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The Success of Pacific Herring (Clupea pallasi) Spawning Net Deployment in False Creek Buu, Nathalie; Wang, Xinchen; Yang, Hailing; Yerxa, Kiana 2020

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The Success of Pacific Herring (​Clupea pallasi)​ Spawning Net Deployment in False Creek   ENVR 400 Capstone Project  By: Nathalie Buu, Xinchen Wang, Hailing Yang, & Kiana Yerxa    EXECUTIVE SUMMARY  Introduction Pacific herring, small silver fish that range between 15-25cm in length, are arguably one of the most important marine species in British Columbia’s waters. Every year in the spring, the Pacific herring leave the open ocean and return to the estuaries where they were born to spawn. The annual spawning season for Pacific herring causes there to be a feeding frenzy for the entire ecosystem. Marine life such as salmon, seals, sea lions, dolphins, and orcas all rely on these small fish, and because of that herring tie this whole ecosystem together.   Figure 1.​ A food web with Pacific herring linking the whole food chain together (Surma et al., 2018). The Squamish Streamkeepers Society is a volunteer community of people who have a passion for fish restoration. They began their work in Squamish, BC after they had noticed that the herring were laying their eggs on wood pilings that were covered with a toxin called creosote. The creosote had negative effects on the roe and killed the eggs that were laid on these wood pilings. The Streamkeepers’ successful solution was to wrap the wood pilings with enviroliner which would protect the eggs from the toxic creosote. They expanded this project to the Fisherman’s Wharf in False Creek when they noticed that herring were also laying their eggs on the wood pilings with creosote as well.  This project then led to the idea of building herring nets. The herring nets act as artificial kelp which is what Pacific herring would prefer to spawn on. This project has been ongoing for eight years now and has been very successful. Every year, millions and millions of eggs are laid on all of the Streamkeepers nets! 1  Figure 2.​ Images of spawning nets with complete egg coverage on them (2020). Research Objectives The Squamish Streamkeepers have developed a methodology for supporting herring populations in False Creek by deploying spawning nets that create habitat for egg deposition. However, their success from their ongoing project has not yet been properly communicated to others or extensively documented. We believe that their hard work should be exported to other coastal areas and communities. If the practices of the Streamkeepers are expanded to other areas along the coast, then the efforts of Pacific herring resportation of their populations will only increase. The goal of our project is to document the practices of the Streamkeepers, and communicate it in a way that others could follow and repeat on their own. Research Questions ● Do the egg densities on the herring nets differ due to the location of where the nets are placed?  ● Do the egg densities differ at different tides or moon phases? ● What is the ecological, cultural, and economic importance of Pacific Herring to False Creek in Vancouver?  Dr. Jonn Matsen, the co-chair of the Squamish Streamkeepers Society, was one of the founders of this project and will be retiring this year. Therefore, it was important to use his expertise and oral history to increase the success of this practice.  Methodology The location of this study took place at the docks at the Fisherman’s Wharf in False Creek, site of the Streamkeepers net deployment. The time frame of this project followed the spawning season of the Pacific herring in False Creek: early January to mid April. The data that was collected from this study was: ● Net Locations:​ We documented the number and placement of each herring spawning net. We labelled the nets in relation to the part of the dock. All the raw data was taken by hand and then uploaded onto an excel spreadsheet.  2  ● Deployment/Upkeep/Maintenance of Nets:​ We discussed with the Streamkeepers on their net deployment plans. We went out with them to see how they make, deploy, and maintain their herring nets. This information was written down, and videos/photos were also taken.  ● Spawning dates:​ Using our own data and our communication with the Streamkeepers, we took note of the dates, frequency and relative size, and environmental conditions when spawnings occured. This data was recorded in our field notes. ● Egg deposition:​ Using the GoPro, we took video footage of the herring nets at different locations over the course of the spawning season, and we used snapshots from the footage to analyze percent egg coverage.  ● Observational data:​ Upon each visit to the docks, we documented the conditions (temperature, weather, light) and the placement of the nets (ie. near shade, near boat, etc.) We also communicated with and took observations from Streamkeepers (moon phases). This data was recorded in our field notes. With this data that was collected was then used to: ● Analyze the egg deposition of the nets while comparing the location of the placement of the nets ● Create a map of the net deployment ● Build a website about Pacific herring, the Squamish Streamkeepers Society, and other important aspects from our project   Findings  Over the weeks of the herring spawning season, the 167 nets were gradually added into the water based on prior experience by the Streamkeepers. Figure 3 is a map of the Fisherman’s Wharf that represents when and where each net was placed. Each dot on this map represents a single spawning net that was placed in the water.   Figure 3.​ Map of the 2020 net deployment for the herring spawn at the Fisherman’s Wharf (2020). 3  GoPro footage was analyzed for percent of egg coverage per net. We extensively followed four spawning nets once they were deployed over the period of our study (B-02, B-07, B-08, and B-51 - Figure 4).  Figure 4​. A map of the locations of the nets that were consistently observed during the study.  Upon every visit, the egg coverage for the nets were calculated. The observed trend from the data of egg coverage was a general positive increase over time (Figure 5). There are some dates, in which percent of egg coverage are lower than previous dates. In late february larger, notable amounts of eggs were deposited on the nets. At the beginning of February, there was no egg deposition. By the end of the study (8th, March), all nets had above 78% egg coverage.  Figure 5. ​Egg coverage (%) over time of 4 different nets on Dock float B. Data was collected over various visits to the Fisherman’s Wharf through GoPro footage. Egg coveraged was found through image colour summarization. Some nets were placed in the water later on and thus, do not have data for earlier dates.   4  Conclusions and Recommendations  From years of experience, Dr. Jonn Matsen and peer reviewed literature are able to support that Pacific herring tend to spawn 3-4 times between late January to early April. From the observations that our team was able to gather from this year's spawning season, we are able to conclude that there have been two spawns so far this season. It is very likely that one more spawn will occur in early April due to Jonn’s knowledge of when herring spawn at the Fisherman’s Wharf.  Spawning Date # of Nets with Eggs on Them February 21st, 2020 26 Sometime between March 8th - March 15th, 2020 68  From the two spawns that have happened so far this season, our team is able to conclude that herring net deployment is clearly a demonstrable success. Right now, there are currently 68 nets that have egg coverage on them, and soon enough there will be 167 nets with egg coverage on them after the last spawn of the season. With each single herring net being able to hold millions of eggs on them, there is no doubt that The Squamish Streamkeepers are making an impact on the Pacific herring populations in False Creek.  Pacific herring have an important value both economically and ecologically in British Columbia waters. Therefore, it is crucial to continue to study herring and research ways to increase herring populations throughout our waters. The efforts that are made now towards the restoration of Pacific herring populations will reflect on future spawning seasons. The Squamish Streamkeepers have been recognized for their efforts as well as their success, and other small groups of individuals are beginning to follow. However, further research and actions are still required in order for there to be significant growth for Pacific herring populations.  In order to build on this project, we suggest the following for future study: ● How algae growth on the nets affects the success of herring spawning on the nets ● The effects of oil pollution from boats on the eggs ● If currents, tides, tidal flows, and moon phases have a large influence on when herring chose to spawn (a more reliable spawning prediction system) ● Experimentation of egg transportation from the highly disturbed/polluted Fisherman’s Wharf to clearer areas in False Creek        5  Author Bios Nathalie Buu​ is a 4th year student attaining a major in Environmental Science with an area of concentration in Land, Air and Water. She is currently taking a fishery science course (EOSC 478) and is very interested in the content. Her past work experience and academic knowledge supplies her background in ecology, experimental design, data analytics and sustainability.  