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Sport Pacific Halibut - Setting the Season for 2015

August 2014
  • ODFW hosted public meetings in Brookings (Aug. 5), North Bend (Aug. 6) and Newport (Aug. 11) to hear and discuss proposed changes for the 2015 Catch Sharing Plan (CSP). This is 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 e-mail or by phone. The Newport meeting was also available live online with GoToMeeting.

What's the Catch Sharing Plan?

The CSP is the framework by which Pacific halibut are managed during the year and includes:

  • Allocation (between fisheries and between geographical subareas within fisheries)
  • Seasons (opening and closing dates, open days of the week)
  • Bag limits
  • Length limits
  • Allowable inseason regulation changes

Read the 2014 CSP (pdf, 14 pages)

  • After reviewing public input, ODFW prepares recommendations for the Pacific Fishery Management Council.

  • The Council also considers letters and e-mails directly from the public.

 September 2014
  • The Pacific Fishery Management Council meets September 12-17 in Spokane, WA, and considers proposals for changes to the Catch Sharing Plan. It then approves some, none or all proposals (including any that are developed during the Council meeting) for additional public comment. Council briefing book - Pacific halibut agenda items

  • "The Council adopted for public review a range of six non-treaty commercial and recreational fishery allocation options intended to provide for a greater recreational allocation for the California subarea, in response to new information indicating a higher abundance of Pacific Halibut and greater fishery interest in this area than when the catch sharing plan was originally adopted. Changes to recreational fishery management measures for Washington, Oregon, and California, including season dates or days open, were also adopted for public review. Detailed descriptions of the options will be available on the Council’s website soon. Final Council action is scheduled for the November 2014 Council meeting." From the Council decsion document

 October 2014
  • ODFW solicits additional public comment on proposals forwarded by the Council.

    • Four public meetings (to cover both halibut and bottomfish) all start at 7 p.m.:
      • Monday, Oct. 6, Holiday Inn Express, Astoria
      • Tuesday, Oct. 7, ODFW Marine Resources Program main office, Newport ***
      • Wednesday, Oct. 8, Best Western Beach Front Inn, Brookings
      • Thursday, Oct. 9, Red Lion Hotel, Coos Bay 

      *** The Newport meeting was available through webcast.

    • Those unable to attend a meeting were able to participate through on-line surveys - one for halibut and one for bottomfish - until Monday, Oct. 13.

  • After considering public input, ODFW prepares a report to the Pacific Fishery Management Council for decision at the November Council meeting. Read the report (pdf, 11 pages)

  • The International Pacific Halibut Commission (IPHC) invites the public to submit request for 2015 regulatory changes or management actions for review at the IPHC annual meeting. Deadline for submissions is October 31.

 November 2014
  • The Council recommended the following changes for the 2015 Catch Sharing Plan at its meeting November 14-19 in Costa Mesa, CA.

    1. Non-Indian Allocations. Washington sport (35.6 percent), Oregon sport (29.7 percent), California sport (4 percent), and non-Indian commercial fisheries (30.7 percent).

    2. Columbia River Subarea Allocations. The Oregon contribution to this subarea will equal 2.3 percent of the Oregon sport allocation, with 500 pounds going to the nearshore halibut fishery. The spring (early) and summer (late) all-depth seasons will be combined into a single season.

    3. Oregon Central Coast Subarea Allocation. The spring all-depth allocation will be increased to 63 percent of the Oregon Central Coast subarea allocation.

    4. Southern Oregon Subarea Allocation. The allocation will be increased to 4 percent of the Oregon sport allocation, less the Oregon contribution to the Columbia River subarea.

    5. Flatfish Retention in the Columbia River and Oregon Central Coast Subareas. On days open at all depths for halibut, all flatfish species, in addition to Pacific cod and sablefish, may be retained when Pacific halibut are onboard.

    More details are available from the Council at

 December 2014
  • IPHC holds its annual interim meeting, December 2-3, in Seattle. The public is invited to attend in person or by webcast. Meeting presentations (stock assessment, research, etc.) are available on the IPHC website. IPHC invites proposals for 2015 catch limits or harvest advice. Deadliine for submissions is December 31. Meeting results

  • For Area 2A (West Coast) IPHC staff recommend a preliminary 2015 catch limit

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

 January 2015
  • The 2015 catch limit is set by IPHC at its annual meeting, January 26-30 in Vancouver, BC.

  • Details about the meeting, including webinar registration, are available from the IPHC annual meeting website.

  • The recommended 2015 catch limit for Area 2a (Oregon, Washington and California) is 0.97 million pounds. (For comparison, it was 0.96 million pounds for 2014.)

 February 2015
  • ODFW solicited public comment about open dates for the central coast subarea (Cape Falcon to Humbug Mt.) all-depth sport halibut fishery by providing three ways for people to participate. News release

    • Attend a meeting in Newport at 7 p.m. on Feb. 11 at the ODFW Newport office, 2040 SE Marine Science Drive. 
    • Attend the meeting via webinar.
    • Take an on-line survey.
  • ODFW submits an agenda item summary (pdf) and additional materials to the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission and a memo to the National Marine Fisheries Service with recommended dates for the Oregon central coast subarea spring all-depth sport halibut fishery.

 March-April 2015
  • The Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission (April 24) and the National Marine Fisheries Service approve regulations, including open dates for the central coast subarea (Cape Falcon to Humbug Mt.) all-depth sport halibut fishery. 2015 season map


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