Sitka Herring is just the beginning of the herring circuit for many fishermen in Alaska. While many boats head north to Togiak for one of Alaska’s largest herring runs, a few southeast seiners head out to harvest “roe on kelp.” The “Roe on Kelp” fishery focuses on harvesting the herring eggs on long strands of kelp. The herring are harvested with nets and combined with hanging kelp strands in floating pens. Remarkably, the herring release their eggs and coat the kelp with inches of tiny eggs. Check out this up close perspective of this unique fishery.
The Cape Caution was in Sitka this spring too. Here’ you can see the vessel pumping a set of the F/V Shadowfax.
Every spring, herring fishermen along the coasts of Washington and Alaska gather in Sitka Alaska for one of the largest aquatic migrations on the earth. Herring gather in droves in the rocky shoals of Sitka sound. This return of forage fish brings humpback whales and stellar sea lions to a natural buffet where nature’s bounty overflows. The entire spectacle is easily one on nature’s greatest events. Add in, one of the most competitive fisheries in the world and you have a recipe for chaos . Fishermen battle for small chunks of water and dance between numerous nets, which are deployed in seconds as fishermen maneuver vessels within inches of each other. It’s truly a site to see.
This year, social media played a huge part, as citizen journalist took to the pages of www.facebook.com/SitkaHerring/ with many posts of videos, photos and links. The following images are links to the most popular posts from the past month on the Facebook Sitka Herring page.
Visual.ly offers a sweet way to view your Facebook Insights in one handy infographic. The stats aren’t as amazing as last year, but there were way more posts and nearly 1000 new users. I would like to give a huge thanks to everyone that uploaded photos and stories this season. It’s great to see so many different perspectives of this action packed fishery. Also, an extra huge kudos goes to the admin team who helps make Sitka Herring Sac Roe Fishery awesome! Also, we will also be showcasing some of the best videos from past and present herring madness on our sister site, fishfilmfest.com. Stay Tuned for the “Sitka Herring | Haul Of Fame!”
Here are some highlights from the second opener in the 2014 Sitka Herring Sac Roe Fishery.
The second opener of the Sitka Herring season was whopper! Just over 5000 tons were harvested from the beach just outside Stargavin Bay. Moments before the opener began, boats started to crowd the beach. Needless to say, there were a few collisions and some tangled nets. The fishery is poised to continue tommorrow!
This shot was taken on the third opener of the 2012 Sitka Herring season. The boats are charging into town to deliver herring to the local canneries.
This shot lined up nicely last year during one of the sunny openers! I can't wait for this year! I think it's going to be a huge year for the fishermen after a fairly dismal showing last season. The San Fran herring run is just now coming into the west coast. Early reports indicate a more than favorable catches. Come on, Herring!
Yes, it's another picture from The Sitka Herring fishery! What can I say? Some of my best photos are from the intense spring fishery. This coming year has a huge quote at 17,000 tons and some change. That's the second biggest quota in history. On the heels of last year's failed fishery, AFDG has a ton of pressure to mange the openers this year. My speculation is that the prices will be huge and competitive nature of the fishery will endure. Tune in this spring to see what happens…