Xinchen Wang​ is a 4th year student in Environmental Science major with an area of concentration in Land, Air, and Water. She has background knowledge about oceanography from taking EOSC 372, ecology from taking BIOL 230, hydrology from taking GEOB 305, and fisheries from taking EOSC 478. Xinchen is good at graphic design from the experience of designing posters from other courses. Hailing Yang​ is a 4th year student in Environmental Science major with an area of concentration of Land, Air, and Water. He has background knowledge in marine ecology from taking EOSC 372, hydrology from taking GEOB 305, fisheries from taking EOSC 478, and GIS skills from CONS 340. Kiana Yerxa​ is a 4th year student studying an Environmental Science major with an area of concentration in Land, Air, and Water. She has background knowledge in oceanography from taking EOSC 372 & EOSC 373, ecology from taking BIOL 230 & BIOL 306, and fisheries from taking EOSC 478. Kiana also has previous work experience with working for a government; she worked for the City of Mukilteo over the summer of 2019. Additionally, Kiana has great interpersonal skills from experience with working with co-workers, customers, and group members.   Figure 6. ​Image of the UBC Herring Team at the Fisherman’s Wharf (2020).   6  TABLE OF CONTENTS  1. Abstract​……....……………………………………………………………………... 8 2. Background Information​……………………………………………………………. 9 2.1 Pacific Herring………………………………………………...................... 9 2.2 Herring in BC……………………………………………………………… 14 2.3 False Creek……………………………………………………………….... 16 2.4 First Nations……………………………………………………………….. 18 2.5 Streamkeepers…………….……………………………………………...... 19 3. Research Objectives​………………………………………………………………… 21 4. Methods​……………………….…………………………………………………….. 22 5. Results​……....……………....………………………………………………………. 27 6. Discussion​...………………………....…………………………………………….... 32 7. Project Limitations​………………………………………………………..……….... 38 8. Future Recommendations​………………………………………………………...… 39 9. Conclusion​……......…………………………………………………….................... 40 10. Acknowledgments​…………………………………………………………….......... 42 11. References​…....…………………………………………………………..………... 43 12. Appendix​………………………………………………………………………..…. 47            12.1 Appendix A…………………………………………………………..…… 47            12.2 Appendix B……………………………………………………………….. 51            12.3 Appendix C……………………………………………………………… 53    7  1. ABSTRACT Due to decades of commercial fishing and changing environmental conditions, the Pacific herring (​Clupea pallasi)​ stock off the British Columbia coast have suffered habitat loss and population decline (Hay & McCarter, 2015). Many areas that herring once used as their spawning ground are no longer occupied due to the disturbance and destruction of their habitat. False Creek used to have a lush ecosystem that herring returned to annually to spawn, but industrialization of the area no longer makes it optimal for herring to spawn there. Therefore, the recent return of Pacific herring in False Creek is a significant event that is critical to the future health of Vancouver and BC Waters. Herring are a keystone species that supports the ecosystem and other marine life in BC. It is also important in terms of the City of Vancouver’s desire to preserve biodiversity and natural environments as Pacifc herring were outlined as a priority species to protect (City of Vancouver, 2016).  The Squamish Streamkeepers Society is a group of volunteers that​ have developed a methodology to support herring populations in False Creek by deploying spawning nets that create habitat for egg deposition. The goal of our project was to document the practices of the Streamkeepers, bring scientific rigour to this successful practice, test best practices for net maintenance, share our findings, and explore any recommendations for improvement or simplification of the process. This study was conducted by examining the work of the Streamkeepers in False Creek Vancouver as well as determining if certain factors such as the location of the herring nets and time of deployment affect the success of egg densities on the nets.           8  2. BACKGROUND INFORMATION   2.1 Pacific herring  2.1.1 Introduction  Clupea pallasi​, known by its common name Pacific herring (Figure 1), is a type of forage fish. The Pacific herring is a pelagic fish that is found in inshore and offshore waters along the Eastern Pacific coast, from ​Baja California to the Beaufort Sea in Alaska (Figure 2) (DFO, 2018a). These fish are small and only grow to be 15-25cm in length, and can be easily identified by their ​iridescent- silver coloured skin ​(Roberts, 2013)​.  Figure 1.​ A drawing of a Pacific herring (“Pacific herring”, 2019). Figure 2.​ Map of Pacific herring range (Office of Protected Resources, 2008). Pacific herring are an important source of food for salmon, pinnipeds, whales, a vast variety of birds, and many other species (Fox, 2018). As a fundamental forage species, herring populations connect the trophic levels and energy transfers from small phytoplankton to larger marine organisms (Figure 3). The species is significant because of the magnitude of organisms that rely on it as a food source. At all stages of a herring life cycle (from egg to adulthood), they play an important role in many marine and terrestrial organisms on the Pacific Coast. For thousands of 9  years, Pacific herring were consistently abundant along BC’s coasts, but decades of high catches and industrialization has resulted in the periods of decline of their distribution and abundance (Figure 4). Figure 3.​ Importance of Pacific herring in False Creek food web (Surma et al., 2018).   Figure 4.​ ​Comparisons between observed (blue) and predicted (red) spawn indices (Box-Cox transformed) for four spawning regions -PRD: Prince Rupert District, HG: Haida Gwaii, CC: Central Coast, WCVI: West Coast of Vancouver Island. (Xu​ et al., 2019).    10  2.1.2 Life Cycle and Spawning Pacific herring travel in dense schools (Figure 5) and spend time offshore in search of cooler, nutrient rich, and phytoplankton abundant waters. They feed on phytoplankton and zooplankton depending on their size and migrate between overwintering regions and summer feeding grounds. Due to the short life span of herring and their high turnover rates, these fish generally do not migrate more than 200km and have large spawning numbers (Hay & McCarter, 2015).   Figure 5.​ ​Picture of a natural spawning in BC waters (“Pacific Wild”, 2018). Pacific herring reach maturity at 3 years of age (Figure 6), after which they can reproduce annually. They can live for up to 19 years of age and return to the same spawning ground around ten times (Roberts, 2013). Herring spawning is an impressive phenomenon where the males release sperm as milt that colours kilometres of coastal waters. The sperm milt mixes in the water column to fertilize the eggs that stick to marine vegetation and just about anything. The dense aggregation of herring and spawning in springtime invokes a feeding frenzy that causes congregations of a multitude of species.  Figure 6.​ Pacific herring life cycle (“Pacific Herring”, 2015). Major trophic interactions of Pacific herring through periods of life cycle.  11  Adult herring start to migrate from the open ocean to spawning grounds in late winter where they prefer to spawn in sheltered bays and inlets. Female herring lay 20,00-40,000 clear eggs on intertidal marine vegetation such as seagrass, kelp, and other brown and red algae (Roberts, 2013). Impressively, the female’s spawn can have an egg density of 6 million eggs per square metre (Protect Pacific Herring, 2018). The Pacific herring spawning period occurs around late winter or early springtime and lasts for the course of a couple weeks, with some days of larger congregations (Figure 7).   Figure 7.​ Spawning frequency for Pacific herring from January to June in the Strait of Georgia (Hay & McCarter, 2015). The average fertilized egg size is 1.2-1.5mm in diameter (Lassuy & Morgan, 1989). After a herring egg has been fertilized, it takes 10 to 14 days for it to hatch (“Pacific Herring”, 2015). Once the egg has hatched, the larvae, which is around 10 mm in length, remains in shallow waters near its spawning ground for two to three months until it becomes a juvenile. These juveniles then form with other juveniles to create schools of herring fish. Once they have developed scales and functional fins, the herring migrate to deeper, open waters to feed for the next two to three years (Figure 8). During this time the herring become adults that can reach sizes of 15-25 cm. The maturity of Pacific herring reaches 50% at three years of age (Lassuy & Morgan, 1989), which is when they make their way back to where they were born to spawn (“Pacific Herring”, 2015).           12  Figure 8.​ Pacific herring life stage development and migration (Ecoimpetus Pacific herring research, 2017).                   13  2.2 Herring in British Columbia  2.2.1 Ecological Importance  Pacific herring play a critical and foundational role in the ecosystem, and due to their abundance in BC, they are essential to maintaining a healthy marine ecosystem and biodiversity. They are a keystone species because of the tremendous impact that they have on the environment and the wide range of interactions they have with predators and prey (Figure 9). During the spawning season, large congregations of herring biomass and eggs attract a wide variety of organisms such as sea lions, humpbacks, bears, and birds (Protect Pacific Herring, 2018). BC is known for its “Wasp-Waist” ecosystem where the abundance of forage fish in the intermediate trophic level will control the abundance of predators and prey in other trophic levels (​Pakhomov​, 2019).  Figure 9.​ Food web of Pacific Herring (“Pacific Herring”, 2015). Major trophic interactions of Pacific herring through periods of life cycle.   