Research Document - 2000/164

Lingcod stock assessment and recommended yield options for 2001.

By J. King and A.M. Surry

Abstract

Lingcod stocks were examined for the Strait of Georgia, southwest and northwest coasts of Vancouver Island, Queen Charlotte Sound, Hecate Strait and the west coast of the Queen Charlotte Islands. Interpretation of stock condition relies on recent trends in catch statistics and limited age composition data from the commercial trawl fishery.

In the Strait of Georgia (Area 4B), a catch per unit effort index based on creel survey data has increased in recent years, but not to levels that indicate an improvement in stock conditions. A continued strategy for rebuilding of lingcod stocks in Area 4B is recommended.

Off the southwest coast of Vancouver Island (Area 3C), a 25% Qualified catch per unit effort index (CPUE) based on qualified trawl catches in May-September did not provide evidence for recent changes in abundance. In addition, the age proportion data available for the trawl fishery did not indicate that either a strong cohort or a series of strong cohorts were entering the fishery. We have no new information to revise the existing yield recommendation that total removals do not exceed 1000 tonnes.

Off the northwest coast of Vancouver Island (Area 3D), a 25% Qualified CPUE based on qualified trawl catches in May-September did not provide evidence for recent changes in abundance. There are no age proportion data to provide information on cohort strength in the fishery. We have no new information to revise the existing yield recommendation of 400-800 tonnes.

In Queen Charlotte Sound (Areas 5A/B), ), a 25% Qualified CPUE based on qualified trawl catches in May-September did not provide evidence for recent changes in abundance. Age proportion data available for the trawl fishery did not indicate that a either a strong cohort or a series of strong cohorts were entering the fishery. We have no new information to revise the existing yield recommendation of 1100-2200 tonnes. However, it should be noted that this yield range was based on a model that used inaccurate age data and therefore growth and mortality estimates were not well determined.

For the areas in Hecate Strait (Areas 5C/D) and west coast of the Queen Charlotte Islands (Area 5E), there is no new information to revise the existing yield level of 1000 tonnes for all three areas combined.

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