Recreational halibut fishing to open June 10 in Neah Bay, La Push and Puget Sound

June 6, 2017

Recreational halibut fishing to open June 10
in Neah Bay, La Push and Puget Sound

Action:  Open recreational halibut fishing Saturday, June 10, in Marine Areas 3 (La Push), 4 (Neah Bay), and 5-10 (Puget Sound).

Open halibut retention with bottomfish on board in the nearshore area in Marine Area 1 seven days per week effective Thursday, June 8, until further notice.

Effective date: Open recreational halibut in Marine Areas 3 through 10 effective Saturday, June 10, 2017.

Open the nearshore area in Marine Area 1 (Ilwaco) for halibut retention seven days per week in effective Thursday, June 8, 2017

Species affected: Pacific halibut

Location:  Marine Areas 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10

Reason for action:  Sufficient quota remains to open another fishing day in the north coast (Marine Areas 3 and 4) and Puget Sound (Marine Areas 5-10) on Saturday, June 10. Catch data will be evaluated following the opening on June 10 to determine if enough quota remains for additional fishing days in the north coast and Puget Sound.  If sufficient quota remains the next potential fishing day would be Saturday, June 17

There is sufficient remaining quota to allow halibut retention in the nearshore area of Marine Area 1 seven days per week. 

These rules conform to action taken by the Pacific Fishery Management Council (PFMC) and the International Pacific Halibut Commission (IPHC). 

Information contact: Heather Reed, (360) 902-2487.

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2015 Washington Halibut seasons provide more fishing options

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#Halibut #WashingtonHalibutSeason2015 #PugetSoundHalibutSeason2015 #LipRippers

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OLYMPIA – Anglers can expect halibut fishing seasons this year to be similar to 2014 for the Puget Sound and coastal waters, with some additional fishing opportunities in the Columbia River area.

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) sets halibut seasons using catch quotas adopted by the International Pacific Halibut Commission. The recreational catch quota for all of Washington’s areas is 214,110 pounds, the same as last year.

WDFW has revised the season structure for the Columbia River fishery to encourage anglers to fish for halibut there, said Heather Reed, WDFW coastal policy coordinator. The season for that area will run continuously instead of being divided between an early and late season.

“We continue to look for ways to increase fishing opportunity in the Columbia River area, where the catch has been below the quota in recent years,” Reed said.

Anglers will again be allowed to retain all bottomfish while having halibut onboard their boats in the nearshore section of the Columbia River fishery (Marine Area 1), which opens May 4 on a Monday-through-Wednesday schedule. Additional changes will allow anglers to retain flatfish – in addition to sablefish and Pacific cod – with halibut on board during the all-depth fishery that opens May 1 on a Thursday- through-Sunday schedule.

“In addition to some great halibut fishing, anglers can look forward to more opportunities to target bottomfish in Westport, Neah Bay and La Push,” Reed said.

For the first time since 2008, anglers will be allowed to fish for lingcod in the Westport area (south of 46? 58′ N. Lat. and seaward of 30 fathoms) on Fridays and Saturdays, from July 1 through Aug. 31.

In addition, anglers fishing in the deep waters off the north coast in Marine areas 3 and 4, west of the Bonilla-Tatoosh line, will have more days to retain bottomfish, including lingcod. Starting this year, the 20 fathom (120 ft.) depth restriction will be in place May 9 through Labor Day, rather than May 1 through Sept. 30.

WDFW considers management measures for coastal sport bottomfish fisheries every two years through the Pacific Fishery Management Council process.

Regulations approved by the council include depth restrictions and area closures designed to reduce encounters with yelloweye and canary rockfish in coastal waters. Anglers are also prohibited from retaining those species – and bocaccio rockfish – in parts of Puget Sound.

Anglers are strongly encouraged to use a descending device to release these rockfish species, as well as other rockfish that anglers don’t intend to retain. Information about descending devices can be found on WDFW’s webpage at http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/bottomfish/rockfish/mortality.html .

In all marine areas open to halibut fishing, there is a one-fish daily catch limit and no minimum size restriction. Anglers may possess a maximum of two fish in any form and must record their catch on a WDFW catch record card.

