The Alaska Department of Fish and Game has officially closed the 2023 Sitka Sound Sac Roe Herring Fishery. The department published its final fishery update for the 2023 season on April 12. 

The fishery last opened on April 7, when 1600 tons were harvested. Early estimates for the season put the total commercial harvest at just under 11,000 tons of herring, a little over a third of the state’s 30,000 ton guideline harvest level. 

While the commercial fishery won’t open again this year, aerial surveys will continue until no more active spawn is observed. From the first sightings of spawn on March 26, through April 13, the department recorded around 74 nautical miles of spawn during aerial surveys, including under half mile of active spawn Thursday near Hot Springs Bay.

State biologists will be out on the water through the end of this week conducting spawn deposition surveys. A season summary will be published by the department in the coming weeks.