Volunteer Susan George scoops up pebbles from the restored Bowman Bay beach this summer to look for surf smelt eggs. This type of monitoring has been done monthly since 2013. Forage fish eggs in various stages of development are lit up under a microscope. Eggs like this were found this summer in Bowman Bay beach samples, confirming that surf smelt, a type of forage fish, is using a recently restored stretch of beach. After five years of scooping up samples from the beach at Deception Pass State Park’s Bowman Bay and finding only sand and pebbles, a group of volunteers made an exciting discovery. Surf smelt eggs were found in some of the samples collected during the summer, providing a sign that restoration work has brought surf smelt, a kind of small fish eaten by salmon and other marine animals, back to these shores. The Northwest Straits Foundation, which led the restoration work, is calling the new find a sign of success. “It feels fantastic. We don’t necessarily measure our successes on a single species returning, but what this shows is the restoration has provided the appropriate habitat,” Northwest Straits Foundation Nearshore Program Manager Lisa Kaufman said. The regional […]


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