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View Full Version : Herring migration - Anyone seen it?


No I'm Josh
03-09-2014, 12:57 AM
An opportunity came up for my wife and I to come up to Vancouver Island for the great herring spawn/migration next week. She's a travel writer so the tourism board will be taking care of us. Yes, she is awesome like that though I'm still trying to work out how to get her to clean my fish (Max what is your secret???).

Any of you northerners ever seen it or better yet, dove it it? I'll be shooting photos from in the water and am wondering just how far up the food chain I might brush fins with. I understand the orcas feed on the sealions. Anyone know anything more?

North Star
03-09-2014, 03:08 AM
An opportunity came up for my wife and I to come up to Vancouver Island for the great herring spawn/migration next week. She's a travel writer so the tourism board will be taking care of us. Yes, she is awesome like that though I'm still trying to work out how to get her to clean my fish (Max what is your secret???).

Like they say in the spy movies: If I told you then I would have to kill you.:D


Any of you northerners ever seen it or better yet, dove it it? I'll be shooting photos from in the water and am wondering just how far up the food chain I might brush fins with. I understand the orcas feed on the sealions. Anyone know anything more?

Stay safe. I don't want to have to cut you out of an Orca stomach. You would smell really bad, and nobody would want to be around you anymore.

North Star
03-09-2014, 06:35 AM
Josh, I have a video of two divers who photographed a giant bait ball in Australia for days with every creature imaginable feeding on it, and they never experienced any danger from it.

Seems the predators were focused on the fish and totally ignored them - and each other, too. In fact, when they were in the midst of the bait ball, they never got hit or brushed by the predators zooming through it with their mouths open sucking in the bait. Seems they could sense where they were and swerved to miss them every time.

But, that is Australia, not Vancouver Island.

kehloken
03-09-2014, 01:44 PM
josh, also if you go to seclude beaches watch out for the black bears, of course they are going to the cobble beaches to get the herring eggs. picked a good time to go in the middle of March, there's also the Brant wildlife Festival, which you can get a lot of information there from the people that of been going there for years to get locations secluded from there to her that they take people on.

I was there doing the wreck diving as the visibility is pretty good then, Ian Hall who owned ocean explorers with the best history guy after diving having a few beers at the local pub, also fantastic.charter captain. Ian is no longer with us but the information and the times I had on Vancouver Island are priceless from Ian's happy hours.

No I'm Josh
03-10-2014, 01:15 AM
Thanks Max, that definitely helps to know that bait focuses the predators. Pretty much knew that already but hearing it from someone else is comforting. No telling if I'll even see the fish but I'm pretty sure there'll be opportunity to get in the water with some big critters.
Kehloken thanks for the heads regarding the Brant Wildlife Festival. Hopefully we'll have the opportunity to check it out. And the heads up regarding secluded beaches too!

prospector
03-15-2014, 08:52 PM
I think where the herring tend to congregate--so do the seiners-it can be wall to wall seiners in places like Henry bay just south of comox-the openings last for a very short time--the only time I have been in the middle of one of these situations, the water was clogged with nets.

No I'm Josh
03-16-2014, 02:07 AM
Thanks Prospector for chiming in. Ended up a bust. Missed it by a day or two. Lot's sealions and birds, etc. Got in the water near a rookery and all the sealions were either too preoccupied or two stuffed to even come check me out. Saw a little ling and some other cool sea life before I had to split though. Always good to be in the water.

kehloken
03-16-2014, 08:39 AM
Sorry to hear it was a bust Josh, now you have been up there and hopefully have a contact, not sure if you flew up there, but if you made the few hour Drive to Seattle lake union and jumped on Kenmore air, you might be able to arrange for the pilot to fly you over for photography pictures of what's going on in the water and get you there in time so you don't miss it and land you right there the water where you need to be in there floatplanes. And honestly Kenmore air is the only way to go to Vancouver Island because of all the passport stops, ferry fees, and fuel it's just plain cheaper and faster and easier.
Like you said though you got in the water, how was the visibility.

No I'm Josh
03-17-2014, 07:45 PM
Hey Kehloken, we drove up. Wasn't too bad. With the ferry ride I think it took 7 hours total to get there. Thanks for the heads up regarding the flight though.
Viz was between 15-20ft. Apparently the day before (of course) it was 60ft+. Big plankton bloom but still way better than we have here in OR.
One thing that did come out of the trip though beyond the great people we met was word about an upcoming Sockeye migration on the Adams River in Canada. Biologists are saying we are likely to never see another fish event of this magnitude. In October 40 million :O fish are expected to make the journey up the river. I'll be going to take photos and hopefully some video too if I can get my hands on an affordable gopro. Can't wait!

kehloken
03-17-2014, 08:06 PM
Josh google or ebay there is knock off that is on market as of last week, looks damn close for $99 and no one will know it is not a gopro. do not worry about depth rating as it wont leak just the buttons wont retract. turn video on and you can go to almost 200' i bet.

you will have to come to my place and get some good diving in sometime, almost always a place to dive with decent vis. I can get ya a small place 10' from water and goes to 900'. after the fouth of july the crab is open and you can bring up a dungie and boil it right there at your cabin in salt water.

No I'm Josh
03-18-2014, 02:08 PM
Kehloken you're making me drool with your story of boiling crabs at water's edge! Would love to come up and check out your scene. Ken will tell you that I'm not all talk when it comes to making the trip. :) Can you keep me posted as to crab activity? Would love to photograph them stacked together (assuming they do that up there like the do here?). Your superior viz would make for some great images I'm thinking.

As for GoPro, I've been in touch with them and it looks like I'll be getting a sponsorship sort of deal going. Something like -40% on gear. Supposed to finalize in the next couple of days. Thanks though!

Kyle M
03-18-2014, 03:57 PM
Wow, that sockeye run sounds exciting:

http://www.amusingplanet.com/2012/05/adams-river-salmon-run.html?m=1

kehloken
03-18-2014, 04:05 PM
Josh I would have to check but I can take you to a place where there's thousands of them every day, I haven't dove it in over a decade but I'm sure they're still there. is just a pain in the ass to pick out the good ones because they all look the same until you get them. and a lot of females.

No I'm Josh
03-18-2014, 08:23 PM
That's amazing. I thought those sorts of things only happened when the spawn was on. For photos they can all be females but yeah, be good to grab some fat males!