April 08, 2013
The last competitive fishery occurred on March 30th and since then the ADF&G has not been able to identify a body of good quality herring to hold another competitive opening.
On April 3rd, the fishery was opened under a cooperative agreement among permit holders and the agreement initially allowed up to 480 tons of herring to be harvested with additional harvests based on the results of this initial harvest allotment. The Sitka Sound herring sac roe regulatory district, which includes the waters of Salisbury Sound south of the latitude of Point Kakul, Sitka Sound and contiguous waters and western Baranof Island south to Aspid Cape was opened under this agreement from 8:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. on April 3rd.
According to the ADF&G, at the close of the fishery at 6:00 p.m., only 250 tons of roe quality herring was harvested. Several sets made in locations south of Sitka indicated a large presence of small herring. With little progress made in harvesting good quality herring, the presence of recruit size herring, and no indication of a substantial biomass of additional quality roe herring in the area, the ADF&G announced the season closure on the VHF radio at 6:00 p.m., April 3.
According to the ADF&G, the total sac roe herring harvest this season is approximately 5,600 tons, 5,950 tons short of this season’s GHL of 11,549 tons. The quality of the harvest was reportedly very good with larger average weights and high roe recovery. The total shoreline documented with spawn to date is 44 nautical miles. The ADF&G will continue to monitor for additional spawn through the month of April.
The R/V Kestrel will be in Sitka Sound beginning today (Monday, April 8th) to support the spawn deposition survey.
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