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In-Season Ocean Fishing Regulation Changes for 2016-2017

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

This page contains information about unscheduled, in-season regulation changes for recreational and commercial ocean fishing in 2016 and early 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

January 30, 2016

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

December 23, 2016

More of Commercial Dungeness Crab Fishery to Open From Point Arena to Ten Mile; One Area Still Closed

December 20, 2016

More of Commercial Dungeness Crab Fishery to Open; One Area Will Remain Closed

December 1, 2016

More of Commercial Dungeness Crab Fishery to Open Dec. 3; Some Areas Will Remain Closed

November 23, 2016

More of Commercial Dungeness Crab Fishery to Open; Some Areas Will Remain Closed

November 8, 2016

Commercial Dungeness Crab Season to Open Throughout Most of the Southern Fishery; One Area Will Remain Closed


Summary of Regulation Changes

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.

December 23, 2016

With the Dec. 29, 2016 opening of coastal waters between Point Arena and Ten Mile River, Mendocino County, the only section of the California coast now closed to commercial Dungeness crabbing lies between Ten Mile River, Mendocino County and Shelter Cove, Humboldt County. The current closed area will remain closed at the recommendation of state health agencies, and may open once testing by state agencies shows that crab in the area no longer contain levels of domoic acid that threaten public health and safety. CDFW will continue to coordinate with state health agencies to test domoic acid levels in crab along the coast to determine when the fisheries can safely be opened. For more information, please check the CDFW website.

December 20, 2016

With Dec. 24, 2016 opening of coastal waters between Salt Point and Point Arena, Mendocino County, and the Dec. 26, 2016 opening of coastal waters between Humboldt Bay and Shelter Cove, Humboldt County, the only section of the California coast now closed to commercial Dungeness crabbing lies between Point Arena, Mendocino County and Shelter Cove, Humboldt County. The current closed area will remain closed at the recommendation of state health agencies, and may open once testing by state agencies shows that crab in the area no longer contain levels of domoic acid that threaten public health and safety. CDFW will continue to coordinate with state health agencies to test domoic acid levels in crab along the coast to determine when the fisheries can safely be opened. For more information, please check the CDFW website.

December 1, 2016

Coastal waters from Point Reyes to near Salt Point in northern California are scheduled to open for commercial Dungeness crab fishing on Dec. 3. Waters between Salt Point and the Humboldt Bay north jetty will remain closed at the recommendation of state health agencies. The fishery remains open north of Humboldt Bay to the Oregon state line. The current closed area will remain closed at the recommendation of state health agencies, and may open once testing by state agencies shows that crab in the area no longer contain levels of domoic acid that threaten public health and safety. CDFW will continue to coordinate with state health agencies to test domoic acid levels in crab along the coast to determine when the fisheries can safely be opened. For more information, please check the CDFW website.

November 23, 2016

Coastal waters from the Humboldt Bay north jetty to Point Reyes in northern California that were scheduled to open Dec. 1 for the commercial Dungeness crab fishery will remain closed at the recommendation of state health agencies. The fishery will open Dec. 1 north of Humboldt Bay to the Oregon state line, and remains open from Point Reyes southward. The closed portion of the coast may open once testing by state agencies shows that the area is safe with regard to domoic acid levels in the crab. CDFW will continue to coordinate with state health agencies to test domoic acid levels in crab along the coast to determine when the fisheries can safely be opened. For more information, please check the CDFW website.

November 8, 2016

On the recommendation of state health agencies, the CDFW Director is moving to close the commercial Dungeness crab fishery between Point Reyes (38°00’ N. lat.) and the Sonoma/Mendocino county line and to close the commercial rock crab fishery north of Pigeon Point in San Mateo County. The Dungeness crab season is scheduled to start on November 15, 2016 south of Point Reyes.CDFW will continue to coordinate with state health agencies to test domoic acid levels in crab along the coast to determine when the fisheries can safely be opened. For more information, please check the CDFW website.



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Regional Manager: Dr. Craig Shuman
Main Office: 20 Lower Ragsdale Drive, Suite 100, Monterey, CA  93940
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