Herring seiners are tied up in Sitka’s harbors for another day. The sac roe fishery remains closed, while managers continue the search for marketable volumes of herring.
Today (03-07-17), the Alaska Department of Fish & Game found a large biomass in the deep water west of Bieli Rock, but the herring were too immature to schedule an opening. ADF&G looks for schools of fish with at least 10-15 percent mature roe content and an average weight of over 100 grams.
Test samples taken on March 17, 2017:
- North Crow Pass, 8.6% mature roe, 1.6% immature roe, 153 gram, 48% female
- North Crow Island, 0.1% mature roe, 8.2% immature roe, 75 gram, 57% female
- North Middle Island, 8.7% mature roe, 1.0% immature roe, 138 gram, 40% female
ADF&G also conducted an aerial survey covering Sitka Sound north of West Crawfish Inlet and south of Krestof Sound. No herring or herring spawn was observed. Numerous whales and sea lions were seen working the same water where test samples were taken.
Eric Coonradt, fisheries biologist for ADF&G, said over marine radio that “distribution today was very impressive.” Before signing off, he added, “If we can find good fish tomorrow, we can make something happen.”
With assistance from seiners, ADF&G plans to perform more test sets tomorrow morning (03-18-17) at 7 a.m.