[Tweeters] Home Town Tourist

Jeff Gibson gibsondesign at msn.com
Sun Jul 24 09:25:44 PDT 2016

On my recent working trip from Port Townsend to the wet side of the Sound, I worked a day in my ol' hometown - Seattle. These day's visiting town I often feel like a tourist, or maybe more accurately, a guest worker. Being in Seattle is sorta like Deja vu all over again for me these days.
So anyhoo, I was working on a boat refinishing job on the ship canal just across from the Ballard Locks. It's been awhile since I've snooped so much on freshwater biology, having spent more time watching the salt chuck in Port Townsend the past several years.
The mini marina had very clear water, so I was able to see all sorts of stuff, just about all of it non-native species; from millfoil plants , bass, perch,and various other spiny ray fish, ect. I remember reading a list of the fish of Lake Washington a few years ago, and noted that the majority of species were introduced. Then you got your weirdo animals like nutria, various turtles, and god- knows- what ,all introduced into the waters. Still interesting though.
After sanding wood on the boat for a few hours, I took a short field trip down the street to the fish ladder at the locks. Checking out the underwater viewing windows, there were quite a few Silver Salmon heading upstream. That was cool.
But the big excitement was just outside the fish ladder , at the base of the dam that makes Union Bay (and the fill) what it is today were fair numbers of huge Chinook Salmon! Whoa! Despite all our environmental woes, some of us are still attempting to head upstream, so to speak. Maybe Union Bay eagles and ospreys could score live on some of the smaller Silver's, but the larger fish would have to be scavenged post-mortem - too heavy.
Not so birdy at my workplace - a few Caspian Terns screaming out over the locks, and those Seattle freshwater shore supervisors - Canada Geese - cruising around. A young Violet-green swallow was cheeping loudly up in the roof rafters over the boat.
Jeff GibsonvistingSeattle Wa
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