Retrospectivo Bella Bella

I’m back in Oregon now, at my day job.  Already reminiscing about my time in Bella Bella, all that I learned, and future herring projects….

On our first day in Bella Bella, the first man that Anne and I ran into on the streets greeted us with, “herring weather”, and pointed to the hail on the ground.  He didn’t even know what we were in town to do research on the herring, so we figured his words must be a good omen.

We had nothing but summer conditions for five days straight, before the herring started to spawn. What an amazing streak of luck for the normally cold grey coasts of B.C.

The spawn is amazing in any conditions, but lit up by sunlight, the entire foreshore looks glacial. This was our first spawn, apparently the juveniles at work.

The weather didn’t last though, and we also experienced winter conditions. Clark Housty’s sturdy boat turned into an ice-breaker this day, and we huddled next to the propane heater to keep our hands from freezing between rounds of fishing. It snowed and hailed for an entire day, and accumulated on the surface of the inlet like miniature icebergs.

These conditions surely meant that it was time for the big spawn!

Here, we relish the harvest.  Britt looks forward to a tasty bite, fresh from a line of hemlock.  Stefan sports a new fashion style  – the next big thing?

Thanks to an amazing crew in Bella Bella, to incredible local logistical and intellectual support for this project and to an amazing land and seascape.  I’m looking forward to future herring-centric explorations!

Bye for now,  Margot

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