This week I took a little trip to Hood Canal to explore and research a wonderful area of the Pacific Northwest. During my two 60+ minute dives, I spotted and photographed 16 Wold eels, 8 Giant Pacific Octopus. I also shot stills of the many other species such as four different Rockfish, Squat lobster, a few Nudibranchs, Blackeye Goby's, and some healthy but small Sunflower Sea Stars. The water temp was around 50º, much colder than Puget Sound this year.
During my two dives in Hood Canal, I spotted 16 Wolf eels and 8 Giant Pacific Octopus
Rockfish populations are rebounding very well, one of the few good news stories of the past couple decades.
Water temps in the Sound this week were the highest I've ever experienced. 57º is far too warm for our delicate wildlife. Salmon fishers are hitting the shores of the Sound. Although I'm constantly reading reports on lower populations, efforts are not solving the problems. Increasing pollutants and toxins are also more visible.
Tube-snouts, Shiner Perch and Pacific Red Octopus regularly being spotted, while sculpin populations are down.
The occasional Spiny Dogfish are also appearing.
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This past week, far below the surface of our local waters, the water temperature is still warming. average was 55º, far above what it should be.
Wildlife spotted: Many small Opalescent and Diamondback Nudibranchs. Leopard and Heath's Dorid's common in our waters have been plentiful and spotted.
No Pacific Spiny Lumpsuckers have been spotted at any of the usual spots. Most likely they have been preyed upon.
Lots of Rockfish. Copper, Brown, and
Few jelly's were spotted. The occasional Egg-yolk and Cross, but no Lions Mane were spotted.
Various Kelp looks very healthy and plentiful.
Pacific Red Octopus are seen and plentiful, mostly smaller ones though.
I'm not seeing the usual numbers of sculpins. Typically of the 39 different types, I will see at least four or five on a regular basis. This summer I've not been seeing as many as usual.
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