WDFW Closes Most of Area 2 For Halibut, Reopens 3,4

(WASHINGTON DEPARTMENT OF FISH & WILDLIFE EMERGENCY RULE CHANGE NOTICE)

Halibut fishing in Marine Area 2 will close for the remainder of the season (nearshore to remain open), and marine areas 3 and 4 to re-open for halibut fishing on June 3 and 5

Action:   Close the recreational halibut fishery in Marine Area 2, except that halibut fishing is allowed in the northern nearshore area from the Queets River (47º31.70’N. latitude) south to Point Chehalis (46º58.00’N latitude) and east of a line approximating the 30 fathom depth contour as defined by the following coordinates until further notice.

* 47 º 31.70 N. lat, 124 º 37.03 W. long
* 47 º 25.67 N. lat, 124 º 34.79 W. long
* 47 º 12.82 N. lat, 124 º 29.12 W. long
* 46 º 58.00 N. lat, 124 º 24.24 W. long

Re-open Marine Areas 3 and 4 (Neah Bay and La Push).

Effective date: Marine Area 2 closes immediately. Marine Areas 3 and 4 will re-open June 3 and June 5, 2010, Thursday and Saturday only.

Species affected: Halibut

Location:   Marine Areas 2, 3 and 4

Reason for action The Marine Area 2 recreational halibut fishery is projected to have taken the Pacific halibut quota set aside for the primary season.  A separate quota set aside is sufficient to continue to allow halibut fishing seven days per week in the northern nearshore area.  There is sufficient halibut quota remaining in Marine Areas 3 and 4 to re-open the recreational halibut fishery for two days. This rule conforms to federal action taken by the Pacific Fisheries Management Council.  Anglers are encouraged to check the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife website or hotline for information regarding re-openings.

Information contact: Heather Reed, (360) 249-4628 ext. 202

(WASHINGTON DEPARTMENT OF FISH & WILDLIFE PRESS RELEASE)

The recreational halibut fishery off the north coast of Washington will reopen June 3 and 5, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) announced today.

Marine areas 3 and 4 (La Push and Neah Bay) will be reopen for halibut fishing in all waters from 12:01 a.m. to 11:59 p.m. on Thursday, June 3 and again on Saturday, June 5.

The halibut fishery in those areas was open on Thursdays and Saturdays, May 13-22.  Poor weather last weekend resulted in fewer fish being taken than was expected. Sufficient quota remains in these areas to offer anglers two days in early June, said Heather Reed, WDFW coastal policy coordinator.

Through May 22, anglers caught 57,812 pounds of halibut off the north coast. Anglers have an opportunity to catch the remaining 43,367 pounds available under the quota, starting with the openings on June 3 and 5.

The fishery is closed to halibut fishing on May 27 and 29 in order to assess the May catch and give anglers time to prepare for the next opening.

Meanwhile, the primary halibut fishery in Marine Area 2 has closed for the remainder of the season.  The northern nearshore area, which has a separate quota, will remain open seven days a week until further notice. Halibut fishing in Marine Area 1 (Ilwaco) remains open three days per week, Thursday-Saturday.

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