There was a large spawning of herring at Palm Beach Tuesday March 11, and a smaller one just beyond Eagle River estuary the next day! Palm Beach is mid way between Saltery Bay and Powell River on the Upper Sunshine Coast.
Why am I excited? Well it's the first time I've seen herring spawning here in the 9 years we've lived near Palm Beach. It's decades since the last time they spawned here! Unlike False Creek and Squamish the issue here wasn't habitat destruction. We still have eel grass, rockweed and other algaes suitable for spawning. It was a massive commercial fishery which wiped out these local stocks, from what the 'old-timers' tell me.
As you know local spawnings all over the Strait of Georgia (Salish Sea) were wiped out by overfishing, pollution and habitat destruction. The only spawning that took place was along the inner shores of Vancouver island. Now some local spawns have been happening in the last few years in places like Squamish and even False Creek in Vancouver. Add Palm Beach to the List.
Herring are one of the most important 'forage fish' which feed salmon, lingcod, humpback whales, sea lions and seals, ducks, loons etc. Even Orca benefit since they feed on salmon which feed on herring. More herring means more fish, sea lions and whales!!!!
I'll hopefully have video of the spawning online soon.
Thankful for all the Fish, Terry
Terry's letter inspired my best friend Pancho and i to head down to the estuary and check things out. Like Terry and Jude we too live close to Palm Beach and have enjoyed the miracles unfolding there hundreds of times in the last few years. This morning the tide was out, the sea lions were roaring in the distance, the sea gulls were alternately flying in huge circles and hanging out on the rocks, the ducks were paddling and occasionally ducking, the humans were nowhere to be found though we did meet up with a couple of neighborhood friends of Pancho's who trotted out to greet us. Just another day at Palm Beach.
The Gaurdian of the Malaspina appears at mid-tide when looking from the estuary back up the Malaspina.