Port Alice councillors have impromptu discussion of halibut issues

An impromptu discussion of the halibut issue at Port Alice's council meeting yielded some interesting facts that don't often get aired during current halibut debates.

PORT ALICE – Taking trophy sized halibut is counterproductive when it comes to maintaining a healthy halibut fishery said Councillor Don Vye during the Port Alice council meeting Feb. 23.

Females over 60 pounds are the ones that reproduce. If the larger halibut had been protected in the past and left to reproduce then the fishery would be in better shape today said Vye.

His comments were prompted as council reviewed a letter received from Mayor Joanne Monaghan, District of Kitimat promoting increasing the halibut quota for recreational anglers and commercial recreational anglers.

Vye’s observations are consistent with the information on the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, NOAA, website that says, “Females reach reproductive maturity around 12 years old; males mature around 8 years old. A 50-pound female can produce about 500,000 eggs; a female over 250 pounds can produce 4 million eggs. Females spawn once per year.

“Halibut can weigh over 500 pounds and grow to 9 feet. Males are smaller than females. Both sexes live to be quite old. The oldest halibut on record with the International Pacific Halibut Commission, IPHC, is a 55 year old male, but halibut over the age of 25 are rare,” says the NOAA website.

Operations manager Keir Gervais said he believes halibut in the 25-35 pound range make the best table fare.

Council decided that no action would be taken on the letter and passed a motion to file it.

Free ice time

Council approved a request to waive arena fees for two hours of ice time from Curtis Ager. Ager requested the dispensation in favour of the Rod Watson Memorial Hockey Tournament. Coun. Ardie Bazinet said she understood the money raised this year would be going into a scholarship fund.

 

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