Whidbey Island Critters

Fish & Invertebrate sightings and descriptions, hosted by resident NWDC ID expert Janna Nichols (nwscubamom).
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Jan K
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Postby Jan K » Sat Jun 17, 2017 7:02 am

Friday, another Deception Pass dive.
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Jan K
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Postby Jan K » Fri Jun 16, 2017 12:51 pm

Oasis in the Sea of Rain - Whidbey Island.
Thursday dive at Deception Pass and its Garden of Eden. And some of its amazing critters.
Hermit crab where the female does stay at home, a soft bodied anemone having an easy meal of spiny,
hard bodied sea urchin, just few of the many inhabitants there...
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Postby Jan K » Tue Jun 13, 2017 8:51 am

Keystone Jetty egg farm :)
In addition to all the Barnacle eating nudibranch eggs, the Oregon Hairy Tritons are adding their and in the same place. The tiny Pacific Lumpsucker swam by as I was looking for critters. I followed it until it settled so I can try to focus on it, almost impossible with my Point & shoot camera. I would never found it on that pebble...
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Jan K
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Postby Jan K » Mon Jun 12, 2017 6:24 am

Sea star surveys - Deception Pass, Langley Harbor and Penn Cove. Only at Langley I found couple wasting stars, but overall, the sea stars are doing fine. So far. What is puzzling, some of the Ochre stars are "bloated". Not a new observation, especially at Langley, they look like this for years now.
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Jan K
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Postby Jan K » Sat Jun 10, 2017 7:47 am

Deception Pass - still catching up with the processing of photos. So much to see :)
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Postby Jan K » Wed Jun 07, 2017 9:33 am

Keystone Jetty. Eggs, eggs everywhere, no place to lay down :)
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Before the Barnacle eating nudibranchs moved in ...
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Postby Jan K » Tue Jun 06, 2017 6:32 am

Keystone Jetty, same dive, different slug. Instead of eating barnacles, this one prefers hydroids.
And on the jetty, it is definitely outnumbered by the barnacle eaters ...
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Jan K
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Postby Jan K » Mon Jun 05, 2017 7:49 am

Keystone Jetty. First, the sea stars die off, next the Green sea urchins invade the area, then the barnacles cover everything ( almost everything) and now the Barnacle eating nudibranch descend on the barnacles in thousands. When I dove these rocks two weeks ago, there was no sign of what was coming.I will try to find out more about these slugs, it is one thing to be a larva and "smell" the food, but in two weeks not only settle, but grow and then lay all these eggs? Maybe somebody can tune in on this and shine some light onto this mystery :)
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Postby Jan K » Fri Jun 02, 2017 6:15 pm

Tidepool Geek wrote:Hi Jan,
Wow! What an amazing and stark contrast. Any ideas about what might have changed in the environment of that rock?
Changeably yours, Alex

Alex, not just one rock, many of the rocks are covered with the small barnacles. Maybe the missing stars allowed the barnacles to get hold.


Sunny day at Deception Pass, only few people around, I saw one diver climbing out of the water into a small boat off the first cove. Started my exploration with some seaweeds I did not find here before. Or at least I did not noticed them here... Except for the Bull Kelp, of course :)
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Postby Tidepool Geek » Wed May 31, 2017 6:40 am

Hi Jan,

Wow! What an amazing and stark contrast. Any ideas about what might have changed in the environment of that rock?

Changeably yours,
Alex

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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Postby Jan K » Tue May 30, 2017 9:29 am

Thank you Curt, the science is constantly discovering new things, sometimes it is hard to keep up...
Changes are part of life :)
For example, look at one rock at Keystone:
Story of one rock. One of many creating the Keystone Jetty. Fourteen years ago, there was Giant Pacific Octopus making it its home. It was probably there even before that, but on October 23,2003 I tried to take a picture of it with my Nikonos camera. How much changed since then. The Sunflower stars got almost wiped out by the Wasting Disease, the octopus gone its den filled with debris and sand, the purple encrusting coralline gone, the rock now covered by carpet of barnacles. The one critter which endured all those years - yellow colored Painted anemone. Its scientific name changed from Urticina crassicornis to Urticina grebelnyi, but so far, it moves very little and from what I can tell, it is happy there, not growing bigger, one constant in our changing world.
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Postby oldsalt » Mon May 29, 2017 10:36 am

Jan: Wow. I learn something every day. Until today, I called these Mytilus edulis . But times have changed. It's one reason I keep studying. Another is summed up by a late friend. When asked why he would go through the hardship of going to sea on a research boat at age 90, he answered, "I want to learn a lot of things I forgot." Thanks for the lesson.
-Curt :rawlings:
Happy to be alive.

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Jan K
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Postby Jan K » Mon May 29, 2017 7:22 am

Pacific blue mussels. This what they look like before they become an item of seafood menu :)
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Postby Jan K » Sun May 28, 2017 7:25 am

Sitka shrimps, many of them carry eggs...
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Postby Jan K » Sat May 27, 2017 9:12 am

Helmet crab hiding. At first I thought it was dead, but poking at the exposed foot proved that it was alive and well, although maybe little unhappy...
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Postby Jan K » Fri May 26, 2017 8:38 am

Hoping that Memorial Day road traffic on our roads will be as swift as the herring pursued by a predator,
but I think in reality, it will be most likely "sluggish" ... :(
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Jan K
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Postby Jan K » Thu May 25, 2017 9:23 am

Thank you Gdog, just sharing what we see once we leave the dry land for a short visit of the underwater world :)

Deception Pass bridge, above and under.
It is rewarding to walk around the area as it is to dive there...
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Postby Gdog » Thu May 25, 2017 8:02 am

Jan, just simply great stuff! You have amazing skills.

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Jan K
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Postby Jan K » Wed May 24, 2017 3:12 pm

Pygmy rock crab and cucumber digestive system.
Isn't that what you always wanted to see ? Here it is ! :) :) :)
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Postby Jan K » Tue May 23, 2017 2:06 pm

Hairy crab,this was my first sighting, adding another new critter to my list. :)
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Jan K
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Postby Jan K » Mon May 22, 2017 8:10 am

Lingcod fishing and spearfishing season is open, so diver photographers, watch out ! Saturday at the Deception Pass was hectic because sunshine brought out hordes of tourists and parking at the park was a problem, I decided that Sunday would be better at Keystone Jetty. I did find parking here, but after four days of colors at the Pass, the barnacle covered rocks of the Jetty were a big letdown.
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Jan K
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Postby Jan K » Sun May 21, 2017 1:43 pm

While I am sorting up Deception Pass pics, enjoy a beach walk on another of our Whidbey Island beaches - Holmes Harbor in Freeland.
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Postby H20doctor » Sat May 20, 2017 11:35 am

thanks for the great day of diving !!
NWDC Rule #2 Pictures Or it didn't Happen

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Jan K
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Postby Jan K » Sat May 20, 2017 7:19 am

What a beautiful Friday, above and below. The Deception Pass tide currents are very sweet for few days and many of us decided to "play hooky" and go diving :)
Lots of divers, almost everybody with a camera. Here are some snapshots what I think they were taking pictures of.
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Jan K
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Postby Jan K » Fri May 19, 2017 6:25 am

The moon cycle opened another round of favorable tide current days at my favorite Whidbey Island dive site.
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