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 » Fri Dec 06, 2019 7:18 am

Catching up after Thanksgiving with processing photos.
Langley Harbor surveys. End of November.
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Jan K
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Post by Jan K » Sat Dec 07, 2019 10:02 am

Langley four days later, dive with Maya. The schools of fish from previous dives, now nowhere to be seen :(
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Jan K
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Post by Jan K » Sun Dec 08, 2019 9:54 am

Early last year, the stormy weather deposited a piece of tree outside the seawall at Langley Harbor.
Every time I dive there, I swim by it. It is amazing to watch the transformation as the shipworms consume that massive piece of wood...
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Jan K
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Post by Jan K » Mon Dec 09, 2019 7:44 pm

Lagoon Point. When I saw a slug feasting on another slug, my first reaction was, another Hermissenda crassicornis, our common marauder which likes not only eat other nudibranchs, but has cannibal tendency to eat its own kind. I sent picture to my nudibranch expert friend Dave Behrens with a Thanksgiving Day wish. To my surprise, it turns out to be a new arrival in our Puget Sound waters - Enosima aeolid - Sakuraeolis enosimensis . The only known locality on the US West Coast was till now was San Francisco Bay. Dave Behrens found it there back in 1970. Originally, Japanese Emperor Hirohito, an avid marine biologist, discovered it in Japan - how cool is this ! So next time you come across our common Hermissenda - take a closer look, the climate change is bringing all kind of surprises...
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Post by Tidepool Geek » Tue Dec 10, 2019 8:51 am

Hi Jan,
Nice find and a fascinating bit of history!
It's a bit concerning to think about the potential for invasiveness though.
Nervously yours,
Alex

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oldsalt
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Post by oldsalt » Tue Dec 10, 2019 4:57 pm

Jan, This is so cool. Your skill as an observer continues to astound me. Your historical vignette about Hirohito's passion for marine biology strikes a nostalgic chord for me. In 1969, while convalescing from wounds, I was assigned to the naval hospital in Yokosuka, Japan. Bike riding accelerated my recovery and riding past the emperor's summer palace in Hayama was a favorite route. This site included his marine biology lab where he conducted his research. It burned down soon thereafter, but a museum built on the site includes some of the late emperor's specimens. I hope to return to Japan to reminisce. It may be worth a visit.
-Curt :rawlings:
Happy to be alive.

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Jan K
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Post by Jan K » Wed Dec 11, 2019 7:17 pm

oldsalt wrote:
Tue Dec 10, 2019 4:57 pm
Jan, This is so cool. Your skill as an observer continues to astound me. Your historical vignette about Hirohito's passion for marine biology strikes a nostalgic chord for me. In 1969, while convalescing from wounds, I was assigned to the naval hospital in Yokosuka, Japan. Bike riding accelerated my recovery and riding past the emperor's summer palace in Hayama was a favorite route. This site included his marine biology lab where he conducted his research. It burned down soon thereafter, but a museum built on the site includes some of the late emperor's specimens. I hope to return to Japan to reminisce. It may be worth a visit.
-Curt :rawlings:
Thank you Curt for adding to the story...
Interesting how intertwine life is. :luv:

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Jan K
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Post by Jan K » Thu Dec 12, 2019 9:29 am

Deception Pass, December 6th. Sea star survey. The good news, no wasting sighted. I sure miss the colors of summer. The sea cucumbers are dormant, not feeding, so their red color is missing at the seascape, winter currents are not that friendly neither.
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Post by Jan K » Fri Dec 13, 2019 8:53 am

Few more from the December Deception Pass dive. Two days later, nasty head cold put my diving on hold :(
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Post by Jan K » Sat Dec 14, 2019 5:22 am

Since still I can't dive :( , here are few from past dive at Keystone I forgot to process.
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Jan K
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Post by Jan K » Sun Dec 15, 2019 10:19 am

The new visitor (maybe even our new resident) nudibranch made it to the Slugsite as "The Ophisthobranch of the Week".

http://slugsite.us/bow2007/nudwk1124.ht ... 81R2IoXG_8

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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Post by Gdog » Mon Dec 16, 2019 2:19 pm

very cool!! Hope you get feeling better soon Jan

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Jan K
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Post by Jan K » Mon Dec 16, 2019 4:22 pm

Thank you GD, I sure miss diving...

Menwhile, still under the weather, no diving. Except diving into recent memory.
Like when I promised Maya thousands of fish and they didn't show up :(
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Jan K
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Post by Jan K » Sat Dec 21, 2019 6:26 pm

On behalf of all the Whidbey Island critters :
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year !!! :) :) :)
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Jan K
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Post by Jan K » Tue Dec 24, 2019 3:44 pm

Just in time for Christmas, I dipped my toes into our cold waters again :)
Searching the muck for slugs, finding few, including couple of the new residents - Enosima aeolid.
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Jan K
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Post by Jan K » Fri Dec 27, 2019 7:47 pm

While the tides are good, the weather is unpredictable, the southerly winds ranging from breezy to strong.
Before Christmas the forecast was for light wind for Thursday and Friday, only to be updated at Christmas day to gale warning.
Since it was predicted to hit later in the afternoon, I sneaked in a dive before lunch. Visibility was marred by silt, but ten to twelve feet
was enough to find some of the resident fishies. Kelp greenling guarding eggs was one of them.
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Post by Jan K » Sat Dec 28, 2019 9:50 am

Couple more fish from the Keystone dive.
Although we are getting close to the season when Lingcod lay eggs, none of the huge individuals were present at this time.
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Jan K
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Post by Jan K » Sun Dec 29, 2019 10:59 am

Keystone Jetty these days - lots of sea urchins, less sea stars. :(
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Jan K
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Post by Jan K » Tue Dec 31, 2019 9:47 am

Langley Harbor sea star survey. December 2019.
Numbers are way down, even if I did not see any new cases of wasting. Just one sickly looking Ochre star.
I did find some very small juveniles, babies, but I have found them last winter in great numbers, but it don't seem to be repopulating this locality, so I am not so sure about the report's optimism about immunity of the new generation. I guess, time will tell. Langley harbor now acquired dozens of Leather stars, which were not found here before. None of them are large adults, and so far, they are not showing signs of wasting. Looking forward to see what the new year will bring.
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Post by Jan K » Sun Jan 05, 2020 11:00 am

First dive of 2020 at Langley. I choose it for ease of entry, since I am nursing my calf injury.
It was not the best decision, although the dive went just fine, the leg is now back into a recovery mode.
Diving put on hold, again. :(
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Post by Jan K » Tue Jan 07, 2020 11:52 am

And the Sea Star Wasting Disease continues to decimate the diversity of star species here in Langley Harbor. Leather stars are slowly appearing to be the most common star on the tire reef. Interestingly, they were a rare sight prior to the outbreak of the disease. Ochre, Mottled and Pink stars are still more numerous elsewhere around the tire reef.
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Jan K
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Post by Jan K » Tue Jan 14, 2020 10:42 am

While the snow and icy roads discourage road travel, I am at home, looking at old photos.
How much have some of my favorite dive localities changed. And not for better. :(
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Jan K
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Post by Jan K » Thu Jan 16, 2020 3:09 pm

Another one in the "Where have all the critters gone, long time passing ?" series...
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Jan K
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Post by Jan K » Fri Jan 17, 2020 6:22 pm

Another critter missing around Whidbey underwater scene.
Where there were fields of Sea pens - empty sandy plain.
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Jan K
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Post by Jan K » Sat Jan 18, 2020 3:15 pm

I sure miss the Squat lobsters, wherever they are now.
Their apartments are now just empty holes without their smily faces. :(
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