Herring run now underway in Parksville Qualicum Beach region

A fishing boat goes through a group of sea lions during the start of the herring run in Parksville Qualicum Beach on Wednesday, March 10, 2021. (Michael Briones photo)A fishing boat goes through a group of sea lions during the start of the herring run in Parksville Qualicum Beach on Wednesday, March 10, 2021. (Michael Briones photo)
Sea lions watch the seining activity during the start of the herring run in Parksville Qualicum Beach on Wednesday, March 10, 2021. (Michael Briones photo)Sea lions watch the seining activity during the start of the herring run in Parksville Qualicum Beach on Wednesday, March 10, 2021. (Michael Briones photo)
The herring run is underway in Parksville Qualicum Beach on Wednesday, March 10, 2021. (Michael Briones photo)The herring run is underway in Parksville Qualicum Beach on Wednesday, March 10, 2021. (Michael Briones photo)
Herring fishing is now on in Parksville Qualicum Beach. (Michael Briones photo)Herring fishing is now on in Parksville Qualicum Beach. (Michael Briones photo)
Fishing boats getting ready to cast their nets at the start of the herring run in Parksville Qualicum Beach on Wednesday, March 10, 2021. (Michael Briones photo)Fishing boats getting ready to cast their nets at the start of the herring run in Parksville Qualicum Beach on Wednesday, March 10, 2021. (Michael Briones photo)
Residents snap photos the herring fishing at French Creek Marina on Wednesday, March 10, 2021. (Michael Briones photo)Residents snap photos the herring fishing at French Creek Marina on Wednesday, March 10, 2021. (Michael Briones photo)
Residents snap photos the herring fishing at French Creek Marina on Wednesday, March 10, 2021. (Michael Briones photo)Residents snap photos the herring fishing at French Creek Marina on Wednesday, March 10, 2021. (Michael Briones photo)

The annual herring run off Vancouver Island is underway, though only a handful fishing boats were out in the Strait of Georgia near Parksville on Wednesday.

It stirred up some excitement at French Creek Marina, as curious Parksville Qualicum Beach residents filled the parking lot to watch the seining activity and listen to the deafening bark of hungry sea lions, squawking sea gulls and see the eagles circle around the breakwater looking for an easy meal.

Many onlookers had their cellphones out to snap a photos and videos. Avid shutterbugs were also out in force, armed with their expensive long lenses.

READ MORE: First Nation files injunction against DFO for small Smith Inlet herring fishery

Fishing crews this year will be allowed to fish 20 per cent or 16,330 tonnes of of the estimated stock this year in the strait. The amount is similar to last year’s allocation level determined by Department of Fisheries and Oceans.

Conservationists had called for cuts to the harvest rate this year including a moratorium to allow stocks to rebuild.

Michael.Briones@pqbnews.com

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