2.2.2 History of Pacific herring in BC Pacific herring are a critical species socially, economically, and ecologically. They are vital for supporting commercial fishing, biodiversity, and marine environments. As one of the most abundant fish in BC waters, herring have a significant history and importance to the land and First Nation communities. For thousands of years, First Nations people have harvested herring and continue to do so. In Vancouver, this is predominantly done by the Coast Salish peoples. Pacific herring have been commercially fished for over 100 years and have contributed significantly to BC’s economy through the creation of employment and generation of revenue (DFO, 2018). 14  There are five main populations of herring off BC’s coast, and four of these stocks have been depleted to historically low numbers. The Pacific herring fishing industry in BC was established in the 1800’s when the stock was abundant. As a result of years of overexploitation, herring stocks crashed in the mid 1960’s (Figure 4) (Fisheries, 2014). The populations in Central Coast, Haida Gwaii, and West Coast Vancouver Island were greatly affected. Commercial fisheries were temporarily closed and the stock was able to recover. Due to the quick turnover of herring life cycles, populations were able to recover in the 1970’s. Decades of persistent fishing caused many periods of fluctuation and recovery in the fish’s history (Figure 4) (Fox, 2018).   2.2.3 Distribution of Pacific Herring in BC The changes in the populations of Pacific herring over the last 100 years is partially due to complex environmental conditions such as water temperature, water salinity, food availability, spawning substrate, and predators. However, a large factor of their population dynamics is a consequence of the fishing industry. Currently, herring no longer spawn in many of their former spawning sites (Protect Pacific Herring, 2018). Of the 29,500 km of British Columbia’s extensive coastline, approximately 5,000 km has been classified as herring spawning habitat. But, only 1.8% of BC shoreline (300-600km) is intensively used by pacific herring during a typical season (Hay & McCarter, 2015).  The five major stock areas are Haida Gwaii (HG), Prince Rupert District (PRD), Central Coast (CC), Strait of Georgia (SOG) and West Coast Vancouver Island (WCVI). The largest population of Pacific herring is found in the Strait of Georgia, Salish Sea (Figure 10). The major spawning areas include Qualicum, Nanoose Bay, Powell River, Boundary Bay, Swanson Channel, and Baynes Sound (Hay & McCarter, 2015). Then they return to the shelf waters on the west coast of Vancouver Island for feeding. This population has been observed to have many spatial and geographical changes in response to fishing (Fisheries, 2014).       Figure 10.​ Map of vital spawning locations  ( in black) and feeding areas (shaded) for  Pacific herring in British Columbia (DFO, 2018).  15  2.3 False Creek  2.3.1 History  False Creek was once a completely different habitat that was occupied by the Coast Salish First Nations. In 1791, European settlers arrived, and this marked the beginning of the industrialization of the area. Since that time, False Creek has been drastically altered (Sullivan, 2013). It was previously an abundant ecosystem surrounded by expansive tidal mudflats and rich temperate rainforests. The inlet used to be five times the size it is today (Biebl, 2019). The shallow waters were home to dense eelgrass beds and other marine vegetation that supported an abundance of marine diversity.  The land and water changed dramatically following the industrialization of the area. Specifically, False Creek became a hub for the lumber industry and consisted of many sawmills. The arrival of the Canada Pacific Railway in 1885 led to the rapid urbanization of False Creek. False Creek became heavily polluted because the area was used as a dumping ground for many industries, releasing toxins and sewage into the water. This practice ruined the natural ecosystem and biodiversity that was once there (Sullivan, 2013). The destruction of the mudflats, sandbars and tidal areas reshaped False Creek (Figure 11). The destruction of natural substrate for herring spawning has led herring to lay eggs on creosote pilings. Creosote substrate is legally used to preserve wood pilings, but has been associated with harmful effects on herring (West et al., 2014).   Figure 11.​ False Creek Map, taken from GoogleMaps (2019)  2.3.2 Present Conditions  Due to the industrial history in False Creek, the area is contaminated with oil, toxic chemicals, metals and sewage that still remains in the sediment (DFO, 2018). Additionally, there is a lack of filtration in the water because of the conversion of the mudflats into urban areas. Present day 16  Granville Island used to be an important herring fishing site. Eelgrass beds that once covered the ocean floor of False Creek near Granville Island have been completely diminished due to dredging that was done to create the present marinas. Moreover, the lack of available substrate has been detrimental to herring spawning (Hay & McCarter, 2015). The herring that return to False Creek are part of the Georgia Strait population (Sullivan, 2013).   2.3.4 Effects of Creosote Creosote is a common chemical used to preserve wood pilings across Vancouver's marinas because it is resilient, cost effective, and legal (Health Canada, 2011). However, creosote pilings are now one of the main substrates in False Creek that herring lay their eggs on due to the loss of eelgrass beds which used to be their prefered spawning habitat. Unfortunately, the creosote is toxic to the herring roe and the eggs on these wood pilings end up dying (Figure 12a). The Squamish Streamkeepers Society noticed that the eggs were dying, so they wrapped the wood pilings in a protective layer called Enviroliner so that future eggs would be able to successfully hatch on them (Figure 12b and 12c).  Figure 12. ​The effects that creosote has on herring roe.​ (a)​ Creosote wood piling without a protective layer, ​(b) ​the enviroliner, and ​(c)​ a wood piling with enviroliner wrapped around it. Taken from the Squamish Streamkeepers Society (2019).    17  2.3.5 Current Relevance  Pacific herring are a very important species in BC. Over the years, herring habitat and stock decline has led to an increase in awareness and concern for the well being of the populations. Herring spawned in False Creek in 2009 for the first time in many decades but are still at remnant levels (City of Vancouver, 2016). Today, Pacific herring fisheries in BC mainly specialize in fishing herring for their roe, which is predominantly sold in Japan. Other big export locations are China and the USA. Other fisheries catch Pacific herring for food and bait markets, such as for the pet food industry (DFO, 2018a).  In addition to economic importance, herring are vital to preserving biodiversity. The Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation implemented a biodiversity strategy report in 2016 that outlined their goals to protect, restore and sustain ecological areas and health. Their report establishes Pacific herring as a priority species to focus their biodiversity management because of its key role in maintaining ecosystem functions (City of Vancouver, 2016). Since 2015, The city of Vancouver has started an eco-makeover on Northeast False Creek to transform the shore into healthy intertidal zones. This process will hopefully bring back the species diversity in False Creek. Healthy intertidal zones can bring ecological values, which results in greater health and hopefully increased spawning habitat for Pacific herring (City of Vancouver, 2016).   2.4 Relevance to First Nations  The city of Vancouver is home to the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh First Nation groups (Hatcher & Hulbert). These three groups are all included in the larger Coast Salish group. The Coast Salish nations used to occupy what is now the Fisherman’s Wharf, False Creek and the surrounding area. Pacific herring are an important species as their fisheries are both commercially and traditionally significant to the Coast Salish people.  First Nations communities have and continue to sustainably harvest herring roe for both consumption and trading. The method that is used is a traditional one, where natural vegetation is suspended in the water near the shore during spawning time. The vegetation is then removed and the roe is collected. Some fisheries employ these traditional methods by using hemlock branches, kelp fond, and seaweed (Protect Pacific Herring, 2018). This sustainable harvesting does not involve killing or catching the herring, ensuring that the adult fish are left in the ocean to be eaten by predators or return to spawn again. Herring stock supports fisheries, and thus plays a critical economic role in these communities. In addition to economic relevance, herring roe is a significant element of Coast Salish people’s seasonal diet.   18  2.5 Squamish Streamkeepers Society  2.5.1 Squamish Streamkeepers Since 2012, the Squamish Streamkeepers Society began placing herring nets at the Fisherman’s Wharf in False Creek and have been continuing annually (Pablo, 2018). Prior to this, they had successfully deployed nets in Squamish. Their efforts to support herring populations in the False Creek ecosystem has been successful, and last year they had hundreds of millions of eggs on the nets that they maintained. The Streamkeepers are a diverse and passionate group of volunteers who care about the work that they do (Figure 13). Their efforts have not been unnoticed and their efforts have positively impacted the False Creek ecosystem.  Dr. Jonn Matsen, the co-chair of the Squamish Streamkeepers Society, began this project and will be retiring this year. Therefore, it is important to acquire information from him and his colleagues to move forward and continue to increase the success of the project. Jonn is an incredible person and resource to learn from, and a guide for the creation of an optimized methodology for what he and other Streamkeepers do.  