Sitka Sound Herring Fishery
Update #1 Released by ADF&G
Aerial surveys have begun for the 2023 Sitka Sound herring season.
The survey flight conducted on March 13 covered Sitka Sound from Biorka Island to Krestof Sound. Survey conditions were good with clear skies, light winds, and excellent visibility. No herring schools or spawn were observed today; however, herring predators were observed along the Kruzof Island shoreline from Inner Point to Kamenoi Point, Guide Island, and west of the Siginaka Islands.
Humpback whales were concentrated in the shallower waters of the Kruzof Island shoreline from Inner Point to Hayward Strait and in deeper waters west of the Siginaka Islands. Large numbers of sealions were observed off the rockpiles between Inner Point and Rob Point.
Relatively few sea lions were observed hauled out on rocks near Biorka Island. Predator numbers and locations are unusual for this time of year; typically, humpback whales are concentrated in the deeper waters near Bieli Rock and Vitskari Rocks and sea lions are mostly concentrated near haul outs near Biorka Island and West Crawfish Inlet.
The next aerial survey is scheduled for Tues. Mar. 14 and the next fishery update can be expected after the survey is completed.
All aerial herring survey data can be reviewed online, including spawn lines and photos, in an interactive map application at: https://www.adfg.alaska.gov/index.cfm?adfg=commercialbyareasoutheast.herring#maps.