IPHC Regulatory Area 2A
Washington, Oregon, and California—Recreational Fisheries
IPHC Regulatory Area 2A is located off the U.S. West Coast in waters off of Washington (WA), Oregon (OR), and California (CA). IPHC sets the overall total allowable catch for the area. The IPHC Regulatory Area 2A Catch Sharing Plan as put forth by the Pacific Fishery Management Council and the National Marine Fisheries Service provides the formulas to then allocate Pacific halibut among user groups in IPHC Regulatory Area 2A.
The recreational fishery consists of individual anglers and charter vessels. Individual anglers should check with their state for licensing requirements. The charter fishery in IPHC Regulatory Area 2A also requires a license from the IPHC.
Charter vessels retaining Pacific halibut in IPHC Regulatory Area 2A must be licensed by the IPHC. Federal and State licensing requirements may also apply.
The U.S.A. west coast recreational fishery is managed by bag and possession limits, and receives an allocation through the Pacific Fishery Management Council’s Catch Sharing Plan. Close monitoring by the National Marine Fisheries Service, the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW), the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW), and the IPHC, along with in-season adjustments to opening dates, has kept the west coast recreational fishery at or near its overall catch limit. In recent years, Pacific halibut recreational harvests off northern California have grown and been the focus of discussion about increased monitoring and management of the area. Recreational fishing is very popular off the U.S.A.west coast, in part due to the proximity to major population centers. Anglers view Pacific halibut as an alternative to salmon, other bottomfish, and albacore. Because of this popularity, the area is divided into seven 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.
An overview of the IPHC Regulatory Area 2A recreational fishery catches by subarea is available here: Area 2A Pacific Halibut Recreational Seasons at-a-glance.
Recreational fisheries data organized by IPHC Regulatory Area and year is available here.
Please contact the National Marine Fisheries Service or State Fisheries Department representatives for current information on opening dates, local area closures, and bag limits.
- NMFS Area 2A Pacific Halibut Hotline - In-season updates on 2A recreational fishery seasons. (1-800-662-9825, press 5)
- Washington - Washington State Sport Pacific Halibut Catch Updates page
- Oregon - ODFW site and "Hot Topics" with a map of season dates and regulations
- California – CDFW site