Figure 13.​ Dr. Jonn Matsen and Dr. Douglas Swantson holding a herring spawning net on dock B of Fisherman’s Wharf (2020).        19  2.5.2 Streamkeeper Herring Nets The Squamish Streamkeepers have been able to see the return of Pacific herring to False Creek which was accelerated and supported by their placing of herring nets. The herring spawning nets consist of artificial kelp netting, PVC piping, lead line, zap straps, and rope (Figure 14). The herring net is artificial and approximately 1 meter wide and 3 meters deep. Steps on how to build a spawning net can be referred to in Appendix A or on our ​website​. Figure 14.​ A spawning net that Streamkeepers use during the Pacific herring spawning season (2019). The Streamkeepers deploy around 170 nets at the Fisherman’s Wharf in False Creek every year (Figure 15). The nets are placed in the water based on the Streamkeepers previous experience. After the spawning season is over, these nets are pressure washed so that they can be reused for the next upcoming spawning season.  Figure 15​. Nets are deployed and attached to the dock (2020). Marina's are dredged to be about three meters deep, so it is important that the herring nets are less than three meters in length in order to prevent them from touching the bottom of the ocean floor. If the nets are able to touch the bottom of the ocean floor, the eggs that end up on these nets are at greater risk to predators such as crabs that can crawl up the nets.  20  3. RESEARCH OBJECTIVES  The Squamish Streamkeepers have developed a successful methodology for supporting herring populations in False Creek by deploying spawning nets that create habitat for egg deposition. However, their success from their ongoing project has not yet been properly communicated to others or extensively documented. We believe that their hard work should be exported to other coastal areas and communities. If the practices of the Streamkeepers are expanded to other areas along the coast, then the efforts of Pacific herring resportation of their populations will only increase. The goal of our project is to document the practices of the Streamkeepers, and communicate in a way that others could follow and repeat on their own.  Research Questions  ● Do the egg densities on the herring nets differ due to the location of where the nets are placed?  ● Do the egg densities differ at different tides or moon phases? Key Stakeholders  ● City Studio ○ Ileana Costrut ● City of Vancouver  ○ Angela Danyluk ● Squamish Streamkeepers Society ○ Jonn Matsen, Douglas Swanston, Jenefer Smalley, and others ● UBC ○ Michael Lipsen We believe that our studies will help work towards City Studio’s and the Streamkeeper’s goal of supporting the herring population in the False Creek ecosystem. By further studying the methodology that the Streamkeepers employ, as well as investigate other factors that may improve it, we are aiding the efforts to bring traction and scientific support to this project. Hopefully, more people will learn about the importance of this issue through education and our work will help inform future scientific research.       21  4. METHODS  In order to understand the social, economic, and environmental significance of Pacific herring in and off Vancouver waters, we conducted extensive scientific research and literature reviews. It was vital to understand the ecology and importance of herring as a species prior to conducting our data collection in order for us to understand the species, environment and people who are concerned with this project, better.   Dr. Jonn Matsen, the co-chair of the Squamish Streamkeepers Society, was one of the founders of this project and will be retiring this year. Therefore, it is important to acquire information from him and his colleagues in order to move forward and continue to increase the success of the practice. Jonn expertise and oral history will be referred to throughout this report.  Study Location Our area of study is Fisherman’s Wharf, which is located near the False Creek Harbour Authority. Since 2012, the Squamish Streamkeepers have been consistently placing all of their nets in this area of the marina (Figure 16). They place all of their 160+ nets at Fisherman’s Wharf on docks A, B and C. The nets are placed on the north facing sides of the docks, or under larger boats that offer shading from the sun. We collected data off the nets placed on these docks as they were deployed over the period of herring spawning.   Figure 16.​ Map of Fisherman’s Wharf, False Creek. Taken from Google Maps (2019).    22  These locations were chosen by the Streamkeeprs due to their ideal characteristics: the docks extend out perpendicularly from the shoreline. This allows for north facing placements, which will generally get less sun exposure, and limit algae growth. Algae growth should be limited because it can cause the herring eggs to suffocate. The first nets are usually placed closer to the shoreline, but we collected data along the entire dock. The herring usually swim in the well-circulated water near the shore to lay their eggs.  Pacific herring are like salmon, in that they come back to the area they were born in order to spawn (Surma et al., 2018). In previous years, nets have been placed in other locations throughout False Creek by other people; however, they did not experience as successful spawns as the Streamkeeprs did at the Fisherman's Wharf. The goal of the Squamish Streamkeepers is to have Pacific herring naturally return to spawn in False Creek without the need of spawning nets.   Time Frame The time frame of this project followed the spawning times of the Pacific herring in False Creek, in early springtime. Generally, we visited the docks between the end of January and mid-March. The first 3 nets were placed in the water on the 2nd of February, 2020, that we helped deploy. The rest of the nets were placed in the water in accordance with the moon phases and tides. The Streamkeepers deployed numerous nets in short periods in accordance to the size of the predicted spawn. The nets will remain in the water until mid-april to allow the last spawnings to occur and to ensure the 2 week incubation period of the eggs before they hatch. All of the nets will then be taken out and power washed at the very end of April, so that these nets can be reused for the spawning season next year. We visited the docks and took data on the nets that were in the water at the time at least once a week from February 2nd to March 8th (Table 1).  Table 1.​ Dates of field visit to Fisherman’s Wharf, False Creek. (2019).   Data Collection Field data was collected over the entire spawning season and deployment time. Through consistent communication with the Streamkeepers, we visited the docks weekly, after larger spawns to collect data and on days of deployment. We went with and without the Streamkeepers to collect data. We collected data in various different forms: 23  ● Net Locations:​ We documented the number and placement of each herring spawning net. We labelled the nets in relation to the part of the dock. All the raw data was taken by hand and then uploaded onto an excel spreadsheet.  ● Deployment/Upkeep/Maintenance of Nets:​ We discussed with the Streamkeepers on their net deployment plans. We went out with them to see how they make, deploy, and maintain their herring nets. This information was written down, and videos/photos were also taken.  ● Spawning dates:​ Using our own data and our communication with the Streamkeepers, we took note of the dates, frequency and relative size, and environmental conditions when spawnings occured. This data was recorded in our field notes. ● Egg deposition:​ Using the GoPro, we took video footage of the herring nets at different locations over the course of the spawning season, and we used snapshots from the footage to analyze percent egg coverage.  ● Observational data:​ Upon each visit to the docks, we documented the conditions (temperature, weather, light) and the placement of the nets (ie. near shade, near boat, etc.) We also communicated with and took observations from Streamkeepers (moon phases). This data was recorded in our field notes (review appendix for our field notes).  Building the Herring Nets and GIS Map Our team worked alongside the Streamkeepers to understand their practice. From there, we were able to create a methodology of their work. We watched and helped them build and deploy their nets. To communicate this important information about their practices and insider information, we decided to display our findings on a website format. The website includes a step-by-step procedure for how to build a net with the given materials, and background information about Pacific herring, False Creek, and the Squamish Streamkeepers. There are many videos and pictures to inform viewers about the process. By displaying this information on our ​website​, we will be able to effectively communicate to others what the Squamish Streamkeepers are doing and how others can follow.  A second component that we completed in order to document the net deployment timing and placement was a GIS map. Our GIS map shows the Fisherman’s Wharf and the various docks with the locations and deployment dates of the nets. The purpose of this map is to provide a visual for where all of the nets are placed and when. Information that applied to this map was recorded and sorted (see Appendix B).   