Monthly Archives: December 2011

Pieces coming together for Kitsap Forest & Bay

Work is progressing rapidly around the edges of the Kitsap Forest & Bay Project — an effort to protect a 7,000-acre mosaic of lowland forest, shorelines and wetlands in North Kitsap.

Pope Resources lands for sale Click to enlarge

The ecological values of the undeveloped landscape is becoming known among government officials and the public. So far, nobody has jumped in with millions of dollars to buy the land for conservation. But, as the year comes to a close, there are plenty of reasons for optimism among supporters.

When I consider what it will take to make this project happen, I keep thinking of a jigsaw puzzle. I realize the puzzle metaphor is overworked, but let’s stay with it. A good way to begin picture puzzles is by first lining up all the edges and later filling in the middle. To me, that is what is happening with the Kitsap Forest & Bay Project.

First, Forterra — formerly Cascade Land Conservancy — has embraced the project, bringing to the table extensive experience in acquiring lands for conservation purposes. When an option to buy the land from Pope Resources was announced, Forterra president Gene Duvernoy stated, “This is probably the most important project we can accomplish to save Puget Sound.” See Kitsap Sun, Oct. 17.

Another major step came recently when the Puget Sound Partnership released a draft of its Puget Sound Action Agenda. The Action Agenda is designed to recognize the most important preservation and restoration actions that can be taken in the next two years. Although the actions have not yet been lined up in priority, the Kitsap Forest & Bay Project was called out as a high-priority action. Read the story with links in Kitsap Sun, Dec. 21.

Something similar happened in the first Action Agenda in 2008, when the Partnership called for the acquisition and restoration of lands in the Nisqually River delta. The value was so highly considered that some action areas agreed to delay their own projects to move Nisqually to fruition. Perhaps something like that will happen for the North Kitsap lands. Check out the video “The Nisqually Estuary Returns.”

KUOW reporter Ashley Ahearn visited the North Kitsap property and produced a radio piece that outlines the value of the 7,000 acres and discusses the potential acquisition. She did a nice job, as you can see on Earthfix.

Michelle Connor, executive vice president of Forterra, said Ashley’s story will help spread the word about the project throughout the state and beyond.

“This is something that the Kitsap community has known for a long time,” Michelle told me. “Now other people are catching up with us. There is nothing comparable in the Puget Sound region.”

Further bolstering the project is an upcoming study that will examine the ecological values of the 7,000 acres, including nearly two miles of undeveloped shoreline.

A grant of $270,000 will be used to characterize ecosystem values across the landscape and determine which areas are best suited for preservation, forestry and possibly development. A portion of the grant will be used to decide whether revenues can be generated from timber harvest without upsetting the ecological integrity of the region.

The $270,000 study was part of some $6.3 million provided by the EPA’s National Estuary Program for 23 grants earmarked for protecting and restoring Puget Sound watersheds. See Kitsap Sun, Dec. 23.

Acquisition funding for the Kitsap Forest & Bay Project will depend on a variety of public grants and private donations, each with their own requirements. At the same time, the 7,000 acres under discussion contains a variety of small ecosystems that could qualify for one or more restoration and preservation grants.

The 7,000-acre jigsaw puzzle is rather formidable and almost overwhelming, but Michelle Connor is undaunted. Her optimism is infectious. Few people know as much about public conservation grants and philanthropic efforts, and Michelle has an army of people behind her.

The clear strategy moving forward is to assemble this massive puzzle — with all its shapes and colors — one piece at a time.

‘King tides’ are an invitation to take watery photos

The Washington King Tide Initiative is entering its third year, and state officials would like people to shoot photographs of flooded roads, yards and buildings — if such events occur.

The high tide at the mouth of Gorst Creek comes close to reaching Toys Topless in Gorst. Photo by Meegan M. Reid, Kitsap Sun
In 2010, the high tide at the mouth of Gorst Creek comes close to reaching Toys Topless at the head of Sinclair Inlet in Gorst.
Photo by Meegan M. Reid, Kitsap Sun

High tides are expected to continue for the next few days and return to high levels again in mid-January. Whether flooding occurs at any one place depends on rainfall, winds and atmospheric pressure, as well as tidal levels dictated by the position of the moon and sun. (See NOAA Ocean Service Education.)

Not much flooding occurred during king tides last year, but plenty of photographs were collected in early 2010. That’s when the picture on this page was taken in Gorst between Bremerton and Port Orchard. For additional photos, check out the Flickr page or the video slide show put together by the Washington Department of Ecology.

