Update on J50: More injections planned - antibiotic and dewormer

Response teams spent about three hours on Saturday, August 18, 2018 monitoring J50, the ailing three-year-old member of the Southern Resident Killer Whale population, as J Pod returned to the Salish Sea on the way towards San Juan Island.

J50 follows her mother, J16, on August 18, 2018 near the San Juan Islands. Photo by Katy Foster/NOAA Fisheries, under permit 18786


WSF explains how Orcas fairgoers ended up stranded in Friday Harbor

On Saturday evening August 18, 2018, after the San Juan Island County Fair ended, several “tall” vehicles destined for Orcas Island were left at the Friday Harbor ferry terminal. These vehicles were mostly transporting livestock, which led to frustration from passengers who were not able to get home with their animals. Washington State Ferries investigated what happened and this is what they found.

File photo of Samish arriving in Friday Harbor.


DOH updates advice on eating fish

People are advised to limit their consumption of Rockfish, Dungeness crab hepatopancreas (digestive gland), and Chinook salmon caught in Marine Area 7 to four meals per month. Marine Area 7 includes the San Juan Islands. The  Washington State Department of Health Department of Health's advisories can be viewed on its website.


Don't have an air monitor? Use the 5-3-1 index to measure air quality

The two air quality monitoring sites closest to the San Juan Islands are in Anacortes and Victoria, B.C. The Washington State Smoke Blog explains a way of estimating air qualilty by using the 5-3-1 Index. Smoke from the hundreds of wildfires burning in British Columbia is affecting the air quality in the San Juan Islands. 

The air quality results on the Anacortes and Victoria, B.C. monitors at 1:30 p.m. Sunday, August 19. Red indicates Unhealthy, orange Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups, yellow Moderate and green Good. 

5-3-1 Index

Determine the limit of your visual range by looking for distant targets or familiar landmarks such as mountains, mesas, hills, or buildings at known distances (miles). The visual range is that point at which these targets are no longer visible. Ideally, the viewing of any distance targets should be made with the sun behind you. Looking into the sun or at an angle increases the ability of sunlight to reflect off of the smoke, and thus making the visibility estimate less reliable.

Once distance has been determined, follow this simple guide:

If over 15 miles: The air quality is generally good.

Between 5-15 miles: Air quality is moderate and beginning to deteriorate, and is generally healthy, except possibly for smoke sensitive persons. The general public should avoid prolonged exposure if conditions are smoky to the point where visibility is closer to the 5 mile range.

If under 5 miles: The air quality is unhealthy for young children, adults over age 65, pregnant women, and people with heart and/or lung disease, asthma or other respiratory illness. These people should minimize outdoor activity.

If under 3 miles: The air quality is unhealthy for everyone. Young children, adults over age 65, pregnant women, and people with heart and/or lung disease, asthma or other respiratory illness should avoid all outdoor activities.

If under 1 mile: The air quality is very unhealthy, and in some cases may be hazardous. Everyone should avoid all outdoor activities.



J50 to be treated for parasite found in fecal sample

High levels of Contracaecum, a nematode parasite that is commonly found in killer whales and other marine mammals, was found in the fecal sample collected from a group of Southern Resident Killer Whales - J50, J16, J42 - last weekend in the Salish Sea. The parasite is not usually a problem in healthy animals, however, in an orca in an emaciated condition such as J50 the parasite can penetrate the stomach lining, introducing bacterial infection to the bloodstream, or it can bore into internal organs.

Researchers gathering breath sample from J50 earlier this month. 


Field carrier landing practice schedule at NAS Whidbey August 20-26, 2018

NAVAL AIR STATION WHIDBEY ISLAND, Wash. – There is a change to the scheduled aircraft carrier-based flight training operations occurring at Ault Field the week of August 20-26, 2018. The flight operations for Wednesday, August 22, have been changed from the afternoon to the morning. There are still no Field Carrier Landing Practice (FCLP) training operations scheduled for the Outlying Landing Field (OLF) in Coupeville, Wash. during that week.

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