Note: In November, 2015 the recreational and commercial rock crab fisheries were closed due to high levels of domoic acid, a naturally occurring biotoxin, in crab viscera and meat. For the latest information about harmful algal blooms and any crab season closures, visit the CDFW website.
The red rock crab may be found statewide in shallow coastal areas and in bays, on rocky or reef-type habitat. They range from the intertidal zone to depths of 300 ft. or more. Continue reading
Reminder: The recreational Pacific halibut season closed on August 13, 2015.
The Pacific halibut ranges from Santa Rosa Island northward off California, but most are found north of Fort Bragg. They may be found from 20 to 3,600 ft. depths, and prefer deep, sandy bottom environments. Continue reading
Note: Regulation changes regarding filleting tuna at sea, and the bluefin tuna bag limit, are now in effect.
Bluefin tuna may be found statewide off California, with the majority of fish landed weighing between 15 and 30 lb. (1- to 2-year-old fish). They range worldwide in all but the very coldest seas. Continue reading
Both the Pacific gaper clam and the fat gaper clam may be found on California beaches statewide. They prefer fine sand or firm, sandy-mud bottoms, especially in bays, estuaries, and more sheltered outer coastal areas. Humboldt Bay, Bodega Bay, Tomales Bay, Drakes Estero, Elkhorn Slough, and Morro Bay are popular digging areas. Continue reading
Four species of sanddab are found in California waters: Pacific sanddab, longfin sanddab, speckled sanddab, and gulf sanddab. Most sport anglers catch the two largest sanddabs, the Pacific and the longfin. The Pacific sanddab is the predominant species in the California catch, with some longfin sanddab caught in southern California. Longfin sanddabs range from Monterey Bay south, while Pacific sanddabs are caught statewide. Both species are found on muddy or sandy bottoms, generally at depths of 30 to 600 ft., although Pacific sanddab are most abundant between 120 and 300 ft. Continue reading