Staff Recommended 2019 Pacific Halibut Sport Regulations
The International Pacific Halibut Commission (IPHC) approved catch limits for fisheries off of the US West Coast that are approximately 25% higher than the catch limits in 2018. Based on that catch limit, ODFW staff recommended season dates are below:
Columbia River Subarea
All-Depth Season: Open on Thurs May 2, Sun May 5, Thurs May 9, Sun May 12, Fri May 24 (this is not a typo, date is supposed to be on Friday), and Sun May 26. If any quota remains after those dates, can be open every Thurs and Sun until the quota is taken or Sept. 30. Quota = 14,627 pounds.
These dates came from a public request and were chose because they line up with openings in the other Washington subareas and will should prevent the effort shift seen in 2018, when this subarea opened a week earlier than any other subarea in WA or OR.
Nearshore: Open Mon-Wed, inside the 40-fathom line off of Oregon, beginning May 6, through the quota being caught of Sept 30. Quota = 500 pounds.
Central Oregon Coast Subarea
Spring All-Depth Season:
Fixed Dates: May 9-11; May 16-18; May 23-25; May 30-June 1; and June 6-8.
Back-up dates, available if quota remains: June 20-22; July 4-6; and July 18-20.
Quota = 171,103 pounds.
For the Central Oregon Coast spring all-depth fixed dates, based on input from this weeks’ public meeting and the online survey, staff are recommending 15 fixed dates, without skipping any weeks due to tides. With the 25% increase in quota, there was a fair bit of discussion about 15 days vs. 18 days. Some wanted as much opportunity as possible to catch the spring quota. Others wanted to be a little precautionary with how many fixed dates, so that the summer all-depth season isn’t impacted (any overage from the spring fishery comes out of the summer). An additional consideration was the timing of back-up dates compared to dates for the directed commercial fishery. The ODFW staff recommendation is based on trying to balance all of those considerations.
Summer All-Depth Season: opens Aug 2-3, then every other Fri and Sat until the earlier of the quota being caught or Oct 31. Quota = 67,898 pounds.
Nearshore: Opens June 1, seven days per week, inside the 40-fathom line, through the earlier of the quota being caught or Oct 31. Quota = 32,591 pounds.
Southern Oregon Subarea: opens May 1, seven days per week through the earlier of the quota being caught or Oct 31. Quota = 11,322 pounds.
A map with all of this information on it can be found at: https://www.dfw.state.or.us/MRP/finfish/halibut/seasonmaps/2019_halibut_map.pdf
Additional information about sport halibut fisheries can be found on ODFW’s halibut webpage.