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WASHINGTON DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND WILDLIFE     Print Version
NEWS RELEASE
600 Capitol Way North, Olympia, WA 98501-1091


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April 25, 1997
Contact: Jeff Weathersby, (360) 902-2256

Ocean sport halibut season opens May 1; Puget Sound seasons opens May 22

Recreational halibut fishing seasons open May 1 in the ocean and on May 22 in Puget Sound, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife announced today.

Seasons and catch limits are as follows:

  • Marine Area 1 (Ilwaco): Open May 1 through Sept. 30 or until the quota of 6,215 pounds of halibut are harvested; one-fish bag limit, 32-inch minimum size.
  • Marine Area 2 (Westport): Open May 1 or until 19,483 pounds of halibut have been caught. The area from Ocean Shores north to the Queets River and east of 124 degrees and 40 minutes will remain open through Sept. 30 or until the season quota of 20,483 pounds has been landed; one-fish bag limit, no minimum size. The off-shore area west of 124 degrees, 40 minutes and from Copalis Head (47 degrees, 10 minutes) to the Queets River is closed at all times.
  • Marine Area 3 and the portion of Area 4 west of the Bonilla-Tatoosh Line (LaPush and Swiftsure): Open May 1 through June 30 or until 81,099 pounds of halibut have been caught. It re-opens July 1 through Sept. 30 or until the year's catch exceeds 96,088 pounds. It is closed on Sundays and Mondays; one-fish bag limit, no minimum size. As last year, a rectangle-shaped area west of the Portage Head-Lake Ozette area and defined by longitude and latitude (see page 14 of the Fishing in Washington sport fishing regulations pamphlet for details) is closed.
  • Marine Areas 5-13 and the portion of Area 4 east of the Bonilla-Tatoosh Line (Puget Sound): Open May 22 through Aug. 10, closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays; one-fish bag limit with no size limit; free halibut catch record card required. Cards have been distributed to license dealers.
Fishers can call (360) 796-3215 for weekly catch updates.

The halibut seasons and regulations were developed by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, Pacific Fishery Management Council and International Pacific Halibut Commission.