Recreational Fisheries on the West Coast

West Coast Regional Saltwater Recreational Fisheries Policy Implementation Plan Released

The 2016-2017 Regional Saltwater Recreational Policy Implementation Plan for the West Coast Region is available. 

This regional implementation plan is being released in conjunction with five other regional recreational fisheries plans. Each plan outlines a set of shared priorities tied to concrete actions to be taken over the next 2 years.

These plans were developed by each of our regions with input from local leaders in the angling community, states, and regional fishery management councils. These are living documents that will continue to be shaped by ongoing conversations and through current regulatory and science processes.

We welcome the opportunity to talk with you about the West Coast Region's implementation plan and how best to
implement the actions it contains.  Please contact Kelly Ames, Chief of the West Coast Region's Sustainable Fisheries Division's Operations and Policy Branch, at


Saltwater recreational fisherman on the West Coast target a diversity of marine resources. These resources include highly migratory species (albacore and other tunas, striped marlin, common thresher and shortfin mako sharks), salmon and steelhead (Chinook, coho, and steelhead), groundfish (rockfish, lingcod, scorpionfish, greenling, flatfish, and sharks), and coastal pelagic species (pacific sardine, northern anchovy, market squid, pacific mackerel). They also include numerous state-managed species like barracuda, bass, bonito, sturgeon, and surfperches. Recreational fisherman also fish for invertebrates such as abalone, lobster, crab, clams, and oysters.

Recreational fisheries are economically, socially, and culturally important. In 2012, roughly 1.6 million anglers took part in an estimated 7.4 million fishing trips on the West Coast. These anglers made over $1.8 billion in fishing trip and equipment expenditures, which supported over 18,800 jobs and approximately $2.5 billion in sales. 

On the West Coast, recreational fisheries primarily occur in non-federal waters (zero to three nautical miles off the coast) and are managed by the states of Washington, Oregon, and California. Inter-state coordination is facilitated through the Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission. The Pacific Fishery Management Council and NOAA Fisheries manage fisheries that occur within federal waters (three to 200 nautical miles off the coast). Management of these fisheries is separated into four fishery management plans: coastal pelagic species, groundfish species, highly migratory species, and salmon species.

NOAA Fisheries West Coast Region works with anglers and fisheries managers to improve recreational fishing opportunity and stewardship throughout the Pacific states. A Recreational Fisheries Coordinator and region-wide team coordinate recreational fisheries management throughout Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and California. 

Learn More about the Recreational Fisheries Team and who to contact.

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