Date: 2/12/18 3:51 pm
From: Wayne Hoffman <whoffman...>
Subject: [obol] Herring in Yaquina Bay
Hi - 

Its On - at least sort - of.


A lot of activity continuing by Sea Lions and gulls eating Herring.  The main area the last few days was Sally's Bend, which is the embayment east of the LNG Tank.

I watched from 1:40 till 2:40 this afternoon, on a falling tide.  There was continuous activity close to the little broken-down dock at the SE corner of the fill next to the tank. When Roy Lowe was there earlier, they were more out in the middle.   Over 200 California Sea Lions were splashing around in shallow water in tight groups of up to 80 animals, and several Harbor seals were working closer to the shore.  Over 800 gulls were in the area, with Glaucous-winged most common, then Herring, then Olympic, then "Thayer's," Western, California, Mew, and 2 Ring-billed.  Surprisingly few Westerns, considering quite a few nest within a mile of that spot.

No evidence of birds eating eggs yet, so I think this is a pre-spawning aggregation of Herring.  Even so, it is a spectacular thing to see, and I think it will continue until the spawning actually happens.

Wayne
 
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