Herring Watch


Pacific Herring range from Alaska all the way down to California. Distinct herring groups – some of them even genetically unique – spawn and swim along the coat of British Columbia.

Photo courtesy NOAA

These and other forage fish are crucial for marine ecosystem health. Fish, sea mammals, and birds all enjoy a good herring, anchovy or smelt snack – whether it is their fish or their eggs!

Humans also make use of herring for commercial and sport fishing purposes. Pacific Herring in particular used to be amazingly abundant, however there are widespread concerns that stocks across British Columbia are in decline. Not only that, but we don’t fully understand herring behaviours during much of their lives, which make conservation and revitalization efforts difficult.

Understanding where herring spawn and live as larvae, juveniles, and adults throughout the year is the goal of Herring Watch.

Your observations of herring spawning events, bait balls, juveniles and any catch of herring you make will help us know more about the patterns of these important fish.

Using this data, World Fisheries Trust can develop more effective conservation efforts with our partners and provide advice to all who want to ensure flourishing herring populations for generations to come.

Possible herring observations:

You are our eyes one the ground – or in the water! To learn more about why Pacific Herring need your help, email us at info@worldfish.org, or sign up to our newsletter.

Useful links:



Department of Oceans and Fisheries

Raincoast Conservation Foundation

Pacific Wild