GoPro Footage The eggs deposition was monitored using a Hero 7 underwater GoPro Camera. It was used while attached to a 1.5 meter long GoPro Stick. The GoPro camera footage was collected by the same team member to eliminate bias. The footage starts with a view of the location on the dock and is then slowly submerged into the water, approximately 10 cm away from the center of the net. The GoPro was then moved to the left and then the right in a sweeping motion in order to capture 24  footage of the complete width of the net. After completing a full sweep, the GoPro was then lowered vertically by approximately 20 cm to complete another sweep (Figure 17). This process was repeated until the GoPro stick could not go any deeper underwater (around 2 meters). The GoPro footage was collected as a video, then it was uploaded onto a usb drive.   Figure 17.​ Snapshot from GoPro footage from net B-22 on March 1st, 2020 with arrows showing our motion for taking footage.  Upon review of each individual video a snapshot of the net was taken (Figure 18). The ideal snapshot was one with enough light (near the top of the net) where the eggs could be seen clearly for further evaluation. We took footage of 4 nets over the spawning period. We also collected sweeping data along multiple nets to summarize egg coverage over larger areas of the dock and multiple nets.   Figure 18.​ Snapshot of GoPro footage from net B-51 on March 1st, 2020.   25  Percent Egg Coverage  In order to determine the relative proportion of herring eggs deposition on a net, we used an image colour summary software. The software, MKWEB,  identifies the various colours present within an image, lists them and states the relative percent of colour coverage (Figure 19). Since each snapshot from the GoPro has different lighting and colours, every screenshot must be individually loaded onto the site and the colour of the eggs must be identified. Most eggs are between grey and green colours depending on the lighting and other environmental factors. The colours of the image and their percent coverage are listed after the image is analyzed. Following this, we would identify the colours and percent corresponding with the eggs.    Figure 19.​ Screenshot of Image Colour Summary software of net B-02 on the 23rd of February.                      26  5. RESULTS/FINDINGS  GIS Map of Net Deployment The herring nets were not placed in the water all at once at the beginning of the spawning season. Instead, the net deployment increased when a spawning period was expected to occur. Figure 20 is a map of the Fisherman’s Wharf that represents when and where each net was placed. Each dot on this map represents a single spawning net that was placed in the water. This year, there were a total of 167 nets deployed at the Fisherman’s Wharf. Figure 20. ​Map of the 2020 net deployment for the herring spawn at the Fisherman’s Wharf (2020). The black dots represent the 6 nets that were placed in the water on January 3rd and then again on February 2nd in order to catch any early spawns that might occur. The blue dots represent the 20 nets that were deployed on February 16th in order to prepare for the spawn that was predicted to occur on February 21st. The red dots represent the 42 nets that were placed in the water on February 28th to prepare for the spawn that was predicted to be on March 5th. Lastly, the green dots represent the 99 nets that were added in the water on March 15th for the predicted spawn on March 22nd.   27  The reason that the Squamish Streamkeepers hold off on deploying their nets all at once is to decrease the amount of algae growth that will occur on the nets as well as controlling the habitat area for the herring spawns. The spawns leading up to the ‘big’ spawn that was predicted to occur on March 22nd were much smaller. That being said, the nets that were placed in the water for the smaller spawns before do get complete egg coverage. By adding more nets in the water only a few days before a predicted herring spawn, that allows for there to be the most available habitat area for the herring to spawn on.   Egg Percentage Data Analysis The GoPro footage was analyzed for percent of egg coverage per net. We extensively followed four spawning nets once they were deployed over the period of our study (B-02, B-07, B-08, and B-51 as seen in Figure 21).  Figure 21.​ A map of the locations of the nets that were observed with higher resolution.  Upon every visit, the egg coverage for the nets were calculated. The observed trend from the data of egg coverage was a general positive increase over time (Figure 22). At the beginning of February, there was no egg deposition. By late February, the first spawn of the season had occurred and eggs had been deposited on the nets. By the end of the study (March 8th, 2020), all nets had above 78% for egg coverage. 28   Figure 22. ​Egg coverage (%) over time of 4 different nets on Dock float B. Data was collected over various visits to the Fisherman’s Wharf through GoPro footage. Egg coveraged was found through image colour summarization. Some nets were placed in the water later on and thus, do not have data for earlier dates. In order to understand the time and relative sizes of Pacific herring spawning at Fisherman’s Wharf, the same data from Figure 22 by net location. Figure 23 illustrates the increase of egg coverage in most of the nets over time. Notably, on the 5th of March, net B-07 experienced a decrease in egg coverage. At earlier dates, the egg coverage is more varying.   Figure 23. ​Egg coverage (%) over 4 nets at varying dates of visit. 4 nets were monitored closely over the period of data collection. GoPro footage of the same nets at different locations on dock B was taken over 5 different visits.  29  After February 21st, the first spawn of the season, there were differences in egg coverage at different dates. We observed that the increase in egg deposition was, at first, not occuring, then it started increasing slowly. There was a -5.5% decrease in average egg coverage during the week of the 16th-23rd of February (Figure 24). Additionally, Table 2 below summarizes the average percent of egg coverage for various nets that differ by location at the Fisherman’s Wharf.  Figure 24. ​The percent change in average egg coverage over time. The average egg coverage was calculated for 4 nets. Then the change in egg coverage was calculated by finding the difference in average egg coverage since the previous date of data collection.   To get a broader understanding of egg coverage at different areas on the dock, we took footage of multiple nets. Our data from March 5th shows the general trend that dock B, closet to the shoreline had the highest average egg coverage (Table 2) Table 2. ​Summary data from March 5th, 2020. Sweeping GoPro footage was collected over various nets to determine average egg coverage over larger areas of the dock.  Location  # of nets Average Percent Egg Coverage (%) Dock B: B-04, B-03, B-02 14 81.25 Dock B: B-10, B-09, B-08 9 67.55 Dock C: C-02, C-16 12 2.29  Another important aspect of egg deposition that we observed was a variation in egg coverage over the varying depth of the nets (Figure 25). The top of the net (10 cm underwater) is near the surface of the water and the bottom is roughly 80cm downwards. There is a trend of increasing 30  egg coverage over the study period. Additionally, the top portion of the net has more egg coverage in every case.   Figure 25.​ Average egg coverage of 4 nets on dock float B at top, middle and bottom of the net. GoPro footage was collected by starting at the top of the net and working down, relative depths of top, middle, and bottom parts of nets are 20cm, 60cm, and 80cm respectively, however it is varying.  The reason that herring spawning nets were placed in False Creek is because prior to 2012 the Streamkeepers had observed that eggs had been deposited on the pillars and pillings. To compare the effectiveness of nets for herring spawning we also collected data from pillar B-08. We looked at pillar B-08 because this was near the other nets we recorded footage of. It is also close to the shoreline Since the pillar is always in the water it has more time to develop egg coverage, however it is important to acknowledge that eggs coverage at the top of the pillars are at a greater risk of exposure at low tide. We found that on our last two visits (5th,8th of March) the pillar was completely 100% covered in herring eggs. An underwater GoPro snapshot can be seen in Figure 26 on the left.  Figure 26. ​Left: Snapshot of GoPro footage of pillar B-08 underwater from March 8th, 2020. Right: Percent egg coverage from the pillar at location B-08.  31  6. DISCUSSION Egg Deposition  This study highlighted the effective and successful work of the Squamish Streamkeepers. There were millions of Pacific herring eggs deposited on the spawning nets that the Streamkeepers deployed. It is clear that the Pacific herring are laying their eggs in False Creek on the Streamkeepers nets.  When comparing the herring egg coverage on nets B-02, B-07, B-08 and B-51, we found that egg deposition increased over time. Over the time period of study, there was an overall significant increase in egg deposition. By March, there had been multiple small waves of spawning which caused the increase in egg coverage in the same nets. The first egg sighting was on the 23rd of February on net location B-02. Meanwhile, it took the longest for eggs to be detected on net location B-51. This observation aligns with Pacific herring behaviour to follow the current of well circulated water and swim near the shore. B-02 is closest to the shore and likely the location is the reason that herring eggs were first observed there. Of the four nets we collected extensive data on, B-51 was the only net on the south-facing side of dock float B. The herring entire False Creek from the north side, thus, perhaps they turn and lay eggs along the north facing side of the dock. In addition, the nets on the north side have less sun exposure. Less sun exposure is important for determining the conditions of the nets, lots of sunlight will increase algae growth which can cover the nets and suffocate herring eggs.  