Eyes over Puget Sound

Once a month, we take to the air and travel by boat to obtain high-resolution aerial photo observations and gather water data at our monitoring stations and state ferry transects. This provides us a visual picture of the health of Puget Sound, which we call Eyes Over Puget Sound or EOPS.

Eyes Over Puget Sound empowers you to:

  • See what is currently happening in Puget Sound.
  • See how weather and climate are shaping Puget Sound water quality.
  • Use Eyes Over Puget Sound as free educational material for your own endeavors.

Download a copy of the latest Eyes Over Puget Sound.

Summary of latest observations

Anchovy cause a feeding frenzy in Puget Sound

  • Aerial photos revealed abundant schools of small fish in South Puget Sound. Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife scientists documented a large increase in juvenile anchovy since 2015.
  • This increase in anchovies led to a feeding frenzy in Case Inlet with hundreds of sea lions and other marine mammals feasting on the fish. Later, a transient pod of orcas showed up, and the sea lions dispersed.

Advice for beachgoers

  • Our BEACH Program shares some advice: beachgoers should be aware that organic debris that washes up on shore (called beach wrack) could harbor bacteria.
  • Plan a safe trip to the beach by reading our swimming tips and checking out our beach map!

What we saw in our flights over Puget Sound

  • Glacial flour enters the Puget Sound via the Puyallup River.
  • Aerial photos showed large algae blooms in Central Puget Sound along with abundant Noctiluca.
  • You shared your photos of Noctiluca with us. Check out the best photos of this microorganism that looks like tomato soup!

Learn more about Eyes over Puget Sound

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