Coastal anglers may not retain or possess copper, quillback, or vermillion rockfish May through July

February 27, 2023

Action:  Closes retention of copper, quillback, and vermillion rockfish in Marine Areas 1-3 and 4 (West of the Bonilla-Tatoosh line).

Effective date:   May 1, through July 31, 2023

Species affected:  Bottomfish

Location:   Marine Areas 1, 2, 3, and 4 (West of the Bonilla-Tatoosh line)

Rule:  Copper rockfish, quillback rockfish, and vermillion rockfish, may not be retained or possessed during May, June, and July.

Reason for action:  Recent scientific assessments indicate the populations of these rockfish species are likely healthy but smaller than previously understood.  As a result, action is required to reduce catch to stay within state-specific federal annual limits.

Allowing possession/retention during other months (March, August, September, October) supports collection of biological information such as length and age which are crucial for stock assessments. 

Additional information:  Coastal bottomfish seasons are open the second Saturday in March (March 11) through the third Saturday in Oct. (Oct. 21).

For additional information, regarding seasons, daily limits, gear rules, depth restrictions and bottomfish closure areas, please see the Washington Sportfishing Rules pamphlet, located at

Anglers may keep up to date with all in-season Fishing Rule Changes by signing up for email notifications at

Information contact:  Lorna Wargo, Intergovernmental Policy Coordinator, 360-581-5611

Fishers must have a current Washington fishing license, appropriate to the fishery. Check the WDFW "Fishing in Washington" rules pamphlet for details on definitions and regulations. Fishing rules are subject to change. Check the WDFW Fishing hotline for the latest rule information at 360-902-2500, press 2 for recreational rules. For the Shellfish Rule Change hotline call toll free 866-880-5431.

Request this information in an alternative format or language at, 833-885-1012, TTY (711), or