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Effective June 10, 2020 through September 30, 2020, size and harvest limits of game fish are lifted on Howard Prairie Reservoir.

Beginning March 23, all ODFW offices will be closed to visitors. ODFW staff will be available by phone and email.

Effective March 18, all state-owned fish hatcheries are closed to public access and visitors. Trout stocking in lakes and ponds continues for now.

Recreation Report

Marine Zone

Regulation Updates

Looking for the latest crabbing and clamming updates?

Regulation updates as of July 16, 2020

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

Clamming and Crabbing

  • Recreational crabbing for nonresidents is now open from Cape Falcon (between Seaside and Tillamook) south to the OR/CA border.
  • All other shellfish license activities (clamming, mussel harvest, etc.) remain closed to nonresidents until further notice.

Ocean salmon

  • The area from Leadbetter Point to Cape Falcon will close to salmon harvest effective 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, July 26. The closure comes as the coho salmon quota is expected to be reached.

2020 Pacific halibut seasons 

Columbia River subarea:

All-depth season:  opens Thursday, August 6, then beginning August 13 is open each Thursday and Sunday or until the quota is taken. If catch and effort is tracking slower than anticipated, additional days may be added.   Quota = 17,949 pounds

Nearshore season:  opens August 10 for three days per week, Monday – Wednesday through September 30 or until the quota is reached.  Quota = 500 pounds.

Central Oregon coast subarea:

Spring all-depth season:  After a delayed opening, the season is open as originally scheduled on May 21-23, May 28-30, June 11-13, June 18-20, and July 9-11; plus July 16-18, July 23-25 and July 30-Aug. 1 will also be open. (Why was the opening delayed? After working with local governments and ports to address COVID-19 concerns, ODFW delayed the all-depth halibut opener by one week, from May 14-16 to May 21-23, to allow more time for ports, charters and other facilities to prepare for reopening and to ensure fair and equitable access to halibut across the entire central coast subarea.)     Quota = 171,103 pounds.

Summer all-depth seasonScheduled to open Aug. 6-8, then open every other Thursday, Friday and/or Saturday until the earlier of quota attainment or Oct. 31.     Quota = 67,898 pounds.

NearshoreOpen May 1, seven days per week, inside the 40-fathom line, through the earlier of quota attainment or Oct. 31.     Quota = 32,591 pounds.

Southern Oregon subarea:  Open May 1, seven days per week, through the earlier of quota attainment or Oct. 31.     Quota = 8,000 pounds.

ODFW strongly recommends anglers follow the Governor’s Stay Home, Save Lives order by following social distancing guidelines and by continuing to stay at or near their home or place of residence, whenever possible.

Before heading out, anglers are advised to check that the facilities they plan to use (boat ramps, cleaning stations) are open and to check for regulation changes and announcements.

Sport groundfish

More information can be found on the sport bottomfish seasons page

Beginning July 20, 2020

  • Retention of China, copper, and quillback rockfish is prohibited when fishing from a boat.
  • The general marine fish bag limit will increase from 5 to 7 fish per angler per day

New for 2020

  • There is a sub-bag limit of one China rockfish, one copper rockfish OR one quillback rockfish, open through July 19, 2020.
  • The seasonal 40-fathom depth restriction is in place from June through August

Reminders

  • Bottomfish anglers are restricted to inside of the 40-fathom regulatory line June 1 through August 31.
  • Yelloweye rockfish is prohibited at all times and in all waters.
  • The general marine fish daily bag limit is 5 fish (increasing to 7 fish on July 20, 2020), no more than 1 of which may be a China rockfish, copper rockfish OR quillback rockfish through July 19, 2020; and no more than 1 of which may be a cabezon when the cabezon season is open.
  • Beginning on July 20, 2020 retention of China, copper, and quillback rockfish is prohibited when fishing from a boat.
  • Cabezon is closed until July 1 and then the season will be open through Dec. 31 or until the quota is reached, whichever comes first.
  • Descending devices are mandatory.
Recreation Report

Lingcod
3FT LING!! Photo by Kevin Cozad

If there’s not a photo, it didn’t happen

Submit your fishing photo  to ODFW and we might use it here or elsewhere on MyODFW.com.

FISHING UPDATES

Tips to recreate responsibly

We continue to urge anglers and others recreating outside to stay close to home, keep your social distance, and travel safely. Here’s more information about how to recreate responsibly.

Please help keep fish checkers safe

ODFW Samplers (aka fish checkers) will be at the docks and boat launches in a number of locations along the coast. In order to maintain their safety and the angling public we are striving to maintain a minimum of 6 ft. of distance at all times, and the ODFW samplers will be wearing masks. We would appreciate your assistance in maintaining the distancing and providing the fish for inspection in a safe manner.  Thank you for taking the extra efforts that are required at this time.

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

Rockfish fishing was reported to be slow this last weekend, possibly due to water temperatures. Cabezon fishing has been pretty good with a nice grade of fish coming in. No recent reports on how lingcod fishing is going.

Excited to go bottomfish fishing but find yourself wondering what you can keep and how many? Click here

The General Marine Species bag limit is 7 fish beginning July 20. If you are going for the fish General Marine Species or lingcod, it is restricted to inside of the 40 fathom line from June 1 through August 31.

Beginning July 20, 2020 retention of China, copper, and quillback rockfish is prohibited when fishing from a boat. Cabezon opened July 1, 2020 with a one-fish sub-bag limit and a minimum size of 16 inches. Lingcod has a separate 2-fish bag limit with a minimum size of 22 inches.

Retention of yelloweye rockfish is prohibited by all anglers.

Anglers participating in the offshore longleader fishery frequently catch limits (10 fish) of large canary rockfish and yellowtail rockfish. The longleader gear fishery outside of the 40-fathom regulatory line is open all year. At least one trip was reported with limits for last week.

Want to work on your identification skills of commonly caught bottomfish? Try the Common Bottomfish online quiz by clicking here. And also try the “Yelloweye Rockfish or Not?” quiz.

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

2020 Oregon Sport Fishing Regulations

Catch estimates

What can I keep and how many?

PACIFIC HALIBUT

Columbia River Subarea:

Nearshore: Opens August 10 each Monday-Wednesday inside the 40 fathom line off of Oregon, through the earlier of quota or Sept. 30. The quota is 500 lbs.

All-Depth: Opens Thursday, Aug. 6, then beginning Aug. 13 will be open every Thursday and Sunday through Sept.30 or until the quota is taken. The quota is 17,949 lbs.

Central Oregon Coast Subarea:

Spring All-Depth: The remaining open dates are July 30-Aug. 1.

Landings through July 18 total 93,281 lbs., leaving 77,822 lbs. (45.5%) of the quota remaining. Average size of fish landed has been 21 lbs. round weight.

Nearshore: This fishery remains open 7-days per week. Note on days the all-depth fishery is open, all-depth rules must be followed, regardless of what depth fished (i.e., limited bottomfish retention). Landings through July 19 total 17,983 lbs., leaving 14,608 lbs. (45%) of the quota remaining. Average size of fish landed has been about 22 lbs. round weight.

Southern Oregon Subarea: This fishery is open 7-days per week. Landings through July 19 total 1,705 lbs., leaving 6,295 lbs. (78.7%) of the quota remaining. Average weight of fish landed has been about 14 lbs. round weight.

OCEAN SALMON

Leadbetter Point, WA to Cape Falcon, OR:

The ocean salmon season for this area closed on Sunday, July 26.

Cape Falcon to Humbug Mountain: 

The all salmon except coho season opened on March 15 with a limit of 2 salmon per day (closed to coho): Chinook minimum size of 24 inches total length and steelhead 20 inches total length. This season will continue through Oct. 31. Chinook fishing in this area has ranged from poor to very good with a total of 2,272 Chinook from an estimated 15,185 angler trips through July 26. Over the last few weeks, there have been good catches of Chinook out of Pacific City, Depoe Bay, Newport, and Winchester Bay.

The selective coho (fin-clipped) season opened June 27 and will continue through the earlier of Aug. 16 or quota (22,000 adipose fin-clipped coho), whichever comes first. Coho must be at least 16 inches in total length to be retained, have a healed adipose fin-clip, and are part of the 2 salmon per day bag limit. The adipose fin-clipped coho catch rate was poor in most areas last week.  The one exception being Garibaldi where anglers landed 251 coho and 23 Chinook with an overall catch rate of 0.78 salmon per angler. Dockside observed salmon catch rates in other locations included 0.21 salmon per angler at Pacific City, 0.09 salmon per angler at Depoe Bay, 0.28 salmon per angler at Newport, 0.24 salmon per angler at Winchester Bay, and 0.05 salmon per angler at Charleston. Through July 26, a total of 5,136 coho (23.3%) had been landed out of the quota.

Anglers are reporting that the coho and Chinook are finding lots of feed this summer. They are showing good growth and are looking very healthy. 

As expected, the fin-clip rate on coho this year is much lower than in most recent years.  Anglers are reminded to make sure of the correct species identification, avoid netting any non-clipped coho, and to make every attempt to release all non-clipped coho safely at the side of the boat.  

Humbug Mountain to the OR/CA Border:  The Chinook season opened on Saturday, June 20 and will continue through August 7. The daily limit is 2 salmon per day (closed to retention of coho salmon) with a Chinook minimum size of 24 inches total length and a steelhead minimum size of 20 inches total length. Although slightly improved over the prior week, the week of July 20-26 saw continued poor catches with an average catch rate of 0.18 Chinook per angler and a total catch for the week of 153 Chinook for 860 angler-trips.

ALBACORE TUNA

Albacore tuna have started to come into range for some of the larger private recreational boats. If the weather cooperates, the fishing can be expected to improve soon.

During the past two weeks, the ocean conditions and weather have prevented anglers from getting to where the tuna are. This week may finally provide a break for anglers and allow them to get offshore to the tuna waters.

Learn more about tuna fishing in Oregon.

SHORE AND ESTUARY FISHING

Surfperch are available in the surf year-round along sandy beaches and rocky shore, with the best fishing (and safest fishing) occurring when swells are small. Learn about ocean 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 issue.