Thursday, August 10, 2017
Sites and sounds from this summer's return to the Elwha sea-floor
An embarrassment of tube worm riches, site E2, July 31 2017
Last week was our first week of diving for our annual (since 2008) sub-tidal site monitoring effort in the marine waters near the Elwha River Delta (i.e. here and here). Overall my take away is that the system "looks" very recovered relative to during the peak of dam removal in 2013 and 2014 (i.e. see the two comparative videos here). Here is a recent example, Site H2 in 2013, during dam removal. In particular in this video pay attention right at the outset to the turbidity visible in the water column, as well as the general lack of algae:
we returned to that site this summer, and here is the look see:
and now on to just a few highlights from this year:
Observed for the first time in our surveys, the orange peel nudibranch (Tochuina tetraquetra). This thing was big...probably 6-8 inches in length...
We work out of the US Coast Guard Base on Ediz Hook, and this massive ball of herring was at the dock the entire week
The world's largest barnacle, Balanus nubilus, at work
Observed at Site C1, something we used to see a bit before dam removal...a Bull Kelp (Nereocystis leutkeana) growing attached to a tubeworm (in this case Spiochaetopterus sp.). Typically Bull Kelp will attach to bedrock, boulders or large cobble.