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oystercatchers

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  • Kate Marianchild
    I saw three adult oystercatchers and one begging juvenile at the new Pomo Bluffs Park last week. Kate
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 1, 2006
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      I saw three adult oystercatchers and one begging juvenile at the new
      Pomo Bluffs Park last week.

      Kate

      On Jul 31, 2006, at 5:35 PM, Ray_Bosch@... wrote:

      > I don't really know much else about the anchovy die-off in the Eel
      > River,
      > except for what I read in the July 29 Times-Standard article. Included
      > below. Apparently, the anchovy die-off coincides with very high and
      > very
      > low tides, for some reason, so is it possible the Gualala sandbar is
      > breached at high tides and anchovies move into the river then?
      >
      > I hope the article helps.
      >
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      > No more anchovies, please
      >
      >
      >
      > John Driscoll The Times-Standard
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      > Schooling fish have suffocated themselves in Eel River
      >
      >
      > Hundreds of thousands of anchovies and other fish died in the mouth
      > of the
      > Eel River in at least two separate incidents in recent weeks,
      > apparently
      > victims of suffocation.
      >
      >
      > One of the most astute observers of the Eel River Delta, Bruce Slocum
      > of
      > Ferndale, stood on his dock at the end of June, watching millions of
      > the
      > 3- to 4-inch fish swarm underneath him. It was more than he had ever
      > seen
      > in his decades on the river.
      >
      >
      > On July 1, he began seeing tens of thousands of the fish dying,
      > mainly in
      > the Salt River area and surrounding sloughs and marshlands.
      >
      >
      > ”It's the first time I've ever seen a die-off like this,” Slocum said.
      >
      >
      > At first, he thought it might be tied to a major algae bloom. Algae
      > blooms, using up nutrients in the water, and then dies, often sucking
      > oxygen out of the water.
      >
      >
      > The California Department of Fish and Game took some of the fish to
      > the
      > Humboldt County Public Health Department laboratory, which tested
      > them for
      > domoic acid. That's the same chemical that builds up in shellfish,
      > but it
      > also accumulates in fish that eat phytoplankton, like anchovies and
      > sardines. It's linked with some algae blooms and if consumed by humans
      > acts as a neurotoxin.
      >
      >
      > But the fish turned up negative for domoic acid, said Fish and Game
      > biologist John Mello.
      >
      >
      > Then, on July 19 and 20, many more fish turned up dead. Both incidents
      > also included some red-tail perch. That die-off happened well after
      > the
      > water had cleared from the last algae bloom, and no other bloom had
      > taken
      > place.
      >
      >
      > The death of all the fish did correspond
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      > with very high and low tides. This year is also a banner year for
      > anchovies, which have cyclical populations and which this year
      > thrived on
      > abundant plankton that consume nutrients brought to the surface of the
      > ocean by steady northwest winds.
      >
      >
      > Brown pelicans also had a huge hatch this year, and Slocum said that
      > during the big pulses of anchovies in the Eel River estuary, about 90
      > percent of the birds he was seeing were young pelicans gorging
      > themselves.
      >
      >
      > Mello and Slocum now believe that exceptionally large surges of
      > anchovies
      > came in on high tides, then got stuck in the river as the tides raced
      > out.
      > So many fish together stripped the oxygen out of the water,
      > suffocating
      > the anchovies and any fish that were caught in the school, they
      > believe.
      >
      >
      > Dead fish washed out with the next tide, and surf brought them onto
      > the
      > beach to the curiosity and concern of beachcombers.
      >
      >
      > ”A die-off of this type of schooling fish is not unheard of,” Mello
      > said.
      > “It happens from time to time.”
      >
      >
      > There have been similar, but smaller, die-offs of sardines in Humboldt
      > Bay, he said. And several years ago, Mello recalls, a huge die-off of
      > anchovies in Crescent City Harbor wiped out not just the fish
      > themselves,
      > but apparently killed abalone being raised in pens in the bay.
      >
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      >
      > ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
      > Ray Bosch
      > Biologist, Endangered Species Program
      > USFWS Arcata Fish and Wildlife Office
      > 1655 Heindon Road, Arcata, CA 95521-4573
      > land line: (707) 822-7201 fax: (707) 822-8411
      > email: ray.bosch@... http://www.fws.gov/arcata
      > ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
      >
      >
      >
      > Kate Marianchild
      > <katem@...> To: Mendobirds
      > <Mendobirds@yahoogroups.com>, Ray_Bosch@...
      > cc:
      > John_E_Hunter@..., Jim_H_Watkins@..., Gary_Falxa@...
      > 07/31/2006 05:17 Subject: Re:
      > [Mendobirds] 1000 pelicans
      > PM
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      > Would anchovies be in the river? I understand the river has been cut
      > off from the ocean by a sand bar for a month or two.
      >
      > Kate
      >
      > On Jul 31, 2006, at 4:54 PM, Ray_Bosch@... wrote:
      >
      >> There have been reports of a superabundance of anchovies this year,
      >> including die-off in the Eel River and Salt Creek due to presumed low
      >> oxygen in water to support anchovy. Could something similar be
      >> happening
      >> in Gualala that is attracting pelicans, and explain their behavior?
      >>
      >> ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
      >> Ray Bosch
      >> Biologist, Endangered Species Program
      >> USFWS Arcata Fish and Wildlife Office
      >> 1655 Heindon Road, Arcata, CA 95521-4573
      >> land line: (707) 822-7201 fax: (707) 822-8411
      >> email: ray.bosch@... http://www.fws.gov/arcata
      >> ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
      >>
      >>
      >>
      >> John E Hunter
      >> To: Ray
      >> Bosch/AFWO/R1/FWS/DOI@FWS, Jim H Watkins/AFWO/R1/FWS/DOI@FWS, Gary
      >> 07/31/2006 03:29
      >> Falxa/AFWO/R1/FWS/DOI@FWS
      >> PM cc:
      >> Subject: Fw:
      >> [Mendobirds] 1000 pelicans
      >>
      >>
      >>
      >>
      >> Lots of Brown Pelicans around this summer-here is another report.
      >>
      >> John E. Hunter
      >> Arcata Fish and Wildlife Office
      >> 1655 Heindon Road
      >> Arcata, CA 95521
      >> 707-822-7201 (phone)
      >> 707-822-8136 (fax)
      >> John_E_Hunter@...
      >>
      >> ----- Forwarded by John E Hunter/AFWO/R1/FWS/DOI on 07/31/2006 03:27
      >> PM
      >> -----
      >>
      >> Kate Marianchild
      >> <katem@...> To: Mendobirds
      >> <Mendobirds@yahoogroups.com>
      >> Sent by: cc:
      >> Mendobirds@yahoo Subject: [Mendobirds]
      >> 1000 pelicans
      >> groups.com
      >>
      >>
      >> 07/31/2006 01:27
      >> PM
      >>
      >>
      >>
      >>
      >>
      >> Barbara Pratt, who works at the Gualala Art Center, told me there have
      >> been about 1000 pelicans feeding in the Gualala River near the sandbar
      >> for a couple of weeks. They are standing and dipping their beaks and
      >> swallowing something. Anyone know what they would be eating? She's
      >> never seen this before, but thinks she might have just missed it.
      >>
      >> Kate
      >>
      >>
      >>
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      >>
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