Read below to hear an update on the ongoing 2022 slhawt’ / herring surveys in Átl’ḵa7tsem/Howe Sound!
Before I share an update I would like to recognize all the survey volunteers and logistics staff that have been helping make this work a possibility. As we canoe through the estuary channels and swim the shorelines of Átl’ḵa7tsem and Skwelwil’em looking for sparkling herring eggs I hope we all take the time to look around and see the beauty of the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Temíxw. Everywhere I look in this town is the territory of the Squamish People and I feel honored to be giving back to this land and place.
Attached are two maps showing survey results from sites accessed by land, canoe, and the Squamish Nation Survey vessel. As of March 23, 2022, most spawn has taken place in the first week of March in the central estuary. The highest density spawn was marked at the west end of the Terminals riprap barrier. We are still waiting for spawns to happen in Átl’ḵa7tsem (Howe Sound). On a weekly basis, the Squamish Nation Survey Vessel has been monitoring the sound with some checks as far south as Kwum Kwum but focusing our snorkel survey work from Foulger Creek and northward. Please see the map for our survey route.
As we all know, the natural world operates on a schedule that humans are a part of and do not control or fully understand. In 2018, J.Buchanan documented light spawns in February and March (likely resident herring). Then on March 24th spawning picked up and on April 8th, 2018 a large spawn took place along the Foulger creek shoreline (likely migratory herring). This shows how even in the past 4 years the distribution and intensity of spawning has varied greatly. We all know herring are resilient beings with their own plan for the work they do in their lives. Stay tuned as we look forward to sharing the herring story that we uncover as we swim the shores of Átl’ḵa7tsem.
Tata for now!”
Harriet the Herring and Matthew Van Oostdam.