Recreational Pacific halibut season officially open

STATEWIDE — The recreational Pacific halibut fishery season kicked off on May 1 and will continue in managed spurts through Oct. 31 or until a federally-mandated quota is reached.

This year’s halibut catch quota is 29,640 pounds, according to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (DFW), or 4,420 pounds more than last year’s quota.

Open dates for recreational halibut fishing will be May 1-15, June 1-15, July 1-15, Aug. 1-15 and Sept. 1-Oct. 31. The season could end earlier if the mandated quota is reached before Oct. 31.

“The open and closed periods are intended to spread fishing opportunities from spring through fall,” DFW staff stated. “Anglers are limited to one rod and two hooks while fishing for Pacific halibut.”

DFW field staff will monitor catches at public launch ramps and charter boat landings and communicate catch data with the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) and International Pacific Halibut Commission. The NMFS has authority to shut down the fishery once the mandated quota is reached.

Catch projections will be posted on the DFW website weekly so anglers could track the progress of the fishery in relation to the quota.

The quota and fractured season dates only apply to Pacific halibut, which differs from California halibut.

Call NMFS at 800-662-9825 for more information about halibut fisheries.

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