Oregon North West Report


Bottom fishing

Anglers were successful up and down the coast last week, particularly for lingcod. 

  • Out of Garibaldi, big boats went beyond the 40-fathom line for widow rockfish, yellowtail rockfish and lingcod; closer to shore, smaller boats caught a nice grade of black rockfish and averaged one lingcod per person (with the lingcod being slightly smaller than in recent weeks). 
  • Catches out of Depoe Bay consisted primarily of black rockfish and canary rockfish, with some deacon and vermilion mixed in, and averaged one lingcod per angler. 
  • Newport saw bag limits of lingcod and a variety of rockfish species. 
  • In Charleston, wind kept boats from getting out on the ocean most days; otherwise, rockfish and large lingcod were landed. 
  • Brookings was blown out on Sunday, but earlier in the week, anglers had limits of lingcod in a range of lengths. Rockfish catches consisted primarily of blacks and deacons, as well as some canary rockfish. 

Gopher rockfish, commonly seen in California, were observed last week in at least two ports: Newport and Brookings. If you catch a fish that looks somewhat like a cross between a copper rockfish and a quillback rockfish, you may have a gopher. According to a 2005 California stock assessment, which concluded the stock was healthy, gopher rockfish are residential (they don’t move around much) and are associated with kelp beds or rocky reefs, typically between 30 and 120 feet.

The longleader fishery

Longleader fishing gives anglers a different opportunity to catch more bottomfish and helps spread out the boats so that there is not a concentration in one area. In a longleader trip, an angler can catch up to ten rockfish of certain species.

Changes for 2021:

  • From June 1 through Aug. 31, on days open to all-depth halibut, longleader fishing is allowed after halibut fishing.
    • All fishing with halibut gear on the same trip must be completed before any rockfish are retained.  
    • Longleader bag limit, gear, and all other rules apply. See longleader FAQs for more information.

Longleader gear: How to rig up for the offshore longleader fishery and FAQs.


While you’re waiting out the storms, here are a few ways to help study rockfish identification. Try the bottomfish species ID quiz and work on your identification skills for commonly caught bottomfish. Also try the “Yelloweye Rockfish or Not?” quiz to help hone your ID skills for the prohibited yelloweye rockfish.

More Reports

OR Department of Fish & Wildlife Reports
for Thursday, April 15th
: Early pikeminnow season launch gives some anglers the chance to earn more cash
Umatilla River: Umatilla River spring Chinook season to close on April 16