Meeting the Herring Whisperer

I’d heard about the great success that Squamish Streamkeepers have had in wrapping pier pilings so that spawning herrings’ eggs are not killed by creosote and other chemicals. Today my wife Yumi and I had a chance to meet Dr. Jonn Matsen at Fishermen’s Wharf on False Creek in Vancouver to see some of the techniques in action.

herring spawning net
Jonn and my wife Yumi hold up a net as a TV news cameraman lines up a shot

herring spawning net
Jonn points out how creosote kills herring eggs. There’s no eelgrass or kelp left around here for more natural spawning sites

herring spawning net
Net suspended in the water from the wharf

herring eggs piling
Closer view of herring eggs on piling