Do Not Copy

Do Not Copy

Thursday, February 19, 2015

2-19-15 They Found More Salmon and Followed It

Wednesday/Thursday, February 18/19th
Wednesday
...knowing that J pod was north (in my mind anyway) it was now a matter of waiting for them to come back down...but when?...which way - Rosario Strait?  San Juan Channel? or Haro Strait?
...would they 'show up' over the Lime Kiln hydrophones? ...even if they came down Rosario Strait or San Juan Channel and not Haro Strait, they sometimes are heard faintly in the distance...if they came down Haro Strait there is a greater chance they would first 'show up' over the Orca Sound hydrophones and then Lime Kiln...
...the wait was on...
...that is how it began...the whales were echolocating...it is almost not recognizable in the beginning and gets clearer as they get closer...it wasn't long before the whales' calls began as they continued traveling down Haro Strait...
...fish had been coming through over the last day or so...

...I had notice the sounds of what I believed to be a harbor seal...it (they, whoever) had been quite noisy...it was in the middle of the night some times so I knew it wasn't a diver or someone throwing rocks into the water by the hydrophones...

Thursday
...at about 4 a.m. I was surprised to hear J pod on the Lime Kiln and then over the Orca Sound hydrophones...they were still here!...and they were near...but of course it was too dark to see them...I last heard J pod calls at about 6:30 a.m. over the Orca Sound hydrophones...
...when it was getting a bit of light out there and not having heard the whales I went to Lime Kiln, just in case they had gone into a resting pattern (they are silent) and were possibly going back down island...that is when I saw and heard a harbor seal in close proximity to the location of the hydrophones make a sudden move where it 'jumps' up and then over with a loud splash and slap - I said, "there it is, there's that sound!"
...after scanning for the whales for a long time I was convinced they had gone north...and that too proved to me that yes, there was enough salmon that had moved up Haro Strait to cause the whales to follow them back to the north...
...what an eventful day and I hadn't seen a whale yet!

...Capt. Jim had a trip in the afternoon and we headed out on a very long journey to see if we could catch up to the whales as they went up one of my favorite places - Trincomali Channel...and we did, just as the whales were about to exit Porlier Pass, at the north end of Galiano Island, B.C...
...both babies, J-50 and J-51 were present, traveling next to their moms, J-50 next to Slick J-16, and J-51 traveling next to Shachi J-19...I didn't do very well on images...but I did see them and so did the passengers who had to look really closely for the little ones to 'pop up' - they are so quick!...Shachi and Eclipse on the left and Hy'Shqa J-37 acting goofy...both J-49 and baby J-51 were not at the surface...
...I kept trying...barely...had to do a lot of cropping and adjusting so J-51's fin would actually show up next to mom...

...as the whales exited the pass, similar to how they are when they exit Active Pass they got a bit energetic ...
...after exiting the pass they continued along...it was interesting to watch Granny J-2...she was with Samish J-14, her kids, and Onyx L-87...

...with them were Shachi J-19 with her two kids - 10 year old Eclipse J-41 and new baby J-51...

...accompanying them was Tsuchi J-31...Tsuchi has been being an auntie whale for a while now...she reminds me of Ophelia L-27...
...then at one point Granny slowed down...Shachi and her group continued as they had...and then Granny altered the pod's direction of travel...it wasn't a real obvious alteration, such as a 180 degree turn about, it was subtle, about a 30 degree course change...and soon the others were making the change as well...
...however, the J16s who were the whales farthest to the right of the group, ended up traveling about a 1/2 mile off from the others...Onyx L-87 and Blackberry J-27 had dropped back and were traveling together as the trailers when we left them...Mike J-26, one of the J16s family group was with his family of five way far off from the rest...they were all going the same direction...

...didn't realize I had this until later...I had to lighten it up so the buildings would show up through the haze...
...now that's a 'proof of location' shot!
 
...our visit was short but sweet and back toward home we headed with lots of conversation about the whales' need for salmon, and the alarming salmon situation that just seems to keep going on and on and not much getting done to fix it...
 
...sport fishing is great for some and maybe fine for catching some types of fish, but how about stop catching any Chinook at all for a few years...

...a while ago, someone asked the question about eating Alaska wild caught salmon...don't some of those salmon come to the Fraser River to spawn?  I don't know the answer to that at this time, but if they do, and if some of the seafood cards out there are saying that it's okay to eat Alaska wild caught salmon...I just wonder are we hurting the salmon runs here by it being caught before it gets here???
"food for thought"...
Just where does the salmon you eat come from?
better yet:  What sustainable seafood are you eating instead of salmon?

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