Marine Zone Regulations
The Marine Zone consists of the Pacific Ocean, coastal bays, and beaches.
Marine Zone Regulations
- The ocean is separated from rivers and bays by:
- Normal high tide lines along coastal beaches, where there are no jetties;
- The visible ends of the jetties, where they exist, except for the Columbia River;
- A north-south line running through Buoy 10 in the Columbia River.
- License requirements for those 12 years or older for this zone are:
- An Oregon angling license is required to angle for or land any fish species.
- A shellfish license is required to harvest shellfish or other marine invertebrates.
- Children 12 to 17 years old may obtain a youth license equivalent to angling, shellfish, and hunting licenses combined (new in 2016).
- Additional tags or permits are required to harvest salmon, steelhead, sturgeon, Pacific halibut, scallop or the mechanical harvest of shrimp (see License Information, and Marine Zone Regulations).
- Persons coming ashore in Oregon with ocean caught fish or shellfish are subject to all Oregon sport fishing and licensing regulations.
- The sport fishing regulations apply within the state’s Fisheries Conservation Zone, which extends 50 miles from shore. In addition, some fisheries are co-managed with the federal government, so the regulations may apply out to 200 miles from shore.
- All areas are open to harvest except those areas listed in Season (see Marine Zone Regulations), indicated in Management Designations for Marine Areas (see maps, Management Designations for Marine Areas), or closed by a Public Health Advisory.
- Shellfish Public Health Advisories (Oregon Dept. of Agriculture):
- Harvest of any species with a shellfish public health advisory will be closed immediately within the area specified and will remain closed until the advisory is removed;
- For current information concerning shellfish public health advisories, see page 23 and please call 503-986-4728 or 800-448-2474.
- Gear: Barbed hooks are allowed when angling for marine fish except as noted for salmon, steelhead and sturgeon.
- Boat limit: In waters of the Pacific Ocean and in the Columbia River upstream to a line projected from Rocky Point on the Washington bank through Red Buoy 44 to the navigation light at Tongue Point on the Oregon bank, each angler aboard a vessel may continue to use angling gear until the daily limit of fish for all legally licensed and juvenile anglers (age 12 years and older) aboard has been attained. However, no individual angler may exceed any personal daily bag limit or land fish that contribute to another angler’s limit (anglers who have retained a species limit must pass their rod to an angler who has not reached a limit prior to the fish being landed (netted or boated), or release the fish).
- Multi-species restrictions: It is unlawful for any person to fish for, or take and retain any species of salmon, Pacific halibut or marine fish while possessing on board any fish not allowed to be taken in the area at that time.
- Mutilation: It is unlawful for anglers fishing from a boat to mutilate fish so that size or species cannot be determined prior to landing or to transport mutilated fish across state waters, except albacore may be partially cleaned at sea. Partial cleaning means only the head and entrails may be removed; both the clavicle (collar) and the tail must stay intact. It is also unlawful for anglers fishing from shore to mutilate catch so that size or species cannot be determined prior to reaching their automobile or principle means of land transportation, and having completed their daily angling. These restrictions do not apply to herring, anchovy, smelt and sardine.
Harvest Caps and In-Season Changes
Annual state and federal caps are set for sport fisheries including black rockfish, yelloweye rockfish, canary rockfish, cabezon, greenlings and others. When a species harvest cap is reached or is being approached, regulations may be changed in-season to stop or slow the harvest of that species. In-season changes may include (but are not limited to) reduced bag limits, a change in size limits, non-retention of a particular species, area closures and season closures. Check the regulations before you fish on ODFW’s website or by calling a Marine Resources Program office.
ODFW Fishing Regulations:
Marine Resources Program website:
Marine Resources Program offices:
- Newport (541) 867-4741
- Charleston (541) 888-5515
- Astoria (503) 325-2462
- Brookings (541) 412-7364
Size Limits, Harvest Methods, and Other Specifications
|Lingcod (including green-colored lingcod)||2 fish.||Bag limit, season, and area regulations subject to change in-season. Check https://MyODFW.com/fishing/marine-zone or call (541) 867-4741 before you fish. ||Seasons are set after this book is printed. Check regulations before fishing at https://MyODFW.com/fishing/marine-zone. See also Management Designations for Marine Areas.|
|General Marine Species: |
Rockfish (“sea bass”, “snapper”), Greenling (“sea trout”), Pacific Cod, Cabezon, Skates, Spiny Dogfish, Leopard Shark, Soupfin Shark, Topsmelt, Jacksmelt, and other marine species not listed on Marine Zone Regulations.
|General marine bag limits are set after this book is printed. Check regulations before fishing at https://MyODFW.com/fishing/marine-zone. |
Retention of yelloweye rockfish is prohibited.
|Flatfish (flounders, soles, sanddabs, turbots, and halibuts except Pacific halibut)||25 fish in aggregate.|
|Surfperch (includes all marine perch species)||15 fish in aggregate.||May be taken by angling, hand, bow and arrow, spear, gaff hook, snag hook and herring jigs.||Waters open all year, 24 hours per day, unless noted under Management Designations for Marine Areas.|
|Herring, Anchovy, Sardine, and true smelts (topsmelt and jacksmelt are part of the General Marine Species bag limit)||25 pounds in aggregate.|| |
|Offshore Pelagic Species: Includes all tuna and mackerel species, swordfish, billfish, jacks (family Carangidae), opah, dorado, pomfret, and all sharks except leopard shark, spiny dogfish, and soupfin shark.||25 fish in aggregate. White shark, basking shark, mega-mouth shark, and oceanic whitetip shark are prohibited and must be immediately released unharmed.|| |
|Striped Bass and/or |
|No limit|| |
|Sturgeon||Catch-and-release only.|| ||Open all year.|
|Salmon and Steelhead|| |
|Pacific Halibut|| |
|Razor Clams||First 15 dug (no sorting or releasing)|| ||Waters open all year, 24 hours per day |
|Bay Clams |
(butter, littleneck, gaper, and cockle)
|20 in aggregate, only 12 may be gapers.|
|Purple Varnish Clams|| |
|Other Clams: |
(softshell, piddocks and others not listed)
|36 in aggregate|
|Dungeness Crab||12 (males only)|| ||Waters open all year, 24 hours per day |
|Red Rock Crab||24 of any size or sex.|
|Oysters||No harvest allowed.|| ||Closed.|
|Abalone||No harvest allowed.|| ||Closed.|
| ||Waters open all year, 24 hours per day|
|May be taken by hand or hand-powered tools.|
|Shrimp (edible)||20 lbs in the shell||May be taken by traps, pots, or rings.|
|Sand and Mole Crabs, Kelp and Sand Worms, Mud and Ghost Shrimp||No limit.|| |
|May be taken by angling, dip net, pot, hand and hand-powered tools.|
|Squid||No limit.||May be taken by angling, (squid jigs and herring jigs allowed), dip net, cast net, hand, and hand powered tools.|
|Starfish, Urchins, Snails, Shore Crabs, and all other marine invertebrates not listed||10 in aggregate.|| |