Recreation Report

Marine Zone

Regulation Updates

Regulation Updates as of May 5, 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

  • April 1 through Sept. 30 open only inside of the 30-fathom regulatory line.
  • General marine fish daily bag limit is 5 fish.
  • Cabezon cannot be retained until July 1. The daily limit is one fish and counts toward the general marine fish daily limit of 5, when open.
  • Lingcod daily bag limit is 2 fish, separate from the general marine fish bag limit. Minimum size of 22-inches.
  • 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.

Offshore Longleader Fishery

  • The Offshore Longleader Fishery is open year round only outside of the 40-fathom regulatory line only 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

  • Ocean Chinook salmon (all salmon except coho) season  from Cape Falcon to Humbug Mt. will be open from March 15 through October 31, 2018.  In October, the season will only be open inside the 40 fathom management line.
  • From Humbug Mt. to the OR/CA border the (all salmon except coho) season will be open from May 19 through August 26, 2018.
  • The bag limit will be 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.
  • Within 15 fathoms of depth off Tillamook between Twin Rocks and Pyramid Rock and prior to August 1, all retained Chinook must have a healed fin clip.
  • See Ocean Salmon section below for additional season information.

2018 Pacific Halibut

  • Columbia River Subarea (Leadbetter Point, WA to Cape Falcon, OR)
    • All-depth season:  CLOSED
    • Nearshore season:  Opens May 7, every Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday until quota attained, or September 30.
  • Central Coast Subarea (Cape Falcon to Humbug Mountain)
    • Spring all-depth season:  Remaining fixed dates are May 24-26. June 7-9, and June 21-23.  Available back-up dates, if quota remaining, July 5-7 and July 19-21.
    • Summer all-depth season:  Opens August 3-4, then every other Friday and Saturday until quota attained or October 31.
    • Nearshore season:  Opens Jun 1, 7 days per week until quota attained, or October 31
  • Southern Oregon Subarea:  Opened May 1, 7 days per week until quota attained, or October 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.

BOTTOM FISHING

There were several reports in the last couple of weeks of rockfish “boiling on the surface,” however they were hard to catch. There appears to be plenty of feed in the water, mainly crab larvae, which makes the rockfish a bit tougher to catch as they currently have plenty of food available. Reports indicate that lingcod are on the bite, with some good size fish still being caught. Several reports of lingcod with full stomachs of squid. Reminder that as of Sunday, April 1, the bottomfish fishery is restricted to inside of the 30 fathom regulatory line.

The longleader gear fishery outside of the 40 fathom regulatory line has been authorized to continue in April through September. Recent catches from the offshore longleader trips often consist of a nice grade of yellowtail, widow and canary rockfishes. Reminder that the Stonewall Bank Yelloweye Rockfish Conservation Area is closed to all bottomfish trips, including longleader trips.

For additional regulation information, see the Sport Groundfish Seasons webpage.

The Stonewall Bank Yelloweye Rockfish Conservation area, approximately 15 miles west of Newport, is closed to bottomfish (groundfish) and halibut fishing year round.

Vessels fishing for or retaining bottomfish (including flatfish) species 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

PACIFIC HALIBUT

Recreational Pacific halibut fisheries began opening on May 1. Reminder that similar to the bottomfish fishery listed above, descending devices are mandatory when fishing for or retaining Pacific halibut. Weather for the first set of fixed dates for the Central Oregon Coast spring all-depth fishery was not great. For those who were able to make it out, early reports indicate that fishing was a bit scratchy. The next fixed dates are May 24-26.

Columbia River Subarea (Leadbetter Point, WA to Cape Falcon, OR)

  • All-depth season:  CLOSED, the quota has been met
  • Nearshore season:  opens May 7, every Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday inside the 40 fathom regulatory line, until Sept. 30 or quota attainment, whichever is earlier.  Quota = 500 lbs.

Central Oregon Coast Subarea (Cape Falcon to Humbug Mountain)

  • Spring all-depth season:  Remaining fixed open dates are: May 24-26, Jun 7-9, and June 21-23.  If enough quota remains after the fixed dates, available back-up dates are:  Jul 5-7 and July 19-21.  Quota = 135,742 lbs.
  • Summer all-depth season:  opens Aug. 3-4, every other Friday and Saturday, until Oct. 31 or quota attainment, whichever is earlier.  Quota = 53,866 lbs.
  • Nearshore season:  Opens June 1, seven days per week inside of the 40 fathom regulatory line, until Oct. 31 or quota attainment, whichever is earlier.  Quota = 25,856 lbs.

Southern Oregon Subarea:  opened May 1, seven days per week until Oct. 31 or quota attainment, whichever is earlier.  Quota = 8,982 lbs.

Additional information and details can be found on the 2018 Halibut Season map.

OCEAN SALMON

Sport salmon fishing for Chinook in ocean waters from Cape Falcon (just North of Nehalem Bay) to Humbug Mt. (just South of Port Orford) is open for two salmon per day (all salmon except coho). Minimum sizes are 24-inches for Chinook and 20-inches for steelhead.

Sport salmon fishing for Chinook opens this Saturday, May 19 in ocean waters from Humbug Mt. to the OR/CA border.  The bag limit is two salmon per day (all salmon except coho). Minimum sizes are 24-inches for Chinook and 20-inches for steelhead.

Anglers are also reminded that within the 15 fathom depth contour off Tillamook Bay (Twin Rocks to Pyramid Rock) that all Chinook salmon must have a healed fin clip. Salmon fishing has been very slow to date.

Details for the Ocean Salmon season are available at: www.dfw.state.or.us/MRP/salmon/regulations/regindex.asp

SHORE AND ESTUARY FISHING

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