I was so excited to meet up with the Southern Residents after their suspended absence from the Salish Sea. Chinook runs are scarce once more, and 2017 lands on a 4-year cycle of Resident scarcity. For this reason, I longed to make the most out of my time with them.
It was a special encounter in many ways: firstly, I had never met the K14s before. Secondly, I was able to look into the eye of J47 “Notch,” who I have special memories with. Thirdly, it was the first time seeing J Pod as a Naturalist.
For the most part, the Residents were foraging. As has been increasingly common, they were extremely spread out…yet another indication that Chinook salmon are scarce these days.
Luckily, we had a close pass from J47 “Notch,” J35 “Tahlequah,” J38 “Cookie,” J44 “Moby” and L87 “Onyx.” But I’ve learned not to take these moments for granted. If things don’t change, one day this may not be the case.