Commercial herring fishing soon to start

by Angela Denning-Barnes on May 6, 2013

Herring courtesy of ADF&G

Herring courtesy of ADF&G

Herring fishing is almost here. The total guideline harvest level for the Kuskokwim Area is expected to be about 12,422 tons, according to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. Projections from postseason estimates suggest the 2013 spawning biomass for Kuskokwim Bay herring stocks will be about 54,336 tons.
2013 Herring regulations

There are five Kuskokwim Bay districts and the Cape Romanzof District. They include Security Cove, Goodnews Bay, Cape Avinof ,Nelson Island, and Nunivak Island.

Fish and Game staff will conduct aerial surveys as regularly as possible, beginning on May 9, and monitor catch statistics inseason.

It is expected that Coastal Villages Seafoods will buy herring in Goodnews Bay, Cape Avinof, and Nelson Island districts. However, CVS says they will only buy fish from residents of their 20 member villages, no one else. CVS is not targeting herring with a specific roe percentage and will be buying all harvested herring.

The state plans to operate test fish projects at Goodnews Bay and Nelson Island.

In the Cape Romanzof District, the arrival and spawning of herring occurs between mid-May and mid-June depending on ice conditions. At this time, one buyer has expressed interest in operating a buying station in the Cape Romanzof area. The district’s herring biomass is estimated to be 4,012 tons. The allowable harvest is 802 tons.

Commercial fishing will be opened by emergency order once state biologists have determined the threshold herring biomass of 1,500 tons is present in the district.

The state will not operate a field camp nor conduct test fishing operations in the district.

Fishermen need to be in contact with their buyer in regards to daily capacities and tender availability.

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