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.
The Alaska Department of Fish & Game, which released its preliminary harvest level for the 2015 Sitka Sound sac roe herring fishery. The preliminary harvest level is just over 8,700 tons. That would be the lowest level since 2003. And it’s about half of last year’s target. more