Gearing Up for Abalone Season

rocky shore
Choppy water off the north coast. CDFW photo by L. Lopez

Every spring at the start of abalone season, thousands of people gear up and head out to their favorite spot on the north coast to rock-pick or dive for red abalone. Strong winds often accompany the spring months, which can make ocean waters rough. Between 1993 and 2012 more than 54 people lost their lives while trying to take abalone in a variety of circumstances including rough weather, and every year Continue reading

CDFW Reminds Divers and Hoopnetters: Time to Submit 2016-2017 Spiny Lobster Report Cards

Scuba diver with a nice lobster.  CDFW photo by D. Stein

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) reminds 2016-2017 Spiny Lobster Report Card holders to submit their report card data online or return their report cards by April 30, 2017 as required by law. Cardholders should review their cards carefully and check that the information recorded is complete and accurate. Information collected from the cards provides CDFW with data necessary to monitor and manage California’s spiny lobster fishery. Continue reading

New Survey Solicits Public Input on Recreational Red Abalone Fishery

abalone and urchin
Abalone and urchin feed on sea palm washed into deeper water from the intertidal zone.   photo by K. Joe

An online survey soliciting public opinion about red abalone fishery management is now available on the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) website. Public input will inform the development of a red abalone fishery management plan, and help CDFW to address the interests and concerns of the public. For more information, please see the March 30, 2017 press release. To learn more about abalone management and the fishery management plan development process, please visit the CDFW website.


post by CDFW Research Writer Mary Patyten
this post has been updated

New Recreational Crab Regulations Aim to Reduce “Ghost Fishing” and More

crab measure
Measure Dungeness crab through the body shell from edge to edge directly in front of and excluding the points (lateral spines). Dungeness crab must measure at least 5¾ inches across. CDFW illustration

This year, the recreational Dungeness crab season opens statewide on Saturday, November 5, 2016. The daily bag and possession limit for Dungeness crab remains ten crabs per day that are at least 5¾ inches across, measured by the shortest distance through the body shell from edge to edge directly in front of and excluding the points (lateral spines). Dungeness crab can be taken in all ocean waters of the state where they occur, excluding San Francisco and San Pablo bays. Continue reading

Agencies Mull Options to Prepare for Future Domoic Acid Events

crab testing
CDPH staff collects viscera from cooked crabs during domoic acid testing in 2015.   photo courtesy CDPH

In 2015 and 2016, there was an unprecedented bloom of a single-celled plant called Pseudo-nitzschia in ocean waters, which resulted in  elevated levels of domoic acid in Dungeness crab and rock crab. The elevated levels of domoic acid in crab along the West Coast impacted California fisheries from Santa Barbara to the Oregon Border.

The conditions that support the growth of Pseudo-nitzschia are impossible to predict, but tend to be more common in the warmer months Continue reading