THE FOLLOWING ARE A PRESS RELEASE FROM THE OREGON DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND WILDLIFE AND AN EMERGENCY RULE-CHANGE NOTICE FROM THE WASHINGTON DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND WILDLIFE
The Pacific halibut all-depth sport fishery in the Columbia River Subarea will close effective Friday, May 11, 2018 at 11:59 p.m., fishery managers announced today.
The all-depth fishery from Leadbetter Point in Washington to Cape Falcon in Oregon opened on May 3 and was scheduled to be open every Thursday, Friday and Sunday through Sept. 30 or the harvest of 11,182 pounds of Pacific halibut, whichever came first.
Preliminary estimates indicate that landings are nearing the quota and not enough remains for additional open days. The season will be closed until the end of the year. Effort in the Columbia River Subarea in 2018 was higher than in 2017 and catch rates were good, enabling anglers to harvest the entire quota for this fishery after just five days of fishing.
The Columbia River nearshore fishery (inside the 40-fathom line off of Oregon) remains open Mondays through Wednesdays until Sept. 30 or until the quota of 500 pounds is reached, whichever comes first.
Opportunities to fish for Pacific halibut remain open in other areas of Oregon:
Off central Oregon between Cape Falcon (near Manzanita) and Humbug Mountain (near Port Orford), anglers may fish for halibut inside the 40-fathom line beginning June 1, seven days a week through Oct. 31 or attainment of the harvest quota (25,856 pounds) for that fishery.
The spring season all-depth halibut fishery off central Oregon (quota of 135,742 pounds) is next scheduled to be open May 24-26, with additional fixed open dates scheduled for June 7-9 and June 21-23.
The summer season all-depth is scheduled to begin on Aug. 3-4 every other Friday and Saturday until Oct. 31 or the quota of 53,866 pounds has been met. The high-relief area of Stonewall Bank, west of Newport, is closed to all halibut fishing.
The area between Humbug Mountain and the OR/CA Border is open at all depths for Pacific halibut seven days a week through Oct. 31 or until the quota of 8,982 pounds has been met, whichever comes first.
Days on which Pacific halibut fishing is open will be announced on the NOAA Fisheries hotline (1-800-662-9825) and posted on the Pacific Halibut sport regulations page, https://myodfw.com/pacific-
Pacific halibut fishing to close after May 11 in Marine Area 1
Action: Close recreational halibut fishing at the end of the day Friday, May 11 in Marine 1.
Effective dates: 11:59 p.m. Friday, May 11, 2018
Species affected: Pacific halibut.
Location: Marine Area 1.
Reason for action: The all-depth recreational halibut fishery in Marine Area 1 opened Thursday, May 3 and continued Friday, May 4 and Sunday, May 6. During those three days, anglers caught 8,455 pounds of the 11,182-pound quota for the all-depth fishery in the Washington portion of the Columbia River area.
There is sufficient quota remaining to continue the all-depth recreational halibut fishery through Friday, May 11 but not enough to keep the fishery open Sunday, May 13 without risk of exceeding the quota. The nearshore halibut fishery in Marine Area 1 will remain open Mondays through Wednesdays until further notice.
These rules conform to management actions taken by the International Pacific Halibut Commission and the National Marine Fisheries Service.