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Central Management Area

Saltwater Marine Fishing Regulations California Saltwater Fishing

Ocean waters between 37°11’ N. latitude (Pigeon Point) and 34°27’ N. latitude (Point Conception). Includes all of Santa Cruz, Monterey, and San Luis Obispo counties, and parts of Santa Barbara and San Mateo counties

Note: Before engaging in ocean sportfishing for groundfish and associated species, please review one of the sources listed in Footnote 1 to receive the most up-to-date regulations.

Species

Time Period 1, 2, 3

Depth Limit 1, 2, 3

Daily Bag Limit 1

Min. Size Limit 1, 4, 5

RCG Complex1
(includes all species of Rockfishes, Cabezon and Greenlings, Sections 1.91 and 28.55, 28.28, and 28.29)
Boat-based Anglers2:
Open: Apr 1- Dec 31
Closed: Jan 1–Mar 31 Divers, Shore-based Anglers2:
Open year-round
Take is prohibited seaward of the 50 fathom depth contour (300 feet), defined in Federal regulations (50 CFR Part 660, Subpart C)

See exception at end of table

10 fish in combination per person EXCEPT:
Cabezon: 3 fish per person
Canary rockfish: 1 fish per person
Black rockfish: 3 fish per person
See individual species and groups below:

Cabezon: 15” total length

Kelp and/or rock greenlings: 12” total length

Lingcod
(Section 28.27)
Same as RCG Complex, above 2 fish per person 22” total length
Ocean Whitefish (Section 28.58) Same as RCG Complex, above 10 fish per person No size limit
California Sheephead
(Section 28.26)
Same as RCG Complex, above 5 fish per person 12” total length
California Scorpionfish
(Section 28.54)
Boat-based Anglers2:
Open: Apr 1-Aug 31
Closed: Jan 1 – Mar 31 and Sep 1-Dec 31 Divers, Shore-based Anglers2:
Open year-round
Same as RCG Complex, above 5 fish per person 10” total length
Leopard Shark6
(Section 28.56)
All Anglers:
Open year-round within Elkhorn SloughSame as RCG Complex outside of Elkhorn Slough Divers, Shore-based Anglers2:
Open year-round
All Anglers:
No depth limit within Elkhorn SloughSame as RCG Complex outside of Elkhorn Slough Divers, Shore-based Anglers2: Same as RCG Complex, above
3 fish per person 36” total length
Pacific Sanddabs and “Other Flatfish”3
(Section 28.48)
Open year-round No depth limit Pacific sanddab: No limit

All “Other Flatfish”3: 10 fish of each species, limit 20 fish total in combination, per Section 27.60

No size limit
Petrale Sole and Starry Flounder
(Section 28.47)
Open year-round No depth limit No limit No size limit
Other Federal Groundfish
(Section 28.49)
Same as RCG Complex, above Soupfin shark: 1 fish per person

All Other Federal Groundfish: 10 fish of each species, limit 20 fish total in combination, per Section 27.60

No size limit
These rockfishes may not be taken in California: Cowcod, Bronzespotted Rockfish, and Yelloweye Rockfish (Section 28.55)

Fishing is closed year-round, at all depths. No retention at any time (zero fish per person)