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Culture Days will return September 20 – October 13, 2024.

Mount Arrowsmith Biosphere Forage Fish Demonstration


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Qualicum Beach Visitor Center

2711 West Island Highway

Qualicum, BC

Directions: Demonstration will be held out on the beach in front of the visitor centre. Please note that parking can be tricky at this time of year so you may need to park along the boardwalk and walk down to the visitor centre.



Offered in English.


What to expect: In this demonstration we will be walking you through the procedure we use to sample sediment from beaches and then process that sediment down to a small sample that will later be checked for eggs.

The eggs we are looking for are from two different kinds of forage fish: surf smelt and pacific sand lance. These small creatures play a critical role in upholding the integrity of pacific marine ecosystems by acting as a food source for a vast number of predators including other fish, mammals and sea birds. In this way, they help to move energy in the ocean from lower levels of the food web to higher levels, keeping our systems healthy and in balance.

How do we come in? The Mount Arrowsmith Biosphere Region Research Institute has been working to find spawning grounds and spawning timing windows for surf smelt and pacific sand lance. Both surf smelt and pacific sand lance are obligate beach spawners and we can find their eggs in the sand in the upper intertidal area.



Mount Arrowsmith Biosphere Region Research Institute

Mount Arrowsmith Biosphere Region Research Institute, located at VIU, is dedicated to community engagement, relationship building and knowledge sharing. MABRRI focuses on research and community engagement initiatives primarily within the UNESCO-designated Mount Arrowsmith Biosphere Region, but also uphold VIU's Academic Research Plan by working on projects across Vancouver Island.


This event is part of a hub:

The Art of Nurturing Nature in Qualicum Beach

Visual Artist & Community Connector Diane Moran Qualicum Beach, BC

"The Art of Nurturing Nature in Qualicum Beach" takes place though out the unceded traditional territory of the Qualicum, Snaw-naw-as, Snuneymuxw, K'ómox, Tseshaht, Hupacasath, and Ditidaht First Nations, on whose traditional lands Qualicum...