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.
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.