanctuary outside of San Francisco Bay where L pod was observed foraging last week: “It’s nice they’re showing up, but it’s too bad there’s not enough food for them up north,” Schramm said. That’s pretty funny since L pod is almost surely pursuing salmon of [...]

Chum salmon: orca prey around Puget Sound


As the southern residents are visiting Puget Sound today, I’m inspired to learn a bit more about chum and where to view the fall runs. The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife has some good background information in their section on Chum Salmon Stories.  Of particular import to the southern residents is the fact that [...]

Fulbright talk on marine conservation in the Pacific Northwest


Notes from an annual lecture at the University of Washington, March 3, 2010, at 7pm: “Marine conservation in the Pacific Northwest: Whales, Salmon, and Sound” by Rob Williams, 2009-2010 Canada-US Fulbright Visiting Chair “A scientist is someone who asks ‘what if’ questions.” — Margaret Atwood “If you want to study whales, you should put yourself [...]

Good news for wild orcas, captive orca in distress


http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/gallery/2010/02/24/GA2010022405140.html

http://www.kitsapsun.com/news/2010/feb/23/new-calf-spotted-l-pod/

Stormwater, salmon, and the health of Puget Sound


Keynote speaker at Sound Waters 2010 Dr. Nathaniel ‘Nat’ Scholtz, NOAA/NWFSC Coho salmon are our first choice for a ‘sentinel species’ because they: are widely distributed inhabit lowland steams that are important and familiar to humans and areas impacted directly by stormwater runoff (if we can reduce toxics in lowland streams, then we’ll likely keep [...]

Chinook data needed to interpret orca baby boom


Good national news is rolling in about 5 new southern resident whales and no deaths in 2009, plus one new baby thus far in 2010. Howard, Ken, and Brad allude to looking for correlations or explanations in chinook salmon abundance: It sounds simplistic, Garrett said, but “the way that we can tag the population fluctuations [...]

Kalimari for orcas, or another salmon predator


Ron Hirschi, a local marine naturalist, is reporting Humbolt squid being caught on salmon gear in the central Strait of Juan de Fuca. Will they come all they way in in 2010? 11.30.09 Recreational salmon fishers are now catching them as far east as Sekiu in the Strait of Juan de Fuca. Watch for further [...]