Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 52

Thread: Rock Fish: Are they on track for trouble?

  1. #1
    Member Erik in AK's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Anchorage
    Posts
    2,008

    Default Rock Fish: Are they on track for trouble?

    A loaded question, I admit. I say yes.

    With ever tighter restrictions on halibut, a growing segment of the charter fleets are focusing more on rock fish to stay in business.

    As currently regulated I don't believe rock fish can sustain focused charter pressure for long. (as well as increased pressure from private boats)

    Shallower, closer to port, easier and cheaper to catch rock fish.
    Generous bag limit, commercially untargeted rock fish.
    Slow growing, easy to deplete rock fish.

    Of course the BoF won't respond proactively. They'll wait until the fish are all but gone and then you won't be able to catch them for 20 years or so.
    If cave men had been trophy hunters the Wooly Mammoth would be alive today

  2. #2
    Sponsor potbuilder's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Palmer
    Posts
    4,234

    Default

    Yup they will be cleaned up in no time if something ain't done. Lots of folks have the opinion that a species can't be fished out by a rec fishery lets just see what happens and what/who they blame when the fish are gone.

    Alaska Shrimp Pots

    Rigid & Folding Shrimp & Crab Pots
    Electra Dyne Pot Haulers
    Ropes, Buoys, Bait
    alaskashrimppots.com
    akshrimppots@mtaonline.net
    907 775 1692

  3. #3

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by potbuilder View Post
    Yup they will be cleaned up in no time if something ain't done. Lots of folks have the opinion that a species can't be fished out by a rec fishery lets just see what happens and what/who they blame when the fish are gone.
    Yeah. Just look down the West Coast where heavy sport pressure went to work on rockfish. But Alaska is different and other state's experience don't apply here....

  4. #4
    Member homerdave's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    homer, alaska
    Posts
    3,922

    Default

    They are gonna get hammered on "rockfish-salmon Thursdays". Bye-bye blackies at pogie.
    Alaska Board of Game 2015 tour... "Kicking the can down the road"
    http://www.alaskabackcountryhunters.org/

  5. #5

    Default

    I've started to make seven-ten day trips and not put a line in the water just explore and watch whales etc.. I have a lot of fish in the freezer and getting a fish or two for dinner is easy enough. I'm actually taking fish out of the freezer from home and putting it in the boat freezer instead of catching more fish. Be careful you don't have over your possession limits of each species if you do this. I'd like to see some of these fish stocks stay healthy for as long as possible.

  6. #6
    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Eagle River, AK
    Posts
    13,397

    Default

    While rockfish stocks certainly merit concern, I wonder if lingcod aren't in even worse shape. If I'm not mistaken, they're found in fewer, more concentrated areas. It always makes me uneasy driving along the Spit in July and seeing the rows of large lings hanging outside charter offices. At the very least, it seems like a reduction in the limit from two to one is in order.

    Uneducated question - how long does it take for a lingcod to grow to harvestable size?

  7. #7
    Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Lewisville, TX
    Posts
    335

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Brian M View Post
    Uneducated question - how long does it take for a lingcod to grow to harvestable size?
    Brian, I'm not certain about Alaskan lingcod growth rates, but when I lived in California I learned a fair amount about lingcod (cause we used to have a good fishery for them). The average was about 8-9 years to full maturity (almost 100% chance of spawning at least once). This translated to about 27"-28" length, which is pretty close to the 30" minimum size limit for non-residents in SE Alaska. Interestingly, there is no size limit for AK residents in SE. I don't know what is considered "harvestable" size further north.

    Alot of sources talk about "reaching maturity" at 3-4 years old (approx 20"-22"), but that only means an approximately 50% chance of spawning at least once. Short answer to your question is probably at least 8 years.

  8. #8
    Premium Member kasilofchrisn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Central Kenai Peninsula
    Posts
    4,889

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Uncle Zeek View Post
    Brian, I'm not certain about Alaskan lingcod growth rates, but when I lived in California I learned a fair amount about lingcod (cause we used to have a good fishery for them). The average was about 8-9 years to full maturity (almost 100% chance of spawning at least once). This translated to about 27"-28" length, which is pretty close to the 30" minimum size limit for non-residents in SE Alaska. Interestingly, there is no size limit for AK residents in SE. I don't know what is considered "harvestable" size further north.

