NEWPORT, Ore – Beginning Friday, anglers have a daily limit of two Pacific halibut in the sport halibut fishery off the central Oregon coast on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.
“We have had some great sport fishing in the ocean this year,” said Don Bodenmiller, sport halibut project leader for ODFW. “With good fishing for tuna, salmon and bottom fish there wasn’t excessive effort on halibut this year. The two-halibut-a-day bag limit will allow Oregon anglers a chance to harvest this year’s quota.”
Over 32,000 pounds remain available for the central Oregon coast (combined all-depth and nearshore fishery inside of 40-fathoms) – from Cape Falcon (30 miles south of the Columbia River) to Humbug Mountain (south of Port Orford).
The summer central Oregon coast all-depth halibut fishery is open every Friday-Sunday until the combined spring and summer season all-depth quota of 226,989 pounds is taken or October 28, whichever comes first.
“The increase in the daily bag limit will most likely result in reaching the harvest quota prior to the end of September,” Bodenmiller said. “Anglers should check to make sure halibut is still open after this weekend.”
The increased bag limit was possible because the Catch Sharing Plan, which describes how Pacific halibut are managed on the West Coast, allows for this inseason action if it appears the entire quota will not be harvested under a one-fish bag limit after Labor Day weekend and after approval by NOAA Fisheries.
In addition to the all-depth halibut fishery, anglers along the central coast may continue to fish for halibut nearshore of the 40-fathom line every day until the earlier of October 31 or attainment of the quota. The daily bag limit for the nearshore fishery remains at one halibut, except on Fridays-Sundays when the bag limit is two. The 40-fathom line is defined by waypoints.
Sport anglers are reminded the high-relief area of Stonewall Bank is closed to halibut fishing to reduce incidental catch of yelloweye rockfish and canary rockfish. The closed area is defined by latitude and longitude waypoints, which are available on the Marine Resources Program website.
Sport anglers are also reminded that possession of groundfish species is not allowed north of Humbug Mountain when a Pacific halibut is aboard their vessel during all-depth Pacific halibut dates. The exception is sablefish, black cod, which may be retained with halibut between Humbug Mountain and Cape Falcon. Other non-groundfish species, such as tuna and salmon during authorized seasons, may be possessed with halibut on open all-depth 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.