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July 23, 2019

Herring fishing boats in the Strait of Georgia, BC. Photo: marneejill (CC BY-SA 2.0)">

Ancient harvests: A history of Salish Sea herring

If you were to ask a group of experts to make a list of culturally important foods in the Pacific Northwest, it would not be a surprise if salmon rose to the top. But researchers say Pacific herring may have at times rivaled salmon in importance in the Salish Sea. Scientists believe that herring have […]

May 30, 2019

A school of herring.Jacob Bøtter/Flickr">

Young herring ‘go with the older fish’ a key finding in Ocean Modeling Forum’s efforts

Puget Sound Institute lead ecosystem ecologist Tessa Francis was quoted in a recent article in UW News. From UWT News Service: “Young herring ‘go with the older fish’ a key finding in Ocean Modeling Forum’s efforts,” by Michelle Ma, UW News, May 29, 2019, Tessa Francis is both the lead ecosystem ecologist at the […]

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 […]

December 12, 2018

Puget Sound herring eggs on seaweed. Margaret Siple/University of Washington">

Test your herring knowledge

By Jeff Rice One of the first steps in protecting any species is understanding as much as you can about it. When it comes to Pacific herring in the Salish Sea, much is known but until recently many of the key scientific findings about the species had not been gathered together in a single place. […]

July 17, 2018

How herring learn from their elders

Young Pacific herring (Clupea pallasii) learn migration behavior by joining up with older fish, according to a new paper co-authored by Puget Sound Institute Lead Ecosystem Ecologist Tessa Francis. The paper, published this month in the ICES Journal of Marine Science, showed how this behavior leads to greater spatial variability in biomass, and that commercial […]

July 12, 2018

Removal of creosote-treated pilings in Puget Sound. Photo courtesy of the Washington State Department of Natural Resources.">

Removal of creosote-treated pilings may assist herring recovery

Thousands of abandoned wood pilings — the ghosts of piers and docks past — are located throughout Puget Sound. Most of them are treated with creosote, a toxic chemical used to preserve wood that contains polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), a class of chemicals that are also associated with oil spills and burning of fossil fuels. […]

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 […]

September 28, 2017

PSI will host a wide variety of sessions and panels at the 2018 Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference

The announcements are in and Puget Sound Institute researchers will be chairing or co-chairing at least five different special sessions at next year’s Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference in Seattle. The sessions will include subjects as varied as Contaminants of Emerging Concern, microplastics, Pacific herring, ecosystem modeling and the potential influence of the region’s technology industry […]