The Alaska Department of Fish and Game announced April 12 that the Sitka Sound sac roe herring fishery closed for the remainder of the 2012 season. The total harvest is approximately 13,534 tons or 47% of this season’s guideline harvest level of 28,829 tons. The decision to close the fishery was based on the completion of major spawning in Sitka Sound, and vessel and aerial surveys conducted over the last several days have not identified a biomass of pre-spawning herring in the Sitka Sound area at this time.
The preliminary harvest by opening this season was as follows:
March 31 – 4,595 tons; April 2 – 5,251 tons; April 7 – 3,688 tons; Total – 13,534 tons
The total cumulative spawn to date is approximately 54 nautical miles. It is typical to see additional spawning through the month of April and the department will continue to conduct aerial surveys to monitor for additional spawn. The R/V Kestrel will be used to support the spawn deposition dive survey beginning today and no further sonar surveys are planned.