Anchorage Daily News
In two hauls, boats catch more than 10,000 tons
By ELIZABETH BLUEMINKebluemink@adn.com
Published: March 29th, 2008 12:49 AMLast Modified: March 29th, 2008 05:58 AM
"The huge hauls were mainly due to the unique spot the herring chose to spawn, said Treinen, who has been involved in the Sitka herring fishery for about a dozen years.
Very dense schools of herring appeared in very shallow water next to Kruzof Island right before the fishery opened at 2:25 p.m., he said. Some of the crowded fish seemed to be dying -- they turned belly up in the water before the fishery opened, he said.
Because the fish were in shallow water, about three fathoms deep, they couldn't dive to try to escape the nets. "We could contain bigger sets than we've ever been able to contain before," Treinen said.
The state Department of Fish and Game wouldn't have allowed two fishery openings if managers realized how many fish were getting caught, according to Eric Coonradt, the department's assistant area manager for commercial fisheries in Sitka.
As it turns out, the concern wasn't about violating harvest levels. The main concern was the ability of processors to handle so much fresh herring, Coonradt said."
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