Halibut fishing date added to coastal Grays Harbor

An additional date has been added to the sport halibut season for Westport-Ocean Shores this year.

The Washington State Department of Fish & Wildlife announced that in addition to the dates already announced, recreational halibut fishing will be open Thursday, June 6 for the Grays Harbor coast.

In addition to the already set dates, anglers will have this additional opportunity.

Volunteer deck hand Kyle Collins goes to work filleting a large halibut caught during the 10th Annual Armed Services Combat Fishing Tournament in Seward, Alaska, May 26. The tournament, hosted by the city of Seward and the Armed Services YMCA, gave more than 200 military anglers stationed in Alaska a free day of halibut fishing to thank them for their service. (Army photo/John Pennell)

Recreational halibut fishing will also be allowed on six additional fishing days in Marine Areas 5 through 10, those dates are; Thursday, May 30; Saturday June 1; Thursday, June 13; Saturday, June 15; Thursday, June 27; and, Saturday, June 29.

According to WDFW, the 2019 sport halibut quota approved by the International Pacific Halibut Commission in January is approximately 25 percent higher than 2018. The higher quota, combined with lower catch in Marine Areas 5-10 during the early season, allows for more sport halibut fishing days than anticipated when the season dates were set last fall.

Six additional fishing days will be added to those areas to maximize sport fishing opportunity, and the single date was added locally.

The all depth recreational halibut fishery in Ilwaco will continue on May 24 and 26. The nearshore area will remain open Mondays through Wednesdays until further notice.

No changes are proposed to the recreational season dates in Marine Areas 3 and 4 at this time.

WDFW will continue to track catch as the season progresses and make adjustments as needed to provide opportunity while keeping catch within the quota.

Additional information: 2019 sport halibut season dates:

Marine Area 1: All-depth: Open Thursday, May 2; Sunday, May 5; Thursday, May 9; Sunday, May 12; Friday, May 24; Sunday, May 26.

Nearshore: Open Monday’s through Wednesday beginning May 6.

It is permissible to retain lingcod when halibut is on board north of the Washington-Oregon border on days open to the recreational halibut season.

Marine Area 2: Open Thursday, May 2; Sunday, May 5; Thursday, May 9; Sunday, May 12; Friday, May 24; and Thursday, June 6.

Marine Areas 3 and 4: Open Thursday, May 2; Saturday, May 4; Thursday, May 9; Saturday, May 11; Saturday, May 18; Friday, May 24; Sunday, May 26; Thursday, June 6; Saturday, June 8; Thursday, June 20; Saturday, June 22

Puget Sound (MA 5-10): Open Thursday, May 2; Saturday, May 4; Thursday, May 9; Saturday, May 11; Saturday, May 18; Friday, May 24; Sunday, May 26; Thursday, May 30; Saturday, June 1; Thursday, June 6; Saturday, June 8; Thursday, June 13; Saturday, June 15; Thursday, June 20; Saturday, June 22; Thursday, June 27; and, Saturday, June 29

Marine Area 5: It is permissible for halibut anglers to retain lingcod and Pacific cod caught while fishing for halibut in waters deeper than 120 feet on days that halibut fishing is open and when the lingcod season is open.

It is not lawful to retain lingcod or Pacific cod seaward of 120 feet on halibut days in MA 6-10.

Marine Areas 11-13 are closed

Marine Areas 1-10: Daily bag limit of 1 halibut per angler, with no minimum size limit. Annual limit of 4. All catch must be recorded on WDFW catch record card. Possession limits remain the same.

Information contact: Heather Hall, Coastal Policy Coordinator, 360-902-2487.

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