Recreation Report

Marine Zone

Regulation Updates

Regulation Updates as of June 19, 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 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 adipose fin-clipped hatchery coho season in this area will open June 30. 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-depth season:  Re-Opening for Thursday, June 21 only
    • Nearshore season Beginning Thursday, May 24 open seven days per week, until quota attained, or Sept. 30.
  • Central Coast Subarea (Cape Falcon to Humbug Mountain)
    • Spring all-depth season:  Remaining fixed dates are June 21-23.  Available back-up dates, if quota remaining, July 5-7 and July 19-21.
    • Summer all-depth season:  Opens Aug. 3-4, then every other Friday and Saturday until quota attained or Oct. 31.
    • Nearshore season:  Opens 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.


Last week anglers reported having trouble finding fish at their usual spots, although Sunday seemed to have picked up some. Boats/anglers that put in the time have been able to come home with limits. Lingcod catches have been hit and miss. Reminder that as of 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


The Central Coast nearshore halibut fishery opened on Friday, June 1June 21-23 is the last set of fixed dates for the Central Coast spring all-depth fishery. Available back-up dates, if quota remains are:  July 5-7 and July 19-21.

The Columbia River Subarea all-depth fishery is going to be re-opening for one day, Thursday, June 21 only. The Columbia River Subarea nearshore fishery open days per week expanded to seven day starting on Thursday, May 24, 2018. The Southern Oregon Subarea remains open seven 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.


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.

Salmon fishing has generally been slow to date. Most open areas are seeing one Chinook landed for every four angler trips.

Details for the Ocean Salmon season 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). 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.