The northward path across the Golden Gate Bridge leads away from the bustle of the Bay Area, past the headlands and rolling hills of Marin, to the windy, wild coastline of Sonoma County. Continue reading
The results of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s (CDFW’s) 2016 aerial kelp survey are now available online. The 2016 survey covered both the full California mainland coast and the Channel Islands in Southern California.
Comparisons of the 2015 kelp canopy and the 2016 survey results show that both the south coast mainland and the Channel Islands experienced a decrease in kelp in 2016. The south coast mainland had almost half the canopy level surveyed in 2015, whereas the 2016 kelp canopy in the central through north coast Continue reading
The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) reminds divers and rock-pickers gearing up for the start of the red abalone season that the bag limit and season have changed for this popular fishery under emergency regulations for 2017.
The season has been shortened by two months, with an opening date of May 1 instead of April 1, and a closing date of October 31 instead of November 30. In addition, the annual limit has been lowered to 12 abalone (from 18 abalone). The California Fish and Game Commission approved a shortened season Continue reading
Northern California kelp forests have been reduced to an all-time low due to a “perfect storm” of large-scale ecological impacts. The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) marine invertebrate management team has conducted annual ecosystem surveys of kelp forests in Sonoma and Mendocino counties since the late 1990s, and recent observations have caused concern about the state of the kelp forests. The severe reduction in kelp has already impacted the recreational red abalone fishery and commercial red urchin fishery, two economically important fisheries in northern California.
Abalone and Urchins Starving
Bull kelp (Nereocystis luetkeana), usually common on the northern California coast, has declined dramatically since 2014. Kelp forests are now 93 percent smaller compared to previous years, creating starvation conditions for herbivores. Continue reading