egg season

I’ve been intentionally heading out on estuary walks behind the lab this late winter-early spring, watching for signs of the herring run.

Some of the days have had perfect sunlight. This day the angle of the sun on the submerged cobbles had me thinking of the rainbow-rock lakes of Glacier.

Other days had me pondering all the different words you can use to describe that metallic patina on the water when the light is limited by cloud cover. Mercury, pewter, chrome, tarnished silver.

This herring season has seemed prolonged to me. I started seeing signs in late February, but I am still seeing signs now in late March. All the furred and feathered friends of Yaquina Bay have been very excited, flocking and frolicking around.

Herring season outside the lab coincides with Arctic cod spawning season inside the lab. I’m neck-deep in embryos this time of year.

Early embryos

Embryos further along in development

So many potential fish.


By-the-wind-sailor jellies have washed ashore in droves – it’s their season to festoon the salt marsh grass with tiny blue prisms to catch the sun.

First pelican sighting of the season.

Raft is the collective noun for sea lions, Rich looked it up.


Also, I laid eyes on one or two actual herring this year! In the middle of being consumed…

Harbor seals get in on the action, too. They are just a little more stealthy about it than the sea lions.

Pretty sure this is a common loon.

I still hadn’t seen any herring eggs at all inside the estuary, so I took myself to the north jetty after work on Thursday afternoon as the tide was moderately low. It’s at this time of year I begin to rejoice that the daylight has not all faded by the time my work day ends.

I found the eggs!

Eggs covering every surface as far as the eye can see… seems like a pretty good year for herring here locally.

Seems like a pretty good year for Arctic cod in my cold room, too. Here they go, starting to hatch.


Baby fish galore!


Leave a Reply

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>