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Designated Forage Fish (Shared Ecosystem Component Species)

Final Action of Conformance with Federal Regulation: Designated Forage Fish (Shared Ecosystem Component Species), Section 111, Title 14, CCR

April 17, 2017

The Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) has taken action to conform state regulations to the May 4, 2016 federal rules (regulations) to prohibit directed commercial fishing for designated forage fish species within California’s marine waters.

Under the authority of Fish and Game Code Section 7652, CDFW Director Charlton H. Bonham approved the state regulations for alignment with the federal rules (regulations). The state regulations establish the list of included species, define directed commercial fishing, and set vessel-based catch limits for incidental take of forage species within existing commercial fisheries. Species affected by the new regulations include round and thread herring, eulachon, lanternfish, pelagic squids and some smelts.

The state regulations were effective on April 15, 2017.

The final documents for this action can be viewed in the following links:


Notice of Conformance with Federal Regulation: Designated Forage Fish (Shared Ecosystem Component Species), Section 111, Title 14, CCR

October 3, 2016

The Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) will take action to conform state regulations to new May 4, 2016 federal rules (regulations) to prohibit directed commercial fishing for designated forage fish species within California’s marine waters.

A public hearing on the proposed regulations has been scheduled for Monday, October 17, 2016, from 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., at the CDFW Marine Region Office, 20 Lower Ragsdale Dr., Suite 100, Monterey, California. The conference room is wheelchair accessible. At the public hearing, any person may present oral and written comments on the proposed regulations. Any interested person with questions regarding this proposal should email Caroline.McKnight@wildlife.ca.gov or call (831) 649-7192.

Under the authority of Fish and Game Code Section 7652, CDFW Director Charlton H. Bonham will align the state regulations with the federal rules (regulations). The proposed state regulations establish the list of included species, define directed commercial fishing, and set vessel-based catch limits for incidental take of forage species within existing commercial fisheries. Species affected by these new regulations include round and thread herring, eulachon, lanternfish, pelagic squids and some smelts. The state regulations are expected to become effective on January 1, 2017.

The federal regulations were developed in partnership with CDFW through the Pacific Fishery Management Council process and were designed to prohibit the formation of any new directed commercial fisheries for the designated forage species but not affect existing federal commercial activities. Fisheries managed within state waters were considered in the development process so that conforming state regulations would not adversely affect commercial activities in state waters that also encounter these forage species. For a full description of the regulations and a complete list of all included species, please visit the link opens in new tab or windowFederal Register website.

The draft regulations for this proposal can be viewed in the following link:

  • link opens in new tab or windowProposed Designated Forage Fish Regulations