NEWPORT, Ore. – Beginning March 11, ocean anglers will be able to retain one canary rockfish as part of their marine daily bag limit – a move intended to reduce waste that results from releasing injured fish.
“The retention of canary rockfish for the first time in over a decade is good news because it means the population is recovering,” said Patrick Mirick, ODFW assistant program leader. “However, canary rockfish recovery is still fragile, and we encourage anglers to continue to avoid targeting canary rockfish and to keep one only if it is wounded and unlikely to survive if released.”
Under the new rule, anglers will be able to keep one canary rockfish as part of their seven marine fish daily bag limit.
Canary rockfish is an overfished species that’s on the path of recovery thanks, in large part, to the conservation efforts of anglers who have avoided catching them and who have used a descending device when they do catch and release one. Mirick said even rockfish suffering from extreme symptoms of barotrauma (“popped out” eyes and stomach) have a very good chance of survival if released with descending devices.
In addition to allowing anglers to keep a wounded fish, the new retention rule also will allow scientists to recover data from canary rockfish that are brought into the docks. They will use this data to better understand the rockfish population and track progress toward recovery.