Lingcod are highly susceptible to overfishing. In some areas along the Pacific Northwest coast (including Puget Sound, the Strait of Georgia, and near Resurrection Bay) lingcod have been overharvested. Once overharvested, lingcod may require long periods to recover.
To protect this species from overharvest, lingcod fisheries in Alaska are conservatively managed. The current management approach is to assure sufficient fish are present in the spawning population to ensure future recruitment. This is done in three ways.
- Protect spawning female lingcod and nest-guarding male lingcod. Sport and commercial fisheries are closed during the spawning and nest-guarding periods.
- Allow fish to spawn at least once before being subject to harvest. Minimum size limits are established for both sport and commercial fisheries to protect immature fish from being harvested.
- Restrict catch limits. The sport fishery is restricted by daily bag and possession limits. Commercial fisheries are restricted by catch and bycatch quotas. To assure for the long-term health of lingcod stocks, we ask that you abide by these regulations and take only what is needed. Unlike rockfish, lingcod do not have a swim bladder and have a high post-release survival and thereby making them an excellent species to practice catch and release fishing.