​Seal Counting with the Nanwakolas Guardian Watchmen

Ecofish and the Nanwakolas Guardian Watchmen enjoyed a sunny day on Courtenay River for training on seal counting methods. The Guardian Watchmen, concerned about seal predation on salmon, called on Ecofish experts to help them develop a method for tracking the abundance of seals in the lower reaches and estuary of the Puntledge River. The Nanwakolas are particularly concerned by the early run Chinook, and hope to expand the survey by training other groups of Guardian Watchmen to collect comparable data from across the region.

Pink salmon were starting to enter the Courtenay River during the survey day. Even though the survey was during a low tide – typically associated with hauled out seals – most of the seals were observed in the water. Seals were also spotted in the river later that evening, including one chasing its meal near the Courtenay Marina!