NEWPORT, ORE. – Fishery managers announced today that preliminary estimates and projections indicate the spring quota in the Pacific halibut sport fishery off the Columbia River will be reached by Monday and the fishery will close effective Sunday, June 1 at 11:59 p.m.
The decision by NOAA Fisheries closes the sport fishery for Pacific halibut between Leadbetter Point in Washington and Cape Falcon in Oregon. Anglers will not be able to land halibut into Columbia River ports until the fishery reopens later this year.
A second Columbia River season is scheduled to begin on Aug. 1. This season opens the fishery Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays through the combined harvest quota of 18,762 pounds from both seasons or Sept. 28, whichever comes first.
The spring fishery that is closing opened on May 1 and was scheduled to be open through July 20 or the harvest of 13,133 pounds of Pacific halibut, whichever came first.
Opportunities to fish for Pacific halibut remain open in other areas of Oregon:
Off central Oregon between Cape Falcon (near Manzanita) and Humbug Mountain (near Port Orford), anglers may fish for halibut inside the 40-fathom line seven days a week through Oct. 31 or attainment of the harvest quota for that fishery. The all-depth halibut fishery off central Oregon is open May 29-31, and June 12-14. Additional days may open in June and July if the quota has not been met. A second season is scheduled to begin in August. The high-relief area of Stonewall Bank, west of Newport, is closed to all halibut fishing.
The area south of Humbug Mountain is open in all-depths for Pacific halibut through Oct. 31, seven days a week.
Days on which Pacific halibut fishing is open will be announced on the NOAA Fisheries hotline (1-800-662-9825) and posted on the ODFW Marine Resources Program website at www.dfw.state.or.us/MRP. More information on regulations can be found in the "2008 Oregon Sport Ocean Regulations for Salmon, Halibut and Other Marine Species" booklet.