Colorful zooplankton wash up on Edmonds beachA rare occurance, biologist says
If you’ve walked along Olympic Beach today (April 20) – from the fishing pier to the ferry dock – you no doubt saw a large swath of distinctly colored …. something.
In fact, according to Edmonds Parks and Rec’s Jennifer Leach, it’s a mass stranding event of trillions of zooplankton, which are larval crabs called zoea.
They washed up alive on the high tide Wednesday morning, and the city has collected samples.
A Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife shellfish biologist, Don Rothaus, will take the sample back to a lab.
Leach said the landing is a normal, although rare, occurrence.
"This is just a case where freshly molted zoea larvae somehow were rafted into a large mass and windrowed up on the receding high tide," Rothaus said.
Go take a look. You’ll notice a smell, too, which is not too unpleasant.
The city had posted educational signs on the beach about the event (see accompanying graphic).