    Alot of sources talk about "reaching maturity" at 3-4 years old (approx 20"-22"), but that only means an approximately 50% chance of spawning at least once. Short answer to your question is probably at least 8 years.
    Here in southcentral it is a minimum of 35" for lingcod with head attached or 28" with the head removed.
    I am with Brian on this one. A friend who runs a charter boat out of Homer says it is getting harder to find those keeper lingcod every year.
    I am sure rockfish are also going to get hit harder and harder.
    "The closer I get to nature the farther I am from idiots"

    "Fishing and Hunting are only an addiction if you're trying to quit"

  9. #9
    Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Anchorage
    Posts
    215

    Default

    Information regarding Cook Inlet lingcod can be found in staff comments for the 2013 Lower Cook Inlet board meeting, Proposal #74, page 57:
    http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/FedAidPDF...2A.2013.03.pdf

    And for Prince William Sound, Proposal #8, page 18:
    http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/FedAidPDF...2A.2014.01.pdf

  10. #10
    Charterboat Operator Abel's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Kodiak
    Posts
    1,279

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by kasilofchrisn View Post
    Here in southcentral it is a minimum of 35" for lingcod with head attached or 28" with the head removed.
    I am with Brian on this one. A friend who runs a charter boat out of Homer says it is getting harder to find those keeper lingcod every year.
    I am sure rockfish are also going to get hit harder and harder.
    What's 35"? The minimum size or the spawning size? Last I read there was still no restrictions on us here for size retention.
    Life's to short for an ugly boat

    Blaze N Abel Charters
    Kodiak, AK
    www.alaska-fish.com
    https://www.facebook.com/BlazeNAbelCharters/?fref=ts

  11. #11
    Charterboat Operator Abel's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Kodiak
    Posts
    1,279

    Default

    Nevermind, forgot they split us in Kodiak from you guys last year, we're SW now.
    Life's to short for an ugly boat

    Blaze N Abel Charters
    Kodiak, AK
    www.alaska-fish.com
    https://www.facebook.com/BlazeNAbelCharters/?fref=ts

  12. #12
    Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Lewisville, TX
    Posts
    335

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by aktally View Post
    Information regarding Cook Inlet lingcod can be found in staff comments for the 2013 Lower Cook Inlet board meeting, Proposal #74, page 57:
    http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/FedAidPDF...2A.2013.03.pdf

    And for Prince William Sound, Proposal #8, page 18:
    http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/FedAidPDF...2A.2014.01.pdf
    Very cool information sources, thank you. Based on those reports, it looks like lingcod grow at about the same rate in Alaska than they do in Southern California, but sexual maturity looks like it takes 2-3 years longer.

  13. #13
    Member Bullelkklr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Anchorage Alaska
    Posts
    4,841

    Default

    I think that commercial longliners catch their share of rockfish (as bycatch) and I think that the lings are targeted - in the sound anyway. I am not positive of this - can anyone confirm?

    As to the current sustainability of both species.... Just ask ADFG and they will tell you and a whole classroom full of people that both species are sustainable because we caught so many last year.

  14. #14
    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Anchorage
    Posts
    5,594

    Default

    The rockfish are a resource that can be easily over fished and I can see how the decline in halibut and changes to the halibut harvest will likely lead to increased pressure on rock fish. Unfortunately regulations have a habit of lagging the colapse of a fishery by at least a year if not two. It's going to come down to charters and private boats having a respect for the resource and not hammering it.

    I'd like to see the ling cod limit in PWS and Cook Inlet reduced to 1 per day. The ling stocks in the North Gulf Coast seem to be pretty strong with the 1 per day limit in spite of all the pressure on the fishery.
    Those that are successful in Alaska are those who are flexible, and allow the reality of life in Alaska to shape their dreams, vs. trying to force their dreams on the reality of Alaska.

    If you have a tenuous grasp of reality, Alaska is not for you.

  15. #15
    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Eagle River, AK
    Posts
    13,397

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Bullelkklr View Post
    I think that commercial longliners catch their share of rockfish (as bycatch) and I think that the lings are targeted - in the sound anyway. I am not positive of this - can anyone confirm?
    There is some commercial lingcod catch, but I think it's pretty small. I don't know the numbers, though.

