Do Not Copy

Do Not Copy

Thursday, August 22, 2013

8-22-13 They Came In, They Didn't Stay

Thursday, August 22nd
...excitement was in the air, no, let me rephrase that - excitement was on the boat!...oh, they could hardly wait to see the Residents today...it's been a long time for the folks on the boat, and such sparse sightings this season...


...the whales were in about 4 groups...I'm not sure all were present, but there were a lot of whales and the Residents were coming back in...maybe this time they might stay a while...
...you see, some fishermen have said it's one of the best wild Chinook salmon seasons for them in a long time...
...that has me really curious...why then are the Residents NOT staying in here?...maybe this time they will stay...
...we went out to Constance Bank, on Maya's Westside Charters, where this freighter was anchored and saw the first group...
...as we moved on east from the anchored ship we encountered more whales...the K13s were all together...then another group with a J, K, and L pod mix...and we could see two other groups off in the distance...
...I'm always looking for Granny J-2 - that's her on the left, and then baby J-49...they made it easy today, they were both with J-49's mom, Hy'Shqa J-37 on the right...
...here's an example of the group spread...
...the whales were on their way to the west side of San Juan Island...

...the groups continued toward the island...then one group up ahead slowed down and appeared to be waiting for the next group...
...as we watched we saw the leading group turn around in one big smooth motion 'all together now' it was like...and they headed west... whoa!...but there was a group in the distance that was still going toward the island...
...and just as quickly as they had done that they turned and headed back toward San Juan Island...


...someone began porpoising...

...I am writing this post a few days after they came in, so I know the outcome of their arrival...
...they departed sometime in the night and were last seen the next day, far to the west, in the Strait of Juan de Fuca going back to the open ocean...their stay near the west side of the island was for only a few hours...

...Maybe instead of going to the Fraser River and back down to the west side of San Juan and back up to the Fraser again, as they have historically done, maybe their new route is to come in from the open ocean, visit the west side and then go back out. If there is no food for them they won't be here.

What doesn't compute for me are the words:
-designated critical habitat
-endangered Southern Resident killer whales
-killer whale food source continues in a steady decline
-Southern Resident killer whales' food still being fished


How about catch and release? 
How about catching something that is sustainable?
How about not fishing at all?

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