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Low rainfall leads to an odd and changing year for salmon, killer whales and people

It has been an interesting year for observing the behavior of Southern Resident killer whales, chum salmon and humans in the Puget Sound region. Weather played a significant role. Two weeks ago, all three pods of endangered orcas spent four days together in Puget Sound, something we have not seen in years. Chum salmon, which …

Lawsuit seeks to block Southeast Alaska troll fishing to increase salmon for orcas

How much should Alaskan fishing be curtailed to provide more food for the endangered Southern Resident killer whales? It is an important question, enmeshed in conflicting federal priorities and provoked by a lawsuit brought by Wild Fish Conservancy, a Seattle-based conservation group. A federal court ruled in August that the National Marine Fisheries Service had …

Event celebrates the anniversary of the Clean Water Act and new funding for Puget Sound

EPA Deputy Administrator Janet McCabe gave a speech about new federal funding for the environment while visiting the Center for Urban Waters in Tacoma.

It could have been mistaken for a foggy morning along the waterfront, but the occasional coughs and burning eyes among the crowd of 60 or so people gathered here last Wednesday told a different story. Like much of the Northwest, Tacoma was shrouded in a haze of smoke from a spate of forest fires giving …

Job alert: PSI is hiring two post-doctoral scholars focusing on ecosystem modeling and fisheries science

From UWHires: https://ap.washington.edu/ahr/position-details/?job_id=104123 Postdoctoral Scholar – Ecosystem Modeling and Fisheries Science: Climate Change, Nutrient, and Contaminant Impacts on the Salish Sea Position Overview Organization: School of Engineering and Technology Title: Postdoctoral Scholar – Ecosystem Modeling and Fisheries Science: Climate Change, Nutrient, and Contaminant Impacts on the Salish Sea Position Details Position Description The University of Washington Tacoma’s …

Scientists dig into massive data collected during international high-seas expedition

Questions about where salmon go and how they survive when traveling far out into the Pacific Ocean have puzzled scientists for 200 years. But a new vision for piecing together this intricate puzzle has begun to emerge, thanks to sophisticated research tools deployed during an international expedition this past winter. Last week, scientists got together …

Killer whale census shows another down year, with three deaths and two births

Three deaths and two births. Over the past year, the endangered Southern Resident killer whale population has declined by a total of one, according to the annual census report submitted yesterday by the Center for Whale Research. Now the number of whales in all three pods stands at 73, down from 74 last year and …

PSI monthly roundup: September 2022

PSI monthly roundup: September 2022 View the fully formatted newsletter Six things that people should know about ecosystem modeling and virtual experiments Mathematical models running on high-speed computers are being used successfully to describe and predict all sorts of environmental changes, from annual salmon runs to sea-level rise to warming waters in streams, bays and …

Six things that people should know about ecosystem modeling and virtual experiments

The Puget Sound Institute is facilitating a series of online workshops and discussions to explore the technical uncertainties related to the science of Puget Sound water quality. As part of the project, we are publishing informational blogs and articles, including this look at how computer models are becoming increasingly important to our understanding of the natural world. The project is …

Add-on structure will begin to address steelhead crisis at the Hood Canal Bridge

The Hood Canal Bridge, which connects the Kitsap and Olympic peninsulas, has proven to be a dangerous impediment to juvenile steelhead trout. As many as half of the young migratory steelhead in Hood Canal may get picked off by seals, birds and other predators as the fish try to pass under the floating highway, according …

Upcoming workshops on tools to evaluate water quality and biological integrity 

An image of brackish water mixing in the Salish Sea as shown by the Salish Sea Model. Image courtesy of the Salish Sea Modeling Center.

New event: More than 130 researchers, scientists, modelers, and other experts attended our first workshop in July on The Science of Puget Sound Water Quality. The discussion continues with two interrelated workshops focusing on scientific tools for evaluating marine conditions and species health. Join us:  September 29th from 8 – 10 AM PT for Tools to …

New film about spring Chinook delves into history, culture and science in unique habitats

A new film, titled “The Lost Salmon,” opens with a video montage that takes us through some wondrous scenes: A wide aerial shot of California’s majestic Salmon River, moving to an underwater view of salmon swimming through the clear water and then to an action spectacle of wild salmon practically flying through the air to …