Oregon’s nearshore halibut fishery on the central coast closed but a few fishing opportunities remain.

NEWPORT, Ore. – The popular nearshore Pacific halibut fishery on the central coast blew through its catch quota when anglers caught more than 7,000 pounds in one week. The fishery closed on July 22.

“We tried to keep it open as long as possible by adding 5,000 pounds to the quota from the spring all-depth fishery, but we still needed to shut it down,” said Lynn Mattes, halibut project leader for ODFW.

The additional quota came from the spring all-depth Pacific halibut fishery for the central coast (from Cape Falcon south to Humbug Mountain). After 17 days of fishing and with only about 9,500 pounds remaining in the quota, fishery managers decided July 5 there was not enough to have another spring all-depth opening. Instead, they transferred 5,000 pounds of the remaining quota to the nearshore fishery and the rest went to the summer all-depth fishery.

“Oregon anglers are getting better at figuring out how and where to fish,” Mattes said. “A lot more anglers are fishing for nearshore halibut and the success rate in many ports is increasing.”

But don’t put away the gear yet. There are still opportunities to catch Pacific halibut in Oregon. The Brookings area (from Humbug Mountain to the California border) remains open. The areas off the Columbia River summer fishery will open Aug 3, three days per week, Friday-Sunday, until the quota is caught or until Sept 30, whichever is earlier.

On Aug. 3 and 4, the summer all-depth fishery opens on the central coast (from Cape Falcon to Humbug Mountain). With a quota of approximately 52,000 pounds, it is scheduled to be open every other Friday and Saturday until the quota is taken or until Oct. 27, whichever comes first.

More details on regulations can be found at: http://www.dfw.state.or.us/MRP/finfish/halibut/index.asp or in the booklet 2012 Oregon Sport Ocean Regulations for Salmon, Halibut and other Marine Species. General regulations can be found in the 2012 Oregon Sport Fishing Regulations booklet.