Anglers will be able to fish for bottomfish at any depth beginning Tuesday, Sept. 3.
The rule limiting fishing to inshore of 40 fathoms, which keeps yelloweye rockfish mortality below the annual limit, was originally scheduled to run through the end of September. However, fishery managers have determined that enough 2019 yelloweye rockfish quota remains to remove the seasonal depth restriction early this year.
The move to all-depth fishing in early September will give anglers more opportunity to head offshore for lingcod and other bottomfish. In addition, a shift of some fishing effort to deeper waters may reduce incidental catch of nearshore species such as copper rockfish, which has already reached the annual limit. “A lot of anglers really look forward to the fall all-depth bottomfish season, especially for offshore lingcod,” said Maggie Sommer, ODFW marine fisheries manager.
“Opening to fishing at all depths at the beginning of September this year should allow anglers to take advantage of this additional opportunity while weather and ocean conditions remain good.” This change also means that all-depth halibut anglers may retain bottomfish on the same trip, since this is allowed when the sport bottomfish and halibut fisheries are both open at all depths. For more about bottomfish regulations, visit https://myodfw.com/sport-bottomfish-seasons
Information and photo provided by ODFW