Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Forecast for Togiak’s 2015 Sac Roe Herring Harvest is 29,012 Tons

State fisheries biologists in Alaska say the Pacific herring spawning biomass in the Togiak District was estimated at 203,267 tons in 2014 and is forecast to be 163,480 tons in 2015.

Herring are expected to comprise 50 percent of the biomass in the coming year, while the remaining run is forecast to be ages 4-6, ages 7-8 and ages 12+

A run biomass of 163,480 tons would be 110 percent of the recent 10-year average, with the potential to produce an overall harvest of 32,696 tons in all fisheries and 29,012 tons in the Togiak purse seine and gillnet sac roe fisheries.

This past season the commercial fishermen at Togiak brought in a sac roe herring harvest of 25,136 tons. The purse seine harvest of 18,668 tons had a reported average weight of 364 grams and an average roe percentage of 10.3 percent. The gillnet harvest of 6,469 tons had a reported average weight of 404 grams and an average roe percentage of 11.3 percent, Alaska Department of Fish and Game biologists at Dillingham said.

Still, prices to fishermen were down, as demand in Japan dropped due to changing habits of buyers with a growing taste for meat dishes.

The biomass of the Togiak herring spawning population has been estimated with aerial surveys since the late 1970s, concurrent with development of the sac roe fishery. Most of the biomass surveyed occurred in the center of Togiak Bay, with a smaller concentration to the east in Kulukak Bay.

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