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    SOUTHERN RESIDENT KILLER WHALES

    Found this video to be the most non-bias, well researched, and informative report on the SRKW. It doesn't seem to be getting the play it deserves. Hope many of you will take the time to watch it all and pass it on.
    Google - Dr. Andrew Trites on the State of the Southern Resident Killer Whales. The doctor is a Professor and Director of Marine Mammal Research Unit at UBC.
    Thanks, Ted

    #2
    Like all hot issues today, when you say it, it becomes true. Thanks for posting. He does seem convinced the king salmon run is at peril. Interesting that BC does not clip fishery kings like we do. They keep them, US fishermen think they are native.
    Tally and Vicki
    "Wickus" Meridian 341
    MMSI 338014939

    Comment


      #3
      Thanks for the reply Talman. I'm a little slow in responding re your clipping comments as I know we clip some springs. This summer got a letter from the Salmon Head Recovery Program stating that .the head I turned in had no wire tag but one that was caught same time, same location did and was from the Cowichan River Hatchery. So spoke with a friend who does a lot of work with the Charters Creek Hatchery on the Sooke River and this was his take on clipping. DFO funded hatcheries clip Coho but not Springs. Private hatcheries clip as many Coho and Springs as they can muster volunteers to do.
      This summer when DFO opened up Sockeye to Sport Fishermen on Juan de Fuca, they asked we throw back any clipped Sockeye as they were from a small run from Cultis Creek ( Lake ) that they were trying to rebuild.
      Also in the last few months, I can't ever remember hearing so many fishers reporting that when they cleaned their Coho catch that they had 8 to 10 inch Spring shakers in their gut.
      Maybe it's because we're more in tune with the issues. Ted

      Comment


        #4
        I commercial trolled for salmon for 28 years. I fished both Johnstone Strait and off the Fraser River for sockeye. In both areas I witnessed on many occasions Killer Whales gorging themselves on sockeye at close enough distance from my vessel to see what they were consuming. I hear and have read on the studies that these mammals feed mainly on chinook (kings). This may be true but I have seen them in feeding friezes on sockeye numerous times.

        I was at a public meeting in Vancouver put on by DFO with two biologists speaking on the issue of the sockeye stocks of concern. At the meeting when I suggested that there was a need for a specific seal/sea lion cull at the entrance to some creeks where sockeye stocks were a concern (like garbage dump black bear some seal and seal lions specialize in killing returning salmon in their estuaries). The one biologist stated that seals do not eat salmon. Obviously I was taken back so questioned her statement. She said they had done a study that showed from the stomach contents of harvested seals that there were no salmon in their diet and from that study she supported her belief that seals don't eat salmon. I asked what time of the year the study was done. She answered 'What difference would that make?' What difference in deed!

        Too often studies find what they are looking for rather than what the facts are. I find it hard to believe that the Southern killer whales do not eat other salmon species when available rather then starve to death. It doesn't make sense evolution wise.
        16' lap straight with B&S inboard, my 1st commercial fishing adventure
        17' run about with original 80ph Volvo, fun with some exploration of the coast
        25' Chris Craft - lots of fun exploring further north on the BC coast
        32' wood commercial salmon troller - ice boat, hard work & fun
        41' wood commercial salmon troller - ice boat, hard work & fun
        38' Permaglass commercial salmon troller - freezer boat, harder work & fun
        1987 3870 with 175 Hinos - back to mostly fun again & exploration

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          #5
          I'm sure they do eat other species, but like us, a big fat hog King is at the top of the dining list!
          97 2859

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            #6
            ps.. I'm even more surprised that they haven't developed a taste for seals.
            97 2859

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              #7
              I thought the exact same thing. Apparently the Southern Resident whales have evolved a jaw that can only accommodate salmon as they were plentiful enough to allow the whale’s survival. Transient Orca’s can and do hunt and eat seals but this inability in Residents may cause their extinction.
              Evolution takes generations after generations; human interference has removed the luxury of time for an untold number of species.
              Its going to be a very different place we leave our grandkids...
              Drew Haas
              1998 4788 "Painkiller"

              Comment


                #8
                You bring up an interesting and troubling topic here in WA, of which I have anger and disgust over what has transpired.

                I attended the meeting in Anacortes in August. I have a lot to say about the stupidity of how the task force conducted their meeting, they way they facilitated their groups, and the recommendations they put together out of this day long process. But what did they come up with?

                The first OTF meeting (which I was not part of) happened a couple months prior. In their infinite wisdom, they decided they need to establish the various questions they needed to ask in order to come to a recommendation. But rather than take those initial questions and have just one person make phone calls or do a simple Google search to get more information, they spent the entire next meeting in Anacortes to refine those questions. Seriously!

