NEWPORT, Ore – Two changes to recreational bottomfishing rules begin Monday, July 20:
the daily bag limit for general marine species increases from five to seven fish anglers must release copper, quillback, and China rockfish when fishing from a boat.
Catch of black, blue, and deacon rockfish is projected to be under the annual quotas. Because these species make up the majority of catch in the bottomfish fishery, the bag limit can be increased, providing anglers with additional harvest opportunity.
Because catch of copper, quillback, and China rockfish will exceed the annual quota early, retention is prohibited beginning July 20 when fishing from a boat. Harvesting these fish from shore is infrequent, contributing a very small amount of mortality and is excluded from the retention closure, although ODFW encourages releasing these fish uninjured.
A group of 11 nearshore rockfish species are managed together, and copper, quillback, and China rockfish are the most commonly caught (and relatively easily identified), representing 98 percent of the total catch of the group. Other species in this group, including brown and gopher rockfish, are rarely caught and are not affected by the retention closure.
Use of a descending device to release rockfish is required when fishing deeper than 30 fathoms, and recommended at any depth for fish that are not able to submerge on their own.
Information is available online for recreational bottomfish seasons , along with rockfish identification tips and an ID quiz .