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Commercial Fishing

Looking for ocean sport fishing information? Please visit the Ocean Sport Fishing page.

California Commercial Landings


Finfish and Invertebrates

Marine Logs System


Selected Fishery Regulation Information

Selected Publications

Frequently Asked Questions


How does CDFW obtain data to generate an estimate of sardine biomass?

CDFW collects data by sampling the commercial fisheries catch to estimate information such as catch-at-age, sardine size, and maturity. We work with the National Marine Fisheries Service to produce estimates on larval density and egg production by participating in annual CalCOFI (California Cooperative Fisheries Investigations) sea-surveys. The egg production and larval density estimates are used, in turn, to estimate the number of adults it would take to produce those eggs, or spawning biomass. All the data are used in a stock assessment model that predicts next year's abundance through statistical forecasting. For detailed information on this process, please see the Stock Assessment and Fisheries Evaluation (SAFE) report on the Pacific Fishery Management Council's web page.

Can I sport crab for Dungeness from a commercially permitted vessel?

Only with a valid CPFV license and only during the commercial season in the area you are fishing. No other recreational take of Dungeness crab is allowed from a commercially permitted vessel. In Districts 6 and 7 Dungeness crab vessels with a CPFV license may fish under the provisions of their CPFV license until the close of the recreational season.

If I have both a Rock crab permit and a Dungeness crab permit, when can I fish?

You are prohibited from setting trap gear for 30 days prior to the pre-soak of the area you are fishing. After the authorized pre-soak time you may set gear. You may retrieve gear upon the season opening.

Can I take spare crab traps aboard my boat if I don’t use them?

No. You may possess up to six (6) derelict traps aboard your vessel. Derelict traps are traps that have been damaged, abandoned or otherwise found at sea while conducting normal fishing operations.

Can I contract out for another vessel to set my crab traps?

You may contract for another "unpermitted" vessel to deploy your traps under the authority of §8280.7 of the Fish and Game Code.

Additional Information

Marine Region (Region 7)
Regional Manager: Dr. Craig Shuman
Main Office: 20 Lower Ragsdale Drive, Suite 100, Monterey, CA  93940  |  (831) 649-2870
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Report Lost Fishing Gear

Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuary/NOAA

Lost fishing gear - both commercial and recreational - sits on the seafloor, gets caught on rocks, and floats in the water column. Lost gear can remain in the marine environment for years, harming habitats and continuing to catch fish and invertebrates.

Please report sightings of lost recreational and commercial fishing gear. Anonymous reports are accepted.

1-888-491-GEAR or link opens in new