EXPECT DELAYS – Lines of traffic move slowly down Sawmill Creek Road today as a repaving project progresses near the Indian River bridge. (Sentinel Photo by James Poulson)

First Herring Spawn Sighted in Sitka Sound

Sentinel Staff Writer

The first herring spawn of the season in Sitka Sound was spotted Wednesday, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game said today.

Aaron Dupuis, assistant area management biologist, said he saw 3.9 nautical miles of spawn on the southern end of Kruzof Island, near Shoals Point. Some 4.8 miles was measured in the same area in today’s aerial survey.

“That’s a decent amount for this early – we still have a ways to go,” he said.

Fish and Game has not officially canceled the commercial sac roe fishery, but processors have told Dupuis they don’t plan to participate.

The Fish and Game research vessel Kestrel arrived from Petersburg March 19 to conduct vessel surveys to help assess the biomass in Sitka Sound, and left Wednesday. 

“If there was interest in a fishery, the Kestrel would also be needed to aid in management of the fishery,” Dupuis said.

Aerial surveys will continue until spawning is over, Dupuis said. The Kestrel will return to Sitka after the spawning is done, for herring spawn deposition surveys.  

Despite the unlikelihood of a fishery, Dupuis said the data being collected is important for “modeling and forecasting of the Sitka Sound herring biomass.”

Observers aboard the Kestrel March 24 and 25 saw two large masses of herring west of Bieli Rocks and north of Vitskari Island.

“Throughout the week it appears the number of herring was increasing,” Dupuis said.

Fish and Game expects the returning biomass this year to be one of the largest in the history of the fishery, at 212,330 tons. The guideline harvest level is 25,000 tons. 

Some 83 percent of the fish are expected to be 4-year-olds, and not a marketable size. Processors have also cited the disruption to the market caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.


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August 5, 2020

A Note To Our Readers

Reopening: Phase One:


On March 30 the Daily Sitka Sentinel began taking precautions against the coronavirus, which was starting to show up in Alaska.

We closed our building to the public and four key employees started working remotely. Home delivery was suspended to protect our carriers from exposure to the virus.

Four months later, the virus is still with us and the precautions remain in effect.

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As of August 1 the Sentinel is once again charging for subscriptions, but the present method of having subscribers pick up their papers at designated sites will continue.

The expiration date of all subscriptions has been extended without charge for an additional four months.

We thank our readers for their support in these uncertain times, and especially those who paid for the paper despite the free offer.

We look forward to the time when we can safely resume home delivery.

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– The Sitka Sentinel Staff


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Alaska COVID-19
At a Glance

(updated 8-6-20)

By Sentinel Staff

The state Department of Health and Social Services has posted the following update on the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Alaska as of 10:45 a.m. Thursday.

New cases as of Wednesday: 40

Total statewide – 3,484

Total (cumulative) deaths – 25

Active cases in Sitka – 19 (14 resident; 5 non-resident) *

Recovered cases in Sitka – 15 (11 resident; 4 non-resident) *

The state says the cumulative number of cases hospitalized is 141.

To visit the Alaska DHSS Corona Response dashboard website click here.

* These numbers reflect State of Alaska data. Local cases may not immediately appear on DHSS site, or are reported on patient’s town of residence rather than Sitka’s statistics. 




August 2000

The city’s solid waste incinerator closed Wednesday, two days after the contract with Sheldon Jackson College for its operation ended. ... The city will ship all municipal waste except biosolids off-island to a landfill in Washington. The biosolids will be buried in the Kimsham landfill, Public Works Director Hugh Bevan said.

August 1970

Ernest Robertson, a Sitka resident most of his life, has moved back here with his family after a five-year sojourn in Anchorage. “Anchorage was just too big,” Ernie said. “It wasn’t like Sitka, where every time you go out on the street you meet your friends.”