NEWPORT, ORE. –Fishery managers added two days to the all-depth sport halibut fishery off the central Oregon coast. Fishing for Pacific halibut will be open July 1 and 2 at all depths.
“The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, National Marine Fisheries and the International Pacific Halibut Commission decided that being open for three days had a high likelihood of exceeding the spring quota, which would come out of the much-smaller summer quota. Based on that, and the fact that the next opening is for the 4th of July holiday weekend, it was decided to only open the fishery on Thursday and Friday (July 1 and 2),” said Lynn Mattes, halibut project leader for ODFW. “If any quota remains after that time, it will be rolled into the quota for the summer fishery, which begins in August.”
The spring all-depth season for the central coast area – from Cape Falcon (30 miles south of the Columbia River) to Humbug Mountain (south of Port Orford) – opened May 13 on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays only. It could have closed as early as June 5 if the 105,948-pound quota had been taken.
The central coast all-depth fishery summer season opens Aug. 6 and is scheduled to be open every other Friday and Saturday until the combined spring and summer season all-depth quota of 141,265 pounds is taken or Oct. 31, whichever comes first.
“The nearshore fishery (inside 40 fathoms) still has approximately 50 percent of its quota remaining, so fishery managers decide that no actions are necessary for that fishery at this time,” Mates said.
The high-relief area of Stonewall Bank is closed to halibut fishing to reduce incidental catch of yelloweye rockfish 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, may be possessed with halibut on open all-depth Pacific halibut days.
More details on regulations can be found here or in the 2010 Oregon Sport Ocean Regulations for Salmon, Halibut and other Marine Species booklet. General regulations can be found in the 2010Oregon Sport Fishing Regulations booklet.