Herring in the North Bay

Herring were caught in the North Bay this week off Sausalito and Racoon Straight by the CDFW research trawl. Most of the herring were ripe – spawning condition.  Bird and marine mammals were active throughout the area so a spawn is likely to occur in the vicinity. As of Friday no new spawn had been detected but staff will continue to monitor for any new events.

The Department was notified at weeks end that the commercial herring buyers would be ending buying operations for the season. Effectively closing the season prior to the March 15th season end date in commercial herring regulations. The total landings for the 2017 season was 37.2 tons, with the Even Platoon landing 17.9 and the Odd Platoon 19.3 tons. The herring eggs on kelp fishery was inactive this year.

Stay tuned for more updates as we close in on the final weeks of the San Francisco Bay herring season. The Department will also be holding public meetings related to the development of the Herring Fishery Management Plan this spring so look for those announcements as dates are made available.

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Richardson Bay Spawn

There was a very small spawn detected earlier this week in the Richardson Bay anchorage, primarily on eelgrass. The spawn though relatively small did have birds and a few marine mammals working the area.

The CDFW trawl vessel did catch a sample of herring on the Sausalito Shelf on Wednesday this week. The fish were in close proximity to the spawn detected earlier by the spawn survey. The fish were mostly ripe (ready to spawn), with 47 ripe and 3 spawn outs. The fish were also of good size with an average body length of 179 mm. For comparison the average size of the research catch for the season is 176 mm, with a minimum of 117 and maximum body length of 204 mm.

Stay dry and tuned in for more reports as we move into the final weeks of the herring season.

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Richardson Bay looking toward Mount Tam – CDFW

Waiting for More Herring

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Golden Gate Bridge Fog – CDFW

The last confirmed spawn occurred at Point Richmond just over a week ago. The stormy weather kept our survey vessels in for part of the week and no new spawns were observed or reported. The weather forecast looks good for a few days and the commercial fleet is still optimistic that there will be some herring to catch. We typically see spawn events up and through the end of March so stay tuned until the next report.

Herring Spawn Roundup

There have been several small spawn events around the bay over the last week. Starting in the north, there was one at Belvedere Cove and Angel Island. Nearby in Richardson Bay a few eggs were observed on the edge of the channel close to Peninsula Point. It should also be noted that there has been a continuous amount of bird activity in this area. Large rafts of gulls, cormorants, Bufflehead and others can be seen around the point (video).

In the south, there was a spawn at Fisherman’s Park in Burlingame and along the jetty at

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Cooler of herring – CDFW

Coyote Point Marina. As reported earlier the commercial fleet and recreational fisherman were able to catch a few herring during that event. Commercial herring landings for the Odd Platoon (7 fishing vessels) totaled just over 19 tons. This brought the entire commercial catch total up to 37 tons of the 750 ton quota for the season.

On Thursday and Friday this week a flurry of bird and marine mammal activity was observed around Point Richmond. Herring spawn was found on eelgrass near the jetty and herring appeared to be spawning to the north near Cypress Point. We’ll provide more updates next week once spawn assessment efforts are complete.

Coyote Point Fishing

Herring moved into the area near Coyote Point late yesterday to begin spawning in the South Bay. Castnetters were busy catching herring at Fisherman’s Park early this morning

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Coyote Point – CDFW

and by mid-day the commercial herring fleet had moved into the area adjacent to the Coyote Point Jetty.

The commercial fleet and recreational fisherman were having good success fishing the jetty through the day. The fleet anticipated fishing into the evening as a new storm system approaches, hoping to catch a few fish before the winds push them back into port or the spawns ends. Stay tuned for more updates and landing totals for the commercial fleet.