Pacific halibut sport regulations
Updated April 23, 2021
2021 recreational Pacific halibut seasons
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. 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.
- 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) 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