The greatest increase of average egg coverage occurred between the 1st and 5th of March. This was a larger spawn, relative to the other dates, with an average egg coverage increase of 41.9% between those dates (Figure 23).  Although there were variations in egg deposition in the smaller February spawns, by March all the deployed nets on dock B were covered in herring eggs. On March 8th, the four nets monitored had an average of 80.5% egg coverage. We see this increase in herring egg deposition as more and more herring come, they become more desperate for substrate to lay their eggs on, therefore egg coverage expands to all nets. A problem that this can present is that eggs that are deposited during earlier spawns may be smothered by eggs deposited on top of them. Another notable result from our data is that no net but pillar B-08 had 100% coverage. Also, herring originally were seen laying eggs on the pillars and they continue to do so, even when there are nets. Perhaps, they prefer to lay their eggs on the pillars. However, the nets serve as better egg habitat, because they move with the water and the dock and therefore eggs are never left out of the water to dry out, as this is what happens on the pillars. Moreover, 100% egg coverage is actually not a desired outcome, because this represents a thick layer of eggs. The eggs in this case can die due to lack of water circulation and the eggs on top of them. The nets, on the other hand, offer plenty of holes for water circulation.    32  Statistical Analysis In this study, we collected data from four different locations on the docks: 2 locations at the start of the dock (B-02, B-51) and two locations at the middle of the dock (B-07, B-08, the pillar of the B-08). GoPro footage was taken of each of these four locations at each visit during the study period. The footage then was analyzed for egg cover percentage.  To understand the statistical strength of our data, we used a t-test under a 0.05 significant level to find out if there is a difference between egg coverage at the four locations. From February 23rd, 2020 to March 5th, 2020, Location B-02/B-51 data group has a sample group of 12, a mean of 60.58% for egg coverage percentage, and the standard deviation is equal to 23.68%. Location B-07/B-08 has a sample size of 13, a mean of 76.66 %, and a standard deviation of 14.50%. The null hypothesis is that the egg coverage percentage at location B-02/B-51 is the same as location B-07/B-08, and the alternative hypothesis test shows that location B-02/B-51 is significantly different from Location B-07/B-08. As a result, we conducted a t-value of those two groups equal to - 9.14. Under a degree of freedom equal to 11 (smaller sample size - 1) we have a two-tailed P-value of less than 0.0001, which means the difference between two sample groups is extremely statistically significant. This may be caused by the middle of the dock having the spawning first. However, even when we only use the data after the first larger spawning (5 Mar- all nets covered by eggs), we still have the T- value of -4.64, and the P-value is 0.024, which means the difference between two locations is very statistically significant. We should reject the null hypothesis under the 0.05 significance level, which means there is a significant difference between sample data. Another t-test between the sunny side (B-51) and the shade side (B-02, B-07, B-08) shows the t value is equal to -3.41, which leads to a p-value is 0.190 under degree of freedom equal to 5. This test also shows a significant difference between the shade side and sunny side.  As a result, the data we collected from false creek Float B shows herring spawning preferred in the middle of the docks. And the shade side is more preferred for herring reproduction. Limitations of the statistical test: 1. The data we collected from the nets was at very close proximity, and there wasn't much locational/spatial variation. Additionally, the data collection was not randomized.  2. The collected data was only at the beginning of the spawning season (Feb/Mar). Therefore, we cannot extrapolate our results to the full spawning season (late March) which leads to a large variation in the results from a larger spawn. 3.  Another limitation is that the data size is small. Ideally, a larger collection of data would be used so that the validity of our assumptions could be strengthened. With less data, outliers cannot be easily identified or accounted for.    33  Best Placement for the Nets The Squamish Streamkeepers Society have developed an effective methodology for deploying the spawning nets over their years of experience on this project. When choosing where to deploy a spawning net panel, there are multiple factors to take into consideration in order to have the most successful egg densities on these nets. To start off, no net should be placed near boat propellers (Figure 27a). This is extremely important because if a net was placed near a boat propeller, there would be a huge risk of the net being damaged as well as the boat being damaged due to the net getting tangled in the propellers. Therefore, nets should only be placed where the fronts of the boats are faced towards the docks (Figure 27b) to ensure safety for the nets as well as the boat itself.  Figure 27.​ Images of where a net should ​(b)​ and should not be placed ​(a).​ Images taken from UBC herring team (2020). All docks will have one side that experiences more sun exposure than the other due to where the sun rises and sets in respect to the layout of the docks. For example, at the Fisherman’s Wharf at False Creek, the right side of the dock experiences more sun exposure than the left side of the dock. You can determine which side of a dock experiences more sun exposure by determining which side of the dock is facing South. In the Northern Hemisphere, the southern facing dock surfaces will be the side that experiences more sun exposure. Ideally, net deployment should be at locations with the lowest sun exposure. By doing so, there will be less algal growth on these nets that impact the success of eggs that are laid on the nets. If there is no (more) space on the docks to deploy nets on the shaded side of the docks, then the nets can be placed on the sunny side. Although it is not the first choice to place the nets on the sunny side of the docks, there are ways to decrease the amount of sun exposure that these nets will get.  Figure 28 below is a great example of where nets can be placed on the ‘sunny side’ of a dock, while also being shaded by a large boat. The shade from this boat would be able to help prevent algae growth on these nets, which would then be able to help increase the success of the spawn on these nets. 34   Figure 28​. Image of a large boat shading herring nets. Image taken from UBC herring team (2020).  When to Expect Herring Spawns For Pacific herring, their general spawning season occurs from late winter to late spring depending on the location of where the herring are spawning. The first herring spawn at the Fisherman’s wharf took place on February 21st, 2020 and was expected to have another spawn on March 5th, March 22nd, and potentially April 4th in 2020. The biggest spawns always occur during late March or early April which is why the Squamish Streamkeepers Society makes sure to have all of their nets deployed before the spawn that was expected to occur on March 22nd.   Moon Phases and Tides Studies have shown that Pacific herring in British Columbia on average have the greatest frequency of spawns during the neap tides that follow a new moon (Hay, 1990). These findings also showed that there was spawning during the neap tides prior to a full moon, and that some spawns may have been influenced by spring tides.  Overall, the tidal influence on the Pacific herring spawns vary depending on the geographic location of where the herring are spawning which makes this very complex (Hay, 1990). The difference between herring spawning on inside waters, such as the Strait of Georgia (where False Creek is located), versus outside waters plays a huge role on what tides will influence the herring to spawn. Because of this, the Strait of Georgia is less clearly associated with tidal phases and spawning compared to other Pacific herring spawning locations.  35  Other possible effects of lunar influence on herring are: 1. An increase in activity level when the water is shallow 2. The brightness of the moon and the changes of the wave patterns 3. Horizontal or vertical migrations based off the lunar phases 4. The moon and/or tidal effects may affect the predator-prey relationships  The Success of the Streamkeeper’s Spawning Predictions Dr. Jonn Matsen uses a tide and moon phase calendar every year in order to predict when the herring will come to the Fisherman’s Wharf and spawn on their nets. From years of experience, Jonn has noticed that the herring tend to spawn 3 days after the first quarter moon and 6 days after the third quarter moon throughout the months of the spawning season (Figure 29).   Figure 29.​ The moon phases (GeoGarage, 2014).         36  From the observations that our team was able to gather from this year's spawning season, we are able to conclude that Jonn’s predictions were right for one of the expected spawns.  Predicted Spawning Date Reasoning for Prediction Was there a Herring Spawn? February 4th, 2020 3 days after the first quarter moon No February 21st, 2020 6 days after the third quarter moon Yes March 5th, 2020 3 days after the first quarter moon No March 22nd, 2020 6 days after the third quarter moon No April 4th, 2020 3 days after the first quarter moon Minimal Spawning  So far there have been two major herring spawns this season. The first spawn occured on February 21st and the second spawn occurs sometime between March 8th and March 15th (between visits). Additionally, there was a very light spawn that occured around April 4th where egg coverage was only seen on a few nets.  