Recreational Fisheries on the West Coast

West Coast 2019-2020 Recreational Fisheries Engagement Plan Released

The West Coast 2019-2020 Recreational Fisheries Engagement Plan is available (PDF Formatted Document, 1.6 MB).

Meaningful engagement with the marine recreational fishing community is fundamental to successful fisheries management. NOAA Fisheries recently released six regional engagement plans highlighting actions that regional offices will take to improve Agency visibility, develop mutual understanding, and enhance collaboration with America’s saltwater recreational anglers.

The West Coast Region, Northwest Fisheries Science Center and Southwest Fisheries Science Center developed the West Coast 2019-2020 Recreational Fisheries Engagement Plan.

The plan outlines activities that the Agency intends to take over the next two years to support one or more of the following objectives:

The release of these regional engagement plans represents the latest step in NOAA Fisheries’ continuing commitment to strengthening our relationship with saltwater recreational fishermen.

We welcome the opportunity to talk with you about the West Coast Region's engagement plan and how best to implement the actions it contains.  Please contact Daniel Studt, Recreational Fishing Coordinator for the West Coast Region's Sustainable Fisheries Division, at

See our web story on our new plans for engaging with recreational fishermen.


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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