Across the Oregon Coast, recreational fisherman can now catch rockfish in a part of the ocean that was once off limits. KLCC’s Deonna Anderson reports.
NOAA Fisheries, the agency that oversees the country’s ocean resources, approved the year-round rule. This comes after nearly two decades of restrictions that limited fishermen to catch these sea animals in shallow water, and only during peak summer months.
Michael Milstein with NOAA Fisheries shares that since the 1990s, the once-scarce species has grown in population.
“The good news is that a lot of them have come back very strongly and so it presented this opportunity for us to create some new fishing opportunities in places where that fishing had been closed,” he says.
The new fishery requires fishermen to use a type of hook and line gear that catches fish at least 30 feet off the sea floor. This ensures they don’t catch yelloweye rockfish, a species that is still trying to recover.