Gearing Up for Abalone Season

rocky shore
Choppy water off the north coast. CDFW photo by L. Lopez

Every spring at the start of abalone season, thousands of people gear up and head out to their favorite spot on the north coast to rock-pick or dive for red abalone. Strong winds often accompany the spring months, which can make ocean waters rough. Between 1993 and 2012 more than 54 people lost their lives while trying to take abalone in a variety of circumstances including rough weather, and every year Continue reading

CDFW Reminds Divers and Hoopnetters: Time to Submit 2016-2017 Spiny Lobster Report Cards

Scuba diver with a nice lobster.  CDFW photo by D. Stein

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) reminds 2016-2017 Spiny Lobster Report Card holders to submit their report card data online or return their report cards by April 30, 2017 as required by law. Cardholders should review their cards carefully and check that the information recorded is complete and accurate. Information collected from the cards provides CDFW with data necessary to monitor and manage California’s spiny lobster fishery. Continue reading

Snapshot: New State Angling and Diving Records

diver and tuna
Kevin Scully and his record-breaking bluefin tuna    CDFW file photo

Not one, not two, but three new ocean sport fishing records were logged into the books for tuna last year, along with a new record catch for surfperch!

On June 22, 2016 Kevin Scully speared a 269 lb. 11 oz. bluefin tuna (Thunnus thynnus) off Mission Bay to smash that species’ state diving record. This new record beats Mr. Scully’s previous bluefin tuna record by 84 lb. (yes, he beat his own record, which he set earlier that same year!).

Then, on August 14, 2016 John Correia landed a 245 lb. 0 oz. bluefin tuna on rod and reel to capture the state angling record for that species. Mr. Correia’s fish, which he hooked at 43 Fathom Bank Continue reading

Exploring California’s Marine Protected Areas: Point Lobos State Marine Reserve

One stretch of coastline in Central California is so picturesque that it is considered by some to be “the greatest meeting of land and sea in the world.”  This area, filled with amazing hiking trails, abundant marine life, and unparalleled scuba diving, is just a short drive south of the Monterey Peninsula. Continue reading

Snapshot: New State Diving Record

Mark Mayeda and record bluefin tuna
New diving record holder Mark Mayeda

A new ocean diving record was set on June 11, 2015 when Mark Mayeda speared and landed a 178 lb. 1 oz. bluefin tuna (Thunnus orientalis) at the 277 Spot off Southern California, smashing the previous state diving record for this species by 80 lb. 1 oz. The previous official state record, a 98 lb. bluefin tuna speared by Terry Maas while freediving in 1982, stood unbroken for 33 years. Congratulations go out to Mr. Mayeda, our latest state record holder, for his spectacular catch!

With the current warm water regime off the West Coast, more large, warm water pelagic species such as bluefin tuna have been seen not only off the California coastline, but up into Oregon, Washington, and some reports even indicate into Alaskan waters, according to Continue reading