Last Day of Northern California Recreational Dungeness Crab Season Approaches; New Crab Regulations to Take Effect Aug. 1

Dungeness crab   photo by K. Joe

Although the Dungeness crab season was delayed in some parts of California until May this year, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) reminds the public that  the last day of the recreational Dungeness crab season is already nearly here. This Saturday, July 30, will be the last day of the season from the Sonoma/Mendocino county line to the California-Oregon border. The commercial fishing season for this area ended last Friday, July 15. Continue reading

Exploring California’s Marine Protected Areas: Point Conception State Marine Reserve

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Cruising north along the Santa Barbara coast can be smooth sailing across sheltered waters, with the majestic backdrop of the Santa Ynez Mountains towering above expansive kelp beds and calm sandy beaches. As you get close to Point Conception, however, wise mariners know that smooth sailing can simply be the calm before the storm. Continue reading

Last Day of Recreational and Commercial Dungeness Crab Season South of Mendocino County Approaching

Dungeness crab    photo by K. Joe

Delays in opening the Dungeness crab season due to the unprecedented high levels of domoic acid in the crab have resulted in much less time on the water this season for both recreational and commercial crabbers. The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) reminds the public that the last day of the recreational and commercial fishing seasons south of the Sonoma/Mendocino county line Continue reading

Rock Crab Testing Continues in San Mateo and Sonoma Counties

rock crab
Cancer antennarius, one of a handful of rock crab species that inhabit the waters off California  photo by Lovell and Libby Langstroth © California Academy of Sciences

UPDATE 7/6/2016  Commercial and Recreational Rock Crab Fisheries Now Open at Pigeon Point, San Mateo County

The commercial and recreational rock crab season closures will remain in place north of Sand Hill Bluff, Santa Cruz County (36° 58.72’ N latitude) until testing results indicate that elevated levels of domoic acid in rock crab have declined below the alert level of 30 parts per million (ppm). The latest test results from locations near the San Francisco Bay Area are posted on the California Department of Public Health’s (CDPH) crab testing results website.

Within the past week, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) has collected rock crab samples Continue reading

From the Marine Region Manager: 2015 Year in Review

2015 Marine Region projects summary (click image)

I will remember 2015 as a year characterized by unusual ocean conditions, uncommon events and some very rare circumstances. What started off as a relatively “normal” year quickly changed in mid-April with the closing of the West Coast sardine fishery. Just over a month later the Refugio oil spill occurred, resulting in widespread ecological damage and a six week fishing closure along the Gaviota coast in the Santa Barbara Channel.

As abnormally warm ocean waters blanketed the coast throughout summer and fall, semi-tropical and tropical species were observed off our shores. The warm water brought not only red crabs and sea snakes to Southern California beaches, but some great fishing. Continue reading