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

March 27, 1998
Contact: Chuck Bolland, (360) 902-2255

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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.
  • 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.
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.