Animals

With Warming Rivers, Salmon Released Early

Jul 2, 2015

Federal hatchery managers are keeping an eye on warming river water as temperatures continue to rise throughout the Pacific Northwest.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service this week released 6 million fish from the Little White Salmon and Willard National Fish hatcheries about one week ahead of schedule. Both hatcheries feed into the Columbia River near White Salmon, Washington.

Billionaire Paul Allen wants wildlife traffickers to feel a bit more pain. Professional initiative sponsor Tim Eyman wants state lawmakers to feel a bit of pain too.

Darwin is an Airedale Terrier from West Seattle. This photo was taken at Rock Away Beach in Oregon. There are 96 other licensed Airedale terriers in Seattle and 22 dogs named Darwin.
Courtesy of Kylie Della

There is a cat in Seattle named Schrodinger. We don't know if it is alive or dead, but the point is that Seattleites get creative when naming their pets.

Nerdy creative.

Thousands Of Hatchery Fish Die After Valve Clogs

Jun 29, 2015

About 400,000 baby fish died Sunday at a hatchery near Roseburg.

The entire run of pre-smolt spring Chinook that the Rock Creek Hatchery planned to release next year died when a clogged intake valve cut off their access to fresh water, said Greg Huchko with the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Water flow was only interrupted for about an hour, but river temperatures are so high that the fish could not survive.

A stream of thousands of steelhead plop into Rock Lake. In this final leg of their journey they fall out of a tanker truck and into the lake. To get here the fish have traveled seven hours in tanker trucks from Puget Sound, over the Cascade Mountains, and into the Eastern Washington desert.

“This lake is real nice and deep, so it won’t take them long to find some lower depths and find some cooler water,” said Brian Russell, who is leading the team stocking Rock Lake.

David Whitmer from the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife pumps rainbow trout into Seattle’s Green Lake on Friday, June 19, to the delight of a crowd of anglers and passersby.
KUOW Photo/Gil Aegerter

Watched by an eager crowd, two trucks backed carefully toward Green Lake, their tanks awash in black water and something more. It’s time to plant trout.

It might not seem sporting, but the large rainbows that were pumped into Green Lake last Friday provide some city dwellers their only chance to fish – and it’s practically in their own back yards, said David Whitmer of the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. He and co-worker Scott Meechan had just driven their tanker trucks down from the state hatchery in Arlington.

A rare Galápagos tortoise, known affectionately as "Speed," has died at the San Diego Zoo — his home of more than eight decades. He was (approximately) 150.

A crow dives on a researcher during a trial. Crows recognize people who have scared them or wronged them for years.
Courtesy Keith Brust

Professor John Marzluff’s phone is ringing more than usual, which means it’s crow dive-bombing season in Seattle.

“Every time I go out into my backyard there's a crow out there that's squawking at me and chasing me down,” said a man who called in about his experience to KUOW.

An example of animal bridge on the Flathead Indian Reservation in Montana. Washington is building wildlife overpasses over I-90 near Snoqualmie Pass.
Flickr Photo/Jitze Couperus

Ross Reynolds talks with Washington State Department of Transportation project manager Brian White about the new wildlife overpass that connects habitat on either side of I-90 east of Snoqualmie Pass. It will be part of a project that also includes underpasses already in place near Gold Creek.

Horse Therapy Helps Veterans Heal Invisible Wounds

Jun 10, 2015
Veteran Richard Dykstra leads Abby in a corral for equine therapy as part of the Animals as Natural Therapy program north of Bellingham, Wash.
KUOW Photo/Sarah Eden Wallace

BELLINGHAM, Wash. – Horses are intuitive creatures. Sometimes they’re so sensitive a veteran’s pain can overwhelm them.

At Animals as Natural Therapy, a five-acre farm north of Bellingham, two Iraq War veterans recently worked with horses Abby and Artemis as part of an equine therapy program for vets with post-traumatic stress disorder.

Two technicians balance on a floating fish trap about the size of a double bed. They dip nets into the water and scoop out small fish and mats of vegetation. The fish are carefully placed in five-gallon buckets and the weed is casually tossed back into to river.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife techs are recording their catch from shallow side channel of the middle Klamath River. They're observing variety, inspecting the fish for signs of trouble, and packing up hatchery for disease testing at a lab.

The giant Pacific octopus can change colors when disturbed or excited.
Courtesy of Janna Nichols

Imagine for a moment a sentient being that’s radically unlike a human: No bones, numerous limbs that can “taste” you, a slimy body that can squirt through small holes, a mysterious intelligence. This is not science fiction. This is the giant Pacific octopus, one of the many secrets of Puget Sound.

Writer Sy Montgomery made it a personal goal to get as close as she could to one of these large cephalopods for a new book, "The Soul Of An Octopus."

Oregon could become the first state in the nation to ban the declawing of cats in most circumstances.

It took nearly four decades, but a horse has once again attained the honor that some call the most difficult achievement in sports: American Pharoah, after winning the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes, ran to victory in the Belmont Stakes as well.

He's the first Triple Crown winner since 1978. With his win, a total of 12 horses have now achieved the feat.

American Pharoah took the lead early in the mile-and-a-half long race, with Frosted close on his tail. From there, the colt never gave up the front position.

The Port of Astoria attempted to scare hundreds of sea lions off its docks Thursday using a motorized orca made of fiberglass. But after a series of mishaps, the experiment went belly up.

Port leaders had high hopes for the fake orca as it pulled into town on a trailer from Bellingham, Washington. A fake baby orca tagged along, lashed onto the roof of an SUV.

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