Most of the rivers that feed into Puget Sound fell below their expected flows in May. The large rush of melting snow came early and faded quickly. This is the turning point when the Sound transitioned from lower-than-normal salinities, to higher-than-normal salinities. This, along with decreased flows from our rivers, causes water circulation to slow down. Waters began to warm, and this warmer water held less oxygen and was stressful for fish.
The Blob fully infiltrated Puget Sound in July. This gave us warm water temperature readings at every depth throughout the Sound. From the air, the water looked like someone spilled green slime into Puget Sound. In fact, these were huge mats of small plants, what our scientists call "macro-algae," floating throughout the Sound, Dyes Inlet and Samish Bay. These caused a smelly situation as they washed ashore and piled up in huge rotting heaps, leading to swimming closures on some beaches.