Taking note of these high tides is one way to gauge how climate change may affect shoreline areas. Over the next 100 years, sea level is expected to rise by at least 2.6 feet, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, although previous estimates by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change were in the range of 7 inches to 2 feet.

The King Tide Initiative started in Australia in 2009, according to Ecology’s website on King Tides, but it soon became a project for the West Coast of North America, with Washington and British Columbia joining in 2010 and Oregon and California joining in 2011.

Visit Flickr pages for British Columbia, Oregon and California, which includes regional pages for San Francisco Bay, Santa Monica and San Diego.

For a list of high tides, go to Ecology’s King Tide Schedule page and click on the map. More precise information can be found on NOAA’s page of tide predictions, where you can zoom in to your area of interest.

For past King Tide events, check out my Water Ways entries for Jan. 21, 2011 and Feb. 1, 2010.

Amusing Monday: Looking for fun in a glass ball

Thousands of snow globes have been produced since the 1800s, when the first ones were brought out for public display in the 1800s. Today, it’s easy to find these little glass balls filled with fluid, especially at Christmas, and many globes feature Santa Claus and snowmen.

According to Wikipedia, at least five companies began producing snow globes throughout Europe soon after they became a popular item at the Paris Universal Expo of 1878.

In the early 1920s, snow globes were brought to the United States, where many of the early ones were produced by Atlas Crystal Works. The first U.S. patent was issued in 1927 to Joseph Garaja of Pittsburgh, Penn., and during the 1940s these attractive objects were used in advertising.

While snow globes are displayed in many gift stores as potential Christmas presents, don’t try to board a plane in possession of a tiny glass ball filled with unidentified liquid. The Transportation Security Administration has posted signs warning travelers that the glass objects cannot go with you unless you place them in your checked baggage. See “We Know Memes” for a photo of the warning sign.

I’ve searched the Internet for amusing snow globes, but I’ve barely touched the surface of what is available. Originally from Kansas, I got a kick out of one with a moving tornado from the Wizard of Oz.

Other examples follow. Please tell me what you think and send along links or photos of any other globes that you have found to be interesting, stupid or otherwise noteworthy.

Leg lamp from “A Christmas Story”

Hey Diddle Diddle


Good-bye Kitty

Newborn orca spotted off Kingston on Saturday

I wanted to share this great photo by Candice Emmons of the new baby orca in J pod. She and Brad Hanson spotted the new calf between Kingston and Edmonds on Saturday. Thanks to Candi for the shot and to Brad for the nice description of the encounter, which I reported in a story to be published in tomorrow’s Kitsap Sun.

The new calf in J pod, designated J-48, is seen here in this photo taken by Candice Emmons between Kingston and Edmonds
Northwest Fisheries Science Center (NMFS Permit 781-1824)

By Christopher Dunagan

KINGSTON — A newborn killer whale has been spotted and confirmed in J pod, one of the three pods of orcas that frequent Puget Sound.

The new calf, designated J-48, was observed Saturday between Kingston and Edmonds by Brad Hanson and Candice Emmons of the Northwest Fisheries Science Center. J and K pods arrived in Admiralty Inlet west of Whidbey Island on Friday and stayed off the northeast corner of the Kitsap Peninsula for most of Saturday.

“Normally when they are traveling, they are spread out,” Hanson said, “but this time they were fairly grouped up. Our first thought was that they couldn’t make up their minds where they wanted to go.”

As Hanson and Emmons identified one whale after another from their markings, they noted one group of orcas off by itself. Among the group was a 39-year-old female, J-16 or “Slick,” along with several of the offspring she has had since 1991. And right in the middle of the group was what appeared to be a newborn orca.

“The calf was pretty young and still had its fetal folds,” Hanson said. “I would say it had been born in the last 24 hours or so.”

The whales kept milling about and swimming in circles just north of the Kingston-Edmonds ferry lanes.

“They were probably waiting around for the calf to figure things out and get with the program,” Hanson said. “It takes a little time for the mom and her calf to get their footing. The young calves sort of throw themselves up in the air. They are learning to breath and to clear the water.”

Hanson said he noticed that kind of milling behavior when another killer whale was born several years ago.

This was the fifth calf for Slick, named after rock singer Grace Slick, according to Howard Garrett of Orca Network, an organization that keeps track of whale sightings throughout the region.

