Numbering in the millions, a massive group of Emerald Shiners (Notropis atherinoides) is filmed schooling in the waters of Lake Simcoe, Ontario. Footage features a giant bait ball as a common loon (Gavia immer) hunts from below and hypnotizing formations of these fish swimming in unison.
This video inspired a cover story in Lake Simcoe Living Magazine, highlighting the importance of Emerald Shiners in Lake Simcoe. It was also featured by several other news and media outlets across Ontario and Canada, including: Cottage Life, Keep Canada Fishing, and BarrieToday.com.
Several underwater cameras were used to film the school of fish. Two cameras were attached to movable and extendable poles which were maneuvered from shore. In addition, several fixed-position cameras were submerged in the water and suspended to different depths.
It was hard to believe this video came from a lake in Ontario rather than an ocean, as these occurrences although rare and fleeting even in the ocean, are not readily observed in our area. From the surface of the water, the sheer number of fish all swimming together was overwhelming alone. But to be able to go below and witness the action right in the middle of the school was simply stunning.
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