California Recreational Groundfish and Lingcod Fishing Regulation Changes for 2019

Lingcod
Beginning in 2019, the Lingcod daily bag and possession limit is one fish.
CDFW photo by M. Parker

On December 12, 2018 the California Fish and Game Commission took action to modify regulations for groundfish fishing. The changes went into effect January 2, 2019.

While many of the changes are good news and reflect improvements in the status of several species, not all changes resulted in increased opportunities for the recreational groundfish fishery. For California Groundfish Management Areas south of 40°10’ N latitude (near Cape Mendocino in northern CaliforniaContinue reading

Don’t Eat That Razor Clam!

razor clam
Razor clam
CDFW photo by J. Ray

The sport razor clam fishery closed more than two years ago in Humboldt and Del Norte counties due to harmful levels of a naturally occurring marine biotoxin, domoic acid. The state Department of Public Health (CDPH) has documented varying levels of toxin in the clams since the closure, but levels have not fallen low enough to reopen the sport season.

In fact, recently skyrocketing levels of domoic acid in northern California razor clams have renewed concerns among Continue reading

Domoic Acid and the Recreational Dungeness Crab Fishery: A brief history of monitoring and current recreational fishery information

Freshly cooked Dungeness Crab
photo by E.W. Roberts III

The California Department of Public Health’s (CDPH’s) biotoxin monitoring program began in 1927 in response to a massive poisoning event that occurred after people ate mussels containing high levels of paralytic shellfish poisoning toxin. Several deaths and over 100 illnesses were attributed to the event, according to CDPH.

Domoic acid, which causes amnesic shellfish poisoning, is another potentially deadly and naturally occurring toxin that may be produced after a “bloom” of a single-celled plant called Pseudo-nitzschia. Blooms of Pseudo-nitzschia do not always produce domoic acid, and there is currently no reliable way to predict where or when a bloom will produce the toxin. Continue reading

Now Available: Final Marine Protected Area Monitoring Action Plan

Action Plan coverThe California Department of Fish and Wildlife is pleased to announce the final Marine Protected Area (MPA) Monitoring Action Plan (Action Plan) is now available. The Action Plan informs next steps for long-term monitoring of California’s MPA Network by compiling work to date, as well as incorporating novel, quantitative, and expert-informed approaches. The Action Plan prioritizes long-term monitoring that targets key measures, metrics, habitats, sites, species, human uses, and management questions that will inform the evaluation and adaptive management of California’s MPA Network. Continue reading

Exploring California’s Marine Protected Areas: Ten Mile Beach State Marine Conservation Area and Ten Mile State Marine Reserve

Winding along Highway 1 north of Fort Bragg takes you through coastal plains, patches of forest, and hidden dunes, with a glimpse of the ocean from time to time. As you approach the bridge that crosses Ten Mile River, the scenery suddenly opens up to a panoramic view of ocean and estuary in an area known simply as Ten Mile.

Continue reading