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General News · 2nd March 2024
Sabina Leader Mense/ FOCI
FOCI works in partnership with Project Watershed’s Coastal Forage Fish Network, who are formally kicking off a Pacific Herring Spawn and Nurseries Project to gather community driven observations locating Pacific herring spawn events using iNaturalist.
FOCI is forwarding their information here and inviting Cortes community participation!

Herring are an incredibly important forage fish and so many predators of the coastal ecosystem depend on this ubiquitous forage species. Understanding where and when herring spawn will help us learn more about them.

Everyone can contribute to the project!
If you see herring eggs or that milky white water (milt) near shore - just snap a photo and upload with the date and location to your iNaturalist account. Once you make an observation it will automatically be added to our project but you must select 'eggs' as the life stage. The resulting data is free and publicly available at all times through iNaturalist. There are already over 70 observations, but we know there could be so many more!

The purpose is to create a formal home for herring spawn observations harnessing the power of community/citizen scientists that are spread out across the coast. By providing a publicly available source of Pacific herring spawn observations this data set could supplement pre-existing call-in networks, satellite remote sensing, and the formal DFO fly-overs that sometimes miss spawn due to fog, cloud cover, or miss early or late spawns, or really small spawns.

Check out the iNaturalist Herring Spawn and Nurseries Project page here: