Sitka Sound herring sac roe fishery underway

Harvests continued in the Sitka Sound herring sac roe fishery in late March, with the cumulative harvest as of March 26 at 13,543 tons, of a guideline harvest level of 14,649 tons, down slightly from 14,941 tons in 2016.

“Last year we got about two-thirds of it, and then ran out of quality fish to go after,” said Eric Coonradt, an Alaska Department of Fish and Game biologist in Sitka.

Forty-eight commercial vessels are registered for the fishery.

Preliminary reports showed that those on the grounds on March 25 made a delivery estimated at 5,200 tons.

Meanwhile in the Craig area of Southeast Alaska, ADF&G personnel were on the grounds, monitoring the fishery on a daily basis throughout the Craig spawning area, amidst rain, fog and high winds.

Biologists said two miles of spawn was observed in San Christoval Channel, two and a half miles of spawn was observed in the northern area of San Alberto Bay by Point Ildefonso, and a mile and a half of spawn was observed around Fish Egg Island.

Predator activity suggests continued spawning in all of these areas, biologists said.