Puget Sound Halibut Anglers Get Five More Days fishing June 7, 9, 16, 21 & 23 2018

Tom-FATSquid smMarine areas 3-10 to re-open for halibut fishing;
all-depth halibut fishery in Marine Area 2 to close

Action: Marine areas 3 through 10 will re-open for halibut fishing Thursday, June 7, Saturday, June 9 and June 16, 21 & 23.

In Marine Area 2, the all-depth halibut fishery is closed effective immediately while the nearshore fishery will open seven days per week beginning Saturday, June 2.

Effective dates and locations:

Marine Areas 3-10: Open recreational halibut fishing Thursday, June 7, and Saturday, June 9.

Marine Area 2 (Westport): Close the all-depth fishery effective immediately; open the nearshore area seven days per week beginning Saturday, June 2.

Species affected: Pacific halibut

Reason for action: There is sufficient quota remaining to continue the recreational halibut fishery in Marine Areas 3 and 4 (Neah Bay and La Push) and the Puget Sound region (Marine Areas 5 – 10) on Thursday, June 7, and Saturday, June 9, without risk of exceeding the quota.

Through May 27, the total catch in the all-depth recreational halibut fishery in Marine Area 2 was 41,258 pounds, which is 93 percent of the quota and does not leave sufficient quota to open the all-depth halibut fishery for another day. However, some quota is reserved in this area to allow for a nearshore recreational halibut fishery once the all-depth fishery is closed. The nearshore area will open to recreational halibut fishing on Saturday, June 2, seven days per week until the quota is taken. The quota will be adjusted to include the remaining quota from the all-depth fishery.

Other information: The nearshore halibut fishery in Marine Area 1 remains open seven days per week until further notice.

These rules conform to management actions taken by the International Pacific Halibut Commission and the National Marine Fisheries Service.

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

 

Posted in Puget Sound Halibut Fishing, Strait of Juan de Fuca Halibut Fishing, Uncategorized, Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife, Washington Halibut Fishing, Washington Halibut Regs | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Washington Halibut Season Catch Stats & Available Quota Announced

According to WDFW bottomfish managers the average size of halibut inside Puget Sound waters is 26 pounds compared to ocean fish that weigh just over 16 pounds average. The creel checks for Puget Sound for the second opener totaled 120 fish. The expansion factor for Puget Sound was just over 2.8. Weather was a major factor in reducing pressure on the 25th, especially in the Port Angeles/Sequim area where winds, waves and fast currents made it nearly impossible to catch halibut.

The reports can be found here:   https://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/creel/halibut/

Puget Sound halibut anglers will likely get at least two more days fishing, possibly more if catch rates don’t improve. possible openers are: Thursday, June 7; Saturday, June 9; Saturday, June 16; Thursday, June 21; Saturday, June 23; Thursday, June 28; and Saturday June 30

Also note, WDFW has always boasted and bragged about their fish checking methods at the docks. Common sense says a fish checker should check boats for fish, right? Well they don’t, they check every fourth boat unless it is a charter, which always gets checked. This does not make sense. If you employ fish checkers why not check every boat and every fish? Not checking every boat contributes to the high expansion catch factor, which includes truck/trailer counts, aerial counts etc. WDFW might claim the ramps are to busy to check everyone but I think that is an excuse. Ramps do get crowded, but it takes time for boats to come out of the water. And if waiting a little longer is what it takes to get more accurate numbers recreational anglers should understand this and help with the process. Next year WDFW might, with enough pressure from recreational anglers, come up with a faster catch reporting system. Keep your fingers crossed.

Below are the current halibut catch numbers from WDFW

2018 Juan de Fuca Strait & Puget Sound Recreational Halibut

Puget Sound Recreational Halibut
Fishing Dates Anglers
(#)
Halibut
(#)
Pounds Cumulative Quota
Remaining
May 11, 13 6,468 598 14,080 14,080 46,915
May 25, 27 4,123 339 8,957 23,037 37,958

2018 North Coast Halibut Fishery

North Coast Recreational Halibut
Fishing Dates Anglers
(#)
Halibut
(#)
Pounds Cumulative
(lbs.)
Quota Remaining
(lbs.)
May 11, 13 2,981 1,534 25,994 25,994 85,638
May 24, 27 2,758 1,894 32,041 58,035 53,597

