The 2016-17 San Francisco Bay Season Summary for the Pacific herring fishery is now posted on the CDFW herring web page. This annual report is produced to summarize spawning population and commercial fishery information related to the San Francisco herring fishery. Please visit the State Managed California Commercial Herring Fishery page to read the report or to find more information on the California Pacific herring fishery.
Reminder: Commercial Herring Permit Survey
Commercial Herring Vessel near Richmond Bridge
The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (Department) is currently developing a Fishery Management Plan (FMP) for the state-managed Pacific herring fishery. To further this effort, the Department and FMP Project Management Consultant have developed a survey to solicit feedback on potential permitting and regulatory changes.
The previously mailed survey will take approximately 20 minutes to complete. Please return your completed survey by June 30, 2017 to ensure that your input is considered for permitting and regulatory changes.
If you have any questions or would like to request another survey, please contact Ryan Bartling, Environmental Scientist, at Ryan.Bartling@wildlife.ca.gov or at (707) 576-2877.
The 2016-17 Pacific herring season in San Francisco Bay ended with a reported spawning biomass estimate of 18,300 tons, an increase over last year’s estimate of 14,900 tons. The historical (1979-present) spawning biomass average equals 49,400 tons and this was the third year of below average herring returns. The graph below shows population levels and the proportion of commercial catch over time.
Pacific Herring Reported Spawning Biomass San Francisco Bay 1979-2017
There were 13 spawn events recorded through the season, starting in mid-December and lasting through the month of February. The spawn areas included; Richardson Bay, Millbrae Shoreline, Alameda Rock Wall, Coyote Point, Angel Island and Point Richmond. A majority of the spawn events and herring egg deposition occurred in Richardson Bay during the 2016-17 season.
2016-17 Pacific Herring Spawn Area Map San Francisco Bay
The commercial gill net herring fishery landed 37 tons by the 8 vessels that participated. This was approximately 5% of the 750 ton gill net quota for the season. The Herring Eggs on Kelp fishery remained inactive during 2016-17.
Staff are finalizing aging analysis and will be working to complete the San Francisco Bay Annual Season Summary. The summary will be available on the State-Managed California Commercial Pacific Herring Fishery Web Page in July.
CDFW in collaboration with the fishing and conservation community continues working to develop a Fishery Management Plan (FMP) for Pacific herring in California. Please check out the Pacific Herring FMP Web Page for more details and to view the anticipated timeline for completion. Please also stay tuned for more opportunities for involvement with FMP development later this summer.
A commercial herring permittee survey was mailed to all California permit holders this week. This brief survey will help inform Fishery Management Plan (FMP) development and collect input on potential changes to commercial regulations for Pacific herring in California. Please take time to complete the survey and provide important feedback to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW). If you have questions please reach out to staff indicated on the survey. Your time and effort is appreciated.
As FMP development continues, please stay tuned for more stakeholder engagement opportunities later this summer. An updated timeline has also been added to the CDFW website under Pacific Herring Fishery Management Plan.
A herring spawn occurred inside Richardson Bay this past week, primarily in the mooring field, mid-bay. There was additional spawning in the cove near Dunphy Park to the Southwest. Herring have been staging off the Sausalito shelf for the last couple of weeks so this was not surprising. The CDFW research trawl vessel caught more herring off the shelf at the end of the week which were also in spawning condition. Given the location and spawn condition, herring will likely continue to move in and spawn in Richardson Bay. Stay tuned for more updates.