Over the weekend, the Sitka Sound Sac Roe herring fishery reopened for the second and third times this season, following an initial opening last Friday. The Alaska Department of Fish and Game, in a recent announcement, detailed the success of the fishery’s first opening of the year, which took place in Hayward Strait, lasting from 4 to 5 p.m. Fishermen harvested approximately 340 tons of herring, drawn by a promising mid-day test showing fish with mature roe percentages between 10 to 11, and average weights of 137 to 149 grams.

Although there was a pause in commercial activities on Saturday, department aerial surveys disclosed a notable ¼ mile of spawn along the eastern side of Kasiana Island. The activity resumed on Sunday, with the fishery opening from 12:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. across Hayward Strait and Krestof Sound, where over three nautical miles of spawn were observed along several key locations. This resulted in a substantial catch of 1,900 tons by seiners.

The fishery saw another day of activity on Monday, starting at 11:30 a.m., with operations spreading throughout the afternoon in similar areas as before. At the time of reporting, the total haul for the day had yet to be announced. Meanwhile, Monday’s aerial surveys revealed significant gatherings of humpback whales near St. Lazaria Island and in Hayward Strait, with sea lions clustered around various locations including Sitka Point and the Magoun Islands.

With no test sets conducted on Monday, the focus turns to the upcoming aerial survey scheduled for Tuesday, as the fishery continues to monitor the health and abundance of the herring stocks and the surrounding marine environment.

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