2018 South Coast Halibut Fishery

Primary Halibut Season
Fishing Dates Anglers
(#)
Halibut
(#)
Halibut Caught (lbs.) Quota
Remaining
May 11, 13 1,043 809 14,440 29,901
May 24, 27 1,643 1,460 24,797 5,104
Posted in Puget Sound Halibut Fishing, Strait of Juan de Fuca Halibut Fishing, Uncategorized, Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife, Washington Halibut Fishing, Washington Halibut Regs | Leave a comment

No Fishing Zone Announced in Southern Vancouver Island to Save Orca Whales

The Canadian Government just released new fishing rules, regulations and conservation measures for Northern and Southern BC Chinook salmon in an effort to provide food for southern resident orcas. The map below shows the no fishing zone between the red marks. Effective June 1 to September 30, 2018 there is no fishing for finfish in Subareas 18-2, 18-4, 18-5, 18-9, 19-1 to 19-4 and Area 20. Map below shows Area 20 sub areasNo Fishing ZoneJuan de Fuca (Subareas 19-1 to 19-4 and Area 20):  Effective June 1, 2018 to September 30, 2018 there is no fishing for finfish in Subareas 20-3, 20-4 and that portion of Subarea 20-5 that lies west of 123 degrees 49.30 minutes west longitude (Otter Point) Effective June 1, 2018 until June 28, 2018 the daily limit for Chinook salmon is two (2) per day which may be wild or hatchery marked between 45 and 67 cm fork length or hatchery marked greater than 67 cm in Subareas 19-1 to 19-4 and 20-6 and 20-7 and that portion of Subarea 20-5 that lies east of 123 degrees 49.30 minutes west longitude (Otter Point). Effective June 29, 2018 until July 31, 2018, the daily limit for Chinook salmon is two (2) Chinook per day which may be wild or hatchery marked between 45 and 85 cm or hatchery marked greater than 85 cm in Subareas 19-1 to 19-4 and 20-6 and 20-7 and that portion of Subarea 20-5 that lies east of 123 degrees 49.30 minutes west longitude (Otter Point).

Notes: Additional local closures may be in effect in your area.  Please check for the latest closures and restrictions for your area, and other recreational fishing information at: www.pac.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/recfish  Further information on specific management actions by area may be communicated by separate Fishery Notices. You can view or subscribe to fisheries notices at:  http://notices.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/fns-sap/index-eng.cfm  www.pac.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/recfish FOR MORE INFORMATION:  Contact your local DFO officehttp://www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/contact/regions/pacific-pacifique-eng.html

Fishery Notice – Fisheries and Oceans Canada Subject: FN0428-Conservation Measures for Northern and Southern BC Chinook Salmon and Southern Resident Killer Whales This notice provides information on planned conservation measures for Northern and Southern BC Chinook Salmon and Southern Resident Killer Whales that will be implemented beginning June 1, 2018. Chinook Conservation MeasuresTo address Chinook conservation concerns, DFO is implementing a precautionary 25-35% reduction in exploitation rates for Chinook stocks of concern to support conservation and promote rebuilding. These additional reductions are planned to address conservation concerns for Nass River, Skeena River and many small wild Chinook populations in Northern BC; and, all Fraser River Chinook populations (including Spring 4(2), Spring 5(2), Summer 5(2), Summer 4(1) and Fall 4(1) populations) in Southern BC.   Additional Northern BC Chinook management measures are outlined below, followed by additional Southern BC Chinook management measures.

Northern Commercial Fisheries Area F Troll – opening of AABM Chinook fishery delay to July 10 in addition to boundary changes.  Refer to the subsequent Fishery Notice for details.  Northern Recreational Fisheries Please note that possession limits for Chinook Salmon are twice the daily limit. The recreational daily limits of Chinook Salmon are being reduced in North Coast tidal waters as follows: Haida Gwaii: Effective June 1, 2018 to July 9, 2018, the daily limit is one (1) Chinook per day in Areas 1, 2, 142, and that portion of Area 101 west of 131 degrees 40.0 minutes West longitude  North Coast: Effective June 1, 2018 to June 15, 2018, the daily limit is one (1) Chinook per day in Areas 3 to 5, 103 to 105, Subarea 102-1, and that portion of Area 101 east of 131 degrees 40.0 minutes West longitude

