Sport fishing for bottomfish closes off Washington coast through March 10

Photo Courtesy of Danny Stonedahl of River Chrome Guide Service

WDFW Fishing Rule Change


Action: Close recreational bottomfishing in Marine Areas 1-3 and Marine Area 4 (west of the Bonilla-Tatoosh line) through March 10, 2017. Reopen the coastal recreational bottomfish fishery the second Saturday in March through the third Saturday in October (March 11 through Oct. 21, 2017).

Effective date: Effective immediately

Species affected: Bottomfish

Location: Marine Areas 1 through 3 and Marine Area 4 (west of the Bonilla-Tatoosh line)

Reason for action: The Pacific Fishery Management Council adopted changes to the recreational bottomfish seasons along the Washington coast as part of its groundfish biennial management cycle for 2017-18. The recreational bottomfish season is currently open year round in coastal marine areas, although rough ocean conditions in winter results in minimal fishing effort from mid-October through mid-March.

This new rule changes the coastal recreational bottomfish season from a year round season to one open from the second Saturday in March through the third Saturday in October. It also aligns the recreational bottomfish season with the recreational lingcod season in Marine Areas 1-3, and preserves recreational fishing opportunity in months when there has been significant participation in the fishery (March-October).

Marine Area 4B, east of the Bonnilla-Tatoosh line, will remain open year round as some recreational fishing does occur in this area during the winter. This rule change is necessary to conform to federal action taken by the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS).

Additional information: Bottomfish species include Pacific cod, Pacific tomcod, Pacific hake (or whiting), walleye pollock, all species of dabs, sole and flounders (except Pacific halibut), lingcod, ratfish, sablefish, cabezon, greenling, buffalo sculpin, great sculpin, red Irish lord, brown Irish lord, Pacific staghorn sculpin, wolf eel, giant wrymouth, plainfin midshipman, all species of shark, skate, rockfish, rattail, and surfperches (all saltwater perch are surfperch) excluding shiner perch.

Information contact: Heather Reed, (360) 902-2487

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