                Upon reading the material I was sent prior to attending the August meeting, my first thought was why most of the questions had absolutely no background information to base the question on. Moreover, most of the questions being proposed could have been fully answered on Google.

                I decided to attend, because I wanted to know if the people putting this together had even one clue about what they were doing. Trust me on this, they didn't. Here's proof. Following the August meeting, this is what Governor Inslee received:

                https://www.governor.wa.gov/sites/de...y%20graphs.pdf

                For the August meeting, the first hour was all introductions, and a few of the OTF members expressing their agendas. Then they broke the 70 or so members of the OTF into 3 groups. Next, each group was rotated through 3 rooms: A room that facilitated the topic of, 'Predation', to the next room of 'Hydro(dams)', and the third room discussing 'Vessel'.

                I first visited the 'Hydro' group. Summarizing, I heard comments like, "How can the orca eat when all the fish can't get past the dams on the Snake River? We need to remove them, ...now!" It wasn't clear whether they were referring to the hydro dams, or the ones they put in back in the 50's to raise the level for barges to take cargo across. However, not one addressed the length of time it would take just to get the legalities worked out, much less create infrastructure to make the change from barging to trucking. I shook my head and walked out.

                Then I visited the Vessel group. "We need to limit Whale Watching boats to a mile, and have all passing boats turn off their sonar whenever they are near the pods." Say what? The USCG has rules about that, and they have no sense of humor. I shook my head. Then I heard, "We need to increase policing to make sure boats are not infringing on the orca." Oh my. And who will do that? More importantly, who will pay for that? Next!

                Predation.

                Being an advocate of hatchery production, my last hope was the for some kind of wisdom from the 'Predation' group. Personally, (and after reading/watching the OP's link) I believe that the 1000% increase in pinnipeds as a result of the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972 has a lot to do with diminishing salmon stocks. Instead, I heard comments like, "We can't increase hatchery production because we'd be mixing defective DNA with the wild stocks." Say what? Hatcheries have been producing salmon since the late 1800's, with a huge resurgence in the 1950's. So, their belief that there is even one pure DNA salmon on the planet is completely delusional.

                The second point raised was the pinnipeds. "We need to find a way of discouraging pinniped predation. Maybe there is some kind of technology that can dissuade them." Right. And how would that not effect the Orca? I know! Why don't we all get in our boats with a baseball bat in each hand, and beat the hull when we see one. Having had numerous losses from seals taking fish off my line, that ain't gonna stop them, ...but a well placed bullet will. ....."But they are so cute! We can't just kill them." Right.

                The one point that all groups agreed with was that 100 pinnipeds be culled from the mouth of the Columbia. Let me see now, .......72,000 pinnipeds, .....at even a 2% increase, .......is 1440 births. Yeah, that'll be effective.

                Prior to and all through the meeting, they touted that the public was welcome. Yet, only the OTF members were allowed to speak throughout the day. So, around 330 of us who made the trip were only allowed to observe, claiming they had set aside ½ hour at the end of the meeting for public comment. But by then, I was done, done, done!

                Overall, the first problem I noticed was that the facilitators didn't present the same information to each of the groups. Instead, they let the group discuss each question - not whether there was any validity to them, but whether the question was worded right for what they wanted to learn - then they let each group free wheel the conversations. Two people 'policed' the group to make sure they were relating to the question, while one person wrote their comments on a flip chart sheets that were posted to the wall. Sadly, there was no consistency in what was being presented, and there certainly was no due diligence put toward relevant facts to base those questions on.

                But here's the rub; then they took all three groups of comments from each of the topic, and condensed them into one draft, ....with priority on how many times a certain point was stated, NOT on the validity of the point being expressed. So, unless the point was expressed in at least 2 of the groups, it was dismissed. Sadly, a few points that I heard should have been forwarded to someone who could research their validity.

                But the final blow was when we were told, "Now that you know the questions we need answering, please email or call us with the names of people you believe can answer them." This was by far the BIGGEST indicator of bias. They formulate the questions, dismissing relevant fact or pertinence, have the public hog tied from contributing through the process, then THEY get to pick who will answer questions that they have unabashedly put together. ......The mind boggles!

