The ACS heard recently from Jim Shortread regarding Pacific herring fisheries. Jim thanked the ACS for supporting the Industrial Herring Moratorium. Herring fisheries have now been closed south of Nanaimo and all the way to Race Rocks at the request of First Nations.
On the 25th of March in 2022 there were 170 tonnes of herring spawn at Fisgard Light and Royal Beach. Over the past decade herring spawning has been rather random. The last spawn at Esquimalt was 1998, and there are hopes for the herring to return this spring and spawn again.
The Songhees First Nation is planning on setting hemlock branches at Fisgard Light and three marinas downtown: Fisherman’s Wharf, Causeway Marina and Victoria International Marina. There will be a formal ceremony at Causeway Marina to call the herring in to spawn on the hemlock branches.
There is a strong volunteer team at Fisherman’s Wharf and that is the best spot to drop-in and see what they are doing; branches for herring spawn will be placed at Fishermen’s Wharf on March 11 starting at 10:00 AM. There will be nylon enhancement panels installed as well. Everything will be hung on the seaward side of the crab dock which is the furthest dock from the entrance.
We are really looking forward to finding adult herring in the month of March. We will dissect the herring and measure the weight of the gonads and the weight of the fish to determine if the herring will be spawning soon.
And if the herring do decide to spawn in Esquimalt again… well, then we need jiggers for sure. We need to collect 25 to 75 spawners for dissection and DNA sampling.
So any help you can give in finding adult herring in the month of March will be most appreciated.
For more information on this topic, or to volunteer your time and/or knowledge, please contact Jim Shortread by email or by phone.