Sitka Sac Roe Harvest Hard Hit by Rapid Spawning

a year ago, harvesters found an abundance of nice ripe fish for a long period of
time before they spawned, and caught 20,000 tons of Sitka sac roe herring, but rapid
spawning this year kept the harvest at 13,500 tons, less than half the allowable
fisheries biologist Dave Gordon at Sitka said what happened with the 2012 harvest
is a common occurrence, with rapid spawning when harvesters are finally getting
mature roe recovery.
the fishery closed on April 12, the total harvest brought in by 47 participating
vessels was well below the guideline harvest level of 28,829 tons.
first opener on March 31 resulted in a harvest of 4,600 tons of sac roe herring.
The second opener on April 2 yielded 5,250 tons of the fish. By this time, state
fisheries biologists were aware that harvesters were going to have trouble locating
fish without a lot of spawn. A third opener on April 7 brought in some 3,700 tons
of fish.
we surveyed and surveyed and looked for pre-spawning herring and finally concluded
there wasn’t any available to keep waiting for,” Gordon said. By the evening of
April 11, biologists said it was clear that the opportunity had passed and it was
time to close the fishery.

The 2012 guideline harvest level was the highest ever.
The previous record high guideline harvest level for the Sitka Sound sac roe herring
was about 20,000 tons, and harvesters brought in 19,329 tons of fish, biologists