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Reel Time Fishing Northwest

Mark Yuasa covers fishing and outdoors in the Pacific Northwest.

March 30, 2013 at 9:08 AM

Halibut fishing seasons begins in early May

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Here are the halibut fishing seasons:

In all marine areas open to halibut fishing, there is a one-fish daily catch limit and no minimum size restriction. Anglers may possess a maximum of two fish in any form, and must record their catch on a state Fish and Wildlife catch record card.

Sekiu (Marine Area 5): From May 23-26, the fishery will be open Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday for Memorial Day weekend. From May 30 through June 1, the fishery will be open Thursday, Friday and Saturday and then will be open for one final day on Saturday, June 8.

Port Angeles, San Juan Island, Saratoga Pass, northern Puget Sound and central Puget Sound (Marine Areas 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10): From May 2-4, the fishery will be open Thursday, Friday and Saturday. From May 16-18, the fishery will be open Thursday, Friday and Saturday.  From May 23-26, the fishery will be open Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday for Memorial Day weekend. The fishery will be open May 30 and 31, Thursday and Friday.

South central Puget Sound, Hood Canal and southern Puget Sound (Marine Areas 11, 12, 13): These areas will remain closed to halibut fishing this year to protect threatened and endangered rockfish species.

Ilwaco (Marine Area 1):  Marine Area 1 opens May 3, three days per week (Friday-Sunday) until 80 percent of the quota is achieved.  If the early season quota (80 percent of the quota) is not obtained prior to August 3, the fishery will continue three days per week (Friday-Sunday), until the remaining quota is taken, or until Sept. 29, whichever occurs first. The early quota is 9,516 pounds; the late quota is 2,379 pounds.

Westport (Marine Area 2):  Marine Area 2 opens May 5, two days per week (Sunday and Tuesday) for three consecutive weeks. The area-wide fishery will be closed May 26 and 28. If sufficient quota remains, the fishery will open the following Sunday and/or Tuesday and continue until the quota is reached, or until Sept. 29, whichever occurs first. The northern nearshore area will open May 5 and continue seven days per week until the nearshore quota is reached, or until Sept. 30, whichever occurs first. The quota for the area-wide fishery is 40,739 pounds; the quota for the northern nearshore fishery is 2,000 pounds.

La Push/Neah Bay (Marine Areas 3 and 4: Marine areas 3 and 4 open May 9, two days per week (Thursdays and Saturdays) through May 18. If enough harvestable fish remain to be caught, the fishery will re-open May 30 and/or June 1 and possibly on additional days (Thursdays and Saturdays) depending on the amount of quota available until the quota is reached or Sept. 28, whichever occurs first. The combined quota for both areas is 108,030 pounds.

(Photo by Mark Yuasa, Seattle Times staff)

In Marine Areas 1-4, seasons will continue until the sub-area quotas are reached.

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