New Recreational Crab Regulations Aim to Reduce “Ghost Fishing” and More

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Measure Dungeness crab through the body shell from edge to edge directly in front of and excluding the points (lateral spines). Dungeness crab must measure at least 5¾ inches across. CDFW illustration

This year, the recreational Dungeness crab season opens statewide on Saturday, November 5, 2016. The daily bag and possession limit for Dungeness crab remains ten crabs per day that are at least 5¾ inches across, measured by the shortest distance through the body shell from edge to edge directly in front of and excluding the points (lateral spines). Dungeness crab can be taken in all ocean waters of the state where they occur, excluding San Francisco and San Pablo bays. Continue reading

Agencies Mull Options to Prepare for Future Domoic Acid Events

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CDPH staff collects viscera from cooked crabs during domoic acid testing in 2015.   photo courtesy CDPH

In 2015 and 2016, there was an unprecedented bloom of a single-celled plant called Pseudo-nitzschia in ocean waters, which resulted in  elevated levels of domoic acid in Dungeness crab and rock crab. The elevated levels of domoic acid in crab along the West Coast impacted California fisheries from Santa Barbara to the Oregon Border.

The conditions that support the growth of Pseudo-nitzschia are impossible to predict, but tend to be more common in the warmer months Continue reading

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

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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

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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