ADF&G is moving north in their search for herring after Monday’s surveys yielded similar results to what the department saw over the weekend- results that have yet to meet the 11 percent roe maturity threshold needed to open the fishery.
ADF&G conducted aerial surveys and monitored waters from aboard the research vessel Kestrel, but no seiners volunteered to conduct test sets for the department on Monday or over the weekend.
KCAW spoke with state biologist Aaron Dupuis late Monday, who said that without data gathered from test fishing, the department could not open the fishery. The last test set, taken on Friday, yielded fish that were too small and had too little roe to make them marketable abroad.
In an update to seiners Monday afternoon, state biologist Eric Coonradt said the research vessel Kestrel did a circuit around Redoubt Bay and Kanga Bay, but struggled to find more than 2000 tons of herring in that area.
He also noted another spot of spawn Monday, along the same 100 to 200 yards of beach in Krestof Sound where spawn was recorded over the weekend.
Coonradt said the team plans to head as far north as Salisbury Sound Tuesday morning looking for schools and checking if conditions are appropriate to open the fishery. If they move too far north, they’ll give their first update to seiners at 4 p.m., but if they’re still in Sitka Sound, an update could come as early as 11.