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For the first time since 2004, anglers will be able to retain one canary rockfish as part of the daily bag limit beginning as early as March, thanks to on-going efforts to rebuild the stock. The exact date for the new rule will be announced following approval of a parallel federal harvest rule.
However, due to a decrease in federally determined harvest guidelines, anglers will be limited to three blue rockfish per day as part of the seven fish marine bag limit and the retention of China, copper and quillback rockfish will be prohibited. These regulations go into effect Jan. 15, 2015. ODFW staff had proposed a blue rockfish sub-limit of one per day, but after public testimony the Commission adopted a less-conservative limit of three blue rockfish per day.
The commercial nearshore fishery, which targets these same species, will see increased harvest limits for black rockfish and reduced limits for blue and other nearshore rockfish.
The Commission declined to take action on a staff proposal that would have allowed the use of barbed hooks when fishing for salmon, steelhead and trout in the lower Willamette River, Multnomah Channel, lower in Gnat Creek and inside Youngs Bay. A barbless hook rule went into effect in these areas in 2013 as part of the lower Columbia River Fisheries Management Reform package and was intended to reduce impacts on ESA listed salmon.
Instead, the Commission tabled the proposal based on a number issues including conservation concerns and consistency with the lower Columbia River Fisheries Management Reform rules. Commission Chair Mike Finley said the proposal could be discussed at a later date.
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