Alas, the fifth and final fishery of the Sac Roe Herring season occurred this afternoon as the purse closes on another year of the annual derby here in Sitka. Harvesters targeted the remaining 930 tons of silvery sac roe containers in the Silver Bay area, south of town, in a typically competitive opening which essentially entailed 15 delicious minutes of hot seine-on-seine action.
To fully appreciate what this means, short of being on location, here are two videos to wet your chops:
As viewed from the beach:
As viewed from the sky:
For anyone wondering about the first four openings, here are the vital stats:
- March 22 2,560 tons Hayward Strait
- March 24 4,750 tons Hayward Strait
- March 28 3,800 tons Starrigavin Area
- March 31 2,500 tons Starrigavin/Katlian
So, what happens next? Both fishers and fish will glide out of here incrementally over a span of hours to weeks. While I can’t guarantee the whereabouts of the fish, I can state with confidence that some vessels will point their bows towards the various spawn-on-kelp pounds while others will simply fade into the horizon with, perhaps, loftier ambitions.
And what becomes of the babes left on the beach? After the glitter fades and all that remains are a few tender memories, some broken hearts, and perhaps a handful of chicks that might exercise their right to plead the Fifth, I get to debrief every teary-eyed posse pal out there. Why me? Because in the Land of BeenThereDoneThat, I am Queen.
We will congregate and commiserate over lonesome booths at various establishments and try to imagine life before the 2009 Man Herring Season. We will bolster each other with tales of love and loss as we strategically analyze the hidden nuances of every wink and drink over the past weeks. We will make heros out of herrings.
And then Spring will come, and with it the smell of rotting spawn to pervade our senses reminding us that all things in nature are amazingly cyclic. That there is an entire year to savor what was and what may never be. And at the very least, we can get back to the business of drinking ourselves pretty as we ever were!
**Thanks to this chickee for the vintage purse pic!