Surf Smelt Sampling Has Arrived
A sediment card for identifying dominate sediment (Photo: WWF Canada and MABRRI)
Team Quadra Vortexing on Rebbecca Spit by M Douglas 2021
Surf smelt are forage fish, small schooling fish that help feed the marine food web. Surf smelt, along with Pacific sand lance, spawn on beaches and we know little about the locations or timing of these spawning events. Project Watershed has been surveying beaches for the presence of forage fish since 2019.
The primary spawning time for surf smelt is during the summer months, however they do spawn year round. Generally, these fish utilize the upper portions of the beach closer to the high tide line, whereas, Pacific sand lance are usually found below the high tide line.
Citizen scientists (volunteers) sample for surf smelt about every three weeks from May to September. The tides and moons play an important role in planning when sampling will occur as they play a role in when spawning occurs.
Surf smelt eggs are 1.0 – 1.2 mm in diameter, slightly larger and rounder than Pacific Sand Lance. They have a single sand grain attachment and are translucent. Pages 10 and 11 of the Citizen Science Manual have good images and descriptions of surf smelt eggs. With the summer heat, there is a potential of higher egg mortality for surf smelt during the heat of the day. Overhanging vegetation and beach wrack are important features that can help keep the eggs cool.
If you would like to help look for surf smelt eggs please contact Virginia East for more information.
We are always looking for local knowledge of where forage fish have been seen spawning. Use the link below to share any information you may have.
Happy Technician Tuesday! Our team has been busy testing methods for future monitoring protocols at Kus-kus-sum. The goal is to create a system of data collection to measure ecosystem health.
Happy Technician Tuesday! While working around Glen Urquhart stream, our Technician team has experienced numerous encounters with fauna using the site. The presence of wildlife at Glen Urquhart further justifies the need to preserve and restore the area.
Project Watershed and our guests had a wonderful evening at 40 KNOTS on September 11th, 2021. The Keeping It Living Dinner was spectacular.
We are excited to announce that as of the end of September, we finished the removal, crushing and re-purposing of the surface concrete at Kus-kus-sum. All crushed concrete was successfully repurposed offsite to projects throughout the Comox Valley to be used as fill and road base. As we removed the surface material, we uncovered a few areas with additional sub-surface concrete.
Happy Technician Tuesday! In June, our technician team planted a large number of Lyngbye’s Sedge and some Tufted Hair Grass to restore areas of Hollyhock Flats.
We at Project Watershed took the first National Truth & Reconciliation Day, to reflect on our role, as a stewardship organization within the landscape of the Comox Valley, the traditional and unceded territory of our partners, the K’ómoks First Nation.