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Halibut limits double starting Sept. 1 off south coast

Limits will increase for halibut anglers off the Southern Oregon coast starting Sept. 1. [Mail Tribune/file photo]
Poor weather and strong salmon seasons combined to keep halibut catches under their quota this summer

A high quota and low fishing effort in Oregon’s offshore halibut season means anglers will get to double-up on their fun this fall.

The normal limit of one halibut a day will be doubled beginning Sept. 1 from Cape Falcon down to the California border to give anglers a chance to fill their season quotas this year.

A combination of poor weather and strong salmon seasons off most of the Oregon Coast seem to have turned anglers away from what was expected to be a solid halibut season.

“We’ve had a high quota and not quite the effort we normally have,” says Lynn Mattes from the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife office in Newport.

The daily increase in halibut should recharge interest in this fishery that targets some of the best-tasting fish the Pacific seafloor has to offer. Also, it comes during a fall period that draws more interest among bottomfishers just as the salmon season disappears offshore.

The Central Coast sub-area from Cape Falcon to Humbug Mountain will be open seven days a week at all depths, allowing anglers out of Newport to run into deep-water halibut areas every day weather allows.

That area has about 140,000 pounds of halibut left in this year’s combined quota, Mattes says.

For South Coast waters, anglers have 3,800 pounds left of the 8,000-pound quota for a season that began here May 1, Mattes says. The season will run uninterrupted to Oct. 31 or until the quota is reached.

ODFW technicians monitor halibut catches daily at ports like Brookings-Harbor.

North of Cape Falcon, the daily limit remains at one Pacific halibut a day. Statewide, the annual limit is six halibut.

Rogue FlyFishers fundraiser

The Medford-based Rogue FlyFishers Association Oct. 8 will hold its first in-person fundraising dinner and auction since the COVID-19 pandemic began.

The dinner will be held at the Padgham Pavilion at the Jackson County Expo.

Money raised during the event will go toward the association’s support of Project Healing Waters, a program for disabled vets, as well as Casting for Recovery, a program for breast cancer survivors.

The association also helps fund several programs in local schools, as well as two scholarships annually for students in the Oregon State University’s fisheries program.

“We haven't been able to have a major fundraising auction since 2019, so this upcoming event is critically important if we are able to continue to support these programs,” auction coordinator Tim Bolling says.

Doors open at 4 p.m. with the start of a bucket raffle and silent auction that closes at 5:30 p.m.The dinner buffet starts 10 minutes later, and the live auction launches at 6:45 p.m.

Tickets cost $30. For tickets and more information, email Bolling at RFFishers90@gmail.com.

Mark Freeman covers the outdoors for the Mail Tribune. Contact him at 541-776-4470 or email him at mfreeman@rosebudmedia.com.