The Pacific halibut (Hippoglossus stenolepis) between 5 and 10 pounds (2.3-4.5kg) are known locally as “chickens” those of 10-60 pounds (4.5-27.2kg) are called "mediums" and over 60 pounds as "large". The halibut in the weight group over 80 pounds (36.3kg) are sometimes called "whales". Weights are for head-off.
LocationCobb Seamount, Arctic Ocean, Beaufort Sea, California Current, Chukchi Sea, East Bering Sea, Gulf of Alaska, Kuroshio Current, Pacific Ocean, Sea of Japan, Sea of Okhotsk, West Bering Sea. The Pacific halibut, Hippoglossus stenolepis, is found on the continental shelf of the North Pacific Ocean and Bering Sea. Fishing for the Pacific halibut is mostly concentrated in the Gulf of Alaska and the Bering Sea, off the West coast of Canada. Small halibut catches are reported in coastal Washington, Oregon, and California. Pacific halibut is broken up to ten regularity management areas.
Halibut is a demersal species that live on or near the ocean floor generally found on the continental shelf in north temperate waters. Its distribution, both in the Pacific and the Atlantic, tends to be within bottom water temperatures ranging from 3-8°C. Most halibut in the Pacific are found in waters from 10 fathoms.
Pacific halibut have diamond-shaped bodies. They are more elongated than most flatfishes, the width being about 1/3 of the length. There is a high arch in the lateral line over the pectoral fin, and it has a lunate, or crescent shaped tail, which is different from other flat fishes. Small scales are embedded in the skin. Halibut have both eyes on their dark or upper side of the body. The color on the dark side varies, but tends to assume the coloration of the ocean bottom. The underside is lighter, appearing more like the sky from below. This color adaptation allows halibut to avoid detection by both prey and predator.
Being strong swimmers, halibut are able to eat a large variety of fishes including cod, turbot, Alaska pollock or walleye pollock, and some invertebrates such as octopus, Tanner crab, rhinoceros crab, pygmy rock crab ,flathead sole and shrimp. Sometimes halibut leave the ocean bottom to feed on pelagic fish such as salmon, Pacific sand lance, Atka mackerel, Capelin, Pacific herring and Pacific ocean perch.
Method of Catching
Halibut taken by anglers are generally 15 to 20 pounds (6.8 to 9.1 kg) in weight; however, fish over 150 pounds (68 kg) are regularly caught. Anglers use stout saltwater gear to harvest halibut. Most anglers prefer to fish with bait, especially herring but also squid, octopus, cod pieces, or other small bottom fish. To get the bait down to the halibut, it is usually fished on a wire spreader or a sliding-sinker rig with sinker size 4 ounces (113 g) to 4 pounds (1.81 kg), depending on such factors as depth and current. Sport fishing for halibut in Alaska is a very popular activity; it is a strong fighter and one of the world’s largest bony fish with an impressive yield and firm, white flesh.
Dietary Information: Pacific Halibut has very lean meat, making it an excellent menu choice for health-conscious consumers. Serving Size per 3.5 oz raw edible portion, Calories 91, Total Fat 1.33g, Saturated Fat 0.292g, Protein 18.56g, Sodium 68mg, Selenium 45.6mcg, Cholesterol 49mg, Omega-3 0.43g. Halibut does host a parasitic worm found generally around the gut cavity, current research suggests its not fatal to humans and proper preparation either freezing Halibut for 48 hours or thoroughly cooking the flesh will eliminate all the parasites , although normal refrigerator freezers can not reach the required negative temperature to kill theses parasites temperatures on the stove when cooking are optimum enough to kill the parasites ,when cooking, internal temperatures need to reach around 62 degree's for 15 seconds to eliminate all the parasites in the flesh
spawning takes place off the edge of the continental shelf in deep waters about 200 to 300 fathoms (1,200 to 1,800 ft; 370 to 550 m) Young are found near shore, moving out to deeper waters as they grow older. Older individuals typically move from deeper water along the edge of the continental shelf where they spend the winter, to shallow coastal water (27-274 m) for the summer.
Pacific sleeper shark, Pacific cod