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.
Staff cuts next year may be a foregone conclusion, as the Sitka School Board wrestles with an uncertain financial future. But board president Lon Garrison says, "We are not going to slash and burn." more