Effective June 16, 2018 to July 9, 2018, there is zero (0) retention of Chinook Salmon in Areas 3 to 5, 103 to 105, Subarea 102-1, and that portion of Area 101 east of 131 degrees 40.0 minutes West longitude Effective July 10, 2018 to July 31, 2018, the daily limit is one (1) Chinook per day in Areas 3 to 5, 103 to 105, Subarea 102-1, and that portion of Area 101 east of 131 degrees 40.0 minutes West longitude Effective June 1, 2018 to July 31, 2018 the daily limit is one (1) Chinook per day in Areas 6 and 106 Variation Order Number: 2018-RFQ-0307 Management measures for northern BC non-tidal waters were previously announced in FN0372 issued May 8, 2018.  Southern BC Commercial Fisheries Area G Troll: There is no commercial fishery for AABM Chinook in June or July. Area B Seine and Area H Troll:Effective June 1 to September 30, 2018, there is no commercial salmon fishing in Subareas 20-3, 20-4 and that portion of Subarea 20-5 that lies west of 123 degrees 49.30 minutes west longitude (Otter Point).   Area B Seine and Area H Troll:Effective June 1 to September 30, 2018 there is no commercial salmon fishing in Subareas 18-2, 18-4, 18-5 and 18-9.

Southern BC Recreational Fisheries:

Southern BC Inside Waters Areas 13 to 18, 28 and 29 and Subareas 19-1 to 19-6 (except those portions listed below): Effective June 1, 2018 until September 30, 2018, the daily limit for Chinook Salmon is one (1) per day in in Areas 13 to 17, 28 and 29 with the exception of those four areas listed below under the headings Strait of Georgia, Pender Island, Juan de Fuca and Fraser River mouth.   Terminal fishing opportunities at full limits for Chinook may be considered in-season if abundance permits. Effective October 1, 2018 until further notice, the daily limit for Chinook Salmon is two (2) per day in in Areas 13 to 19, 28 and 29

Exceptions: Strait of Georgia: Note: this measure came into effect on May 7, 2018 as previously announced in FN0370 issued May 7, 2018. Effective immediately until June 28, 2018 the daily limit for Chinook salmon is two (2) per day, of which only one may be greater than 67 cm in Subareas 18-1, 18-3, 18-6, 18-11, and 19-5. Effective June 29, 2018 to July 31, 2018 the daily limit is two (2) Chinook salmon per day between both of which must be less than 85 cm in Subareas 18-1, 18-3, 18-6, 18-11, and 19-5.  Chinook salmon retained in these waters must have a fork length of at least 62 1a

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Washington Halibut Fishing Day 3 Stats

ABCFish checkers counted 24 halibut Friday, May 25th for the Strait of Juan de Fuca Areas 5, 6, 7, 8, & 9. That’s the “Puget Sound Inside” waters halibut fishery. Weather was less than desirable and down right miserable. Many halibut anglers, including me, opted to stay ashore and not fight wind, waves and currents. I spoke with several anglers that did go halibut fishing and they reported four foot seas which made it difficult to anchor or drift.

Approximately 632 anglers braved the wind swept rough seas with dismal catch rates equaling just 3.8 percent catch rate. Let’s face it, that’s less than terrible, it’s a complete failure for Day 3 of our inside waters halibut fishery.

Let’s do the math to figure out how the WDFW’s “Mystery Math” will account for Day 3.

Here’s the math with the increase factor “multiplier” WDFW uses to grossly “guesstimate” our halibut catch.

24 halibut x 2.4266 = 58.2384 halibut x 23 pounds = 1,339.4832 pounds.

Prior to Day 3 we had 45,116 pounds of halibut left in the sport quota. After subtracting May 25th’s catch plus multiplier factor it leaves 43,776.52 pounds of quota going into Day 4 May 27th. Given low catch rates I’d wager we should get more days to fish halibut. I can’t imagine the WDFW fisheries managers could possibly justify not giving us more days, but I’m constantly flabbergasted at the level of incompetency at the WDFW.

If you think I’m wrong, ask yourself how this department has managed our fisheries resource over the past 30 years. I could name dozens of examples of wrong guesstimates, wrong policy, hidden agendas and commercial over harvest.

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Sport Halibut Mystery Math Screws Sports Anglers in Puget Sound & Straits

The first two days of halibut fishing in the Strait of Juan de Fuca and Puget Sound were dismal at best, and largely viewed by sports anglers as the worst opener in recent memory. On day one Tribal longlines were spotted at the 31/36 hole out of Port Angeles and day two longlines spotted on the west side of Tongue Point. Pillar Point, a local favorite for anglers out of Sekiu was a bust with few halibut caught.

Halibut Catch Data

Our fisheries managers at WDFW have always claimed that their fish checkers do a great job of counting the sport caught halibut and I agree, they do a pretty good job of getting the actual count of sport-caught halibut. This year fish checkers in the Strait and Puget Sound counted 279 halibut. But, as usual, WDFW uses a catch factor number to arrive at an estimate of sport caught halibut.

“Sampling programs rely on expanding the number of actual fish and effort counted by our samplers to produce an estimate of total catch and effort,” says Heather Reed, fisheries manager at WDFW.

Let’s take a look at the numbers again, fish checkers visually saw and recorded 279 halibut and then fisheries managers used a formula to estimate our catch to a total of 676 halibut. That’s a multiplier of  x 2.4266

That my fellow halibut anglers is an multiplier WDFW loves and we hate. They say their numbers and formulas are “Peer Reviewed.” I say the public needs to peer review these idiotic numbers. There’s no way sport halibut anglers caught 2.4266 times more halibut than the fish checkers saw. If that is correct their fish checking program is a failure. Can anyone tell me of another industry, sport, fishery that has this kind of crystal ball mystery math that is acceptable?

Next year’s halibut catch record card, (HCRC) was suppose to help fisheries managers get a better idea of how many halibut are really caught, but WDFW fisheries managers say they won’t be changing their formulas or methods and don’t seem interested in a more immediate system to report actual catches from halibut catch cards.

If you are as outraged as I am, please let your state senators and representatives know how displeased you are with the current fisheries management and lack of progress to accurately monitor halibut catch rates without using “Mystery Math.”

Oh Canada, here I come. At least we still have opportunity across the border. Hopefully WDFW fisheries management will change when we get a new director, but not likely, as the current managers and methods are so ingrained and accepted not much will likely change.

Good luck over the Memorial Day weekend. Hopefully we get a few more days of halibut fishing if the mystery math allows it.

John L Beath

 

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Canadian Anchor Rules Changed!

4-25-2018 — Update: Today a friend called Canadian Customs and was issued a clearance number with no problems and was able to anchor without going to the Canadian Customs dock. It seems different agents have different rules or they are randomly, day to day requiring anglers to report to Customs if they are going to anchor. At least there’s hope. If you have not read yesterday’s post below, please do. Be prepared and know that when you call Canadian Customs for anchoring they might require you to go to the Canadian Customs dock, in which case you can tell them you will not anchor. Be ready to drift for halibut if they do.

If you have not read my previous post, please do. With regards to that post, dated April 23 2018, about anchoring for halibut in Canadian waters, I called Canadian Customs today and they indeed told me anyone who anchors MUST report in person to a Canadian Customs port, be inspected and then can go and anchor. I even asked about Nexus Cards, stating that was not the requirement in the past and that Nexus Cards should prevent having to report in person. No they said, “Even with the Nexus Card you will have to report in person to the Customs Dock,” the agent told me.

Another friend also called with the Canadian Custom’s reporting number with the same questions and he received the same answers. This could change in the future, but who knows, we are dealing with governments, foreign governments at that.

I think this new policy is in response to the conflict between the United States and Canada during this years International Pacific Halibut Commission. I was there, as part of the Conference Board, voting on proposals that would go to the six commissioners, three from the U.S. and three from Canada. For the second time in 94 years the two countries did not agree on proposals dealing with cuts because of lower halibut numbers.

Canadian fisheries managers did cut quotas for both sport and commercial. The sport maximum size reduced from last year’s 133 cm to 115 cm on April 1st this year. With less quota, I believe the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada is putting pressure on their Customs and Border Patrol to enforce the anchoring rules, which have always been in effect. Obtaining a Nexus Card use to enable anglers to simply call CAN PASS (Canadian Customs) and obtain a “Clearance” number without having to physically report. Please keep in mind, this is my opinion on their motives, but it makes sense. Why else would they suddenly change policy. Why else would they suddenly send their Customs and Border Patrol vessel to Coyote Bank (also known as Border Bank) demanding anchored vessels, whom already called for clearance numbers, to report to a Custom’s dock?

