Tag Archives: herring

Togiak Sac Roe Herring: Catch the Story Before it’s Gone

My own visual memories of Togiak are not much more than a slate of wide, open grey sky that merged into open grey water. In the early 2000s, I flew out from Homer with a spotter pilot, landed on the beach in the community and then probably took a skiff from the beach to go out to meet my dad’s boat, F/V Agave. At the time, I was certainly not taking notes or paying attention to location details but what I do remember is bleak, grey, bland, flat land. The landscape was nothing like the mountains in south central and south east Alaska, I just recall bleakness. I never had the opportunity to explore the magic features of seeking out glass floats washed from across the Pacific, looking for ivory, exploring the shorelines. I went out to simply fish and retrieve my own juvenile income, not to recall anything else. That was not enough to provide a credible nostalgia of what it was like to fish out there in the peak of the alluring, crazy, chaotic competition combined with a visual recollection of stoic, stark, rural Alaska. By Emilie Springer click here to read the story 14:25

Paul Sparkes: To wit — a barrel of herring

In the middle of November 1906 at 10:30 in the morning Alexander Dubois and George Crane were summoned before Magistrate Levi March at Bay of Islands to answer to the charge of breaching Newfoundland’s Bait Act. As Commissioner in that region, Joseph O’Reilly, J.P., was the plaintiff — the man who advanced Newfoundland’s case. The defendants had lawyers but witnesses clearly told the magistrate that they had seen the two Wood’s Island men placing herring (a bait fish) aboard the American schooner Ralph L. Hall. And, woe to them for it seems to have been well known by witnesses that the two did not hold vendors’ licences. And that was essential under Newfoundland law at the time. Mind you, we are talking about three tubs of herring. click here to read the story 12:38

This year, a welcome switch on bait supply for Maine lobstermen

Bait freezers along the coast are full of herring and pogies, and even alewives, which means that bait is not only available, it is also much less expensive than last year when herring cost as much as 60 cents a pound, said Pat Keliher, commissioner of the state Department of Marine Resources. This year the lobstermen’s go-to bait costs about half as much. That’s still not a great price, Keliher said. Herring fetched about 18 cents a pound at the start of the 2015 lobstering season. “I won’t say we’re in great shape, but we are in a heck of a lot better shape than we were last year,” Keliher said. He attributed the strong start to basic supply-and-demand economics. click here to read the story 08:18

Middleboro-Lakeville Herring Fishery Commission considers reopening local herring runs to fishing

MIDDLEBORO — Each spring for countless centuries, hundreds of thousands of herring have made an arduous journey from Mount Hope Bay, upstream along the Taunton and Nemasket Rivers, to reach their traditional spawning grounds in the Assawompsett Ponds Complex in Lakeville. For thousands of years, too, people living in these parts depended on the abundant alewife fishery as an important source of food and income.,, These days, a joint Middleboro-Lakeville Herring Fishery Commission supervises the local herring runs, closed to fishing since 2006, when a sharp decline in herring populations prompted a statewide ban on fishing. Now that the fishery has rebounded to respectable numbers, the two towns are considering re-opening the local herring runs, possibly as early as the 2018 spring migration. The move would help revive a tradition that has been ongoing – and well regulated – since the 1700s. click here to read the story 18:01

Plenty to go around from this year’s Strait of Georgia herring spawn

It was another strong year for the local herring roe harvest — in line with a growing abundance of herring over the last decade that has led to “historic highs,” said the executive director of the Herring Conservation and Research Society, Greg Thomas. The Nanoose Bay resident said the prediction for this year was 150,000 total tons of herring in the Strait of Georgia. The numbers are provided by Fisheries and Oceans Canada, which assesses the strength of each year’s spawn, and sets the quotas for the following year. The quotas tend to be about 20 per cent of the total, said Thomas. While some reports have said the herring quotas in the Qualicum Beach to Nanoose Bay area were caught quite quickly, Thomas said that, overall, “(Fishing companies) didn’t achieve their total allowable catch, however they did catch a substantial amount of fish.” click here to continue reading the story 08:47

Photo of the Day: Splitting the Catch

Whales in some parts of the world have learned to follow the noise and activity of fishing boats in order to catch any herring near them. When the boats’ nets begin to close, the whales recognize what’s happening and take the opportunity to cut off any herring escaping the nets as they close. It’s sometimes a beneficial relationship for both the whales and the people fishing. Fishermen often locate killer whales and humpbacks to find the schools of herring that reside near them: Photographer Audun Rikardsen captured this photograph in the Arctic water off of Norway. His equipment includes the Canon EOS 5D Mark III with a 11-24mm f/4 lens at 11mm, 1/200 of a second, f/6.3, ISO 640. Read the rest here 21:29

Herring stock falling to critical level say scientists at Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Even if there was a two-year hiatus in the spring herring fishery in the Gulf of St Lawrence, there would still be a 90 per cent chance the fish stocks would remain at critical levels, say scientists at Fisheries and Oceans Canada. Herring stocks have been dwindling for two decades. Despite the advice of its own scientists, Fisheries and Oceans Canada still allowed 2,000 tonnes of spring herring to be caught in 2016, and will allow the same this year. Federal herring biologist Jenni McDermid said there is a risk of pushing these fish beyond the recovery point. Read the story here 11:33

Scientists test water to narrow down what’s killing herring, sea creatures at St. Marys Bay

Federal scientists are testing water samples and scanning images of the bottom of St. Marys Bay, hoping to determine what caused thousands of herring and sea creatures to wash ashore near Digby, N.S. Staff aboard a vessel gathered samples Thursday and used an underwater camera to film and photograph the ocean floor. Kent Smedbol, manager of population ecology for the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) in the Maritimes, said the data will be examined to try to figure out whether an environmental factor caused the fish to die. “It could be an intrusion of very cold water very rapidly, it could be related to a rapid change in salinity with the storms that have gone through … due to the sudden influx of fresh water, rain or runoff from the land,” he said.  “Depending on what we find, then hopefully that will allow us to discount a number of possibilities and focus our efforts on some possible explanations.”  Read the story here 08:55

Dead lobsters, crabs and herring are washing up along this Nova Scotia shore, and we don’t know why!

Halifax resident Eric Hewey was home in Digby, N.S., visiting for the holidays when he got a call from friends on Boxing Day summoning him to the beach below Savary Park in nearby Plympton. “They said we’ve got to come down and look at the beach.” On Tuesday Hewey described when he found when he arrived at the beach as sad: lots of dead herring — an ongoing and as yet unexplained problem — but also dead starfish, lobsters, bar clams, scallops and crabs. Ted Leighton is a retired veterinary pathologist who has been tracking the dead herring reports. He hadn’t been to the beach to see the most recent findings, but he’s seen Hewey’s pictures and noted it’s a place dead herring have been found before.  More photos, read the rest here 13:09

Concerns linger over Lake Superior’s historic herring fishery

Minnesota fisheries managers are concerned about the long term health of the lake herring fishery in Lake Superior. Biologists worry not enough young herring are surviving to sustain the fishery, while at the same time demand for the fish has spiked. Minnesota’s 25 or so commercial fishermen who ply the waters off the North Shore have caught a lot fewer cisco in recent years. The herring, or cisco, fishery is always unpredictable, said Steve Dahl, a commercial fisherman who works out of the Knife River marina on the North Shore of Lake Superior. The last few falls have been tough for Dahl, whose nets have yielded fewer herring at a crucial time of year. This year was different, though. “November was really good, one of the better ones I’ve had,” he said. “Towards the end I sort of got overwhelmed, it was just too much.” Read the story here 11:21

A mysterious phenomenon – Schools of dead herring continue to wash up on Nova Scotia beaches

Schools of dead herring keep washing ashore along the rocky beaches of western Nova Scotia, prompting a retired scientist to enlist the help of local naturalists and bird watchers as he continues to gather data about the mysterious phenomenon. Ted Leighton, an adjunct biology professor at Nova Scotia’s University of Sainte-Anne, said Friday he has compiled more than 40 sightings since tens of thousands of dead and dying fish started appearing in St. Marys Bay in late November. The event does not appear to be over,” he said in an interview. “Whether it’s diminishing or not is really hard to say.” On Wednesday, federal scientists said they had yet to determine what is causing the die-off, despite a battery of tests. Negative results have been reported for physical damage and several types of bacterial infections and viruses. Fisheries and Oceans Canada says more tests are expected, including a check by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency for toxins caused by algae, and the possible presence of domoic acid — a toxin sometimes found in shellfish. Read the rest of the story here 16:53

Herring trawlers just offshore anger Cape fishermen

herring-trawlersThey were visible from shore for most of Tuesday, seven vessels of between 140 to 170 feet in length, four miles off Nauset Beach. Some worked in tandem, towing a huge net between them, scooping up mackerel or herring right on the Cape’s doorstep and making local fishermen like Bruce Peters angry. “They suck up all the herring and mackerel, the forage fish we need for the cod, tuna, stripers, the whales, what we need for the food chain,” said Peters, a longtime commercial cod and groundfish fisherman, who now runs a charter boat business and fishes commercially for tuna. “We need a 50-mile buffer zone to keep these guys offshore.” Read the story here 08:59

Bait crisis is over, but Maine lobstermen are still feeling the pinch

1097790_730802-20160908_zone-c-cl2The lobster bait crisis that plagued New England this summer is finally over, now that fishermen have begun to catch herring off Georges Bank. But the price of lobstermen’s favorite bait fish, which rose dramatically when the offshore fleet wasn’t landing enough herring to refill empty bait freezers, has remained high through the end of peak lobster season, typically August through late October. Although there’s been no appreciable effect on consumer prices, lobstermen agree the shortage hurt their bottom line. “There is always a risk of something like this in a wild-caught fishery,” Patrice McCarron said. “You can’t create supply. Herring just wasn’t available, and no manager can fix that. I think the managers did the best they could to stretch the inshore bait out as long as they did, but there’s no doubt, it cost us more than ever to bait our traps this year.” Read the story here 09:33

Maine: The Situation with bait Herring

atlantic herringOn a local radio station recently a commentator stated that herring stocks are overfished. Overfishing has led to the current shortage of herring for lobstermen’s use as bait, he continued. His statement was incorrect. Among the many fish species that call the Gulf of Maine home, Atlantic herring are one species that is doing quite well, thank you very much. In the opaque language of fisheries regulators, “Atlantic herring stocks are not overfished and overfishing is not occurring.”  So why has herring availability become such an issue for lobstermen this summer? The migratory fish is the preferred bait for many Maine lobstermen and when there’s no herring available, lobstermen get a little testy. The problem lies not with the fish, who right now are congregating in spawning schools along the coast. The problem lies with the regulatory need to control what happens at sea, a desire that often conflicts with what is actually happening at sea. Read the story here 14:18

Where are the herring? Unalaska’s seine fishery remains on hold

pacific herringThe commercial herring fishery is on hold in Unalaska — because no one can find the fish. The herring season opened more than a week ago. So far, fishermen haven’t had any luck, even with a spotter pilot searching from above. “There’s been no appreciable harvest at all,” said Frank Kelty on the Unalaska Fisheries Report. “The fish appear to be well offshore and in very deep water where the seiners can’t get to them.” Kelty said three or four seiners are registered to fish this season, while no one has registered to use gillnet gear. If the herring show up, Dutch Harbor fishermen will be able to harvest 2,166 tons. But until then, the seiners are on standby. Read the rest here Listen to the report here 08:01

Herring bait shortage could pinch Maine Lobstermen

atlantic herringMaine regulators are considering intervening to help fix a bait shortage that threatens to affect its signature lobster fishing industry. Lobstermen typically use herring for bait, and regulators and members of the fishing industry say there’s a shortage of them. The shortage is happening at the time of year when lobster catches usually start to pick up — and just as New England’s high tourist season is arriving. The Maine Department of Marine Resources met Tuesday afternoon to discuss what role it can play. Meredith Mendelson, the deputy commissioner of the department, told The Associated Press before the meeting that the department anticipates passing rules at a later date based on Tuesday’s discussion. The problem is that not enough herring are being caught on Georges Bank, a key fishing area off Massachusetts, members of the fishing industry said. That means there could be more herring fishing closer to the shore, and fishermen could reach their quota for that area before the summer is out. Read the story here 08:47

Disease in herring threatens broader food web

0131_KSLO_HerringTiny herring eggs and larvae are eaten by a multitude of invertebrates, such as crabs and amphipods. They are also important to fish, such as juvenile salmon and smelt, as well as numerous marine and diving birds. As herring grow into juveniles and adults, they enter into the larger food web, including numerous marine mammals, from harbor seals to orcas; vast numbers of birds, from tufted puffins to great blue herons; and a wide variety of fish, from Chinook salmon to halibut. Paul Hershberger, research fisheries biologist with the U.S. Geological Survey, has been studying diseases of herring at his lab on Marrowstone Island near Port Townsend. Read the article here 21:22

Weir fishermen struggling to catch herring in Bay of Fundy

Some fishermen in the Bay of Fundy are worried the centuries-old herring weir fishery could be coming to an end because of a lack of fish. Dan Cunningham is one of those fishermen.  He says over the past six years he has noticed a steady decline in the amount of herring. Last summer, weir fishermen only landed a quarter of what they caught the year before. They say this year is even worse.  Read the rest here 08:44

Bloody, red Cod Livers has Long Harbour fisherman suspicious of nearby Vale Smelter operation

Andy Murphy of Long Harbour said last spring he was finding herring with bloody red-coloured innards, something he insists is a result of Vale’s smelter operations in the town. Now, Murphy said he is finding cod with the same discolouration and wonders if chemicals are being pumped out near the shore by Vale and contaminating the fish. “I noticed the livers are really dark red,” he said. “Some of them are green and red, more are white and red, and I’ve never noticed that before. Plenty of people noticed it during the food fishery.” Read the rest here 08:02

