Even if all you catch is two spiny dogfish. I had never seen a dogfish before and thought it was a beautiful little shark. A dogfish really is a shark, but I guess they are just a nuisance. I still found it really exciting and I think they are a beautiful (somewhat scary looking) fish. I just read that they can grow to be larger than 4 feet in length - crazy!
Later in the evening we had thoughts of fresh crab legs for a late night snack, and bringing the left overs home in our cooler to share with Mom J. We pulled up to the buoy and Sallad started pulling it in. He thought it felt different than earlier in the day, but kept pulling before saying anything. All of a sudden he said "Dude! We've been attacked by something!" That was when I rushed over with my camera and a flashlight. It looked like a pile of starfish was in the cage, and all the crab were GONE!
My third suggestion of wildlife seeing activities to make sure you do while boating through the San Juan Islands, is driving past Spieden Island. You will see why below:
The current owner of the Island is the founder of Oakley, who supposedly purchased the island for $22 million. The island is 516.4 acres big, approximately two miles long and a half-mile across at its widest point with no permanent resident population. It was named after some guy who did some sort of expedition in 1838-1842 and you can read about that here.
In 1970 a group of investors opened the island to big game hunting They re-named the Island "Safari Island" and imported hundreds of grazing animals and almost 2,000 game birds. A hotel, airport, and small hangar were built on the island to accommodate the hunters and visitors to the island. Hunting was soon closed and has stayed that way for many years due to the obvious risk of bullets hitting boaters as well as people visiting other islands. The island was also once home to The Island Institute, an environmental education camp.
The "big horn sheep" we saw were actually Mouflon sheep from Corsica. Some of the deer are Sika deer from Asia, others are Fallow deer from Europe, and I suspect there are local breeds of deer on the island as well. Over 500 of them have each managed to adapt to NW Washington Island life!
Visitors to the island are by invitation only, and the island has a very secretive feel about it. It's been said that boaters have seen people escorted off the island by gun wearing security personell, so I wouldn't pick Spieden Island for your noon picnic!
(All information from here and from their cited references.)