March 28 - Tracking herring from the sky

Plus: IIO announced 3 investigations into Island police conduct, world's biggest hockey stick for sale

Good morning !

Today we look at how UVic researchers are tracking the spring herring spawn around the Island. Herring spawning is one of few natural formations to be seen from space, so researchers have started using satellites to understand the changing populations.


Have you ever witnessed a herring spawn?

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Today’s approx. read time: 4 minutes

🌡️ Weather Forecast

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Tomorrow: ☀️ 13 / 4

Day after: ☀️ 14 / 3


UVic researchers use satellites to track herring spawn near the Island

Drone images of herring spawning in waters near Qualicum on Vancouver Island in March 2024. Photo: Loïc Dallaire / Pacific Salmon Foundation and SPECTRAL Remote Sensing Laboratory

A new scientific endeavour has taken to the sky using high-tech drones and satellite images to better understand the annual spring herring spawn vital to salmon and wildlife on the West Coast. 

Between February and March each year, frigid ocean waters transform to a milky tropical-looking turquoise green when male herring release milt to fertilize the countless eggs deposited by females on eelgrass, kelp and seaweed fringing coastal shores.

Unpredictable and dramatic, the small silver fishes’ spawning event is large and best monitored from great heights, said Loïc Dallaire, a researcher with the SPECTRAL Remote Sensing Laboratory at UVic. 

“It’s one of the very few animal formations that we can see from space, excluding human developments and towns,” Dallaire said. 

Dallaire has been sprinting to areas on the east and west coasts of Vancouver Island to obtain drone footage and scientific samples at spawning events over the past couple of weeks. 

Herring, once plentiful in the Salish Sea, began to decline due to overfishing and scientists are looking to understand how herring spawns have changed over the decades.

⚠️ Capital Bulletin

Holiday facility and parking hours for this weekend in Victoria.

Victoria police seek victim after man arrested for multiple assaults.

Driving today? Check the current traffic situation via Google.


IIO investigating VicPD in downtown summer arrest 

Photo: Robyn Bell / Capital Daily

BC’s Independent Investigations Office will look into the circumstances of an arrest last Aug. in which a man claims to have sustained a serious but not life-threatening injury while being removed from a police vehicle to be placed in a VicPD cell.

The IIO says that its initial investigation has shown the man’s injury meets the standard of serious harm, as defined by the Police Act, and will determine if and how the police were responsible.

IIO seeking witnesses for different 2020 arrest

The IIO put out a call last week for witnesses in a Sept. 2020 incident that allegedly left a man injured when VicPD arrested him in the hallway of his Blanshard apartment. The IIO only became aware of the incident last November.

He says he went to the hospital to treat his non-life-threatening injuries, but the IIO has not confirmed whether they meet the Police Act’s threshold for serious harm.

Investigation of Parksville RCMP underway after body found

The RCMP were notified of a man lying in bushes off a trail at Little Mountain, outside Parksville, on Sun. Officers say they searched the area and didn’t locate anyone.

The next morning, the witness who notified the police returned to the area to find the man’s body in the same place. Police arrived at the scene, pronouncing the man dead. 

The IIO was notified that day and has begun an investigation of the initial search, the circumstances of the man’s death, and whether police action or inaction contributed.

⭐️ Capital Picks

🥓🍺🥃 Bacon, Beer, and Bourbon Festival tix on sale now.

🏡 Now selling! Rowhomes at Royal Bay with suites and no strata fees. Discover the advantages of buying at presale prices. Register at the website.*

🐰 Easter Bunny Photo Booth: Get a picture with the Easter Bunny at Mayfair Mall, running until Monday. [Info]

🤝 Now hiring: Director, Media & Issues at BC Ferries

*Sponsored Listing

🗞️ In Other News

Duncan officially puts world’s biggest hockey stick up for sale
The Cowichan Valley Regional District (CVRD) this week opened an expression of interest process for those wishing to take away the 205-foot (62.5m) stick that sits atop Duncan’s community centre. The stick-and-puck display was built for Vancouver’s Expo ‘86 and has been in Duncan since 1988. An Illinois city is planning a larger stick and puck combo, and Duncan residents last year said no to replacing the weathered twig for $1M-3M. [CHEK]

Saanich gunshot that injured man was on private property
The shooting closed the Galloping Goose trail two weeks ago and sent a man to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. Police say there’s no risk to the public as it was an isolated incident.

Central Saanich gets $400K to upgrade Lochside Trail
Construction is expected later this year to split the pathway from traffic and connect to a refurbished intersection at Mount Newton Cross and Lochside, which will become a four-way stop with bike crossing. The district also plans a $1M project to separate the multi-use trail along Mount Newton from the highway to Saanichton Village.

🗓️ Things to do

🎧 Hot Chip: See the DJ set featuring special guests at Capital Ballroom, tonight at 9pm. [Info]

🎨 Art Battle Victoria: Watch as artists battle it out in three rounds to make 20-minute masterpieces at Victoria Event Centre, tonight at 6pm. [Info]

🎛️ Open Decks: The DJ showcase celebrates one year, while Hermann’s Upstairs continues its final week (for now). Tonight, 9pm. 

🖼️ Carolyn Houg: See the artist’s work at Avenue Gallery until Thurs., April 4. [Info]

🎤 D12 & Obie Trice: The hip hop artists will perform at Wicket Hall, tomorrow at 8pm. [Info]

🐣 Easter Weekend at Bilston Farm: Take your family to the farm for a weekend of Easter festivities, tomorrow to Monday. [Info]

👀 In Case You Missed It

Wednesday headlines: Baby orca cries for dead mother; Strange night noises in Esquimalt; BC government pay website is a fake; And more. [March 26]

Restorative Justice Victoria gets provincial funding. [Capital Daily]

Vic fashion company all over ocean plastic waste. [Capital Daily]

Orca in the sky: Cool cloud in Port Alberni. [Photo]

Vote for Vic’s best: Cast your votes for the city’s best restaurants. [Tasting Victoria Awards]

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