With California Sea Lions Assistance.
“Part of Denise Foster and the Save the Estuary Society Video Library”
This is neat video as it clearly shows the eagles diving at the spawning herring in the shallow waters off French Creek. Also note when the water goes “whitish” that that is the sperm of the herring that is distributed en masse as the females lay their eggs on the eelgrass strands.
Also you can see the California Sea Lions – they wave their flippers in the air a lot — the more flat-headed Steller Sea Lions don’t do this as much.
These herring spawns are one of the west coast most basic nutrient sources. Herring don’t just feed humans with their bodies and eggs but are the staple food of everything – from the eggs being eaten by invertebrates to the small to large herring being eaten by almost every other fish species. Then of course they are eaten by the seabirds, eagles and ospreys and many of the marine mammals.
British Columbia lost most of its huge herring spawn during the 1960 when millions of tonnes were processed for dog food and simply wasted in a now defunct fishery. The rebuilding of the herring stocks is one of the most important ecological elements in west coast food chains.
David wrote Jan 11, 2021