Understanding Depth Limits in the Recreational Groundfish Fishery

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California Groundfish Management Areas  map by CDFW Marine Region GIS Lab

New recreational groundfish regulations went into effect in 2017, including changes to depth limits in some areas of the state. These changes provide more opportunity than before, opening areas that have been closed for many years.

With the regulation changes have come questions from the public asking for clarification regarding how depths are defined. We hope the explanation provided here will enable all California sportsmen and women to understand and follow the depth limit regulations.

Since 2002, Rockfish Conservation Areas (RCAs) have been used to close waters of certain depths to fishing for groundfish. The RCAs were established to help protect and rebuild overfished stocks, by prohibiting groundfish fishing in places where these stocks are most frequently encountered. Continue reading

Red Abalone Public Opinion Survey Deadline Extended

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Shrunken abalone due to lack of food. The foot (meat) of the abalone should be roughly the same size as its shell.   photo by S. Holmes

An online survey soliciting public opinion about red abalone fishery management is now available on the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) website through April 30 (the previous deadline was April 16). Public input will inform the development of a red abalone fishery management plan, and help CDFW to address the interests and concerns of the public. A similar survey was conducted in 2015 (results available online) but CDFW is interested in learning if recent unprecedented environmental conditions have changed preferences on abalone management. To learn more about the fishery management plan development process, please visit the CDFW website.


post by Mary Patyten, CDFW Research Writer