Exploring California’s Marine Protected Areas: Crystal Cove State Marine Conservation Area

The sandy beach and rocky shoreline at Crystal Cove State Marine Conservation Area  CDFW photo by A. Van Diggelen

“That’s a marine protected area, you can’t fish there!”

Actually, in over half of California’s marine protected areas (MPAs), you can. Continue reading

Following the Halibut: CDFW Tracks 2016 Recreational Pacific Halibut Catches to Keep Within Quota

Pacific halibut
Sport fisherman and California Recreational Fishery Survey staff with Pacific halibut. CDFW photo

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) has monitored the recreational Pacific halibut catch to ensure it does not exceed the federally set annual quota since 2015. Active catch tracking during the season allows CDFW to manage the fishery in a timely and responsive way, and keep the catch within the quota.

The process for 2016 is the same one CDFW used to successfully track the fishery in 2015. CDFW tracks the catch using a combination of catch projections and catch estimates, and coordinates weekly with the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), the International Pacific Halibut Commission (IPHC), and the Pacific Fishery Management Council (PFMC) regarding progress towards the quota. If catch projections indicate the quota may be exceeded, NMFS has the authority to close the fishery early. Continue reading

Extended Fishing Trips: How Many Tuna Can You Keep?

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

CDFW Celebrates More Than 10 Years of Improvements to the California Recreational Fisheries Survey

CRFS fisheries technician collecting data
California Recreational Fisheries Survey sampler Bonnie Brown measures fish and records data

For over ten years, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) has worked to improve the California Recreational Fisheries Survey (CRFS) to provide the best possible estimates for management of California’s marine recreational fisheries.

CRFS was implemented in 2004 and was built upon its predecessor, the Marine Recreational Fisheries Statistics Survey (MRFSS), which was conducted from 1980 to 2003. MRFSS was a groundbreaking survey of saltwater recreational fishing effort and catch in its time, but it did not always meet the needs of managing California’s dynamic fisheries. Continue reading

Snapshot: New State Angling Record

A new state angling record was set on September 17, 2014 when Matthew Franco (left) reeled in a 3 lb. 4 oz. kelp greenling (Hexagrammos decagrammus) while fishing near Carmel in central California. This fish beats the previous state angling record by 1 oz. Congratulations Matthew!

In the state angling record category, current open species include Humboldt squid (min. weight 40 lb.), rainbow surfperch (min. weight 1 lb.), and walleye surfperch (min. weight 1 lb.). For more information about state recreational fishing and diving records, see the CDFW Record Ocean Sport Fish webpage. Continue reading