(Photo provided by Rich McClear)

The Sitka Sound Sac Roe Herring Fishery officially closed for the season at 6 p.m. on Friday (4-9-21).

The fishery first opened on March 27, and was open every day for two weeks.

According to a press release from the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, processors estimate the total harvest at around 16,000 tons of herring, a little less than half of the 33,000 ton “guideline harvest level” set by the state.

State biologists observed around 24 nautical miles of spawn during an aerial survey on Saturday (4-10-21) throughout the sound. Spawn was observed around the Magoun Islands, Promisla and Eastern Bays, the Siginaka Islands, the Kasiana Islands, Samsing Cove, Redoubt Bay, Hot Springs Bay, Walker Channel, and along the Sitka road system. 

26 miles of spawn were observed on Sunday. But things began to taper off today/on Monday, when only 12 miles of spawn were observed during aerial surveys. To-date, state biologists had reported around 83 cumulative miles of spawn.