I will keep everyone posted as updates/changes occur. Next time I plan to go salmon fishing across the border I will call for a clearance number for anchoring and see what they say. Who knows, they might issue a number. If they say I must report in person I will tell them no thanks, I will just fish for salmon. Their new law, as of last July, allows U.S. boats to troll or drift without calling to notify Canadian Customs.

John L. Beath  4-24-2018

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Canadian Customs Out In Force Today!

FB_RHIBs_for_HM_Customs_GibraltarToday a friend decided to go fishing at Coyote Bank, aka “Border Bank” in Canadian waters. Upon calling into Canadian Customs because they were planning to anchor, the Custom’s agent on the phone told them they would have to report to either Victoria or Sydney for inspection, even though they had their Nexus cards and all paperwork in order.

They told the Canadian Customs official on the phone they would drift, which would not require them to report in person to a Canadian port.

I also just received an e-mail from another friend in Anacortes who went to Coyote Bank today. Here’s what he said.

Hi John, fished Coyote, was on a drift today other boat was anchored. Canadian Border Patrol came out, told boat on anchor to report to Victor customs, all paper in order made all call to custom with BR #. No guns / drugs / alcohol only fish gear. I know the guy they did this to, we went out together. Have Not herd from him yet. Any Idea why?

I have no idea why.

US CustomsToday the U.S. Customs & Border Patrol boat, with three BIG outboards fueled up at John Wayne Marina, so obviously both sides of the border are watching. Just not sure what is going on with Canadian side of border.

Just remember, if you plan to anchor you MUST call into Canadian Customs and receive a clearance number. If they request you report to a port just tell them no thanks, you will just drift or troll and you should be fine.

Borders are getting less restrictive and more restrictive at the same time. Go figure.

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US Custom’s Small Vessel Reporting Requirements Update

Nexus CardI recently fished Canadian waters and upon re-entering U.S. waters, as required by law, I called the US Custom’s Small Vessel Reporting Center in Bellingham. All aboard my vessel had Nexus cards, but they asked for our BR numbers (Boater Registration). The officer told me that a BR number MUST be associated with the Nexus card. They had a BR number on file for me, but as a passenger on my friend’s boat. Interesting.

The officer told me to call after 5 pm to get a BR number linked to my Nexus, which I have now accomplished. The phone call took a few minutes, but will save time in the future when I call the US Customs Small Boat Reporting number at 1-800-562-5943

If you currently have an I-68 your BR number is on the upper right hand portion of the document, just below your boat’s registration number. In short, if you have a Nexus card simply call the above number and get a BR number linked to your Nexus card.

Here’s what you need to fish Canadian waters and re-enter U.S. waters after fishing in Canadian waters.

Fishing Canada — What You Need To Know

  1. You MUST have a Passport, Enhanced Drivers License, or Nexus Card. Everyone aboard, including kids must have one of these.
  2. If fishing for salmon you MUST register online with WDFW at https://wdfw.wa.gov/licensing/canadian_catcphp to retain salmon. If halibut fishing only, you do not register online with WDFW.
  3. You MUST call 1-888-226-7277 CAN PASS if you plan to anchor or go ashore and obtain a clearance number from Canadian Customs. Write this number down, as U.S. Customs will need this number upon re-entering U.S. waters
  4. You MUST have an I-68, Global Entry or Nexus Card to re-enter U.S. waters. When re-entering call 1-800-562-5943 Make sure to get a BR number linked to your Global Entry or Nexus card
  5. Do not have guns aboard your vessel while in Canadian waters.
  6. If you have fish aboard from Canadian waters you can’t fish U.S. waters unless your Canadian caught fish is legal in Washington waters, but you must still clear U.S. Customs before fishing U.S. waters
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Washington Sport Halibut Quota 2018

Here is a breakdown on the poundage quota for the 2018 sport halibut fishery in Washington waters.  This information is pulled from the Federal Register at:
https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2018/03/26/2018-06049/pacific-halibut-fisheries-catch-sharing-plan

Also note, SB-6127 the Halibut Catch Record Card bill passed and was signed by the Governor and will be implemented in 2019. This year we have asked WDFW managers to have their license sales vendor re-program the point of sales system to not issue any free halibut catch record cards after July 1st, 2018 when there’s no chance of fishing for halibut. Hopefully this will give WDFW fisheries managers better numbers to figure out the actual sports catch. Once the new low-cost Halibut Catch Record Card law goes into effect it will drastically reduce the numbers of halibut anglers which we hope will reduce the sport catch estimates and give us more time on the water fishing for halibut.

