Halibut: Fishery Opening February 15, 2021

FN0133-Recreational - Fin Fish (Other than Salmon)

Halibut

For 2021, the recreational halibut fishery allocation is 914,750 pounds.

The following measures will be in effect coast wide as noted below:

Open time:

Effective at 00:01 hours February 15, 2021 fishing for halibut will be opened coast-wide until further notice.

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Licensing:

The 2020/2021 Tidal Waters Sport Fishing Licences and Conditions of Licence, are in effect until March 31, 2021. The 2021/2022 Tidal Waters Sport Fishing Licences and Conditions of Licence are in effect from April 1, 2021 until March 31, 2022.

Limits and sizes:

Effective February 15, 2021 until further notice:

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  • The maximum length for halibut is 126cm (97cm head-off).
  • The daily and possession limit for halibut is either of:
    • One (1) halibut measuring 90 cm to 126 cm in length (69 cm to 97 cm head-off), OR
    • two (2) halibut, each measuring under 90 cm in length (69 cm head-off).
  • The annual limit is six (6) halibut per licence holder per licence year, as set out on the 2020/21 Tidal Waters Sport Fishing Licence.
  • All halibut retained by the licence holder between February 15, 2021 and March 31, 2021 shall be immediately recorded on the 2020/2021 Tidal Waters Sport Fishing Licence, or, if mobile access is immediately available, the licence holder may record catch in the National Recreational Licensing System. The area from which each halibut is caught and its head-on length shall immediately be recorded.
  • All halibut retained by the licence holder between April 1, 2021 and March 31, 2022 shall be immediately recorded on the 2021/2022 Tidal Waters Sport Fishing Licence, or, if mobile access is immediately available, the licence holder may record catch in the National Recreational Licensing System. The area from which each halibut is caught and its head-on length shall immediately be recorded.
  • Head-off measurements are made from the base of the pectoral fin at its most forward point to the extreme end of the middle of the tail.

The exceptions to these openings are:

Areas 121:

No person shall fish for or retain halibut, rockfish and lingcod in Area 121 outside the 12 nautical mile limit seaward of a line that begins at 48 degrees 34.000 minutes and 125 degrees 17.386 minutes W and continues south easterly at a bearing of 116 degrees True to a point at 48 degrees 28.327 minutes and 125 degrees 01.687 minutes W.

Area 121:

Closed to all finfish, year round in the waters of Swiftsure Bank, inside a line from 48 degrees 34.00 minutes N and 125 degrees 06.00 minutes W, thence to 48 degrees 34.00 minutes N and 124 degrees 54.20 minutes W, thence to 48 degrees 29.62 minutes N and 124 degrees 43.40 minutes W, thence following the International Boundary between Canada and the U.S. to 48 degrees 29.55 minutes N and 124 degrees 56.20 minutes W, thence in a straight line to the point of commencement.

Variation Orders 2021-RCT-043 (Close Time) and 2021-RFQ-044 (Quota).

Non-residents of Canada: Per Covid-related border closures, tidal water sport fishing licences are not available to non-residents of Canada at this time.

Note: Rockfish Conservation Area (RCA) and Glass Sponge Reef (GSR) closures remain in effect – refer to the following web pages for descriptions:

  1. RCAs – http://www.pac.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/fm-gp/rec/restricted-restreint-eng.html#rca
  2. GSRs – http://www.pac.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/fm-gp/rec/restricted-restreint-eng.html#sponge

Anglers are reminded of the mandatory condition of licence for the release of rockfish; all anglers in vessels shall immediately return all rockfish that are not being retained to the water and to a similar depth from which they were caught by use of an inverted weighted barbless hook or other purpose-built descender device.

Fore more information:

Contacts:

  • Brad Beaith (South Coast – WCVI) – (250)756-7190
  • Erika Watkins (South Coast- ECVI)  – (250)286-5882
  • Darren Chow (North Coast) – (250)627-3441
  • Greg Hornby (Regional Recreational Coordinator) – (250)286-5886