There were 26 net panels that were placed in the water on February 16th, 2020 or earlier. All 26 of these nets were coated with herring eggs after the predicted spawn that occurred on February 21st, 2020. 42 more nets were placed in the water on February 28th, 2020 in order to prepare for the spawn that was expected to come on March 5th. On March 8th, all 68 nets were checked to see if there had been a second spawn that happened on March 5th. Our team and the Streamkeepers were able to conclude that there had not been a second spawn on March 5th due to the fact that none of the 42 nets that were placed in the water on February 28th (after the first spawn) had eggs on them. On March 15th, the 68 nets in the water were evaluated again. This time, all 68 of the nets had egg coverage on them. Therefore, this allowed us to indicate that there had been a second herring spawn sometime between March 8th and March 15th (in between our two visits). 99 more nets were placed in the water on March 15th, in order to prepare for the spawn that is predicted to occur on March 22nd or April 4th. On March 27th, the 99 most recently deployed nets were checked to see if a spawn had occured on March 22nd. None of these 99 nets had eggs on them meaning that the predicted spawn on March 22nd did not occur. On April 7th, the 99 nets were checked again, however only a few of these nets had egg coverage on them indicating that a very light spawn had occurred.      37  7. PROJECT LIMITATIONS We have had project limitations that may have affected the accuracy and reliability of our data and conclusions. Table 3 provides the following limitations.  Table 3: ​List of limitations that occured during our project and how it can be mitigated in the future.  Project Limitation Description Recommendations  Boat Disturbances Boats coming in and out of the Fisherman’s wharf could have caused turbulence in the water that affected the spawning. Additionally, oil pollution from the boats prevented our team and the Streamkeepers from being able to lift the nets above the water and clean them.  Deploy nets at location  where boats do not move frequently. GoPro/Picture Accuracy When the GoPro is underwater, the signal is off and there is no way of measuring how far away the GoPro is to the net and what the video will turn out to look like. Having to take screenshots video footage in order to determine egg cover percentages may have led to human errors which could have affected our data analysis. Move the GoPro as little as you can to ensure that the stillness of the camera will be able to capture a good snapshot of the video Algae Growth on Nets The algae that grows near the top of the nets prevents them from being able to have 100% egg coverage in those areas. Better monitoring for algae growth and maintenance for removing the aglae. Time Limitation The Pacific herring spawning season begins in late January or early February and goes until early April. The biggest spawn occurs at the end of March, however our final report is due before then. This limits our team to doing further data analysis on arguably the most important spawn of the season.  Data collection ideally should last for the full spawning season in order to get the best results from the data analysis.  Fisheries By the DFO allowing a herring fishery to open back up, this may have affected the spawn that was predicted to occur on March 5th at the Fisherman’s Wharf.   COVID-19 Our weekly visits to the Fisherman’s Wharf had to come to a stop after March 16th, which is the day that UBC classes switched to online only in order to practice social distancing. No further data could be taken on the nets.   38  8. FUTURE RECOMMENDATIONS Slowly Moving the Eggs Elsewhere from the Fisherman’s Wharf Pacfic herring come back to spawn where they are born after three years. Because of that, Douglas Swanston has begun to transfer some of the herring eggs from the Fisherman’s Wharf to safer locations along False Creek. The hope of this methodology is that moving the preferred spawning locations will reduce the number of eggs that are coated by oil in this marina. If this practice is successful, then the herring that were born in the safer areas of False Creek will return in three years to that exact location. By gradually transferring the eggs elsewhere, there is the potential to expand the spawning grounds along False Creek or even further.   Future Research Further research should be done in order to find the best practices towards Pacific herring restoration. Given the time limitation to our project, we could only attempt to answer a few research questions. However, if time was not a limitation for our project, we would have further studied:  ● How algae growth on the nets affects the success of herring spawning on the nets ● The effects of oil pollution from boats on the eggs ● If currents, tides, tidal flows, and moon phases have a large influence on when herring chose to spawn ● What future steps can be taken to improve the sustainability of net panels ○ i.e. how can we build durable net panels with eco-friendly materials to ensure the aquatic ecosystems are not compromised? ● The success of transporting eggs from the Fisherman’s Wharf to safer areas in False Creek that experiences less forms of pollution/disturbances         39  9. CONCLUSION Herring are arguably the most important marine species in our BC waters. So many marine species rely on herring or their eggs as their main diet. Multiple species of salmon, seals, sea lions and orcas are all endangered species that are reliant on herring in order to survive (Figure 30). Without herring, these endangered species are at greater risk of becoming extinct and the entire food chain in BC could collapse.  Figure 30.​ A food web of British Columia’s marine life (Fisheries and Ocean Canada, 2016). Awareness towards this herring crisis in BC needs to be addressed at a greater scale in order to make significant changes. Many communities such as First Nations tribes have begun to protest (Figure 31). In 2018, the herring fishery in Sitka Sound was expected to yield more than 11,000 tons of sac roe herring; however, the actual harvest was only able to yield 3,000 tons that year (McCarthy, 2019). Members from the Sitka First Nations tribe are now looking to settle this issue in court.   Figure 31.​ Sitka tribe members protesting for fishery management changes for herring (McCarthy, 2019). 40  The efforts that are made now towards the restoration of Pacific herring populations will reflect on future spawning seasons. The Squamish Streamkeepers have been recognized for their efforts as well as their success and other small groups of individuals are beginning to follow.  Pacific herring are a species that have an important value both economically and ecologically in British Columbia waters. Therefore, it is crucial to continue to study herring and research ways to increase herring populations throughout our waters. The methods of the Squamish Streamkeepers do promote Pacific herring spawning in False Creek waters and have now been supported through our data from this year as well as the team who worked on this project last year. However, further research and actions are still required in order for there to be significant growth for Pacific herring populations.                   41  10. ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS We would like to thank our community project partners Angela Danyluk and Ileana Costrut from CityStudio for guiding us through this eight-month long project. We would also acknowledge our course instructors Michael Lipson and Tara Ivanochko for their help and support on this project. Lastly, we would like to thank the Squamish Streamkeepers for being so welcoming to us and taking the time to teach us about herring spawning at False Creek and what they do (Figure 32). The work of the Streamkeepers has been truly inspiring for our team and because of that, this project has impacted us more than we ever thought it would.   Figure 32.​ Picture of our team with the Squamish Streamkeepers on February 16th, 2020.        42  11. REFERENCES Biebl, E. (2019, August 2). How 4 Weeks in False Creek Changed the Way I See It. Retrieved October 31, 2019, from https://www.fraserriverkeeper.ca/how_4_weeks_in_false_creek_changed_the_way_i_see_it. City of Vancouver, Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation (2016). Biodiversity Strategy. Retrieved December, 2019, from https://parkboardmeetings.vancouver.ca/reports/REPORT-BiodiversityStrategy2016-FINAL.pdf DFO (2018a). Integrated Fisheries Management Plan Summary, Pacific Herring (Clupea pallasii), Pacific Region 2017/2018. Retrieved from http://www.pac.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/fm-gp/mplans/2018/herring-hareng-sm-2017-2018eng.pdf DFO (2018b). Herring Migratory behavior. Retrieved from http://www.pac.dfompo.gc.ca/science/species-especes/pelagic-pelagique/herringhareng/hertags/pages/default4-eng.htm  ENVI Software & Technology. (2019). Retrieved from https://www.harrisgeospatial.com/Software-Technology/ENVI. Fisheries and Oceans Canada. (2014, June 17). Herring Spawn and Catch Records of British Columbia. Retrieved October 31, 2019, from http://www.pac.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/science/species-especes/pelagic-pelagique/herring-hareng/hertags/pages/default4-eng.htm. Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Communications Branch. (2016, January 22). Lesson Plan - Bioaccumulation: A case study of British Columbia's killer whales. Retrieved from https://www.pac.