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Thread: Whittier herring: When are they there?

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    Member coho slayer's Avatar
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    Default Whittier herring: When are they there?

    Just curious if anyone knows if the herring down there come in or just kind of always hang out by the processor eating. I'm feeling the fishing bug and feel like getting out of town for a day but need an excuse. I wouldn't mind catching some bait if they are there!

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    I'd be curious as well. I was surprised to see the processor not operating. I would have thought halibut or something. This past weekend I looked out where the herring normally hang out and saw no activity. As I paddled around in my kayak, I saw only 2 maybe 3 times any sign of bait on my sonar. Even then, they weren't concentrated enough to get back on top of them once I drifted over.

    Any of the boats that ventured out further mark any decent size school of baitfish anywhere near passage canal?

    If memory serves me right, I thought the spawning run into Seward Harbor area usually occurred in mid may. I have never heard of spawners near whittier but I guess I have never looked or asked.

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    Member wildwill's Avatar
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    I'd like to know for bears. We hit Yakutat just right last year right as the herring dropped their eggs and the beaches were absolutely covered with eggs at the tideline. Simply an awesome experience. Every bear from hell to breakfast hit the beach each evening just before dark. We got a nice blackie almost 7', passed an oportunity on a small glacier bear (buddy was going to take it but waited too long) and took two nice brownies all in less than a week. Not sure how many bears we just watched.
    Since the World is 2/3 Water and Only 1/3 Land, Figures the Good Lord Intended I Fish More Than I Plow.

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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kardinal_84 View Post
    was surprised to see the processor not operating. I would have thought halibut or something.
    Very few commercially-caught halibut are landed in Whittier, and those that are are almost exclusively trucked into Anchorage to be processed at the Copper River Seafoods plant down by Ship Creek. The plant in Whittier is run by Great Pacific, and that plant almost exclusively processes salmon from their tenders.

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    Member jrogers's Avatar
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    I was looking for herring when I was out last weekend with no luck. I did not fish, but I spent some time running at slow speed watching for bait in the water, and it was really quiet. I think it is because it is early, but I did not see any bird activity or herring around the breakwater in Whittier, or anywhere in Passage Canal. I did good with subiki jigs last summer for herring and cod, but not last weekend.

    If someone knows where they are early, I would love to hear about it.
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    I think it is early yet and there is no seafood processing waste to keep them in one spot. I saw several small schools. I had a sabiki rig ready after I drifted over the first school. But never did hit a school big enough or one I could relocate. Happened twice more. So they are around but just not concentrated yet. The sonar was blank fish wise most of the trip but when you drifted by the small bait balls, I saw a few bigger fish marks in the classic off to the edge and deeper position. All three times I was roughly in 100ft of water with the bait half way down.

    I Here's a link to the historic commercial herring opener. http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/index.cfm...g.herringdates

    Sitka just finished up. I think Togiak is next to go since there is no PWS fishery anymore. The dates range from April 25 to May 23 I think for the opener in Togiak so its highly variable. Of course they show up earlier than the commercial opener but its an indication. of course these are the bigger spawners and not the typically smaller fish you see by the whittier dock.

    Anybody know historically where the PWS herring fishery started relative to Sitka or Togiak generally speaking?

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    Member ak_powder_monkey's Avatar
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    Kodiak herring fishery is probably going on now
    I choose to fly fish, not because its easy, but because its hard.

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    Member coho slayer's Avatar
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    If we get a nice day I might go down and try just for kicks. Doesn't really matter much if I catch anything, just helps to have an excuse, especially with gas prices the way they are. Our dog has polished off our herring and hooligan from last year, or at least helped make it go much faster....lol.

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    Member fullbush's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian M View Post
    The plant in Whittier is run by Great Pacific, and that plant almost exclusively processes salmon from their tenders.
    I don't know why the city of whittier doesn't solicite for more processors to come operate there. They should tell GP to either clean it up and make some improvements or find a processor that will. I'm pretty sure they're not the friendliest environment to do business w/ (the city of whittier that is)





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    Quote Originally Posted by Kardinal_84 View Post
    Anybody know historically where the PWS herring fishery started relative to Sitka or Togiak generally speaking?
    It goes off generally around the 10th of April... There plenty of herring spawning going on in the sound right now. Thanks to FUXXUP (exxon) not enough to warrant a fishery





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    Quote Originally Posted by fullbush View Post
    It goes off generally around the 10th of April... There plenty of herring spawning going on in the sound right now. Thanks to FUXXUP (exxon) not enough to warrant a fishery
    Wow. That early, eh? Didn't see any signs on sonar or birds but I was pretty limited. If my memory of maps serves me correctly, wasn't the sac roe fishery more by knight Island, valdez and Cordova? Can't recall seeing passage canal mentioned in any of the F&G research papers on spawning ground locations for PWS.

    Can't remember the earliest I have done the herring thing in Whittier but I think it was June time frame.

