NEWPORT, Ore. — Oregon’s recreational bottomfish season will close to all species but flatfish as of Sunday, Sept. 17 at 11:59 p.m. because the quotas for several species have been reached.
As of Monday morning (Sept. 18), anglers may no longer catch or retain lingcod, any species of rockfish, cabezon, greenling, or other bottomfish. There is a new opportunity for anglers to fish for flatfish (except Pacific halibut) at all depths, also starting Monday.
“Recreational bottomfishing was excellent this year, with effort and catch rates higher than anticipated,” said Maggie Sommer, ODFW marine fisheries manager. “Because the annual quotas for several species have been met, fishery managers need to close the season.”
Good weather in spring and summer, as well as fewer opportunities for other fisheries, have led to more boats and anglers fishing for bottomfish this year. “It’s been a poor salmon season and tuna haven’t really made a strong showing within range of most recreational anglers,” said Sommer. “This increased fishing pressure on bottomfish, and anglers had a lot of success pursuing these species.”
Additionally, Oregon’s black rockfish harvest quota was reduced 10 percent this year after a 2015 federal stock assessment. While the stock was determined to be healthy, the assessors also determined that in order to keep the population healthy in the long term, lower harvest levels were necessary. ODFW’s marine researchers are developing additional methods to provide data for future assessments of black rockfish and other nearshore species that will help the assessments accurately reflect Oregon’s stocks.
Several ocean fishing opportunities remain available, including:
Flatfish, such as sanddabs and petrale sole (not including halibut, which are considered separately).
Crabbing in oceans and bays, which has been excellent lately.
Nearshore halibut between Cape Falcon and Humbug Mt. (until Oct. 31 or until the quota is reached).
Halibut south of Humbug Mt. (until Oct. 31 or until the quota is reached).
Tuna, which are starting to come closer to shore in southern Oregon now.
Ocean salmon, which is open from Cape Falcon to Humbug Mt. through Oct. 31 for all salmon except coho (beginning Oct. 1, all anglers fishing for salmon or with salmon on board are restricted to inside the 40-fathom line).
For more information on Oregon’s marine resources and fisheries, please see: http://www.dfw.state.or.us/MRP/