Recreational bottomfish and halibut

Reminder that Barbless Hooks are required for all species in Marine Areas 5 through 13—including for halibut and bottomfish—except when using forage fish jig gear to target forage fish (herring, sandlance, anchovy, sardine and smelt). See Marine Area Rules & Definitions in the Washington Sport Fishing Rules.

Recreational fishing seasons and regulations in Washington's waters for bottomfish and halibut, including weekly updates.

2023 bottomfish and lingcod seasons, bag limit highlights*

Marine Areas 1-3 and Marine Area 4 west of Bonilla-Tatoosh:

  • March 11 – October 21, 2023
  • Daily bag limit of two lingcod per angler no minimum size limit
  • Rockfish: New for 2023, in May, June, and July the possession limit for copper rockfish, quillback rockfish, and vermilion rockfish is 0.

Marine Area 4 (east of Bonilla-Tatoosh): 

  • Recreational bottomfish: open year round
  • Recreational lingcod: March 11 – October 21, 2023
  • Daily bag limit of two lingcod per angler, no minimum size limit

*See regulation pamphlet for complete listing of bag limits at:

Public meetings

WDFW hosted a virtual public webinar meeting regarding the recreational Pacific halibut fishery on Aug. 2. Halibut managers reviewed the 2023 season and took input on general ideas for structuring the 2024 season to present as preliminary options during the Sept. 7-14 Pacific Fishery Management Council meeting at the Doubletree by Hilton Spokane City Center. Halibut will be part of the meeting agenda on Sept. 9.

WDFW public stakeholder meeting, Aug. 2, 2023:

Meeting agenda

Upcoming meetings:

October, day/time TBD: WDFW public webinar meeting.

Additional meetings will also be scheduled soon to plan for the 2024 halibut season.

More information