Harper's Fishing Pier

Tell us your tale of coming nose-to-nose with a 6 gill [--this big--], or about your vacation to turquoise warm waters. Share your adventures here!
Post Reply
User avatar
coachrenz
Aquanaut
Posts: 649
Joined: Sat Nov 18, 2006 9:58 pm

Harper's Fishing Pier

Post by coachrenz » Sun Feb 15, 2009 9:23 pm

Went out to Harper's Ferry Fishing Pier Sunday and was greeted with the sight of a barge with a crane on it. It was evident that the dolphins at the end of the fishing pier had been removed. We checked in with the lady who runs the little cafe and she said that the pilings had been removed this last week under protest.

CIMG8321.jpg
Piling removal system.



We were going to call the dive, but, decided to do it anyway. We surface swam the 3 miles (okay like 480 feet) to the end of the fishing pier and dropped. We headed on a 60 degree heading and under the barge found several broken off piling pieces. Took a 340 heading from there and ran right into the old wooden trawler.

The lines from the dolphins that ran to the two wrecks are obviously no longer there.

On the way in, we found many crater-like holes along the fishing pier. Apparently they pulled all pilings that broke the surface of the water that weren't actually holding up the fishing pier.

CIMG8336.jpg
Craters from Piling removal.


Still saw some cool stuff. It is apparently Shaggy Mouse breeding season. We saw a ton making babies at Three Tree and they were all over here as well.

CIMG8326.jpg
Shaggy Mouse making babies.


This Scaleyhead Sculpin was looking out over the wreck.

CIMG8329.jpg
Scaleyhead Sculpin


And this Ochre star was showing both color variations.

CIMG8337.jpg
Bicolor Ochre Seastar


Glad we did the dive, didn't get deeper than 27 fsw since it was low tide.
Tim
SSI Dive Control Specialist Instructor
REEF PNW AAT Level 5 Surveyor
REEF Hawaii Level 3 Surveyor
REEF Instructor - PNW Fish, PNW Advanced Fish, PNW Inverts, TWA, HAW, TEP, Cal Inverts and Algae
TimRenz.com creating comfortable, confident, and enthusiastic divers.

User avatar
Tom Nic
I've Got Gills
Posts: 9345
Joined: Mon Apr 10, 2006 6:26 pm

Re: Harper's Fishing Pier

Post by Tom Nic » Sun Feb 15, 2009 9:28 pm

Thanks for the report and the pics...

And alas, another site takin a hit.

Where did you see the Shaggy Meece's at TTN?
More Pics Than You Have Time To Look AT
"Anyone who thinks this place is over moderated is bat-crazy anarchist." -Ben, Airsix
"Warning: No dive masters are going to be there, Just a bunch of old fat guys taking pictures of fish." -Bassman

User avatar
coachrenz
Aquanaut
Posts: 649
Joined: Sat Nov 18, 2006 9:58 pm

Re: Harper's Fishing Pier

Post by coachrenz » Sun Feb 15, 2009 9:35 pm

Tom Nic wrote:Thanks for the report and the pics...

And alas, another site takin a hit.

Where did you see the Shaggy Meece's at TTN?


They were all over the golf-ball boat. There must have been 20+ on the bow of the boat and tons of egg ribbons and more on the ground looking to meet and greet the others on the boat. Saw them last Thursday.
Tim
SSI Dive Control Specialist Instructor
REEF PNW AAT Level 5 Surveyor
REEF Hawaii Level 3 Surveyor
REEF Instructor - PNW Fish, PNW Advanced Fish, PNW Inverts, TWA, HAW, TEP, Cal Inverts and Algae
TimRenz.com creating comfortable, confident, and enthusiastic divers.

User avatar
Tom Nic
I've Got Gills
Posts: 9345
Joined: Mon Apr 10, 2006 6:26 pm

Re: Harper's Fishing Pier

Post by Tom Nic » Sun Feb 15, 2009 9:37 pm

coachrenz wrote:
Tom Nic wrote:Thanks for the report and the pics...

And alas, another site takin a hit.

Where did you see the Shaggy Meece's at TTN?


