Daily Sitka Sentinel

Predators, but No Herring Yet

An aerial survey Monday showed herring predators scattered throughout the northern areas of Sitka Sound, including 280 sea lions and 23 whales near Old Sitka Rocks and along the Lisianski Peninsula, the Department of Fish and Game said today.

Ten whales were seen in the area from Guide Island to Vitskari Rocks and one whale was seen near Makhnati Island. About 30 sea lions were seen between Kasiana Island and the Parker Group.

In the areas south of town, biologists saw few herring predators except for about 40 sea lions in Silver Bay. 

The next aerial survey is scheduled for Wednesday, March 21.

No roe test samples have been taken to date. A seine boat was sent out for a test set Monday, but the herring held in deeper waters and a set was not possible, Fish and Game said. Another attempt is planned Wednesday.

A pre-fishery organizational meeting will occur no later than this coming Sunday, March 25, and may be scheduled earlier if the fishery is placed on two-hour notice before then, department officials said.

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