License Application Information - License Types
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The IPHC issues four different licenses to harvest Pacific halibut (Hippoglossus stenolepis) in the waters off Washington, Oregon, and California (IPHC Regulatory Area 2A). These licenses are issued to vessels, not individual harvesters. Vessels bearing a valid IPHC license must also possess all federal and state licenses required for the waters in which they intend to fish.
Only one IPHC license per vessel will be issued, with the exception of Incidental Commercial Pacific halibut during the Longline Sablefish Fishery and Directed Commercial when both applications are submitted.
License and other pertinent information will be sent electronically to the vessel owner’s email address provided on the license application following the applicable license deadline.
- Recreational Pacific Halibut Charter
Application deadline: none
IPHC Regulatory Area 2A is divided into seven recreational subareas, each with its own allocation and season structure. Season dates are set to not conflict with other fisheries, and may be open for only one to three days per week in some subareas. Opening dates, local area closures, and bag limits are determined by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Fisheries and State Fish and Wildlife Departments.
Charter vessels retaining Pacific halibut in IPHC Regulatory Area 2A must be licensed by the IPHC. Federal and State licensing requirements may also apply. If a vessel has an IPHC Regulatory Area 2A (WA-OR-CA) commercial license, the vessel cannot be used to fish recreationally for Pacific halibut in that same IPHC Regulatory Area.
- Incidental Commercial Pacific halibut during Salmon Troll
Application deadline: 15 March or the next weekday if 15 March is a Saturday or Sunday
The commercial fishery during the salmon troll fishery operates off Washington, Oregon, and California. In-season actions may be taken by management agencies and landing restrictions may change several times. The season is typically open in May/June/July, or until quota has been filled (season opening date to be determined by the Pacific Fishery Management Council in late April).
- Incidental Commercial Pacific halibut during Longline Sablefish Fishery
Application deadline: 29 May or the next weekday if 29 May is a Saturday or Sunday
The commercial fishery during the limited entry fixed gear sablefish primary fishery operates north of Pt. Chehalis (46⁰ 53.18’ N). In-season actions may be taken by management agencies. A NOAA Fisheries limited entry groundfish permit with a sablefish endorsement is required in this fishery.
- Directed Commercial
Application deadline: 30 April or the next weekday if 30 April is a Saturday or Sunday
The directed commercial Pacific halibut fishery operates south of Pt. Chehalis (46⁰ 53.18’ N) and requires a license from the IPHC. The fishing season is a series of fishing periods for the non-treaty directed commercial fishery as announced in the IPHC Fishery Regulations each year and removals are further restricted by specific vessel-length limits, called fishing period limits in IPHC Fishery Regulations. Fishing periods and fishing period limits are announced before each period via an IPHC Media Release.