They were all over the golf-ball boat. There must have been 20+ on the bow of the boat and tons of egg ribbons and more on the ground looking to meet and greet the others on the boat. Saw them last Thursday.


Thanks! I'll definitely pay them a visit in the morning! :fish:
More Pics Than You Have Time To Look AT
"Anyone who thinks this place is over moderated is bat-crazy anarchist." -Ben, Airsix
"Warning: No dive masters are going to be there, Just a bunch of old fat guys taking pictures of fish." -Bassman

User avatar
dwashbur
I've Got Gills
Posts: 2831
Joined: Sun Jan 20, 2008 9:33 pm

Re: Harper's Fishing Pier

Post by dwashbur » Mon Feb 16, 2009 6:38 am

Wow. Does anybody know of any advance warning about this removal? That dolphin was an absolute treasure trove of life, and one of the factors that made Harper's one of our all-time favorite dive sites. I wonder what happened to all the beautiful anemones that lived on it (as if I can't guess), not to mention the huge schools of tubesnouts and shiner perch that called its shelter home. Sad..........
Dave

"Clearly, you weren't listening to what I'm about to say."
--
Check out my Internet show:
http://www.irvingszoo.com

User avatar
coachrenz
Aquanaut
Posts: 649
Joined: Sat Nov 18, 2006 9:58 pm

Re: Harper's Fishing Pier

Post by coachrenz » Mon Feb 16, 2009 11:18 am

dwashbur wrote:Wow. Does anybody know of any advance warning about this removal? That dolphin was an absolute treasure trove of life, and one of the factors that made Harper's one of our all-time favorite dive sites. I wonder what happened to all the beautiful anemones that lived on it (as if I can't guess), not to mention the huge schools of tubesnouts and shiner perch that called its shelter home. Sad..........


The lady across the street said that they scraped lots of the stuff that was on the pilings into the water. Like that was going to do any good. We didn't see piles of scraped off dead stuff on the bottom under the barge, so, don't know if it really happened or what happened to the stuff if it did happen.

There are about a dozen or so broken off pilings still there, not even close to what it was, but, hopefully, they will leave those. They would have to dive to attach them to something to be able to pull. The lady said that she didn't think they would do that as there were only 3 guys working the barge. So, unless they wait for a really minus tide, they likely won't find them.

The only notice we saw at the site was an 8x11 page in a plastic cover hanging at the end of the dock. They placed crushed clam shell in the places where the dolphins were taken out and just left craters where the single pilings were removed.
Tim
SSI Dive Control Specialist Instructor
REEF PNW AAT Level 5 Surveyor
REEF Hawaii Level 3 Surveyor
REEF Instructor - PNW Fish, PNW Advanced Fish, PNW Inverts, TWA, HAW, TEP, Cal Inverts and Algae
TimRenz.com creating comfortable, confident, and enthusiastic divers.

User avatar
Sounder
I've Got Gills
Posts: 7231
Joined: Wed May 24, 2006 2:39 pm

Re: Harper's Fishing Pier

Post by Sounder » Mon Feb 16, 2009 11:26 am

What are/were the "dolphins?" Is that some kind of special piling? Are they bumpers for a ferry? I've heard the term many times, but never thought to ask what it actually meant.

Sucks about the site. I keep hearing "another one bites the dust" over and over in my head... seems like a common theme lately.
GUE Seattle - The official GUE Affiliate in the Northwest!

User avatar
coachrenz
Aquanaut
Posts: 649
Joined: Sat Nov 18, 2006 9:58 pm

Re: Harper's Fishing Pier

Post by coachrenz » Mon Feb 16, 2009 11:28 am

Sounder wrote:What are/were the "dolphins?" Is that some kind of special piling? Are they bumpers for a ferry? I've heard the term many times, but never thought to ask what it actually meant.

Sucks about the site. I keep hearing "another one bites the dust" over and over in my head... seems like a common theme lately.



