Regulation updates as of September 7, 2021
- Season dates and regulations are available on the Sport Halibut Season Page.
- Beginning Monday, September 13 the daily bag limit will be two (2) fish per angler per day in Central Oregon Coast and Southern Oregon Coast Subareas. The annual limit of six (6) fish remains.
- The Columbia River Subarea (Cape Falcon, OR to Leadbetter Point, WA) all-depth and nearshore fisheries are CLOSED for for the remainder of 2021.
- Beginning Monday, September 13, the Central Oregon Coast Subarea (Cape Falcon to Humbug Mountain) will be open to all-depths seven days per week. Regular bottomfish limits (5 general marine bag, 2 lingcod, 25 other flatfish) may be retained with halibut.
More information can be found on the sport bottomfish seasons page
- Beginning Tuesday, June 1, 2021 retention of China, copper, and quillback rockfish is prohibited by anglers fishing from boats.
- Beginning Monday, May 10, 2021 the general marine bag limit (rockfish, greenlings, skates, etc.) is 5 fish per angler per day.
- FOR SHORE ANGLERS ONLY: For China rockfish, copper rockfish or quillback rockfish, there is a sub-bag limit of one. This means that you may keep only one of these fish in combination, not one of each. (Retention by boat anglers is not allowed until further notice.)
- Cabezon is closed through June 30, 2021. There will be a one fish sub-bag limit when it opens on July 1, 2021.
- Open at all depths Jan.1 through May 31, and again beginning Sept. 1 through Dec. 31.
- Beginning September 1, open to all-depths.
- Yelloweye rockfish is prohibited at all times and in all waters.
- Descending devices are mandatory.
Recreational ocean salmon fishing within the Columbia River Ocean Salmon Management Area (Leadbetter Point, Washington to Cape Falcon, Oregon), closes effective 12:01 a.m. on Monday, Aug. 30, 2021. (Open Sunday closed Monday.)
For the latest regulations, including in-season changes
See the Regulation Updates section above.
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.
Send us your fishing report
We’d love to hear about your recent fishing experience. Send us your own fishing report through ODFW Fishing Reports―the information will be forwarded to the local biologist who may use it to update various ODFW resources such as the weekly 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
- Marine reserves
REMINDER: Be sure to check for any regulation updates (above) before heading out.
There has been an increase of fishing violations due to misidentification of certain species, specifically the “red” rockfish that include yelloweye, canary and vermilion rockfish. Please make sure to look up the ID quizzes and resources below to help with identification. Also, you can ask the ODFW dockside samplers (aka fish checkers) for a beautiful colored, plastic ID handout or print one yourself to take with you on your next fishing trip.
Reminder: the recreational bottomfish fishery is back open at all depths through the end of the year.
The weather and ocean conditions were nice and calm last week, making for some memorable trips along the coast.
- Depoe Bay anglers brought in a nice mix of canary, black, deacon and vermilion rockfish with a few tiger rockfish. The lingcod bite picked up, so every angler brought in their two-fish bag limit.
- The fishing out of Newport improved with large lingcod coming in and bag limits of black and canary rockfish. Some lucky anglers brought in more of a mix, including silvergray rockfish and cabezon.
- Most of the fishing out of Charleston was nearshore and catches mainly consisted of black and deacon rockfish. The lingcod bite was fair. Canary rockfish were the only color coming in with offshore longleader trips.
- With the ocean salmon fishery closed south of Humbug Mt., anglers switched their efforts and focused on bottomfishing last week. The south coast ports of Bandon, Gold Beach and Brookings had moderate fishing effort the beginning of the week, with the majority of the effort occurring over the weekend. The anglers brought in bag limits filled predominantly with black rockfish mixed with some deacon and canary rockfish. More cabezon came in, but the lingcod bite slowed down.
The offshore longleader fishery
Longleader trips brought in a mix of yellowtail and canary rockfish, plus some widow rockfish, to fill out the 10-fish bag limit that is allowed on longleader trips.
Offshore longleader fishing gives anglers an opportunity to catch a larger daily bag limit of rockfish and helps distribute effort so boats are less concentrated on nearshore species. On a longleader trip, an angler can keep up to ten rockfish (in aggregate) of certain species. The species are as follows: yellowtail, widow, canary, chilipepper, deacon, blue, greenstriped, redstripe, silvergray and bocaccio rockfishes. Are some of these species new to you? No problem – check them out here.
Here are a few ways to help study rockfish identification.
Try the bottomfish species ID quiz and work on your identification skills for commonly caught bottomfish. Also try the “Yelloweye Rockfish or Not?” quiz to help hone your ID skills for the prohibited yelloweye rockfish.
KNOW YOUR ROCKFISH
Knowing exactly what you've caught will keep you on the right side of the law. Check out this quick ID guide to confirm your catch.
- What can I keep and how many? Keep up with in-season regulation changes.
