The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife announced that effective Monday, May 10, the general marine bag limit was reduced to five fish (from six) per angler per day for sport bottomfish. The sub-bag limit of one China, copper, or quillback rockfish remains in place.
This change reduces the risk of early closure or more severe restrictions later this summer in the sport bottomfish season.
Sport bottomfish effort this spring is higher than in any prior year, continuing a trend from last summer. In 2020, following a spring slowing in some areas due to the pandemic, coastwide sport bottomfish effort climbed to one of the highest levels on record by the end of the year. Last year also saw higher total catch of black rockfish and lingcod than past years. Continued strong interest in ocean sportfishing is expected this summer.
Anglers are reminded that all yelloweye rockfish must be released. Anglers should know how to identify rockfish species (find information at https://tinyurl.com/4wjmkjuf) and must use a descending device (myodfw.com/articles/rockfish-recompression) when releasing any rockfish in waters deeper than 30 fathoms. The use of descending devices is strongly encouraged in any depth with fish showing barotrauma signs such as protruding eyes or bloating.
Bottomfish or Pacific halibut anglers encountering yelloweye rockfish, especially in deeper water, are encouraged to move to a different location away from rocky structures preferred by this species.
For more information on the 2021 sport bottomfish season and regulations, go to myodfw.com/sport-bottomfish-seasons.