The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) announced on April 19 that the 2023 recreational Pacific halibut fishery will open May 1 and remain open seven days per week until Nov. 15 or until the quota is reached, whichever comes first. The 2023 Pacific halibut quota for the California subarea is 39,540 pounds – the same as the 2022 allotment.
CDFW’s recommended season dates were informed by a scoping process that included an online angler survey conducted earlier this year. The open dates are not guaranteed days, and the season could be closed early if it is determined that projected catches will exceed the California quota.
When planning a Pacific halibut fishing trip, anglers must always check for updated information. Season dates, bag/possession limits, and gear restrictions can be found on CDFW’s Pacific halibut web page. In addition, public notification of any in-season change to regulations is made through the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) Pacific halibut hotline at (800) 662-9825 or CDFW’s Pacific halibut Regulations Hotline at (831) 649-2801.
State regulations for Pacific halibut automatically conform to federal regulations set by NMFS using the process described in the California Code of Regulations, Title 14, Section 1.95. Federal regulations for Pacific halibut took effect on April 6 and were published in the Federal Register (88 FR 21503) on April 11.