The jumbo Humboldt squid have invaded the inner areas of the Strait of Juan de Fuca at Sekiu this past week.
“It shook everyone up at Sekiu, and I’ve never heard of them coming in here, and I’ve been around since 1976,” said Larry Bennett, the head state Fish and Wildlife sampler for Port Angeles and Sekiu.
“I think what brought them in was the warm water temperatures that came up to 58 degrees,” Bennett said.
“The big Humboldt squid are the talk right now, and we’ve seen them coming in and weighing 11 to 40 pounds,” said Gary Ryan, manager of Van Riper’s Resort in Sekiu.
The strong and voracious squid are named for their habitat in the warm Humboldt current along the South American coast. Their diet is small fish and even salmon, and sometimes they’ll eat their own.
The Humboldt squid can grow up to 7 feet long and weigh more than 100 pounds.
The jumbo squid used to be found only in the Pacific Ocean’s warmest stretches near the equator in places like Mexico and southern California. In the past decade the giant squid have been found as far north as Canada and Alaska.
In October, 2008 numerous Humboldt squid were being caught or found along the Washington coastal beaches at places like Westport.
(Photo George Pepper of Lynnwood holds a large Humboldt squid he caught off La Push on the northern Olympic coast in September of 2004.)