Dolphins are a set of multiple pilings lashed together with heavy cable which provides a secure mooring. I believe that at Harper's it used to be a ferry landing.
Tim
SSI Dive Control Specialist Instructor
REEF PNW AAT Level 5 Surveyor
REEF Hawaii Level 3 Surveyor
REEF Instructor - PNW Fish, PNW Advanced Fish, PNW Inverts, TWA, HAW, TEP, Cal Inverts and Algae
TimRenz.com creating comfortable, confident, and enthusiastic divers.

User avatar
Sounder
I've Got Gills
Posts: 7231
Joined: Wed May 24, 2006 2:39 pm

Re: Harper's Fishing Pier

Post by Sounder » Mon Feb 16, 2009 12:02 pm

coachrenz wrote:
Sounder wrote:What are/were the "dolphins?" Is that some kind of special piling? Are they bumpers for a ferry? I've heard the term many times, but never thought to ask what it actually meant.

Sucks about the site. I keep hearing "another one bites the dust" over and over in my head... seems like a common theme lately.



Dolphins are a set of multiple pilings lashed together with heavy cable which provides a secure mooring. I believe that at Harper's it used to be a ferry landing.


Aaah, ok. That's what I suspected, but I'd never bothered to ask. Thanks.
GUE Seattle - The official GUE Affiliate in the Northwest!

User avatar
H20doctor
I've Got Gills
Posts: 4059
Joined: Fri Apr 18, 2008 12:13 pm

Re: Harper's Fishing Pier

Post by H20doctor » Mon Feb 16, 2009 12:51 pm

But the wreck is still there ? Right ? So the site still has something to offer.
NWDC Rule #2 Pictures Or it didn't Happen

User avatar
Pez7378
I've Got Gills
Posts: 3256
Joined: Wed Jun 21, 2006 11:09 am

Re: Harper's Fishing Pier

Post by Pez7378 » Mon Feb 16, 2009 1:14 pm

The wrecks are still there it sounds like based on Tims dive report. I'm sure this is all part of the DNR Creosote Piling Project. Here's a link to thier website which has some PDF's that show where all the project sites are.

http://www.dnr.wa.gov/ResearchScience/T ... ation.aspx

User avatar
Gdog
NWDC Moderator
NWDC Moderator
Posts: 3722
Joined: Mon Mar 31, 2008 7:41 pm

Re: Harper's Fishing Pier

Post by Gdog » Mon Feb 23, 2009 8:41 pm

That absolutely stinks. The wife and I loved that site. Now I wish I had gotten a few more pics......... :vom:

User avatar
rcontrera
Aquaphile
Posts: 182
Joined: Wed Jul 19, 2006 3:14 pm

Re: Harper's Fishing Pier

Post by rcontrera » Fri Feb 27, 2009 11:46 pm

Yeah ... it's a shame. That was one of my favorite places.

A few years back we put together an underwater wedding under the dolphin to get a beautiful backdrop of the giant anemones. We had the bride, groom and minister all on coms and the videographer shot the whole thing for Evening Magazine while all the guests were up on the dock watching on the monitor and listening to the vows from the com system. Everyone that had never dove there was amazed by the beauty of our natural altar and the abundance of sea life.

User avatar
DiverDown
I've Got Gills
Posts: 1912
Joined: Wed Jan 04, 2006 8:10 pm

Re: Harper's Fishing Pier

Post by DiverDown » Fri Feb 27, 2009 11:58 pm

I dove there once, it was fantastic. Anyone know why they were removed?
Who run barter town?

User avatar
DiverDown
I've Got Gills
Posts: 1912
Joined: Wed Jan 04, 2006 8:10 pm

Re: Harper's Fishing Pier

Post by DiverDown » Sat Feb 28, 2009 12:02 am

Pez7378 wrote:The wrecks are still there it sounds like based on Tims dive report. I'm sure this is all part of the DNR Creosote Piling Project. Here's a link to thier website which has some PDF's that show where all the project sites are.

http://www.dnr.wa.gov/ResearchScience/T ... ation.aspx


Oops, never mind just read the link.... ](*,)
Who run barter town?

