NEWPORT, Ore. – Sport boat anglers may not retain cabezon beginning Thursday, Aug. 21, 2008. Fishing for other bottomfish – such as most rockfish species, lingcod and greenling – remains open.
Seven species of bottomfish, including cabezon caught by anglers in Oregon waters are managed under harvest caps – three imposed by the federal government and four imposed by the state. Cabezon harvest in Oregon is managed under a state-imposed cap, with harvest limited in recent years by ODFW because health of the stock is uncertain.
Landing data for the sport fishery indicates that the 2008 ocean boat harvest cap of 15.8 metric tons for cabezon has been met.
“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.”
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.