Input sought on herring fishery


The California Fish and Game Commission and the Department of Fish and Wildlife are seeking public input for an environmental report that will be used to manage the next herring fishing season in Tomales Bay and elsewhere. The state monitors and issues a limited number of permits to protect Pacific herring populations, whose roe is harvested for sale, from overfishing. “There’s been various citizen efforts to try to get the [California Department of Fish and Wildlife] to be more attentive to preserving the herring stocks and this yearly environmental impact assessment is a result of that,” said longtime Inverness conservationist Richard Plant. Herring fishing used to be big business in Tomales Bay, with commercial fishing dating back to the Gold Rush, but conservation efforts, low market prices and high operating costs have driven fishermen away in recent years. The fisheries occur in the middle of herring spawning season, from December to February. Interested parties can submit responses by February 24 to: Attn: Herring Environmental Document, California Department of Fish and Wildlife, 619 Second Street, Eureka, Calif. 95501.