Kelp continues steady decline in Puget Sound – Salish Sea Currents

We are in a race against the loss of the Sound ecosystem. Another report from the front.

Ever alert to predators, young rockfish swim warily among the stems of bull kelp that reach up from the bottom of Puget Sound. Within the kelp forest lurk many larger fish, such as lingcod, which would quickly gobble up the 2-inch juveniles if given a chance. Kelp forests, which are becoming rare in Central and South Puget Sound, are not necessarily secure refuges for the tiny rockfish, which feature spiny dorsal fins like their much larger parents. Still, the vegetation provides a safer cover than open water. It also offers the growing fish a rich smorgasbord of food — phytoplankton, krill, copepods, invertebrate eggs and other tiny bite-sized creatures. Chris Dunagan reports. (Salish Sea Currents)

Kelp continues steady decline in Puget Sound


Sea star die-off leads to kelp ‘clearcut’ in Howe Sound, scientists find – CBC

Kelp forests to the north of us in B.C. have been reduced by almost 80%. No data yet on how much our kelp has been affected. In a world not devastated by reductions in science funding under the Harper regime, there might have been an ability to open the areas to urchin harvesting to slow this problem.

The massive die-off of sea stars in B.C.’s Howe Sound has had a domino effect on other creatures, resulting in the virtual clearcut of kelp forests in the area, scientists have found.

The mysterious wasting disease hit in 2013, killing sea stars from Mexico to Alaska in what has been described as one of the largest wildlife die-offs ever recorded.

Forage Fish in Spring – Video

When scientists and citizen activists want to implement regulations to protect the shoreline, one of the things that they are attempting to protect is spawning habitat for a critical piece of our ecosystem, such as sand lance. These fish spawn on the shore, and nearshore, and supply food for salmon, and most other species of fish that we eat. So the inconvenience of protecting some shorelines is off set by the food resource all of us get from it.

While much attention is paid to herring spawning, kelp habitats are critical for a number of forage fish species and life history stages, including young of the year sand lance. Here’s a glimpse of this captivating and beautiful component of our marine ecosystem. (Coastal Watershed Institute)

Nearshore Spring 2015

Mystery solved: Kelp off Elwha River mouth a rare spring variety found in late summer – Peninsula Daily News

A mystery kelp found during a survey of Clallam County offshore sea life has been positively identified as a regionally native but rare growth known as Laminaria ephemera…. Read the rest of the story at the PDN link below.
Arwyn Rice reports.

Mystery kelp found in Strait at Elwha River mouth – PDN

An uncommon species of kelp was found last week off the Elwha River mouth — possibly a species that has not been seen there before. A team of scientists found the kelp, thought to be Laminaria ephemera or Laminaria yezoensis, during a survey of the Strait of Juan de Fuca near the Elwha River mouth and brought it to the Feiro Marine Life Center on City Pier for temporary safekeeping. “There is something strange going here, something different,” said Steve Rubin, a fishery biologist for the U.S. Geological Survey. Arwyn Rice reports.

Read the whole story at:

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