Whidbey Island Critters

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

Postby YellowEye » Mon Jan 22, 2018 10:39 pm

Here's a snap of a drooping plumose :(
They also sometimes stamd upright but appear to have tight plumage, where they're curled up more than normal... less frilly
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Jan K
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Postby Jan K » Sun Jan 21, 2018 8:27 pm

Yes, it is sad. I hope it is only a temporary setback. I got to pay more attention to anemones. I did not notice any changes yet. Sometimes it is hard to tell since they do deflate completely at times.

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YellowEye
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Postby YellowEye » Sun Jan 21, 2018 12:59 pm

Jan, it's very sad to hear about those sponges. A lot of organisms are suffering these days. I see a lot of wilting and very sad plumose these days, especially down south... Do you know if that is being tracked as well?

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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Postby Jan K » Sun Jan 21, 2018 12:34 pm

fmerkel wrote:Any idea of the growth rate of those sponges?

No Fritz, I don't know, maybe somebody will chime in ...

If there is over abundance of a marine critter in Whidbey waters, (besides the Green sea urchins), it is the Wrinkled dogwinkle.
As every winter, they congregate in large numbers and propagate. And obviously, they are pretty successful at it :)
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fmerkel
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Postby fmerkel » Sat Jan 20, 2018 9:35 am

Any idea of the growth rate of those sponges?
Thank you for pointing out this change.
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Jan K
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Postby Jan K » Sat Jan 20, 2018 9:23 am

As if the Sea Star Wasting Disease wasn't bad enough, I find a something equally scary happening to Orange Finger Sponges at Deception Pass. Over 40% of them are showing signs of some kind of disease. Instead of their normal yellowish color, they turn gray and then disintegrate completely. Since they are not found anywhere else around Whidbey Island where I dive, I don't know if it is a local mortality event, or if it is happening elsewhere too.
I would appreciate input from others...
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Postby Jan K » Fri Jan 19, 2018 11:24 am

Deception Pass, first visit in 2018. The good news - I found one healthy Sunflower star there,
last time I saw one in the Pass was back in October 2015 ! :)
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Postby Jan K » Thu Jan 18, 2018 4:25 pm

The Lingcod laying big egg masses at Keystone Jetty. Three nests found on January 15, 2018.
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Postby Jan K » Wed Jan 17, 2018 8:00 am

After sunny weekend, get ready for some rain. The Umbrella crab is :)
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Tom Nic
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Postby Tom Nic » Tue Jan 16, 2018 7:11 pm

Boy, that crab has amazing form and trim!
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Postby Jan K » Tue Jan 16, 2018 7:10 pm

Every dive is a memory. Critters big and small are part of my every dive. Don't be surprised when aim my camera at you if you happen to swim by. For not only the critters, but all divers, friends and strangers, are also part of that experience, part of that memory ...
And when they are fellow NWDC member, it is even better :)
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Postby Jan K » Tue Jan 16, 2018 9:40 am

If you had the feeling that you are being watched while diving the end of Keystone Jetty, you were right. :)
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Postby Jan K » Mon Jan 15, 2018 9:06 am

What a glorious weather. After days, weeks of dreary, drizzly weather, Sunday broke into a beautiful sunny, calm day. So it was not a surprise that so many divers descended on Whidbey Island's popular dive site - Keystone Underwater Park.
One of the highlights in the park these days are the large schools of Striped perch. I don't recall seeing this many of them here before ...
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Postby Jan K » Fri Jan 12, 2018 5:24 pm

Possession Point Fingers. Winter is time to check on the fish laying/ guarding. The Lingcod, which used to be so numerous here, are long gone, overfishing/spearfishing clearly the culprits. Not one Lingcod nest, only one small Lingcod seen on this dive. Some Buffalo sculpins and Red Irish Lords are doing their parental duty, it did not peaked yet, some still just laying around eggless :)
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And some rockfish shots for a good measure ...
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Postby Jan K » Thu Jan 11, 2018 9:34 am

It has been a while since I came across "built as a tank" critter - adult Puget Sound King Crab.
It is not common in the waters around Whidbey Island.
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Postby Vjw » Wed Jan 10, 2018 7:25 pm

Truly amazing colors!!!

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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Postby Jan K » Wed Jan 10, 2018 5:22 pm

These are little too small for the "Shrimp on the barbie" Both, the Kincaid and Candy Stripe like to hang out around the Crimson anemones...
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Postby Jan K » Wed Jan 10, 2018 10:37 am

Under drizzly, overcast skies of January searching for colors in murky Skyline waters. The sea cucumbers are still not feeding, so sponges and few anemones try to break up the bleak underwater scenery which on this day mimic the weather above...
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Postby Jan K » Tue Jan 09, 2018 4:50 pm

Curt, as the saying goes : " Beauty is in the eye of the beholder"...

Couple more from Langley dive. Male Northern Kelp Crab protecting his female from the nosy diver with camera and Buffalo sculpin trying to blend in with end of sunken piling along with Mottled star, hiding from the same pesky divers :)
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Postby oldsalt » Tue Jan 09, 2018 1:36 pm

When I look at the pictures of the marvelous variety of seastars, I am reminded of a conversation I had with another diver. We were both from Puget Sound and were diving in Fiji. He made the comment that he didn't dive in Puget Sound, because "There is nothing to see there." I mentioned the things we have that aren't common in the tropics, such as seastars, he responded, "They aren't worth looking at." Joanie Mitchell's lyric comes to mind, "You don't know what you've got 'till it's gone." Thank's for spreading your sense of wonder at the commonplace in the natural world.
-Curt
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Postby Vjw » Mon Jan 08, 2018 8:49 pm

This is wonderful news!!!

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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Postby Jan K » Sun Jan 07, 2018 5:52 pm

Checking on sea stars at Langley, with assistance from Maya. What was a nice surprise - hundreds of baby sea stars on rocks along the seawall as it has been now every winter. But obviously, most of them don't survive, since the numbers of adults are still way down from the good old days, the recovery being meager. And signs of wasting are still present. Well, at least it is not totally grim scene. I did found two adolescent Sunflower stars, looking healthy. I am still baffled why only one of the H-beam mooring anchors attracts so many stars while all the others have only few of them...
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Postby Jan K » Sat Jan 06, 2018 7:08 pm

Thank you Tom, Vjw ...

Lagoon Point - Creatures of the muck. At times I wonder how they find food in such "yukky" environment...
Quote from Jurassic Park:
"If there is one thing the history of evolution has taught us is that life will not be contained. Life breaks free, it expands to new territories and crashes through barriers, painfully, maybe even dangerously, but life, finds the way."
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Tom Nic
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Postby Tom Nic » Fri Jan 05, 2018 6:28 pm

Just gorgeous!
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Postby Vjw » Fri Jan 05, 2018 5:42 pm

I like your pictures with the juxtaposition of dry and wet (real) octopus. Thank you!


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