OLYMPIA – Anglers will get two days in June to fish for halibut off the state’s north coast, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) announced today.
Marine areas 3 (La Push) and 4 (Neah Bay) will be open for halibut fishing from 12:01 a.m. to 11:59 p.m. on Thursday, June 22 and again on Saturday, June 24, said Phil Anderson, special assistant to WDFW director Jeff Koenings.
“A portion of the quota was previously set aside for at least one additional day of fishing in June,” Anderson said. “Because the final catch count from last week came in under what was projected, we are able to offer a second day of fishing as well.”
During this year’s initial opening, north coast halibut anglers fished five days on a 85,856-pound quota.
After closing the fishery on May 18 to confirm catch totals, WDFW fish biologists determined that 55,847 pounds are still available for harvest under the annual recreational catch quota for the north coast.
A 20-fathom depth restriction in place in marine areas 3 and 4 will not apply on June 22 and 24, Anderson said. The restriction, which runs through September 30, 2006, applies only on days when halibut fishing is closed.
On these days, anglers may not fish for, retain, possess or land any rockfish or lingcod caught seaward of a line approximately 20 fathoms offshore. The coordinates for the 20-fathom line are available on WDFW’s website (http://wdfw.wa.gov/) and from the recreational hotline by calling (360) 902-2500.