In 2001, we found that listing Puget Sound Herring as threatened or endangered was not warranted because the population did not constitute a species, subspecies, or distinct population segment (DPS) under the ESA. We determined that these Puget Sound Pacific Herring stocks, including Cherry Point, belonged to a larger group of Pacific Herring. Under the ESA, a listing determination may address a species, subspecies, or a distinct population segment of any vertebrate species that interbreeds when mature (section 3(16)). Increased temperatures could also lead to northward shifts and increased abundance of Pacific hake, which prey upon herring and could thus lead to population declines through increased predation. Maximum length is 10 inches (26 cm) in Puget Sound, British Columbia, and the Beaufort Sea; 13 inches (34 cm) in the Bering Sea; and 9.5 inches (24 cm) in the Gulf of Alaska. Fish and Wildlife Service and NOAA Fisheries adopted a policy to clarify the agencies’ interpretation of the DPS provision for the purposes of listing, delisting, and reclassifying a species under the ESA. In May 2004, a group of environmental organizations petitioned NOAA Fisheries to list the Cherry Point Pacific Herring population under the ESA. Herring are a foundation species in Southeast Alaska, playing a central role in marine food webs and also of significant importance as a commercial and subsistence species in many communities. The significance of the population segment to the remainder of the species (or subspecies) to which it belongs. Internet Explorer lacks support for the features of this website. Loss of Cherry Point Pacific Herring would not result in a significant gap in the extensive range of Pacific Herring. The few declining stocks represent a small proportion of the more than 40 stocks and assessment areas that comprise the Georgia Basin DPS. The maximum exploitation rate is 20 percent of the mature biomass, which is consistent with other herring fisheries on the west coast of North America. Fluctuations in abundance are largely determined by marine conditions, which affect herring survival, growth, and recruitment. Primary and secondary productivity are strongly linked to juvenile abundance, as juveniles tend to prey on zooplankton (e.g., copepods). We concluded that the available information was not sufficient to warrant modification of the previous DPS delineation. However, we initiated a status review for a larger Southeast Alaska DPS (Dixon Entrance northward to Cape Fairweather and Icy Point). Herring will also be sensitive to potential changes in nearshore and estuarine spawning habitat, such as increased salinity due to sea level rise and saltwater intrusion in estuaries, which could create suboptimal conditions for spawning and larval growth. During the summer of their first year, these juveniles form schools in shallow bays, inlets, and channels. However, we initiated a status review for a larger Southeast Alaska DPS (Dixon Entrance northward to Cape Fairweather and Icy Point). Pacific Herring feed on phytoplankton and zooplankton in nutrient-rich waters associated with oceanic upwelling. For the best experience, please use a modern browser such as Chrome, Firefox, or Edge. Pacific Herring in southern locations (e.g., California) exhibit small size, mature earlier, and die younger. However, we further determined that Puget Sound Pacific Herring, including the Cherry Point population, belonged to a larger group of Pacific Herring termed the Georgia Basin Pacific Herring DPS, and that this DPS was neither at risk of extinction, nor likely to become so.