- Waypoints (for fathom lines and other restricted areas)
- See the catch estimates and available quota for bottomfish species.
Remember: Regulations require anglers to IMMEDIATELY record their catch on their Combined Angling Tag – paper or electronic. Immediately means:
- Prior to rebaiting and putting the rod back out to sea.
- Before taking a snack or drink break.
- Before heading back to shore.
OSP reports that during a recent ocean patrol, 75 percent of halibut anglers were out of compliance – there were fish on the boat that had not been tagged. Don’t be one of those.
See the Sport Halibut Season Page for open dates and details for the Pacific halibut season. Average weights shown below are after heading and gutting.
COLUMBIA RIVER ZONE
The Columbia River Subarea recreational Pacific halibut fishery is CLOSED for the remainder of 2021.
The Pacific halibut season is now open 7 days per week at all depths in the Central Coast Subarea, and anglers may retain two Pacific halibut per day (six annually), until the quota is met or Oct. 31, whichever comes sooner. Since Pacific halibut will now be open at all depths 7 days a week, the remainder of the nearshore quota was transferred into the remaining all-depth quota.
Summer All-Depth (Estimates through Sept. 5)
Landed pounds: 27,678 Remaining pounds: 40,673 Remaining percent: 60%
There were 575 fish caught with a 14.6 pounds average weight, an increase from the prior [ZL*O1] week’s catch (109 fish averaging 9.4 pounds).
Nearshore (Estimates through Sept. 5)
Landed pounds: 10,955 Remaining pounds: 21,853 Remaining percent: 67%
There were 28 fish caught with an average weight of 12.2 pounds, smaller than the prior week (28.6 pounds).
SOUTH COAST (Estimates through Sept. 5)
Anglers may now retain two halibut per day (six annually).
Landed pounds: 4,628 Remaining pounds: 3,372 Remaining percent: 42%
The week was a banner week for Brooking’s anglers who targeted Pacific halibut: 62 fish came in at an average weight of 14.8 pounds (compared to 9 fish averaging 13 pounds the prior week).
[ZL*O1]“Last” week implies the week ending Sunday, 9/12, but these numbers are from the week before last (ending Sunday, 9/5).
Recreational ocean salmon fishing within the Columbia River Ocean Salmon Management Area (Leadbetter Point, Washington to Cape Falcon, Oregon) is CLOSED for the remainder of 2021.
The ocean from Cape Falcon to Humbug Mt. remains open for Chinook salmon fishing (and all salmon except coho). The daily bag limit is two salmon per day, a 24-inch minimum length for Chinook and a 20-inch minimum length for steelhead (no minimum length for ocean caught pink, chum, or sockeye salmon). Single-point barbless hooks (no more than 2 per line) are required when fishing for salmon or when fishing for other species in the ocean once salmon are on board the boat.
The non-mark selective coho season opened Sept. 10 through Sept. 12 and reopens on Friday, Sept. 17 and will remain open all days of the week through the earlier of Sept. 30 or the revised quota of 20,230 coho in the area from Cape Falcon to Humbug Mt. The quota was revised following an impact neutral rollover of remaining coho from the mark selective summer coho season to the September non-mark selective coho season. This resulted in adding 6,230 coho to the September quota of 14,000 coho. The open fishing days have been adjusted to be open all days of the week beginning on Friday, Sept. 17 and continuing through the earlier of the quota or Sept. 30. The daily bag limit is 2 salmon per day, with a 16-inch minimum length for coho, a 24-inch minimum length for Chinook, and a 20-inch minimum length for steelhead (no minimum length for ocean caught pink, chum, or sockeye salmon).
For the week of Sept. 6 through Sept. 12 (including the three days open to non-mark selective coho) there were an estimated 255 Chinook and 6,246 coho landed with an average catch of 0.96 salmon per angler.
- Make sure to “tag” each fish immediately upon retaining the fish by recording the fish on your catch record card, your daily license, or in your electronic license app. Learn more about how to e-tag.
- Whenever possible, release any salmon without netting the fish or bringing them on board.
- Make sure to identify your salmon before retaining. In the most recent week, multiple anglers retained sub-legal Chinook thinking that they were coho.
Observed salmon catch rates by port last week (Sept. 6-12):
- Garibaldi at 1.12 salmon per angler
- Pacific City at 0.97 salmon per angler
- Depoe Bay at 1.20 salmon per angler
- Newport at 1.42 salmon per angler
- Florence at 0.92 salmon per angler
- Winchester Bay at 0.38 salmon per angler
- Charleston at 0.34 salmon per angler
- Bandon at 0.27 salmon per angler
Find the ocean salmon seasons, catch updates, and more information on the ocean salmon season page.
Shore and estuary fishing
The general marine fish bag limit is 5 daily (a reduction that became effective May 10); only one of the 5 fish may be a China rockfish, copper rockfish or quillback rockfish if caught from shore. Anglers fishing from boats may not retain any of these three species.
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.