The recreational Pacific halibut fishery will end Sunday, Sept. 10 at 11:59 p.m. for the remainder of 2017. Based on the latest catch projections, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) expects to have met the 2017 California recreational quota of 34,580 pounds.
California’s 2017 quota was approximately 5,000 pounds greater than the 2016 quota. The fishery lasted 86 days this year, compared with 83 open days in 2016. CDFW tracks the fishery inseason to ensure catch amounts do not exceed the California quota. The quota is determined annually through an international process, and is largely driven by results from the annual stock assessment conducted by the International Pacific Halibut Commission (IPHC).
Pacific halibut occupy a large geographic range, from the Aleutian Islands eastward through Alaska to British Columbia and throughout ocean waters of the Pacific Northwest. Along the West Coast, they are commonly found as far south as Point Arena in Mendocino County.
CDFW field staff sampled public launch ramps and charter boat landings to monitor catches of Pacific halibut along with other marine sportfish throughout the season. Using this information, CDFW conferred with the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), the IPHC and the Pacific Fishery Management Council on a weekly basis to review projected catch amounts and determine when the quota would be attained. Formal authority to close the fishery resides with NMFS, which took action to close the fishery following consultation with CDFW.
For current information about the Pacific halibut fishery, science or management, please check one of the following resources:
NMFS Hotline, (800) 662-9825
CDFW Recreational Groundfish Regulations Hotline, (831) 649-2801
CDFW website, http://www.wildlife.ca.gov/Conservation/Marine/Pacific-Halibut
IPHC website, www.iphc.int