2021 Recreational Pacific Halibut Seasons Finalized by OFWC

Photo Credit: Courtesy of ODFW

by OR Department of Fish & Wildlife Staff

The Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission finalized the 2021 Recreational Pacific halibut seasons at their meeting today (April 23).  Information on seasons is below: 

SEASONS AND REGULATIONS SHEET   (a summary of the seasons described below)

Columbia River Subarea (Cape Falcon, OR to Leadbetter Point, WA)

All-Depth Season:  Open on:  Thurs, May 6; Sun, May 9; Thurs, May 13; Sun, May 16; Thurs, May 20; Sun, May 23; Thurs, May 27.  If quota remains after those dates, open every Thurs and Sun beginning June 3 through the earlier of the quota or Sept 30.  Quota = 18,162 lbs.

Nearshore Season:  Open Mon-Wed inside the 40-fathom line off of Oregon beginning Mon, May 10 through the earlier of the quota or Sept. 30.  Quota = 500 lbs.

Central Oregon Coast Subarea (Humbug Mountain to Cape Falcon)

Spring All-Depth Season:  Fixed open dates are:  May 13-15; May 20-22; Jun 3-5; Jun 10-12; Jun 17-19; and Jul 1-3.  Back-up dates, if quota available, are:  Jul 15-17 and Jul 29-31.       Quota = 172,244 lbs.

Summer All-Depth Season:  Opens Aug 5-7, then every other Thurs, Fri, & Sat through the earlier of Oct 31 or the quota is caught.       Quota = 68,351 lbs.

Nearshore Season:  Opens May 1, 7 days per week, inside the 40-fathom line, through the earlier of  October 31 or the quota is caught.  Retention of bottomfish is allowed with nearshore halibut fishing, however on days when the all-depth fishery is open, all-depth rules apply regardless of depth of fishing (see the "New in 2021" section below for details).       Quota = 32,808 lbs.

Southern Oregon Subarea (OR/CA Border to Humbug Mountain)

Open May 1, seven days per week, through the earlier of Oct 31 or the quota is caught.     Quota = 8,000 lbs.

Statewide Regulations

  • It is mandatory to have a descending device onboard the vessel when fishing for Pacific halibut, and to use a device when releasing any rockfish species when fishing outside of 30 fathoms.
  • Daily bag limit: 1 Pacific halibut. Annual limit: 6. No length limit.
  • Pacific halibut possession limit: 1 daily limit at sea, 3 daily limits on land.
  • Fathom lines and conservation areas are defined by waypoints.
  • Pacific halibut seasons are managed and enforced based on port of landing.  Halibut may only be landed into ports located within areas currently open to halibut retention, regardless of area of catch.
  • When angling for Pacific halibut outside of the 40-fm curve only salmon (as regulations allow), bottomfish as regulations below allow, tuna and most other offshore pelagic species may be in possession or landed when Pacific halibut are onboard the vessel.
  • It is unlawful to fish for or take and retain any species while possessing onboard any species not allowed to be taken in that area at the time.
  • Anglers are advised to consult the 2021 Oregon Sport Fishing Regulations for General (statewide), Zone, and Special Regulations prior to fishing.

New in 2021 (for all Oregon Subareas)

  • During May, Sept, and Oct, when the sport bottomfish fishery is open to all-depth, bottomfish (including lingcod) may be retained on all-depth halibut trips.  
  • During Jun, Jul, and Aug (months when the sport bottomfish fishery is restricted to inside of 40-fathoms) only sablefish, Pacific cod & other flatfish species (no other bottomfish species) can be combined with all-depth halibut.  OR longleader gear fishing may be combined with an all-depth halibut trip, in which case longleader gear fishing must take place outside of 40 fathoms, and once rockfish are on onboard a vessel, no further halibut fishing is allowed.  Longleader gear fishing cannot be combined with sablefish, Pacific cod, or other flatfish species on the same trip.  More information can be found by CLICKING HERE    

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