Extraordinary congregation of hundreds of pelicans, cormorants, murres, and gulls foraging for hours on these fish near shore. Dozens being washed into the beach by the waves and quickly being snatched up by gulls.
Notes by Julie Thayer (Farallon Institute Scientist) in response to news of the congregation of anchovies:
This is a conundrum that has been surfacing again and again lately - while such an event may seem like an abundance, it could be only a concentration actually signaling decreasing anchovy abundance. Farallon Institute has been working with the Pew Charitable Trusts to find out more. It is currently unknown whether anchovy is increasing or decreasing; no stock assessments have been conducted since 1995. Furthermore, schooling behavior and spatial distribution of anchovy stocks at small versus large sizes is not well understood. It is thought that small stocks contract to the core range nearshore (off central California for central stock). Indeed, 2014 records of dense concentrations of anchovy in Monterey Bay and die-offs in Santa Cruz raise the question if the anchovy population is increasing or this concentration behavior is a result of unfavorable climate conditions, leaving a stressed population even more vulnerable to fishing and predators. While there was a slight uptick in the central California NMFS midwater trawl index in 2013, last year was again lower, extending a streak of extremely low survey catches (2008-2014). Egg surveys in southern California spawning grounds have also declined to next to nothing for recent years.
Extensive spawning activity extending from the the shoal outside Deep Bay then south and east along the Vancouver Island shore
Fishing event resulted in no catch except these fish dropped on us by the cormorants
at Suma aquarium.
A school of small Atlantic Menhaden off the breakwater at Salter's Grove. Also a few American Shad near the bottom.
gizzard or threadfin?
can't quite see the shape of the mouth
caught cast-netting off boat ramp
The Hauraki Gulf is one of the best spots around new zealand to find sardines or pilchards (mohimohi in maori). One of the fave foods of whale, dolphins and gannets. Here you can see the fish leaping out of the water trying to escape the dolphins. View photo large for good view of fish.
@ YES 2014
Just leftover bait from a fisherman.
San Diego County, California, US
We saw a couple of bait balls of presumed sardines but this one was caught locally and was in the bait tank on the boat.
About to become a bit of Elegant Tern...