The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) announces the recreational Pacific halibut fishery will close Friday, Sept. 21 at 11:59 p.m. for the remainder of 2018. Based on the latest catch projections, CDFW expects the 2018 California recreational quota of 30,940 pounds will have been taken by this date.
California’s 2018 quota is approximately 4,000 pounds less than the 2017 quota. The quota amount is determined annually through an international process, and is largely driven by results from the annual stock assessment conducted by the International Pacific Halibut Commission (IPHC).
Pacific halibut occupy a large geographic range, from the Aleutian Islands eastward through Alaska to British Columbia and throughout ocean waters of the Pacific Northwest. Along the West Coast, they are commonly found as far south as Point Arena in Mendocino County.
CDFW closely tracks the progress of the fishery each year, to ensure catch amounts do not exceed the California quota. CDFW field staff sample public launch ramps and charter boat landings to monitor catches of Pacific halibut throughout the season, along with other marine sportfish species.
Using this information, CDFW conferred with the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), the IPHC, and the Pacific Fishery Management Council on a weekly basis to review projected catch amounts and to determine when the 2018 quota would be attained. Formal authority to close the fishery resides with NMFS, which took action to close the fishery following consultation with CDFW.
For current information about the Pacific halibut fishery, science or management, please check one of the following resources:
- NMFS Hotline, (800) 662-9825
- CDFW Recreational Groundfish Regulations Hotline, (831) 649-2801
- CDFW website, www.wildlife.ca.gov/Conservation/Marine/Pacific-Halibut
- IPHC website, www.iphc.int