Understanding Depth Limits in the Recreational Groundfish Fishery

map
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

New Groundfish Regulation Implementation Delayed

fish
Vermilion rockfish, one of more than 90 species of groundfish found in state waters.   CDFW photo by A. Maguire

UPDATE – Late on Feb 3, 2017 the federal government announced that 2017-2018 recreational and commercial groundfish regulations would go into effect on Feb. 7, 2017. View updated recreational groundfish regulation summaries here.

On Jan. 20, 2017, White House staff on behalf of President Trump implemented a regulatory freeze to ensure that the President’s appointees or designees have the opportunity to review any new or pending federal regulations. This freeze includes Continue reading

Exploring California’s Marine Protected Areas: Bolsa Chica Wetlands

Bolsa Chica wetlands
Venture onto the 400-ft. walkway to view the Bolsa Chica Wetlands from the south entrance.  CDFW photo by S. Hubbard

One of the last remaining wetland ecosystems in Southern California, the Bolsa Chica Wetlands form the largest saltwater marsh south of Point Conception, Santa Barbara County. Approximately 1,300 acres in size with an intricate five-mile trail system, the wetlands are home to more than 65 species of fish, birds, invertebrates, and mammals Continue reading

Extended Fishing Trips: How Many Tuna Can You Keep?

fish
Tuna and other sport-caught fish at Fisherman’s Landing, San Diego

Did you know that if you plan an offshore fishing trip lasting more than one consecutive calendar day, and intend to keep bag limits for multiple days, you must file a multi-day fishing trip declaration form with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) before your trip?

As specified in California Code of Regulations (CCR) Title 14, Section 27.15 , a “Declaration for Multi-Day Fishing Trip” form may not be filed for a trip unless the trip is continuous and extends for a period of 12 hours or more on the first and last days of the trip. Also, no berthing or docking is permitted within five miles of the mainland shore during the trip. This is applicable to both private vessels and commercial passenger fishing vessels. Continue reading

Recreational Pacific Halibut Fishery Closes Thursday August 13, 2015

CDFW staff measures Pacific halibut
CDFW staff collects data from Pacific halibut

After an active summer, the last day of recreational Pacific halibut fishing will be Wednesday, August 12, 2015. The season will be closed for the remainder of the year. Excellent weather during July and early August and a successful catch rate contributed to the early closure of the fishery by the International Pacific Halibut Commission and the National Marine Fisheries Service following consultation with CDFW.

This was the first year of a newly designed Pacific halibut season structure that provided for set open and closed periods of fishing. The short breaks between open periods were anticipated to spread fishing opportunity from May through October (the entirety of the previous season) without exceeding the quota. Continue reading