Fishstiq
Amphibian
Posts: 827
Joined: Sun Jul 01, 2007 7:58 am

Re: Harper's Fishing Pier

Post by Fishstiq » Sat Feb 28, 2009 11:14 am

Gotta go against the grain here, apologies all around. After hearing some opposing viewpoints, I agree with the removing of the pilings. If they don't serve a purpose, like holding up a pier or buffering a ferry landing, then they are just leeching creosote into the sound. I know there are a ton of pilings, and I know it doesn't seem like one or two being removed will make a difference, but like someone on this board said, for the sound it's similar to "death by a thousand cuts". Leaving them simply as a jungle gym for divers doesn't make much sense. Yes, this goes against my past opinions, and I know someone will point that out. Oh well, live and learn. I was wrong, and I can admit that. Harpers Ferry still has the wreck to dive, and is still a great site.
Not just front page famous, but above the fold famous...

Waiting for your AIDS test results is no time to be thinking positive.

User avatar
Pez7378
I've Got Gills
Posts: 3256
Joined: Wed Jun 21, 2006 11:09 am

Re: Harper's Fishing Pier

Post by Pez7378 » Sat Feb 28, 2009 11:27 am

From the DNR Website

DNR wrote:Brief Science of Creosote

Not covered in this brief piece are the history of creosote and its use in any of the marine
applications.

Environmental Chemistry

Creosote is a general term covering coal tar creosote, coal tar, and coal tar pitch. Coal tar
creosote is the most common mixture, and is widely used as a wood preservative in the U.S. As
many as 10,000 chemicals may comprise this mixture.

.. The primary chemicals of concern within creosote compound —with harmful health
effects—are polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), phenols, and creosols. Of these
three, PAHs are the most common ingredient.
.. PAHs are organic compounds, and in the context of creosote (and in general) they are
divided into two categories: low molecular weight PAH compounds (low PAH) and high
molecular weight PAH compounds (high PAH).
.. Chemicals in creosote break down in water very slowly. They tend to cling to particles of
matter, and as such, sediments are considered the primary location for these contaminants
to collect in aquatic environments. Many PAHs do not migrate far from the point of
contamination, and accumulate at that primary location.
.. The rate of absorption of a particular compound is variable and depends on several factors
(e.g., exposure, degradation, and oxidation).
.. Microscopic breakdown of some of these toxins can occur at the water/sediment interface;
high PAHs can resist degradation more than low PAHs. In sediment with less oxygen,
degradation of both high and low PAHs decreases, and may persist in the sediments for an
indefinite period.
.. Intake by living organisms depends on a particular chemical compound, but organisms that
live in or are attached to the sediments can uptake many of the PAHs as they ingest
sediment or as they eat other organisms with concentrations of the chemicals.



Toxicity of creosote

The toxic effects of organic contaminants (such as PAHs) depends on several factors, including
the route of exposure, duration and concentration, chemical composition, organism sensitivity,
life stage affected, organism potential for detoxification/excretion, and the physical condition of
a particular organism during exposure.

.. In general, these chemical compounds vary widely in toxicity. For some organisms, low
PAHs are acutely toxic but may be considered non-cancer causing. High PAHs however,
are not as toxic, but to many organisms—such as fish, birds, amphibians, mammals—can
cause cancer, mutation or malformation of embryo/fetus.
.. These toxins quickly accumulate in an organism, but most organisms can also rapidly
metabolize and eliminate them. Most fish tissue contains relatively low concentrations of
these toxins, and accumulation is usually short term. Two other processes are more
common: biodegradation (decay and absorbed by environment) and biotransformation
(chemical compound alteration by enzymes).
.. PAHs generally are not expected in higher order organisms; organisms such as fish have
the potential to metabolize and excrete PAHs.
.. These toxins can accumulate in tissues of mollusks and other benthic invertebrates that do
not metabolize as efficiently. An increase in concentration can result within organisms with
higher fat. Reproduction may be inhibited or death may occur.
.. For some fish species, this sediments contamination is linked to adverse impacts, such as
reproductive impairment, suppressed immune function, liver lesions and fin abnormalities.
In addition, embryonic development of the Pacific herring has been shown to be negatively
affected by diffusible components of weathered creosote pilings.


