Choose your state

AlabamaAlabama Hunting & Fishing

AlaskaAlaska Drivers ManualAlaska Motorcycle ManualAlaska Commercial DriversAlaska Waterfowl HuntingAlaska Hunting

ArizonaArizona HuntingArizona Waterfowl Hunting

ArkansasArkansas HuntingArkansas Waterfowl Hunting

CaliforniaCalifornia Big Game HuntingCalifornia Freshwater FishingCalifornia Fishing SupplementCalifornia Waterfowl & Upland Game & Public LandsCalifornia Saltwater FishingCalifornia Mammal Hunting

ColoradoColorado HuntingColorado Waterfowl Hunting

ConnecticutConnecticut FishingConnecticut Hunting

DelawareDelaware HuntingDelaware Fishing

FloridaFlorida HuntingFlorida Saltwater FishingFlorida Freshwater Fishing

GeorgiaGeorgia Alcohol & Drug Awareness ProgramGeorgia HuntingGeorgia Commercial DriversGeorgia Drivers ManualGeorgia Motorcycle Manual40-Hour Parent/Teen Driving GuideGeorgia Fishing

HawaiiHawaii Hunting

IdahoIdaho HuntingIdaho Deer HuntingIdaho Waterfowl Hunting

IllinoisIllinois HuntingIllinois Waterfowl Hunting

IndianaIndiana HuntingIndiana Fishing

IowaIowa HuntingIowa Waterfowl Hunting

KansasKansas HuntingKansas Waterfowl Hunting

KentuckyKentucky HuntingKentucky Waterfowl Hunting

LouisianaLouisiana Hunting

MaineMaine HuntingMaine FishingMaine ATV & Snowmobile

MarylandMaryland FishingMaryland Hunting

MassachusettsMassachusetts Saltwater FishingMassachusetts Hunting & Fishing

MichiganMichigan FishingMichigan HuntingMichigan Waterfowl Hunting

MinnesotaMinnesota HuntingMinnesota Waterfowl Hunting

MississippiMississippi Hunting & Fishing

MissouriMissouri HuntingMissouri Waterfowl Hunting

MontanaMontana HuntingMontana Deer HuntingMontana Waterfowl Hunting

NebraskaNebraska HuntingNebraska Deer HuntingNebraska Waterfowl Hunting

NevadaNevada FishingNevada Small Game HuntingNevada Big Game HuntingNevada Hunting Applications

New HampshireNew Hampshire Freshwater FishingNew Hampshire Saltwater FishingNew Hampshire HuntingNew Hampshire ATV & Snowmobile

New JerseyNew Jersey Saltwater FishingNew Jersey HuntingNew Jersey Freshwater Fishing

New MexicoNew Mexico HuntingNew Mexico Hunting Rules & Info – 2016-2017New Mexico Waterfowl Hunting

New YorkNew York HuntingNew York Fishing

North CarolinaNorth Carolina HuntingNorth Carolina Waterfowl Hunting

North DakotaNorth Dakota HuntingNorth Dakota Deer HuntingNorth Dakota Waterfowl Hunting

OhioOhio HuntingOhio Fishing

OklahomaOklahoma FishingOklahoma Hunting

OregonOregon Big Game HuntingOregon Game Bird HuntingOregon FishingOregon Big Game Hunting

PennsylvaniaPennsylvania HuntingPennsylvania Waterfowl Hunting

Rhode IslandRhode Island Saltwater Fishing Regulations GuideRhode Island HuntingRhode Island Freshwater Fishing

South CarolinaSouth Carolina Hunting & Fishing

South DakotaSouth Dakota HuntingSouth Dakota Waterfowl Hunting

TennesseeTennessee HuntingTennessee Waterfowl Hunting

TexasTexas HuntingTexas Waterfowl Hunting

UtahUtah HuntingUtah Deer HuntingUtah Waterfowl Hunting

VermontVermont HuntingVermont Fishing

VirginiaVirginia Migratory Game Bird HuntingVirginia HuntingVirginia Fishing

WashingtonWashington HuntingWashington Deer HuntingWashington Waterfowl Hunting

West VirginiaWest Virginia HuntingWest Virginia Waterfowl Hunting

WisconsinWisconsin HuntingWisconsin Deer HuntingWisconsin Waterfowl Hunting

WyomingWyoming HuntingWyoming Deer HuntingWyoming Waterfowl Hunting

Logo

Groundfish Regulation Summaries

Saltwater Marine Fishing Regulations California Saltwater Fishing

Groundfish Management Areas for 2017

Note: Groundfish regulations may change during the year. Before engaging in ocean sportfishing for groundfish and associated species, please access one of the sources listed to obtain the most up-to-date groundfish fishing regulations.

