March 27, 1998
Contact: Chuck Bolland, (360) 902-2255
Halibut offer good fishing
OLYMPIA -- Halibut should offer Washington anglers good fishing this year, the
Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) announced.
This year's halibut quota for recreational fishers has increased to 195,000
pounds. The 1997 quota was 166,000 pounds.
The quota was increased for this year because International Pacific Halibut
Commission biologists estimate the halibut population has increased significantly.
The seasons for the four areas are:
- Catch Area 1 (Ilwaco): Open May 1 through Sept. 30, or until a quota of
8,565 pounds is taken. There is a one fish bag limit, 32 inch minimum size.
- Catch Area 2 (Westport): Open May 3 until 35,648 pounds have been
caught. Closed on Fridays and Saturdays. When the quota has been reached,
the area will close except for the portion south of the Queets River and north of
Ocean Shores in waters less than about 50 fathoms, which will remain open until
the catch for the year reaches 36,648 pounds. There is a one fish bag limit in
the area, no minimum size. Another area, in waters deeper than about 50
fathoms from Copalis Head to the Queets River is closed to halibut fishing at all
times. The specific map coordinates of the areas are detailed in the current
Fishing In Washington regulation pamphlet.
- Catch Area 3 (LaPush), and the portion of Area 4 west of the Bonilla-
Tatoosh line: Open May 1 through June 30, or until 81,052 pounds have been
caught. The area re-opens July 1 through Sept 30, or until the year's catch of
96,052 pounds is reached. Closed on Sundays and Mondays. There is a one
fish bag limit, no minimum size. Anglers are reminded that a rectangular area
about 11 nautical miles offshore and west-southwest from Cape Flattery remains
closed to all halibut fishing. Map coordinates are listed in the current Fishing in
Washington regulation pamphlet.
A food fish license is required to fish for halibut. This license may be purchased
at most sporting goods stores, WDFW regional offices and its Olympia headquarters.
A 1998 resident food fish license is $8, non-resident, $20.
- Catch Areas 5 - 13 (Puget Sound) and that portion of Area 4 east of the
Bonilla-Tatoosh line: Open May 21 to Aug. 3, but closed on Tuesdays and
Wednesdays. One fish bag limit with no size limit. A halibut catch record card,
which is free, is required to fish these areas.