Understanding Depth Limits in the Recreational Groundfish Fishery

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California Groundfish Management Areas  map by CDFW Marine Region GIS Lab

New recreational groundfish regulations went into effect in 2017, including changes to depth limits in some areas of the state. These changes provide more opportunity than before, opening areas that have been closed for many years.

With the regulation changes have come questions from the public asking for clarification regarding how depths are defined. We hope the explanation provided here will enable all California sportsmen and women to understand and follow the depth limit regulations.

Since 2002, Rockfish Conservation Areas (RCAs) have been used to close waters of certain depths to fishing for groundfish. The RCAs were established to help protect and rebuild overfished stocks, by prohibiting groundfish fishing in places where these stocks are most frequently encountered. Continue reading

New Groundfish Regulation Implementation Delayed

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Vermilion rockfish, one of more than 90 species of groundfish found in state waters.   CDFW photo by A. Maguire

UPDATE – Late on Feb 3, 2017 the federal government announced that 2017-2018 recreational and commercial groundfish regulations would go into effect on Feb. 7, 2017. View updated recreational groundfish regulation summaries here.

On Jan. 20, 2017, White House staff on behalf of President Trump implemented a regulatory freeze to ensure that the President’s appointees or designees have the opportunity to review any new or pending federal regulations. This freeze includes Continue reading

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

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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: 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