2015 Assessment of the Northern Rock Sole Stock in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands
Northern rock sole (Lepidopsetta polyxystra n. sp.) are distributed primarily on the eastern Bering Sea continental shelf and in much lesser amounts in the Aleutian Islands region. Two species of rock sole are known to occur in the North Pacific Ocean, a northern rock sole (L. polyxystra) and a southern rock sole (L. bilineata) (Orr and Matarese 2000). These species have an overlapping distribution in the Gulf of Alaska, but the northern species comprise the majority of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands populations where they are managed as a single stock.
Centers of abundance for rock soles occur off the Kamchatka Peninsula (Shubnikov and Lisovenko 1964), British Columbia (Forrester and Thompson 1969), the central Gulf of Alaska, and in the southeastern Bering Sea (Alton and Sample 1975). Adults exhibit a benthic lifestyle and seem to occupy separate winter (spawning) and summertime feeding distributions on the southeastern Bering Sea continental shelf. Northern rock sole spawn during the winter-early spring period of December-March.