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Three days are added for halibut

Halibut anglers will get some extra days of deep-water fishing next month, but they'll have to drive a ways for the chance.

Sufficient poundage remains in the spring quota to allow the International Pacific Halibut Commission to add three June days to the all-depth fishery off the northern Oregon coast.

The all-depth days traditionally are the most popular for halibut fishing because anglers normally relegated to near-shore waters can venture into waters deeper than 30 fathoms, where most of the bottom-dwelling fish live.

During the north coast's June 19-21 all-depth period, the open waters will be from Cape Falcon near Manzanita south to the north jetty of the Siuslaw River at Florence. Any halibut taken in waters deeper than 30 fathoms must be landed in ports north of Florence.

— Anglers fishing the May all-depth season between Florence and Humbug Mountain near Port Orford used up their spring quota, so there will be no deep-water halibut fishing there until August.

The Florence-to-Humbug zone includes the port of Charleston, where the halibut fleet is drawing increased interest among Rogue Valley anglers, chiefly because it's a shorter drive than the Newport area. Newport and on up the coast sport the bulk of Oregon's recreational halibut charters.

The Charleston and Winchester Bay halibut boats, however, will be back in the deep-water hot-spots some time in early August, but those dates will not be set by the commission until late June or early July.

Until then, the recreational season inside the 30-fathom curve remains open daily along the entire Oregon Coast.

Anglers must keep the first halibut they catch that measures 32 inches or longer. The limit remains one halibut a day and up to six a year.

Oregon's all-depth fishery has a 57,660-pound quota for this year.

The season for inside the 30-fathom curve operates under a separate quota for Cape Falcon south to Humbug Mountain. That quota for this year is 19,797 pounds, and fishing is allowed daily through October or until the quota is reached.

Farther south, the season for Southern Oregon and Northern California opened May — and goes uninterrupted through Sept. 30 without a quota.

The Grants Pass-based Southern Oregon Fly Fishers is seeking items to be donated for its upcoming fund-raising auction in October.

The 10-year-old club, which is considered one of the top clubs of its kind by the Federation of Fly Fishers, needs to raise &

36;16,000 this year to meet its budget requirements for 2003.

The club has donated about &

36;17,000 over the years to college students studying fishery science and helped fund several local habitat projects.

In 2002, the club was twice named Club of the Year by the FFF's Oregon Council and in 2002 was deemed top FFF club in the country.

For more information and for a donation form, contact 1-541-476-6656.

Reach reporter Mark Freeman at 776-4470, or e-mail