Fishery managers added three days to the popular all-depth sport halibut fishery off the central Oregon coast. Fishing for Pacific halibut will be open Thursday, June 14, through Saturday, June 16, at all depths.
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 10 on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays only. It could have closed as early as June 2 if anglers caught the entire 120,821-pound quota.
“Following the June 14 through 16 opening, fishery managers will meet again to determine if there is sufficient quota for any further back-up dates,” said Lynn Mattes, halibut project leader for ODFW.
Subsequent decisions on open dates will be announced on the National Marine Fisheries Service hotline (1-800-662-9825) and posted on the ODFW Marine Resources Program Web site at: www.dfw.state.or.us/MRP/. Potential dates for additional fishery openings include: June 28-30, July 12-14 and July 26-28, until the quota is met.
The summer season for the central coast all-depth fishery opens Aug. 3 and is scheduled to be open every other Friday and Saturday until the combined spring and summer season all-depth quota of 168,786 pounds is taken or Oct. 27, whichever comes first.
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 by anglers. 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/docs/stonewall.pdf
The daily bag limit for Pacific halibut is one fish and there is no minimum length requirement. 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 that 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) may be possessed with halibut on open all-depth Pacific halibut days (as long as such species are taken during authorized seasons and caught with legal gear).
More details on regulations can be found at: http://www.dfw.state.or.us/MRP/finfish/halibut/index.asp or in the booklet 2012 Oregon Sport Ocean Regulations for Salmon, Halibut and other Marine Species. General regulations can be found in the 2012 Oregon Sport Fishing Regulations booklet.