State lowers lingcod legal size in 2007
Dec 29,2006 00:00 by Bend Weekly News Sources
The Marine Sport Fishing Regulation will change the minimum legal size for lingcod from 24 inches to 22 inches, and add in a separate daily bag limit of 25 for flatfish, which includes flounders, soles, sanddabs, turbots and halibuts, but not Pacific halibut.  All changes are effective Jan. 1, 2007.

The change for a more liberal minimum size limit for lingcod is due to a new federal stock assessment indicating the northern population of lingcod has rebuilt.  The stock’s improvement from depleted status to healthy numbers also allows the lingcod sport harvest cap to be eliminated in 2007.  The separate bag limit on marine flatfish will allow anglers more opportunity for those species.

“We heard from several fishermen at public meetings that they were catching a lot of 23-inch lingcod,” said Don Bodenmiller, sport groundfish project leader for ODFW’s Marine Resources Program in Newport.  “The lower size limit should enable more anglers to fill their two-fish daily bag limit for lingcod.”

Other changes to the 2007 Marine Sport Fishing Regulations include additional measures to protect yelloweye and canary rockfish by limiting fishing for certain species in the Stonewall Bank Rockfish Conservation Area (all year) and seaward of the 40-fathom curve (from April 1 to Sept. 30).

For more information on marine bottom fishing regulations please visit
www.dfw.state.or.us/MRP/regulations/sport_fishing/.