We partner with the Hakai Institute Sentinels of Change initiative to monitor for larval Dungeness crabs at a site located in Ch’ax̱áy̓ / Horseshoe Bay.

This research project provides insights into where and when Dungeness crab larvae arrive during the warmer months of the year across the Salish Sea. Using illuminated traps that sit just below the ocean’s surface, they temporarily catch light-loving planktonic creatures – including Dungeness megalopae, the crabs’ last larval stage before they stop swimming and settle down as juvenile crabs on the seafloor. The timing of arrival and spatial distribution of young crabs are key to replenishing populations each year, and the number of new recruits has been shown to predict the abundance of adult Dungeness crabs years later. 

As part of a network of over 30 light traps throughout the Salish Sea, the light trap in Horseshoe Bay is contributing information to a large dataset. This year (2024) will be our third summer participating in this project!


Volunteer with us!

Applications for our 2024 light trap are now closed. If you have any questions or would like to volunteer next summer, please connect with us via email:

Follow us on social media for regular updates about the program



Thank you to our partners!

We couldn’t run this program without your support.

Learn more about the program

2022 Report

Read the Sentinels of Change 2022 Light Trap Network Report here.


2023 Report

Read the Sentinels of Change 2023 Light Trap Network Report here.

Sentinels of Change

Learn more about the Sentinels of Change initiative here.