Mike Morrell gives an update
on this year’s herring run

DFO HERRING BULLETIN 2: Thursday March 8, 2018

This report by Mike Morrell was originally posted
on the Denman Conservancy Association’s Facebook page on March 9

HERRING SPAWN, BOYLE PT – SOUTH BAYNES SOUND:  Thursday 8 March 2018

Late this afternoon, Thursday 8 March, a large spawn began all around Chrome Island off Boyle Point. The seine fleet converged on the area (along with large numbers of gulls and sea lions) and finally began to land some fish. The spawn propagated along the west side of Denman [“east” in original post–MM] to Repulse Point and along the Vancouver Island side at least to Deep Bay. By dark the main mass of fish appeared to be concentrated north of Repulse in the vicinity of the Hinton Rd access, with the seine fleet fishing just offshore.

DFO’s Wednesday spawn flight reported a heavy spawn to the north of us, from Cape Lazo to Little River (Powell River ferry terminal). These fish are likely the mass of mature fish that have been reported for the last week between Komas Bluff and Cape Lazo.

Since my last report Monday 5 March on the large spawn along the east coast of Vancouver Island south of Denman, I’ve been traveling the Denman and Hornby shorelines, including a boat trip from Ford Cove in south Lambert Channel, Hornby, around the south shore of Hornby to Flora Island off Helliwell Park. There continued to be plenty of indications of fish in the area, as reported by DFO assessments, but little or no new spawning, except for reports I was unable to confirm of small spawns along the N and NE shore of Hornby. DFO was assessing Lambert Channel and Hornby Wednesday, but the results have not been reported online.

The large spawn that began in Qualicum Bay last Friday 2 Mar has continued to propagate south along the coast, reaching nearly to Nanoose Bay by Monday evening. More recent DFO assessment work has located another 8,000 tons of herring south to Nanaimo and Dodd Narrows. DFO conducted an aerial spawn survey Weds 7 Mar, but the results to the south of Nanoose have not yet been reported.

The gillnetters have been fishing south of us since Friday and achieved their quota of 11,177 tons Weds evening, ending the gillnet fishery for this year. The seiners had a short opening Monday afternoon in the Nile Creek area, just north of the gillnet fleet, but they landed only 105 tons and remained far short of their nearly 11,000 ton quota with no further openings until this afternoon.

Mike Morrell for DCA