The Gulf of Alaska rex sole stock is assessed every four years and was last assessed in 2017. In…
About The Species
U.S. wild-caught rex sole is a smart seafood choice because it is sustainably managed and responsibly harvested under U.S. regulations.
Above target population levels in the Gulf of Alaska and on the West Coast. The population level is unknown in the Bering Sea/Aleutian Islands.
At recommended levels.
Area closures and gear restrictions protect habitats that are affected by bottom trawls used to harvest rex sole.
Regulations are in place to minimize bycatch.
- According to the 2018 stock assessment, rex sole in the Gulf of Alaska are not overfished and are not subject to overfishing.
- In the Bering Sea/Aleutian Islands rex sole are managed under the “other flatfish complex”:
- This complex was last assessed in 2018, but data were insufficient to determine whether the complex is overfished.
- An overfishing level is set for the complex and, as long as this level is not exceeded, the complex is not subject to overfishing. The complex is not subject to overfishing.
- According to the 2013 stock assessment, rex sole on the West Coast are not overfished, and are not subject to overfishing based on 2016 catch data.
- Rex sole is a flatfish with both eyes located on the right side of its head.
- They have small mouths with a blunt, rounded snout. Their body is oval, but elongated, and very slender.
- The upper side of their body is light brown to gray in color and their underside is white.
- Rex sole are moderately long-lived (they can live for nearly 30 years), and can grow up to 23 inches.
- Female rex sole grow faster and live longer than males.
- Depending on location, rex sole may reach maturity between 3.5 and 13 years.
- Rex sole spawn from October through May. They are serial spawners, and will deposit eggs on more than one occasion throughout the spawning season. The spawning season may be longer in the Gulf of Alaska.
- Eggs are fertilized near the sea bed, move into the water column, and require a few weeks to hatch. Once hatched, larvae spend about a year in the water column before settling to the bottom as juveniles.
- Rex sole feed on shrimp, amphipods, and worms.
- Sharks, skates, rays, lingcod, arrowtooth flounder, and some species of rockfish prey on rex sole.
Where They Live
- Rex sole are found from central Baja California to the Bering Sea.
- NOAA Fisheries and the Pacific Fishery Management Council manage the rex sole fishery on the West Coast.
- Managed under the Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery Management Plan:
- Limits on the number of permits and fishermen allowed.
- Limits on the minimum size of fish that may be harvested.
- Limit on how much may be harvested in one fishing trip.
- Certain seasons and areas are closed to fishing.
- Observers are required and gear restrictions help reduce bycatch and impacts on habitat.
- A trawl rationalization catch share program includes:
- Catch limits based on the population information for each fish stock and divided into shares that are allocated to individual fishermen or groups.
- These fishermen can decide how and when to catch their share – preferably when weather, markets, and business conditions are most favorable, allowing the fishery the flexibility to be more environmentally responsible, safer, more efficient, and more valuable.
- NOAA Fisheries and the North Pacific Fishery Management Council manage the rex sole fishery in Alaska.
- Managed under the Gulf of Alaska Groundfish Fishery Management Plan:
- Total allowable catch is allocated by regulatory area (western, central, and two sub-areas of the eastern Gulf of Alaska).
- Managed under the Bering Sea/Aleutian Islands Groundfish Fishery Management Plan.
- In the Gulf of Alaska, Bering Sea, and Aleutian Islands:
- Fishermen must have a permit to participate in these fisheries, and the number of available permits is limited to control the amount of fishing.
- Managers determine how much rex sole can be caught. Catch is monitored through record keeping, reporting requirements, and observer monitoring.
Recreational Fishing Regulations
Commercial Fishing Regulations
Data & Maps
The National Standard Guidelines for Fishery Management Plans published by the National Marine…
Rex sole (Glyptocephalus zachirus) are assessed on a biennial stock assessment schedule to coincide…