Sitka's wild-and-crazy herring fishing rodeo facing some harsh realities

Monday, April 29, 2013

Just as daffodils and groundhogs, cherry trees and robins announce the arrival of spring elsewhere, so the sac roe herring fishery spells the end of winter here in Sitka, Alaska. Seine boats with names like Storm Chaser, Perseverance, Leading Lady, Defiant and Invincible begin to appear on our island from points north and south, often rafting to my tugboat here in Eliason Harbor. The herring fleet holds its collective breath -- generally in the smoky air of the Pioneer Bar -- awaiting the green light from the Alaska Department of Fish and Game to begin fishing.

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