Local News

Aerial survey finds predators, no herring

Crew aboard the Sitka-based F/V Pillar Bay tend to the net after the closure of the 2012 herring season. (KCAW photo/Ed Ronco)

Crew aboard the Sitka-based F/V Pillar Bay tend to the net after the closure of the 2012 herring season. (KCAW photo/Ed Ronco)

Lots of whales, not a lot of herring. Not yet, anyway.

That’s the report from the first aerial survey of the 2013 herring season in Sitka Sound. Alaska Department of Fish & Game officials found 24 whales in the Sound, mostly between Kruzof Island and Crow Island, and offshore of north Middle Island.

Sea lions were spotted off Mountain Point and Inner Point.

The locations of the predators suggest to state officials that herring are most concentrated in the trenches north and west of Middle Island. And they say that’s normal for this time of year.

All the build-up is in anticipation of Sitka’s commercial herring fishery. The fish caught in Sitka are used primarily for their roe, which is sold in Japan still in the egg sac. The fishery itself has been incredibly lucrative in the past for fishermen, although last year’s catch wasn’t as big as expected.

Officials expect to take a sample of fish on Monday. They’ll monitor the percentages of mature roe in the fish in order to determine when the fishery should open.

Comments

Please read our comment guidelines.

Recent News

Yakutat off the air

pleasestandby_web
Yakutat is temporarily off the air. We've got our engineers looking into the problem, and we hope to have things back up and running shortly. Thank you so much for your patience, and we apologize for any inconvenience. more

Native language bill has personal meaning for Sitka family

Jessie Johnnie's speech was recorded by X̱'unei Lance Twitchell in September 2011. He asked her what students of the Tlingit language need in order to succeed.
Twenty Native languages, including Tlingit, Haida, and Tsimshian, became official state languages on Thursday, Oct. 23. For Sitka resident Heather Powell, the signing marked a personal victory for a member of her family. more