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Marine Zone

Fishing Regulations Icon Oregon Fishing

 

Description

The Marine Zone consists of the Pacific Ocean, coastal bays, and beaches.

Marine Zone Regulations

  1. The ocean is separated from rivers and bays by:
    1. Normal high tide lines along coastal beaches, where there are no jetties;
    2. The visible ends of the jetties, where they exist, except for the Columbia River;
    3. A north-south line running through Buoy 10 in the Columbia River.
  2. License requirements for those 12 years or older for this zone are:
    1. An Oregon angling license is required to angle for or land any fish species.
    2. A shellfish license is required to harvest shellfish or other marine invertebrates.
    3. Children 12 to 17 years old may obtain a youth license equivalent to angling, shellfish, and hunting licenses combined (new in 2016).
    4. Additional tags or permits are required to harvest salmon, steelhead, sturgeon, Pacific halibut, abalone, scallop or the mechanical harvest of shrimp (see License Information, and Marine Zone Regulations).
  3. Persons coming ashore in Oregon with ocean caught fish or shellfish are subject to all Oregon sport fishing and licensing regulations.
  4. 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.
  5. 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), or closed by a Public Health Advisory.
  6. Shellfish Public Health Advisories (Oregon Dept. of Agriculture):
    1. 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;
    2. For current information concerning shellfish public health advisories, please call 503-986-4728 or 800-448-2474.
  7. Gear: Barbed hooks are allowed when angling for marine fish except as noted for salmon, steelhead and sturgeon.
  8. 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).
  9. 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 species not allowed to be taken in the area at that time.
  10. 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.

Marine Zone Regulations

Finfish Species

Daily Limit

Size Limits, Harvest Methods, and Other Specifications

Season

Groundfish Group
Lingcod (including green-colored lingcod) 2 fish. Bag limit, season, and area regulations subject to change in-season. Check www.dfw.state.or.us/resources/fishing or call (541) 867-4741 before you fish.

  • 22 inch minimum length for lingcod.
  • 16 inch minimum length for cabezon.
  • May be taken by angling, hand, bow and arrow, spear, gaff hook, snag hook and herring jigs.
  • When Pacific halibut are onboard the fishing vessel during all-depth halibut openers, no species from the groundfish group may be taken and retained, possessed or landed, except sablefish, other flatfish, and Pacific cod, in areas north of Humbug Mountain.
  • It is unlawful to remove the fins or tail from a shark, except spiny dogfish, at any time. The fins and tail must remain attached and disposed with the carcass.
  • Any vessel fishing for, or possessing, groundfish (bottomfish) in the ocean must have a functional descending device onboard, and use on any rockfish released outside of 30 fathoms. For more information go to http://www.dfw.state.or.us/MRP/recompression/index.asp
Waters open all year, 24 hours per day, unless noted under “Management Designations for Marine Areas”.

Exceptions:

  • Ocean closed Apr 1 – Sep 30 outside of a line approximating the 30-fathom curve, as defined by waypoints.
  • Open for cabezon Jul 1 – Dec 31.
Rockfish (“sea bass,” “snapper”), Greenling (“sea trout”), Pacific Cod, Cabezon, Skates, Spiny Dogfish, Leopard Shark, Soupfin Shark, Topsmelt, Jacksmelt, and other marine species. 7 fish in aggregate; of which no more than 6 may be black rockfish; no more than 4 may be any combination of blue, deacon, China, copper, and/or quillback rockfish; and no more than 1 may be a cabezon. 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 7-fish bag limit) 25 pounds in aggregate.
  • May be taken by dip net, cast net, angling and herring jigs.
  • Unless specifically authorized under emergency rules, it is unlawful to take or attempt to take eulachon smelt in inland waters including: bays, estuaries, rivers and streams. See Marine Sport Fish Identification Key at: www.odfw.com/MRP/FishID.
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.
  • May be taken by angling, hand, bow and arrow, spear, gaff hook, snag hook, and herring jigs.
  • Methods described below are only allowed when fishing outside of 3 miles from shore for offshore pelagic species. Only offshore pelagic species may be in possession, and any other species caught must be immediately released while using these methods.
    • Chumming is allowed. Chum may be live, dead, or cut up squid, herring, sardine, anchovy, smelt, or Pacific mackerel.
    • No restriction on the number of rods or lines fished per angler.
  • It is unlawful to remove the fins or tail from a shark, except spiny dogfish, at any time. The fins and tail must remain attached and disposed with the carcass.
Striped Bass and/or Hybrid Bass 2 fish in 24 consecutive hours.
  • May be taken by angling.
  • 24 inch minimum length.
Sturgeon Catch-and-release only.
  • Closed to retention of White Sturgeon and Green Sturgeon.
  • Angling restricted to one single-point, barbless hook for sturgeon.
Open all year.
Salmon and Steelhead
  • Ocean salmon and steelhead seasons and restrictions are set each April by the Pacific Fishery Management Council. Regulations are published each May and are available from license agents.
  • Columbia Control Zone is closed to all salmon fishing from a floating device.
  • See Northwest and Southwest Zones for seasons and regulations for salmon inside bays and estuaries.
  • See Northwest Zone, Tillamook Bay, for description of control zone off Tillamook Bay.
  • No more than 2 single point barbless hooks allowed at all times when fishing for salmon in the ocean or when fishing for other species if a salmon has already been retained.
  • Check for new regulations before fishing: Ocean Salmon Hotline at (800) 662-9825 or the ocean salmon website at www.dfw.state.or.us/MRP/salmon.
Pacific Halibut
  • May be taken by angling with a single line, no more than 2 hooks; and by spear.
  • Pacific halibut seasons are managed and enforced based on port of landing. Halibut may only be landed at ports located within areas currently open to halibut retention regardless of the area of catch.
  • During all-depth halibut openers, when Pacific halibut are onboard the vessel, no species from the groundfish group may be taken and retained, possessed or landed, except sablefish, other flatfish, and Pacific cod, in areas north of Humbug Mountain.
  • Catch limits and seasons are set in March and published in May but may change on short notice. In-season changes to regulations are available from 1) ODFW offices in Newport, Charleston, Astoria (see contact information); 2) the MRP website www.dfw.state.or.us/mrp; or 3) by calling (800) 662-9825 – press #7. Check regulations before you fish.

