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April 16, 2019

Clouds of herring milt in the water seen during spawning season near Brinnon, WA on Hood Canal, March 2019. Photo: copyright John Gussman, with permission">

The herring defenders

Herring numbers have been declining in Puget Sound since surveys for them began in the 1970s, but it is unclear what is causing those declines, even in the face of widespread fisheries closures. Less clear still is whether anything else can be done to stop or reverse them, and bring herring back. Our reporter Eric […]

February 8, 2019

PSI senior research scientist Marc Mangel.">

Marc Mangel joins PSI

By Jeff Rice How many fish are in the Salish Sea? It’s an impossible question that drives the Puget Sound Institute’s newest senior scientist Marc Mangel.  Mangel has spent his career working on fish and fisheries issues and uses mathematical models to answer critical questions about species such as their population numbers and population health. […]

July 10, 2018

A harbor seal hunting anchovies. From Howe Sound Ballet video by Bob Turner:">

Could anchovies and other fish take pressure off salmon and steelhead?

A recent influx of anchovies into Puget Sound may have saved some steelhead from predators, but researchers seek more evidence to prove the connection. Our series on the Salish Sea Marine Survival Project continues with a look at these and other potential impacts from predators on the region’s salmon and steelhead. Read the story in […]

February 5, 2018

A school of Pacific herring, Clupea pallasii. Photo: National Geographic Creative / Alamy Stock Photo">

New Puget Sound herring research

Herring may not be the most charismatic species in Puget Sound. They don’t breach dramatically out of the water. Fish mongers don’t throw them through the air at Pike Place Market. They find their strength in numbers, schooling around by the thousands and serving as food for other creatures like seabirds, salmon and seals. But […]

January 29, 2018

One of the herring rescued by the staff at the Vashon Island Nature Center. Photo courtesy of Amy Carey.">

Dispatches: Herring rescue

A Puget Sound scientist’s work is never done. PSI’s Lead Ecosystem Ecologist Tessa Francis sent us this e-mail about a recent call to identify some wayward fish on Vashon Island. It didn’t hurt that she happens to study the same species of fish — Pacific herring — as part of her research at PSI. By Tessa […]

August 31, 2017

Increasing adult mortality in Puget Sound herring may contribute to population declines

PSI’s lead ecosystem ecologist Tessa Francis is co-author of a 2017 paper linking increasing adult mortality of Puget Sound herring with regional population declines in the species. The authors report that natural mortality among herring four years and older has doubled in Puget Sound since 1973, suggesting a possible connection to declines at spawning sites […]

May 5, 2016

Paper looks at social–ecological approaches to herring management

A new paper co-authored by PSI’s Tessa Francis connects social and ecological factors influencing herring management in the Salish Sea. The paper, published in the journal Ecosystem Health and Sustainability, grew out of a three-day workshop held last year in British Columbia. The workshop was sponsored by The Ocean Modeling Forum, a collaboration between the School of Aquatic […]

February 25, 2016

Herring fishery’s strength is in the sum of its parts, study finds

The online publication UW Today reports on a recent paper co-authored by PSI research scientist Tessa Francis. The paper, published in the journal Ocealogia, describes how individual herring populations in Puget Sound exhibit a portfolio effect, collectively influencing and stabilizing the region’s population as a whole. Francis teamed up with the paper’s lead author UW doctoral student Margaret […]