Pacific halibut sport regulations
Updated September 7, 2021
2021 recreational Pacific halibut seasons
Seasons and regulations sheet (a summary of the seasons described below)
Reminder: you must IMMEDIATELY record landed halibut on your combined angler tag. Immediately means right after, not after you put the rod back out, not after a snack break, not 5-10 min later, not on your way back to the dock.
Beginning Monday, September 13, the daily bag limit will be 2 fish per angler per day in the Central Oregon Coast and Southern Oregon Coast Subareas. The annual limit of 6 fish remains in place.
Columbia River Subarea (Cape Falcon, OR to Leadbetter Point, WA)
All-Depth and Nearshore Seasons: CLOSED for the remainder of 2021, quota has been caught.
Central Oregon Coast Subarea (Humbug Mountain to Cape Falcon)
The daily bag limit increases to 2 fish per angler per day beginning Monday, September 13.
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. Pre-season scheduled back-up dates of Jul 15-17 and Jul 29-31 will be OPEN. Enough quota remains for the pre-season scheduled back-up dates to be open. Quota = 172,244 lbs.
Summer All-Depth Season: Opens Aug 5-7, then every Thurs, Fri, & Sat through September 12, then open 7-days per week beginning on Monday, September 13 through the earlier of Oct 31 or the quota is caught. Regular limits of bottomfish (5 fish general marine bag, 2 lingcod, 25 other flatfish) may be retained with halibut. Initial Quota = 68,351 lbs.
Nearshore Season: Opens May 1, 7 days per week, inside the 40-fathom line, through September 12. 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. Beginning Monday, September 13 the Central Coast Subarea will be open to all-depths 7-days per week through the earlier of October 31 or the quota is caught; and regular limits of bottomfish (5 fish general marine bag, 2 lingcod, 25 other flatfish) may be retained with halibut. Initial 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. The daily bag limit increases to 2 fish per angler per day beginning Monday, September 13. Quota = 8,000 lbs.
- 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 through Sept 12, 3 daily limits on land. Beginning Monday, September 13, the daily limit at seas is 2 fish.
- 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. Longleader gear fishing and species may not be retained with all-depth halibut.
- During Jun, Jul, and Aug (months when the sport bottomfish fishery is restricted to inside of 40-fathoms) During days open for all-depth halibut fishing, EITHER a combination of sablefish, Pacific cod (sablefish and Pacific cod are part of the 5 fish general marine fish daily bag limit) & other flatfish species (no other bottomfish species) OR longleader gear fishing for 10 midwater rockfish species may be retained when halibut are onboard the vessel. Longleader gear must be used, rockfish cannot be retained from halibut or regular bottomfish gear. Longleader gear fishing may be combined with an all-depth halibut trip but only outside of 40 fathoms, and once rockfish are onboard, NO FURTHER HALIBUT FISHING IS ALLOWED.
- More information can be found by CLICKING HERE
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- Waypoints for fathom lines and other restricted areas
- Catch estimates (sport halibut)
- 2021 Oregon Sport Fishing e-Regulations
- Cold spots for yelloweye rockfish -- recommended soft-bottom areas for halibut with low yelloweye rockfish bycatch out of Newport and Depoe Bay.
- Management of Oregon's sport halibut