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Pacific Herring Report

Pacific Herring Report

two men wearing full SCUBA gear on a boat in calm water
two silvery, six-inch-long fish (herring) laid on a board
small aluminum research vessel on calm bay water, with two men wearing orange dry suits
tiny white eggs cover a handful of bright green seagrass
a man steers an aluminum boat in calm water

The Pacific herring – much like squid and anchovy – is an important forage fish that supports a commercial fishery and provides a prey source for all manner of fish and wildlife, including whales, seals, sea lions, sturgeon, salmon, pelicans and numerous other species of birds and invertebrates.

The largest population of Pacific herring in California spawn in San Francisco Bay, and since 1972, CDFW has been responsible for monitoring and managing their numbers. CDFW uses annual vegetation dive surveys and spawn (herring eggs) surveys to calculate a population estimate each year. CDFW also uses commercial fishery and mid-water trawl survey information to look at the composition and general condition of the spawning population.

CDFW has just completed and posted online the link opens in new window2016-17 San Francisco Bay Season Summary for the Pacific herring fishery. The good news is that the spawning population, estimated at 18,300 tons, is up slightly from the 2014-15 and 2015-16 seasons. But it is still far below the historical average of 49,400 tons. Less than ideal ocean conditions are cited for the below-average numbers.

CDFW closely regulates the commercial Pacific herring fishery in the San Francisco Bay, setting quotas, season dates and using the commercial catch data to help further analyze the size, age and condition of the spawning population. Typically about six inches long, the fish primarily are harvested for their roe, which is prized in Japan. CDFW maintains a blog on the species called the link opens in new windowPacific Herring Management News.


Saving California’s White Abalone

Saving California’s White Abalone

live abalone in the ocean, covered with marine organisms
three men and one woman on aft deck of small research vessel

California’s coastal waters are home to seven species of abalone, and all but one are endangered or listed as species of special concern. The white abalone in particular has been nearly decimated by overfishing and disease, and scientists can find no evidence that the remaining population is reproducing in the wild. In order to avoid loss of the entire species, CDFW and partner agencies have formed the White Abalone Recovery Consortium, which will employ captive rearing and restoration stocking efforts and extensive public outreach in order to save these animals from extinction. It will be an ongoing, long-term project, but all signs point to future success – already there are more white abalone thriving in the captive breeding program than the entire population living in the wild.

Read more about the efforts to restore California’s white abalone – and learn what you can do to help! – on the CDFW Marine Management News Blog.



Recent Posts

  • Succulent Plants Returned to the Cliffs from Where They Were Poached  Posted 2 days ago
    Wildlife Officer Pat Freeling replanting dudleya. Wildlife Officer Will Castillo replanting dudleya. Last week, a team of California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) staff and volunteers spent hours working to replant than 2,000 Dudleya succulents that were seized after a ...
  • Sweetwater River Habitat Restoration Posted 5 days ago
    California’s drought emergency was officially declared to be over last year, but its deleterious impact on fish habitat is still being felt in many parts of the state -- especially in arid parts of Southern California. In order to ...
  • CDFW Unveils New Tool Allowing Public to Report Seeing Tule (And Other) Elk Posted last week
    CDFW wants to know if, when and where you’ve seen an elk in California – and they’ve just created a new online reporting tool that makes it easy for members of the public to share this information. CDFW scientists will ...
  • Creating Habitat in a Drawn-Down Lake Posted 2 weeks ago
    Brush habitats were created and put into Lake Perris to provide fish with habitat to feed and reproduce. The habitats will be completely submersed when the lake is filled to capacity. The exposed lakebed gave CDFW fisheries biologists the opportunity ...
  • California Fish and Game, Issue 103(4) Posted 3 weeks ago
    The latest issue of California Fish and Game, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s scientific journal, is now available online! Issue 103(4) features articles that add to the knowledge base for three marine species, all of which face ...
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