NEWPORT, Ore. – Fish managers decided today that the all-depth sport halibut fishery off the central Oregon coast will be open weekly Friday through Sunday starting Friday, Aug. 8. Prior to this decision the fishery had been open every other Friday through Sunday.
NOAA Fisheries, the International Pacific Halibut Commission, and the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife determined sufficient quota remains to open the all-depth fishery every weekend as specified in the Pacific halibut Catch Sharing Plan. The all-depth fishery will remain open until Oct. 26 or until the quota is attained, whichever comes earlier.
“Ocean conditions made it tough for some fishers to take advantage of some of the early all-depth Pacific halibut openings, leaving quota that wasn’t taken,” said Don Bodenmiller, sport halibut project leader for ODFW. “That allows us to provide more open days later in the season when chances for good weather are better.”
About 70,000 pounds of the quota remain for the central Oregon coast – from Cape Falcon (30 miles south of the Columbia River) to Humbug Mountain (south of Port Orford).
Sport anglers are reminded the high-relief area of Stonewall Bank is closed to halibut fishing to reduce incidental catch of yelloweye rockfish. The closed area is defined by latitude and longitude waypoints, which are available on the Marine Resources Program website, http://www.dfw.state.or.us/MRP/
Sport anglers are also reminded 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 also be possessed with halibut on open all-depth Pacific halibut days.
More details on regulations can be found at: http://www.dfw.state.or.us/mrp/finfish/halibut/seasonmaps/2008.asp or in the 2008 Oregon Sport Ocean Regulations for Salmon, Halibut and Other Marine Species booklet. General regulations can be found in the 2008 Oregon Sport Fishing Regulations booklet.