2015 Draft Environmental Document for Pacific Herring Now Available

Each year the California Pacific herring commercial fishery regulations are updated through the California Rulemaking Process by the California Fish and Game Commission. In accordance with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), potential impacts of the fishery are addressed annually in an environmental document. Both the regulatory and CEQA processes provide the public with several opportunities to provide input to the Department of Fish and Wildlife and the Fish and Game Commission on the management of California’s Pacific herring resource.  Meeting dates, locations and agendas can be found on the Fish and Game Commission Website.  Please note: Pacific herring is currently on the agenda for the August and October meetings.

Please visit the State Managed California Commercial Herring Fishery page to read the 2015 Draft Supplemental Environmental Document for Pacific Herring. The 45 day public comment period begins on May 8, 2015 and closes on June 22, 2015 at 5:00pm; all comments must be received by the Fish and Game Commission at that time.

The Brothers Islands-San Pablo Bay at Dusk

The Brothers Islands-San Pablo Bay at Dusk

Quick Update Week of February 9, 2015

Resting birds after the spawn at Point Richmond (CDFW)

Resting birds after the spawn at Point Richmond (CDFW)

Update:
Since the last update it has been relatively quiet around the bay. As reported previously there was a significant spawn at Point Richmond from Ferry Point to Point San Pablo. Heaviest spawning occurred near the old ferry terminal through the first weekend of February. There was also a smaller event on the Marin shoreline, mostly around Keil Cove and Belvedere Cove.
No fishing activity has been reported or observed. The CDFW research vessel did however encounter a herring school in the vicinity of Paradise Cove this week. Herring appear to be staging in this area so a new spawn event could be on the horizon.

Pacific Herring Spawning and Fishing Update Week of January 26, 2015

Spawning Update:
Herring embryos began hatching out this week along the Sausalito Waterfront. Large dense marks of juvenile herring were seen on our vessel fathometer by mid-week. By Thursday and Friday of this week spawning had begun once again in Richardson Bay (Sausalito) and a new spawn started at Ferry Point (Miller Knox Park) along the Point Richmond shoreline. These areas will likely see active spawning into the weekend.

Commercial herring vessel fishing off Sausalito.

Commercial herring vessel fishing off Sausalito.

Fishery Update:
The gill net fishery opened on January 1, 2015 at 5:00pm with a quota of 2,302 tons. One commercial fishing vessel made landings this week with a total of 7.6 tons. This brings the total landed for the season to 45.7 tons. Recreational fishing (cast-netting) was observed at Ferry Point. The Herring Eggs on Kelp fishery opened December 1, 2014 with a quota of 19.7 tons but no permits are active this season.

Pacific Herring Spawning and Fishing Update Week of January 19, 2015

Harbor Seal with herring spawn on its body. CDFW

Harbor Seal with herring spawn on its body. CDFW

Spawning Update:
Beginning Monday this week a large herring spawn occurred throughout Richardson Bay, including the pier pilings of most marinas. The spawn continued along the Sausalito shoreline and ended outside the Golden Gate just east of Point Diablo. Spawning intensity was greatest at Yellow Bluff and Fort Baker (Golden Gate Recreation Area). As would be expected many species of birds and marine mammals followed the spawning herring through the week. The photo above shows herring egg “trails” deposited on the body of a foraging harbor seal.

Fishery Update:
The gill net fishery opened on January 1, 2015 at 5:00pm with a quota of 2,302 tons. Two commercial fishing vessels made landings this week with a total of 38 tons. Roe counts for these landings ranged from 11-15 percent. Recreational fishing (cast-netting) was observed at several locations including the Sausalito Waterfront and at the Horseshoe Cove Pier (Fort Baker). The Herring Eggs on Kelp fishery opened December 1, 2014 with a quota of 19.7 tons but no permits are active this season.

Other News:
The Sausalito Herring Festival will be held from 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Sunday, January 25, 2015 at Gabrielson Park.

Quick Spawning and Fishing Update January 22, 2015

Herring milt visible outside the Golden Gate Bridge. CDFW

Herring milt visible outside the Golden Gate Bridge. CDFW

Spawning and Fishing Update:
Pacific herring are currently spawning along the Marin shoreline from Sausalito to the Golden Gate Bridge and beyond to outer San Francisco Bay. Spawning is particularly heavy near Fort Baker and the area known as Yellow Bluff. Two commercial vessels have made landings and recreational fishers were active at Horseshoe Cove and the Sausalito waterfront yesterday.