Capelin are a small fish belonging to the smelt family, important to Newfoundland for centuries as both a reliable, seasonal food source, and serving as a fertilizer for vegetable gardens. The annual capelin roll is also a sign of summer’s arrival in Newfoundland; the timing of their arrival varies, but this year, it coincided with the best Canada Day weekend on record!
It was 8 o’clock in the morning when we saw the tell-tale sign of capelin on the beach: seabird city!
J was lucky to inherit his grandfather’s cast net. He remembers hauling wheelbarrow loads of capelin up to the garden, where the fish would be buried beneath the soil. Here’s a composite of J throwing out the net: