Summary of Washington Pacific Halibut Fisheries Management in 2010

Category: Fish/Shellfish Research

Published: December 2010

Pages: 9

Executive Summary

The purpose of this report is to summarize the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife's (WDFW) management and enforcement activities in the 2010 Pacific halibut fisheries.  It includes a synopsis of Washington's recreational catch and a summary of WDFW's enforcement efforts relative to patrolling the North Coast (Neah Bay and La Push) recreational halibut fisheries (Appendix A). Washington's Recreational Halibut Fisheries in 2010 Washington's halibut fisheries are managed under the Pacific Fishery Management Council's Pacific Halibut Catch Sharing Plan for Area 2A.  The catch sharing plan specifies how the Area 2A total allowable catch (TAC) as defined by IPHC is allocated or "shared" among various state commercial and recreational sectors.  For Washington, WDFW manages its recreational fisheries by subarea. These subareas are:
  1. Puget Sound (inside waters east of the Sekiu River, including Puget Sound) 
    • Eastern Region (inner Sound waters east of Low
    • Point) Western Region (Strait waters west of Low Point)
  2. North Coast (waters in the Strait of Juan de Fuca west of the Sekiu River and Pacific Ocean waters south to the Queets River)
  3. South Coast (Pacific Ocean waters south of the Queets River to Leadbetter Point)
  4. Columbia River (Pacific Ocean waters south of Leadbetter Point to Cape Falcon, Oregon)

A summary of Washington's recreational halibut seasons for 2010 is described in Table 1

Table 1.




 Avg Wt


Puget Sound  50,542  71,801  20.2 West: May 28-June 19
East: May 1-May 30
North Coast  101,179  95,014  21.0 May 13, 15, 20, 22
June 3, 5,19
South Coast  35,887  34,554  15.2 Primary: May 2, 4, 9, 11, 16, 18, 23
Nearshore: May 2- Sept. 307-days per week
Columbia River1/  13,436  8,242  20.0 Early: May 1-June 25 Thu-Sat;
Late: Aug 6- Sept 26 Fri-Sun

1/ Columbia River harvest is Washington catch only.

Halibut are measured at the dock and the lengths of the samples are then converted to weights.On the coast, lengths are taken throughout the season on a weekly basis and applied to the number of halibut caught to project the total catch in pounds.The catches are then monitored and the fisheries are closed when they are projected to attain their respective subarea quota.