While there was no official Sea Star Wasting Syndrome survey completed for Schmitz Marine Reserve it was good to see a population of Pisaster ochraceus and Evasterias t. that for the most part appeared healthy. The wasting syndrome was present but in only about 10-15% of the population.
In addition one 12 inch Sunflower Star was seen and also appeared healthy. The seaweed cover was extensive so it is very likely that many sea stars were not seen, so while good news it should not be taken to mean anything positive in the way of a decline in the syndrome in the local sea star population. A number of juvenile stars were also seen and appeared healthy.
It was a good day for Moon Snail, Sea Lemon and crab observing.....as usual.
A California Sea Cucumber was an unusual find as they are usually in deeper water. A tiny Sand Dollar was seen on another Sand Dollar.....smallest one I've ever seen on the beach.
It was great to have the extra eyes of Avery and Liz to help spot the critters hiding in the seaweed.
While Seattle was due for 91 deg. heat the beach was kept comfortable by an good north breeze off the water. Gretchen held her annual Seaweed Foraging class and served up some great seaweed snacks and dips for chips........too bad the Parks do not allow beer. A few more days of minus tides and then the next good series is in mid August and that's it for good low tides this summer.
|Avery (excellent naturalist) with California Sea Cucumber|
|Avery meets the Moon Snail (meets not eats)|
|Hairy Sea Squirt|
|Lined Chiton and White Sea Cucumber|
|Lion's Mane Jellyfish|
|Liz and the Moon Snail|
|Noble Sea Lemon|
|Orange Ribbon Worme|
|Rock Oyster (False Jingle Shell)|
|Tiny Sand Dollar on large Sand Dollar|
|12 inch Sunflower Star (appearing healthy)|