THE FOLLOWING ARE AN EMERGENCY RULE CHANGE AND A PRESS RELEASE FROM WDFW AND ODFW
Marine areas 1-10 to open for halibut fishing Friday, June 28
Action: In addition to days that are already scheduled, opens recreational halibut fishing on Friday, June 28 in coastal marine areas 1 through 4 and Puget Sound areas 5 through 10.
Effective date: June 28, 2019.
Species affected: Pacific halibut.
Location: Marine areas 1 through 10.
Reason for action: Adding an additional fishing day for all coastal areas will provide Washington sport halibut anglers with the opportunity to catch the remaining 2019 sport quota.
The 2019 sport halibut season dates were established prior to the International Pacific Halibut Commission (IPHC) making their final decision on the 2019 quota, which was significantly higher than anticipated.
WDFW has added several fishing days to the season this year in response to the higher quota and several poor weather days. The Washington sport quota that the IPHC adopted for 2019 was also approved for the next three years. WDFW staff looks forward to working with stakeholders to identify changes to the season structure for 2020 and beyond that is more in line with the higher quota that will be in place through the 2022 season.
Additional information: Summary of open sport halibut days for all marine areas.
Marine Area 1:
All-depth: Open Friday, June 28.
Nearshore: Open seven days per week until further notice.
Marine Area 2: Open Friday, June 28 and Saturday, June 29.
Marine areas 3 and 4: Open Thursday, June 27; Friday, June 28; and Saturday, June 29.
Puget Sound (MA 5-10): Open Thursday, June 27; Friday, June 28; and Saturday, June 29.
Marine area 5: It is permissible for halibut anglers to retain Pacific cod caught while fishing for halibut in waters deeper than 120 feet on days that halibut fishing is open. The lingcod season is closed in this area for the remainder of the year.
Retention of lingcod and Pacific cod seaward of 120 feet is not permitted on halibut days in marine areas 6-10.
Marine areas 1-10: Daily limit of 1 halibut per angler, with no minimum size limit. Annual limit of 4. All catch must be recorded on WDFW catch record card. Possession limits remain the same.
Marine areas 11-13 are closed.
The Columbia River Subarea (Leadbetter Point, WA to Cape Falcon, OR) all-depth halibut fishery will be open for one additional day on Friday, June 28.
After the most recent openings in Washington, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife has determined there is enough quota remaining in the overall Washington recreational quota to have all Washington subareas, including the Columbia River Subarea, open on June 28.
Since Washington and Oregon co-manage the Columbia River Subarea, and have license reciprocity, anglers fishing out of Oregon ports in the subarea will be allowed to participate in the all-depth halibut fishery on June 28 as well.
Additional opportunities to fish for Pacific halibut also remain open in other areas of Oregon:
- The all-depth halibut fishery in the Central Oregon Coast Subarea is scheduled to be open July 4-6, with the potential for the additional back-up dates of July 18-20 to open, if quota remains.
- The summer all-depth season is scheduled to begin on Aug. 2-3 and be open every other Friday and Saturday until Oct. 31, or the quota of 67,898 pounds has been met.
- Off the Central Oregon Coast Subarea (Cape Falcon to Humbug Mountain) anglers may fish for halibut inside the 40-fathom line, seven days per week beginning June 1 through Oct. 31, or attainment of the harvest quota (32,591 pounds) for that fishery.
- The area between Humbug Mountain and the OR/CA Border is open to all depth for Pacific halibut seven days per week through Oct. 31, or until the quota of 11,322 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 ODFW Marine Resources Program Website.