May 2, 2014

Fun Happenings in The Marine Salmon Center

Great things are happening in The Marine Salmon Center this spring season!!! What kinds of great things are happening?... you might be asking yourself... Are the instructors turning into Salmon? Are the hermit crabs crawling out of the touch tank and performing educational musicals for all of the students? 

Well... Not quite, but we now have a Marine Specialist, Brett Jensen who is working hard to make The Marine Salmon Center, and really all things to do with water and aquatic creatures at camp, AWESOME! 

First of all, after many of our salmon became a lipsmacking dinner for a hungry river otter this winter, we just restocked the salmon pond with a fresh batch of Coho and Chinook salmon frye. 

Second, we are growing bull kelp nereocystis luetkeana in our jewel tanks to demonstrate different types of biomes present in the San Juan Archipelago. 

Lastly, some staff and students conducted a species biodiversity survey of our eelgrass ecosystem along the shores of Camp Orkila by wading through the water by our dock at low tide while dragging a seine net and through the eelgrass. One teacher from Christ the King School pronounced that she had been coming to Camp Orkila for several years and this was the coolest thing that she had ever seen! What an opportunity for students to get involved in science and exploration! 

 Photo taken by: Anna Mueller

What did they find??? 310 living creatures! Holy Smokes! Some of the abundant species include: tubesnout fish, pipe fish, three-point stickleback fish, saddleback, crescent, and penpoint gunnel fish, lion nudibranchs, grass shrimp and delicate kelp crabs.

Photo taken by: Anna Mueller

What do you notice about a lot of the animals in the tub above? One thing we noticed was that a lot of them are long, green or brown, and thin... but why? If you think about where they live (in the eelgrass - also long, thin and green/brown)... They are trying to camouflage! Nature sure is neato!

Can't wait to update y'all with some more fun happenings around Camp Orkila soon! 

Until then, if you want to keep yourself updated on the current events of the local marine world, take a peak at this article:

If you take a trip to the beach, keep your eyes out for seastars. If you see any sick looking ones, you can take a picture and post it with #sickseastar or you can report it to the department of fish and wildlife at  (360) 902-2700.  

So long and happy beach walking!

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