Open Water


Open water is the largest habitat type in Puget Sound.  Most marine and estuarine animals and plants use open water either as adults or more often when they are young.  The vast numbers of planktonic plants offers abundant food for both adults and young (who are also part of the plankton community). 

Many of the open water animals can be seen from boats, piers or marinas.  However a number live in deeper water or on the bottom and are seldom seen unless they are caught while fishing, seen by divers or are drawn to lights placed in the water at night to lure them.

A few of the open water and subtidal animals that have been seen in open water around a marina are:  Plankton, Bull Kelp, Fried Egg Jelly, Lion’s Mane Jelly, Moon Jelly, Nanomia Siphonophore, Sea Gooseberry, Red Sausage Jelly, Crystal Jelly, Hyperiid Amphipod, Sea Lice, Common Squid, Rainbow Nudibranch, Pink Short-spined Sea Star, Sunflower Sea Star, Northern Anchovy, Pacific Herring, Pacific Sand Lance, Surf Smelt, Sand Sole, Sailfin Sculpin, Starry Flounder, Caspian Tern, Common Goldeneye Duck, Common Loon, Common Merganser, Double-crested Cormorant, Horned Grebe, Pigeon Guillemot, Surf Scoter Orca and Harbor Seal.