                Here is the latest 'draft' of the recommendations. My first question is, "Who is going to fund all this?" My second question is, "These are all trick plays on a chalkboard, with little or no basis in relevant and relatable facts."

                https://www.governor.wa.gov/sites/de...e_10-16-18.pdf

                Well, ....I went. I saw. I tried to ask. I was dismissed. I put on my sun glasses, grabbed out my white cane, donned my ear muffs, plugged my nose, and left. What a farce!
                "B on D C", is a 1989 2459 Trophy Offshore HT, OMC 5.7L, Cobra OD, Yamaha 15hp kicker. Lots of toys! I'm no mechanic, just a blue water sailer and woodworker who loves deep sea fishing.
                MMSI: 367637220
                HAM: KE7TTR
                TDI tech diver
                BoD Puget Sound Anglers North Olympic Peninsula Chapter
                Kevin

                Comment


                  #9
                  Crunchie - your description matches what I heard from a few other folks. The meeting last month, they "ran out of time" for public comments.
                  I filled out the survey the Gov had on his website for this. The extreme lack of science behind their recommendations is mind boggling. Seemed to be more best guesses from an uneducated committee (not meaning that they didn't have a high school or college edumacation....).
                  Really not sure on my end how the damns on the Columbia affect Southern Resident Orca's....seems to me that there is a bit of land between here and there. And being "resident" - that implies that they do not venture out into the big bad ocean to feed on those fish as they swim by the entrance to the sound, right?

                  I for one am going to stay at home for the most part this winter and not fish for Blackmouth - I'd rather catch them when they are bigger in the summer (that and my wife has put a hard hold on the incoming fish - apparently the freezer is full..,,,,). And I've started donating to a local group that focus's on habitat restoration. IMHO, the latter is the only way we are going to bring them back - and it aint gonna be easy for any of us.
                  97 2859

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by JThiessen View Post
                    And I've started donating to a local group that focus's on habitat restoration. IMHO, the latter is the only way we are going to bring them back - and it aint gonna be easy for any of us.
                    While the task force was set up to look at all fixes, they were directed to make recommendations that could be done as quickly as possible to give the pod the best chance of recovery .....under the belief that this pod is moving toward extinction. Whether it is or not, if we use the current decline as a benchmark, by the time most of the recommendations come anywhere near completion, there will be very little of the pod left, if any.

                    I love restoration, but it is a semi-long term fix. Removing dams is long term .....if ever. Culling pinnipeds and increasing hatchery production is the quickest - and may I say - and most effective method to give the pod the best chance. Sadly, these two are way down on the list.

                    I have no opinion on Whale Watching traffic, but am delighted for the awareness and publicity they lend to this valuable resource. I DO believe that to limit them when all I have seen tells me they have the best interests of the pod in mind, is counter to the pods survival. Sonar is an easy fix, and I believe that could easily be addressed. Boater education about them is also a pretty easy fix. However, funding even a few of these recommendations is absolutely ridiculous to even consider.

                    Judging from what I heard at the meeting and since, no one on the task force has called someone who knows what should and can be done, so not one iota of the information they have gathered over the years is being utilized. Indeed, no science, just emotional babble.

                    There is a veritable ton of information on oil spill and contaminant monitoring and prevention, so a new study is a waste of money. Same with tanker traffic effecting the pods. Personally, I have never heard of a whale being killed by a tanker, and the one they found on the bulbous bow was already dead long before it was scooped up by the ship. People have emotionally connected to the image of it, so the feelings are still strong. However, since it was already dead, those feelings are irrelevant.

                    Good thing there are pods all around the world, because if you believe the reports, this one appears to be doomed.
                    "B on D C", is a 1989 2459 Trophy Offshore HT, OMC 5.7L, Cobra OD, Yamaha 15hp kicker. Lots of toys! I'm no mechanic, just a blue water sailer and woodworker who loves deep sea fishing.
                    MMSI: 367637220
                    HAM: KE7TTR
                    TDI tech diver
                    BoD Puget Sound Anglers North Olympic Peninsula Chapter
                    Kevin

                    Comment


                      #11
                      The Orca Task Force recommendations are in. Simply stated, the time spent reading this report is an hour of my life I'll never get back.

                      https://www.governor.wa.gov/sites/de...s_11.16.18.pdf

                      The actual recommendations start on page 39. Everything before that is ...filler, as if to establish some legitimacy for the Orca Task Force to exist. A few methods of fact gathering were used, but most of the those methods were mere theories, as if to prove that the organizers had some inkling they knew what they were doing. I adamantly challenge that belief.

                      Overall, I have no clue where they are going to get the money to do even 2 or 3 of the 36 recommendations, ...though #34 is all about finding ongoing funds to do these recommendations. Some of them are about 'monitoring, establishing, improving the effectiveness, implementation and enforcement of' these recommendations, all of which deny any work has already been done in these areas.

                      The report is also written as if Canada, the tribes, the Feds, NOAA and WDFW would be in compliant with these recommendations,...which is the only way most of them will work.

