The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) has announced that the recreational Pacific halibut fishery reopened on Friday, Sept. 3 at 12 a.m. and will remain open until Nov. 15 or until the quota is reached, whichever is earlier. Based on the current estimates of catch through June, CDFW estimates that 20,964 net pounds of the 39,260 net pound quota remain for anglers to catch.
The 2021 recreational fishery was closed on June 30 due to projected attainment of the quota. Since that date, new 2021 catch information indicates that the catch volume in the early part of the season was much lower than projected. The new information prompted CDFW and its partners at National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), the International Pacific Halibut Commission (IPHC) and the Pacific Fishery Management Council to evaluate the updated catch to date against the state’s quota, leading to the decision to reopen the fishery.
CDFW is excited to provide this additional opportunity for anglers to participate in the 2021 recreational Pacific halibut fishery. CDFW field staff will continue to collect information from anglers at public launch ramps and charter boat landings to monitor catch through the remainder of the season. Anglers’ cooperation aids CDFW field staff in monitoring the progress of the fishery to ensure the quota is not exceeded.
Anglers are always advised to check for updated information when planning a Pacific halibut fishing trip, as a season closure announcement could come at any time. Other regulatory information, including bag/possession limits and gear restrictions, can be found on CDFW’s Pacific halibut page. Public notification of any in-season change to regulations is made through the NMFS Pacific halibut hotline at (800) 662-9825 or CDFW’s Groundfish and Pacific halibut Regulations Hotline at (831) 649-2801. Commercial Passenger Fishing Vessels are reminded that the appropriate IPHC license is required. For license application information, visit the IPHC website.
For current information about the Pacific halibut fishery, science or management, check the following resources: NMFS Hotline, (800) 662-9825; CDFW Recreational Groundfish Regulations Hotline, (831) 649-2801; CDFW’s Pacific Halibut page; IPHC website.