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

California Commercial Fishing Digest Now Available Online

CFD coverThe 2017 California Commercial Fishing Digest is now available on the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) website. The digest contains information about commercial fishing licenses and regulations. It also includes maps of fishing districts, conservation areas, marine protected areas, and more.

Commercial fishermen will be especially interested in the What’s New for 2017 section of the digest, which includes summaries of new commercial fishing regulations and other information.

Continue reading

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