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SITKA SOUND HERRING FISHERY UPDATE #5

Raw herring roe is often used for sushi or eat...
Raw herring roe is often used for sushi or eaten by itself (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Sitka Area Office
Date: March 24, 2013
Time: 3:00 p.m.

This morning the department conducted a vessel survey aboard the F/V Jean C. This survey covered areas north of Sitka including along the road system up to Old Sitka Rocks, the waters west of Crow Island and along the Kruzof Island shoreline north and south Inner Point. The island passes south of Middle Island were also surveyed.

A large body of herring was seen in the deeper waters between Halibut Point and  Middle Island and another large body of herring was seen in the deep water near Bieli Rock. Very large bodies of herring were seen in shallower water west of Bieli Rock with a high concentration seen along the Kruzof Island shoreline from just south of Inner Point and north toward Mountain Point.

These herring were residing in areas with bottom depth ranging from 15-35 fathoms with herring occupying the entire water column in much of this area. No herring were seen south of Middle Island or along the road system south of Halibut Point. Whales were numerous and concentrated in the Inner Point area as well as seen scattered widely in waters to the south of Bieli Rock.

Two test samples were taken today with the following results:

NW Bieli Rock; 150 tons; 8.3% mature roe; 2.9% immature roe; 189 gram; 46% female.

Inner Point; 15 tons; 7.2% mature roe; 5.6% immature roe; 190 gram; 46% female.

Given the high immaturity seen in today’s samples, there will be no test sampling scheduled for Monday and test sampling will resume Tuesday morning. The R/V Kestrel will be arriving Sitka Sound Monday morning. An aerial survey is scheduled for Monday morning. A pre-fishery organizational meeting is scheduled for 2:00 p.m., Monday, March 25, at the Centennial Hall.

Permit holders wanting to make practice sets may do so in the deeper waters of Eastern Channel south of Jamestown Bay.

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