New Survey Solicits Public Input on Recreational Red Abalone Fishery

abalone and urchin
Abalone and urchin feed on sea palm washed into deeper water from the intertidal zone.   photo by K. Joe

An online survey soliciting public opinion about red abalone fishery management is now available on the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) website. 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. To learn more about abalone management and the fishery management plan development process, please visit the CDFW website.


post by CDFW Research Writer Mary Patyten

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

abalone
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

“Perfect Storm” Decimates Northern California Kelp Forests

waves_A.Maguire
photo by A. Maguire
kelp cover maps
Comparison of kelp cover at four important abalone fishery sites in 2008 and 2014. Green indicates kelp canopy observed. Maps created from data collected during CDFW aerial surveys. (Data: M. Fredle)

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

Exploring California’s Marine Protected Areas: South La Jolla State Marine Reserve

 

South La Jolla State Marine Reserve
South La Jolla State Marine Reserve  CDFW photo by A. Maguire

A biological hotspot resides off California’s southern coast at La Jolla, characterized by dense kelp forests, surfgrass beds, hard- and soft-bottom deep water habitats, and both sandy beaches and rocky shores. To protect this ecologically diverse area, the California Fish and Game Commission adopted the South La Jolla State Marine Reserve (SMR) as a marine protected area (MPA) in January 2012. Continue reading

Public Survey to Guide Red Abalone Fishery Management Now Available

red abalone
Red abalone

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) is in the process of developing a red abalone fishery management plan to update sections of the Abalone Recovery and Management Plan. Members of the public are invited to provide guidance for the plan by participating in an online survey concerning their preferences in the management of red abalone. The survey can be accessed on the CDFW website. The survey will run until Continue reading