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Summary of Washington Pacific Halibut Fisheries Management in 2007

Category: Fish/Shellfish Research and Management

Date Published: December 2007

Number of Pages: 10

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY:

The purpose of this report is to summarize the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife’s (WDFW) management and enforcement activities in the 2009 Pacific halibut fisheries. It includes a synopsis of Washington’s recreational catch, a description of the results of the incidental halibut catch in the sablefish fishery north of Point Chehalis, and a summary of WDFW’s enforcement efforts relative to patrolling the North Coast (Neah Bay and La Push) recreational halibut fisheries (Appendix A).

Washington’s Recreational Halibut Fisheries in 2007

Washington’s halibut fisheries are managed under the Pacific Fishery Management Council’s Pacific Halibut Catch Sharing Plan for Area 2A. The catch sharing plan specifies how the Area 2A total allowable catch (TAC) as defined by IPHC is allocated or “shared” among various state commercial and recreational sectors. For Washington, WDFW manages its recreational fisheries by subarea. These subareas are:

1. Puget Sound (inside waters east of the Sekiu River, including Puget Sound)

  • Eastern Region (inner Sound waters east of Low Point)
  • Western Region (Strait waters west of Low Point)

2. North Coast (waters in the Strait of Juan de Fuca west of the Sekiu River and Pacific Ocean waters south to the Queets River)

3. South Coast (Pacific Ocean waters south of the Queets River to Leadbetter Point)

4. Columbia River (Pacific Ocean waters south of Leadbetter Point to Cape Falcon, Oregon)

A summary of Washington’s recreational halibut seasons for 2007 is described in Table 1.

Table 1.

Subarea

Quota (lbs)

Catch (lbs)

Avg Wt (lbs)

Season Dates

Puget Sound

65,562

45,415

22.7

East: April 9-June 16
West: May 24-Aug 3
North Coast

116,199

114,489

20.8

May 15, 17, 19, 31;
June 19, 21, 23, 28;
July 7, 22;
Aug 4, 18, 19; Sept 1
South Coast 50,907 51,166

25.6

May 1-3; 6-8
Columbia River 1/

20,378

8,950 1/

16.2

May 1-26
Aug 3-5; 10-12; 24-26;
Sept 15

1/ Columbia River harvest is Washington catch only.

Halibut are measured at the dock and the lengths of the samples are then converted to weights. On the coast, lengths are taken throughout the season on a weekly basis and applied to the number of halibut caught to project the total catch in pounds. The catches are then monitored and the fisheries are closed when they are projected to attain their respective subarea quota.