The Kodiak commercial herring sac roe fishery opened for gillnetters and purse seiners on Wednesday, and one section has already been closed to seiners for the remainder of the season. Fish and Game expects it to be a good year for the fishery with both effort and harvest on the rise.
About 25 to 30 boats are participating in the fishery, according to Jeff Wadle, area biologist for salmon and herring with Fish and Game. He said seiners met their guideline harvest level or GHL of 300 tons in the Danger Bay section, which will now be closed to seiners for the remainder of the season, in the first day.
— (Wadle 1 19 sec "We’ve got somewhere around … next, probably Uganik.") Wadle said effort appears to be up from last year, especially for gillnetters, which he hopes to see increase significantly, after changes were made in how fishing periods are implemented this year.
— (Wadle 2 21 sec "It’s a little bit better … in the last three years.")
Wadle called early returns in terms of harvest numbers, "so far, so good," and said he expects this year’s GHL, which has increased by about 50 tons, to be met. He said early returns indicate a roe percentage of 10 to 13 percent.
— (Wadle 3 36 sec "We got some good harvest … it’s looking good.")
Wadle said he hopes the early positive numbers in terms of both effort and harvest are indicators of yet another successful season in what he says has become one of the steadiest commercial fisheries. The only other herring fishery in Kodiak is food and bait, which occurs during the winter months. For more information on fishing periods and districts, refer to Fish and Game’s web site. I’m Erik Wander.