Marine Zone Regulations

INVERTEBRATE Species

Daily Limit

Size Limits, Harvest Methods, and Other Specifications

Season

Razor Clams First 15 dug (no sorting or releasing)
  • Razor clams may be taken by hand, shovel, clam gun or tube with opening no less than 4” (cylindrical) or 4” X 3” (elliptical).
  • All other clams may be taken by hand or hand-powered tools.
  • All razor, gaper, piddock and softshell clams must be retained regardless of size or condition.
  • Other species may be returned to the immediate digging area if they are unbroken.
  • Each digger must have their own container, dig their own clams, and may not possess more than one limit of clams while in the clam digging area except under an Oregon Disabilities Hunting and Fishing Permit (see Permit Information).
  • See Advisories and Consumption Guidelines for softshell and gaper clams.
Waters open all year, 24 hours per day

Exceptions:

  • Razor clams are closed Jul 15 to Sep 30 north of Tillamook Head (Clatsop County)
Bay Clams
(butter, littleneck, gaper, and cockle)
20 in aggregate, only 12 may be gapers.
Purple Varnish Clams

72

Other Clams:
(softshell, piddocks and others not listed)
36 in aggregate
Dungeness Crab 12 (males only)
  • 5-3/4″ minimum size for Dungeness crab.
  • Correct size is measured as a straight line across the back (caliper measurement) in front of, but not including the points (see photo).
  • May be taken using crab rings, baited lines, or pots (limited to 3 rings/lines/pots total, per person); by hand, dip net, or rake.
  • Pots may be left overnight.
  • Holding pots or devices, or live boxes are only allowed in bays and estuaries, and may not hold more than two daily limits.
  • Unlawful to mutilate crabs prior to landing, such that size, sex, or species may not be determined. Mutilated crabs may not be transported across state waters.
Waters open all year, 24 hours per day

Exceptions:

  • Ocean waters are closed for Dungeness Crab Oct 16 – Nov 30
  • Bays, beaches, estuaries, tide pools, piers and jetties are open for crabbing all year, 24 hours per day
Red Rock Crab 24 of any size or sex.
Oysters No harvest allowed. • Take of native oysters is prohibited. All cultured oysters are private property and may not be taken without the owner’s consent. Closed.
Abalone

1
(annual limit = 5)

  • Special permit required for abalone and scallops (permit may be obtained at the ODFW Newport, Charleston or Astoria offices); catch record must be submitted to ODFW to receive permit for next year.
  • Abalone may only be taken with abalone iron.
  • 8” minimum shell size for abalone.
  • Abalone harvesters must carry a caliper-measuring gauge with fixed arms at 8” gap for placing over abalone shell.
  • Scallops may be taken by hand or hand-powered tools.
  • Abalone and scallops brought ashore shall be whole and in a condition that size may be determined.
  • Abalone and scallops must not be removed from their shell in the field, except when prepared for immediate consumption.
Waters open all year, 24 hours per day
Scallops

24

Mussels

72

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 hand or hand-powered tools.
  • Permit required to harvest mud and ghost shrimp by mechanical methods (permit may be obtained at the ODFW Newport office; see contact information).
Octopus

1

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.
  • May be taken by hand or hand-powered tools.
  • Unwanted marine invertebrates must be immediately released unharmed.