Sitka fishermen prep for herring opening

Posted: Tuesday, March 23, 2010

SITKA - Herring fishermen in Sitka are on notice that their annual fishery could be opened by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game with only two hours warning.

The notice began Saturday and test fishing continues.

A test sample last week showed a high roe content of 11.4 percent. But fisheries officials say high immaturity levels mean there is still time for herring to mature.

Fish and Game area management biologist Dave Gordon told the Sitka Sentinel that the immature fish appear to be in two distinct groups. He says some are close to turning to mature and some are "quite a ways out."

The guideline harvest level this year is 18,293 tons, the highest in the 40-year history of the fishery.

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