The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife has some big changes happening in Rockfish Regulations for 2017; here's what you need to know
ODFW recently adopted new regulations regarding groundfish (bottomfish) that go into effect on January 1, 2017.
The new rules and regulations allow for a wider variety of options for harvesting different rockfish species that are commonly caught along the Oregon Coast. Along with the expansion of these harvest options, the bag limit on Oregon's most common rockfish species (black rockfish) has been reduced from seven to six.
All vessels targeting groundfish in the ocean must have a descending device on board, and are required to use a descending device for all rockfish released outside of 30 fathoms.
Among other changes in regulations regarding bag limits of rockfish, there's now a sub-bag limit of six black rockfish (pictured below). Blue rockfish and deacon rockfish can appear similar in coloration to black rockfish, but are part of a sub-bag limit that is 2 less than black rockfish. All three species can be identified by key features.
The sub-bag limit for canary rockfish (pictured below) has been removed. Canary, vermillion, and yelloweye rockfish appear similar in coloration, but can be identified by key features. Retention of yelloweye rockfish is prohibited.
Anglers can add China/quillback/copper rockfishes to the sub-bag limit with blue/Deacon rockfish and change the limit from three to four fish. You can identify all three species by their key features.
There's no longer a 10-inch minimum size for kelp greenling (pictured below).
Ling cod retention is limited to two fish longer than 22 inches.
Cabezon retention is limited to one fish longer than 16 inches.
The following regulations are still in effect for the remainder of 2016:
- Retention of China, Copper, Quillback and Yelloweye rockfish is prohibited.
- Anglers may retain no more than 1 Cabezon (July-December and 16-inch min. length), 3 Blue Rockfish (Blue Rockfish and Deacon Rockfish combined), and 1 Canary Rockfish as part of the 7-fish marine daily bag limit.
- Anglers are urged to avoid Canary Rockfish and Yelloweye Rockfish and to use a descending device for any that are released.