2018 Assessment of Northern and Southern Rock Sole Stocks in the Gulf of Alaska
The Gulf of Alaska (GOA) northern and southern rock sole assessment has been moved to a 4-year assessment cycle per the stock assessment prioritization schedule. During years when a full assessment is not completed a partial assessment will be done. This year marks a partial assessment year. The last full assessment was completed in 2017 and marked the first year of the new assessment schedule.
New inputs for this year’s projection model were an updated 2017 catch estimate of 1,059 t. Northern and southern rock sole are not reported separately in the commercial catch data. The 2017 catch estimate for northern and southern rock sole separately represents 50% of the total rock sole catch, which was 2,118 t. The 2018 total rock sole catch estimate was found by summing catch extracted from the AKFIN database on October 31, 2018 (1721 t) and the average of the catch caught between October 31st and the end of year (205 t). Therefore, the total catch estimate for 2018 was 1,923 t and the value used in the projection model was 963 t. The 2019 total rock sole catch estimate was 3,199 t and represented the average of the catch from 2013-2017. The catch value used in the projection model was 1600 t.