Recreational halibut season ends early

  • Sep. 3, 2012 3:00 p.m.

The halibut fishery is closing earlier than expected.The Department of Fisheries and Oceans has announced the recreational fishery will close Sept. 9, saying that despite changes made this year in an effort to extend the season, there has still been an overall increase in effort and catch. DFO said it expects the allowable catch for the recreational share of the fishery will be reached by early September. The changes made earlier this year limited anglers to one halibut a day, with a possession limit of two, provided one of the fish is less than 15 pounds. Those changes were made with input from the Sportfish Advisory Board after the recreational halibut fishery closed early last year.Urs Thomas, chair of the local Sportfish Advisory Board, was disappointed by the news.”Being part of the process, I’m a little bit disappointed because we were expecting to extend the season longer,” he said. “But we really have to investigate what happened and look at all the data.”Mr. Thomas said it’s possible the fishery could have ended even sooner, if the new measures had not been put in place. The post-season review is not usually done until December and details regarding the fishery will be available then.