This season, depending on estimated catch rates based on the creel checks, I’m anticipating we’ll have at least four days of fishing.
The IPHC couldn’t agree between the US and Canada on a harvest quota.  The result was a slight decrease for the 2A Catch Share Plan.  The Makah tribe took the lead in asking for a similar fishery to 2017.  Without their efforts, we might have seen a much more restrictive season.  Puget Sound Anglers and the Coastal Conservation Association supported the Makah recommendation at the IPHC meeting.

For comparison, here are the 2017 sport quotas for WA waters.  The sport share is down 13,017 lbs from 2017.  This is a result of a drop in the halibut population survey by the IPHC.

2017 Sport Halibut Quotas

Sport Puget Sound 64,962 Pounds
Sport WA North Coast 115,599 Pounds
Sport WA South Coast 50,307 Pounds
Sport Columbia River 12,799 Pounds

2018 Sport Halibut Quotas

Sport Puget Sound 60,995 pounds
Sport WA North Coast 111,632 pounds
Sport WA South Coast 46,341 pounds
Sport Columbia River 11,682 pounds
In section 27 of the annual domestic management measures, “Sport Fishing for Halibut—IPHC Regulatory Area 2A” Start Printed Page 13091paragraph (8) is revised to read as follows:

(8) * * *

(a) The quota for the area in Puget Sound and the U.S. waters in the Strait of Juan de Fuca, east of a line extending from 48°17.30′ N lat., 124°23.70′ W long., north to 48°24.10′ N. lat., 124°23.70′ W long., is 60,995 pounds.

(i) The fishing seasons are:

(A) Depending on available quota, fishing is open May 11, 13, 25, and 27; June 7, 9, 16, 21, 23, 28, and 30, or until there is not sufficient quota for another full day of fishing and the area is closed by the Commission. Any fishery opening will be announced on the NMFS hotline at 800-662-9825. No halibut fishing will be allowed unless the date is announced on the NMFS hotline.

(ii) The daily bag limit is one halibut of any size per day per person.

(b) The quota for landings into ports in the area off the north Washington coast, west of the line described in paragraph (2)(a) of section 26 and north of the Queets River (47°31.70′ N. lat.) (North Coast subarea), is 111,632 pounds.

(i) The fishing seasons are:

(A) Depending on available quota, fishing is open May 11, 13, 25, and 27; June 7, 9, 16, 21, 23, 28, and 30, or until there is not sufficient quota for another full day of fishing and the area is closed by the Commission. Any fishery opening will be announced on the NMFS hotline at 800-662-9825. No halibut fishing will be allowed unless the date is announced on the NMFS hotline.

(ii) The daily bag limit is one halibut of any size per day per person.

(iii) Recreational fishing for groundfish and halibut is prohibited within the North Coast Recreational Yelloweye Rockfish Conservation Area (YRCA). It is unlawful for recreational fishing vessels to take and retain, possess, or land halibut taken with recreational gear within the North Coast Recreational YRCA. A vessel fishing with recreational gear in the North Coast Recreational YRCA may not be in possession of any halibut. Recreational vessels may transit through the North Coast Recreational YRCA with or without halibut on board. The North Coast Recreational YRCA is a C-shaped area off the northern Washington coast intended to protect yelloweye rockfish. The North Coast Recreational YRCA is defined in groundfish regulations at 50 CFR 660.70(a).

(c) The quota for landings into ports in the area between the Queets River, WA (47°31.70′ N lat.), and Leadbetter Point, WA (46°38.17′ N lat.) (South Coast subarea), is 46, 341 pounds.

(i) This subarea is divided between the all-waters fishery (the Washington South coast primary fishery), and the incidental nearshore fishery in the area from 47°31.70′ N lat. south to 46°58.00′ N lat. and east of a boundary line approximating the 30 fm depth contour. This area is defined by straight lines connecting all of the following points in the order stated as described by the following coordinates (the Washington South coast, northern nearshore area):

(1) 47°31.70′ N lat., 124°37.03′ W. long,;

(2) 47°25.67′ N lat., 124°34.79′ W. long,;

(3) 47°12.82′ N lat., 124°29.12′ W. long,;

(4) 46°58.00′ N lat., 124°24.24′ W. long.

