As of May 2, 2016 the majority of coastline in northern California is now open to recreational Dungeness crab fishing. These areas comprise all the ocean, bay and estuarine waters south of the Humboldt Bay entrance, including the entrance and the waters of Humboldt Bay, and the area north of the southern boundary of Reading Rock State Marine Conservation Area (near Redwood Creek in Humboldt County) to the California/Oregon border. Continue reading
At its April 13, 2016 meeting, the California Fish and Game Commission (FGC) adopted a California Spiny Lobster Fishery Management Plan (FMP) that puts into place a cohesive management strategy to guide the future sustainable management of California’s recreational and commercial lobster fisheries, as required by the Marine Life Management Act.
The FGC’s adoption of the FMP is the culmination of four years of a collaborative development process that began in the spring Continue reading
Update – 4/4/2016 On March 11, 2016 the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment and California Department of Public Health lifted the health advisory for Dungeness crab for the region south of the Sonoma-Mendocino County line (near Gualala, Mendocino County). The recreational Dungeness crab fishery has been open since this date, and the commercial fishery opened in this area on March 26. Continue reading
Northern California kelp forests have been reduced to an all-time low due to a “perfect storm” of large-scale ecological impacts. The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) marine invertebrate management team has conducted annual ecosystem surveys of kelp forests in Sonoma and Mendocino counties since the late 1990s, and recent observations have caused concern about the state of the kelp forests. The severe reduction in kelp has already impacted the recreational red abalone fishery and commercial red urchin fishery, two economically important fisheries in northern California.
Abalone and Urchins Starving
Bull kelp (Nereocystis luetkeana), usually common on the northern California coast, has declined dramatically since 2014. Kelp forests are now 93 percent smaller compared to previous years, creating starvation conditions for herbivores. Continue reading
Update – 3/15/2016 The commercial Dungeness crab fishery remains closed statewide while the recreational fishery opened last month south of Point Reyes, Marin County (38° North latitude) following a recommendation from the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment and Department of Public Health that lifted the health advisory for Dungeness crab in this area. Dungeness crab domoic acid test results from Bodega Bay have shown “clean” areas (less than 30 parts per million (ppm) domoic acid concentration in the crab), but the Russian River area still needs two clean tests. Continue reading