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Thread: IPHC Slot Limits - Cook Inlet - Answer To Question

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    Default IPHC Slot Limits - Cook Inlet - Answer To Question

    I recently sent an E-Mail to Mr Steve Hare - Stock assessment scientist for the IPHC. Below is a limited response to some of the questions asked.

    The main question asked was if slot size limits would work for halibut as they have for many other fish. The other question asked was why the charter fleet couldn't help in gathering some of the science data they need to manage the resource. Below is his response. I urge all people that catch halibut to make an appearance at the IPHC meetings. As everyone that fishes Cook Inlet is aware - the number of fish being caught over 100lbs has dropped drastically in the last ten years. These are the brood stock for future generations.

    As regards your points below, each of them could be responded to at length. If you attend our Annual Meeting, please feel free to seek me out and discuss them with me. But I will give you a brief response now to each of the questions.

    1. Slot limits are not a panacea. In the short term, they save some larger fish and allow them to survive and spawn. However, one of the consequences of a slot limit is generally an increased harvest rate of fish “inside the slot”. As a consequence , fewer fish survive to grow outside the slot so there really is no saving of large animals.
    2 As for the size of fish plummeting – that concerns us as well. There are two factors at work – one is the size selective nature of harvesting, but the other is ecological in nature. Since themed 1970s there has been an absolute explosion in the number of flatfish in the Gulf, particularly arrowtooth flounder. Arrowtooth have almost no natural predators (including man) thus their numbers have grown unchecked, whereas halibut numbers have been maintained by commercial and sport fisheries. The biomass of arrowtooth is around five times as large as halibut and all that crowding almost certainly has greatly impacted halibut growth.

    1. Tagging by charter operators would only be of use if it was part of a designed experiment. Very few practical, and especially scientifically valid, conclusions can be drawn from unplanned experiments of that type. We do a great deal of tagging here at the commission and have recorded, and routine use for analysis, information on variability in growth rates – by sex, area, time, etc.

    Hope this has been of some help.

    Cheers

    Steven Hare
    Halibut assessment scientist

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    Default Slot

    Another fact to consider is that halibut of a desirable size to retain are all of spawning age and while the genetic traits of large fish are, no doubt, more desirable to pass on to future generations; targeting more 50 pound fish while sparing some of the larger ones is not going to make that much of a difference in recrutiment

    Having all users release really large and less abundant fish - say over 150 pounds would have more of a net benefit of pass on favoriable genetic traits. This is impossible to document sceintifiically therefore would likely be rejected by many users.

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    Member captaindd's Avatar
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    Why not just raising them and doing a stocking program like they do with salmon. You can then choose the size you want to produce. You also need to come up with a solution for Arrow Tooth Flounders and dog fish.

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    we need to stop the ''Halibut Derby's'' out there that glorify killing big fish. I cant understand why you would want to keep a big barn door. there are ways other than killing your best breeders to promote a fishery. Looks to me like we are promoting killing the resource.

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    Anybody had success cooking arrowtooth flounder? Pollack was a "garbage" fish until it was found that fish sticks and surimi made from them were very good tasting. Now there is a problem with abuncance and possible overharvest. Maybe we could find a way to make that happen with the arrowtooth.......

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    Hi Gus! my limited understanding is you have to add beef hemoglobin to Arrowtooth meat to make it suitable for surimi. I'm no expert though. There is a small market for it in Kodiak, and some boats are trying it. It's a hard way to make money though. I have no more info that that.

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    Default Arrowtooth

    Arrowtooth and sleeper shark both taste like fishy mud. We had a trash fish dinner a couple of years ago. The top eaters were Kelp Greenling, Atka Mackeral and deep fried dogfish. Arrow Tooth, and Pacific Sleeper Shark were both horrible. We also ate a snow shoe hair roadkill which was tasty as well...

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    If you eat fish and chips in England you are more than likely eating dogfish.

    One note on dogfish is that the are considered sharks and you are only allowed 2 per year and you must record them. We had a discussion some time ago about trying to get the limit for dogsfish increased in an attempt to encourage the keeping of them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by captaindd View Post
    Why not just raising them and doing a stocking program like they do with salmon. You can then choose the size you want to produce. You also need to come up with a solution for Arrow Tooth Flounders and dog fish.
    They are trying that on the east coast and there are some halibut farms as well. Chances are it would be more trouble than its worth, first because it would take a lot of food (and thus money) to raise a catchable size halibut, second because halibut move around a lot and don't nessisarly stay where you want them, and most importantly you don't want stocked fish competing with or diluting the genetics of wild fish.


    it would seem that the best solution is to only allow retention of fish under a certain size (150#s or whatever) however this solution will not be politically feesable until there is a paradime shift in thinking of fishermen (both commercial and sport). As far as I know The problem is that the biomass is about the same as always but the size distribution is different with more small fish and less big fish. Anglers and commercial folks much decide what they want more a bunch of chickens or a few more big fish to catch and release.
    I choose to fly fish, not because its easy, but because its hard.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gusdog44 View Post
    Anybody had success cooking arrowtooth flounder? Pollack was a "garbage" fish until it was found that fish sticks and surimi made from them were very good tasting. Now there is a problem with abuncance and possible overharvest. Maybe we could find a way to make that happen with the arrowtooth.......
    The main problem with arrowtooth is the meat breaks down quickly. This brings on a problem of quality. Boats can't hold the catch as long as with other species. Hopefully it will be solved someday. They are still experimenting with it.

    One good use is for halibut bait. Halibut seem to enjoy it fresh. But the best halibut bait I've ever used was fillet of Irish Lord. We even caught halibut with the filleted carcasses in their stomachs.

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