Herring are Here!

March 4th, 2013 | by | 11 Comments
Published in Beaches, Central Vancouver Island, Destinations, Estuaries, Fish, Landscapes, Nature Viewing
Tags: , , , , ,

It was such a gorgeous day on Sunday that I packed the kids in the car and headed down to Parksville. Both A and C love the playground on the waterfront, and it was a pretty easy sell to get them moving. Typically, we try to work a nature walk (or two) into any day trip and I figured that we could do a beach walk at either Parksville Beach or Qualicum Beach.

Coming down to the Little Qualicum River, I realized that this wasn’t a typical day. Just south of the Little Qualicum River estuary, the water was a brilliant aqua-marine blue and an armada of fishing boats stretched as far as I could see. It took a bit of convincing but the kids agreed to change the itinerary and make a beach stop first. It was well worth it!

Little Qualicum River Beach #1

The main spawning event seemed to be between the estuary at Little Qualicum River
and the north end of Qualicum Beach.

Little Qualicum Beach #2

No eggs or dead herring washed up on the beach,
but the colour of the water was a good sign that the spawn was on!

We spent some time balancing on the drift logs and looking at the flocks of seagulls and the working fishing boats. There were no eggs or fish washed up on the shore, but the fecundity of the herring was evident in the smell and colour of the water. Soon attention waned and it was time to head on to the Parksville Community Park playground.

More boats were lined up in the main bay at Qualicum Beach but “we” decided that the playground was a priority. I figured with this amount of herring (the whole bay was aqua-marine) there might be something to see on the way back so went with the flow.

A couple of hours later, the fishermen were still hard at work when we drove through Qualicum Beach on the way home. I managed to find a parking spot on the waterfront and we headed out onto the sand to do some exploring. With the tide dropping it was possible to get a bit closer to the boats and the walking was easy for the kids. We found a couple of fishing floats and got some more great looks at several different kinds of gulls.

Gulls at Qualicum Beach

Gulls rested at the edge of the beach while more gathered around the fishing boats further out.

All in all it was a spectacular day and amazing to witness the spectacle of the herring spawn first hand. The herring are here, and the next couple of weeks will bring some exceptional birding and wildlife viewing all up and down the east coast of Vancouver Island.

Qualicum Beach Panorama

It was hard to capture the size of the bay and the number of boats without doing a panorama.


Responses

  1. I see spring | Watershed Moments: Thoughts from the Hydrosphere says:

    March 22nd, 2014 at 2:36 pm (#)

    […] far the biggest assault on the senses this spring has been the herring run (Dave Ingram over at Island Nature has some great shots). It started a few weeks ago, making visits to the beach a sure thing for animal sightings. Eagles, […]

Record a Comment

by

Related Posts

Follow Island Nature

Subscribe to Island Nature via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 136 other subscribers

Island Nature on Tumblr

  • photo from Tumblr

    365/365
    Light Show at Kye Bay

    Kids and I took a break from northern light hunting to do a little light painting dance down on the wet sand flats at Kye Bay on New Year’s Eve. Looks like a satellite did a walk through as well. Nice way to end the year and finish up this 365 Day Project - it’s been challenging at times but overall well worth doing.

    Fuji X-T1, Fuji Classic Chrome camera profile, 125 second exposure

    01/03/16

  • photo from Tumblr

    364/365
    Oyster Bay at Night

    Kids and I drove north to Oyster Bay with the hopes of maybe seeing the northern lights which were forecasted. We were clouded in but I decided to take a photograph anyway - this is looking northeastish, the underside of the clouds are lit by the lights of Campbell River.

    Fuji X-T1, 30 second exposure

    01/03/16

  • photo from Tumblr

    363/365
    Lines in the Sand

    Explored the sand bluffs out at Kye Bay - fascinating patterns in the continually eroding sand, compressed into pseudo rock.

    Fuji X-T1, VSCO Kodak Portra 160

    01/01/16

Photos of the Day from Island Nature’s Flickr Group

Member of

  • Wildlife Photography Blogs

Disclosure

Island Nature is a member of the Canadian Amazon Associates program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to books on amazon.ca. A small percentage of each sale helps support this web site and you pay no additional fees for the book!

Copyright

Creative Commons License

Images and writing by Dave Ingram are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.5 Canada License.

Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at Island Nature copyright.