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

Post by Jan K » Thu Nov 12, 2020 5:28 pm

Few more from Deception Pass... Black cucumbers were spawning here too.
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Jan K
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Post by Jan K » Fri Nov 13, 2020 8:46 am

Lagoon Point November 6. Swimming over the muck I came across a pair of Opalescent nudibranchs. They are quite common in our waters. In the "old days", Opalescent covered slugs from the Mexican border to Alaska and beyond. Then came the realization that they are actually two different animals. One without a white stripe (among other, less obvious differences) on their cerata, kept the common name Opalescent and changed the scientific name to H.opalescens while changing the common name of the slug with white stripes to Thick-horned nudibranch , keeping the scientific H.crassicornis. Well, going through my archive of pictures, Lagoon Point canal had both of them one time or other. :)
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Jan K
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Post by Jan K » Fri Nov 13, 2020 9:51 am

These two Hermissendas encounters in Lagoon Point are going back to 2006.
So the geography overlaps predate the recent big warming of the ocean explanation...
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Jan K
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Post by Jan K » Sat Nov 14, 2020 10:43 am

Langley Harbor. Adding new critter to my list. Giant flatworm not the most exciting find,
but I am always happy to find something I never seen before :)
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Jan K
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Post by Jan K » Sun Nov 15, 2020 4:10 pm

November 15. Quick stop at Keystone. I miss diving here. My last dive here was on October 3rd !
Meanwhile, the American Construction Company keeps up dredging stuff on one side of the jetty and depositing it on the other...
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Jan K
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Post by Jan K » Mon Nov 16, 2020 4:25 pm

As I look outside my window, the weather is not too friendly to the solar powered slugs at the Lagoon Point canal....
With all the rain, it is time to close their parapodia tightly... :)
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Jan K
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Post by Jan K » Tue Nov 17, 2020 10:53 am

Langley Harbor. One out of the three Whitespotted greenling males already finished his guard duty, two are still busy chasing other fish away.
One of them is sporting open wound as a testament to the challenging job of protecting the eggs from predators ...
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Jan K
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Post by Jan K » Wed Nov 18, 2020 8:34 am

November 11th Langley Harbor dive wrap-up.
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Jan K
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Post by Jan K » Fri Nov 20, 2020 9:22 am

The scenery beneath floating driftwood.
Some Moon jellies, some Sticklebacks, few shrimps and some Bubble shell slugs. Lots of Bubble shell slugs. :)
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Jan K
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Post by Jan K » Sat Nov 21, 2020 10:13 am

Here in the pond, some of the Moon jellies don't look like a Moon jelly at all...
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oldsalt
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Post by oldsalt » Sun Nov 22, 2020 7:11 am

Jan: I delight in your diving Driftwood Ponds. You don't have to fight the crowds and decompression is easy. The diversity of life you find there amazes me. To quote Yogi Berra, "You can see a lot just by looking." But you have to look.
-Curt
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Jan K
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Post by Jan K » Tue Nov 24, 2020 12:44 pm

Yes Curt, we have to look. But with old eyes, it gets more difficult with every passing birthday ...

White Bubble Shell slugs. Many, many of them crawling over everything, grazing on filamentous algae and diatoms. Looking at them in the pond, they look like omnivores, I have seen them on seaweed, bryozoans, wood, clams, rocks, even on the discarded toilet :)
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Jan K
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Post by Jan K » Fri Nov 27, 2020 8:00 am

Possession Point Fingers revisited. The highlight was seeing again the one Vermillion rockfish still enjoying the company of other, mostly Copper rockfish. Talk about standing out from the crowd... :)
And on the opposite end on the visibility scale, Great sculpin melting into the surroundings with its camouflage outfit.
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Jan K
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Post by Jan K » Sat Nov 28, 2020 9:15 am

More pile of pixels from Possession Point Fingers dive.
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Dominick Gheesling
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Post by Dominick Gheesling » Sat Nov 28, 2020 12:05 pm

LOVE these posts!!!

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Jan K
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Post by Jan K » Sun Nov 29, 2020 7:45 am

Thank you Dominick, glad you enjoy them.

More of Driftwood Park Ponds, above and under the surface...
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Jan K
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Post by Jan K » Mon Nov 30, 2020 1:55 pm

Lagoon Point. Tunicates and Moon jelly polyps sure like the underside of the floating dock...
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Jan K
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Post by Jan K » Wed Dec 02, 2020 12:28 pm

Thanksgiving weekend. The dredging stopped for the holiday and the Keystone was quiet. I decided to check how the Pilings, which are outside of the working area look with all the tailings piled up on the nearby beach. For once, the swim from the beach to the old wharf is not anymore a hassle. The Bull kelp forest is gone, most of the stipes lay on the seafloor in a tangled mess providing plenty of food for the Northern kelp crabs. Unfortunately, the area under the old wharf is not anymore the beautiful oasis of marine life. Gone are the schools of rockfish which were a constant residents here, now few Tubesnouts swim around, hardly. The octopus moved out, fewer anemones and Feather duster worms. The dredging is not to blame for it, I think the winter storm took toll on the area, as it is quite shallow and with so many piling now broken off and missing, the waves scoured the bottom too much for providing comfortable environment for much of the critters. Somehow I got distracted and ended up at the jetty. :)
Well, I expected it to be worse. I can't see much difference from time before the dredging. Yes, with the Bull kelp gone it looks naked, but the die off is an annual event and hopefully it will grow back. Silt was covering lots of stuff before, so hard to tell. I did not see any of the giant Lingcod, but that too seems to be the norm. Schools of Striped seaperch are now back, the school of rockfish at the end of jetty are there still. Visibility was decent until the ferry arrived, same store as before. Since I had a long swim back to the Pilings, my visit to the jetty was short. Wrinkled dogwinkle are gathering in great numbers to make more dogwinkles.
The good news is that the drop from the new parking level to the beach is nowhere as high as it was after the last dredging, shovel work will be minimal...
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Jan K
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Post by Jan K » Thu Dec 03, 2020 6:19 am

Few more critter sightings from the Keystone visit.
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