photo of a copper rockfish

Sport bottomfish seasons

Oregon's marine waters are home to many different species of bottomfish (groundfish), including lingcod, sablefish, cabezon, all species of rockfishes, greenlings, and many species of flatfishes, sharks and skates. Pacific halibut is not a bottomfish species; it is managed with its own allocation and regulations.

2021 recreational bottomfish season/regulations

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  • General marine fish daily bag limit is six fish per angler per day
  • Yelloweye rockfish are prohibited at all times and in all waters.
  • Open at all depths Jan.1 through May 31, and again beginning Sept. 1 through Dec. 31.
  • From June 1 through Aug. 31, restricted to inside of the 40-fathom regulatory line.
  • There is sub-bag limit of one for China, copper, OR quillback rockfish.  This means that you may only have one of these fish in combination, not one of each.
  • Lingcod daily bag limit is 2 fish, separate from the general marine fish bag limit. Minimum size of 22 inches.
  • Cabezon daily limit is one with a season beginning July 1, 2021.
  • 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.
  • Descending devices are mandatory; and must be used to release any rockfish outside of 30 fathoms.  

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.
  • May be taken with legal bottomfish gear (up to 3 hooks) and/or herring jigs.  A "Herring jig" is defined as:  a line or leader with any number of single-point hooks no larger than 3/8-inch hook gap.
  • Descending devices are mandatory; and must be used to release any rockfish outside of 30 fathoms.  
  • 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 gear fishery

offshore longleader gear 

  • The offshore longleader fishery is open year round only outside of the 40-fathom regulatory line. 
  • The Stonewall Bank Yelloweye Rockfish Conservation Area (approximately 15 miles from Newport) is CLOSED to the longleader gear fishery, as well as the regular bottomfish fishery.
  • Longleader gear must be used.
  • The daily rockfish bag limit is 10 fish.
    • The only species allowed in the 10-fish bag limit are:  yellowtailwidowcanaryredstripegreenstripedsilvergraychilipepper, blue, deacon, and bocaccio rockfishes.
    • Longleader species ID sheet (pdf)
  • No other groundfish are allowed on the same trip.
  • Lingcod cannot be retained.
  • Offshore longleader trips cannot be combined with traditional bottomfish or flatfish trips.
  • During May, September, and October offshore longleader fishing cannot be combined with an all-depth halibut trip. (These are months when the regular bottomfish fishery is open to all depths, and will be allowed on the same trip as all-depth halibut)
    • Anglers may return to shore, offload all rockfish, and then go fish for Pacific halibut on a separate trip, in areas and time that Pacific halibut is open.  Or the other way around, return to shore and offload all Pacific halibut, then go fish for longleader species.
  • New in 2021--During June, July, and August (months when the regular bottomfish fishery is restricted to inside of 40-fathoms) offshore longleader fishing may be combined with an all-depth Pacific halibut trip, when all depth halibut is open.  Additional information can be found by clicking here.
    • However, once rockfish are onboard the vessel, no further halibut fishing may occur.

    Offshore longleader trips can be combined with other non-bottomfish trip types (e.g., tuna or salmon), as long as the multi-species rule is followed, as well as any and all specific gear rules.

    • The multi-species rule 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.
    • Note:  if an angler retains more than the general marine fish bag limit of rockfish while longleader fishing, no other fishing (i.e., salmon) may occur inside (shoreward) of the 40-fathom regulatory line on that same trip.
  • Descending devices are mandatory; and must be used to release any rockfish outside of 30 fathoms.  

Quizzes

Yelloweye rockfish or not?
Recreational bottomfish species ID

Other resources

What can I keep   

Waypoints for fathom lines and other restricted areas
Oregon Sport Fishing e-Regulations
Catch estimates
Management of Oregon's sport groundfish 
Saltwater BulletinsBe among the first to receive sport groundfish updates, including season changes and meeting notices. Subscribe here

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