Sea star die-off

Fish & Invertebrate sightings and descriptions, hosted by resident NWDC ID expert Janna Nichols (nwscubamom).
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ljjames
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Re: Sea star die-off

Postby ljjames » Sun Feb 09, 2014 3:07 pm

There have been some concerning reports of crab, cucumbers and chitons showing up sick or dead. The scientists were hoping that divers could keep their eyes out for any abnormal sightings.

The starfish wasting disease is still ongoing and spreading. Areas that were initially spared are starting to show signs so its very important to post here, or fill out the Vancouver Aquarium form or #sickstarfish with instagram (or use the manual entry www.sickstarfish.com )

Already thanks to reports they've been able to see in much better detail the scope and spread of the disease, so keep em coming! Your eyes in the field at your local dive sites have been incredibly helpful, and everyone is very grateful.
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ljjames
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Re: Sea star die-off

Postby ljjames » Sat Feb 01, 2014 6:52 pm

article and story from Earthfix... aired thursday on PBS Newshour

http://earthfix.kcts9.org/water/article ... tists-clu/

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Re: Sea star die-off

Postby fnerg » Sat Feb 01, 2014 1:54 pm

One spiny pink star, one sunflower star, one not great looking leather star, 3-ish healthy looking ochre stars, 3-5 stimpson's, one sand star(Luidia foliolata), 4-ish mottled stars (Evasterias troschelii)

All at Cove 2.

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Re: Sea star die-off

Postby ljjames » Fri Jan 31, 2014 12:04 pm

Thanks for the updates!! Keep them coming... Lynne, your timing was impeccable, I was just going to head out and do a brittle star survey at cove 2 so you saved me a trip :)
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LCF
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Re: Sea star die-off

Postby LCF » Thu Jan 30, 2014 11:00 pm

Cove 2 tonight -- we saw at least 4 or five large, healthy appearing ochre stars. I saw one Stimson's (gorgeous colors, bright red and blue). No mottled, no pinks, and no sunflowers at all. On the other hand, we saw quite a lot of brittle stars.
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Tom Nic
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Re: Sea star die-off

Postby Tom Nic » Thu Jan 30, 2014 4:23 pm

I haven't been in our waters since November, and did a dive at Three Tree this morning. Even though I knew it was bad it was eerie not seeing ONE Sunflower Star, or Spiny Pink, or Leather Star the entire dive. I saw one healthy Vermillion Star, and 4 or 5 so so looking Ochre Stars. There weren't even many California Sea Cucumbers around, maybe a half dozen in one spot. Pretty bare....
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Re: Sea star die-off

Postby LCF » Wed Jan 29, 2014 9:28 pm

I dove Mukilteo last night, and was THRILLED to see a number of healthy-appearing ochre stars, as well as a bunch of juveniles! (At least I assume they were juveniles, because they were less than four inches across.) Perhaps there is a population resistant to whatever is causing this, that is beginning to make itself known.

Unfortunately, we saw one sunflower star, and it looked unhealthy.
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Re: Sea star die-off

Postby ljjames » Sun Jan 26, 2014 10:44 pm

Manual entry is now available at http://www.sickstarfish.com (in addition to the Instagram hashtag option, where you take a picture, #sickstarfish with brief descriptive in the comment field and upload from the beach)

To use manual entry, locate your intended site on the map and then right click on your computer or long touch on the location on mobile to auto add the lat/long and open the manual entry field window!!!

HUGE SHOUT OUT to Lamont for making this possible!!!!!!

There is a text window for typing a brief description of what you observed i.e. "Almost no purple stars left at cove 1, no sunflower stars, two leather stars" or "80% of the sunflower stars are sick or dead" we are mostly looking to map disease progression here.

Also, please post follow up dives. If you go back and there are changes for the negative OR positive, "die off seems to have stabilized" or "baby sunflower stars at Titlow" or "sick in the shallows, but healthy deeper than 130'". We want YOUR anecdotal observations... Make a post for every time you visit the site, noting the changes.

Same for beach walking. For example, at cove 1, there are no more ochre or mottled stars in the intertidal zone pipeline rocks. This is a change from 2 weeks ago when we could go out on a low tide and count a 8-12. Things are still in flux and we still need to track whats going on.
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Re: Sea star die-off

Postby dphershman » Sun Jan 26, 2014 11:56 am

Went to Redondo yesterday after a month out of the water ( a bad cold, family trip to the east side of the mtns). Redondo seemed eerily dead, in a way that I've not seen before in ten years of diving at this location.

Not much to see, I found a Heath's Dorid, but that was about it. The octo was still under the boat and the Juvenile Wolf Eel was still in the tire down by the carousel horse. But the lack of sea stars was amazing. All that really remained was sea star sized piles of grayish-white goo.
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We found one small one sun star in the eel grass, seemingly unaffected.
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Couldn't but wonder, the experts say that this disease isn't really affecting other underwater life, but the lack of fauna overall was striking. Hopefully, the sea stars will rebound this spring and summer. One thing is true for sure, you don't know what you've got 'til its gone.

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ljjames
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Re: Sea star die-off

Postby ljjames » Sun Jan 26, 2014 11:38 am

Video from cove 1.

