June Dates Added For WA Coast Halibut Fishing
THE FOLLOWING IS A PRESS RELEASE FROM THE WASHINGTON DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND WILDLIFE
The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) announced today additional sport halibut fishing dates for June 2022.
Inclement weather during May significantly reduced angler effort and a substantial amount of quota remains for the Washington sport fishery, particularly in coastal marine areas (Marine Areas 1 – 4). The additional days in June were selected to provide more fishing opportunity without compromising already scheduled season dates.
2022 Coast additional June dates:
- Marine Area 1: June 13 and 20
- Marine Area 2: June 28 and 30
- Marine Area 3 and 4: June 10, 17 and 24
Weather has been an issue in the Puget Sound region (Marine Areas 5 – 10) this spring as well but projected quota attainment is more in line with where we expect to be this time of year and so no additional days are proposed for these areas at this time.
WDFW will evaluate catch at the end of June and may propose additional fishing days in August and September if there is quota remaining.
The season is based on statewide quota of 302,649 pounds. The annual catch quota is the result of a fixed annual allocation that the International Pacific Halibut Commission (IPHC) approved in January for fisheries in Washington, Oregon, and California. This approach, which has been in place since 2019, has allocated a total of 1.45 million pounds to halibut fisheries off the coast in 2022. The consistent annual allocation provides stability for recreational fisheries from year to year.
In all marine areas open to halibut fishing, there is a one-fish daily catch limit and no minimum size restriction. Anglers may possess a maximum of two fish in any form while in the field and must record their catch on a WDFW catch record card. There is an annual limit of four halibut.
Full season details are listed below. Anglers are reminded that because halibut fisheries are managed to a quota, areas will close when the quota is projected to be taken.
Anglers should check the WDFW website to ensure a specific area is open prior to fishing. Complete information on recreational halibut regulations and seasons at wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/regulations/halibut.
2022 Puget Sound halibut seasons
- Marine area 5 will open June 3, 4, 9, 10, 11, 16, 17, 18, 23, 24, 25, 30.
- Marine areas 6 -10 will open June 3, 4, 9, 10, 11, 16, 17, 18, 23, 24, 25, 30, as long as there is sufficient quota.
- Marine areas 11, 12, and 13 are closed to halibut fishing to protect threatened and endangered rockfish species.
Puget Sound will be managed to an overall quota of 83,210 pounds.
2022 Pacific Coast halibut seasons
- Marine Area 1 (Columbia River) The all-depth fishery will open June 5, 9, 12, 13,16, 19, 20, 23, 26, 30, as long as there is sufficient quota.
The nearshore area opens to fishing May 9 on a Monday-through-Wednesday schedule. Coordinates for the nearshore fishery are available at wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/regulations/halibut/columbia-river.
The all-depth fishery will be managed to 18,537 pounds; the nearshore quota is 500 pounds.
- Marine Area 2 (Westport): The all-depth fishery will open June 16, 19, 23, 26, 28 and 30 depending on available quota.
This area will be managed to an overall quota of 68,555 pounds.
- Marine areas 3 (La Push) and 4 (Neah Bay) will open June 4, 9, 10, 11, 16, 17, 18, 23, 24, 25, 30, as long as there is sufficient quota.
The combined quota for both areas is 133,847 pounds.
Fishing regulations include depth restrictions and area closures designed to reduce encounters with yelloweye rockfish, which must be released under state and federal law. Anglers are reminded that a descending device must be on board vessels and rigged for immediate use when fishing for or possessing bottomfish and halibut.
Information about descending devices can be found on WDFW’s webpage at wdfw.wa.gov/species-habitats/at-risk/species-recovery/rockfish