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/education/lessonplans-lecons/whale-epaulard-eng.html 43  Fox, C. (2018). Pacific Herring. Retrieved October 31, 2019, from https://www.raincoast.org/projects/marine-birds/pacific_herring/. GeoGarage. (2014, September 5). The science of tides. Retrieved from https://blog.geogarage.com/2014/09/the-science-of-tides.html Hatcher, C., & Hulbert, J. (n.d.). History of Northeast False Creek. Retrieved from https://www.citystudiovancouver.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/HistoryBoards2.pdf.  Harris Geospatial Solutions (2019). How ENVI selects pixels. Retrieved December, 2019, from https://www.harrisgeospatial.com/Support/Self-Help-Tools/Help-Articles/Help-Articles-Detail/ArtMID/10220/ArticleID/19248/3375 Hay, D. E. (1990). Tidal Influence on Spawning Time of Pacific Herring (Clupea harengus pallasi. ​Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences​, ​47​(12), 2390–2401. doi: 10.1139/f90-266 Hay, D., & McCarter, P. (2015). Herring Spawning Areas of British Columbia. A review, geographic analysis and classification. Retrieved from http://www.pac.dfompo.gc.ca/science/species-especes/pelagic-pelagique/herringhareng/herspawn/pages/project-eng.html  Lassuy, D. R., & Moran, D. (1989). ​Species profiles. Life histories and environmental requirements of coastal fishes and invertebrates (Pacific Northwest). Pacific Herring​. OREGON STATE UNIV CORVALLIS DEPT OF FISHERIES AND WILDLIFE. McCarthy, A. (2019, February 21). Tribe takes state to court in attempt to protect herring. Retrieved from https://www.juneauempire.com/news/tribe-takes-state-to-court-in-attempt-to-protect-herring/ Pablo, C. (2018, March 20). Herring return expected to bring back dolphins and orcas to Vancouver's False Creek. Retrieved from 44  https://www.straight.com/news/1046531/herring-return-expected-bring-back-dolphins-and-orcas-vancouvers-false-creek.  Pacific Herring. (2014). ​Food web of Pacific herring through life cycle​. Retrieved from https://www.pacificherring.org/explorer/food-web Pacific Herring. (2015). Retrieved from http://www.pacificherring.org  Pakhomov, E. (2019). ​Productivity​ [Lecture notes]. Retrieved from University of British Columbia Canvas website: https://canvas.ubc.ca/courses/41172/files/5346080?module_item_id=1364998 Protect Pacific Herring. (n.d.). Pacific Wild, Retrieved from https://pacificwild.org/take-action/campaigns/protect-pacific-herring?fbclid=IwAR0nOAcwxHdGR931ke6ae6D1NQjazvJaOZlL6koiMFZGs5MdRXPY3oqCxrY Roberts, J. (2013, November 14). Pacific Herring. Retrieved October 31, 2019, from https://www.crd.bc.ca/education/our-environment/wildlife-plants/marine-species/pacific-herring. Sullivan, S. (2013, February 4). A Short History of False Creek. Retrieved October 31, 2019, from https://www.samsullivan.ca/short-history-false-creek/. Surma, S., Pitcher, T. J., Kumar, R., Varkey, D., Pakhomov, E. A., & Lam, M. E. (2018). Herring supports northeast pacific predators and fisheries: Insights from ecosystem modelling and management strategy evaluation.​ PloS One, 13​(7), e0196307. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0196307 West, J. E., O'Neil, S. M., Ylitalo, G. M., Incardo, J. P., Doty, D. C., & Dutch, M. E. (2014). An evaluation of background levels and sources of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in naturally spawned embryos of Pacific herring (Clupea pallasii) from Puget Sound, 45  Washington, USA. ​Science of the Total Environment ​, ​499​, 114–124. doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2014.08.042 Walton, T., Donohue, M., Wang, W., & Li, Q. (2019). Life on the Edge: A Comparison of Vancouver’s Intertidal Systems with Recommendations for Biodiversity Enhancement in Northeast False Creek. Yi Xu, Caihong Fu, Angelica Peña, Roy Hourston, Richard Thomson, Cliff Robinson, Jaclyn Cleary, Kristen Daniel, Matthew Thompson, Variability of Pacific herring (Clupea pallasii) spawn abundance under climate change off the West Coast of Canada over the past six decades, ​Journal of Marine Systems​, Volume 200, 2019, 103229, ISSN 0924-7963, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jmarsys.2019.103229.             46  12. APPENDIX 12.1 Appendix A How to Build a Herring Net The following materials listed below are all required in order to build a herring net that replicates one of the herring nets built by the Squamish Streamkeepers. Specs: 210D/9x3/8" Stretch Mesh (Rachel Knotless Nylon) (3 meters long)  PVC pipe (1 meter long)  47  Lead line (1 meter long)  Zap Straps  Rope    48  Once you have acquired all of the materials that are needed, you can easily build your spawning net. To start off, the PVC pipe needs to have holes drilled at both ends of the pipe (Figure 33). By doing so, this allows for zap straps or rope to go through the holes, therefore making sure that the net will not slide off of the pipe. It is very important that this step is followed carefully or else your net will be at risk of falling apart.   Figure 33.​ Image of PVC pipe with a hole drilled at the end of the pipe (2020). Once your PVC pipe is ready, you can begin to attach one end of the netting to the pipe by using zap straps. It is important that a zap strap goes through the drilled hole on each end of the PVC pipe.  Once the netting has been securely attached to the PVC pipe, you can now move down to the bottom of the net panel where the lead line will be attached to the bottom of the netting. The lead line is attached at the bottom of the netting so that when the net panel is placed in the water, the leed line will have enough weight to make sure that the net does not float to the surface of the water.  It is also important to make sure to properly attach the lead line to the net to make sure that it does not fall off in the water. You can do this by wrapping the netting completely around the lead line and then putting the zap straps through the holes of the netting. Make sure to pull these zap straps very tight to ensure that the lead line will not be able to move out of place.  Finally, a rope should be tied to the PVC pipe at the top of the net panel. Make sure to tie multiple knots to ensure that there is no way that the rope will be able to detach from the rest of the net panel. 49  When your net is all complete, the final product should like something like Figure 34, and your net is then ready to be deployed for the spawning season! After a spawning season has been completed, the herring nets can be pressure washed so that you are able to use it again for the next year's spawning season.    Figure 34. ​Images of a finished herring spawning net (2020).            50  12.2 Appendix B Excel Spreadsheet for Herring Net Deployment Figure 35. ​An excel spreadsheet on how our team kept track of where and when each net was deployed (2020).          51  Field Notes    Figure 36. ​An excel spreadsheet of the field data that was taken for each field visit (2020). 52  12.3 Appendix C Budget  Equipment Cost (USD$) GoPro (hero 7) 299.00 Waterproof Monopod (106”) 29.90 GoPro Bag  17.99 SD card (128 GB) 19.99 Battery and External Charger 26.59 Waterproof Jacket 30.51 Total Budget: $423.98   GoPro Equipment Details (links from amazon)   GoPro https://www.amazon.com/GoPro-HERO7-Black-Waterproof-Streaming-Stabilization/dp/B07GDGZCCH/ref=sr_1_4?keywords=gopro+hero+7&qid=1572998329&sr=8-4 Batteries and Charger https://www.amazon.com/Batteries-3-Channel-AHDBT-501-Compatible-Original/dp/B078NG927T/ref=sr_1_1?crid=BN7XY7JM72AS&keywords=gopro+hero+7+battery+charger&qid=1572998440&sprefix=go+pro+hero+7+battery+cha%2Caps%2C548&sr=8-1 Waterproof case https://www.amazon.com/GoPro-AADIV-001-Super-Housing-HERO7/dp/B01L2CP126/ref=sr_1_4?crid=2INOVO6RZJ6C4&keywords=gopro+7+waterproof+housing&qid=1573152793&sprefix=gopro+7+waterprro%2Caps%2C222&sr=8-4 Monopod stick (106") https://www.amazon.com/TELESIN-Session-Extendable-Lengths-Lightweight/dp/B075ZSP821/ref=sr_1_6?keywords=gopro+hero+7+monopod+long&qid=1572998555&sr=8-6 SD card 128g https://www.amazon.com/SanDisk-128GB-Extreme-microSD-Adapter/dp/B07FCMKK5X/ref=sr_1_2?keywords=sandisk+gopro+sd+card+128&qid=1573683710&sr=8-2 Bag for all equipment https://www.amazon.com/CamKix-Roll-Out-Shoulder-Compatible-Compact/dp/B01N9GOHCS/ref=sr_1_9?keywords=gopro+bag&qid=1572999109&sr=8-9  53  Timeline    Timeline Description:  ● 2019. Sept. 30th - Meet with Angela and Ileana and get familiarized with the project ● Oct. 2nd-7th - Developing your expertise within groups ● Oct. 7th-14th - Annotated Bibliography ● Oct. 26th - Meet with Streamkeepers: Jonn Matsen and Jenefer Smalley ● Oct. 21st-31st - First Version of Proposal ● Nov. 13rd - Meet with Angela and Ileana and to talk about our Proposal and Methodology ● Nov. 13rd-Dec. 2nd - Final Version of Proposal ● 2020. Jan. 1st-15st - Construct nets that will be used in the field research ● Jan. 16th-25st - Net will be put in the water before the Herring spawn ● Feb. 1st-Mar.1st - Operation of different cleaning methods and data collection of Herring spawning  ● Feb. 25th-Mar. 10th - First Version of Final Project and Brochure creation ● Apr. 2nd - Present at Hubbub ● Mar. 26th-Apr. 4th - Final Project Due and Poster  Optional tasks The efforts of the Squamish Streamkeepers have not gone unnoticed and we hope to keep in touch with them even after this project. Jonn Matsen is contacted by people all around the world who want to learn from him and do what he does. Jonn was recently contacted by someone from Seattle who is going to come up to Vancouver to learn from him. Kiana is also from Seattle and would like to meet with this man to see if she could help him out with starting Herring net efforts down in Seattle. 54 

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