State/National/WorldFish Rap

Pacific Halibut Fishery Closed After Three Months Due to Catch Limits

The recreational Pacific halibut fishery has closed as of Aug. 7 after projections showed that California would reach or over exceed its 2022 recreational quota.

The announcement from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife came on Aug. 4 after data released on Aug. 2 showed that California was already at 35,778 net pounds out of the allotted 38,740 pounds for 2022, the season opened on May 1.

The CDFW tracks the progress of the fishery throughout the year, receiving monthly catch estimates from the California Recreational Fisheries Survey to ensure that the state remains within the allotted catch.

The CDFW tracks progress throughout the season and confers with the National Marine Fisheries Service, the International Pacific Halibut Commission, and the Pacific Fishery Management Council to review projected catch amounts and determine the closure date for the fishery.

The annual quota is determined by the IPHC, which meets in January of each year to determine the yearly Fishery Catch Exploitable Yield, which is reported in net pounds.

Once the FCEY is set, the NMFS takes over at the federal level, collaborates with state agencies to distribute portions of the FCEY to each state, and sets the fishing season dates as federal law; the California season typically opens in May.

In September of each year, the PMFC meets and proposes changes to the Catch Sharing Plan for the three west coast states, Washington, Oregon, and California. At this point, the public can make suggestions to the CDFW about changes to the CSP. Final adoption of changes to the CSP are made at the PFMC meeting in November.

Pacific halibut are different than California halibut and can range from the Aleutian Islands, east towards Alaska, and up to British Columbia; on the west coast, Pacific halibut are generally found as far south as Point Arena in Mendocino County.

For more information, see

Share This:


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *