Herring Season is Here

Today, Department staff encountered the first recorded Pacific Herring spawn of the 2018-19 season.

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Bird Activity- Alameda: Credit CDFW

During routine spawn patrol this morning, bird activity was noted near Ballena Bay on the south-side of Alameda Island. The sparse sub-tidal vegetation in the area yielded a few eggs that were very recently spawned. Staff will continue to monitor and sample the area over the next couple of days to see if any additional spawning occurs. More season updates will be forthcoming, please check back soon.

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Herring Spawn: Credit CDFW


Pacific Herring FMP Peer Review Webinar – October 9, 2018

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife is currently developing a Pacific Herring Fishery Management Plan. California Ocean Science Trust, with support from the Ocean Protection Council, and at the request of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife and the Fish and Game Commission, coordinated an external, independent peer review of the scientific and technical merits of the proposed management strategy within the Fishery Management Plan.

The reviewers have completed their review and are pleased to announce the release of the final peer review report,  Scientific review of the draft Fishery Management
Plan for Pacific herring (
Clupea pallasii).


Members of the Pacific Herring community and interested parties are invited to attend a webinar on Tuesday October 9, from 1:00pm to 2:00pm PDT. During the webinar, participants will have an opportunity to learn about the peer review panel’s recommendations as outlined in the final report and ask questions about the peer review process.

Public Webinar with the Pacific Herring Peer Review Panel

 Tuesday, October 9, 2018 | 1:00 – 2:00 pm PDT

Webinar link: https://zoom.us/j/350374691

To join by phone: +1 669 900 6833  or +1 646 876 9923

Webinar ID: 350 374 691

Additional information and details about the peer review can be found on the Herring Fishery Management Plan Peer Review Webpage.

Pacific Herring Fishery Management Plan Notice of Preparation and Scoping Meeting for the Environmental Document

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) and Fish and Game Commission (Commission) are preparing a Fishery Management Plan (FMP) for Pacific Herring (Clupea pallasii). CDFW, assisting the Commission under its certified regulatory program, has prepared an Initial Study, detailed project description, and a preliminary analysis of the environmental impacts pursuant to the California Environmental Quality Act.

CDFW is inviting interested members of the public to attend a scoping meeting on August 25, 2018 at the Bay Model Visitor’s Center, 2100 Bridgeway, Sausalito, CA from 10:00am to 12:00pm. The meeting is being held to solicit comments on the environmental impacts of the proposed project and answer questions related to FMP development.

The public comment period for this project is from August 17, 2018 through September 21, 2018. Comments may also be provided by email to Ryan Bartling at Ryan.Bartling@wildlife.ca.gov or by letter to the following address:

Attn: Ryan Bartling
California Department of Fish and Wildlife
5355 Skylane Blvd, Suite B
Santa Rosa, CA 95403

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2017-18 Herring Season Summary Available

The 2017-18 Summary of the Pacific Herring Spawning Population and Commercial Fisheries in San Francisco Bay is now available on the Department of Fish and Wildlife’s State-Managed California Commercial Pacific Herring Fishery website.

2017-18 SeasonSum

Synopsis: The 2017-18 Pacific Herring season in San Francisco Bay ended with a below average spawning biomass estimate of 15,300 tons. The historical average equals 48,500 tons (1979-present), and this was the fourth year in a row of below average herring returns. The San Francisco Bay commercial Pacific Herring fishery continued during the 2017-18 season at a low level of effort relative to historic fishery participation.  The low biomass estimate recorded during the 2017-18 season likely reflects continued population-level impacts sustained during multiple consecutive years of anomalously high sea-surface temperatures, depressed productivity, and low freshwater outflow in the central California Current Ecosystem. Despite the relatively low spawning biomass observed, the Department considers precautionary target harvest rates as the primary means of assuring a sustainable fishery even in years of unfavorable ecological conditions. Through the Fish and Game Commission, and with the help of the fishing industry, the conservation community and the Director’s Herring Advisory Committee, the Department will continue to manage the Pacific Herring fishery with the primary goal of ensuring fishery sustainability.

Richardson Bay Activity

Earlier this week a spawn was sampled inside Richardson Bay. The area was spread across the anchorage from Schoonmaker Point to the eastern side of the bay. A small group of birds and marine mammals were first noticed last weekend. This event brings the total number of spawns for the season to 14. Our spawn surveys will continue through the remainder of the month but activity does seem to be drawing to a close for the season. Stay tuned for more updates.

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Richardson Bay looking toward Mt Tamalpais – CDFW