Sitka Herring Season and other fish things {Alaska Photographer}

End of March through early April, the town of Sitka turns into a whirlwind of excitement for the arrival of the schools of herring.
Boats come from all over and pack themselves into Sitka's harbors and Captains and Deckhands await eagerly for ADFG's announcement of a herring opener.

Here are some glimpses of the herring season: the fishing and the spawn.

While Nate was fishing off the dock for herring, I was catching some photos of the fish-related memorabilia hanging about the Cove.

These hooks are circle hooks, used for catching halibut.

We went down to Thompsen Harbor to find some more herring for bait.

These fisherman are part of the mad-crazy herring fishery.

Another boat full of character . . . not appearing to be equipped with seining gear for the herring fishery.

Locals braved the sleet to catch some herring; most people use it for bait to fish with during the summer.
That's the hubby on the right.

Shortly thereafter, the herring spawn and the waters turn turquoise and foamy.

Isn't it a beautiful place?

This is the view from K & R's front porch. Lucky!
We enjoyed a wonderful Easter dinner here.

Many locals go out in their boats, net some herring and set out "Hemlock" branches so they can collect the herring eggs off of them.
Herring eggs are like gold here. (aka "Tlingit Caviar")
They actually taste pretty good.
Since I am a Dietitian, frequently people asked me about the nutritional value of herring eggs: No saturated fat (good), high in protein! A healthy choice . . . just don't add lots of mayo, butter, bacon or seal oil, and you will be good.

The seagulls . . .

and the whales . . .
stayed close to shore to fill their stomachs with the spawning herring.

Really . . . it was amazing to see the whales that close to shore. It was a town spectacle, for sure.

Nature is amazing.
Here's the link to last year's herring season post if you are interested.


Pietila Family said...

I love harbors and boats and I love these pictures. Very, very cool. It was also interesting reading about the herring season. One of the neat things about moving to a new place is not only seeing but also being part of the local "ways and happenings". Things that are so normal to the locals but so different to those from "outside". BTW - I also like the new heading on your blog page. : )
~ Trisha

Anonymous said...

Awesome pictures. I remember you talking about taking those pictures at the Cove. So fun to see them! The action shot of the cast netting is really neat too. Great work.
-Katrina H

Sierra Anderson said...

Hi Jennifer, I have enjoyed checking out your blog. Sitka Alaska is one of the most beautiful places on earth and one of my favorites. You do a great job of capturing the essence of this amazing place. I enjoy anything multimedia related and I'd say you have a very creative eye. I especially enjoyed the herring pics and whales on the beach. I'll be heading out there this spring for the 2011 season. Can't wait! Anyways, I look forward to seeing more. Keep up the great work!