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Author Archives for scottveirs

Ken Balcomb: SRKW demographic update


First there was Mike Bigg.  Early census effort started in 1976 and was motivated by concern about the captures for aquariums which took out about 50 animals.  1976-1984 habitat use was very similar to current critical habitat!  Most encounters May-October, with J pod present year-round. Ken and Mike worried about how to ID babies.  They [...]

Killer whale regulation enforcement panel


Alan Wolf, NOAA; Larry Palke, Fisheries and Oceans, Canada; Stefan Beckman, Fisheries and Oceans, Canada; Russ Mullins, WDFW There is not currently any permitting process, but one is under consideration in Canada… Russ: on our 30+ patrols per summer, most infractions are by private recreational boaters. In 2008, there were two commercial infractions and ~50 [...]

U.S.+Canada recovery process, U.S. whale watching industry


10:00 Lynne Barre, NWFSC Critical habitat can be modified.  A future step is designating habitat outside of the inland waters of WA. Recovery plan implementation was started in 2003, well before the endangered listing in 2005. Proposed regulations are under review… no date given for when rule-making will occur. Consultations regarding potential impacts result in [...]

NOAA finds SRKWs offshore on day 4!


Just got an exciting email from Dr. Marla Holt, bioacoustician on the NOAA cruise that aims to understand how the southern residents utilize the outer coast of Washington. They departed last Monday and are scheduled to return April 9th, making for a significantly longer cruise than in past years. Since big ocean-going research boats like [...]

Columbia River sea otters after 100y?


Interesting that the WA sea otters (a transient orca food source?) may be expanding their range from the NW coast of the Olympic Peninsula. Though the Salish Sea habitat is certainly appropriate for them, they apparently are rarely seen east of a line between Port Angeles and Race Rocks. Reference http://www.vetmed.ucdavis.edu/whc/seadoc/pdfs/VanBlaricom01.pdf clipped from www.dailyastorian.com The [...]

Who gets what % of the salmon?


This article is the first I’ve seen that juxtaposes salmon consumption rates of recreational fishers with a non-human predator, in this case, the CA sea lions. It will be an interesting exercise to see what factors reduce the runs on the various rivers of the West Coast where SRKWs forage annually. At 100kg of salmon [...]

Snake River Salmon on KUOW


The most prominent appeal in this discussion was whether we can move away from litigation and towards more collaborative processes to restore the wild populations of Columbia salmon and steelhead. The agreement between 3 tribes and federal agencies (the “Columbia Basin Accords”) may be a step in the right direction. However, many feel the 2008 [...]

NW salmon forecasts and fisheries dates


Here is an excerpt from yesterday’s WDFW announcement that describes the forecasts for many Columbia and Salish Sea salmon runs.  To Pat’s credit, there was a quick correction to a painful error (suggesting that adipose-clipped fish weren’t hatchery fish).  In conjunction with the process-map in the previous post, these dates should help us orca-advocates be [...]

A map for including killer whales in NW fisheries managment


Just happened upon this nice synopsis of how WDFW views the various processes by which fishing harvests are governed in the Pacific Northwest. For me, this helps clarify which processes we killer whale advocates could influence to bolster the number of salmon and other fish that are available to feed the southern residents. As usual, [...]

Loss of salmon smolts in BC and CA


An awareness seems to be dawning that salmon smolt mortality is increased by human activities — both in the nearshore environment and in river systems. A recent biological opinion regarding Sacramento salmon suggested that about 8% of the smolts entering the San Juaquin / Sacramento delta make it through to the ocean. This article mentions [...]