Five recreational groundfish management areas have been established by the Fish and Game Commission and the Pacific Fishery Management Council. Each area has a different set of groundfish regulations tailored to meet regional needs.

Recreational Groundfish Management Areas for 2017

Interstate Wildlife Violator Compact

The Interstate Wildlife Violator Compact (IWVC) is an agreement between 26 states, which allows for the reciprocal recognition of hunting, fishing and trapping license suspensions. If your license privileges have been suspended by another state, the suspension may be recognized here in California. For example, if your sport fishing, hunting or trapping privileges have been suspended in Colorado for five years, your privileges may also be suspended for five years in California or any of the states participating in the IWVC.

The purchase of licenses or tags during the term of the suspension is a violation of the law and may result in prosecution. Licenses or tags purchased prior to or during a suspension are not refundable.

For further information contact the CDFW Law Enforcement Division at 1416 Ninth Street, Sacramento, CA 95814, or (916) 653-4094.

Northern management Area

Ocean waters between 42°00’ N. latitude (CA-OR Border) and 40°10’ N. latitude (near Cape Mendocino). Includes all of Del Norte County and most of Humboldt County

Note: Red text indicates regulations that were updated for 2017. Before engaging in ocean sportfishing for groundfish and associated species, please review one of the resources 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: May 1–Oct 31, and Nov 1–Dec 31
Closed: Jan 1–Apr 30Divers, Shore-based Anglers2:
Open year-round
May 1- Oct 31: Take is prohibited seaward of the 30 fathom depth contour (180 feet), defined in Federal regulations (50 CFR Part 660, Subpart C)

Nov 1-Dec 31: May be taken at any 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

Lingcod
(Section 28.27)
Same as RCG Complex, above 2 fish per person 22” total length
Leopard Shark6
(Section 28.56)
All Anglers:
Same as RCG Complex outside of Humboldt BayOpen year-round within Humboldt BayDivers, Shore-based Anglers2:
Open year-round
All Anglers:
Same as RCG Complex outside of Humboldt BayNo depth limit within Humboldt BayDivers, Shore-based Anglers2:
Same as RCG Complex
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)

Mendocino management Area

Ocean waters between 40°10’ N. latitude (near Cape Mendocino) and 38°57.5’ N. latitude (Point Arena). Includes a portion of Humboldt County and most of Mendocino County

Note: Red text indicates regulations that have changed for 2017. Before engaging in ocean sportfishing for groundfish and associated species, please review one of the resources 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: May 1-Oct 31, and Nov 1-Dec 31
Closed: Jan 1–Apr 30Divers, Shore-based Anglers2:
Open year-round
May 1-Oct 31: Take is prohibited seaward of 20 fathoms (120 feet) in depth

Nov 1-Dec 31: May be taken at any 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

Lingcod
(Section 28.27)
Same as RCG Complex, above 2 fish per person 22” total length
Leopard Shark
(Section 28.56)
Boat-based Anglers2:
Same as RCG Complex, aboveDivers, Shore-based Anglers2: Open year-round
All Anglers: Same as RCG Complex, above 3 fish per person 36” total length
California Scorpionfish
(Section 28.54)
Boat-based Anglers2:
Open: May 1-Aug 31
Closed: Jan 1-Apr 30 and Sep 1-Dec 31Divers, Shore-based Anglers2:
Open year-round
Same as RCG Complex, above 5 fish per person 10” 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)

San Francisco Management Area

Ocean waters between 38°57.5’ N. latitude (Point Arena) and 37°11’ N. latitude (Pigeon Point). Includes a portion of Mendocino County, all of Sonoma, Marin, San Francisco, Alameda, and Contra Costa Counties, and most of San Mateo County

Note: Red text indicates regulations that have changed for 2017. 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, 4

