The Sitka Tribe of Alaska will host the annual Sitka Herring Festival Community Potluck Dinner at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, April 12, at Harrigan Centennial Hall, and will celebrate the cultural and ecological importance of Pacific herring.
The potluck is open to the community — please feel free to invite anyone you think may be interested. Please bring a dish to share.
The event also will feature talks on recent work on herring genetics and traditional ecological knowledge by Dr. Lorenz Hauser and Eleni Petrou of the University of Washington. Dr. Hauser will present “What can population genetics do for herring management?” and Ms. Petrou will present “Genetics and traditional ecological knowledge detect herring diversity in Puget Sound.”
Dr. Hauser is a Professor with the University of Washington’s School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences and Principal Investigator of the Marine Population Genomics Lab at UW. In addition to his work on herring genetics in Puget Sound, Dr. Hauser has also collaborated with the Alaska Salmon Program to estimate reproductive success of sockeye salmon. Ms. Petrou is a Ph.D. student in Dr. Hauser’s lab and her interests include investigating marine connectivity and exploring the impacts of human activities on marine ecosystems. She is integrating traditional ecological knowledge into her study of the population genetics of Pacific herring.
For more information, contact fisheries biologist Kyle Rosendale of the Sitka Tribe of Alaska Resources Department at 747-7241.
The inaugural Sitka Herring Festival will feature a variety of events from March 17 through April 12, when the herring return to Sitka to spawn. The event is sponsored by the Sitka Tribe of Alaska Resource Protection Department.
“The festival is a collaborative event to promote the importance of Pacific herring on the ecosystem and the culture of Sitka and the North Pacific Ocean,” event coordinator Jessica Gill said. “A few events to note are: kids’ herring derby, herring dip, fish printing, an educational unit in the schools, and a community potluck scheduled for April 4th. I am currently working on bringing in a scientist from Oxford to give a talk on herring for the potluck, but that will be dependent of funding.”
Among the scheduled events include a blessing of herring rock on a day TBA, the Yaa Khusgé Yaaw Woogoo herring camp for middle school students from March 17-21 at Sitka National Historical Park, a herring fishing derby for kids ages 2-17 from March 23-April 4, a herring class for the Alaska Way of Life 4-H club on March 28, a herring splash swimming event on March 29, a community potluck dinner on April 4, the herring community school fun run on April 5, and a Discovery Days event on April 12 at the Sitka Sound Science Center.
To learn more, please contact Jessica Gill at 747-7168 or by email at email@example.com. In addition to the event’s new website, there is a Facebook page.