April 5, 2012 | Vol. 39, No. 14

Third Sitka Sound herring opener set for Thursday

On Monday, April 2, the Sitka Sound herring sac roe fishery was opened in the northwest portion of Sitka Sound and brought in an estimated catch of 5,610 tons. The fishery opened at 11:30 a.m. and closed at 4:40 p.m.

James Poulson / Sitka Sentinel
Petersburg Seiner Jean C. transfers herring to tender during an opening during 2010’s fishery in Sitka.

The preliminary harvest for the first opening on March 31 is 4,730 tons for a total harvest this season of 10,440 tons. This leaves approximately 18,390 tons remaining of this year’s guideline harvest level of 28,829 tons, according to a release from the Alaska Dept. of Fish and Game.

The plan is to stand down on further fishing until Thursday, April 5 to allow for processing and tendering capacity to become available for the next harvesting opportunity.

Monday’s opener included the waters of Hayward Strait and Krestof Sound north of 57°06.02’ N. latitude, south of 57°13.00’ N. latitude, and west of a line from the northernmost tip of Crow Island to Kresta Point.

During Monday’s aerial survey a total of 17.4 nautical miles of active spawn was recorded broadly distributed throughout northern Sitka Sound. Today the department will be conducting aerial surveys to continue monitoring the distribution of herring and the progress of the spawn.

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