OR Bottomfishing Closure Outside 20 Fathoms To Continue

(OREGON DEPARTMENT OF FISH & WILDLIFE PRESS RELEASE)

Bottom fishing remains open inside the 20-fathom line amid concerns over yelloweye rockfish. Beyond 20 fathoms (as defined in regulation), bottom fishing is closed to minimize catch-and-release mortality of yelloweye rockfish.

Fishery managers brought bottom fishing inside 20 fathoms on July 23 when the yelloweye catches began to approach the federally-mandated cap. Anglers occasionally catch, but cannot keep, yelloweye rockfish while fishing for other species. NOAA Fisheries considers yelloweye, along with canary rockfish, as overfished and counts a certain percentage of those caught and released as mortality.

“Yelloweye rockfish generally live in deeper waters, so bringing the fishery inside 20 fathoms will protect that population while allowing anglers to continue to fish for other bottomfish such as black rockfish and lingcod,” said Gway Kirchner, assistant manager for the Marine Resources Program.

“Yelloweye catch has been up along the entire Oregon Coast and the bottomfish fishery was in danger of being closed,” Kirchner said. “After much discussion at the Pacific Fishery Management Council meeting earlier this month, it was clear that we needed to keep the fishery inside 20 fathoms to protect yelloweye in order to continue fishing for other species through the end of the year.”

Normally, fishing for bottomfish would be allowed at all depths after Oct. 1.

Waypoints for the 20-fathom line may be found at http://www.dfw.state.or.us/MRP/regulations/sport_fishing.

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