Technical Report

The Dover sole

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  • The Dover sole has been the most important flatfish in Oregon's trawl fishery since its beginning in 1938. At that time the fish was called slime sole, because the animal produces great quantities of the stuff. The term Dover sole apparently comes from the north Atlantic where a similar creature lives. Oregon landings of Dover sole have fluctuated substantially over the years but the Dover sole has always been the dominant flatfish in trawl landings. The major reason for this is the excellent keeping quality once the fillet is frozen. It is also quite abundant off Oregon, and an excellent eating fish. Last year (1974), landings of Dover sole in the northeastern Pacific totalled nearly 28 million pounds, of which Oregon's share was 5.6 million pounds. The largest share was landed in California, 19.1 million pounds. In recent years, 1964-73, the peak year of production was 1972, when 5.9 million pounds were landed in Oregon ports. In the winter of 1948 biological information was first gathered from Dover sole landed in Oregon. The information obtained was length, weight, sex, age and maturity. Along with other studies, the information obtained from sampling has supplied a substantial body of knowledge about the biology of this flatfish.
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