What's a "groundfish"? Oregon's marine waters are home to many different species of groundfish, including lingcod, sablefish, cabezon, rockfishes, greenlings, and many species
of flatfishes, sharks and skates. Pacific halibut is not a groundfish species.
Cabezon retention is prohibited due to a seasonal closure until July 1, 2013.
The opening date for cabezon has been changed from April 1 to July 1. Retention of cabezon is prohibited through June 30 and from October 1 through December 31. Under the current federal cabezon quota, there is only enough cabezon to be open for 2.5-3 months during the busy summer period. When ODFW asked for public input in the fall, many people said they preferred cabezon be open later in the summer (July-September) rather than earlier. The daily bag and size limits remain the same (one-fish sublimit, 16-inch minimum length).
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Sport fishing for groundfish is closed outside of the 30-fathom line from April 1 through Sept. 30.
Watch a yelloweye rockfish get released using a recompression cage. (3.6 mb) Requires Windows Media Player
In this video, a sport-caught yelloweye rockfish is placed in a cage and then lowered to about 70 feet before being released. Note the symptoms at the surface (gut, bloated body, disorientation). Upon descent, the gut retracts, and the fish shows good orientation before swimming strongly downward.
When rockfish are caught in deep water (>100 feet, or 17 fathoms), symptoms seem dire - protruding gut, bloated body and bulging eyes. If recompressed, a fish's immediate symptoms appear to resolve and many fish swim away. Long-term survival for these fish is not known.
This video was made in 2005 during ODFW research to evaluate how rockfish react to recompression.
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