Cowcod Conservation Areas

Saltwater Marine Fishing Regulations California Saltwater Fishing

Located in ocean waters between 34°27’ N. latitude (Point Conception) and the U.S.-Mexico Border. See map and Section 27.50 for exact location coordinates. In these areas, within given depths, only the groundfish listed in this table may be taken or possessed (see exception at end of table)

Note: Before engaging in ocean sportfishing for groundfish and associated species, please review one of the resources listed in Footnote 3 to receive the most up-to-date regulations.


Time Period 3, 4

Depth Limit 3, 4

Daily Bag Limit 3

Min. Size Limit 3, 6, 7

Nearshore1 Rockfish and Shelf Rockfish2 ONLY, as defined in subsection 1.91(a)(1) and 1.91(a)(3), and Cabezon and Greenlings as defined in Sections 28.28 and 28.29 Boat-based Anglers4:
Open: Mar 1-Dec 31
Closed: Jan 1–Feb 28 Divers, Shore-based Anglers4:
Open year-round
Take is prohibited seaward of 20 fathoms (120 feet) in depth

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

(Section 28.27)
Same as Nearshore and Shelf Rockfishes, Cabezon, and Greenlings, above 2 fish per person 22” total length
Ocean Whitefish
(Section 28.58)
Same as Nearshore and Shelf Rockfishes, Cabezon, and Greenlings, above 10 fish per person No size limit
California Sheephead
(Section 28.26)
Same as Nearshore and Shelf Rockfishes, Cabezon, and Greenlings, above 5 fish per person 12” total length
California Scorpionfish
(Section 28.54)
Boat-based Anglers4:
Open: Jan 1- Aug 31
Closed: Sep 1- Dec 31 Divers, Shore-based Anglers4:
Open year-round
Same as Nearshore and Shelf Rockfish, Cabezon, and Greenlings, above 5 fish per person 10” total length
Pacific Sanddab and “Other Flatfish”5
(Section 28.48)
Open year-round No depth limit Pacific sanddab: No limit

All “Other flatfish”5: 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
The groundfish species listed below may not be taken or possessed in the Cowcod Conservation Areas.

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

Cowcod, Bronzespotted and Yelloweye Rockfishes (Section 28.55) Slope Rockfishes as defined in subsections 1.91(a)(4) Leopard Shark (Section 28.56) Other Federal Groundfish
(Sections 28.49)