2014-2015 Recreational Spiny Lobster Effort and Catch Estimates Available

Estimates Possible Thanks to Lobster Report Card Returns

California spiny lobsters

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) has generated estimates of recreational spiny lobster catch and effort for the most recent lobster fishing season, based on data collected from lobster report cards.  CDFW thanks everyone who returned their lobster report card(s) on time this year, as required by law.

Over 36,000 lobster report cards were sold for the 2014-2015 lobster fishing season, of which approximately 54 percent were either reported online or mailed to the San Diego office.

Based on the data from returned report cards, and extrapolations for report cards that were not returned, CDFW estimates that recreational lobster fishers made a total of 111,552 fishing trips for lobster, with an average of 1.9 lobsters kept per trip. The average number of lobsters kept per trip this season is similar to the season averages for each of the eight years that lobster report card data are available, which has remained stable at approximately 2 lobsters kept per trip.

The recreational fishery retained an estimated 215,295 lobsters during the 2014-2015 lobster fishing season, with an estimated total weight of approximately 344,472 pounds. The weight calculation is based on the 1.6 pound lobster median weight observed in a 2007 CDFW lobster creel survey.  The estimated recreational catch accounts for approximately 26 percent of the total weight of lobsters landed by the commercial and recreational fisheries combined for the 2014-2015 lobster fishing season.

Lobster report card data summaries can be found online. Additional information and a list of frequently asked questions about spiny lobster and lobster fishery management can be found on CDFW’s Invertebrate Management Project web page.

Please Note: Any 2014-2015 Spiny Lobster Report Card holder who failed to return or report their card(s) online by April 30, 2015 will be charged a non-return fee of $20.00 upon issuance of a Spiny Lobster Report Card in the 2015-2016 fishing season, or they may choose to skip one fishing season to be able to purchase a lobster card the following season at no extra cost.  Remember that all cards purchased must be returned or reported online to avoid the non-return fee.

Cardholders should review their cards carefully and check that the information recorded is complete and accurate.  Information collected from the cards provides CDFW with data necessary to monitor and manage California’s spiny lobster fishery.

The cards need to be returned or reported online, even if no lobsters were taken or no attempts were made to take lobsters.  Spiny Lobster Report Card data can be submitted online.  Report cards can also be submitted by mail to:

CDFW – Lobster Report Card
3883 Ruffin Rd.
San Diego, CA 92123

post by Travis Buck, CDFW Environmental Scientist    CDFW photo by D. Stein