Archives for February 2016

Sitka Sound roe herring harvest reduced slightly



Pacific herring Credit:

Pacific herring

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game announced today the final guideline harvest level (GHL) for the 2016 Sitka Sound herring fishery will be 14,941 tons.

This is based on a 20% harvest rate of a forecast mature biomass of 74,707 tons. It is expected that 200 tons will be harvested in the winter bait test fishery which will be subtracted from the GHL resulting in a target harvest of 14,741 tons for the Sitka herring sac roe fishery.  (Preliminary GHL was 15,674 tons)

Test fishery samples taken in early February showed average weight at age for all age classes were less than the average weight at age from 2015 winter samples. This has resulted in a 5% decrease from the preliminary forecast mature biomass of 78,372 tons announced November 25, 2015.

The department plans to conduct the first aerial survey of Sitka Sound around March 11 and will post the season’s first fishery update after the flight. The department will be seeking to have the first roe sample taken on March 15. The R/V Kestrel will be deployed from its home port in Petersburg when roe samples indicate the need to put the fishery on two-hour notice. There will be a pre-fishery organizational meeting just prior to the fishery being placed on two-hour notice with meeting time and location announced in a later news release.

March means halibut, herring and much more

Fish Radio

March means halibut, herring and more

March 1, 2016

Eulachon, also called smelt and 'hooligans' Credit:

Eulachon, also called smelt and ‘hooligans’


This is Fish Radio. I’m Laine Welch – March means halibut, herring and more. That’s up after this ….

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March means hundreds of Alaska fishermen will start gearing up for halibut, which opens a bit later this year on the 19th.  For the first time in decades the total coast wide catch increased by 2.3 percent to just under 30 million pounds. Alaska gets the lion’s share at about 21 and a half million pounds, a boost of  200,000 pounds from last year.

The year’s first roe herring fishery at Sitka Sound could kick off around the same time. A quota of nearly 16,000 tons (15,674) almost doubles last year’s take (8,756). Last year the Sitka fishery opened on March 18.

Fishing for cod, pollock, flounders and other groundfish continues in the Bering Sea and Gulf of Alaska.

Likewise for crab –  Bering Sea snow crabbers have taken 66 percent of the  36.5 million pound quota with about 12.5 million pounds left to go. About 3 million pounds remain in the Tanner crab quota of nearly 18 million pounds (17.7m).

And the year’s first red king crab fishery at Norton Sound has yielded about 12,000 pounds since mid-February. Fishermen there drop and haul pots through the ice with about 30,000 pounds left to go in the winter catch.

Lots of recent fishery closures:  last Friday, Kodiak waters closed to cod pot gear, as did the eulachon, or ‘hooligan’ smelt fishery in Southeast Alaska.

Shrimp fishing closed for beam trawl and pot gear in the Panhandle on Sunday.

Yesterday saw a quick wrap up of the region’s Tanner crab fishery, which should top one million pounds. That fishery lasted 7 days in one region and 12 days in another.

A test fishery this month will assess stocks of Tanner crab in Prince William Sound. The last Tanner fishery there was in 1988.

Finally, the Board of Fisheries wraps up its meeting cycle BOF Statewide Finfish and Supplemental Issues.  at the Anchorage Hilton. The focus will be on 22 statewide finfish and supplemental issues.

Find links to the Fish Board meeting, fish catches and more at our website –

Fish Radio is also brought to you by Ocean Beauty Seafoods – who salutes and says thanks to the men and women fishing across Alaska for their hard work and dedication. ( In Kodiak, I’m Laine Welch.