Columbia River halibut and bottomfish seasons and regulations

All-depth fishery

Fishing Dates WA Anglers (#) WA Halibut (#) Washington (pounds) Oregon (pounds) Total Cumulative Catch (pounds) Quota


4, 7

199 168 2,017.2 116.1 2,133.3 2,133.3 16,241.7
May 11, 14 279 160 1,793.3 864.4 2,657.7 4,791.0 13,584.0
May 18, 21 213 122 1,412.7 211.8 1,624.5 6,415.5 12,171.3
May 25 95 88 1,013.9 100.7 1,114.6 7,530.0 10,845.0
June 1, 4 66 45 571.5


571.5 8,101.5 10,273.5
June 8, 11 208 173 2,088.4 196.3 2,284.7 10,386.2 7,988.8
June 13,15,18 131 130 1,440.8 386.1 1,826.9 12,213.1 6,161.9
June 20, 22, 25 190 175 2,177.8 445.1 2,622.9 14,836.0 3,539.0
June 29 90 65 892.9 109.1 1002.1 15,838.1 2,536.9
August 26-27 290 154 1,434.9 363.7 1,798.6 17,636.7 783.3
Sept 8 and 9 137 45 704.7 621.0 1,325.7 18,962.4 -
Sept 22 25 11 189.9


249.8 19,212.2 -

Nearshore fishery

Fishing Dates Washington (pounds) Oregon (pounds) Total Cumulative Catch Quota Remaining* 

2023 halibut season dates

The following dates for 2023 have been approved by the Pacific Fishery Management Council and implemented into federal regulation. Pacific halibut are quota managed, days open are dependent on available quota and Marine Areas will close when the quota is projected to be obtained.  The following is intended to show the proposed season structure, but season dates are not guaranteed to be open.

All-depth Fishery
  • May 4 through May 21, two days per week, Thursday and Sunday
  • Thursday, May 25
  • June 1 through June 25, open two days per week, Thursday and Sunday, and Thursday, June 29

Announced June 1, new dates added for the Columbia River in June include: June 13 and 20.  These dates are in addition to the ones listed above.  All dates remain subject to available quota. 

Announced July 24, the Columbia River will open August 26, 27 and September 8, 9, 22.  For late summer dates, WA quota is shared among all subareas. All dates are subject to total WA available quota. 

Nearshore Fishery 

         The fishery will remain open through September 27 or when the Washington recreational quota is achieved, whichever comes first. 

Check for additional information as the season progresses in the emergency rules website.

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.  Except, the bag limit is temporarily increased to six fish for August 17 - September 30, 2023 (dates subject to available quota). Anglers may obtain a free two-line catch record card for this period. Anglers must record their catch on a WDFW catch record card.

Map showing the boundary coordinates for fishing lingcod in the Columbia River

2023 Bottomfish regulations 

On days open to the all depth halibut fishery, sablefish, Pacific cod, flatfish species, yellowtail rockfish, widow rockfish, canary rockfish, redstriped rockfish, greenstriped rockfish, silvergray rockfish, chilipepper, bocaccio, and blue/deacon rockfish may be retained. Lingcod may be retained north of the Washington-Oregon border. The retention of yelloweye rockfish is prohibited. 

Following the opening of the all-depth fishery, halibut retention with bottomfish on board is allowed in the nearshore area each Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, 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

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°20.00'W. long. to 46°33.00’ N. Lat., 124°21.00’ W. long. Except, lingcod may be taken, retained and possessed in this area from June 1 through June 15 and September 1 through September 30.

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


Recreational fishing for bottomfish will be open from the second Saturday in March through the third Saturday in October, which is March 11 through October 21, 2023. Daily limit is a total of nine bottomfish regardless of species, subject to individual limits shown below. In addition to the nine bottomfish daily limit, five additional flatfish species (excluding Pacific halibut) can be retained. 

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. Except, lingcod may be taken, retained and possessed in this area from June 1 through June 15 and September 1 through September 30.


  • Marine Area 1 (Columbia River): Open March 11 – October 21, 2023. See lingcod restricted areas above.
  • The daily bag limit is two per angler
  • No minimum size.


  • Open March 11 – October 21, 2023.  No minimum size. Daily limit 7.  Retention of yelloweye rockfish is prohibited.  New for 2023, in May, June, and July the possession limit for copper rockfish, quillback rockfish, and vermilion rockfish is 0. See lingcod restricted areas above. 


  • Open March 11 – October 21, 2023. 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.  


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