NEWPORT, ORE. – The International Pacific Halibut Commission held their annual meeting last week in Portland to discuss setting harvest levels for 2008 fisheries. At the end of the week, the Commission set Oregon’s quota for Pacific halibut similar to last year’s.
“This year’s sport halibut quota is more than 250,000 pounds for Oregon,” said Don Bodenmiller, sport halibut project leader for ODFW. “That’s only a 6 percent reduction from last year, not the 25 percent that was initially recommended by the Commission.”
Pacific halibut was one of the high points of last year’s saltwater sport fishing season with anglers landing more than 16,600 fish, topping the previous record catch in 2006 by 2,000 fish.
The open dates for Pacific halibut fishing on the Oregon central coast have not yet been set, Bodenmiller said. He will conduct a public meeting on the subject at 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 24, at the Embarcadero Resort, 1000 SE Bay Blvd, Newport.
ODFW will hear comments regarding the number and dates of fixed open days during the spring (May to July) all-depth season between Cape Falcon and Humbug Mountain, and back-up dates for the spring fishery in case quota remains after the fixed dates.
If you have questions or want to provide comments without attending the meeting, please contact Bodenmiller at 541-867-4741.
Anglers will again have to take precautions against incidental catch of over-fished species. The high-relief area of Stonewall Bank is closed again this year 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 website at www.dfw.state.or.us/MRP/
The daily bag limit again this year is one Pacific halibut with no minimum length; the annual limit per angler is six. The Pacific halibut possession limit is one daily limit at sea and three daily limits on land.