Parimal M. Rohit
Anglers will not be able to reel in Pacific halibut off the California coast for the remainder of 2015 as the fishery officially closed Aug. 13. The state’s Department of Fish and Wildlife (DFW) projected 19,232 net pounds of Pacific halibut were caught between May 1 and Aug. 12, a period featuring three in-season closures and heavy activity in July.
DFW and the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) limited the 2015 halibut catch to 25,220 net pounds for the entire California coast. Both agencies monitored halibut catches weekly during the open season dates, which were May 1-15, June 1-15, July 1-15 and Aug. 1-12.
A DFW projection estimated 11,684 net pounds of Pacific halibut were caught in July. More than 5,600 net pounds were reeled in this month, according to state projections.
State and federal officials also regulated take methods during the season. Specifically, anglers were limited to using only one line with no more than two hooks attached. Anglers were allowed to use harpoons, gaffs or nets to assist in taking legally caught Pacific halibut.
Anglers can stay informed about the Pacific halibut fishery by visiting dfg.ca.gov/marine/pacifichalibut.asp or calling the NMFS hotline at 800-662-9825; the DFW Recreational Groundfish Regulations Hotline is 831-649-2801.