NEWPORT, ORE. –Fishery managers have decided to close the central Oregon coast (Cape Falcon to Humbug Mountain) nearshore (inside 40-fm) sport Pacific halibut fishery on 11:59 p.m. Saturday, July 17, because the quota has been met.
“The nearshore Pacific halibut fishery has been popular with anglers in 2010,” said Lynn Mattes, halibut project leader for the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife. “Angler effort through early July is up more than 25 percent from 2008 and 2009. The average size of landed halibut increased by approximately 3 pounds in 2010 compared to 2009.”
ODFW conferred with NOAA Fisheries and the International Pacific Halibut Commission and determined none of the 12,284-pound quota remained to continue the central coast nearshore Pacific halibut fishery.
The summer central coast all-depth Pacific halibut season opens Aug. 6 and is scheduled to be open every other Friday and Saturday until the remaining all-depth quota of less than 29,000 pounds is taken.
The high-relief area of Stonewall Bank is closed to halibut fishing to reduce incidental catch of yelloweye and canary rockfish. Both species are considered over fished and must be released immediately. The closed area is defined by latitude and longitude waypoints, which are available on the Marine Resources Program Web site:http://www.dfw.state.or.us/MRP/regulations/sport_fishing/stonewall.asp
The daily bag limit is one fish and there is no minimum length for Pacific halibut. The possession limit is one daily limit at sea and three daily limits on land. The annual limit per angler is six fish.
Sport anglers are reminded possession of groundfish is not allowed north of Humbug Mountain when a Pacific halibut is aboard their vessel during all-depth Pacific halibut dates. The exceptions are Pacific cod (true cod, not lingcod) and 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 and in authorized areas, may 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/Halibut%202010%20regs%2003152010.pdf or in the 2010 Oregon Sport Ocean Regulations for Salmon, Halibut and other Marine Species booklet. General regulations can be found in the 2010 Oregon Sport Fishing Regulations booklet.