Daily Sitka Sentinel
In an update on Friday, Fish and Game reported no notable changes in area waters in the lead-up to the Sitka Sound sac roe herring fishery.
Due to the unavailability of charter aircraft, Fish and Game Area Management Biologist Dave Gordon surveyed waters north of town from a skiff and recorded his observations.
This year’s guideline harvest level is a record 28,829 tons, based on an all-time high estimated total biomass of 144,143 tons.
Gordon reported herring predators were still concentrated from Old Sitka Rocks up to Dog Point, including 12 to 15 whales in the area, and a high concentration of sea lions at the mouth of Katlian Bay, and scattered smaller groups around the area. He noted six whales between Guide Island and Vitskari Rocks, and 25 sea lions and a smaller school of herring in south Crow Pass.
The department also used a sounder to locate large bodies of herring on the bottom in the deeper waters between Old Sitka Rocks and Dog Point, and one school within 10 fathoms of the surface off Dog Point. Department biologists jigged up 33 herring, 22 of which were female, none of them mature. The average weight was 153 grams.
The department planned another survey today, and hoped to find a seiner to take the first test sample.
Those with questions may call 747-6688.