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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Many swarms of 1"-1 1/2" long fish swimming in what seemed like endless groups were viewed in area 8-2 over the hot weekend. All were within 10ft of shore, dimpling the surface in early morning, again late evening an hour before dark. I waded knee deep to get a better look at them. Very slender along there length, sides flashed when they turned or darted, swam just under the surface.

Further out, every now and again the calm surface would come alive as they became nervous, leaped out of the water as if they were prey. I guess there were masses of these fish further out too. One deep sided, dime bright flash in the dimming light from a 14" predatory fish that breached the surface, as it slashed through one such group of leaping, surface frenzied, guppy sized fish. Then another, 20ft to the right of the first.

Would these small fish possibly been Salmon smolt? 14" fish a SRC or rezzy Coho?

While checking out the small fish. There were 2 seals or Sea lion (dark in color), a hundred yards apart, several hundred yards out with there heads above the surface, splashing large amounts of water as if they tore a Salmon apart? They were to far out to make out further details than there dark color, large shape and constant, aggressive slap of surface water.
 

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The only salmon which smolt and emigrate at that size would be chum and pink and some races of chinook (ocean-type which may rear for up to 90 days before migrating) all of which would be long gone on their oceanic journeys by now. You are probably seeing schools of baitfish.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
A Sand Lance must be what I saw. I thought I caught a glimpse of a large eye on one, but was not sure since there were so many.

This time of year, a Sand Lance would be no more than 1/3 the size of the smaller specimens in your hand (~Dimebright~)?

Do these guys hatch in a muddy environment, like where large numbers of sand shrimp are found?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Bob, would 1"- 1 1/2" long Sand Lance in large numbers be out of the ordinary this time of year?

All were of very similar size. Looking at your hand, palm up, these free swimming objects were not much more than one finger joint long. None longer than 1 1/2 finger joints, that is what I used for a measurement guide. They were very abundant in numbers.
 

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Stop Killing Wild Steelhead!
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Bob, would 1"- 1 1/2" long Sand Lance in large numbers be out of the ordinary this time of year?

All were of very similar size. Looking at your hand, palm up, these free swimming objects were not much more than one finger joint long. None longer than 1 1/2 finger joints, that is what I used for a measurement guide. They were very abundant in numbers.
I don't see why not. Sandlance are among some of the least understood fish around here, as far as life history is concerned. So it's not like their spawning dates and timing is set in stone. But there are also many other fish in our waters. Stickleback, perch, American Shad, and a host of others. So without a picture, it is impossible to be certain. If you go back to that same location, same time and stage of tide, you might get a chance to take a sample picture of them.
 

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The wanted posters say Tim Hartman
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Lots of 'em swimming around the central Sound ramp where I launched last week.
 

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LA RAMS are SUPER BOWL CHAMPIONS!
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It is very normal (and encouraging) to see large schools of 1" - 1.5" juvenile sandlance in the shallows during August. They are common in eelgrass areas and are a very important food source. The larger sandlance seem to hang in deeper water unless they are spawning in late winter or spring. I've seen good numbers of them in the past few weeks.

Bob, would 1"- 1 1/2" long Sand Lance in large numbers be out of the ordinary this time of year?

All were of very similar size. Looking at your hand, palm up, these free swimming objects were not much more than one finger joint long. None longer than 1 1/2 finger joints, that is what I used for a measurement guide. They were very abundant in numbers.
 

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LA RAMS are SUPER BOWL CHAMPIONS!
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Troutrageous and I collected those on an exposed sand flat one hot July morning during a negative tide. They were dying in the sun, because they were too dumb to leave their burrows as the tide retreated.

Nice catch Dime. What fly did they take? Get those on a 6wt.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Does a sandshrimp and Sandlance burrow look similar when walking the beach? Beach I was on, at low tide, had little to no eel grass, very sparse. Sand was more of a mud that squished between toes when walking. After returning to the home with the private beach and washing off the mud, was like cement in that it would not easily come off my skin or flip flops. Been 5 days, and several showers, just now noticing this stuff has disappeared from under my big toe nails. Washing it from my dog was a chore!

Troutrageous and I collected those on an exposed sand flat one hot July morning during a negative tide. They were dying in the sun, because they were too dumb to leave their burrows as the tide retreated.
 
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