Alaska Halibut

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Alaskan Halibut


Pacific Halibut

Scientific Name: Hippoglossus Stenolepsis

Market Names: Pacific Halibut

Vernacular Names: Common Halibut, Whitesided Paltus

Description: Pacific Halibut are a dark brownish-grey on their top side and white on their underside. Halibut have both of their eyes on their top side.The flesh is snowy white and should be opque not chaulky colored. Halibut is the most popular bottom fish in Alaska due to it's mild flavor.

Life Cycle: The halibut life cycle starts when a male halibut reaches sexual maturity at around his eighth year and when the female halibut reaches her sexual maturity at around her twelfth year. The female deposits her bounty of eggs at the ocean floor where the eggs are then fertilized by the male halibut. A female halibut can lay from a ½ million to 4 million eggs depending on her age and size. The halibut larvae will float near the ocean floor for approximately 15 days were it will then hatch and begin to free float at higher water depths allowing the deep ocean currents to disperse them around. At the larvae stage the tiny halibut look similar to other fish, having one eye on each side of its head. The larvae will stay in this form until it is about 1 inch in length. About 6 months after hatching the young halibut finally take on the appearance of an adult halibut.

During the first year of life the pacific halibut’s diet is mainly made up of plankton, as they increase in size and age they begin to feed on small fish and small shrimp. A fully grown halibut feeds on clams, crabs, fish and even other halibut.

Halibut have been known to live up to 40 years. The oldest known male halibut was 27 years of age. The female halibut grows at a quicker rate then does the male. The age of a halibut is determined by counting the number of rings that have formed on the otolith. The otolith is a bony structure that is located in the inner ear.

Run Times: Pacific Halibut runs are typically seen in south central Alaska starting in May and running until late September.

Record weight sport caught pacific halibut: 459 lbs. caught by Jack Tragis in 1996 while fishing in Unalaska Bay.

Nutritional Information: One ½ lb. fillet of Pacific Halibut has 224.4 calories, 42.4 grams of protein, 4.6 grams of fat, 0.6 grams of saturated fat and 110.1 milligrams of sodium.

Seafood Nutrition Table

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