NEWPORT, Ore. – Anglers fishing out of the Columbia River can take advantage of additional fishing opportunities for Pacific halibut on Sept. 15.
The fishery will re-open for one day on Sept. 15 and will remain closed after that date unless sufficient quota remains and National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration Fisheries Service announce another opening.
The sport halibut season off the Columbia River area – from Cape Falcon, Ore., to Leadbetter Point, Wash. – was last open on Aug. 24-26. The catch limit was expected to be reached by the end of fishing that weekend. However, only 663 pounds were landed, leaving over 1,000 pounds of the quota still available.
On Sept. 4, NOAA Fisheries Service, the International Pacific Halibut Commission, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, and the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife met by conference call to discuss reopening the fishery. NOAA Fisheries Service, the agency with authority to make in-season regulation changes, determined there were sufficient pounds remaining in the quota to re-open the fishery.
Sport anglers planning to fish out of Columbia River ports are reminded possession of groundfish species is not allowed when a Pacific halibut is aboard their vessel. The exception is sablefish (black cod) and Pacific cod, which may be retained with halibut. Other non-groundfish species, such as tuna and salmon during authorized seasons, may be possessed with halibut on open Pacific halibut days.
More details on regulations can be found at: www.dfw.state.or.us/MRP/finfish/halibut/fishing/seasonmaps/seasonmap_current.asp or in the 2007 Oregon Sport Ocean Regulations for Salmon, Halibut and Other Marine Species booklet. General regulations can be found in the 2007 Oregon Sport Fishing Regulations booklet.