We are amending this story below.  Based on a press release from the WDFW, we previously reported that yelloweye rockfish would be open this year for the first time since 2018.  This is incorrect and their revised and updated press release can be viewed here:  WDFW bottomfish guidelines

Have you got your Boater’s Education Card from Washington State Parks?  If so and you operate a fishing boat here in the North Sound, you can join those who will take place in the March 13th coastal recreational bottom-fish opener.

The Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife will open the Washington outer coastal waters to fish for bottomfish, including ling cod on Saturday, March 13th.

The Pacific Fishery Management Council has estimated this year’s yelloweye rockfish are more than double 2018’s, thanks to efforts to rebuild the stock, but yelloweye is still prohibited. Anglers  helped in drafting this year’s limit recommendations at a series of public meetings last year.

If you wish to take advantage of the bottom-fish season, be sure to get the latest Washington Sport Fishing Rules pamphlet and the Fish and Wildlife emergency rules page before heading out to the coast. You should also download the Fish Washington mobile app to stay on top of all the outer coast fishing details and regulations from your favorite app store.

Other rockfish species seasons will open up later in the year. See all the fishing marine zone and details below. Have fun and be safe out on the water!  Also remember to check your weather forecast before you venture out.  Best place to do so is at: everettpost.com/weather

Coastal bottomfish season:

Marine Areas 1 through 4:

  • Allow five flatfish in excess of the nine fish daily limit in all coastal marine areas west of the Bonilla-Tatoosh line. The five flatfish do not count toward the daily bottomfish limit.

Marine Area 4 (east of the Bonilla-Tatoosh line):

  • Allow yellowtail and widow rockfish retention seaward of the 120 ft. depth restriction in July and August.

Marine Areas 3 and 4 (west of the Bonilla-Tatoosh line):

  • The 20-fathom depth restriction will be in effect beginning June 1 through July 31
  • Yellowtail and widow rockfish retention will be allowed seaward of 120 ft. (20 fathoms) in July.
  • The retention of the following species is allowed seaward of 120 ft. (20 fathoms) on days open to the recreational halibut fishery: Pacific cod, sablefish, lingcod, bocaccio rockfish, silvergray rockfish, canary rockfish, widow rockfish, and yellowtail

Marine Area 2:

  • The 30-fathom depth restriction will be in place beginning May 1 through May 31.
  • Lingcod retention will be allowed seaward of the deepwater lingcod closure June 1 through June 15 and September 1 through September 30.
  • The Washington south coast and Westport yelloweye rockfish conservation areas will be open to recreational fishing at all times.

Marine Area 1:

  • Fishery managers will allow anglers to retain lingcod seaward of the deepwater lingcod closure June 1 through June 15 and September 1 through September 30.
  • In addition to sablefish, Pacific cod and lingcod north of the Washington – Oregon border, anglers are allowed to retain yellowtail rockfish, widow rockfish, canary rockfish, redstriped rockfish, greenstriped rockfish, slivergray rockfish, chilipepper, bocaccio, and blue/deacon rockfish on all-depth halibut days.

North Sound Meteorologist Ted Buehner worked more than 40 years for the National Weather Service (NWS) from 1977 to 2018. He is now an Everett Post Media team member. Together with Everett Post Weather Minute Podcasts, he provides morning and afternoon commute traffic and weather updates on both KRKO and KXA Radio, and sports reporting on KRKO.