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Re: Sea star die-off

Postby Greg Jensen » Thu Jan 16, 2014 11:25 pm

video from Canada's Howe Sound:

http://vimeo.com/84262171

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Re: Sea star die-off

Postby Greg Jensen » Sun Jan 12, 2014 6:04 pm

IMG_1152.JPG
This was Warren Ave bridge in Bremerton in late October

Dove it today and there were very few healthy looking pinks- most were gone altogether, but there were quite a few in the process of dissolving.


Leather stars didn't seem diminished and looked ok, and there was a healthy-looking batch of ochre stars shallow on the first bridge support. Only saw one pycno (looked good) but didn't cover a lot of territory.
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WylerBear
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Re: Sea star die-off

Postby WylerBear » Wed Jan 08, 2014 11:02 pm

Saw about 5 healthy Sunflower Stars at Redondo today. Saw several healthy appearing ochre stars on the pilings. But also saw a lot of goo and several dead or dying Sunflower, Stimpson's, and Spiny Pink Stars.
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Re: Sea star die-off

Postby Matt S. » Wed Jan 08, 2014 2:04 pm

LCF wrote:We saw several healthy-appearing ochre stars at Cove 2 yesterday, but not a single sunflower star. Not one. :(


That is unbelievable... Wow.

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Re: Sea star die-off

Postby Nwbrewer » Wed Jan 08, 2014 7:33 am

1/7/14 Mukilteo Clay Walls.

Immediately on entry noticed several sun stars that were dead and in pieces. Several ochre stars that looked healthy. The clay walls themselves were covered on a mix of healthy and dying sun stars, some pealing off the walls.
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Re: Sea star die-off

Postby LCF » Tue Jan 07, 2014 6:11 pm

We saw several healthy-appearing ochre stars at Cove 2 yesterday, but not a single sunflower star. Not one. :(
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Re: Sea star die-off

Postby RVbldr » Tue Jan 07, 2014 1:58 pm

Last Friday, Octopus Hole was also looking healthy with out any signs of disease amongst any of the species.

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Re: Sea star die-off

Postby Greg Jensen » Sun Jan 05, 2014 6:47 pm

Ayers Pt (east side of Hood Canal)- no sign yet of the disease. Lots of hand-sized Pycnopodia.
Metridium didn't look so hot, though, with a lot of them scrunched down completely.

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Re: Sea star die-off

Postby YellowEye » Thu Jan 02, 2014 8:16 pm

The Hood Canal (Flagpole, Elephant Wall) yesterday was looking healthy with the exception of possibly one sunflower in the early stages:
DSC_3984.jpg

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Jan K
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Re: Sea star die-off

Postby Jan K » Thu Jan 02, 2014 3:18 pm

First dive of 2014 - January 1st - Possession Fingers.
Sunflower stars - Wasting 11 - dozens others healthy
Ochre stars -5 healthy fine , but one severed ray found, no rest of body found
Pink, Blood and Mottled stars - all looking good

Keystone Jetty on December 31st:
1 wasting Sunflower all others healthy.
One Mottled star severed ray - rest of the injured body not found - all others OK

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Re: Sea star die-off

Postby oldsalt » Thu Jan 02, 2014 2:57 pm

ljjames wrote:Are there any reports Whidbey/Possession side of Admiralty Inlet?

Check Jan's Whidbey Critters thread.
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Re: Sea star die-off

Postby ljjames » Thu Jan 02, 2014 12:32 pm

Are there any reports Whidbey/Possession side of Admiralty Inlet?
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Re: Sea star die-off

Postby Hoodsport_Diver » Tue Dec 31, 2013 2:51 pm

I dove at Titlow Beach yesterday (Dec 30; 0930 PST). We observed 8 healthy the sea stars (Pisaster ochraceus) as well as 20 displaying various stages of the disease.
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Re: Sea star die-off

Postby Tidepool Geek » Tue Dec 31, 2013 7:41 am

Greetings,

Are there any data on how this disease progresses in individual animals?

At the Feiro Center we have two (of 4 total) Painted Stars (Orthosterias kohleri) that are showing arm curling and small lesions. The thing is, they have been 'stuck' on this level of affliction for over a month without noticable improvement or degradation. From my reading here and elsewhere I had gotten the impression that the disease progessed quite rapidly but that doesn't seem to be what we're seeing in our tanks.

We have an open system and draw our water from Port Angeles harbor.

Other stars in our facility:

Sunflower (Pyncnopodia helianthoides) [n=5] - Seem OK; no arm curling & although I thought I saw a small lesion a few weeks ago I haven't been able to find it since.

Sun (Solaster stimpsoni) [n=4] - Seem OK; no visible symptoms.

Mottled (Evasterias troscheli) [n=5] - Mostly OK; some possible arm curling in one individual.

Leather (Dermasterias imbricata) [n=2] - Seem OK; no visible symptoms.

Ochre (Pisaster ochraceus) [n=12+] - Seem OK; questionable arm curling in a few individuals.

Six Ray (Leptasterias spp.) [n=12+] - No 'standard' symptoms but two of these just laid eggs about a month earlier than normal.

Worriedly yours,
Alex

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Re: Sea star die-off

Postby ljjames » Tue Dec 31, 2013 12:38 am

The team up at WWU Marine Labs are doing a series of experiments. All sorts of stuff, putting healthy and sick in same aquarium, putting sick ones in 'clean' water, etc...
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