OLYMPIA — The recreational halibut fishery off the north coast of Washington will reopen for two more days in May to allow anglers to harvest the remainder of the May quota for that area, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) announced today.
The fishery in marine areas 3 and 4 (La Push and Neah Bay) will be open for halibut fishing from 12:01 a.m. to 11:59 p.m. on Thursday, May 29 and again on Saturday, May 31.
WDFW had closed the fishery May 20 because it looked like anglers were close to reaching the May quota of 79,194 pounds, said Heather Reed, WDFW fish biologist. Halibut season in marine areas 3 and 4 opened May 13, with fishing limited to Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.
“We expected the quota would be reached, but rough weather kept many people off the water,” Reed said.
With the two-day opener, anglers have a chance to catch the remaining 29,430 pounds left in the quota. If there is additional quota remaining, it will be transferred to the fishery scheduled in June, Reed said.
Halibut fishing in marine areas 3 and 4 is scheduled to reopen June 17 and 19 under a separate quota. Anglers fishing those days in those two areas will be restricted to waters no more than 30 fathoms deep, as specified in WDFW’s 2008-09 Fishing in Washington rules pamphlet. If enough quota remains after those two days, halibut fishing will reopen June 21, Reed said.
Meanwhile, halibut fishing remains open seven days a week in Marine Area 1 (Ilwaco), two days a week (Sundays and Tuesdays) in Marine Area 2 and five days a week (Thursday through Monday) in the Strait of Juan de Fuca and all other areas of Puget Sound except Hood Canal.