Oregon sport anglers can help the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife shape the 2013 Pacific halibut and groundfish seasons by participating in public meetings or in an on-line survey.

The two public meeting will be from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Monday, Sept. 24, in Newport and Tuesday, Sept. 25, in Brookings. The Newport meeting will be at the Holiday Inn Newport, 135 SE 32nd St., and the Brookings meeting will be at the Best Western Beachfront Inn, 16008 Boat Basin Road.

“We will discuss changes to the halibut catch sharing plan, the Columbia River and central coast all-depth and nearshore fisheries, and sport groundfish regulations for 2013,” said Gway Kirchner, Marine Fisheries Section Manager for ODFW. “No changes are proposed for the halibut fishery in the Brookings area (south of Humbug Mountain), but we want to give them an update on the Pacific Fisheries Management Council meeting and the plan for addressing increased halibut catches in the area, primarily on the California side.”

In addition to halibut, ODFW is asking anglers how they would like to see cabezon managed, if the lingcod size limit should be lowered and other bottomfishing options.

“The management measures we tried in recent years to not close the cabezon season early haven’t worked,” Kirchner said. “We want to discuss with anglers other ideas we could try, like a change in size limit or season.”

An on-line survey about groundfish and halibut will go live on Friday, said Kirchner.

“It’s important that people attend these meetings if they can,” she said. “There is no substitute for getting together and discussing the issues. But we realize that people are busy so we started using on-line surveys in addition to the meetings to gage people’s opinions on how they want fisheries managed.”

Those interested in receiving updates on halibut or bottom fishing in Oregon, including the survey, may subscribe to receive emails and text message alerts. To sign up go to http://dfw.state.or.us/MRP/bulletins/index.asp and enter your phone for text alerts and e-mail information to subscribe to email updates. It’s easy to unsubscribe at any time. Your phone and email information will remain confidential.

Logo courtesy Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife

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