[Tweeters] Herring Rain

Jeff Gibson gibsondesign15 at gmail.com
Wed Jun 6 15:28:58 PDT 2018

This morning I was down at the Marine Science Center pier and saw all sorts
of interesting things.

Heard, also; the whole time I was down there the background music was the
loud calling of the Purple Martins - I counted 11 around and on the the
nest boxes down there. Also saw many Pigeon Guillemots, which also have
nest boxes under the pier.And of course the muffled calls of the resident
Rock Doves - beautiful birds really.

Luckily the water surface was totally calm, I guess what sailors would call
"Dead Calm", since they aint getting anywhere without a motor. But to me,
it was pretty lively. Despite being cloudless overhead, the water was
apparently sprinkled with raindrops, or that's what it looked like. It was
a real small cloud or.... herring.

One of the things that herring are prone to do is dabble around the
surface, making little rings, sometimes flying clear out of the water.
.Today there were small, medium and large herring about - the larger ones
making me salivate because I love pickled herring.

There were a few thousand Sandlance around too, in dense schools, and
occasionally they would come to the surface too, but not as often as the
herring. Saw some schools of Shiner Perch on the outside of the pier and
two larger darker perch also - Pile Perch maybe.

On a smaller scale, were many larval fish in the plankton soup. I saw at
least one baby herring (maybe) about 3/8th of an inch long with glowing
green eyes. And one apparently flatfish (sole or flounder) larvae - about
1/2 inch long, rippling along completely transparent (could see its
skeleton) and also with glowing green eyes. Several other unidentified

There were also a lot of jellyfish big and small. Saw my years first Lions
Mane Jelly - which is sort of a reddish creature. This one was a youngster
only about 5 inches across, trailing long stinging tentacles around 3ft
long. This is the worlds largest jelly, getting up to 6 ft or more in
diameter with tentacles more than 100ft long! The largest I've seen in
Puget Sound was about 18" across. The worlds largest sea turtle, the
Leatherback, attains it's large size by eating this jelly. Just sayin'.

Also in the mix were a few Egg Yolk Jellies, also young ones about 4 inches
across - these will also get bigger later in summer. Also known as Fried
Egg Jelly, it really looks more like an un-fried egg . There were great
numbers of smaller Jellies around also. I did see one Ctenophore (comb
jelly) in the shade of the pier it's highly refractive cilia only catching
enough light to reflect a bright violet, which was pretty cool.

Some jellyfish are edible - I'd like to try one. Peanut Butter and
Jellyfish sandwich anyone?

Jeff Gibson
Port Townsend Wa
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