VIDEO: ‘Millions’ of shimmery fish in White Rock waters captivate

‘Millions’ of tiny fish were in Semiahmoo Bay on Christmas Day. (Christy Fox photo)‘Millions’ of tiny fish were in Semiahmoo Bay on Christmas Day. (Christy Fox photo)
A midnight photo on Christmas Day shows thousands of dead fish. (Contributed photo)A midnight photo on Christmas Day shows thousands of dead fish. (Contributed photo)
A midnight photo on Christmas Day shows thousands of dead fish by White Rock’s pier. (Contributed photo)A midnight photo on Christmas Day shows thousands of dead fish by White Rock’s pier. (Contributed photo)
Thousands of anchovy carcasses litter White Rock’s waterfront Friday, a feast for seagulls. (Tracy Holmes photo)Thousands of anchovy carcasses litter White Rock’s waterfront Friday, a feast for seagulls. (Tracy Holmes photo)
A sea lion surfaces while hunting anchovies in Semiahmoo bay Friday. (Tracy Holmes photo)A sea lion surfaces while hunting anchovies in Semiahmoo bay Friday. (Tracy Holmes photo)
VIDEO: ‘Millions’ of shimmery fish in White Rock waters captivate
Seagulls dine on anchovies Friday. (Tracy Holmes photo)Seagulls dine on anchovies Friday. (Tracy Holmes photo)

A frenzy of fish captured people’s attention on White Rock’s waterfront Christmas Day – and much later into the evening.

The small swimmers – which the department of fisheries and oceans have identified as anchovy – have drawn dozens of seals and sea lions to Semiahmoo Bay in recent weeks, to dine on the shimmery creatures.

READ MORE: VIDEO: Seals and gulls swarm White Rock for fish-feeding frenzy

But while daytime photos and video submitted to Peace Arch News from Christmas Day show a flurry of activity as the fish circled and writhed through the waters, photos from around midnight depict a stark contrast; all of dead fish.

“Millions of fish on the White Rock beach at midnight at low tide last night,” writes Su Gu in a morning email to PAN Dec. 26.

“Never seen anything like this here.”

Fisheries researchers describe the situation as a natural occurrence. UBC’s director of marine mammal research Andrew Trites told CTV it was likely due to the large number of the anchovies in one area depleting the oxygen, causing many of the fish to suffocate.

Friday, the flurry of sea lion and seagull activity continued, as did people flocking to the waterfront to witness it.

“This is awesome,” said one young visitor as a sea lion surfaced briefly near the pier after fetching a mouthful of the tasty treats.

“Nom nom,” said another passerby.

Luva Lynne Atitlan, who came down with her partner Don Sturgeon to see the excitement for herself after reading about it in PAN, said the scene is one she’s never witnessed in her nearly four decades in White Rock.

“I’ve lived here (36) years and this is the first time I ever saw seals off the pier,” she said.

“I said, ‘we just have to go down and see it,’” she said. “And it’s lovely for everyone.”

Steve Puleo visited to take advantage of the anchovies’ demise, filling a bucket with the tiny carcasses to use for fertilizer in his garden.

He said while the smelts come in every year, he, too, has “never” witnessed the likes of what’s been seen this time around.

Add in the sea lion activity and “it’s really quite spectacular,” he said.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

rcmp
South Surrey neighbours’ calls to police lead to break-and-enter arrest

‘Prime example’ of RCMP and public working together, constable says

Linda Annis, Aug. 12, 2020. (Photo: Malin Jordan)
Annis wants independent auditor general for Surrey

‘Surrey taxpayers deserve the best possible oversight of the tax dollars they send to city hall,’ Surrey councillor says

SkyTrain’s end of the line, for now, in Whalley. (File photo)
Provincial budget watchers lament no mention of Surrey SkyTrain expansion

But $1.66 billion is earmarked for a second hospital for Surrey, in Cloverdale

Artist Jim Adams pictured in 2017 in the “cockpit” of his home studio in White Rock. (File photo: Tom Zillich)
‘Vancouver Special’ show a home for art by one Surrey Civic Treasure starting May 22

White Rock’s Jim Adams welcomes the ‘major exposure’ at Vancouver Art Gallery

A large crowd protested against COVID-19 measures at Sunset Beach in Vancouver on Tuesday, April 20, 2021. (Snapchat)
VIDEO: Large, police-patrolled crowds gather at Vancouver beach for COVID protests

Vancouver police said they patrolled the area and monitored all gatherings

Playland at the PNE is set to reopen this May, with COVID-19 health and safety measures approved by the province. (Website/Playland)
VIDEO: Playland at PNE scheduled to reopen this May to masked customers

British Columbians are discouraged from travelling outside of their local health authority to visit the theme park

Meng Wanzhou, chief financial officer of Huawei, walks down the street with an acquaintance after leaving B.C. Supreme Court during a lunch break at her extradition hearing, in Vancouver, B.C., Thursday, April 1, 2021. A judge is scheduled to release her decision today on a request to delay the final leg of hearings in Meng Wanzhou’s extradition case. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Rich Lam
B.C. judge grants Meng Wanzhou’s request to delay extradition hearings

Lawyers for Canada’s attorney general had argued there is no justification to delay proceedings in the case

B.C. Premier John Horgan announces travel restrictions between the province’s regional health authorities at the legislature, April 19, 2021. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. sees 862 more COVID-19 cases Wednesday, seven deaths

Recreational travel restrictions set to begin Friday

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson is photographed following her budget speech in the legislative assembly at the provincial legislature in Victoria, Tuesday, April 20, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. budget lacks innovative drive, vision during uncertain times, say experts

Finance Minister Selina Robinson’s budget sets out to spend $8.7 billion over three years on infrastructure

Using panels kept cold by water circulating within them, B.C. researchers compared thermal comfort in 60 of the world’s most populous cities, including Toronto. (Lea Ruefenacht)
B.C. researchers use air conditioning to combat spread of COVID particles

Dr. Adam Rysanek and his team have proven a new worthwhile system – a mixture of cooling panels and natural ventilation

Police road checks are coming for people travelling between regions while COVID-19 travel restrictions are in place. (Black Press file photo)
B.C. clarifies COVID-19 travel restrictions, Lower Mainland a single zone

Vehicle checks on highways, at ferry terminals to start Friday

FILE – The Instagram app is shown on an iPhone in Toronto on Monday, March 19, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graeme Roy
Judge acquits B.C. teen boy ‘set up’ on sex assault charge based on Instagram messages

The girl and her friends did not have ‘good intentions’ towards accysed

Most Read