Forage Fish Program

What is it?

The OSS is excited to be working with the Friends of Forage Fish Alliance by participating in their Forage Fish Program.  In a nutshell, the program involves community groups going out to local beaches and taking sediment samples from the spawning zone of Forage fish like surf smelt (Hypomesus pretiosus) and Pacific sand lance (Ammodytes hexapterus). The samples are then brought back to the lab and analyzed for the presence of eggs.

If eggs are present the beach where the samples came from is deemed positive and if they aren’t present then it is deemed a negative beach. Defining beaches as positive or negative is important information and can be passed along to parks and city staff for reference.

The OSS and Forage Fish

The OSS has been organizing its members to go out and sample areas of Cadboro Bay Beach and Mt. Doug Beach approximately twice a month since December 2012. Currently the target beach is Agate beach (near Cordova Bay).

Lab time – 2:30 – 4:30 every second Thursday afternoon, Room B118 in the Bob Wright Centre at UVic

If you would like to be involved feel free to join in on either the beach survey or lab analysis. The Forage Fish Alliance has developed very clear protocols on how to do the surveying and analysis so the simple training can be done on site.

For more information please email


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