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ODFW announces updates on Pacific halibut sportfishing season openings

NEWPORT, Ore – The 2021 Pacific halibut sport seasons and regulations were recently adopted by the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission:

Columbia River Subareas (Leadbetter Pt., WA to Cape Falcon, OR:
Nearshore season: Open Mondays through Wednesdays inside the 40-fathom line off the Oregon coast beginning May 10 until the 500-pound quota is met or through Sept. 30.
All-depth season: Open dates are Thursdays and Sundays beginning Thursday, May 6 through Thursday May 27. If the 18,162-pound quota is not met, the fishery will open June 3 every Thursday and Sunday until quota is reach or Sept. 30.
Central Coast Subarea (Cape Falcon to Humbug Mountain:
Nearshore season: Opens Saturday, May 1 inside the 40-fathom line daily until the quota (32,808 pounds) is met or through Oct. 31.
Spring all-depth season: Open May 13-15 and 20-22; June 3-5, 10-12, 17-19; and July 1-3. If the 172,244-pound quota is not met back-up dates are July 15-17 and 29-31.
Summer all-depth season: Open Aug. 5-7 and every other Thursday, Friday, and Saturday until the 68,351-pound quota is met or Oct. 31
Southern Oregon Subarea (Humbug Mountain to OR/CA border): Open daily beginning May 1 until the 8,000-pound quota is met or through Oct. 31.
For a map of the subareas, click here.

Pacific halibut regulations:

Pacific halibut anglers must have a descending device onboard the vessel and use it to release any rockfish species when fishing 30 fathoms or deeper.
Anglers can keep one Pacific halibut daily, six per year.
The Stonewall Bank Yelloweye Rockfish Conservation Area (YRCA) located in the Central Coast Subarea is closed to Pacific halibut fishing.
Anglers on vessels possessing Pacific halibut or bottomfish are prohibited from fishing in the Stonewall Bank YRCA even when targeting legal species (salmon and tuna).
*New regulations this year:

During May, September and October:
Bottomfish may be combined with all-depth Pacific halibut on days open to all-depth halibut.
Longleader gear fishing cannot be combined with all-depth halibut fishing.

During June, July and August:
Only sablefish, Pacific cod and other flatfish species (no other bottomfish species) can be combined with all-depth halibut except for longleader fishing as noted below.
The trip can be combined with offshore longleader fishing provided:
Longleader fishing must take place outside of 40 fathoms
Once rockfish are on board, no further halibut fishing is allowed.
See Pacific halibut sport regulations for more information.