OUTDOORS: Looking like added dates, earlier in season for 2023 halibut

Initial talks between the state Department of Fish and Wildlife and the public are pointing to more halibut dates scheduled earlier in the year ahead of April 2023’s likely season kickoff.

That’s the takeaway from a public meeting held last week with Fish and Wildlife’s Intergovernmental Ocean Policy Group.

Coordinator Lorna Wargo passed along a summary of the meeting.

“There was strong support for opening Marine Area 5 (Sekiu) with areas 6-10 in early April and for it to open seven days per week from the start. After discussion and based on our [Fish and Wildlife’s] concern that doing both was a big step, we are leaning towards a proposal for Puget Sound that opens Marine 5 with Marine Areas 6-10, five days per week in April and May, and seven days per week in June.

“Overall, the input from meeting participants was for more opportunity (days) and the earlier the better. We had some comments on Facebook and via phone messages saying they liked fishing halibut in the summer.”

Many of the included comments said it was difficult to fish for halibut during quota-available dates later in the season because of the presence of dogfish in portions of Marine Area 6.

For the coast, the North Coast (La Push and Neah Bay) and Columbia River are being proposed as status quo in terms of opening dates and days per week. The South Coast is largely the same, except for the addition of a third day (Tuesday) per week in May.

Interest in a six-fish bag limit was expressed. Heather shared that we would need to explore this further, that we’d need to get state legislative approval to issue/charge for a second CRC. There was request for us to re-evaluate the CRC data. We agreed that looking at the data again was something we could do, and that we could discuss the matter further in 2023.

Biologist discusses Elwha

Fish and Wildlife research biologist Joseph Anderson will offer a report on the return of fish to the Elwha River since dam removal during Wednesday’s meeting of the North Olympic Peninsula chapter of Puget Sound Anglers.

People can begin gathering at 6:30 p.m. for the 7 p.m. meeting.

A short business meeting, fishing reports and raffle drawings for members will follow his talk. Annual membership is $25 and includes a Reel News subscription.

Start gathering gear

Start gathering up old sporting gear in advance of the annual Outdoor Gear Swap set Saturday, Nov. 12, from noon to 2 p.m.

This year, the event will be held in a white tent at 101 E. Railroad Ave. in downtown Port Angeles.

Dropoff of items will be held Nov. 9-11 from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. or the morning of the event from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m.

Pick up unsold gear after 3 p.m.

Proceeds from the event benefit the Hurricane Ridge Ski Team and the Surfrider Foundation.

Hurricane Ridge passes also will be for sale during the swap. If passes have already been purchased online, bring the receipt and have your pass made on site.

Fogtown Coffee will offer beverages and baked goods.

Hurricane Ridge representatives also will sell passes at Mervin Manufacturing in Carlsborg from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. Oct. 27.


Sports reporter Michael Carman can be contacted at mcarman@peninsuladailynews.com.

More in Sports

Most Read