North coast halibut and bottomfish seasons and regulations

North Coast recreational halibut
Fishing Dates Anglers
(#)
Halibut
(#)
Pounds Cumulative
(pounds)
Quota Remaining
(pounds)

2020 preliminary halibut season dates

North Coast (Marine Areas 3 and 4)

2020 season dates are preliminary until adopted into federal regulation, however, these dates are good for planning purposes.  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.

  • April 30 through May 16, two days per week, Thursday and Saturday
  • Memorial Day weekend, open Friday and Sunday, May 22, and 24
  • May 28 through June 27, two days per week, Thursday and Saturday

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.

2020 bottomfish regulations

20-fathom depth restriction

Bottomfish restrictions in Marine Area 4

In Marine Area 3 Marine Area 4 (west of the Bonilla-Tatoosh line) effective June 1 through Labor Day, recreational fishing for bottomfish is prohibited seaward of a boundary line approximating the 20-fm (120 ft.) depth contour.  Beginning June 1, on days open to the Pacific halibut fishery, no bottomfish except lingcod, sablefish and Pacific cod can be retained seaward of 20 fm. Yellowtail and widow rockfish retention is allowed seaward of 20 fathoms in July and August on days open to recreational salmon fishing.

In Marine Area 4B (east of the Bonnilla Tatoosh line) recreational fishing for bottomfish is prohibited seaward of a boundary line approximating 20-fm (120 ft.) year round. On days open to the Pacific halibut fishery in this area, no bottomfish except lingcod and Pacific cod can be retained seaward of 20-fm. 

The retention of yelloweye rockfish is prohibited in all Marine Areas. 

Area closures

Area Closures

A "C-shaped" yelloweye rockfish conservation area that is closed to recreational bottomfish and halibut fishing is defined by the following coordinates in the order listed:

  • 48°18' N. lat.; 125°18' W. long.;
  • 48°18' N. lat.; 124°59' W. long.;
  • 48°11' N. lat.; 124°59' W. long.;
  • 48°11' N. lat.; 125°11' W. long.;
  • 48°04' N. lat.; 125°11' W. long.;
  • 48°04' N. lat.; 124°59' W. long.; 
  • 48°00' N. lat.; 124°59' W. long.;
  • 48°00' N. lat.; 125°18' W. long.; and
  • connecting back to 48°18' N. lat.; 125°18' W. long.
Yelloweye rockfish conservation area

Bottomfish seasons and limits

West of the Bonnilla-Tatoosh line: Recreational bottomfish will be open from the second Saturday in March through the third Saturday in October which is March 14 through October 17, 2020.  Daily limit is a total of 9 bottomfish regardless of species, subject to individual limits shown below.  In addition to the nine bottomfish daily limit, anglers can retain three additional flatfish.

East of the Bonilla-Tatoosh line: Open year round. Daily limit is a total of 10 bottomfish regardless of species, subject to individual limits and seasons shown below..

Lingcod

Marine Area 3 (La Push) and Marine Area 4 west of the Bonilla-Tatoosh line (Neah Bay): Open March 14 – October 17, 2020; no minimum size, the daily bag limit is two per angler.

Marine Area 4 (Neah Bay) east of the Bonilla-Tatoosh line: April 16 – October 15, 2020; minimum size is 22 inches; the daily bag limit is two per angler.

Rockfish

West of Bonilla-Tatoosh line: Open March 14 – October 17, 2020. No minimum size. Daily limit 7.  No Yelloweye may be retained.  No retention or possession seaward of 20 fathoms June 1– Labor Day.  See 20 fathom depth restriction above.

East of Bonilla-Tatoosh line: Open year round. No minimum size. Daily limit 6, only Black and Blue rockfish may be retained.

Cabezon

Marine Area 3 (La Push) and Marine Area 4 (Neah Bay) west of the Bonilla-Tatoosh line: Open March 14 – October 17, 2020. No Minimum size. Daily limit 1.

Marine Area 4 (Neah Bay) east of the  Bonilla-Tatoosh line: Open year round. Minimum size 18 inches. Daily limit 1

Wolf-eel

Closed to retention

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.