Herring are caught on the water, obviously, but they’re spotted from the air. In addition to the 48 seine boats and dozen or more tenders, the Sitka Sac Roe fishery is notable for the number of aircraft that participate. Tim DeGrazio works in Sitka’s local FAA flight service office. He says that the area over the fishery is uncontrolled air space, and that pilots are not required to obtain special clearances, unless there’s poor visibility. DeGrazio can remember only one occasion when his office has rerouted an inbound Alaska Airlines flight to avoid the herring fishery. This footage was shot by spotter Kevin Knox during the 2014 season opener on March 20, above Starrigavan Bay, looking north into Katlian Bay.
Sealaska has moved one step closer to owning the land surrounding Sitka’s Reboubt Falls. A ruling this month dismissed a claim to the same land filed by the Sheldon Jackson College trustees. If it stands, the ruling will remove a major obstacle from the decades-long effort to gain Native ownership of the site, home to the area’s largest subsistence sockeye fishery. more