Great Photo Needed for Next Year’s Saltwater Sport Fishing Regulation Booklet!

Saltwater fishing is an amazing experience that is often hard to explain in words. The California Department of Fish and Wildlife invites you to celebrate and share your fishing experience by sending us your best saltwater fishing photos for consideration as the cover photo on the 2018-2019 Saltwater Sport Fishing regulations booklet!

Saltwater fish and shellfish photos must be taken in California, and may feature any saltwater fish or shellfish that is legal to catch in California.  The fish or shellfish must be in a natural setting (not on the barbeque, for example) and properly tagged (if required). Submissions will be accepted through December 15, 2017. Continue reading

2017-2018 Season Update for Recreational Dungeness Crab Fishing

crab in trap
Dungeness crab in trap CDFW photo by C. Juhasz

The recreational Dungeness crab season is now under way, and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife would like to remind recreational crabbers about some recent changes in trap regulations.

Crabbers are able to use another trap owner’s traps with written permission and, new for this season, a trap owner can issue this permission electronically (for example, by email or text) to another person who uses their trap, provided the person’s GO ID number is marked Continue reading

New Regulations for Recreational Lobster Fishing, Report Card Results Available

diver with lobster
Divers looking to take spiny lobster will want to review new regulations for this season. CDFW photo by D. Stein

As the popular recreational California spiny lobster season prepares to open on Saturday, Sept. 30, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) reminds divers and hoop netters of new regulations that will be in effect for the 2017-2018 season. The California Fish and Game Commission adopted commercial and recreational lobster fishing regulations at its April 2016 meeting to support the implementation of the California Spiny Lobster Fishery Management Plan. A summary of the new recreational Continue reading

Understanding Depth Limits in the Recreational Groundfish Fishery

map
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

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