Monday, 23 March 2015

spring tides



One of the things that happens with the spring season is that finally we see some low tides in daylight. For the winter , on this part of the coast , low tide happens in the middle of the night, and in summer deep lows are in the middle of the day, so spring sees the turn around. 
The first lows expose some creatures that have been in the water or shadows for a long while.  
 I reported in earlier posts ( Jan 16, Stars, Urchins, Murder ) that we have seen the effects of sea star disease and the take over by massive numbers of small green urchins. However, this day I walked along the low tide line and saw quite a few sea stars ( starfish ), of various types. 
It is interesting that many of these creatures choose bright colours.  Some larger red sea urchins have reappeared, and predators have immediately gutted some as soon as they were reachable.  











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Sunday, 22 March 2015

First day of spring, spring salmon



That is one gaudy plug , Claude. 

It is the first day of spring, March 21, calm, sunny and fishy. Shamra and I are out in Claude's boat to be extra hands for it's shake-down cruise and, of course, fishing. What could go wrong ? Well the depth sounder has a mystery glitch, so we are fishing blind without sonar. Can't complain when we find a couple of fish anyways. 

One of the local guides has had a very good day recently , catching a bunch of salmon out in the back forty, including a 27 and a 35 pounder. That report gives extra excitement at every bite. 

Claude has brought out this crazy colourful Tomic plug. We fish it right out of the box, no modifications, no changing the hook. Green on the bottom, pink on top, black spots on the sides.  I would not choose that.  I've brought along a few of my own favourites.  Surely the fish will prefer my choices. But no, the first and biggest grabs this swimming slice of watermelon. Well, it must be a spring picnic. 






Saturday, 14 March 2015

younger herring

 Last evening there was a lot of surface feeding activity in the Cove again. But this time they were schools of  5 inch herring. This was a whole different show than the big herring last week. There were small circular swirls of something tiny they were feeding on, but I couldn't identify. There were lots of herring , but they were not keen to bite the jig hooks, although I did get this sample. 

Of course if there are herring like this, there might be salmon, so I did try trolling around a bit with an experienced 5 inch Tomic plug, but I didn't have much time. 




Friday, 13 March 2015

More herring in Q Cove





These euphausiid shrimp brought the herring into the shallows in early March . This is earlier than I can recall ever seeing such a show.

Monday, 9 March 2015

herring spawn on Quadra Island

A Blue Heron with a large spawner herring. A gull swoops by on the chance of more.

Herring spawned again on the south west side of Quadra Island for the first time in fifteen years.
Many things come for the herring. The herring spawned here over the last two or more days, somewhat later than the big mass further south. There was a distinct milky band along the shore, faded now. There are herring still in the shallows, you can see subtle surface marks in some of these photos. All the predators seem stuffed and mostly just lazily hanging around with an eye out for something especially easy.

This is the calm after the spawning storm.


cormorants

seals


sealions


gulls


crow


Tuesday, 3 March 2015

eagles and herring video

Here is a group of 15 to 20 or more eagles feeding on herring. These are coming north with the herring, and they don't mind getting close together. They'll spread out up the coast later and nest.


The video is longer. I'm new at this . I think that there is an automatic function that has edited this
into segments.

terrific herring show

video

Herring eating krill, euphausiid shrimp.  Video taken from my boat tied to dock in Q Cove, Quadra Island. Big herring show Mar 3 2015. 
We think of herring as a forage fish that predators eat, but like most things in the sea, they are in the middle of the food web, and here they are the aggressive predator on the euphausiids.  Those eupahausiids look like little minnows swimming but if you can catch one it will curl up in you hand and appear as a shrimp.