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2/16/2019
Charter halibut limits set

KETCHIKAN (KDN) — Charter halibut anglers in Southeast Alaska can expect the same catch and bag limit regulations as last year.

The decision was finalized at the conclusion of the 95th annual International Pacific Halibut Commission Annual Meeting on Feb. 1.

The commission decided to keep the overall halibut harvest limits the same as 2018 for Southeast Alaska, Area 2C, at 6.34 million pounds.

For the entire Pacific Coast region, the total catch limit is 38.61 million pounds.

For charter anglers in Area 2C, he commission also established a 38-80 reverse slot limit.

This means that charter anglers must release any halibut measuring between 38 inches and 80 inches.

The one-fish daily bag limit from last year also applies for charter anglers.

Forrest Bradden, the executive director of Southeast Alaska Guide's Organization said in an email: "We’re glad that sport regulation didn’t slide any further for 2019, but that said, 2C operators are already struggling to keep business at these low limits. If you want a healthy industry, you’ve got to accept the fact that there are thresholds you can’t cross. We’re in shaky territory."

The 2019 commercial longline season for halibut begins on March 15.