Months of rain, a spate of little quakes in May, what’s next? A plague of murderous crows?
Unless Mother Nature has any more surprises for us, what’s next is — at long last — summer. At exactly 9:24 p.m. June 20, the Northern Hemisphere will tilt its face toward the sun and summer will have officially begun. I’m sure you share my glee.
Time for orcas and salmon … June is Orca Awareness Month, with many events to remind us that the already endangered Southern Resident orcas are still in big trouble.
Their population has declined from a high of 200 in the late 1800s to only 78. They are often seen here at this time of year, when they return from northern waters seeking food. The problem is, the salmon population is also dwindling, so they’re starving to death.
From the 1920s to the 1960s, salmon was so plentiful that Hansville could support five fishing resorts. Ed Erickson, whose family settled here in 1906, owned and ran Erickson’s Resort &Mercantile starting in 1934. He built a boathouse in 1940, which was in business for 27 years.
“I worked in the boathouse from the time I was 12 or 13,” said his son, Gary Erickson. “We had 11 cabins and about 30 boats to rent.
“One day in 1951, my dad had 100 boat rentals. The salmon limit was six, and people got their limit so quickly that every boat was rented out at least three times.”
In the 1960s, the salmon population started dropping and the resorts started closing.
The boathouse at Norwegian Point is still standing. The store, which was also the Post Office with Ed Erickson as postmaster, is now The Hansgrill. Gary lives nearby, not far from the house he grew up in.
What can we do to increase the number of salmon and orcas? “Supporting hatcheries is the most logical way to support the salmon population,” said Don White, president of the North Kitsap Puget Sound Anglers in Hansville.
“They provide food for our orcas while reducing the strain on native populations of salmon. The North Kitsap Anglers are doing their part by kicking off a project to hatch and rear up to 40,000 fish in 2018.”
The Anglers meet at 6 p.m. on the second Wednesday of each month at the Driftwood Key Clubhouse. There is always dinner and an interesting speaker (www.pugetsoundanglers.org).
Is your lawn still soggy? Because this winter was the wettest since the 1890s, it very well may be. If you’ve had flooding and drainage problems on your property or in your neighborhood, present your concerns and complaints to people who can help. The Kitsap County Stormwater Division director, Dr. Chris May, and the Water Quality Program manager, Eva Crim, will be at the Greater Hansville Community Center, Buck Lake Road, from 6:30-8 p.m. on June 20.
There will be a brief presentation, then time to ask about the many services and programs available, including green solutions, such as rain gardens, soaker trenches, permeable paving, rain barrels and more. You may be eligible for reimbursement and technical assistance.