Recreation Report

Marine Zone

Regulation Updates

Regulation Updates as of Oct 9, 2018

These are in-season regulation changes adopted on a temporary or emergency basis. Please see e-regulations for permanent regulations.

2018 Sport Groundfish

Bottomfish Fishery

  • Beginning Oct. 1 the fishery will be open to all-depth.
  • General marine fish daily bag limit has been increased back to 5 fish, as of Wednesday, September 19.
  • Effective Friday, Aug. 17 at 11:59 p.m. sport anglers can no longer retain cabezon.
  • Lingcod daily bag limit is 2 fish, separate from the general marine fish bag limit. Minimum size of 22-inches.
  • Reminder skates and rays are not part of the flatfish group, they are part of the general marine fish group.  The general marine fish regulations (bag limit, depth restrictions, etc.) apply.
  • Yelloweye rockfish prohibited at all times and in all waters.
  • Descending devices are mandatory.

Flatfish Fishery

  • Flatfish daily bag limit is 25 fish for species of sanddab, sole, flounder, etc.  Does not include Pacific halibut.
    • Open at all depths year round.
  • Descending devices are mandatory.
  • Reminder skates and rays are not part of the flatfish group, they are part of the general marine fish group.  The general marine fish regulations (bag limit, depth restrictions, etc.) apply.

Offshore Longleader Fishery

  • The Offshore Longleader Fishery is open year round only outside of the 40-fathom regulatory line and longleader gear must be used.
  • The daily rockfish bag limit is 10 fish.
  • No other groundfish are allowed on the same trip.
  • Offshore longleader trips cannot be combined with traditional bottomfish, flatfish, or halibut trips, and lingcod cannot be retained.
  • Offshore longleader trips can be combined with other non-bottomfish trip types (e.g. tuna, salmon), as long as the multi-species rule, which prohibits fishing for, or taking and retaining any species of salmon, Pacific halibut or marine fish while possessing on board any species not allowed to be taken in the area at that time, is followed along with any and all specific gear rules.
  • For additional information see Offshore Longleader Fishery Frequently Asked Questions 
  • Descending devices are mandatory.

2018 Ocean Salmon

  • Leadbetter Point, WA to Cape Falcon, OR recreational salmon fishery is closed for the remainder of 2018.
  • Ocean Chinook salmon (all salmon except coho) season from Cape Falcon to Humbug Mt. will be open from March 15 through Oct. 31, 2018. In October, the season will only be open inside the 40 fathom management line. The bag limit is two salmon, except closed to retention of coho, with a minimum size of 24-inches for Chinook and a minimum size of 20-inches for steelhead.
  • The all coho season from Cape Falcon to Humbug Mt. will reopen for what is expected to be the final day of the season on Friday, Sept. 21. Approximately 2,178 coho remain on the quota after the opening on Sept. 14-15 (Note: quota was revised on 9/12 after rollover of remaining coho from summer fishery on an impact neutral basis). Anglers should check the ocean salmon website at for the details in the Action Notice. The bag limit is two salmon per day with a minimum size for coho of 16-inches and 24-inches for Chinook.
  • From Humbug Mt. to the OR/CA border the season is closed until the opening of the Chetco state waters fishery in October (listed below).
  • The state waters Chinook salmon fishery from 0-3 miles off the Chetco River at Brookings (Twin Rocks to OR/CA Border) will be open on Oct. 6-7 and Oct. 13-14 with a daily bag limit of 1 Chinook per angler and a minimum legal length of 28-inches.
  • See Ocean Salmon section below for additional season information.

2018 Pacific Halibut

  • Columbia River Subarea (Leadbetter Point, WA to Cape Falcon, OR)
    • All halibut seasons closed for the remainder of 2018, quota has been caught. 
  • Central Coast Subarea (Cape Falcon to Humbug Mountain)
    • The all-depth halibut season is closed for the year.
    • Nearshore season: Opened June 1, 7 days per week until quota attained, or Oct. 31
  • Southern Oregon Subarea: Opened May 1, 7 days per week until quota attained, or Oct. 31.

