While wetting a line on the coast is minimal during the winter time, it has been decided to close all bottomfishing fishing off Ilwaco, Westport, La Push and Neah Bay now through March 10.
In the past, bottomfish were fair game year-round off the coast, but the Pacific Fishery Management Council made changes to the recreational bottomfish season along the coast as part of its groundfish biennial management cycle for 2017-18.
The fishery will now be open from the second Saturday in March through the third Saturday in October, and now comes into line with the sport coastal lingcod fishery from Ilwaco to La Push.
This new rule includes fishing for Pacific cod, Pacific tomcod, Pacific hake (or whiting), walleye pollock, all species of sandabs, sole and flounders (except Pacific halibut), lingcod, ratfish, sablefish, cabezon, greenling, buffalo sculpin, great sculpin, red Irish lord, brown Irish lord, Pacific staghorn sculpin, wolf eel, giant wrymouth, plainfin midshipman, all species of sharks, skate, rockfish, rattail, and surf perch (all saltwater perch are surfperch) excluding shiner perch.
The entrance to the Strait of Juan de Fuca at Neah Bay east of the Bonnilla-Tatoosh line will stay open year-round to sport fishing that is allowed in the winter time.