Capelin Calendar

Capelin are small fish that come to our beaches every year to spawn; it can be difficult to accurately predict their arrival which is why I’ve created this Capelin Calendar: a place to check if the capelin have arrived in Middle Cove.

Sharing information

During the season I will visit Middle Cove beach regularly to check out the situation, but undoubtedly many people will see the capelin roll before I do. If you have fresh capelin information, please share it here, it’s as easy as leaving a response below.

>> Skip to the capelin news

Spawning dates

  • 2005: July 5 – July 8
  • 2006: July 4 – July 10
  • 2007: June 30 – July 7
  • 2008: July 4 – July 8
  • 2009: July 27 – July 30
  • 2010: Offshore spawning
  • 2011: June 26 – July 7
  • 2012: June 22 – June 26
  • 2013: July 6 – July 8
Are the Capelin rolling?

Capelin data

The 2005-2008 dates used here come from a flickr search, from 2009 on the information is based on personal observation. Read more about capelin on this blog.

700 Responses to Capelin Calendar

  1. newfoundsander says:

    Outer Cove and Middle Cove at 7:30PM: Capelin in the bay.

    No capelin near the beach, but kittiwakes and terns are diving up capelin with ease from the bay.

    • Tim says:

      the abundance of gulls and whales is a strong indicator of the presence of capelin, right? Therefore will the capelin roll again?

      • newfoundsander says:

        Yes, the gulls and whales indicate the capelin are in the bay, but no it does not mean they will roll again. They might, but they can also just remain in the bay and leave later, like they did in 2010.

        • Lin says:

          I heard that there are lots of capelins around cape spear, people saw whales gathering together and feeding on capelins. I have not seen them by myself, might go out and check it later today.

          • newfoundsander says:

            Thanks Lin, yes it’s true where there are whales feeding there are capelin in the water. When you get a close enough look you can see the capelin breach from the water when the whales come up.

  2. Hope says:

    They were in Twillingate July 13/14

  3. newfoundsander says:

    I’m wrapping up my capelin activities for another year, there are still plenty of them around in the bays as is evident by the feeding whales and seabirds, but it doesn’t look like they’ll be back on the beach in Middle Cove.

    Thank you to everybody who helped keep this capelin calendar up to date for another year, I appreciate it a lot and I know a lot of visitors appreciate the information too!

    Hope to see you all again next year, if I’m still around by that time.


    • Jim says:

      Good job Sander. Interest would seem to waning now most people have got their chance to see some up close and catch some for those that wished. It’s about a month since they first appeared in the bays around here which is long enough. Though we never did see the full blown rolling, was out of town the weekend they really came onto the beach at Middle Cove, we had our bucket full from Outer Cove a week or so before.

      • newfoundsander says:

        Thanks Jim, and you also thanks for all your contributions this season :)

        • Jim says:

          Have been out cod fishing 3 times this week, twice from Fort Amherst to fish around Cape Spear and once from Petty Harbour. The cod we were catching off Petty Harbour had their bellies full of capelin, some still had the capelin in their mouths! The cod around Cape Spear didn’t seem to show any evidence of capelin. Perhaps an indication there where the capelin are though thankfully lots of cod around in both areas!

          Also seen a couple of whales breaching near to the boat out at Petty Harbour, which was quite un nerving being on a small fishing boat probably smaller than the whales!

  4. Bobbie-Jo says:

    Hi there,
    I love your site. I follow it regularly. It has been so helpful. I was wondering if you have heard of any places on the avalon to go mussel picking?

    • newfoundsander says:

      Thanks Bobbie-Jo, glad you enjoy the site.

      I’ve never heard anyone about mussel picking, but there are mussels around. I often see big mussel shells washed up on the beaches, and at low tide there are patches of mussels accessible in some coves on the east coast trail, but those are very small mussels, I’m not sure if you’d be interested in picking them.

  5. Tim says:

    I am looking the Newfoundland nickname of capelin.
    Anybody can help me?

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