Oregon's Recreational Albacore Fishery
The recreational fishery for albacore off Oregon was a late development that was worth waiting for. Although historically there had been some interest in the albacore fishery from some charter vessels and a few private boats, the fishery really only began to see substantial growth after the year 2000. Most catches in the recreational fishery occur seaward between 20 and 50 nautical miles from shore, with the albacore usually beginning to arrive in late June or early July and the fishing opportunity remains strong through late September in most years.
Albacore caught off the Oregon Coast are younger aged fish (usually 5 years or less) and typically average 15-18 lbs with numerous fish into the mid 30 lbs landed each year by anglers off Oregon. Most recreational albacore tuna fishing has been by surface trolling jigs or plugs, but more recently anglers have been casting lures, angling with live bait, and even deep jigging. Good success can be had with all techniques.
Due to the distance from shore and the highly variable and sometimes volatile marine fishing conditions off the Oregon Coast, this is a fishery that requires specialized boating and safety equipment and a good maritime knowledge base.
The Ocean Recreational Boat Survey is part of the Ocean Sampling Project. The Ocean Sampling Project is made up of two sub-units: The Commercial Troll Salmon Project (CTSP) and the Ocean Recreational Boat Survey (ORBS). ORBS collects the information needed to manage Oregons's ocean sport fisheries, while the CTSP gathers needed information for management of the ocean commercial troll salmon seasons. Although the primary focus of the Ocean Sampling Project was originally for salmon management, it is the primary source of fishery information for the ocean recreational fisheries off Oregon.
ORBS makes estimates of the angling effort and catch in the ocean recreational boat fishery. The ORBS estimates total ocean sport effort by boat type (charter and private), and interviews are conducted randomly of ocean boats to generate estimates of catch for both salmon and non-salmon species. All sampled salmon are examined for the presence of a CWT. Additional biological data are collected from salmon and non-salmon species, and anglers are also interviewed regarding released fish species.
The Ocean Sampling Project is staffed by a project leader and an assistant project leader at Newport, and two sampling coordinators; one each at Tillamook and Charleston. The sampling coordinators serve as liaison between field samplers, fishery participants, and program staff at Newport; deliver data and coded wire tags to Newport; and also provide additional sampling when needed. We regularly sample fishery landings at all primary Oregon coastal ports, utilizing approximately 20 to 30 seasonal samplers.
List to other links and marine related resources
Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife
2040 SE Marine Science Drive
Newport, Oregon 97365