Environment

Renewed Invasion Of Jumbo Squid On Northwest Coast

KUOW | Aug. 24, 2009 1:31 p.m. | Updated: July 17, 2012 1:10 a.m. | Olympia, WA

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By Tom Banse

Large Humboldt squid have re-invaded the waters off Oregon and Washington. The squid are 4 to 6 feet long. They used to be rare this far north, but are becoming more common. Correspondent Tom Banse reports.


Humboldt squid are native to the deep waters off Mexico and Southern California.

Down there the efficient predators are nicknamed "red devils" or flying jumbo squid.

Humboldt SquidWashington Department of Fish & Wildlife scientist Greg Bargmann says the arrival of the jumbo squid is a new phenomenon that “looks to become a regular event off our coast.”

Greg Bargmann: “It could be the currents are changing. I'm not sure it's the water temperature or what's driving them. It might be a changing ocean.”

Last October, thousands of dead squid washed up on Oregon and Washington beaches around the time the surface waters turned cold.

The jumbo squid are edible, but fishermen who accidently catch them more commonly use the big calamari as crab bait.

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