                      Surmising, they want to increase hatchery production in 2018 by 50 million. Having just spent the morning at the hatchery harvesting this years stocks, funding is still limiting hatchery production. While these are Coho and orca mostly eat Chinook, the belief is that orca will eat Coho is they are hungry. However, we harvested 25 pairs last week, and only 100 pairs this week. Thankfully, the holding pen still has around 1000 more, and hopefully they will all be harvested, ...but I doubt it. But more importantly - and this isn't addressed in their recommendations - it that increasing hatchery production isn't a quick fix. It takes 4 years before what we harvested today will be big enough to return. Even the additional 300,000 Chinook we harvested last December haven't been released yet. This is a good fix, but not a quick one.

                      But even once released, pods of pinnipeds and flocks of birds lay in wait of the yearly ritual of salmon fry leaving the rivers. While the report addresses it, there are no actual numbers, nor remedies attached to the problem, ...just that it needs monitoring.

                      Another is to create no-go zones for Whale Watching boats, recreational boaters, and tanker traffic, and to change the laws regarding everything from ship noise, sonar, contaminants from spills, etc. Granted, these are only recommendations, but what good is an idea without a plan attached? I think we call them dreams.

                      Contaminants is a big one, and likely the most expensive and unrealistic recommendation. Contaminants are everything from lawn fertilizer and garbage, to exhaust discharge that contains any amount of hydrocarbons, and rain runoff. So, if your car leaks oil, and the rain washes it onto the strait, do we fine you because it is killing the whales? The whole contaminants issue has been hashed over since the 1960's when pollution first garnered public focus. And while we have had a modicum of change, it is and will always be an issue we will have to work through. My point is, establishing more agencies - or mandating existing agencies - to monitor and establishing more guidelines to prevent contaminants, is like closing the closing the gate after the horse has already run away.

                      Moreover, the recommendations call for increased policing in all areas. Considering WDFW can't even cover the areas it has now, how are they ever going to increase without doubling - of even tripling - their funding? Every area they want more policing is already over budget and under staffed.

                      They address the increase in pinnipeds, but insist they need to be studied. What would they learn that they don't already know? The mind boggles.

                      Sadly, the quickest fix to having enough Chinook salmon ....is to cut recreational fishing numbers. I fully expect this will happen, because it costs absolutely nothing to say, "No."

                      ....and they continue to draw trick plays on the chalkboard.
                      "B on D C", is a 1989 2459 Trophy Offshore HT, OMC 5.7L, Cobra OD, Yamaha 15hp kicker. Lots of toys! I'm no mechanic, just a blue water sailer and woodworker who loves deep sea fishing.
                      MMSI: 367637220
                      HAM: KE7TTR
                      TDI tech diver
                      BoD Puget Sound Anglers North Olympic Peninsula Chapter
                      Kevin

                      Comment


                        #12
                        I have often wondered why they call Killer whales-killer whales"?
                        I have seen one come up next to a 15" open boat out of Seward AK with 4 people aboard, and the older woman on one side had one come up 2 ft. from the gunnels and looked at that woman, she was scared shitless.
                        That whale was only looking. There were about 40-50 boats in a small area fishing for salmon.
                        Pat says: DO-IT-RIGHT THE FIRST TIME!

                        Bayliner 3870 "ALASKA33)
                        Twin 350 GM power
                        Located in Seward, AK
                        Retired marine surveyor

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by boatworkfl View Post
                          I have often wondered why they call Killer whales-killer whales"?
                          I have seen one come up next to a 15" open boat out of Seward AK with 4 people aboard, and the older woman on one side had one come up 2 ft. from the gunnels and looked at that woman, she was scared shitless.
                          That whale was only looking. There were about 40-50 boats in a small area fishing for salmon.
                          Interesting you asked. This I know.

                          Three kinds of whales, or Cetacean, which is Latin for 'Whale': Baleen, the bottom feeding Bubble Netting, and Toothed. I think everyone knows what a Baleen whales is and what they eat. Bubble Netting whales, like Greys, skim along the bottom on their sides picking up crab, bottom fish, shrimp, etc. Toothed ...have teeth.

                          Also known as Wolves of the Sea, Spanish explorers dubbed them, "Ballena Asesina", (Whale Killer), because they saw them kill other whales. Over time, English explorers changed it to 'Killer Whales'.

                          But unlike their toothed relative the sperm whale who live a solitary life, Orcas live and hunt in packs. They are also scary smart.

                          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g1VEwsI4SlY

                          Incidentally, Orca are direct relatives of dolphin and porpoise in the suborder of Odontoceti of Cetacean.
                          "B on D C", is a 1989 2459 Trophy Offshore HT, OMC 5.7L, Cobra OD, Yamaha 15hp kicker. Lots of toys! I'm no mechanic, just a blue water sailer and woodworker who loves deep sea fishing.
                          MMSI: 367637220
                          HAM: KE7TTR
                          TDI tech diver
                          BoD Puget Sound Anglers North Olympic Peninsula Chapter
                          Kevin

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