California Commercial Fishing Digest Now Available Online

CFD coverThe 2017 California Commercial Fishing Digest is now available on the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) website. The digest contains information about commercial fishing licenses and regulations. It also includes maps of fishing districts, conservation areas, marine protected areas, and more.

Commercial fishermen will be especially interested in the What’s New for 2017 section of the digest, which includes summaries of new commercial fishing regulations and other information.

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Gearing Up for Abalone Season

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Choppy water off the north coast. CDFW photo by L. Lopez

Every spring at the start of abalone season, thousands of people gear up and head out to their favorite spot on the north coast to rock-pick or dive for red abalone. Strong winds often accompany the spring months, which can make ocean waters rough. Between 1993 and 2012 more than 54 people lost their lives while trying to take abalone in a variety of circumstances including rough weather, and every year Continue reading

CDFW Reminds Divers and Hoopnetters: Time to Submit 2016-2017 Spiny Lobster Report Cards

Scuba diver with a nice lobster.  CDFW photo by D. Stein

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) reminds 2016-2017 Spiny Lobster Report Card holders to submit their report card data online or return their report cards by April 30, 2017 as required by law. 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. Continue reading

Exploring California’s Marine Protected Areas: Portuguese Ledge State Marine Conservation Area

Portuguese Ledge State Marine Conservation Area (SMCA) lies four miles offshore of the Monterey peninsula in central California. The SMCA was established following the passage of the Marine Life Protection Act in 1999, which mandated the redesign of California’s marine protected area (MPA) system into a cohesive network. Currently, only 14 of the 124 state MPAs protect deepwater, submarine canyon habitat; Portuguese Ledge SMCA was one of the first such MPAs to be established. Continue reading

Reminder: Abalone Season Opens May 1 After Commission Approves Emergency Regulations for 2017

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Healthy red abalone on the move over crustose coralline algae-encrusted rock at Van Damme State Marine Conservation Area, August 27, 2015. CDFW photo by A. Maguire

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) reminds divers and rock-pickers gearing up for the start of the red abalone season that the bag limit and season have changed for this popular fishery under emergency regulations for 2017.

The season has been shortened by two months, with an opening date of May 1 instead of April 1, and a closing date of October 31 instead of November 30.  In addition, the annual limit has been lowered to 12 abalone (from 18 abalone). The California Fish and Game Commission approved a shortened season Continue reading