beach seineing


It was about 90 degrees yesterday… very rare for this time of year in the PNW. Instead of sitting in my office and staring out my window, longing to be outside (like I’d been doing earlier this week) I got to go out into the field! Woohoo!

I went with a few others to do some beach seining at a couple of sites along the Hood Canal. It was the first time I helped with beach seining, so part of the time I was just getting used to the routine and methods. It was a lot of fun and hopefully I’ll be able to go out and help more throughout the summer.

Before seeing it for myself, I had no idea what it meant to do a “beach seine.” I didn’t get pictures of the entire process since I wasn’t there just to take pictures… I actually had to work, too. Silliness.

The seine itself is a long narrow net with floats on the top edge and a weighted rope on the bottom edge. Halfway down the length of the net is the “bunt” which is a finer black mesh pocket.

At each site we set up our processing area. One tub held plain sea water, one was sea water + something to sedate the fish a little, and a third was the “recovery” tub with just sea water again. The tubs aren’t set up in the picture below, but it shows some of the equipment we had to bring ashore from the boat at each site. (We took a boat to get from site to site.) We also had an air pump with tubes that went into each tub to help prevent any mortalities.


After getting everything ready for the fishies, we loaded the seine onto the back of the kayak.


Hans paddled out and then parallel to the beach, guiding the seine into the water while Steve held onto one of the ropes attached to an end of the seine.




Once the entire seine was in the water, we pulled the two ends towards the beach and then together, guiding the fishies and other critters into the bunt pocket. We pulled the seine in far enough to get a hold of the bunt, and then gently guided the bunt into a square loop made of PVC pipes, keeping the bunt in the water. The bunt suspended from the floating pipes, keeping the critters inside while we sorted the juvenile salmon into a tub of water and counted and released everything else we caught.

We took the salmon to shore in the tub of water to be processed. We noted the species {chum, chinook, or coho}, the length, the weight, the volume, whether or not the adipose fin was clipped, if there was any sea lice on the fish, and if it had a coded wire tag in its snout… and then let them go!



I had a bit of down time at our second site, so I wandered and took some pictures…

I really don’t know what this was about. A water bottle, with water in it, suspended from a tree limb? Weird.



I just thought this was kind of funny… predator and prey prints! (There were a lot of prints on the beach!)



We could see Mt. Baker from the second site we were at, and other mountains all around us. It made me think about how often I take the beauty of where I live and work for granted. I love seeing the landscape from on the water– a lot of people don’t get to see it that way except from on the ferry… and it’s not quite the same.

I just love it. :)


2 responses to “beach seineing

  1. Pingback: daze on the water « Miss Sarah·

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