CALIFORNIA一 The California Department of Fish and Wildlife reopened the recreational Pacific halibut fishery on Sept. 3 at 12 a.m.
The CDFW closed the fishery on June 30 after data estimated 33,896 net pounds of Pacific halibut had been caught between May and June meaning anglers had reached the allotted quota for halibut in a two-month span.
The new data has recently come out that indicates that the catch volume was much lower than the initial projections.
After analyzing the data which determined that only 18,296 net pounds were caught in the two-month span, the CDFW and its partners the National Marine Fisheries Service, the International Pacific Halibut Commission, and the Pacific Fishery Management Council decided to reopen the fishery.
The fishery will remain open until Nov. 15 or until the allotted quota is reached, currently the CDFW estimates that 20,964 net pounds of the initial 39,260 net pound quota remain for anglers to catch.
After the new information came out it was determined that only 18,296 net pounds, were caught in the two-month span.
The data is provided by the California Recreational Fisheries Survey who supplies monthly catch estimates for Pacific halibut, and due to the complexity of the data needed for the estimate, there is a five to eight-week lag in information.
The CDFW provides Preliminary Projected Catch approximations for more timely tracking of the halibut, these approximations are used to predict catches during the lag period.
“CDFW is excited to provide this additional opportunity for anglers to participate in the 2021 recreational Pacific halibut fishery,” said an Aug. 31 press release from the CDFW.
The CDFW will continue to monitor the situation and collect data at public launch ramps and charter boat landings through the remainder of the season, anglers should check the updated information and other regulatory information at the CDFW Pacific halibut page at https://wildlife.ca.gov/conservation/marine/pacific-halibut.