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

Birdy Walk at Centennial Beach in Tsawwassen, BC

The sun broke out today in the lower mainland of BC — a lovely sight after weeks of winter grey. We headed out for the Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary but when we got near the entrance, staff were out directing overflow traffic to park back up the road.

While we were happy so many people were out enjoying the wonderful sanctuary, we were not in the mood for crowds, so we thought we’d try Centennial Beach in Tsawwassen, which is another great place to see all sorts of birds.

It was not very crowded at the beach, and once we were out on the raptor trail, there were only a few other walkers around.

centennial beach tsawwassen

centennial beach tsawwassen
Yumi finds a quiet spot on the beach

centennial beach tsawwassen
Yumi working out while I twiddle with cameras

centennial beach tsawwassen

centennial beach tsawwassen
Mt. Baker with people walking on Delta dikes in the foreground

centennial beach tsawwassen
Mt. Baker

gull crab centennial beach tsawwassen
Gull carrying a crab for lunch

harrier centennial beach tsawwassen
Harrier eyeing lunch? : -) Just kidding!

heron centennial beach tsawwassen
Great Blue Heron in flight