We were lucky enough to have Phillip Dionne from WDFW join us at the Natural Resource Department. He gave a presentation about forage fish and there critical habitat along the shores of Puget Sound. Forage fish lay their eggs in the sand-gravel beach zone as well as the outer tide flats. A substantial amount of forage fish spawning habitat has been lost or destroyed by the high impact of shoreline usage and development in Puget Sound. As you can see below the shoreline is armored and because of the location forage fish spawn it makes them vulnerable to shoreline development and other human actions.
The need for public education about forage fish and their ecological role is constant to maintain a well-informed community. Many people are unaware of just how many species utilize the shoreline; forage fish being a few of them. The term “forage fish” can be broadly applied to many species that are, in many cases, related through ecology and not phylogeny. Pacific herring Clupea pallasii, Northern anchovy Engraulis mordax, Pacific sardine Sardinops sagax, Surf Hypomesus pretiosus, Longfin Spirinchus thaleichthys, Pacific sand lance Ammodytes hexapterus, and Rock sole Pleuronectes bilineatus are just a few species that use the shorelines. For a map of spawning activity please visit, http://wdfw.wa.gov/conservation/research/projects/marine beach spawning/