THE FOLLOWING ARE A PRESS RELEASE FROM O.D.F.W. AND AN EMERGENCY RULE CHANGE NOTICE FROM W.D.F.W.
SALEM, Ore – Two more days (Sept. 28-29) are added to the Columbia River Subarea all-depth recreational Pacific halibut fishery. The subarea runs from Leadbetter Point, WA to Cape Falcon, OR and currently is open each Thursday and Sunday through September 30 or until the quota is met.
Enough quota remains to add these two days giving anglers more opportunity to harvest Pacific halibut in the subarea. Oregon and Washington manage this shared subarea in close coordination and anticipated adding additional days if catch tracked slower than predicted. The delayed start due to COVID-19 restrictions and weather during recent openings have contributed to slow catches.
Recreational halibut dates added for remainder of season
Action: Opens Marine Areas 1 (Ilwaco/Chinook) and Marine Area 2 (Westport) on Sept. 28 and 29, and Marine Area 3 (La Push), Marine Area 4 (Neah Bay), and Marine Areas 5-10 (Puget Sound) on Sept. 27, 28 and 29. These openings are in addition to days already proposed to be open.
Effective date: Sept. 27, 2020
Species affected: Pacific Halibut
Location: Marine Areas 1 through 10
Reason for action: Recreational halibut fishing is scheduled to close at the end of this week; however, only 60 percent of the Washington sport quota has been taken based on catch data through Sept. 13. Reduced fishing effort due to poor weather in recent weeks has been a factor and has resulted in lower catch than expected. The Pacific Fishery Management Council’s Pacific Halibut Catch Sharing Plan and federal regulations allow the recreational halibut season to be open three days per week. Allowing additional fishing days will provide anglers the opportunity to take more of the remaining quota before the recreational halibut season closes at the end of September.