Recreational and Commercial Fishing Regulations Available for Download

Did you know that you can download state fishing regulations to your smartphone or other device? Using iBooks on Apple devices or your favorite book reader on the Android platform, you can download the regulations booklets for reference at any time.

sport fishing regulation booklet coverAs noted in the 2018-2019 Saltwater Sport Fishing Regulations booklet, recreational fishermen will want to take note of a few changes in fishing regulations this season.

Most notably, the recreational red abalone fishery is closed for 2018, and likely longer. To learn more about the reasons behind the unprecedented closure, see Perfect Storm” Decimates Northern California Kelp Forests, written by California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) biologists and published on the Marine Management News blogsite. Continue reading

Limited Recreational Ocean Salmon Seasons Finalized for 2018

fisherwoman with salmon
A nice Chinook salmon caught outside Bodega Bay
CDFW photo

As expected, ocean salmon anglers will have fewer opportunities this year to wet a line for their favorite fish out of most California ports.

The Pacific Fishery Management Council (PFMC) took action this week to finalize recreational salmon fishing season dates for ocean waters off California for the remainder of the year. In response to the new “overfished” status of Sacramento River fall Chinook, recreational fishing seasons in ocean waters will be cut by 40 percent in some regions, compared to unrestricted seasons.

Substantial cuts were made to ocean salmon fishing opportunity in all management areas, though some areas have longer seasons than others. Sport fisheries between the Oregon/California border and Horse Mountain will only be open from the beginning of June until early September. The longest seasons will be for fisheries from Horse Mountain to Pigeon Point (Fort Bragg and San Francisco Continue reading

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