Puget Sound

EarthFix Reports
9:24 am
Tue February 11, 2014

Stalking Puget Sound Steelhead With Science

The crew of the research vessel Chasina gets ready to drop an acoustic telemetry receiver 300 feet down into Puget Sound. The device will record tagged steelhead as they swim out of their spawning rivers.
Credit KUOW Photo/Ashley Ahearn

You might call Barry Berejikian a steelhead stalker.

The government scientist’s pursuit of these anadromous trout has brought him to the deck of the Chasina, a research vessel that’s motoring through choppy gray waters of southern Puget Sound near the Tacoma Narrows Bridge.

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EarthFix Reports
8:22 am
Fri February 7, 2014

Northwest Starfish Experiments Give Scientists Clues To Mysterious Mass Die-Offs

A dying Pisaster ochraceus sea star in the waters off West Seattle dangles by its tentacles off an underwater piling that would normally be covered with a rainbow of sea stars.
Credit Laura James

Near the ferry docks on Puget Sound, a group of scientists and volunteer divers shimmy into suits and double-check their air tanks.

They move with the urgency of a group on a mission. And they are. They’re trying to solve a marine mystery.

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Resource Management
8:59 am
Tue February 4, 2014

Why Is Lake Washington's Water Level So Low? Ask The Engineers

The Lake Washington Ship Canal connects the lake with Puget Sound via Lake Union. The Army Corps of Engineers controls the water level of the lake by manipulating the water flow at the Ballard Locks.
Credit Flickr Photo/Seattle Munincipal Archives

You may have noticed that water levels at Lake Washington beaches are very low.

But if you think there might be some connection with the drought that is now gripping much of the western U.S., think again.

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Environment
2:44 pm
Thu January 9, 2014

How Far Along Is Puget Sound Partnership In Cleaning Up The Sound?

A view of Puget Sound from above.
Flickr Photo/David Prasad

Ross Reynolds talks with Joan Crooks, executive director of the Washington Environmental Council, about the progress made by the Puget Sound Partnership in restoring the health of Puget Sound.

EarthFix Reports
10:37 am
Thu January 9, 2014

Report: Bellingham Bay A Hostile Place For Small Marine Creatures

Brittle stars are sensitive to stressful environmental conditions and were absent or rarely found in a survey of Bellingham Bay's sediment.
Credit Clifton Herrmann

A wide array of tiny marine critters are struggling to survive in Bellingham Bay, according to a recently released report from the Washington Department of Ecology.

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EarthFix Reports
1:07 pm
Tue January 7, 2014

Washington Officials Say Shellfish Is Safe For China To Import

Credit Flickr Photo/USDAgov

Washington state officials said Tuesday they found lower contamination levels when they tested geoduck clams than those alleged by China when it said geoduck imported from Puget Sound had high levels of arsenic.

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A Whale's Wail
5:00 am
Thu January 2, 2014

Call Of The Sound: Romance Of Foghorns Endures

A Washington state ferry moves through the fog.
Flickr Photo/Steve Johnson

If you live near downtown Seattle, you may have recently heard a long, low horn reverberating through the soupy nighttime air.

It happens every once in a while and has some Seattleites mystified. Where does the sound come from? It is a train? A boat? Last call at a Capitol Hill bar?

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Puget Sound
9:03 am
Tue December 3, 2013

Watch Underwater Video Of Sea Stars Dying Off West Seattle

A dying sea star dangles by its tentacles off an underwater piling in West Seattle.

Originally published on Tue November 26, 2013 5:00 pm

Laura James called it one of the saddest things she’s ever seen underwater.

Sea stars -- iconic and ever present in Northwest coastal waters -- suddenly becoming sick and dying before her eyes in numbers too great to count. The long time Puget Sound diver said she’s never seen anything like this in 20 years of diving.

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Under The Sea
9:01 am
Thu November 7, 2013

Photos Down Under: A Light Beams From Puget Sound

Lion's mane jelly
Courtesy of Ann Dornfeld

Puget Sound, a spidery inlet of the Pacific Ocean, has often been derided as murky, toxic and so, so cold.

But Ann Dornfeld, KUOW’s education reporter, has come to love the Sound, where she photographs marine life. Her favorite marine invertebrate is a nudibranch. (Her favorite nudibranch is a Cockerell's dorid.)

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Environment
1:46 pm
Mon November 4, 2013

Orca Population Declines As Puget Sound ‘Remains In Crisis’

Courtesy of NOAA/Candice Emmons

Citing worsening marine water quality and the declining orca population, Chinook salmon and herring, the state agency Puget Sound Partnership referred to the Puget Sound as a patient in “critical condition.”

“Puget Sound remains in crisis,” says a report released last week by the agency. “It is increasingly likely that we will not reach our legislatively established targets by 2020.”

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Mystery Marine Killer
7:30 am
Mon October 14, 2013

Mass Starfish Die-Off May Be Headed For Washington

Disembodied arms of a diseased sea star near Popham Island, 12 miles northwest of Vancouver, B.C.
Courtesy Vancouver Aquarium

Scientists in two nations are on the lookout for an underwater epidemic that is killing starfish. 

In September, divers in Vancouver Harbour and Howe Sound near Vancouver, British Columbia, noticed the pizza-sized starfish known as sunflower stars wasting away and dying in large numbers.

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Fishing Ban
10:15 am
Mon October 7, 2013

Octopuses' Gardens: State Designates 7 No-Hunt Spots

KUOW Photo/Meghan Walker

When a 19-year-old man lured a giant Pacific octopus from its lair off Alki Beach in West Seattle last year – legally, it turned out – a small group of activists were aghast that the charismatic cephalopod wasn’t protected.

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Puget Sound Movement
1:24 pm
Tue July 9, 2013

Ghost-Net Busters

Credit flickr photo / Jennyvids

Lost and abandoned fishing nets kill untold numbers of sea creatures around the world every year. But there's a growing global movement to remove what are known as "ghost nets" and prevent new ones. And it's starting in the Puget Sound.

Full list of stories on KUOW Presents, July 9:

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Environmental Issues
11:27 am
Wed June 12, 2013

Young Puget Sound Oysters Struggling With Acidification

Flickr Photo/Paul Wilkinson

  A new study from Oregon State University shows that young oysters are struggling due to ocean acidification. But adult oysters are still growing. What does this mean for the future of wild oysters in the Puget Sound? David Hyde gets the details from Taylor Shellfish’s lead researcher Joth Davis. 

The High Cost Of Lost Nets
9:06 am
Tue May 21, 2013

Vanquishing Zombie Fishing Nets In Puget Sound

Ghost nets keep capturing fish even after they're lost. These nets cost the dungeness crab industry hundreds of thousands in estimated lost revenue every year.
Ashley Ahearn Earthfix

Doug Monk has been a commercial diver on the Olympic Peninsula for some 20 years, harvesting shellfish and sea cucumbers. But for the past decade, he’s been after a different harvest: ghost nets.

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