Every whale counts, he said, because the three Southern Resident pods are listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Act and considered at risk of extinction. J-48 brings the number of orcas in J pod to 27 and the total for all three pods to 89. Researchers believe the pods may have totaled about 200 whales in the past.

The new baby is only the second orca born to the three pods in 2011, compared to six for 2010. Of those born last year, four were in L pod, with one each in J and K pods.

Orca Network’s Susan Berta said Saturday’s encounter was the result of shore observers in the area reporting their sightings.

“This is one of the times when the public information really helped us,” Berta said. “People told us the whales were coming in, and we were able to get the call to NOAA Fisheries, and Brad and Candi were able to get with them right away.”

The whales have not stayed in Puget Sound much this year compared to previous years, Hanson said.

“Every time the whales do come in, we try to get out,” he said. “We are still monitoring their foraging activity in the sound. We hadn’t been out with them in quite a while.”

Hanson and other researchers have shown that the orcas eat mainly chinook salmon in the summer and chum salmon in early fall. But what they eat the rest of the year — especially from January through May — remains largely a mystery.

Besides identifying the animals on Saturday, Hanson and Emmons were able to collect fish scales and samples of fecal material to help identify what they are eating.

Shortly after the two researchers visited the whales Saturday, the animals headed back out of Puget Sound, and no further reports have come in, Berta said.

“Some years we have a lot of whales coming in and other years we don’t,” she noted. “It brings up many questions about what makes a good year for whales. I’m hoping they come back for Christmas.”

Elwha work resumes as structures disappear

Work resumed yesterday on the Elwha Dam site after biologists determined that the annual chum salmon migration had ended. The work originally was to be delayed until Jan. 1.

The Elwha Dam site on Sept. 17 (Click to enlarge) / Elwha web cam

Work in and near the river stopped on Nov. 1 to protect fish runs from heavy sediment, as scheduled in a work plan adopted several years ago. Three work stoppages — known as fish windows — are planned each year.

Adult chum salmon were captured as they returned and were transferred to the fish hatchery operated by the Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe, according to a news release from Olympic National Park. Offspring of those chum will be released into the river in the spring.

It’s been awhile since I posted photos from the demolition site. As you can see from the pictures on this page, the change since mid-September is dramatic.

Elwha Dam site today (Dec. 20) (Click to enlarge) / Elwha web cam

Most of the Elwha Dam powerhouse has been removed, and work is scheduled for completion at the end of this month, according to the park’s Dam Removal Blog. Materials from the old power plant are being recycled.

All the old power lines and poles associated with Elwha and Glines Canyon dams have been removed.

The 120-foot-tall surge tower was pushed over Thursday.

The river was diverted back into the right channel yesterday, as water levels behind the dam continue to go down.

Revegetation of the two reservoir areas started in November and continued into December with the planting of about 12,000 plants. Another 18,000 plants are planned for January and February.

If you’d like to watch the entire demolition of either dam to date, go to the Elwha River Restoration Project webcams and click on “Java” for any of the cameras. The fastest way to watch the entire time-lapse series is by putting the delay on 0.

Amusing Monday: Toilet songs for the holidays

Knowing more than a few sewer operators in my day, I can tell you that their leading pet peeve is all the stuff that people dump down their toilets and drains.

I’ll never forget the courtroom description of a giant “rag ball” — some 30 feet long — found in Bremerton’s sewer. Rag balls are the accumulation of diapers, tampons and baby wipes that get flushed down the toilet and become caught somewhere in the sewer lines.

Bremerton’s famous rag ball became wrapped up in courtroom testimony during a lawsuit against a sewer contractor hired by the city to run the operation. For details, check out my story from April of 1998.

Steve Anderson

What I really wanted to share with you this week is a song called “O Christmas Grease” by Steve Anderson, a water resources analyst at Clean Water Services. This is the agency that manages wastewater and stormwater in a 12-city region west of Portland, Ore.

Steve often writes music and performs in a band when he’s not working at the utility. He told me that he started writing original songs as well as parodies of existing tunes to entertain his fellow water experts at conferences. Last week, for example, he showed up at a conference to help educators decide whether humor is useful in educating people about wastewater issues.

Steve says the public-education folks at Clean Water Services tolerates his songs, but they do not fully embrace his activities. His first song — a parody about the low levels of drugs that make it through the treatment process — got him into a little hot water with some folks in the business. “Dope in the Water” is sung to the tune of the Deep Purple original.

