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Marine Zone


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, 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, see Advisories & Consumption Guidelines and 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 fish 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


Lingcod (including green-colored lingcod)

2 fish.

Bag limit, season, and area regulations subject to change in-season. Check 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, restrictions on retention or possession of groundfish may apply. See halibut section below.
  • 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

Seasons are set after this book is printed. Check regulations before fishing at See also “Management Designations for Marine Areas” (pg 83-87).

General Marine Species:
Rockfish ("sea bass", "snapper"), Greenling (“sea trout”), Sablefish, Pacific Cod, Cabezon, Skates, Spiny Dogfish, Leopard Shark, Soupfin Shark, and other marine species not listed on pg 81.

General marine bag limits are set after this book is printed. Check regulations before fishing at

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" (pg 83-87).

Herring, Anchovy, Sardine, Topsmelt, Jacksmelt, and true smelts

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:

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 of with the carcass.

Striped Bass and/or
Hybrid Bass

No limit

  • May be taken by angling.
  • No minimum length.


Catch-and-release only.

  • Closed to retention of White Sturgeon and Green Sturgeon.
  • Only one single-point, barbless hook may be used 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 (see pg 79) is closed to all salmon angling from a floating device.
  • See Northwest and Southwest Zones for seasons and regulations for salmon inside bays and estuaries.
  • No more than 2 single point barbless hooks allowed at all times when angling for salmon in the ocean or when angling for other species if a salmon has already been retained.
  • Check for new regulations before angling: Ocean Salmon Hotline at (800) 662-9825 or the ocean salmon website at

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.
  • When Pacific halibut are onboard the vessel during all depth halibut openers, there may be restrictions on retention of species in the groundfish group other than sablefish, other flatfish, and Pacific cod (which are always allowed), in areas north of Humbug Mountain. Check regulations before you fish.
  • Catch limits and seasons are set in April but may change on short notice. In-season changes to regulations are available from 1) ODFW offices in Newport, Charleston, Astoria (see contact information on pg 80); 2) MyODFW website; or 3) by calling (800) 662-9825 - press #7. Check regulations before you fish.

Contact Information

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

Clamming, Crabbing, and Other Marine Invertebrate Regulations

Invertebrate Species

Daily Limit

Size Limits, Harvest Methods, and Other Specifications


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.
  • Unlawful to remove clams from the shell before leaving the clamming area.
  • 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 (seeDisabilities Hunting & Fishing Permit Info).
  • See Advisories and Consumption Guidelines on Advisories & Consumption Guidelines.

Waters open all year, 24 hours per day


  • Razor clams are closed Jul 15 to Sep 30 north of Tillamook Head (Clatsop County)
  • Shellfish harvests may be closed at anytime due to Shellfish Public Health Advisories (for current information call: 1-800-448-2474)

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).

  • 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 Columbia River Zone).
  • 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.
  • Floating buoys used for crab pots or rings must be marked in a visible, legible, and permanent manner. Information must include owner’s first and last name or business name and one of the following: (a) permanent address; (b) phone number; (c) ODFW ID number; or (d) A vessel ID number. This rule does not apply when crabbing from a beach, jetty, or pier. Use of pop-up style buoys is prohibited.

Waters open all year, 24 hours per day


  • Ocean waters are closed for crabbing 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.

European Green Crab

35 of any size or sex.


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.



No harvest allowed.

  • Take of abalone is prohibited.




  • Special permit required for scallops (permit may be obtained at the ODFW Newport, Charleston or Astoria offices; see contact information on pg 80); catch record must be submitted to ODFW to receive permit for next year.
  • Scallops may be taken by hand or hand-powered tools.
  • Scallops brought ashore shall be whole and in a condition that size may be determined.
  • 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.



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).



May be taken by angling, dip net, pot, hand and hand-powered tools.


No limit.

May be taken by angling, (squid jigs and herring jigs allowed), dip net, cast net, hand, and hand powered tools.

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.

Sea Stars

No harvest allowed.

  • Take of sea stars is prohibited.