At SWS August 8 Meeting, Russ Holmes and Michael Kyte encouraged all of us to report sea stars whenever we find them, whether diseased or healthy. So, the last two days, during the minus tides, I went to beaches I could walk to, to find out what is there.
Below the zero foot tide, by turning over rocks and looking at the undersides, I found dozens of 2 inch sea stars in a few minutes of looking! My walk took me to the western side of Camano (thus Saratoga Passage) on the very north end of the island (facing Penn Cove). The results were similar to what I had seen in July at Cama Beach State Park.
The next day I walked near Maple Grove Boat launch and found stars under rocks at the -3 feet tide level, right at the water’s edge.
I also saw many many barnacle-eating nudibranchs, at least one with eggs, and on the west side of Camano I saw many sea anemones including one eating a small sea star.
There are a few more days of minus tides ahead – I hope you can get out on a beach, see if you find stars under rocks, and report them to https://marine.ucsc.edu/data-products/sea-star-wasting/
Report what you see: Russ and Michael strongly encourage YOU to report any sea stars (healthy or diseased) you see to MARINe using their easy-to-use observation forms, click on “submit observations” then on “click here.” Some phones record lat/long for each picture, or you can drop a pin on the location when you are out on the beach; otherwise you can get an estimate for latitude and longitude using google maps or google earth.
Sea Star Identification: Community scientist Michael Kyte invites your email inquiries about identification of sea stars when they are very young and small (like under 2 or 3 inches). Send him a photo and he’ll tell you what he thinks.
by Joan Schrammeck, Camano Coordinator