Spawns Around the Bay

It was a busy week for CDFW staff tracking herring around San Francisco Bay.

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Candlestick Public Fishing Pier: Credit CDFW

Spawn events were detected in the northern portion of the Bay as well as areas to the south of San Francisco. Spawning has been occurring on and off for the last week around Candlestick Point and Hunters Point.  To the north, a spawn was detected in Richardson Bay in the offshore anchorage. At weeks end, a new spawn was beginning at Paradise Cove along the Marin County shoreline. Staff will continue to monitor all areas and sampling to estimate the total herring spawning biomass. Check back soon for more updates.

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Eelgrass and Herring Eggs from Richardson Bay: Credit CDFW

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Spawning in the New Year

Two new spawning events were observed during CDFW spawn surveys yesterday. Keil Cove along the Marin County shoreline had recently deposited herring eggs on eelgrass.

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Metering fish-Racoon Straights: CDFW

There was also a large school detected, which was presumably herring in the area of Racoon Straights and Sausalito. A second spawn was also observed along the rock jetty just outside the Coyote Point Marina in San Mateo County. A trace amount of eggs were deposited on the rocky riprap and attached vegetation.

The CDFW research trawl vessel also metered and sampled a large herring school off of Hunters Point, just south of San Francisco. CDFW staff will continue to monitor the area for what is likely to be more spawning activity. Check back soon for updates.

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Coyote Point spawn site: CDFW

Herring for the Holidays

CDFW staff surveyed two separate spawns today, one in Richardson Bay and another near Point Richmond.

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Castnet caught herring: CDFW

The Richardson Bay spawn is primarily centered in the the anchorage east of Schoonmaker Point. The Point Richmond spawn is located south of the harbor entrance channel outside the rock jetty. This event had a significant amount of marine mammal and bird activity during the early afternoon today. Staff will continue to monitor both spawn locations into next week. Happy Holidays!

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Point Richmond herring spawn: CDFW

Diving in San Francisco Bay

Staff have been busy searching the bay but no new herring spawns have been detected

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CDFW Scientific Diver: Credit CDFW

since the Alameda spawn earlier this month. CDFW scientific divers have however been busy conducting annual SCUBA surveys to determine vegetation types and densities for areas where herring typically spawn. Last week’s dive sites included Richardson Bay and Belvedere Cove. Eelgrass and red algae are commonly encountered in these locations and ideal spawning substrate for herring. You can check out this video of a dive at Belvedere Cove. The clip shows the divers perspective as they descend the marker line and assess the type and density of vegetation in the sample area. It is murky but it does give you a view into the underwater world of San Francisco Bay.

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CDFW Research Vessel: Credit CDFW

 

Herring Season is Here

Today, Department staff encountered the first recorded Pacific Herring spawn of the 2018-19 season.

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Bird Activity- Alameda: Credit CDFW

During routine spawn patrol this morning, bird activity was noted near Ballena Bay on the south-side of Alameda Island. The sparse sub-tidal vegetation in the area yielded a few eggs that were very recently spawned. Staff will continue to monitor and sample the area over the next couple of days to see if any additional spawning occurs. More season updates will be forthcoming, please check back soon.

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Herring Spawn: Credit CDFW