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Sport Pacific Halibut - Setting the Season for 2013

  July | August 2012
  • ODFW hosted public meetings in Portland (July 31), North Bend (August 6) and Newport (August 7) to hear and discuss proposed changes for the 2013 Catch Sharing Plan (CSP). This was the opportunity for the public to initiate changes to the Pacific halibut sport fishery.

  • Those who could not attend a meeting were invited to comment by contacting Lynn Mattes or Patrick Mirick by email or by phone (541-867-0300).
  • After reviewing public input, ODFW prepared recommendations for the Pacific Fishery Management Council.

  • The Council also considered letters and emails directly from the public.
 September 2012
  • The Pacific Fishery Management Council met September 13-18 in Boise, ID, and considered proposals for changes to the Catch Sharing Plan (Council briefing book). The Council then approved for additional public comment the following proposed changes to the Oregon recreational halibut fishery.

    • Columbia River Subarea
  • 1)  Revise the structure of the early (spring) season to keep the early season open until 80 percent of the subarea allocation (spring and summer quotas combined) is reached, i.e., remove the current provision that closes the early season on the third Sunday of July regardless of how much quota remains.

    2)  Revise the days of the week that the early (spring) season is open from Thursday-Friday-Saturday to Friday-Satuday-Sunday.

    • Central Coast Subarea
    3)  Eliminate the summer all-depth fishery by transferring the entire summer all-depth quota to the spring all-depth and nearshore fisheries.

    4)  Reduce the number of open days per week for the nearshore fishery from seven to three.

  • ODFW solicited additional public comment on proposals approved by the Council for further discussion. News release

    • ODFW hosted two public meetings (in Newport on Sept. 24 and in Brookings on Sept. 25) to discuss both Pacific halibut and groundfish.

    • An online survey, covering Pacific halibut as well as groundfish, was available Sept. 21 through Oct. 1.

    • The meeting presentation is available online (pdf, 40 pp, 1.2 MB)

 October 2012
  • After considering public input, ODFW prepares a report for the Pacific Fishery Management Council for decision at the November Council meeting. Read the report (pdf, 9 pages)
 November 2012

The changes below were adopted for 2013 by the Council at its meeting in Costa Mesa, CA, November 2-7.

Recreational Columbia River subarea

  1. Spring (early) fishery to be open Friday through Sunday (was previously open Thursday through Saturday).
  2. Spring (early) season to be open until 80 percent of the subarea allocation is reached (had previously closed on the third Sunday in July).

Recreational Oregon central coast subarea

  1. Nearshore halibut fishery to be open three days per week, Thursday through Saturday (was previously open seven days per week).
  2. Include an Area 2A total allowable catch (TAC) trigger of 700,000 pounds to reallocate the summer all-depth quota to the spring all-depth (75 percent) and nearshore (25 percent) fisheries. At any 2A TAC above 700,000 pounds, status quo allocation remains.

Commercial salmon troll fishery

  1. Allow incidental catch of Pacific halibut in the salmon troll fishery beginning in April 1 to better align with salmon seasons.
  • The International Pacific Halibut Commission (IPHC) accepts public requests for 2013 regulatory changes (e.g., season length) or management actions for review at its annual meeting. A form and more information will be available on the IPHC annual meeting website.

  • IPHC holds its annual interim meeting. (Meeting attendance is by invitation only.)

  • Interim meeting presentations (stock assessment, research, etc.) are available on the IPHC website.

  • For Area 2A (West Coast) IPHC staff make a preliminary 2013 catch limit recommendation

  • Preliminary catch limit recommendations are subsequently considered by IPHC commissioners and advisors for final adoption at the IPHC annual meeting in January.

 January 2013
  • The 2013 catch limit is set by IPHC at its annual meeting, January 21-25 in Victoria, BC. For the West Coast (area 2A) the quota is 990,000 lbs (compared to 989,000 lbs in 2012).

  • The meeting agenda and materials are on the IPHC website.

  • This year all public sessions and most administrative sessions will be open to the public and be webcast.

 February 2013
  • ODFW solicits public comments about open dates for the central coast subarea (Cape Falcon to Humbug Mt.) spring all-depth “fixed” and “back-up” dates. Input can be given at the public meeting or by online survey, phone or email through Feb. 6. News release

  • Central Coast Pacific halibut all-depth season structure presentation (pdf, 1.6 mb) This information was presented at the public meeting on Feb. 4

  • After a lengthy discussion and after reviewing input received via phone, email, public meeting, and online survey, ODFW staff recommend dates for the Pacific halibut all-depth sport seasons on the central coast (Cape Falcon to Humbug Mt).

  • ODFW submits a report to the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission and the National Marine Fisheries Service with recommended dates for the Oregon central coast subarea spring and summer all-depth sport halibut fishery.

  • Season map with recommended dates (pdf)

ODFW staff were initially concerned about having an opening during June 20-22 due to negative tides, but most anglers we spoke to indicated the negative tides wouldn’t be an issue those days because the strong outgoing current will occur before first light - the current will be slack or incoming during first light, which is when nearly everyone departs. This included small boat anglers from ports with rough bars, such as Garibaldi and Bandon.

 April - May 2013
  • The Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission and the National Marine Fisheries Service approve regulations, including open dates for the central coast (Cape Falcon to Humbug Mt.) all-depth sport halibut fishery.

  • The OFW Commission approved dates at its meeting on May 10 (rescheduled from April 26). Until then, the fishery proceeded under temporary rule as shown on the season map of recommended dates. Anglers were informed that the Commission was expected to adopt the recommended dates, but if there were any changes, those would be announced on May 10.

  • 2013 season map


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