The recreational Pacific halibut fishery will close statewide on Friday, Aug. 4 at 11:59 p.m., the California Department of Fish and Wildlife announced today. Based on the latest catch projections, CDFW expects the 2023 California recreational quota of 39,520 net pounds will be reached by this date.
CDFW tracks the progress of the fishery each year to achieve but not exceed the California quota. CDFW field staff at public launch ramps and charter boat landings monitor Pacific halibut catch throughout the season, along with other marine sportfish species. The quota is determined annually by the International Pacific Halibut Commission.
This week, CDFW conferred with the National Marine Fisheries Service, the IPHC and the Pacific Fishery Management Council to review projected catch amounts and determine the closure date. Formal authority to close the fishery resides with NMFS, which took action to close the fishery following consultation with CDFW. CDFW implements changes to the season pursuant to authority found in sections 1.95 and 28.20, Title 14, California Code of Regulations.
Pacific halibut are a different species than California halibut and occupy a large geographic range from the Aleutian Islands eastward through Alaska to British Columbia and throughout ocean waters of the Pacific Northwest. Along the West Coast, Pacific halibut are commonly found as far south as Point Arena in Mendocino County. California halibut are more common farther south.