“The Ballad of Betty Poop” was written as a kid’s song for Take-Your-Children-to-Work Day. It’s about the adventures of a plastic GI Joe and other characters. It includes these famous lines: “Give it up, you toilet treasures… You’ll never make it all the way to the river…”

Steve has not released these songs to the public, though he readily shares them with friends and anyone who will listen. I must thank Gayle Leonard, who writes a blog called “Thirsty in Suburbia,” for bringing Steve’s songs out into the light and putting me in touch with this creative force in the sewer world.

      1. O Christmas Grease
      2. Dope in the Water
      3. The Ballad of Betty Poop
      4. Dont Flush the Baby (Wipes)
      5. Fats Oils and Grease

Download the lyrics to all five songs (PDF 72 kb)

Let’s keep an eye on the shellfish initiative

It is interesting to contemplate how the new National Shellfish Initiative, announced in June, and the Washington Shellfish Initiative, announced last week, could change things in Puget Sound.

Newton Morgan of the Kitsap County Health District collects a dye packet from Lofall Creek in December of 2010. This kind of legwork may be the key to tracking down pollution in Puget Sound.
Kitsap Sun photo by Meegan Reid

As I described in a story I wrote for last Saturday’s Kitsap Sun, the principal goals are these:

  • Rebuild native Olympia oyster and pinto abalone populations.
  • Increase access to public tidelands for recreational shellfish harvesting.
  • Research ways to increase commercial shellfish production without harming the environment.
  • Improve permitting at county, state and federal levels.
  • Evaluate how well filter-feeding clams and oysters can reduce nitrogen pollution, with possible incentives for private shellfish cultivation.

To read more about the initiatives, check out:

One of the most encouraging things is an attempt to expand Kitsap County’s Pollution Identification and Correction (PIC) Program to other counties, with increased funding for cleaning up the waters. Check out the story I wrote for last Friday’s Kitsap Sun, in which I describe the search-and-destroy mission against bacterial pollution.

As most Water Ways readers know, I’ve been following the ongoing monitoring and cleanup effort by the Kitsap County Health District for years with the help of Keith Grellner, Stuart Whitford, Shawn Ultican and many others in the district’s water quality program. In fact, just two weeks ago, I discussed what could be a turnaround for a chronic pollution problem in Lofall Creek, a problem that has taken much perseverance to resolve. (See Kitsap Sun, Dec. 2.) Unfortunately, the story is far from over.

I’ve talked about the importance of old-fashioned legwork in tracking down pollution, and I’ve suggested that other local governments use some of their stormwater fees or implement such fees for monitoring of their local waters. See Water Ways, June 30, for example.

Water free of fecal pollution has benefits for humans and other aquatic creatures. Thankfully, Washington State Department of Health’s shellfish program is careful about checking areas for signs of sewage before certifying them as safe for shellfish harvesting. Maybe the new shellfish initiative will allow the state to open beds that have been closed for years. That’s what happened in Yukon Harbor, where more than 900 acres of shellfish beds were reopened in 2008. (See Kitsap Sun, Sept. 25, 2008).

Certifying areas as safe for shellfish harvesting means that waterfront property owners are safe to enjoy the bounty of their own beaches. It also offers an opportunity for commercial growers to make money and contribute to the state’s economy.

Of course, this does not mean that intensive shellfish-growing operations ought to be expanded to every clean corner of Puget Sound, any more than large-scale crop farming or timber harvesting should be allowed to take over the entire landscape.

Some environmentalists have expressed concern that the Washington Shellfish Initiative could become a boondoggle for commercial shellfish growers. Laura Hendricks of the Sierra Club’s Marine Ecosystem Campaign sent me an e-mail noting these concerns about the expansion of aquaculture:

“Washington State has more native species listed as endangered than any other state in the USA. We see no mention of the adverse impacts in this initiative on nearshore habitat, birds and juvenile salmon.

“Governor Gregoire and the various speakers failed to mention that ALL of the pending shoreline aquaculture applications they want to ‘streamline’ are for industrial geoduck aquaculture, not oysters. Red tape is not what is delaying these applications…

“Shellfish industry lobbyists who pushed for this expansion are silent on the following three serious threats to our fisheries resources, forage fish, birds and salmon:

“1. Shellfish consume fisheries resources (zooplankton — fish/crab eggs and larvae) according to peer reviewed studies. A DNR study documented that forage fish eggs did not just stay buried high on the beach, but were found in the nearshore water column. Continuing to allow expansion of unnatural high densities of filtering shellfish in the intertidal “nursery,” puts our fisheries resources at risk.

