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KETCHIKAN (KDN) — The state estimates that herring spawn events in the Craig and Revilla Canal areas — and possibly West Behm Canal — are over for the 2013 season.
The state also closed the Sitka Sound commercial herring sac roe fishery on Thursday, citing “no indication of a substantial biomass of additional quality roe herring” as a factor in shutting down the fishery after fishermen had harvested about 5,600 tons — around 48.5 percent — of the season’s 11,549-ton guideline harvest level.
Also, on Monday, a state aerial survey of the Ernest Sound area north of Meyers Chuck observed no herring schools or herring spawn, according to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.
Herring spawn events in the Revillagigedo Channel area immediately southeast of Ketchikan appeared to have begun March 29 in Cascade Inlet on the east side of Annette Island, where a state aerial survey observed one-half mile of spawn.
Surveys observed herring spawn resuming at Annette Island on March 31 and continuing there through Thursday, according to Fish and Game. No herring spawn was observed in Revillagigedo Channel on Friday or Saturday.
Herring spawn was observed in the Craig area from March 31 through Wednesday. No further spawn was observed Thursday.
Fish and Game estimates that the spawning events are over in the Craig and Revillagigedo Channel area.
In the West Behm Canal area, department surveys observed about one-half mile of spawn at Gravina Island’s Vallenar Bay on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, followed by spot spawns Saturday at Vallenar Bay and Survey Point (just north of Point Higgins).
The next aerial survey found no herring activity in the West Behm Canal area on Sunday, according to Fish and Game.
“One more survey will be done this week to determine if the spawn is over for the season,” according to a department herring update issued Monday morning.
Fish and Game anticipates conducting the West Behm Canal survey on Tuesday or Wednesday.