California Saltwater Angling and Diving Records Program

A spearfisherman holding a large California corbina
Larry Laumann holding a trophy-size California corbina that he speared while diving.
photo by L. Laumann

Have you ever caught or speared a fish so large, you thought it might be a State record? Larry Laumann thought just that when he speared this 6.3 pound trophy-size California corbina near San Diego on the Fourth of July. Unfortunately, he checked the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) Fishing and Diving Records web page after he had filleted the fish and without getting an official weight from a certified scale, disqualifying him from the new record. While Larry certainly has bragging rights, the old record for California corbina still stands at 5 pounds 15 ounces.

CDFW maintains a list of state fishing and diving records for various species. The next time you land “the big one”, check CDFW’s Fishing and Diving Records web page to see if your species is listed for either “Ocean Angling” or “Ocean Diving” under the “Fishing Type” category, depending on the method of fishing you used. Note that only the species listed can qualify for a record, other species are not accepted.

Continue reading “California Saltwater Angling and Diving Records Program”

Creature Feature: Gopher Rockfish

Most gopher rockfish are caught between Pt. Conception and Monterey Bay in nearshore waters, but they may generally be found from Mendocino County southward off California. Gopher rockfish range from the intertidal zone to depths of around 282 ft., but are most commonly found at depths greater than 40 ft. Continue reading “Creature Feature: Gopher Rockfish”

Evaluating the Needs of the California Halibut Fishery: A Progress Report

Data collection at Fisherman's Wharf, San Francisco
Collecting halibut length, sex, and age data from a commercial trawl landing to inform the stock assessment, at Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco.
CDFW photo by K. Lesyna

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) is committed to working with stakeholders to evaluate the needs of the California halibut fishery and community. Since holding two public webinars in summer/fall 2021, CDFW staff have made advances in several priority areas, as outlined below.

2020 Stock Assessment
To improve the performance and accuracy of the California halibut Continue reading “Evaluating the Needs of the California Halibut Fishery: A Progress Report”

Fishery Scientists Share Salmon Abundance, Spawning Numbers at Virtual Information Meeting

chinook salmon on deck
Chinook salmon
photo by K. Morgenstern

At the virtual Salmon Information Meeting today, fishery scientists presented updates on the numbers of spawning salmon that returned to California’s rivers in 2021 and shared the expected abundance for the upcoming fishing season.

The 2022 ocean abundance projection for Sacramento River fall Chinook, a main salmon stock harvested in California waters, is estimated at 396,500 adult salmon, higher than the 2021 forecast. The Klamath River fall Chinook abundance forecast also came in slightly above the 2021 forecast, with 200,100 adult Klamath River fall Chinook salmon predicted to be in the ocean this year, a value that remains well below the stock’s historical levels. Continue reading “Fishery Scientists Share Salmon Abundance, Spawning Numbers at Virtual Information Meeting”

Want to Fish for Free? Come On Down to Your Local Public Pier!

pier fisherman
Fishing at Ocean Beach Pier, San Diego

Where can you go to catch some tasty California ocean fish if you don’t have a recreational fishing license? Try one of the many free fishing piers, jetties, or breakwaters along the coast, where you can wet your line for fish such as perch, greenling, rockfish, and bass. A list of free fishing piers and a zoomable map of pier locations is now available on the California Department of Fish and Wildlife website to help you plan your pier fishing adventure. Continue reading “Want to Fish for Free? Come On Down to Your Local Public Pier!”