First significant successful herring spawn in False Creek in more than 100 years

This is a comeback story of sorts for the herring in Vancouver’s False Creek.

Eight years ago the Squamish Streamkeepers Society tried an experiment to help herring populations rebound in Howe Sound.

They wrapped the creosote-soaked pilings under the docks with fabric, so when the herring laid their eggs on the piling they would not be poisoned by the creosote.

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It worked so well, last New Year’s Eve they did the same thing near Granville Island.

The result is the potential for the first successful significant herring spawn in False Creek in more than 100 years. The full results will not be seen for about three years, but right now, the numbers are looking good.

“There were 20 tons of herring spawn here on the last full moon,” said John Matsen from the Squamish Streamkeepers Society. “The potential is 15,000 tons of herring.”

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“If we can mimic a fraction of the success that we’ve had in Squamish, you’re going to see herring like in the good old days here.”

Correction: An earlier version of this article did not identify that this would be first significant herring spawn in this area in more than 100 years. Herring has been spawning in False Creek every year, but many of the eggs did not survive before this experiment.

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