References

Vines, C.A., T. Robbins, F.J. Griffin, and G.N. Cherr. 2000. The effects of diffusible creosote-
derived compounds on development in Pacific herring (Clupea pallasi). Aquatic Toxicology:
51, pp 225-239.

Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR). 2002. Toxicological profile for
creosote. Atlanta, GA: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service.

EVS Environmental Consultants. 2003. Status, Trends and Effects of Toxic Contaminants in
the Puget Sound Environment. Prepared for Puget Sound Action Team, Olympia, Washington.
EVS Project No. 02-1090-01.

Stratus Consulting. 2006. Creosote-Treated Wood In Aquatic Environments: Technical Review
and Use Recommendations. Prepared for NOAA Fisheries, Southwest Division. Santa Rosa,
California. http://swr.nmfs.noaa.gov/wood/Creosote_Report-final.pdf




User avatar
Nwbrewer
I've Got Gills
Posts: 4524
Joined: Fri Jul 21, 2006 10:59 am

Re: Harper's Fishing Pier

Post by Nwbrewer » Sat Feb 28, 2009 11:29 am

Fishstiq wrote:Gotta go against the grain here, apologies all around. After hearing some opposing viewpoints, I agree with the removing of the pilings. If they don't serve a purpose, like holding up a pier or buffering a ferry landing, then they are just leeching creosote into the sound. I know there are a ton of pilings, and I know it doesn't seem like one or two being removed will make a difference, but like someone on this board said, for the sound it's similar to "death by a thousand cuts". Leaving them simply as a jungle gym for divers doesn't make much sense. Yes, this goes against my past opinions, and I know someone will point that out. Oh well, live and learn. I was wrong, and I can admit that. Harpers Ferry still has the wreck to dive, and is still a great site.



I'm with you, I just wish they'd sink a bunch of boulders at these sites for some of the life to move to before they rip out the pilings. Plus this still gives us a place to dive. (yeah, I'm selfish, whatever)

Fishstiq
Amphibian
Posts: 827
Joined: Sun Jul 01, 2007 7:58 am

Re: Harper's Fishing Pier

Post by Fishstiq » Sat Feb 28, 2009 5:01 pm

Nwbrewer wrote:
Fishstiq wrote:Gotta go against the grain here, apologies all around. After hearing some opposing viewpoints, I agree with the removing of the pilings. If they don't serve a purpose, like holding up a pier or buffering a ferry landing, then they are just leeching creosote into the sound. I know there are a ton of pilings, and I know it doesn't seem like one or two being removed will make a difference, but like someone on this board said, for the sound it's similar to "death by a thousand cuts". Leaving them simply as a jungle gym for divers doesn't make much sense. Yes, this goes against my past opinions, and I know someone will point that out. Oh well, live and learn. I was wrong, and I can admit that. Harpers Ferry still has the wreck to dive, and is still a great site.



I'm with you, I just wish they'd sink a bunch of boulders at these sites for some of the life to move to before they rip out the pilings. Plus this still gives us a place to dive. (yeah, I'm selfish, whatever)


Agreed. Sink some boulders, or reef balls, or something like that.





Okay Sounder, commence with your "reef balls" jokes....
Not just front page famous, but above the fold famous...

Waiting for your AIDS test results is no time to be thinking positive.

User avatar
dwashbur
I've Got Gills
Posts: 2831
Joined: Sun Jan 20, 2008 9:33 pm

Re: Harper's Fishing Pier

Post by dwashbur » Sat Feb 28, 2009 5:31 pm

I'm not so much opposed to the piling removal as I am opposed to the removal of what has become thriving marine habitat. The dolphin at Harper's wasn't just a playground for divers, it was a living community in its own right, and it has been destroyed and nothing put in its place to support the life that was there. That's what I don't like.
Dave

"Clearly, you weren't listening to what I'm about to say."
--
Check out my Internet show:
http://www.irvingszoo.com

User avatar
Gdog
NWDC Moderator
NWDC Moderator
Posts: 3722
Joined: Mon Mar 31, 2008 7:41 pm

Re: Harper's Fishing Pier

Post by Gdog » Sun Mar 01, 2009 9:25 pm

Amen.....I think that is how everyone feels.

Post Reply