Sport bottomfish seasons

Oregon's marine waters are home to many different species of bottomfish (grounfish), 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.

2019 recreational bottomfish season/regulations

What's new for 2019?

  • During the seasonal depth restriction, angling for bottomfish will be allowed out to the 40-fathom line (rather than the 30-fathom line) AND the restriction begins one month later, on May 1 (rather than April 1)
  • In the offshore longleader gear fishery, retention of two additional species are allowed — blue rockfish and deacon rockfish.

 What's the same as last year?

  • The general marine fish daily bag limit is 5 fish
    • no more than 1 of which may be cabezon when open (opens July 1)
  • The bag limits for lingcod (2), flatfish (25), and the offshore longleader fishery (10). 
  • Any vessel fishing for, or possessing, Pacific halibut or groundfish (bottomfish), including flatfish species, in the ocean must have a functional descending device onboard, and use on any rockfish released outside of 30 fathoms.
  • The Stonewall Bank yelloweye rockfish conservation area, approximately 15 miles west of Newport, remains closed to fishing for bottomfish or Pacific halibut.
  • Yelloweye rockfish are prohibited at all times and in all waters.

2019 sport bottomfish

Bottomfish fishery

  • Open to all-depths January through April. From May through September, restricted to inside of the 40-fathom regulatory line. Open to all-depths October through December.

  • General marine fish daily bag limit is 5 fish per angler per day.
    • Cabezon will have a 1-fish sub-bag limit and will open July 1. Minimum size of 16 inches.
  • Lingcod daily bag limit is 2 fish, separate from the general marine fish bag limit. Minimum size of 22 inches.  Restricted to inside the 40-fathom regulatory line May through September.
  • 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.
  • Yelloweye rockfish are 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.
  • 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 fishery

offshore longleader gear 

  • The offshore longleader fishery is open year round only outside of the 40-fathom regulatory line. 
  • 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, flatfish, or halibut trips.
  • 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.
  • Descending devices are mandatory.

Other resources

What can I  keep

Waypoints for fathom lines and other restricted areas
2019 Oregon Sport Fishing eRegulations
Catch estimates

Related articles

Marine fishing in Oregon
Rockfish identification tips
Make your own descending device 
Yelloweye rockfish or not quiz