A herring spawn started in Richardson Bay near Sausalito over the weekend and continues
Richardson Bay at Dawn -CDFW
today, primarily in the mooring field and the waters adjacent to Dunphy Park.
The commercial fishing fleet was also active in the area but only a very small amount of fish had been caught as of this afternoon. A moderate sized herring school was detected near Yellow Bluff, south of Sausalito. These fish will likely move into the area as the spawning continues over the next couple of days.
Pacific Herring School (shown on a fish finder) -CDFW
There was a report of a trace spawn between the Alameda Rock Wall and Bay Farm Island in the South Bay over the weekend. The spawn survey detected herring eggs on rocky rip rap over a small area near Bellena Island Marina.
In this update we would also like to say thanks to the many herring observers for providing reports from all parts of the bay. Your efforts are very much appreciated. Please keep the reports coming!
As reported at the end of the last week a herring spawn did occur at Point Richmond, primarily around the old ferry terminal and various points inside the Richmond Channel (spawning video). The heaviest spawn occurred on the eelgrass bed along the southern jetty. The spawn continued through the weekend which was a bit of a surprise given the nautical conditions the Bay Area has experienced recently. Storms with high winds will often breakup spawning events but herring stayed in the “lee” and continued to spawn until Monday.
Point Richmond-South Jetty – CDFW
A new herring school has been detected in the area known as South Hampton Shoal. A sample of approximately 80% ripe herring was caught in the CDFW research trawl on Thursday this week. It is likely this school could come back to Richmond or move into the Marin shoreline area to spawn. Probably sometime during the coming week.
There have been reports of herring around Sausalito and herring schools have been detected in the Sausalito channel. There was also a report of herring inside McCovey Cove along the San Francisco waterfront but no new spawns have yet been confirmed. Stay tuned until next week for more updates.
Herring finally began to spawn late this week in two areas of San Francisco Bay. An active spawn was observed in Richardson Bay on Friday, primarily in the mooring field off Schoonmaker Point and along Peninsula Point. Another smaller spawn was reported and confirmed near Point Richmond at Ferry Point on Friday as well.
Pacific herring spawn Richardson Bay – CDFW
Both events appear to have begun within the last 24 hours and were ongoing. The coming storm will likely break up the schools of spawning herring but they can be unpredictable so watch closely. There were numerous birds and marine mammals feeding in both areas.
The CDFW research vessel caught a small sample of herring off the San Francisco waterfront earlier this week with a mix of ripe and spent fish. No spawn has been detected in this area so it is likely that a trace spawn event occurred somewhere in the vicinity.
The commercial fishing fleet was active this week in searching for herring schools but no fish have been landed. Note that the commercial fishery closes each week at noon on Friday and reopens at 5pm on Sunday. More information can be found on the CDFW Herring Web Page.
It was yet another quiet week on San Francisco Bay. No new herring spawns were reported or observed for this weeks survey period. Staff did follow up on a spawn report near Blackie’s Pasture from the prior week but the event was likely an isolated “trace spawn.” The CDFW research vessel caught a small sample of maturing Pacific herring as well as Northern anchovy and American Shad in the North Bay this past week. As of Friday morning a small herring school was holding in deep water off Tiburon Peninsula. For now we wait until more fish arrive or the holding fish spawn. Note: The Pacific herring commercial gill net fishery opens today January 1, 2017 at 5:00pm.
Richardson Bay looking toward Sausalito
San Francisco Bay was relatively quiet this week. No new herring spawns were reported or detected during spawn surveys. There was some concentrated bird and marine mammal activity between the Golden Gate Bridge and Racoon Straight, but based on our observations they were likely feeding on Northern anchovy. The CDFW research vessel Triakis did catch a large sample of herring in the North Bay which showed “ripening fish.” A spawn will likely occur during the coming holiday week so stayed tuned as we roll into the new year. Happy Holidays!
View of Racoon Straight near Tiburon – CDFW