Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary Science section includes Seafloor Mapping, Oceanography, Deep Sea Coral and Sponges, Wildlife Research, Coastal Habitats, Citizen Science, Ecosystem Processes, Research Surveys, and Research Assets
Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary Science section includes Seafloor Mapping, Oceanography, Deep Sea Coral and Sponges, Wildlife Research, Coastal Habitats, Citizen Science, Ecosystem Processes, Research Surveys, and Research Assets
Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary Science section includes Seafloor Mapping, Oceanography, Deep Sea Coral and Sponges, Wildlife Research, Coastal Habitats, Citizen Science, Ecosystem Processes, Research Surveys, and Research Assets Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary Science section includes Seafloor Mapping, Oceanography, Deep Sea Coral and Sponges, Wildlife Research, Coastal Habitats, Citizen Science, Ecosystem Processes, Research Surveys, and Research Assets

Annual Sea Otter Census for Norwegian Point 2011

Annual Sea Otter Census for Washington Coast (Norwegian Point)
P.I. Steve Jeffries, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife; Scientist Ed Bowlby, OCNMS;
OCNMS and Vessel Support Rick Fletcher, OCNMS
Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife

Download the full report (236k pdf)

photo of two sea otters in the water
Sea otters observed through spotting scopes float together in rafts.
An annual 3- or 4-day sea otter census is conducted in mid-July off the coast of Washington, using a combination of air and ground otter counts. Following the census protocol, scientists conduct at two counts daily at selected ground stations, while also noting the ocean conditions - size of swells, wind speed, and amount of overcast. Shore-based counts are coordinated with simultaneous counts taken by scientists in a fixed-winged aircraft. Broad coverage of this rugged coastline requires partnerships with scientists from Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, The Seattle Aquarium, Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium, the Quinault Indian Nation and OCNMS.

For many years, OCNMS scientist Ed Bowlby has been responsible for sea otters observations from Norwegian Point, a rocky prominence approximately 1 mile south of Norwegian Memorial. Using a spotting scope to locate otters, Ed counts animals and records locations on maps of the shoreline rocks and kelp. These shore-based counts from the other observation areas are merged with aircraft counts, to produce a final census for each year. The Norwegian Point location is 124° 40' 59.541"W 48° 1' 19.209"N.

2011 Norwegian Point Census
Date Time # of Otters Pup # & Size Comments
7/12/12 930 51 1 large  
  1100 91 4 large Simultaneous with aircraft
  1420 52 0 Simultaneous with aircraft
7/13/12 1115 60 1 large  
  1420 60 1 large  
  1450 61 3 large Simultaneous with aircraft
7/14/12 1400 44 2 large Limited visibility due to drizzle



Contact for page content: Ed Bowlby
photo of a buoy on the ocean
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