California Sea Grant recently submitted a final independent scientific evaluation of the Ocean Resources Enhancement and Hatchery Program (OREHP) to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW). The evaluation team concluded that the OREHP has made groundbreaking progress in developing hatchery-rearing and enhancement practices and systems for marine species. However, it has not substantially increased the abundance of White Seabass, with a less than one percent contribution to the wild White Seabass fishery over the last 30 years. Continue reading
California halibut may be found statewide in sandy and sand-mud environments. They have been found at depths of up to 300 ft., but are most abundant in waters less than 60 ft. deep. At times they are especially abundant in Continue reading
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
The Pacific halibut ranges from Santa Rosa Island northward off California, but most are found north of Fort Bragg. They may be found from 20 to 3,600 ft. depths, and prefer deep, sandy bottom environments. Continue reading
After an active summer, the last day of recreational Pacific halibut fishing will be Wednesday, August 12, 2015. The season will be closed for the remainder of the year. Excellent weather during July and early August and a successful catch rate contributed to the early closure of the fishery by the International Pacific Halibut Commission and the National Marine Fisheries Service following consultation with CDFW.
This was the first year of a newly designed Pacific halibut season structure that provided for set open and closed periods of fishing. The short breaks between open periods were anticipated to spread fishing opportunity from May through October (the entirety of the previous season) without exceeding the quota. Continue reading