Changes to the effective date of the WDFW Sport Fishing Pamphlet will mean that the most up-to-date information on recreational halibut and bottomfish seasons and regulations will be found on the WDFW website http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/creel/halibut/ .

2015 Puget Sound halibut seasons

Marine Area 5: The fishery will be open May 15 and 16; Thursday through Sunday of Memorial Day weekend, May 21-24; and May 29 and 30.

Marine Areas 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10: The fishery will be open May 8 and 9; May 15 and 16; Thursday through Sunday of Memorial Day weekend, May 21-24; and May 28-30.

Marine Areas 11, 12, 13: These areas will remain closed to halibut fishing to protect threatened and endangered rockfish species.

2015 Pacific Coast halibut seasons

Marine Area 1 (Columbia River): Marine Area 1 opens May 1, four days per week (Thursday-Sunday) until the subarea quota is taken, or Sept. 30, whichever occurs first. Five hundred pounds of the subarea quota is reserved for an incidental fishery in the nearshore area, which will be open May 4 on a Monday-Wednesday schedule, which are the days the all depth halibut fishery is closed. Coordinates for the nearshore fishery are available online at http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/creel/halibut/ . The all depth quota is 9,754 pounds; the nearshore quota is 500 pounds.

Marine Area 2 (Westport): Marine Area 2 opens May 3, two days per week (Sundays and Tuesdays) for three consecutive weeks (the season could close sooner if the quota is reached). The primary fishery is closed May 24 and 26 but will reopen May 31 or June 2 if sufficient quota remains and continue until the quota is achieved, or Sept. 30, whichever occurs first. The northern nearshore area will be open on May 3, and continue seven days per week until the nearshore quota is reached or Sept. 30, whichever occurs first. The quota for the primary fishery is 40,739 pounds; the quota for the northern nearshore fishery is 2,000 pounds.

Marine Areas 3 and 4 (La Push and Neah Bay): Marine areas 3 and 4 open May 14, two days per week, Thursdays and Saturdays, through May 23 (as long as there is sufficient quota). This area will be closed May 28 and 30. If there is available quota, the fishery will re-open June 4 and/or 6. Additional days could be added (Thursdays and Saturdays), depending on the amount of quota available. The areas would remain open until the quota is reached or Sept. 30, whichever occurs first. The combined quota for both areas is 108,030 pounds.

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Monster 225-pound Halibut caught 5/30/2013 Straights of Juan de Fuca

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After a 30- to 45-minute battle, Woody Woods managed to get the monster halibut up to the boat. It was 75 inches long and was estimated to weigh 225 pounds.

By Mark Yuasa
Seattle Times staff reporter

The halibut fishery in the eastern Strait of Juan de Fuca ended Friday on a high note for three Everett anglers.

Woody Woods, 71, and his two fishing partners, Ted Measor and Pat Vaughn, were fishing the deep waters off Dungeness Spit just west of Sequim. The three anglers had already hooked two nice halibut.

At about 11 a.m., Woods, who was fishing in 430 feet near the yellow buoy off the Spit, hooked into something giant.

“I thought it was a rock (on the bottom) but a rock doesn’t take out line,” said Woods, who used salmon and tuna bellies for bait with a 32-ounce lead weight.

“I got the fish up to about 100 feet and then it took off, and I tugged and cranked, and tugged and cranked,” Woods said.

After a 30- to 45-minute battle, Woods managed to get the monster halibut up to the boat. It was 75 inches long and had a 12-inch thick belly. Its estimated weight was 225 pounds.

“It was a team effort, and I was glad to see the fish and get it inside the boat,” Woods said. “It was a great day.”

Woods’ fish bested the other huge halibut caught May 3 in the eastern Strait by Ryley Fee of Woodinville — that one weighed 180 pounds.

The eastern Strait, La Push, Neah Bay, San Juan Islands, eastside of Whidbey Island, northern Puget Sound and central Puget Sound are now closed for halibut. The only ocean area still open for halibut is the southern coast off Ilwaco, where fishing is allowed Fridays to Sundays only.

The Washington state Halibut record is 288.0 lbs by Vic Stevens and was caught on the Swiftsure Bank out of Neah Bay on September 9, 1989

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