“2. The shellfish growers place tons of plastics into Puget Sound in order to expand aquaculture where it does not naturally grow…

3. Mussel rafts are documented to reduce dissolved oxygen essential for fish and are known in Totten Inlet to be covered in invasive tunicates with beggiatoa bacteria found underneath…”

Ashley Ahearn of KUOW interviewed Laura Hendricks, and you can hear her report on EarthFix.

In her e-mail, Laura recommended the video at right. She also pointed to a blog entry by Alf Hanna of Olympic Peninsula Environmental News. Hanna suggests that environmental advocates who go along with commercial aquaculture may become the oysters that get eaten in Lewis Carroll’s poem “The Walrus and the Carpenter.”

Have intensive shellfish farms in Puget Sound gone too far in their efforts to exploit the natural resources of our beaches? Can shellfish farmers make money without undue damage to the environment? Which practices are acceptable, which ones should be banned, and which areas are appropriate for different types of aquaculture?

It would have been nice if these answers were known long ago, and in some cases they are. But at least this new shellfish initiative recognizes that more research is needed to answer many remaining questions. Research is under way in Washington state on geoduck farming, which involves planting oyster seed in plastic tubes embedded into the beach. Review “Effects of Geoduck Aquaculture on the Environment: A Synthesis of Current Knowledge” (PDF 712 kb) or visit Washington Sea Grant.

Other research in our region is needed as well, although it is clear that environmental trade-offs will be part of the deal whenever commercial interests cross paths with natural systems. For a discussion about this issue, check out the executive summary of the NOAA-funded publication Shellfish Aquaculture and the Environment (PDF 4.2 mb), edited by Sandra E. Shumway.

Needless to say, we’ll be keeping an eye on this process for years to come.

Japanese whalers attack Sea Shepherd with U.S. law

The Institute of Cetacean Research, which manages Japan’s whaling operations in the Antarctic, and Kyodo Senpaku, which owns the whaling ships, are seeking a court order against Sea Shepherd Conservation Society.

The goal: to block Sea Shepherd from its “numerous violent and dangerous attacks against persons and vessels engaged in whaling, sealing and fishing.”

Court exhibit allegedly showing rope entangled on the propeller of the Japanese whaling ship Yushin Maru No. 3
(U.S. District Court filing)

The lawsuit, filed last week in U.S. District Court in Seattle, claims the court has jurisdiction over matters between U.S. and foreign citizens when the amount in controversy exceeds $75,000. Sea Shepherd is based in Washington state, thus the filing in our region.

The ICR asserts that Sea Shepherd has violated international treaties and laws, including the “Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts Against the Safety of Maritime Navigation” and the “Convention on the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea.”

The lawsuit alleges that tactics used by Sea Shepherd have endangered Japanese whaling ships and their crews. Tactics listed include throwing butyric-acid-filled bottles, smoke bombs and incendiary devices; ramming one ship into another; and entangling the propellers with ropes.

Quoting from the lawsuit (PDF 176 kb):

“Unless enjoined as requested below, defendants will very soon engage in attacks on plaintiffs that will seriously endanger the safety of the masters, their crew and researchers, and the vessels owned by Kyodo Senpaku and chartered by ICR.

“Navigating in the Southern Ocean can be dangerous given the cold waters, the presence of icebergs, the possibility of storms, and its isolated location far from ready third-party assistance. If a ship lost propulsion or steerage due to a successful fouling rope attack, the ship, its Master, crew, and researchers could be put in serious jeopardy, especially in the vicinity of floating ice or if a storm or heavy seas occurred.

“The safety and health of the ship’s crew are endangered by the launching of projectiles against the ship, especially glass projectiles filled with butyric acid. A crew member could be blinded in such an attack or receive a blow to the head or body or be cut by pieces of glass. Such attacks also cause fear or distress in the crew, thus interfering with the normal operations on board. Incendiary devices like those launched in the past could cause a fire or, even worse, an explosion. Close-quarter attacks by SSCS vessels run the risk of a collision.