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    Member coho slayer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fullbush View Post
    I don't know why the city of whittier doesn't solicite for more processors to come operate there. They should tell GP to either clean it up and make some improvements or find a processor that will. I'm pretty sure they're not the friendliest environment to do business w/ (the city of whittier that is)
    I have a theory that Whittier is full of idiots. They have the opportunity to turn that little town into a tourist paradise and fishing and boating mecca, but they do their best to discourage anyone from going there by charging too much for everything, never up-grading anything, never actually expanding parking to allow more people to come there....I just don't get it. Even their fish derby is a waste of money. My son paid $5.00 for a derby ticket in the junior/kids class a few years ago. He won. His prize? A check, sent with delivery confirmation, for $2.50. Yes, two dollars and fifty cents. He lost money even though he won. The postage to send it was more than the prize. What a joke.

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    Quote Originally Posted by coho slayer View Post
    I have a theory that Whittier is full of idiots. They have the opportunity to turn that little town into a tourist paradise and fishing and boating mecca, but they do their best to discourage anyone from going there by charging too much for everything, never up-grading anything, never actually expanding parking to allow more people to come there....I just don't get it. Even their fish derby is a waste of money. My son paid $5.00 for a derby ticket in the junior/kids class a few years ago. He won. His prize? A check, sent with delivery confirmation, for $2.50. Yes, two dollars and fifty cents. He lost money even though he won. The postage to send it was more than the prize. What a joke.
    I dont know if you realize how funny this post is. Im not even sure if you meant it to be funny or not but Im cracking up right now.
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    Member coho slayer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sodabiscuit12345 View Post
    I dont know if you realize how funny this post is. Im not even sure if you meant it to be funny or not but Im cracking up right now.
    It IS funny, in a really pathetic way...lol. It's so ludicrous it's funny. I can't even believe they had the guts to send the check, along with a very nice "Congratulations! You are the winner!" letter....I wrote them a long, nasty letter about that.

    Completely soured our then-12 year old to fishing and derbies.

    Thank you so much, Whittier....

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    Quote Originally Posted by sodabiscuit12345 View Post
    I dont know if you realize how funny this post is. Im not even sure if you meant it to be funny or not but Im cracking up right now.

    Another example of humor based upon tragedy.
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    Quote Originally Posted by coho slayer View Post
    It IS funny, in a really pathetic way...lol. It's so ludicrous it's funny. I can't even believe they had the guts to send the check, along with a very nice "Congratulations! You are the winner!" letter....I wrote them a long, nasty letter about that.

    Completely soured our then-12 year old to fishing and derbies.

    Thank you so much, Whittier....
    C'mon coho...did your boy really enter the derby with the intent of a big payday? Everyone (even 12 year olds) knows that an entry fee is a donation with absolutely no expectation of getting anything back. He got bragging rights since he won a fishing derby. If he's soured on fishing derbies because of this, I don't think it's the fault of the town of Whittier...

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    Member coho slayer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frostbitten View Post
    C'mon coho...did your boy really enter the derby with the intent of a big payday? Everyone (even 12 year olds) knows that an entry fee is a donation with absolutely no expectation of getting anything back. He got bragging rights since he won a fishing derby. If he's soured on fishing derbies because of this, I don't think it's the fault of the town of Whittier...
    Yes, it is. At least in large part. He'd been fishing with me enough at various places to know derbies are generally a waste of money but fun to try to win. Even placer's usually got cool little prizes. He was plenty old enough to be insulted by a check for $2.50. He didn't know what he'd won until it came in the mail, so a month of anticipation and bragging had built it up, to be fair, but you can't do anything with $2.50 and he darn well knew it. It was insulting. I wrote the chamber of commerce there, who ran the derby, asking for some tangible prize...a day tour, trip fishing, train pass, etc. And never heard a word back.

    If you're having a derby I suggest having actual prizes. Gives people more motivation to enter. The more who enter, the more who come, the more money gets pumped into the local economy. Homer, Seward, and Valdez have all figured this formula out. Whittier either hasn't or doesn't want to.

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    Member Frostbitten's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by coho slayer View Post
    Yes, it is. At least in large part. He'd been fishing with me enough at various places to know derbies are generally a waste of money but fun to try to win. Even placer's usually got cool little prizes. He was plenty old enough to be insulted by a check for $2.50. He didn't know what he'd won until it came in the mail, so a month of anticipation and bragging had built it up, to be fair, but you can't do anything with $2.50 and he darn well knew it. It was insulting. I wrote the chamber of commerce there, who ran the derby, asking for some tangible prize...a day tour, trip fishing, train pass, etc. And never heard a word back.

    If you're having a derby I suggest having actual prizes. Gives people more motivation to enter. The more who enter, the more who come, the more money gets pumped into the local economy. Homer, Seward, and Valdez have all figured this formula out. Whittier either hasn't or doesn't want to.
    My bad, I didn't realize fishing in derbies was a professional sport, I thought it was for fun, so I stand corrected. From my perspective, the town of Whittier doesn't want the rest of Alaska there. I accept that and expect nothing more.

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    Member Alaskanmutt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frostbitten View Post
    My bad, I didn't realize fishing in derbies was a professional sport, I thought it was for fun, so I stand corrected. From my perspective, the town of Whittier doesn't want the rest of Alaska there. I accept that and expect nothing more.
    Needs a correction.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alaskanmutt View Post
    Needs a correction.

    They want your money but not your presence.
    Exactly. If they want their privacy, then they shouldn't have a derby.

    Is it really selfish for a boy reluctant to fish to begin with to actually expect a prize when told he's won a fishing derby?

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