Recreation Report

Marine Zone

Regulation Updates

Regulation Updates as of Aug. 15, 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 has been reduced from 5 fish to 4 fish, as of July 1.
  • Cabezon opened on July 1. The daily limit is one fish and counts toward the general marine fish daily limit of 4 (effective July 1), when open. Minimum size of 16-inches.
  • 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 now closed.
  • 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. 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.
  • The adipose fin-clipped hatchery coho season from Cape Falcon to Humbug Mt. opened Saturday, June 30 and will be open through the earlier of September 3 or the quota of 35,000 fin-clipped coho. The minimum size for coho is 16-inches. 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.
  • From Humbug Mt. to the OR/CA border the (all salmon except coho) season is open from May 19 through August 26, 2018. 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 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.
  • 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)
    • Summer all-depth season: Open Aug. 17-18, then every other Friday and Saturday until quota attained or Oct. 31. Update by noon on Friday Aug. 24 about how much quota remains.
    • 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.

BOTTOM FISHING

Reports are that rockfish fishing is still scratchy, anglers are having to work for them. Lingcod has slowed down some as well; however there are still some good-size lingcod being landed, it just may take some more time and effort than it did a few weeks ago. Reminder that as of April 1, the bottomfish fishery is restricted to inside of the 30 fathom regulatory line.

As of July 1, the general marine bag limit (rockfish, greenlings, etc.) is 4 fish. This reduction to the bag limit is necessary to keep total catches within annual quotas, and reduce the chance of an early closure of the recreational bottomfish fishery.

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

The summer all-depth fishery will be open on Friday and Saturday (Aug. 17-18) with approximately 50 percent of the quota remaining, and will be open every other Friday and Saturday until Oct. 31, or the quota is caught. There will be an update by noon on Friday, Aug. 24 on catch from the Aug 17-18 opening, how much quota remains, and if it is enough for additional days to be open.

The Central Coast nearshore halibut fishery opened on Friday, June 1. When the winds have allowed anglers to get out, there has been limited success with nearshore halibut. The average weight of fish landed last week was around 21 pounds live weight. Based on landings through Aug. 5, approximately 7,500 pounds (29 percent) of the allocation remains.

The Southern Oregon Subarea (Humbug Mountain to the OR/CA Border) remains open 7 days per week. 

Reminder that similar to the bottomfish fishery listed above, descending devices are mandatory when fishing for or retaining Pacific halibut.

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

OCEAN SALMON

Sport ocean salmon fishing is open from Leadbetter Point, WA to Cape Falcon, OR is now closed.

Sport salmon fishing for Chinook is open in ocean waters from Cape Falcon (just North of Nehalem Bay) to the Oregon/California border for 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.  Chinook catches have been light in most ports with the exception of Brookings where anglers were landing 0.29 Chinook per angler over the past week.

In addition, the adipose fin-clipped hatchery coho season from Cape Falcon to Humbug Mt. will be open through the earlier of Sept. 3 or the quota of 35,000 fin-clipped coho. Through Aug. 12, there have been 9,200 coho landed out of the quota of 35,000 (74 percent of the quota remains). Best recreational salmon catches during the most recent week were at Pacific City with 0.92 salmon per angler, Newport with 0.80 salmon per angler, and Depoe Bay with 0.67 salmon per angler. The minimum size for coho is 16-inches. Anglers been averaged 0.57 salmon per angler trip during the week of August 6-12, and this was the best fishing observed so far this season.

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

ALBACORE TUNA

Anglers have been having the best success on albacore approximately 40-60 miles offshore out of Winchester Bay, Charleston, and Bandon. Albacore will be found in waters with temperatures of 58oF or higher, and with low chlorophyll concentrations (<0.25mg chlorophyll/m3). Best way to identify a chlorophyll in the correct range is when the water is a brilliant clear blue color as observed in the wake behind the boat. High ocean productivity this season has resulted in higher chlorophyll concentrations further offshore that have severely limited access to albacore for recreational boats.

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).

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.