Catch limits increase for key West Coast groundfish species

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Federal fisheries managers are increasing catch limits for several West Coast groundfish species that were previously overfished, a move that marks the greatest expansion of a West Coast fishery in years.

The National Marine Fisheries Service says catch limits for yellow eye rockfish will more than double, and limits will also increase substantially for the California scorpionfish, bocaccio and Pacific Ocean perch.

The changes will be published Wednesday and will go into effect on Jan. 1, the first day of the next fishing season.

The agency says fishing income in California, Oregon and Washington could increase $60 million because of the changes.

The changes could generate 900 jobs in the fishing industry and at least 200,000 more angler trips a year.

Groundfish stocks collapsed in 2002, prompting dramatic fishing restrictions.