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.

Observations for our year in review 

Large-scale influences on Puget Sound, climate, and streams

  • In 2018, water temperatures were slightly warmer than normal.
  • A warm, dry, and sunny summer followed a cool, wet spring.
  • Peak streamflow from the Fraser River was early this year.
  • The boundary conditions in the Pacific Ocean were neutral.

What we saw on our flights over Puget Sound

  • Aerial photos revealing many algal blooms, including countless red blooms
  • Widespread spawning of herring and baitfish
  • Abundant macro-algae floating on the surface and washed up on beaches
  • A persistent Noctiluca bloom

Temperature can determine if organisms thrive or survive 

  • Warmer water and sufficient phytoplankton helped to support the populations of plankton-feeders, leading to good growth conditions for herring and anchovies.

Learn more about Eyes over Puget Sound

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