Pacific Halibut Sport Regulations

The 2018 catch limits have been set by the International Pacific Halibut Commission.
The Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission adopted the following for the 2018 sport halibut seasons on April 20th.

Changes from last year (other than quotas) are bold italicized.  
In-season changes can be found on the NMFS Hotline (1-800-662-9825; #5; #1) and by text/e-mail subscription. 

Columbia River Subarea (Leadbetter Pt., WA, to Cape Falcon)

Nearshore Season.......... quota = 500 lbs.

Open Mondays-Wednesdays inside the 40-fathom line off of Oregon beginning May 7, 2018, through the earlier of quota or Sept. 30. 

All-Depth Season............ quota = 11,182 lbs.

Open May 3, 2018, Thursday, Friday, and Sunday, every week through the earlier of quota or Sept. 30. Saturdays are CLOSED.

Central Coast Subarea (Cape Falcon to Humbug Mt.)

Nearshore Season.......... quota = 25,856 lbs.

Open June 1, seven days a week, inside the 40-fathom line, through the earlier of quota or Oct. 31.

All-Depth Seasons........... quota = 189,608 lbs. 

  Quota (lbs) Open Dates Back-up Dates (if quota)
Spring 135,742 May 10-12; May 24-26; Jun 7-9; June 21-23 Jul 5-7; Jul 19-21
Summer 53,866 Aug 3-4 Every other Fri-Sat

The Stonewall Bank YRCA (about 15 miles west of Newport) is closed to Pacific halibut fishing. Anglers on vessels possessing Pacific halibut are prohibited from fishing in the Stonewall Bank YRCA, even when targeting legal species.

A map of the Oregon coast with major cities labeled to be referenced for various halibut regulations

Southern Oregon Subarea (Humbug Mt. to OR/CA border)

Quota = 8,982 lbs.

Open May 1, seven days per week, through the earlier of quota or Oct. 31.

Statewide Regulations 

  • It is mandatory to have a descending device onboard the vessel when fishing for or having in possession any groundfish species or Pacific halibut, and to use the 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 at ports located within areas currently open to halibut retention, regardless of area of catch.
  • North of Hambug Mt.: During days open to all-depth halibut fishing, only salmon (as regulations allow), sablefish, Pacific cod, flatfish species (soles, flounders, sanddabs and turbots), tuna and most other offshore pelagic species may be in possession or landed when Pacific halibut are onboard the vessel, during periods when the bottomfish fishery is restricted by depth (Apr-Sept). During days closed to all-depth halibut fishing, retention of groundfish (as regulations allow; including other species of flatfish outside of the seasonal depth restriction) is permitted when Pacific halibut are onboard.
  • South of Humbug Mt.: When angling for Pacific halibut outside of the 30-fm curve (May 1-Sept 30), only salmon (as regulations allow), sablefish, Pacific cod, flatfish species (soles, flounders, sanddabs & turbots), tuna and most other offshore pelagic species may be in possession or landed when Pacific halibut are onboard the vessel. Bottomfish may be retained with halibut onboard the vessel in areas/times open to bottomfish (e.g. inside 30-fm curve, Apr-Sept).
  • 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 2018 Oregon Sport Fishing Regulations for General (statewide), Zone, and Special Regulations prior to fishing.

Other resources: