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The following was originally posted on the Salty Dogs' board by OceanBlue. Since many ifishers do not frequent that board, I thought it should also be posted here.

The decisions made at these meetings will affect all who wish to catch halibut in Oregon. Make your feelings known.

MEETING NOTICE

2004 Recreational Halibut Fishery

October 8, 2003

The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife will hold three public meetings to hear public comments regarding proposed changes to the 2004 Pacific halibut recreational fishery for Oregon. The Pacific Fishery Management Council (PFMC) is considering several changes for the 2004 fishery. The proposed changes are attached.


The meetings will be held:

Tuesday, October 21
7:00 p.m.
Oregon Dept. Fish & Wildlife
4907 E. 3rd St
Tillamook

Wednesday, October 22
7:00 p.m.
Room 30
Hatfield Marine Science Center
Newport

Thursday, October 23
7:00 p.m.
N. Bend Public Library
1800 Sherman Ave
North Bend

If you have any questions, please contact Don Bodenmiller, Project Leader for Oregon Pacific Halibut fisheries, at (541) 867-0300 extension 223.

OREGON DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND WILDLIFE PROPOSALS FOR MODIFYING THE PACIFIC HALIBUT CATCH SHARING PLAN FOR THE 2004 OREGON FISHERY

The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife held a public meeting on September 3, 2003 to discuss proposed changes to the Pacific Halibut Catch Sharing Plan for Oregon fisheries. Based on the meeting comments, and other public input, the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife recommends the Pacific Fishery Management Council (PFMC) consider adopting the following options for additional public comment.


1. Increased flexibility in adopting the Spring and Summer all-depth open dates from Cape Falcon to Humbug Mountain.

The Spring fishery (May through July) would continue to be managed under the “fixed day” concept. The “fixed” days will continue to occur on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. The fixed season dates will be established preseason and will occur in consecutive weeks starting the second Thursday in May, with exceptions to avoid adverse tidal conditions. If, following the “fixed” dates, quota for this season remains unharvested, a second opening will be held. The fishery will be open every other week on Friday and Saturday except that week(s) could be skipped to avoid adverse tidal conditions. The potential open Fridays and Saturdays will be identified preseason. The fishery will continue until there is insufficient quota for an additional day of fishing. Any remaining quota will be added to the Summer quota.

The Summer fishery (August through October) would no longer be managed under the “fixed day” concept. The fishery will continue to be structured for Friday and Saturday openers, and will open on the first Friday in August. The fishery will be open every other week on Friday and Saturday except that week(s) could be skipped to avoid adverse tidal conditions. The potential open Fridays and Saturdays will be identified preseason. The fishery will continue until there is insufficient quota for an additional day of fishing. Any remaining quota will be transferred to the nearshore fishery (presently inside the 30-fathom curve).

Rationale: During both 2002 and 2003 insufficient “back-up” dates were established preseason and quota was left unharvested in 2002 and is likely to be left unharvested in 2003. Many factors contributed to this situation, including improved salmon fishing opportunity, and adverse weather during the Spring “fixed day” fishery. This proposal adds potential open days to avoid this situation in 2004.

2. Nearshore fishery depth limit

If the recreational groundfish fishery is constrained to depths within the 40-fathom curve or shallower, the outside depth of the nearshore Pacific halibut fishery, presently open inside the 30-fathom curve, would be adjusted to match the outside depth closure of the groundfish fishery.

Rationale: Enforcement

3. Nearshore fishery retention of Pacific halibut

It would be illegal to have Pacific halibut taken in the nearshore fishery (presently constrained to inside the 30-fathom curve) on board a vessel that is outside the open area.

Rationale: Enforcement


4. Combine central coast subareas during the Spring all-depth fishery

Combine the two sub-areas in the Cape Falcon to Humbug Mountain area during the Spring all-depth fishery.

Rationale: If the proposal to increase flexibility to the central coast all-depth fisheries is adopted (proposal 1), participants at the public meeting suggested that having a separate sub-area from the Florence north jetty to Humbug Mountain was not necessary.

5. Extend duration of South of Humbug Mountain fishery

Last year the Council adopted an October 31 ending date for the fisheries south of Cape Falcon. In the Federal Register, the area south of Humbug Mountain was not included in the season extension.

Rationale: Housekeeping
 
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