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 » Wed Dec 09, 2020 10:16 am

Now we return to regular posting about recent dives :) :) :)

December 5, 2020. Driftwood Park. Above and under the driftwood.
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Jan K
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Post by Jan K » Fri Dec 11, 2020 8:35 am

Lagoon Point - the world below the floating docks. Even the muck makes home for some critters...
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Jan K
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Post by Jan K » Sat Dec 12, 2020 11:03 am

One reason I like muck diving in Lagoon Point are the slugs. Some of them I cannot find anywhere else around Whidbey Island.
Of course, some are common almost everywhere...
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Jan K
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Post by Jan K » Sun Dec 13, 2020 3:18 pm

It is amazing how fast some of the marine critters take hold on sunken objects. Two month ago I first visited the newly sunken sailboat in Holmes Harbor. Although the visibility is almost always poor, it is obvious from some of the snapshots, that barnacles don't waste any time to claim their territory.
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Jan K
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Post by Jan K » Wed Dec 16, 2020 9:25 am

December 15, 2020. I am afraid that my optimism about the Keystone dredging impact was premature. Yesterday I revisited the beachhead and found the ramparts reaching higher and higher, so before the work is over, we might need shovels to access the water from the parking area. And when I watched the high tide eating into the base of the freshly deposited fine sand, I worry that the silt is now settling on the underwater scene of Keystone Jetty :(
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Jan K
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Post by Jan K » Thu Dec 17, 2020 9:03 am

Moonglow anemone. It has a nice ring to it. So adding a little color to otherwise windy, gray and rainy day...
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oldsalt
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Post by oldsalt » Thu Dec 17, 2020 10:20 am

Jan: We normally stop at the park at Freeland to look out at Holmes Harbor when we visit the Island. Memories of being anchored there include beautiful calm evenings and some anxious windy nights. When we saw the mast of Family Affair, it marked our greatest fear. The characteristics that made it an anchorage, flat, shallow, muddy, bottom, deterred my diving there. Your photos show me I was wrong. You keep finding novel things in unlikely places. Thanks, Curt :rawlings:
Happy to be alive.

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Jan K
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Post by Jan K » Fri Dec 18, 2020 10:49 am

Curt, anchoring these days must be a challenge. It looks like we have gale warnings issued for local waters every couple days :(

Three "S "critters from Holmes Harbor. Slugs,Sole and Snail... :)
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Jan K
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Post by Jan K » Sat Dec 19, 2020 8:07 am

Langley December 10th. The Whitespotted greenling hatching coming to an end, Last of the three fathers guarding what is left from this season's nesting event. When I first found the two-headed Plumose anemone in 2008, it was surrounded by many other anemones. Twelve years later, not many neighbors remain...
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Jan K
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Post by Jan K » Mon Dec 21, 2020 8:20 am

Possession Point Fingers, December 17th. Little bit of marine life and little bit of geology...
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Jan K
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Post by Jan K » Tue Dec 22, 2020 9:25 am

Keystone Jetty, December 20, 2020. Dredging continues. I took advantage of the act, that work on the site stops for the weekend. Although the currents were not favorable, I needed to test my new MiniFlash. I was able to dive only the shallower part of the jetty, the current was just too strong elsewhere. Visibility was silty 12 feet, heavy overcast. School of Striped seaperch, couple Lingcods, few rockfish. Lots of Northern kelp crabs. Nothing left of Bull kelp, new Japanese wireweed coming up. I just found on line the Dredging and Disposal Proposal from February 2020 which contains lot of information about the project. For those of us who dive Keystone and are interested, I dug some of the info and included it in following 12 panels. Probably boring to people who don't dive here. :)
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Jan K
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Post by Jan K » Thu Dec 24, 2020 9:15 am

Catching up with processing photos. Fish encounters from December 17th at Possession Point Fingers dive.
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Jan K
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Post by Jan K » Thu Dec 24, 2020 3:43 pm

Merry Christmas !
Hope to see many of you next year at the Pass ! :)
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Jan K
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Post by Jan K » Sat Dec 26, 2020 8:13 am

Possession Point December 17th dive. Few more pixels collected there...
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Jan K
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Post by Jan K » Sun Dec 27, 2020 8:53 am

In spite of dredging the Keystone ferry harbor, the Lingcod love goes on in the murky waters :)
Feather boa kelp made appearance again. Sea stars healthy too.
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Jan K
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Post by Jan K » Mon Dec 28, 2020 10:11 am

Deception Pass, December 23rd.
Sea star survey. It looks like stars are doing well, although their numbers did not recover to the pre-wasting days.
No sign of the Sunflower star which used to be common here :(
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Dominick Gheesling
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Post by Dominick Gheesling » Mon Dec 28, 2020 4:29 pm

Seriously,

I look forward to these posts daily!

Love all of the fauna identification!

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Jan K
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Post by Jan K » Tue Dec 29, 2020 9:01 am

December 24th, Lagoon Point.
Diving with a living Christmas ornament :)
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Jan K
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Post by Jan K » Wed Dec 30, 2020 9:30 am

December 26, Skyline. Meet under the gray skies with fellow diving addicts Eric, Scuba Jess and Don. We were rewarded with decent, 15 feet visibility, which for Skyline is very good.
Looking for Candy under the Crimson anemone, found Scaled crab instead :)
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Jan K
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Post by Jan K » Thu Dec 31, 2020 4:26 pm

As the old, sickly and cranky year 2020 winds down, I am trying to catch up with processing pictures of the local marine life.
Nothing exotic, just showing some of our critters and the environment they live in.
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Jan K
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Post by Jan K » Fri Jan 01, 2021 7:11 am

And here we are, January 1st, 2021.
However, there are still photos from last year dives to be processed. After all, why take pictures if nobody sees them ? 🙂
Skyline, December 17th.
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Jan K
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Post by Jan K » Sun Jan 03, 2021 10:31 am

December 31st. For the last dive of 2020 I visit the Keystone Jetty, which is still being affected by the dredging of the ferry landing. Because the work continues even on this day before the New Year Eve celebrations begin, This required the long swim from the old wharf to the jetty and back. Which means limited time on the jetty. Because of the overcast and the silt in water, my wide angle attempts to capture the scene there were not too successful. I did not find any Lingcod nests, nor any large females ready to lay their eggs, just few of the smaller Lingcod males. Not large schools of rockfish, but the limited visibility might be the reason. I did see plenty of Striped surfperch. Many, many Northern Kelp crabs. And the annual gathering of Wrinkled dogwinkle snails is in full swing, starting to lay eggs which soon will cover the places they occupy now. After I finished my dive, the Queen of Keystone Pat arrived to visit her realm, testing her new drysuit which finally arrived. It was good to see my friends, Mike as always, helping Pat and providing good conversation partner to me.
The break in weather was welcomed, since the beginning of the new year looks like will be rainy and very windy. I hope that the dredging will end soon and the impact will be minimal.
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Jan K
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Post by Jan K » Tue Jan 05, 2021 9:31 am

The word on the street is that the dredging is finished and they are just cleaning up the area before finally departing and let us dive again. Meanwhile, here are some snaps from the December 31st dive at the Pilings. Unfortunately, the area under the old wharf is nothing what it used to be. Schools of rockfish, fields of anemones and variety of invertebrates are missing. I am NOT blaming the dredging for it. For now, it is still place for dogwinkle snails gather and lay eggs, few fish to hide, Bull kelp to get tangled ...
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Jan K
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Post by Jan K » Wed Jan 06, 2021 11:14 am

The new paper on Sea Star Wasting Syndrome was published today :

https://news.cornell.edu/stories/2021/0 ... 9iEXBbh2ZA

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Jan K
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Post by Jan K » Wed Jan 06, 2021 7:11 pm

I can't compete with the national news about the coup attempt in the nation's Capitol.
But I can share good news from Keystone, the dredging machinery is gone !
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