Sausalito, Fort Baker Herring Spawn and Fishing Report, San Francisco Bay

harbor seal
Harbor seal with herring spawn on its body
CDFW photo

Beginning Monday this week, a large herring spawn occurred throughout Richardson Bay, including on the pier pilings of most marinas.

The spawn continued along the Sausalito shoreline and ended outside the Golden Gate just east of Point Diablo. Spawning intensity was greatest at Yellow Bluff and Fort Baker (in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area).

As would be expected, many species of birds and marine mammals followed the spawning Pacific Herring throughout the week. The photo above shows herring egg “trails” deposited (unintentionally) on the body of a foraging harbor seal.

The gill net fishery opened on January 1, 2015 at 5:00 p.m. with a quota of 2,302 tons. Two commercial fishing vessels made landings this week totalling 38 tons. Roe counts for these landings ranged from 11 to 15 percent. The Herring Eggs on Kelp fishery opened December 1, 2014 with a quota of 19.7 tons but no permits are active this season. Recreational fishing (cast-netting) was observed at several locations including the Sausalito waterfront and at the Horseshoe Cove Pier (Fort Baker).

In other news, remember that the Sausalito Herring Festival will be held from 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Sunday, January 25, 2015 at Gabrielson Park, Sausalito.

post by Ryan Bartling, CDFW Environmental Scientist