Meghan Lapp: Herring face no danger from fishing

The July 12 Associated Press article “There’s a herring boom off our coast” unfortunately misled readers about herring stock size and commercial harvest levels. There is not a “catch boom” in New England — far from it. Contrary to the article’s statement that 2014 harvest levels were unusually high, the 2014 fishing mortality rate (which is a comparison of the harvest level to the stock size) was at its lowest level since 1965. That is, commercial harvest rates of herring are at their lowest in a 50-year time period. Read the rest here 14:22

Huge herring haul worries rival fishermen, environmentalists

A little fish that New Englanders have sought since the Colonial era is at the center of a battle over how to manage massive boats that trawl swaths of ocean off the East Coast. The catch for the Atlantic herring, which travels in groups sometimes numbering in the billions, is in the midst of a massive boom. Last year fishermen caught more than 95,000 metric tons of the fish for the first time since 2009, federal statistics show. Now rival fishermen are raising concerns about the high catches, and regulators are starting to consider whether the big haul is adversely impacting the environment, marine mammals or other fisheries. Read the rest here 14:29

Prince William Sound Herring count looking up

Marine mammals and birds forage on milky herring spawn in Prince William SoundOne thousand feet over Prince William Sound, the plane tilted sideways, its left wing stretching toward the waves below as pilot Mike Collins circled in for a closer look. The water sparkled. “There’s a school of age one herring,” said Scott Pegau, turning in his seat, “right up against the beach.” Against the curve of the shore, a dark cloud formed below the surface of the Sound, where hundreds of juvenile herring clustered. Their school is among 1,227 counted so far this season along the islands and inlets off the Prince William Sound. Video, Read the rest here 11:24

Herring starts today at Kodiak, Togiak’s next; Sitka price info

Kodiak’s roe herring season starts today and unlike other regions, where the fishery is very concentrated and can last less than a week, Kodiak herring can show up in roughly 80 districts around the island well into June. About 3,200 tons will come out of the fishery, taken by 15 to 20 boats. While test fisheries to gauge roe counts are underway at Kodiak, boats and five buyers are also showing up early at Alaska’s largest roe herring fishery at Togiak in Bristol Bay. Read the rest here 17:44

Herring return to Auke Bay – Significant spawn for first time in decades

At the end of June, herring returned to Auke Bay to spawn in significant numbers for the first time in more than 20 years — and though the ultimate success of the eggs remains to be seen, it’s a promising sign for those working to increase herring’s abundance in Lynn Canal and Southeast Alaska. Read more here 10:44

NEFMC – Herring Press Release

nefmc logoPlease click here for a copy of the NEFMC Press Release Measures to Promote Accountability in the Atlantic Herring Fishery. The Press Release provides
details about the Council’s April 22-24 Council meeting in Mystic, CT. 08:02

This is Fish Radio. I’m Laine Welch – Three from her today. ( She’s a busy gal!)

FISH-With-Mic-Logo-GRAPHIC-303-x-400-e1360148757522FISH-With-Mic-Logo-GRAPHIC-303-x-400-e1360148757522FISH-With-Mic-Logo-GRAPHIC-303-x-400-e1360148757522BIOp break, Status quo for BOF… more fish news, A new bi-op, Board of Fish names and a big name comes back to Bristol Bay. here  Herring, byproducts boosted by AK legislature, Silencing Alaskans bill stalled,A look at fish issues before the Alaska legislature. here  Seiners can sign on for first ever pollock fishery! Deadline 4/11,Seiners fishing for pollock?  Sign up now. here  17:10

Make way for herring

HARWICH — In the next two weeks, the herring will start their annual run from Nantucket Sound to Hinckleys Pond. But before this annual rite of spring starts, Herring River has to be cleared to make the journey a little easier. Read more here  06:55

SAN FRANCISCO: Fishermen enjoy plentiful herring season -Video

Herring boats stretched across the Bay near the San Rafael Bridge Friday morning, the scene attracted thousands of birds and even some seals got into the act, diving and jumping to catch a fish. Watch @ktvu  18:07

Submitted by George Washington – Seals, Sea Lions, Polar Bears, Bald Eagles, Sea Stars, Turtles, King and Sockeye Salmon, Herring, Anchovies, Sardines All Dying

We’ve previous documented that seals, sea lions, polar bears, sea stars, turtles, sockeye salmon, herring, anchovies and sardines on the West Coast of North America are all suffering mysterious diseases … which are killing many. We’ve asked whether this is related  to  massive releases of radiation from Fukushima. Update Sadly, we can now add other wildlife to the list.  George Washington @ zero hedge. I dunno. Interesting read. Catch Radical Marijuana’s interesting comment. Read [email protected]  23:13

Herring proposal disapproved by National Marine Fisheries Service – Lots of grumbling from the Cape!

“They basically approved nothing,” said a frustrated and angry John Pappalardo, the CEO of the Cape Cod Commercial Fishermen’s Alliance and a former member and onetime chairman of the New England council. [email protected]