Regulation updates as of August 9, 2019
More information can be found on the sport bottomfish seasons page
Anglers are encouraged to release copper, quillback and China rockfish
ODFW anticipates the bottomfish season will remain open through the end of the year for 2019. But three species of bottomfish have surpassed their Oregon recreational harvest guideline this year—copper, quillback, and china rockfish. While a retention prohibition isn’t necessary right now because enough pounds remain unused in other fisheries coastwide, ODFW is asking anglers to voluntarily avoid targeting these species.
Anglers that do catch a copper, quillback or china rockfish that is uninjured are encouraged to release it. (Remember the use of a descending device is required seaward of 30 fathoms and is recommended in shallower water anytime a released fish can’t submerge on its own).
While keeping copper, quillback or china rockfish remains legal at this time, it may become necessary to prohibit retention of these three species at some point. Reducing their catch rate may postpone the need for such a change until later in the year.
Close tracking of catch rates and a reduced bag limit helped keep recreational bottomfish open all year in 2018. This year, overall catch of black rockfish is lower than anticipated—important because these are the most common species in recreational bottomfish catch, and reaching the quota for black rockfish would cause the recreational bottomfish fishery to close.
New for 2019
Season dates are below.
Selective Coho (fin-clipped) Season: Open June 22 through the earlier of September 30 or 79,800 marked coho quota (Chinook guideline of 7,150)
Bag Limit: All salmon. Two salmon per day, but no more than one Chinook, and all coho must have a healed adipose fin clip
Notes: Open seven days per week. Closed within the Columbia Control Zone
Chinook Season (all salmon except coho): Open March 15 through Oct. 31
Bag Limit: Two salmon per day, closed to retention of coho except as listed below for the “selective coho” and the “non-selective coho” seasons
Selective Coho (fin-clipped) Season – open from Cape Falcon to the OR/CA Border: Open June 22 through earlier of Aug. 25 or 90,000 marked coho quota
Bag Limit: All salmon. Two salmon per day, all coho must have a healed adipose fin clip
Non-selective Coho Season: Open Aug. 31-Sept. 1 and each Fri-Sun through earlier of Sept. 30 or 9,000 non mark selective coho quota
Bag Limit: All salmon. Two salmon per day
Notes: Within the Stonewall Bank Yelloweye Rockfish Conservation Area salmon angling is restricted to trolling on all depth halibut days.
Chinook Season (all salmon except coho): Open May 25 through Sept. 2
Bag Limit: Two salmon per day, closed to retention of coho except as noted above for the selective coho season from June 22 – Aug. 25 or quota
Details available at .
Season dates are below.
Additional information about sport halibut management can be found on the ODFW halibut management webpage.
Descending devices are mandatory.
Whether you’re out after trout or bass, steelhead or salmon, surfperch or rockfish, we’d love to see photos of your adventure. When you submit your photos to ODFW they could appear on our website or signs, or in social or brochures. What a great way to share your experience with others!
Free Fishing Weekend Aug. 17-18
This weekend is the perfect time to take a friend or family member fishing. It’s Free Fishing Weekend, which means they won’t need a license, tag or endorsement to fish, crab or clam anywhere in Oregon (that’s open to fishing, crabbing or clamming).
Saltwater News Bulletins
You can subscribe to receive 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.
Ocean conditions last week were some of the nicest this summer. Many anglers took advantage of the favorable ocean conditions and targeted albacore tuna offshore, so we don’t really have new information on bottomfish.
Thursday, Aug. 15 is the last day to retain cabezon if fishing from a boat, the quota is estimated to have been reached. Shore-based fishing for cabezon continues as there is quota set aside to accommodate it.
Excited to go bottomfish fishing but find yourself wondering what you can keep and how many?
Want to work on your identification skills of commonly caught bottomfish? Try the Common Bottomfish online quiz (similar to the Yelloweye or Not quiz) by .
The bottomfish fishery is open inside the 40-fathom regulatory line from May through September with a General Marine Species bag limit of 5 fish, of which no more than 1 may be a cabezon through August 15. Cabezon closes starting August 16 for boat-based anglers, as the quota has been caught. A separate bag limit allows retention of 2 lingcod. Yelloweye retention is still closed this year.
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.
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 . 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.
(for fathom lines and other restricted areas)
The Central Oregon Coast summer all-depth season started off slowly, with a little over 2,000 pounds landed during the first opening (Aug 2-3). Ocean conditions were more favorable last week with some anglers going out for a summer “halbicore” trip (targeting both albacore tuna and halibut). Early reports are of some success on the halibut grounds with a decent grade of fish. The summer all-depth season is open every Friday and Saturday.
The Central Oregon Coast nearshore halibut fishery is open seven days per week. Remember, when the all-depth fishery is open (e.g. Aug 16-17), all-depth regulations apply, regardless of where fishing actually occurs.
In the Columbia River subarea, the nearshore halibut fishery is open daily; there has been little effort and only a few landings so far this season.
The southern Oregon subarea has seen some effort and success this year. One hefty halibut (landed in Brookings during the week ending June 16) weighed 56 pounds; the average this season is 29 pounds.
Halibut season dates can be found in the REGULATION UPDATES section above.
Additional information about sport halibut management, including landing estimates (posted by noon on Fridays), can be found on the .
Details for the Ocean Salmon season, full catch and quota updates are available .
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 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 hazard.