Recreational - IPHC Regulatory Area 2A

IPHC Regulatory Area 2A

Washington, Oregon, and California—Recreational Fisheries

IPHC Regulatory Area 2A is located off the USA West Coast in waters off Washington (WA), Oregon (OR), and California (CA). IPHC sets the overall total allowable catch for the area. The IPHC Regulatory Area 2A Catch Sharing Plan as put forth by the Pacific Fishery Management Council and the National Marine Fisheries Service provides the formulas to then allocate Pacific halibut among user groups in IPHC Regulatory Area 2A.

Recreational fisheries data organized by IPHC Regulatory Area and year are available here.


The NOAA Fisheries final rule (87 FR 74322) implementing the management transition in the IPHC Regulatory Area 2A to the NOAA Fisheries was published on 5 December 2022 and became effective on 4 January 2023.

As of 2023, charter vessels retaining Pacific halibut in IPHC Regulatory Area 2A must obtain a permit from NOAA Fisheries.

Online permit application forms are now available through the NOAA Fisheries West Coast region web page.

Individual anglers should check with their state for licensing requirements.


The USA West Coast recreational fishery is managed by bag and possession limits, and receives an allocation through the Pacific Fishery Management Council’s Catch Sharing Plan. Close monitoring by the National Marine Fisheries Service, the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW), the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW), and the IPHC, along with in-season adjustments to opening dates, keeps the West Coast recreational fishery at or near its overall catch limit.

Recreational fishing is very popular off the USA West Coast, in part due to the proximity to major population centers. Anglers view Pacific halibut as an alternative to salmon, other bottomfish, and albacore. Because of this popularity, the area is divided into seven subareas, each with its own allocation and season structure. Season dates are set to not conflict with other fisheries, and may be open for only one to three days per week in some subareas.

Please contact the National Marine Fisheries Service or State Fisheries Department representatives for current information on opening dates, local area closures, and bag limits.


  • NMFS Area 2A Pacific Halibut Hotline - In-season updates on 2A recreational fishery seasons. (1-800-662-9825, press 7)
  • Washington - WDFW site
  • Oregon - ODFW site
  • California – CDFW site