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Big fall chinook run expected on Columbia


Today’s Weekender Report from WDFW suggests SRKWs could have some good eating off the mouth of the Columbia this fall.  Does anyone have a read on how the Fraser chinook runs are faring this summer?  Why don’t killer whale conservationists have an easy way of monitoring the abundance of northwest salmon? Anglers are reeling in [...]

Virus implicated in Fraser sockeye (and chinook?) mortality


The idea that a virus may play a part in the unpredictable Fraser river sockeye returns is (month) old news, but this article in Scientific American is the first to mention chinook that I’ve seen.  Perhaps the fate of the southern resident killer whales (who specialize on Fraser chinook in the summertime) is more connected [...]

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 [...]

Infrared detection of marine mammals


Live blog of a talk by Joseph Graber on “Land-based Infrared Imagery for Marine Mammal Detection” at UW/APL on March 10, 2011. Admiralty Inlet tidal currents can exceed 3 m/s and is therefore a valuable prospect for tidal power generation.  The Inlet is also a migration corridor for marine mammals, most importantly southern resident killer [...]

Ruckelshaus suggests whale watchers be more precautious


Today Tacoma’s News Tribune offers a story about the imminent issuing of new rules for watching southern resident killer whales.  This story confirms Donna Darm’s recent mention of the regulations being currently under review at OMB.  It remains to be seen whether the rules will be issued in time for the whale watching industry and [...]

Cousteau talks of killer whales on KUOW


On January 31, 2011, Michel Cousteau was a guest on Steve Scher’s Weekday show on KUOW. Though he was talking generally about how our actions (even far inland) affect the oceans, he ended up talking extensively about killer whales. He proved himself quite knowledgeable about resident killer whales (especially 5:00-8:00 and 25:30- 27:30). As an [...]

Obama on salmon management


What great news for southern residents that President Obama clarifies in his 2011 State of the Union Address (at 43:59) that he understands that there is a deep flaw in how salmon are managed in the United States: The Interior Department is in charge of salmon while they’re in fresh water, but the Commerce Department [...]

New whale watching rules due this spring


This Jan 16 story from Q13 Fox News has some valuable quotes, including this one from Brian Gorman of NOAA/NMFS: “I expect it’s something that will have to go through a lot of hoops.  It could take as long as 90 days but by this spring we should have regulations in place,” says Gorman.….Gorman says [...]

Orcas, Elliott Bay, and the Duwamish


A January 3 Seattle Times story entitled “EPA unveils options for Duwamish cleanup” makes me wonder whether southern residents would enter Elliott Bay more often if the salmon runs were restored to the Duwamish and Green Rivers.  In a few years of listening, we’ve not yet detected Southern Residents Killer Whales entering Elliott Bay enough [...]

VENUS hydrophones going deeper, reporting more


Thanks to Jim Cummings of the Acoustic Ecology Institute, some news caught my ear in this article from the Times Colonist on the hydrophones deployed off the Fraser River delta.  There’s also a good bit of supposition without much science to back it up… The key news I gleaned is that the hydrophones will be [...]