See Pacific halibut section below or the sport halibut webpage for additional information

Recreation Report

Saltwater News Bulletins

You can subscribe to receive e-mails and text message alerts for marine topics you are interested in. It’s easy to unsubscribe at any time. Your phone and e-mail information will remain confidential. Six different lists of interest to ocean enthusiasts are available: Bottomfish (recreational), Halibut (recreational), Ocean Salmon (recreational), Ocean Salmon (commercial troll), Commercial Nearshore Groundfish, and Marine Reserves.


Yelloweye rockfish or not? Practice recognizing what you can keep and what you can't with a new online quiz. Get started

Bottomfish anglers have returned to port with near-limits of rockfish when wind and waves have allowed boats to get out. Lingcod fishing is scratchy out of most ports but usually improves during the fall and winter. The bottomfish fishery is open at all depths with a general marine fish bag limit of 5 fish. A reduced bag limit earlier in the season, combined with a shift in angler effort from bottomfish to salmon and tuna, slowed the catch of black rockfish such that enough quota remains to accommodate the 5-fish limit for the remainder of the year.

The longleader gear fishery outside of the 40-fathom regulatory line is open all year. Catches often consist of a nice grade of yellowtail, widow and canary rockfishes.

The Stonewall Bank Yelloweye Rockfish Conservation Area (approximately 15 miles west of Newport) is closed to all bottomfish (groundfish) fishing, including longleader gear trips.

For additional regulation information, see the sport groundfish seasons webpage.

Vessels fishing for or retaining bottomfish (including flatfish) species or Pacific halibut in the ocean are required (1) to have onboard a functioning rockfish descending device, and (2) use it to descend any rockfish released when fishing outside of the 30-fathom regulatory line. For more information and videos, please see the rockfish recompression webpage.

In addition to the descending device rule, ODFW continues to encourage anglers to use a descending device when releasing ANY rockfish with signs of barotrauma. Signs of barotrauma, such as bulging eyes and a gut protruding from the mouth, are reversible when fish are returned to depth with a descending device. Use a descending device to safely return fish to a depth of 60 feet or more. Even fish that are severely bloated can survive after being released at depth.

Waypoints (for fathom lines and other restricted areas)
Longleader gear
2018 Oregon Sport Fishing Regulations
Catch estimates


Some last-minute opportunities are still available to catch Pacific halibut. During the week ending Oct. 7, catch rates were low but fish were hefty, averaging 30 and 34 pounds (dressed weight) on the south and central coast, respectively. The Central Coast subarea nearshore halibut fishery and the Southern Oregon subarea all-depth halibut fishery are both open seven days per week through Oct. 31.

Remember that descending devices are mandatory when fishing for or retaining Pacific halibut.

2018 halibut season map and regulations sheet

Catch estimates


Sport salmon fishing for Chinook is open in ocean waters from Cape Falcon (just North of Nehalem Bay) to Humbug Mt. through Oct. 31 inside of the 40 fathom regulatory line for two salmon per day (all salmon except coho). Minimum sizes are 24-inches for Chinook and 20-inches for steelhead. Chinook catches continue to be slow out of most ports.

Details for the Ocean Salmon season and full catch updates are available at:


Public piers provide opportunities to catch surfperch and baitfish and to drop crab pots (but check first for crab health safety closures).

Surfperch are available year-round, with the best fishing occurring when swells are small. Learn about surfperch fishing.

When fishing from shore or inside estuaries and bays, it is important to check the tide. Many fish that swim into estuaries and bays, including salmon, surfperch, and Pacific herring, tend to come in with the tide. Catch of these species is more likely to occur closer to slack tide. Additionally, the accessibility of some areas can be completely dependent on the tide. Do not allow the incoming tide to become a safety hazard.