Anglers can expect changes to recreational bottomfish fisheries when ocean marine areas re-open March 11 to fishing for species such as lingcod and rockfish.
The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) is making the changes to help ensure rockfish catches align with harvest limits adopted by the Pacific Fishery Management Council.
Changes in effect beginning March 11 for the 2017-18 fishing season include:
Rockfish daily limit: Reduces the daily limit on rockfish to seven, from 10, in Marine Areas 1 (Ilwaco), 2 (Westport), 3 (La Push), and 4 (Neah Bay, west of the Bonilla-Tatoosh line).
Canary rockfish daily limit: Anglers fishing in Marine Areas 1 and 2 can retain one canary rockfish as part of the seven rockfish daily limit.
Bottomfish daily limit: Reduces the overall daily limit on bottomfish to nine, from 12, in Marine Areas 1 through 3 and Marine Area 4, west of the Bonilla-Tatoosh line. Rockfish count toward an angler’s overall bottomfish daily limit. Anglers will be able to retain two bottomfish, such as lingcod or cabezon, in addition to their daily limit of seven rockfish.
Lingcod minimum size: Removes the 22-inch minimum size for lingcod in Marine Areas 1 through 3 and Marine Area 4, west of the Bonilla-Tatoosh line.
Deepwater lingcod closure: Reduces the size of the deepwater lingcod closure in Marine Area 1 by moving the southern boundary five miles north (to 46⁰ 28.00’ N. Lat. from 46⁰ 33.00’ N. Lat.).