AM News for Wednesday, 7.3.13
Millions of krill -- a tiny shrimp-like animal at the center of the ocean food web -- have been washing up on beaches from Clam Beach, Redwood National Park and Crescent Beach to Southern Oregon for the past few weeks and scientists are baffled.
”We're still looking into it. We got reports locally a couple days after the mass strandings,” said Joe Tyburczy, Humboldt County coastal specialist with California Sea Grant Extension .
Most local sightings of the event happened between June 16 and June 18, and were reported mostly by beach goers, he said. NOAA oceanographer Bill Peterson says the krill may have been blown into the surf by strong winds while mating near the surface, and then been dashed on the beach.
Peterson said “People have sent us specimens. In both cases, the females had just been fertilized. That suggests they were involved, maybe, in a mating swarm. But we've had a lot of onshore wind the last two weeks. If they were on the surface and the wind blows them toward the beach that is the end of them.”
For some reason, people did not see gulls and other sea birds eating them,"Tyburczy added that washed up krill were seen June 21 as far south as Bodega Bay. Peterson added. There is no way to tell yet whether this represents a significant threat to a source of food for salmon, rockfish, ling cod and whales.
The Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) invites anglers to celebrate summer by fishing for free this Saturday. July 6 is the first of two Free Fishing Days in 2013, when people can try their hand at fishing without having to buy a sport fishing license. All fishing regulations, such as bag and size limits, gear restrictions, report card requirements, fishing hours and stream closures remain in effect. Every angler must have an appropriate report card if they are fishing for steelhead or sturgeon anywhere in the state, or salmon in the Smith and Klamath-Trinity River systems.
This year, the Free Fishing Days were set for the Saturdays following Independence Day and Labor Day (July 6 and Sept. 7). Free Fishing Days provide a low-cost way to give fishing a try. Anglers should check the rules and regulations at www.dfg.ca.gov/regulations/ for the waters they plan to fish. Wardens will be on duty to enforce them. For more information on Free Fishing Days, please visit www.dfg.ca.gov/licensing/fishing/freefishdays.html
The commercial dungeness crab season will be extended to Aug. 14 off the coasts of Mendocino, Humboldt and Del Norte counties, the Department of Fish and Wildlife announced Monday.
The crab season is being extended to provide added fishing opportunities because the 2012-2013 season was delayed six weeks due to the crabs molting late. Industry reports confirm that crabs are still in good condition.
The extension coincides with the Oregon commercial dungeness crab season closing date.
COMMUNITY CARE’S Senior Assistance Program offers a new, free telephone reassurance program for individuals 60+ in inland Mendocino County. “Community Care Connect” is a weekly phone check-in — a friendly voice to see how a senior is doing.
It also offers the senior a chance to express new needs as they arise and for the Community Resources Specialist in Ukiah to suggest possible resources to help.
Available to residents from Hopland to Leggett, from Anderson Valley to Round and Potter Valleys, and all points between, call 468-5132 or 1-800-510-2020 to learn more
All Mendocino County offices will be closed Thursday, July 4, and Friday, July 5 except the Museum and HHSA Emergency, mandated services (APS/CPS/EFAS). Animal Care Services (open Friday & Saturday) Behavioral Health & Recovery Services.
KZYX News will be off for the next two days. Regular news and weather reports will return Monday July 8th.