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Take Us With You: NOAA Fisheries’ West Coast Region Photo Contest

July 26, 2019

Photo contest winners take viewers into the field with NOAA Fisheries’ West Coast staff, offering new glimpses of their work.

Aerial view of people sampling in Camas Creek, Idaho Best in Show, Benjamin Sandford - Electro-fishing team sampling juvenile Chinook salmon in Camas Creek, Idaho. Judges’ comments: “A pleasing composition of a beautiful river and the science well displayed.” "I want to be on that river!"

“Take us with you!” was the call to NOAA Fisheries’ West Coast biologists, engineers, stream surveyors, and other staff to submit their shots for the NOAA Fisheries West Coast Region photo and video contest. Our staff go places few ever do—from the high seas to the high sierras—and we asked them to submit photographs and short videos that “show how we accomplish our mission in ways words cannot. ”

Staff at our Northwest and Southwest Fisheries Science Centers and our West Coast Region submitted 105 stunning photos and six videos, transporting us into the field and sharing their passion for managing, conserving, and protecting living marine resources.

Three professional photographers, Kyle McBurnie, Sam Wells, and Oriana Poindexter, judged the photos for exposure, composition, and the story each one told.

The entries were considered in six different categories: fishing and fisheries, species, science & technology, habitat, NOAA Fisheries at work, and 30-second videos. All contest photos are available in our NOAA Fisheries West Coast Flickr album for viewing and downloading, along with comments from the judges.

Congratulations to our winners, and a special thanks to all who participated and to our distinguished panel of judges.

Best In Show

Aerial view of Camas Creek, Idaho

Benjamin Sandford — Electro-fishing team sampling juvenile Chinook salmon in Camas Creek, Idaho.

Judges’ comments: “A pleasing composition of a beautiful river and the science well displayed.” "I want to be on that river!"

Category Winners

People in a boat working with a beach seine

Category Winner: Fishing & Fisheries

Larry Ward — Elwha nearshore monitoring beach seine.

Judge’s comment: “Balanced composition, serene location and some science!”

Person holding a Pacific Hake

Category Winner: Species

Jeff Bash — Pacific Hake collected during 2017 Winter Hake Survey.

Judge’s comment: “A great composition that shows the species and the science.”

Person working with water sampling equipment

Category Winner: Science & Technology

Bernardo Alps — Water sampling at Cross Seamount for beaked Whale eDNA, genetic samples collected from the environment.

Judge’s comment: “Great perspective through the porthole, really elevates the scene.”

Lava flowing into the ocean

Category Winner: Habitat

Bernardo Alps — Lava flow from Kilauea Volcano reaches the ocean off Hawaii. Instantly cooled lava creates a vapor column at Kamokuna, Hawaii.

Judge’s comment: “Impressive capture of the power of nature.”

People with mobile tracking equipment wading in Redfish Lake

Category Winner: NOAA Fisheries at Work

Matthew Nesbit — Mobile tracking radio-tagged juvenile Sockeye in Redfish Lake, Idaho.

Video title screenshot: Coho salmon spawning in Eagle Creek, Oregon, 2016

Category Winner: 30 Second Videos

Blane Bellerud Video: Salmon spawning in Eagle Creek.

Judge’s comment:Well paced with good music, and a great capture of behavior!”

Honorable Mentions

People attending a tag training workshop

Honorable Mention: Fishing & Fisheries

Kristine Lesyna — Tag training workshop for green sturgeon post-release survival cooperative research study.

Judge’s comment:Cool to see a sturgeon with tag, and the people involved.”

Child standing on a rock in a river holding a fishing pole

Honorable Mention: Fishing & Fisheries

Maria Rea — Child fishing in the upper Sacramento River.

Judge’s comment: “Beautiful color and composition, with points for cuteness!”

Pacific white-sided dolphins seen from a research vessel

Honorable Mention: Species

John Pohl — Pacific white-sided dolphins riding the bow wave of the NOAA research ship Bell M. Shimada.

Red-footed booby catching a fish

Honorable Mention: Species

Bernardo Alps — Red-footed booby captures flying fish.

Judge’s comment: “Impressive capture and excellent image quality.”

Lob tailing humpback whale

Honorable Mention: Species

Dan Cheng — Lob tailing by a humpback whale.

Judge’s comment:Best Whale in Show!”

Flying squid flushing

Honorable Mention: Species

Bernardo Alps — A flying squid flushes as the NOAA research ship Reuben Lasker approaches.

Judge’s comment: “We (the judges) learned about the existence of flying squid through this image, and we're impressed.”

Red-footed booby flying next to an American flag

Honorable Mention: Species

Michael Force — Red-footed booby saluting flag aboard NOAA research ship Reuben Lasker during NOAA Fisheries’ Cetacean and Ecosystem Assessment Survey off Hawaii.

Judge’s comment: “Well-timed capture with points for humor.”

White-crowned sparrow perched on a branch

Honorable Mention: Species

Bill Lind — Perched white-crowned sparrow.

Judge’s comment:Best Bird in Show, technically excellent photograph.”

Green sturgeon being examined

Honorable Mention: Science & Technology

Kevin Stockmann — Green sturgeon that has been satellite tagged to examine post-release survival in the California halibut fishery.

Rainbow extending over a pier

Honorable Mention: Habitat

Janet Curran — Puget Sound Pot-o-Gold, the NOAA Fisheries Mukilteo Field Station.

Person pulling a buoy aboard a vessel

Honorable Mention: NOAA Fisheries at Work

Bernardo Alps — A Drifting Acoustic SPAR Buoy Recorder is retrieved aboard the NOAA research ship Reuben Lasker.

Science aboard a vessel extending a net into the water to capture a Leatherback

Honorable Mention: NOAA Fisheries at Work

Joel Schumacher — In-water capture of a Pacific Leatherback off Half Moon Bay, California. Southwest Fisheries Science Center scientists prepare to drop a net in front of a surfacing leatherback.

Researchers aboard a vessel at sunset

Honorable Mention: NOAA Fisheries at Work

John Douglass — Tracking VHF radio-tagged leatherback. The NOAA Fisheries’ Pacific Leatherback research team homes in on a previously tagged turtle to recover behavioral video data.

Spawning steelhead

Honorable Mention: 30 second video

Mark CapelliVideo: Endangered Southern California Steelhead spawning with a native Rainbow trout in Maria Ygnaciao Creeek in Santa Barbara County.

Judge’s comment:Interesting behavior recorded in a clear manner.”

Last updated by West Coast Regional Office on August 18, 2023