Depth Limit 1, 2, 3, 4

Daily Bag Limit 1

Min. Size Limit 1, 5, 6

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 15–Dec 31
Closed: Jan 1–Apr 14Divers, Shore-based Anglers2,4:
Open year-round
Take is prohibited seaward of the 40 fathom depth contour (240 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
California Scorpionfish
(Section 28.54)
Boat-based Anglers2:
Open: April 15-Aug 31
Closed: Jan 1-Apr 14, and Sep 1- Dec 31Divers, Shore-based Anglers2:
Open year-round
Same as RCG Complex, above 5 fish per person 10” total length
Leopard Shark7
(Section 28.56)
All Anglers
Open year-round within San Francisco Bay, Bodega Harbor, Tomales Bay, Bolinas Bay and Drake’s BaySame as RCG Complex outside of those baysDivers, Shore-based Anglers2:
Open year-round
All Anglers
No depth limit within San Francisco Bay, Bodega Harbor, Tomales Bay, Bolinas Bay and Drake’s BaySame as RCG Complex outside of those baysDivers, 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 limit4 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)

Central Management Area

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: Red text indicates regulations that were updated for 2017. 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 31Divers, 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 31Divers, 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 SloughDivers, Shore-based Anglers2:
Open year-round
All Anglers:
No depth limit within Elkhorn SloughSame as RCG Complex outside of Elkhorn SloughDivers, 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)

Southern Management Area

Ocean waters between 34°27’ N. latitude (Point Conception) and the U.S.-Mexico Border, Excluding the Cowcod Conservation Areas3. Includes a portion of Santa Barbara County, and all of Ventura, Los Angeles, Orange and San Diego Counties

Note: Red text includes regulations that have changed for 2017. Before engaging in ocean sportfishing for groundfish and associated species, please review one of the resources listed in Footnote 1 to receive the most up-to-date regulations.

Species

Time Period 1, 2, 3, 4

Depth Limit 1, 2, 3, 4

Daily Bag Limit 1

Min. Size Limit 1, 5, 6

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: Mar 1–Dec 31
Closed: Jan 1–Feb 28Divers, Shore-based Anglers2:
Open year-round
Take is prohibited seaward of the 60 fathom depth contour (360 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: Jan 1-Aug 31
Closed: Sep 1- Dec 31Divers, Shore-based Anglers2:
Open year-round
Same as RCG Complex, above 5 fish per person 10” total length
Leopard Shark7
(Section 28.56)
All Anglers:
Open year-round within Newport Bay, Alamitos Bay, San Diego Bay and Mission BaySame as RCG Complex outside of those baysDivers, Shore-based Anglers2:
Open year-round
All Anglers:
No depth limit within Newport Bay, Alamitos Bay, San Diego Bay and Mission BaySame as RCG Complex outside of those baysDivers, Shore-based Anglers2:
Same as RCG Complex, above
3 fish per person 36” total length
Pacific Sanddabs and “Other Flatfish4
(Section 28.48)
Open year-round No depth limit Pacific sanddab: No limit

All “Other Flatfish”4: 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)

Cowcod Conservation Areas

Located in ocean waters between 34°27’ N. latitude (Point Conception) and the U.S.-Mexico Border. See map (right) 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: Red text indicates regulations that were updated for 2017. 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.

Species

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 28Divers, 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

Lingcod
(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 31Divers, 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)

Cowcod Conservation Area Boundary Coordinates (from Section 27.50)

Area 1

A. 33°50’ N. Lat., 119°30’ W. Long.

B. 33°50’ N. Lat., 118°50’ W. Long.

C. 32°20’ N. Lat., 118°50’ W. Long.

D. 32°20’ N. Lat., 119°37’ W. Long.

E. 33°00’ N. Lat., 119°37’ W. Long.

F. 33°00’ N. Lat., 119°53’ W. Long.

G. 33°33’ N. Lat., 119°53’ W. Long.

H. 33°33’ N. Lat., 119°30’ W. Long.

I. 33°50’ N. Lat., 119°30’ W. Long.

Area 2

J. 32°42’ N. Lat., 118°02’ W. Long.

K. 32°42’ N. Lat., 117°50’ W. Long.

L. 32°36’42” N. Lat., 117°50’ W. Long.

M. 32°30’ N. Lat., 117°53’30” W. Long.

N. 32°30’ N. Lat., 118°02’ W. Long.

O. 32°42’ N. Lat., 118°02’ W. Long.