Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife FISHING RULE CHANGE
WASHINGTON DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND WILDLIFE
600 Capitol Way North, Olympia, WA 98501-1091

April 12, 2005

Coastal recreational halibut seasons set

NOTE: Please see updates on Areas 3 and 4 dated May 18, 2005 and May 25, 2005 and update for Area 1 dated June 10, 2005.

Action: Open recreational halibut seasons in Marine Areas 1 through 4

Marine Catch Area 1 will open on May 1, 2005, and continue seven days per week, until the quota is projected to be attained, or through September 30, 2005, whichever is sooner. It is unlawful to land all bottomfish, except sablefish, with a halibut onboard into Marine Catch Area 1.

Marine Catch Area 2 will open on May 1, 2005, and continue until the quota is projected to be attained, or through September 30, 2005, whichever is sooner.

Those waters south of the Queets River, north of 47 and east of 12440?W will open on May 1, 2005, seven days per week. All other open waters in Area 2 will open on May 1, 2005, five days per week, closed to fishing for halibut from 12: 01 a.m. of each Friday through 11:59 p.m. of each Saturday. Beginning July 1, the recreational halibut fishery will be open seven days per week in all areas of Marine Area 2.

Marine Catch Areas 3 and 4 will open on May 10, 2005, and continue until the May portion of the quota is projected to be attained. All waters in Areas 3 and 4 will be closed to halibut fishing from 12: 01 a.m. of each Sunday through 11:59 p.m. of each Monday.

Following the May fishery, the fishery will then reopen for three days June 16-18, 2005. If sufficient quota remains, the fishery may reopen and continue until the remaining quota is taken, or through September 30, 2005, whichever is sooner. . Those waters within an eastward facing C shaped area are closed to recreational halibut fishing; this area is defined by the following coordinates in the order listed:

4818' N. lat.; 12518' W. long.; 4818' N. lat.; 12459' W. long.; 4811' N. lat.; 12459' W. long.; 4811' N. lat.; 12511' W. long.; 4804' N. lat.; 12511' W. long.; 4804' N. lat.; 12459' W. long.; 4800' N. lat.; 12459' W. long.; 4800' N. lat.; 12518' W. long.; and connecting back to 4818' N. lat.; 12518' W. long.

For all areas, the daily limit is one halibut per person and the possession limit is two daily limits of halibut in any form, except the possession limit aboard a fishing vessel is one daily limit. There is no minimum size limit.

Effective dates: Marine Area 1 (May 1, 2005 until quota attained) Marine Area 2 (May 1, 2005 until quota attained) Marine Areas 3 & 4 (May 10, 2005 until May portion of the quota is attained; reopen June 16-18, 2005)

Species affected: Pacific Halibut

Location: Marine Areas 1-4

Reasons for action: There is sufficient halibut quota to provide the recreational halibut fishing opportunities as described. The Department will monitor the coastal recreational halibut fishery catches and will manage the halibut fisheries to achieve their respective subarea quotas.

Information contact: Michele Culver, IRM, (360) 249-1211

Fishers must have a current Washington fishing license, appropriate to the fishery. Check the WDFW "Fishing in Washington" rules pamphlet for details on fishing seasons and regulations. Fishing rules are subject to change. Check the WDFW Fishing hotline for the latest rule information at (360) 902-2500, press 2 for recreational rules. For the Shellfish Rule Change hotline call (360)796-3215 or toll free 1-866-880-5431.