The south coast subarea quota will be allocated as follows: 44,341 pounds for the primary fishery and 2,000 pounds to the nearshore fishery. Depending on available quota, the primary fishery season dates are May 11, 13, 25, and 27; June 7, 9, 16, 21, 23, 28, and 30, or until there is not sufficient quota for another full day of fishing and the area is closed by the Commission. Any fishery opening will be announced on the NMFS hotline at 800-662-9825. No halibut fishing will be allowed unless the date is announced on the NMFS hotline. The fishing season in the nearshore area commences the Saturday subsequent to the closure of the primary fishery, and continues 7 days per week until 46,341 pounds is projected to be taken by the two fisheries combined and the fishery is closed by the Commission or September 30, whichever is earlier. If the fishery is closed prior to September 30, and there is insufficient quota remaining to reopen the northern nearshore area for another fishing day, then any remaining quota may be transferred in-season to another Washington coastal subarea by NMFS via an update to the recreational halibut hotline.

(ii) The daily bag limit is one halibut of any size per day per person.

(iii) Seaward of the boundary line approximating the 30-fm depth contour and during days open to the primary fishery, lingcod may be taken, retained and possessed when allowed by groundfish regulations at 50 CFR 660.360, subpart G.

(iv) Recreational fishing for groundfish and halibut is prohibited within the South Coast Recreational YRCA and Westport Offshore YRCA. It is unlawful for recreational fishing vessels to take and retain, possess, or land halibut taken with recreational gear within the South Coast Recreational YRCA and Westport Offshore YRCA. A vessel fishing in the South Coast Recreational YRCA and/or Westport Offshore YRCA may not be in possession of any halibut. Recreational vessels may transit through the South Coast Recreational YRCA and Westport Offshore YRCA with or without halibut on board. The South Coast Recreational YRCA and Westport Offshore YRCA are areas off the southern Washington coast established to protect yelloweye rockfish. The South Coast Recreational YRCA is defined at 50 CFR 660.70(d). The Westport Offshore YRCA is defined at 50 CFR 660.70(e).

(d) The quota for landings into ports in the area between Leadbetter Point, WA (46°38.17′ N lat.), and Cape Falcon, OR (45°46.00′ N lat.) (Columbia River subarea), is 11,682 pounds.

(i) This subarea is divided into an all-depth fishery and a nearshore fishery. The nearshore fishery is allocated 500 pounds of the subarea allocation. The nearshore fishery extends from Leadbetter Point (46°38.17′ N lat., 124°15.88′ W long.) to the Columbia River (46°16.00′ N lat., 124°15.88′ W long.) by connecting the following coordinates in Washington 46°38.17′ N lat., 124°15.88′ W long. 46°16.00′ N lat., 124°15.88′ W long. and connecting to the boundary line approximating the 40 fm (73 m) depth contour in Oregon. The nearshore fishery opens May 7, and continues on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday each week until the nearshore allocation is taken, or September 30, whichever is earlier. The all-depth fishing season commences on May 3, and continues on Thursday, Friday and Sunday each week until 11,182 pounds are estimated to have been taken and the season is closed by the Commission, or September 30, whichever is earlier. Subsequent to this closure, if there is insufficient quota remaining in the Columbia River subarea for another fishing day, then any remaining quota may be transferred inseason to another Washington and/or Oregon subarea by NMFS via an update to the recreational halibut hotline. Any remaining quota would be transferred to each state in proportion to its contribution.

(ii) The daily bag limit is one halibut of any size per day per person.

(iii) Pacific Coast groundfish may not be taken and retained, possessed or landed when halibut are on board the vessel, except sablefish, Pacific cod, flatfish species, and lingcod caught north of the Washington-Oregon border during the month of May, when allowed by Pacific Coast groundfish regulations, Start Printed Page 13092during days open to the all-depth fishery only.

(iv) Taking, retaining, possessing, or landing halibut on groundfish trips is only allowed in the nearshore area on days not open to all-depth Pacific halibut fisheries.

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Sport Fishing Ban Along Vancouver Island Proposed to Help Orcas Eat More Salmon

via Sport Fishing Ban Along Vancouver Island Proposed To Help Orcas Eat More Salmon

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