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In-Season Ocean Fishing Regulation Changes

Cover of Ocean Sport Fishing Regulations Booklet - link to ocean sport fishing regulations page
Cover of Commercial Fishing Regulations Booklet - link to commercial fishing regulations page

This page contains information about unscheduled, in-season regulation changes for recreational and commercial ocean fishing in 2017.

CDFW is required to notify the public of in-season regulation changes for groundfish at least 10 days before the new regulations becomes effective, via news release.

"The department shall give the public and the National Marine Fisheries Service no less than 10 days notice of any fishery closure or rule change implemented pursuant to this Section via a department news release." - Section 27.20(f) of Title 14, link opens in new windowCalifornia Code of Regulations

Further information may be obtained by calling your local CDFW office. You may also sign up for the Marine Region News Service to receive automatic notification of in-season regulation changes.


News Releases, Updates and Informational Notices

November 3, 2017

A Section of the Commercial Spiny Lobster Fishery Closure around Anacapa Island Has Been Lifted

October 24, 2017

Commercial Spiny Lobster Fishery Closed at Anacapa Island and the East End of Santa Cruz Island Due to Public Health Hazard

October 5, 2017

Changes to Recreational Groundfish Regulations Effective Oct. 16

September 8, 2017

Recreational Pacific Halibut Fishery to End Sunday September 10

January 30, 2017

Recreational Razor Clam Fishery Closure in Humboldt and Del Norte Counties Extended Due to Ongoing Public Health Concerns

January 25, 2017

Open Area for the Commercial Rock Crab Fishery Now Extends to Pillar Point, San Mateo County

January 11, 2017

Last Remaining Area of Commercial Dungeness Crab Fishery to Open


Summary of Regulation Changes

November 3, 2017

A portion of the October 24, 2017 commercial spiny lobster fishery closure area has been reopened effective Nov. 3, 2017 (see map). State health agencies determined that spiny lobster in some areas near Anacapa Island, Ventura County and the east end of Santa Cruz Island, Santa Barbara County had sufficiently improved levels of domoic acid and recommended reopening of the commercial fishery in those areas. Unhealthy levels of domoic acid are keeping the rest of the area closed to commercial take of spiny lobster. The recreational fishery for spiny lobster remains open statewide with a warning from the California Department of Public Health to avoid consuming the viscera (internal organs, or tomalley) of spiny lobster from the commercial fishery closed areas.

October 24, 2017

The commercial spiny lobster fishery is closed, effective October 24, 2017, in all state waters around Santa Cruz and Anacapa Islands east of 119° 40.000' W. longitude, and west of 119° 20.000' W. longitude (state waters extend three nautical miles beyond outermost islands, reefs and rocks). State health agencies determined that spiny lobster near Anacapa Island, Ventura County and the east end of Santa Cruz Island, Santa Barbara County had unhealthy levels of domoic acid and recommended closure of the commercial fishery. The recreational fishery for spiny lobster remains open statewide with a warning from the California Department of Public Health to avoid consuming the viscera (internal organs, or tomalley) of spiny lobster caught in the closed area.

October 5, 2017

Recent CDFW bycatch estimates for yelloweye rockfish (Sebastes ruberrimus) from the California sport fishery indicate that the harvest guideline specified in federal regulation for 2017 (3.9 metric tons) will be exceeded unless changes are made. Therefore, recreational groundfish fishery depth restrictions will change effective 12:01 a.m. October 16 as follows:

  • Northern Management Area (California/Oregon border to Cape Mendocino): Recreational groundfish fishing (take) is prohibited seaward of 20 fathoms (120 feet) in depth. The 'all-depth' groundfish fishery slated for November and December in this area is canceled, but the fishery will remain open through the end of the year inside of 20 fathoms (120 feet).
  • Mendocino Management Area (Cape Mendocino to Point Arena): Recreational groundfish fishing (take) is prohibited seaward of 20 fathoms (120 feet) in depth. The 'all-depth' fishery slated for November and December 2017 in this area is canceled, but the fishery will remain open through the end of the year inside of 20 fathoms (120 feet).
  • San Francisco Management Area (Point Arena to Pigeon Point): Recreational groundfish fishing (take) is prohibited seaward of the 30 fathom depth contour (180 feet).
  • Central Management Area (Pigeon Point to Point Conception): Recreational groundfish fishing (take) is prohibited seaward of the 40 fathom depth contour (240 feet).
  • Southern Management Area (Point Conception to California/Mexico border): Recreational groundfish fishing (take) is prohibited seaward of the 60 fathom depth contour (360 feet). No changes are slated for this area.

September 8, 2017

The recreational Pacific halibut fishery ended Sunday, Sept. 10 at 11:59 p.m. for the remainder of 2017. Based on the latest catch projections, CDFW expects to have met the 2017 California recreational quota of 34,580 pounds. For more information, please check the CDFW Pacific Halibut web page.

January 30, 2017

CDFW has issued a declaration extending the closure of the recreational razor clam fishery indefinitely in Humboldt and Del Norte counties due to continued high levels of domoic acid in the clams. The declaration was issued under new authority granted CDFW this year. The fishery closure will remain in effect until state health agencies determine clams to be safe for consumption and recommend reopening the fishery. For more information, please check the CDFW website.

January 25, 2017

Commercial crabbing for rock crab is open between Pillar Point, San Mateo County and Pigeon Point, San Mateo County as of January 25, 2017. In total, the area open for commercial rock crab fishing now extends from Pillar Point, San Mateo County south to the border with Mexico. CDFW will continue to coordinate with state health agencies to test domoic acid levels in rock crab along the coast to determine when the commercial rock crab fishery can safely be opened north of Pillar Point, San Mateo County. For more information, please check the CDFW website.

January 11, 2017

Commercial Dungeness crabbing is now open statewide after the Jan. 16, 2017 opening of coastal waters between Ten Mile River, Mendocino County, and Shelter Cove, Humboldt County. The opener in this area will be preceded by a 64-hour pre-soak period commencing at 8 a.m. on Jan. 13. CDFW will continue to coordinate with state health agencies to test domoic acid levels in rock crab along the coast to determine when the commercial rock crab fishery can safely be opened north of Pigeon Point, San Mateo County. For more information, please check the CDFW website.



Marine Region (Region 7)
Regional Manager: Dr. Craig Shuman
Main Office: 20 Lower Ragsdale Drive, Suite 100, Monterey, CA  93940
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