Sitka Herring Update | Massive Upcoming Quota

Amazing!  There appears to be a huge bait explosion up and down the west coast.  Squid, sardine, and herring have all been amazing fisheries the past few seasons.  Every opener of the fishery usually takes about a 6,000 ton chunk.  Basically, it means that it could be a long season in Sitka this spring.  The way the fishery is managed this quota could take over three weeks to harvest.  Ah, yes!  The “Superbowl of Seining” lives up to its name.  Here is a video from last year’s second opener. Made entirely on the iPhone 4.

Herring fleet could see record harvest in 2012 | KCAW

An early number outlining how much herring the commercial seine fleet can catch is nearly 10,000 tons over last year’s amount.

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game today announced a preliminary guideline harvest level, or GHL of 29,008 tons for the 2012 Sitka Sound sac roe herring fishery. The competitive and lucrative fishery takes place in the spring.

Last year’s GHL was 19,430 tons. The forecast amount for this year is based on predictions that show a large mass of mature herring returning in the upcoming season. The forecasting model uses abundance and age composition data from surveys conducted after last year’s spring fishery, along with data stretching back several years.

via Herring fleet could see record harvest in 2012 | KCAW.


  1. Hey Dave – Have you heard any rumors on what the demand may be? I was at the council meetings last week and heard somebody talk about that there actually is a demand (more so than last year) for herring. You ears catch anything similar?

    29,000 tons. OMG. The season is going to be a month!

  2. It’s all speculation at this point. I few guys have said that it will be horrible, yet I have also heard the that the supplies are seriously reduced, which could drive the price up. That large of a quota could be a good time to turn this thing into a co-op. Especially, if the price sucks. This makes sense to the rational side of my brain, not the competitive fisherman side that says one boat could catch them all. I doubt the fishery will ever go evolve into a co-op, simply because the price of permits. Oh well, I finally got a check from Oceans and it was just a 100 a ton. Hopefully, we can get more this year. Bring your snow gear this year. We hiked Verstovia last year and it was awesome. Til then… Keep your eyes in the prize.

  3. Hey do you know anywhere I can get a job for herring? I have been trying the past couple years and really want to get involved! Good hard worker!


  4. John,
    With 0nly 50 or so permits, it means that there are only about 250 crew member jobs out there on catchers. however the processing jobs aboard tenders can last thru the entire herring season, which an be lucrative. As for where to find these opportunities? I suggest pounding the docks and making as many phone calls as possible. Try to call the harbor master in different fishing towns.

  5. Thank you very much! Iv been trying to go to the Ballard docks but every one says its to early? And where can I find these numbers iv tried looking on fish and game but cant find how to get the permit holders contacts?

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