“Ramming of ICR’s and Kyodo Senpaku’s ships could cause them (or SSCS vessels) to sink or suffer other serious damage. The court should declare that defendants’ violent tactics employed in the past against ICR’s and Kyodo Senpaku’s activities in the Southern Ocean are unlawful, and the court should issue the injunctive relief requested below so that plaintiffs’ property and the lives of the Masters, their crew, and researchers are not endangered.”

Court exhibit allegedly showing damage to rudder of Yushin Maru No. 3 from prop fouler.
(U.S. District Court filing)

I have not talked to Paul Watson about this, but the Sea Shepherd leader has commented in news stories that he is not concerned about the lawsuit. Here’s what Watson said in a press release from his organization:

“This is simply a case of using the courts to harass us. I don’t believe they have a case and I doubt a U.S. court would take this seriously. Unlike Japan, the courts in the United States don’t automatically do what the government demands that they do.”

Watson claims in the press release that the whalers have been the aggressors:

“We have the images of the Japanese whalers destroying one of our ships, ramming our ships, running over our crew, firing upon us, throwing concussion grenades, deploying acoustical weapons, hitting us with water cannons and bamboo spears and they are suing us because they are accusing us of violence towards them.”

In an article published yesterday (Monday), Watson told Radio Australia that he almost welcomes the lawsuit:

“In fact, it’s actually a very positive thing because by filing in a US court, that gives us the opportunity to counter sue them for the destruction of the Ady Gil and for illegal whaling in the Southern Ocean, so our lawyers are certainly going to take advantage of this.”

For background on the Ady Gil, see Water Ways, Dec. 20, 2009. For all Water Ways entries on Sea Shepherd, visit this search page.

Another news release (PDF 12 kb) comes from the Institute of Cetacean Research, but reading the court complaint (PDF 176 kb) is more interesting.

Amusing Monday: Water myths on trial

“Mythbusters,” the television show that takes on urban legends and other strange science-based questions, put together a compilation of more than a dozen featured experiments in a program titled “Wet and Wild.”

This show could have been made with “Amusing Monday” in mind. Unfortunately, the Discovery Channel chose not to offer the entire program to online viewers.

The good news is that I was able to find some of the segments separately and will provide them for you here, beginning with the wild waterslide ride, which is in the video player on this page.

Other segments:

Swimming in syrup

Water torture

Running on water (This was not in the “Wet and Wild” program, but it should have been.)

If you haven’t heard, one of the Mythbusters cannon balls got away last week, skipping away from a bomb range in California and damaging a house near the site of the experiment. Check out the Associated Press video or read the AP story.

Studies look at effects of stormwater on salmon

It’s the water, or maybe it’s just the nasty stuff that’s in the water.

A new series of studies by federal researchers is delving into the question of which pollutants in urban streams are killing coho salmon.

David Baldwin of Northwest Fisheries Science Center mixes a chemical soup of pollutants found in urban stormwater. Coho salmon will be kept in the brown bath for 24 hours to measure the effects.
Photo by Tiffany Royal, Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission

As I describe in a story in today’s Kitsap Sun, the new studies involve coho returning to the Suquamish Tribe’s Grovers Creek Hatchery in North Kitsap.

Of course, pollutants in streams are just one factor affecting salmon in the Puget Sound region, where development continues to alter streamflows and reduce vegetation, despite efforts to protect and restore habitat. But pollution may play a role that has gone largely unnoticed in some streams.

The new studies continue an investigation that began more than a decade ago with the involvement of numerous agencies. By now, most of us have heard about the effects of copper on salmon, but the latest round of studies will look at the collection of pollutants found in stormwater to see how they work together. It may be possible to pinpoint the chemical concentrations that result in critical physiological changes in salmon.

The latest work involves a team led by David Baldwin of NOAA Fisheries and Steve Damm of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The Suquamish Tribe is providing the fish, along with facilities and support.

For information on the ongoing effort to understand how toxic chemicals affect salmon, review these pages on the website of the Northwest Fisheries Science Center:

Acute die-offs of adult coho salmon 
returning to spawn in restored urban streams

The impacts of dissolved copper on olfactory 
function in juvenile coho salmon

Mechanosensory impacts of non-point source pollutants in fish

Cardiovascular defects in fish embryos exposed 
to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons

A page called “Coho Pre-spawn Mortality in Urban Streams” presents a series of videos that show the advance of an apparent neurological disease that first causes disorientation in coho salmon and then death. The video is taken in Seattle’s Longfellow Creek, an urban stream.