Over the last couple of weeks two spawn events were reported around the bay. The Point Richmond spawn lasted for several days beginning on the 16th and a new spawn started this week in the South Bay near the San Mateo Bridge.
The commercial fleet was also active in the area between the bridge and Coyote Point, catching 75 tons of herring. A new school appears to have just moved into the North Bay. Fish were metered in the Sausalito Channel and off Peninsula Point over the last couple of days. The school is likely staging for a new spawn event along the Marin shoreline. Maybe just in time for the Herring Festival this weekend, details below.
To date the commercial fishery has landed a total of 315 tons for the odd platoon and another 30 tons for the even platoon. The total gill net quota for the 2016 season is 750 tons, 360 tons for the Odd platoon and 390 tons for the Even platoon.
This weekend on Sunday January 31st, the annual Sausalito Herring Festival will be held at Gabrielson Park (near the ferry terminal) from 11am-330pm. CA Fish and Wildlife staff will be present to answer questions about the herring fishery and explain the science behind management of this important forage fish.
Herring continued to spawn in the North Bay last week, primarily in Paradise Cove and along the Tiburon waterfront areas. The commercial herring fleet landed approximately 244 tons of herring by Friday at noon when the fishery closed for the weekend. A new spawn was reported at Ferry Point in Richmond on Saturday, which is following a similar progression as last year.
Herring fleet at sunrise – Paradise Cove – near Tiburon
Today herring began to move into the Sausalito Waterfront area with spawn starting along along the rock wall. Fish have been detected in the North Bay since last week, so this was not unexpected.
Commercial Herring Fleet, Sausalito
There were reports of spawning in Keil Cove and Belvedere Cove. Richardson Bay will also likely see spawn activity as this spawn continues. The commercial fleet was visible from the roadway along the Sausalito waterfront. As of late afternoon there were reports of mixed success, with hope for better catch on the late evening/early morning flood tide.
Fathometer view of a herring school in Richardson Bay
Herring continued to spawn last week along the San Francisco Waterfront extending from Pier 70 to the Ferry Building. This provided an excellent opportunity for wildlife watchers to see the frenzy of feeding activity up close. A smaller spawn was also detected in Richardson Bay in the main anchorage area. As of Friday this week a new school was building in the North Bay. In past years a spawn usually comes to the Marin County shoreline around this time of the season but only the herring know where they will end up next.
CA Sea Lions resting after the herring feast at South Beach Harbor
Herring have been busy this week around San Francisco Bay. A spawn was reported at Coyote Point in San Mateo County starting on
Coyote Point – San Mateo
Saturday/Sunday. Most of the activity took place along the breakwater outside the marina and some spawn was also found near Fisherman’s Park south of the airport. A new spawn started at Mission Rock in San Francisco on Monday and is expected to last through the rest of the week, likely moving north toward the ballpark and Ferry Building. Castnetters were loading up with herring along the waterfront and public fishing piers in the area. The current pattern of spawning is similar to last year and a good sign given the poor ocean conditions related to the strong El Nino.
Note: The commercial gill net fishery opens this weekend at 5pm on Sunday January 3, 2016 and runs through March 11, 2016 at 12pm.
Castnetters at Aqua Vista Park – Mission Rock