Clupea pallasii migrate to inshore to lay their eggs. They begin to lay their eggs when they are This is a picture of the larva. It can be found at four to nine years old. Females can lay up to 130,00 eggs in their lifetime. The number of eggs laid per spawning can range from a few to twenty or more layers. Most spawning grounds are located in bays, estuaries, inlets, and some coastlines. These locations are chosen because they are semi protected. They try to lay their eggs in areas of high zooplankton concentration, so that when the larvae hatch they are able to eat. They also try and lay them in areas of low predation. The reasoning for both of these is that Clupea pallasii are not born with high visual acuity, therefore laying them in these specific spots increases their chances of survival. They often lay their eggs on eelgrass, kelp, or even some solid substrates like piers and docks.

This picture is of a Clupea pallasii spawning ground. It can be found at the eggs are laid they take eleven to forty days to hatch. The time it takes for them to grow, develop, and hatch depends on the temperature of the spawning ground. Spawning can occur anywhere from October in some places to August of the next year in other places. This is suggested to be because of the zooplankton productivity, which varies from location to location. It is also common to see the same groups of Pacific herring return to the same spawning  grounds as they did the previous year.

Metamorphosis occurs 2-3 months after the larvae have hatched. This is just the stage where the fish undergoes many dramatic physical changes. At this point they range in size from 10-150 millimeters. They are not considered mature until they are two to five years of age. At that point they range from 10-30 centimeters in length. They can travel in schools inshore and off shore to feed and live, and of course return to spawn when the time is right.

Watch this video to see the Pacific herring laying their eggs.


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