    As for rockfish, yes, there is commercial bycatch of those as well. As far as the Sound goes, the rockfish we catch are exclusively shortraker, rougheye, and thornyhead - species that are seldom caught by sportfishermen due to the depths they are found at. In my lifetime, I can recall pulling up exactly one yelloweye on a longline.

  16. #16
    Member homerdave's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    homer, alaska
    Posts
    3,922

    Default

    Here's some info I got from F&G concerning rockfish and lingcod.
    As far as I can attest, they are likely in trouble based simply on the fact that the Homer AC has been advocating limit reduction on lingcod for several years ( with support of most of the charter industry) , and nearly every other resource the local AC has been concerned about has tanked. Razors, steamers, tanners, kings in the anchor... It's an easy list, but nonetheless we are assured by F&G that the biomass is healthy and there is no need for concern. WhiskyTangoFoxtrot, over




    Lingcod
    We donít have an explicit estimate of maturity based on age, but we do have maturity curves as a function of length for Southeast and Southcentral (Mike Byerly) Alaska. Length at maturity for females ranges from about 24 to 39, with 50% mature at 33 inches. Converting to age, that represents a range of about 4-10 years old, with 50% of females mature around age 6-7. Donít have any information for males in Alaska, but down south they typically mature much earlier, say around age 3-4, or about 20-25 inches.

    Black rockfish
    ADF&G-DCF Kodiak did a study in 2005:

    Males:
    Length 50% mature = 12 inches
    Age at 50% mature = 4.8

    Female
    Length 50% mature = 18 in
    Age 50% mature = 9.8

    Dusky Rockfish
    Chilton 2010 estimated age at 50% maturity at 9.8 for females.
    The 2013 NMFS assessment for Gulf of Alaska used 10-11.

    Yelloweye
    Hannah et al. 2009 for Oregon estimated 50% females mature at about 15 inches and 11.6 years. Virtually all fish were mature by20 inches or 25 years.

    In Southcentral Alaska, we used to judge gonad status of yelloweyes taken in the sport fishery. There was a bit of variation among samplers, and visual judgment is not as good as doing the histology, but the most significant source of error is judging whether females are maturing for the first time. We came up with similar estimates for both sexes:

    Males from 10-24 inches, 50% mature at 16 inches
    Females from age 8-35, 50% mature at about 18 yrs.
    Alaska Board of Game 2015 tour... "Kicking the can down the road"
    http://www.alaskabackcountryhunters.org/

  17. #17
    Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Anchorage
    Posts
    17

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul H View Post
    The rockfish are a resource that can be easily over fished and I can see how the decline in halibut and changes to the halibut harvest will likely lead to increased pressure on rock fish. Unfortunately regulations have a habit of lagging the colapse of a fishery by at least a year if not two. It's going to come down to charters and private boats having a respect for the resource and not hammering it.

    I'd like to see the ling cod limit in PWS and Cook Inlet reduced to 1 per day. The ling stocks in the North Gulf Coast seem to be pretty strong with the 1 per day limit in spite of all the pressure on the fishery.
    absolutely agree with reducing lingcod limit to one. Being at the docks in Homer and Seward and watching boats (mainly charters) come in day after day loaded with two lings, two yelloweye is nothing but trouble. Not bashing charters, I just don't think there are enough sport boats that are good enough to consistently target lings and large yelloweye when compared to the catch of quality charter boats ...

  18. #18
    Member Anythingalaska's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Sitka, Ak
    Posts
    659

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Bullelkklr View Post
    I think that commercial longliners catch their share of rockfish (as bycatch) and I think that the lings are targeted - in the sound anyway. I am not positive of this - can anyone confirm?

    As to the current sustainability of both species.... Just ask ADFG and they will tell you and a whole classroom full of people that both species are sustainable because we caught so many last year.
    In Southeast AK there are actual target commercial fisheries for Rockfish, and Lingcod separately. Rockfish are targeted using longlines and jigging machines. Lingcod are targeted using dinglebars by trollers.

  19. #19
    Member Bullelkklr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Anchorage Alaska
    Posts
    4,841

    Default

    2 years ago I was dropping off some shrimp in whittier at seas. There were wheelbarrow after wheelbarrow of big lings waiting outside for processing. It was too many fish for a charter - had to be commercial. I mean like 7 wheel barrows each full of big lings - more than 50 ling.

  20. #20

    Default

    We don't keep any rockfish due to how slow their growth is. We stick to halibut and salmon.

Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •