Purse seine fishery closes, gillnetting still on

Purse seine harvests in the Togiak herring fishery have ended, but the gillnet fishery remained in progress early this week, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game said.

The purse seine harvest through May 6 was 1,830 tons after subtracting documented deadloss and ADF&G determined there was not enough quota remaining to justify additional fishing, and closed that sector down.

State biologists said that purse seine harvest for May 4 was 2,805 tons and for May 5 was 445 tons, bringing the cumulative purse seine harvest at that time to 14,145 tons with a reported roe percentage of 11.3 percent and an average size of 413 grams through May 6,

ADF&G expressed thanks to processors for assistance in collecting herring samples that are used to generate age composition estimates of the harvest and future biomass estimates.
“We would also like to thank the spotter pilots for all the updates they provided,” said Tim Sands, area biologist for ADF&G at Dillingham.

Processors were advised to submit fish tickets and final operations reports within 10 days of the end of all herring fishing operations.

Meanwhile the gillnet fishery was still in progress and harvest figures for that sector had not been released. The area was increased westward to the longitude of Anchor Point at 160 degrees 19.70 west longitude.


The Togiak herring fishery opened on April 28 with an allocation of 16,060 tons for seiners and 6,883 tons for gillnetters, but the fish were not immediately mature enough for harvest.

At the start of the fishery there were eight gillnetters and 19 seiners on the water, but Sands said he anticipated the number of gillnetters would reach 19 by season’s end, due to optimism for a better price than last year.

The estimated value of the 2016 fishery was $1.52 million, based on $100 per ton, not counting post-season adjustments.