Exploring California’s Marine Protected Areas: Point Arena State Marine Reserve and State Marine Conservation Area

lighthouse and reserve
Point Arena Lighthouse and Point Arena State Marine Reserve   photo by R. Win

Occasionally warm and sunny, but more often cool and shrouded in a layer of fog, the Point Arena headland is a uniquely beautiful and ecologically important site on California’s northern coast. Located five miles north of its namesake town and 150 miles north of San Francisco, the waters off Point Arena are part of a major upwelling zone Continue reading

Management Update for Southern California Marine Protected Areas

On April 27, 2017, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) presented our five-year management review regarding the south coast marine protected areas (MPAs) alongside the State of the California South Coast report to the California Fish and Game Commission. At the Commission meeting, CDFW recommended that no regulatory changes be made at this time, Continue reading

Exploring California’s Marine Protected Areas: South Humboldt Bay State Marine Recreational Management Area (Part Two)

staghorn sculpins
Pacific staghorn sculpins (Leptocottus armatus). The species name armatus is Greek for “armed,” referring to the antler-like spines on the fish’s gill covers. photo by F. Shaughnessy

This is Part Two of a special installment of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife series, Exploring California’s Marine Protected Areas. Part One of the installment investigated what makes this bit of estuary special and the protections that are in place to safeguard it. This final installment takes an inside look at recent research documenting the current state of the marine recreational management area. Continue reading

2016 Master Plan for Marine Protected Areas Now Available

master plan cover

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife is pleased to announce the 2016 Master Plan for Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) is now available on CDFW’s Master Plan for Marine Protected Areas website.

Adopted by the California Fish and Game Commission at their August 24 meeting, the plan sets a statewide foundation for the MPA Management Program to meet the goals of the Marine Life Protection Act.

For more information about California’s MPAs, please visit the California MPA website.


post by CDFW Marine Region staff

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