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Bottom-fishing areas to reopen Monday

The Maui News

Maui County’s bottom fish restricted fishing area, Mokumana-Umalei, will reopen Monday, the state Department of Land and Natural Resources announced Thursday.

Makahuena off Kauai and the Penguin Banks and Leleiwi off Hawaii island also will be reopened.

However, noncommercial bottom fishers still are limited to taking or possessing a total of five “Deep 7” bottom fish per day. These fish include ulaula koae or onaga, ulaula or ehu, kalekale, opakapaka, ukikiki or gindai, hapuu and lehi.

DLNR also announced that if noncommercial bottom fishers are fishing in federal waters, they need federal permits and are subject to reporting requirements.

Commercial bottom fishers, who fish in reopened restricted areas, will have new reporting requirements. They will need to provide the commercial catch reporting area number followed by the BRFA (bottom fish restricted fishing area) letter from which each fish was taken.

Updated requirements and maps will be available on the Division of Aquatic Resources website after Monday. Detailed instructions and information already have already been sent to licensed commercial bottom fishers.

The Division of Aquatic Resources must monitor catch in the reopened areas, including pounds of fish taken and catch per unit effort. Data collected by the division will be sent to the Board Land of Natural Resources for a January 2022 report.

For more information about reporting requirements and permits, contact the nearest Division of Aquatic Resources office.