Welcome to the 2015 Pacific halibut season structure survey!
This survey is being conducted by the Humboldt Area Saltwater Anglers (HASA) to solicit input from Pacific halibut sportfishers that are anticipating fishing for halibut in 2015. At their November 2014 meeting, the Pacific Fishery Management Council adopted a Catch Share Plan in which 4% of the non-tribal Pacific halibut allocation would be provided to California in 2015. This allocation represents an increase from 1% in 2014 (approximately 6,100 lbs) to 4% in 2015 (approximately 24,500 lbs). In combination, California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) has committed to enforcing harvest restrictions in 2015 such that actual 2015 harvest does not exceed this new allocation. Below is a summary of recent historic Pacific halibut harvest estimates for California (rounded to nearest hundred pounds):
2012 2013 2014
May 1,500 1,300 4,800
June 4,100 5,400 2,800
July 5,400 12,400 20,100
August 12,300 19,200 0
September 3,300 2,600 1,600 (est)
October 900 2,400 1,500 (est)
Therefore, we will not be able to fish the entire season in 2015, there will almost certainly need to be additional fishing closures for Pacific halibut in 2015 as occurred in 2014, and CDFW will close the season once the allocation is reached based on their weekly harvest estimates. The purpose of this survey is to solicit your input on season structure (openings and closings) for 2015, and from your input, the HASA board will discuss and provide recommendations to CDFW as input into the 2015 California sportfishing regulations. HASA has developed some initial options for season structure strategies for your consideration:
Option 1: a long season that is closed every other week or over a consistent 3-4 day period,
Option 2: an early and late season with a large gap in mid-summer during the highest harvest times (July and August),
Option 3: a season that lasts only for a short time in mid-summer during the highest harvest times (July and August), but no early or late fishing,
Option 4: a series of short seasons, one early in the season (May-June) and one in the highest harvest month (August)
A punch card or individual quota option is not available in 2015, as CDFW does not have time to implement this type of option for 2015.
HASA is soliciting your input on these potential season structure strategies or new ones that you may prefer. Based on your fishing preferences, experiences from the 2014 season structure, and other factors, please provide your thoughts on the 2015 Pacific halibut season structure in the following survey pages. We appreciate your time in taking this survey and providing your input.