NEWPORT, Ore. – Sport boat anglers may no longer retain cabezon beginning Saturday, Aug. 11. Fishing for other bottomfish – such as most rockfish species, lingcod and greenling – remains open.
Cabezon harvest in Oregon has been limited in recent years because the health of the stock is uncertain.
Landing data for the sport fishery indicates that anglers will meet the ocean boat harvest cap of 15.8 metric tons for cabezon by Saturday.
Sport boat anglers may continue to harvest other legal species, but may not retain cabezon in the saltwater boat sport fishery. Shore anglers, including shore-based divers, may still keep cabezon.
“Cabezon have an excellent survival rate when released,” said Don Bodenmiller, project leader for marine recreational groundfish fisheries for the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife. “Unlike rockfish, cabezon do not have air bladders and therefore do not suffer from barotrauma—expansion or rupture of the air bladder when the fish are brought up from deep waters—that can cause stress, injury, and sometimes death in rockfish.”
Bottomfish caught by anglers in Oregon waters are managed under seven different harvest caps – three imposed by the federal government and four state-imposed caps.