NEWPORT, Ore. –The Pacific halibut sport fishery off the Columbia River will close effective Friday, May 29, 2009 at 11:59 p.m., fishery managers announced today.
The spring fishery from Leadbetter Point in Washington to Cape Falcon in Oregon opened on May 1 and was scheduled to be open through July 20 or the harvest of 11,014 pounds of Pacific halibut, whichever came first.
Preliminary estimates and projections indicating the quoted will be reached by May 29 prompted the decision by NOAA Fisheries to close the sport fishery. Anglers will not be able to land halibut into Columbia River ports until the fishery reopens Aug. 7.
The summer fishery will be open on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays through Sept. 27, or until a combined spring and summer harvest quota of 15,735 pounds is reached.
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 21-23, May 28-30, and June 4-6. 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.