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

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) in 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: Crystal Cove State Marine Conservation Area

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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?

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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