Recreational lingcod fishing in three coastal areas will open to March 12, a week earlier than originally listed in the state’s 2010/2011 sport fishing rules pamphlet.
Heather Reed, coastal policy coordinator for the state Department of Fish and Wildlife, said the opening date for the lingcod fishery in Marine Areas 1-3 south of Cape Alava was changed to conform to federal rules.
The fishing season in those areas will run through Oct. 15 as previously planned.
The season dates will remain unchanged in Marine Area 4, which will be open for lingcod fishing from April 16 through Oct. 15.
There will be a 22-inch minimum size limit and a two-fish daily catch limit for lingcod in Marine Areas 1-3. In Marine Area 4, there is a 24-inch minimum size limit and a two-fish daily limit for lingcod.
The department also announced this afternoon that the aggregate bottomfish limit has beeb reduced from 15 to 12 off the coast.
This rule change conforms to action taken by the Pacific Fishery Management Council.
Under the change, it is unlawful for any person to retain or possess more than 12 bottomfish species for personal use per day. The 12 fish in the aggregate limit of all species may include no more than two cabezon per person per day in addition to current daily sub-limits for rockfish (10) and lingcod (two).
The change takes effect immediately, covering all bottomfish species in Marine Areas 1, 2, 3 and Marine Area 4 west of the Bonilla-Tatoosh line.