On March 1, 2012 the American National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration agency (NOAA) officially designated this winter as a La Niña winter. La Niña is associated with colder than normal coastal ocean temperatures, unlike El Niño which is associated with warmer than normal coastal water.

In February, Vancouver Aquarium’s fish research divers noticed that the lingcod spawning season was exceptionally late, which could indicate a La Niña winter. Now in mid-March, after the technical endpoint of the Aquarium’s Annual Lingcod Egg Mass Survey, most of the lingcod egg masses in Howe Sound are still newly laid.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JKdCQYE5QPg[/youtube]
This video was taken on Friday, March 9, 2012 by Aquarium Videographer Neil Fisher with Dive Master Jeremy Heywood and volunteer diver Brandon Hill. It shows a male lingcod guarding a recently laid egg mass. It appears that local sea life do not need to keep tabs on government announcements to figure out how the season is going. Aquarium divers have been braving sleet and wind to continue the lingcod spawning survey past the final date for the survey (March 4), and volunteer lingcod dive-surveyors are encouraged to keep data rolling in through the remainder of March this year.

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