Beginning April 1 and running through Sept. 30, Oregon bottomfish anglers will have to pay attention to some new regulations changes.
First off, the daily bag limit of cabezon will be reduced to 1 per day as part of the seven-fish marine sport bag limit. Fisheries scientists assessed Oregon’s cabezon numbers for the first time in 2009. Based on the assessment results, there is a new federal harvest cap for cabezon off of Oregon beginning in 2011.
For the past several years, ODFW managed cabezon with a state-imposed landing cap, which was typically reached in July or August. The seasonal sub-bag limit is new for 2011 and is intended to allow year-round fishing for cabezon, while staying within the federal harvest cap.
“If carefully released, Cabezon have an excellent survival rate,” said Lynn Mattes, project leader for marine recreational groundfish fisheries for the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife. “Both the cabezon anglers keep and the fish that die after release count toward the federal harvest cap, so, like with any other fish you can’t keep, careful release is important.”
Beginning April 1 anglers fishing for bottomfish must also stay inside of the 40-fathom line (defined by these waypoints). The Stonewall Bank Yelloweye Rockfish Conservation Area (YRCA) is closed for bottomfish and Pacific halibut at all times. Both restrictions are to reduce the likelihood of anglers’ catch of yelloweye rockfish and canary rockfish, which may not be retained at any time.