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Whittier herring: When are they there?

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  • 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!

  • #2
    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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    • #3
      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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      • #4
        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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        • #5
          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.
          2009 Seawolf 31'
          www.seawolfmarine.com
          Fully Loaded

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          • #6
            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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            • #7
              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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              • #8
                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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                • #9
                  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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                  • #10
                    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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                    • #11
                      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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                      • #12
                        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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                        • #13
                          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.
                          Random guy in Fly shop: "Where did this happen???? In real life or in Alaska?"

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                          • #14
                            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....:shot:

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                            • #15
                              prize

                              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.
                              NRA Lifetime Member

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