Tag Archives: Hood Canal Dissolved Oxygen Program

Fishing trip plays into Hood Canal studies

Researchers continue to develop a bioenergetics model for Hood Canal, which will provide a who-eats-who description of the waterway. Until Sunday’s story in the Kitsap Sun, I have never really focused on this model. Check out the associated video to see the operation of a purse seine and plankton net.

It was a beautiful day to be on the water, as you can see from the photo.

Purse seiner Memories // Kitsap Sun photo

The bioenergics analysis is the third piece of the overall computer model that describes how Hood Canal works. The first model is called the physical model, which shows Hood Canal in terms of its tides, currents, winds, sunlight and so on.

The second model is the terrestrial model, which includes freshwater and groundwater flows. As data become available, the model may eventually show how nitrogen gets from particular sources into the canal.

The bioenergetics model, as I understand it, will take the chemical inputs to Hood Canal and determine phytoplankton growth based on conditions described in the physical model. Phytoplankton, at the base level of the food web, trigger the growth zooplankton, tiny fish and all other sea life. The model can show mathematically how small creatures grow and get eaten by larger creatures.

All of these studies are being used to help solve the low-oxygen problems, determine when and where fishing may be allowed and predict when fish kills can be expected.

Let me make some observations about Hood Canal

I had fun writing a piece for Sunday’s paper about the crazy and not-so-crazy ideas for fixing Hood Canal’s dissolved oxygen problem.

If you subscribe to the printed newspaper or buy it on the newsstand, you were able to see a giant graphic drawn by Jon Williams of our staff. I’m hoping that Jon can link his artwork to the online text in the next day or so. Meanwhile, you can view the text by itself on the Web site.

You may have heard some of these ideas before: digging a trench to North Bay, dredging out the raised “sill” that blocks flow, removing the Hood Canal bridge to increase mixing, skimming off algae with a boat, increasing natural algae-eaters such as clams and oysters, and pumping large amounts of air or oxygen into the water.

I also wrote a more serious story, pointing out unfinished work for the Hood Canal Dissolved Oxygen Program and questioning what kind of actions may be made and who will make them.

That story gathered a lot of comments, as Hood Canal stories generally do. I’d like to respond with several points of my own on issues that have been raised since the first story from June 30:

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