Columbia River halibut and bottomfish seasons and regulations

All-depth fishery

Catch Through WA Anglers (#) WA Halibut (#) Washington (pounds) Oregon (pounds) Total Cumulative Catch Quota
Remaining 
               

Nearshore fishery

Open Monday-Wednesday

Catch Through Washington (pounds) Oregon (pounds) Total Cumulative Catch Quota Remaining* 
           

Preliminary halibut season dates

These halibut season dates are preliminary until adopted into federal regulation by the National Marine Fisheries Service but can be used for planning purposes, as they are unlikely to change.  Please note, Pacific halibut are managed to a quota and openings are dependent on available quota.

  • Thursday, May 2
  • Sunday May 5
  • Thursday, May 9
  • Sunday, May 12
  • Friday, May 24
  • Sunday, May 26 

If sufficient quota remains after May 26, the Columbia River subarea would be open two days per week (Thursday and Sunday) until the remaining quota is achieved.

In all marine areas open to halibut fishing, there is a one-fish daily catch limit and no minimum size restriction.  There is a four fish annual bag limit.  Anglers must record their catch on a WDFW catch record card.

Check for additional information as the season progresses in the Emergency Rules website.

Bottomfish regulations

The retention of bottomfish, except sablefish, Pacific cod, and all flatfish species (other than halibut), with halibut onboard is prohibited during the all depth halibut fishery .  Lingcod retention is allowed on halibut days in Marine Area 1 north of the Washington-Oregon border. The retention of yelloweye rockfish is prohibited.

Halibut retention with bottomfish on board is allowed in the nearshore area each Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, following the opening of the all depth fishery until the nearshore quota is taken. The nearshore area off WA is shoreward of 46°38.17' N. lat., 124°15.88' W. long., to the WA/OR border at 46°16.00' N. lat., 124°15.88' W. long. (then connecting to the 40 fathom depth contour in Oregon)

Bottomfish restrictions

Columbia River deepwater closure map

The retention of yelloweye rockfish is prohibited at all times.

Recreational fishing for, retention or possession of lingcod is prohibited seaward of a line extending from 46°38.17'N. lat., 124°21.00'W. long. to 46°33.00'N. lat., 124°21.00'W. long at all times. 

NOTE: Bottomfish caught in the Pacific Ocean and landed into a Washington port are subject to Washington personal use fishing regulations including possession limits (WAC 220-305-010).  That is, recreational anglers are prohibited from landing recreational bottomfish in excess of the possession limits in place for the port of landing.

Bottomfish seasons and limits

Bottomfish

Recreational fishing for bottomfish will be open from the second Saturday in March through the third Saturday in October, which is March 9 through October 19, 2019. Daily limit is a total of nine bottomfish regardless of species, subject to individual limits shown below. 

In Marine Area 1 fishing for, retention, or possession of lingcod is prohibited seaward of a line drawn from 46°38.167’ N. Lat., 124°21.00’ W. Lon. (Leadbetter Point) to 46°33.00’ N. Lat., 124°21.00’ W. Lon. when lingcod is open.

Lingcod

  • Marine Area 1 (Columbia River): Open March 9 – October 19, 2019. See lingcod restricted areas below.
  • The daily bag limit is two per angler

Rockfish

  • Open March 9 through October 19, 2019.  No minimum size. Daily limit 7.  Retention of yelloweye rockfish is prohibited. See bottomfish restricted areas below.

Cabezon

  • Open March 9 through October 19, 20 19. No minimum size. Daily limit 1.

Sixgill, Sevengill, and Thresher sharks

  • Closed to fishing for, retaining, or possessing.  Sixgill shark may not be removed from the water.  

Surfperch

  • Open year-round. No minimum size. Daily limit 12, except Shiner perch daily limit 15 is not included in the bottomfish daily limit.