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North Coast Regulations

Saltwater Marine Fishing Regulations California Saltwater Fishing

Including Del Norte and Humboldt counties, and part of Mendocino County.

There are numerous areas along the California coast that have regulations more restrictive than the general fishing regulations.

These areas, known as marine protected areas (MPAs) are designated in part to protect, conserve, or enhance marine life. The following table lists all existing MPAs in ocean and estuarine waters that regulate sport fishing, species permitted or prohibited for take, and detailed boundary descriptions. Only regulations that pertain to sport fishing are included here. For further information, please contact the CDFW’s Marine Region in Eureka at (707) 445-6493, Monterey at (831) 649-2870 or Los Alamitos at (562) 342-7100, or email AskMPA@wildlife.ca.gov.

Note: The following regulations are from CCR T-14, Section 632(b). Within each county, the areas are arranged generally from north to south. Special closures and marine managed areas are also included in this table. While technically they do not meet the definition of a marine protected area, their restrictions differ significantly from the surrounding areas, so they are included here for ease of identification by the public. For more information please see the CDFW website at wildlife.ca.gov/MPAs.

Name

Permitted/Prohibited Uses For Recreational Take

Boundary Coordinates

Del Norte County

Pyramid Point State Marine Conservation Area It is unlawful to injure, damage, take, or possess any living, geological, or cultural marine resource for… recreational purposes, with the following specified exceptions:

1. The recreational take of surf smelt [Section 28.45] by dip net or Hawaiian-type throw net [Section 28.80] is allowed.

2. The following federally recognized tribe is exempt from the area and take regulations for Pyramid Point State Marine Conservation Area [sub-section 632(b)(1)] and shall comply with all other existing regulations and statutes: Tolowa Dee-ni’ Nation.

This area is bounded by the mean high tide line and straight lines connecting the following points in the order listed except where noted:
42° 00.000’ N. lat. 124° 12.735’ W. long.;
42° 00.000’ N. lat. 124° 19.814’ W. long.; thence southward along the three nautical mile offshore boundary to
41° 57.500’ N. lat. 124° 17.101’ W. long.; and
41° 57.500’ N. lat. 124° 12.423’ W. long.
Point St. George Reef Offshore State Marine Conservation Area It is unlawful to injure, damage, take, or possess any living, geological, or cultural marine resource for… recreational purposes, with the following specified exceptions:

1. The recreational take of salmon by trolling [sub-section 27.80(a)(3)]; and Dungeness crab by trap is allowed.

2. The following federally recognized tribes (listed alphabetically) are exempt from the area and take regulations for Point St. George Reef Offshore State Marine Conservation Area [sub-section 632(b)(2)] and shall comply with all other existing regulations and statutes: Elk Valley Rancheria and Tolowa Dee-ni’ Nation.

This area is bounded by straight lines connecting the following points in the order listed except where noted:
41° 52.000’ N. lat. 124° 23.189’ W. long.;
41° 52.000’ N. lat. 124° 25.805’ W. long.; thence southward along the three nautical mile offshore boundary to
41° 49.000’ N. lat. 124° 26.252’ W. long.;
41° 49.000’ N. lat. 124° 23.189’ W. long.; and
41° 52.000’ N. lat. 124° 23.189’ W. long.
Southwest Seal Rock Special Closure Special restrictions on boating and access apply to Southwest Seal Rock as follows.

(A) A special closure is designated from the mean high tide line to a distance of 300 feet seaward of the mean lower low tide line of any shoreline of Southwest Seal Rock, located in the vicinity of 41° 48.810’ N. lat. 124° 21.099’ W. long.

(B) Except as permitted by federal law or emergency caused by hazardous weather, or as authorized by sub-section …(C), no vessel shall be operated or anchored at any time from the mean high tide line to a distance of 300 feet seaward of the mean lower low tide line of any shoreline of Southwest Seal Rock.

(C) No person except department employees or employees of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or United States Coast Guard, in performing their official duties, or unless permission is granted by the department, shall enter the area defined in sub-section …(B).

Castle Rock Special Closure Special restrictions on boating and access apply to Castle Rock as follows.

(A) A special closure is designated from the mean high tide line to a distance of 300 feet seaward of the mean lower low tide line of any shoreline of Castle Rock, located in the vicinity of 41° 45.706’ N. lat. 124° 14.949’ W. long.

(B) Except as permitted by federal law or emergency caused by hazardous weather, or as authorized by sub-section …(C), no vessel shall be operated or anchored at any time from the mean high tide line to a distance of 300 feet seaward of the mean lower low tide line of any shoreline of Castle Rock.

(C) No person except department employees or employees of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or United States Coast Guard, in performing their official duties, or unless permission is granted by the department, shall enter the area defined in sub-section 632(b)(4)(B).

False Klamath Rock Special Closure Special restrictions on boating and access apply to False Klamath Rock as follows.

(A) A special closure is designated from the mean high tide line to a distance of 300 feet seaward of the mean lower low tide line of any shoreline of False Klamath Rock, located in the vicinity of 41° 35.633’ N. lat. 124° 06.699’ W. long. during the period of March 1 to August 31.

(B) Except as permitted by federal law or emergency caused by hazardous weather, or as authorized by sub-section …(C), no vessel shall be operated or anchored from the mean high tide line to a distance of 300 feet seaward of the mean lower low tide line of any shoreline of False Klamath Rock during the period of March 1 to August 31.

(C) No person except department employees or employees of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or United States Coast Guard, in performing their official duties, or unless permission is granted by the department, shall enter the area defined in sub-section …(B) during the period of March 1 to August 31.

Humboldt County

Reading Rock State Marine Conservation Area It is unlawful to injure, damage, take, or possess any living, geological, or cultural marine resource for… recreational purposes, with the following specified exceptions:

1. The recreational take of salmon by trolling [sub-section 27.80(a)(3)]; surf smelt [Section 28.45] by dip net or Hawaiian-type throw net [Section 28.80]; and Dungeness crab by trap, hoop net or hand is allowed.

2. The following federally recognized tribes (listed alphabetically) are exempt from the area and take regulations for Reading Rock State Marine Conservation Area [sub-section 632(b)(6)] and shall comply with all other existing regulations and statutes: Cher-Ae Heights Indian Community of the Trinidad Rancheria, Resighini Rancheria, and Yurok Tribe of the Yurok Reservation.

This area is bounded by the mean high tide line and straight lines connecting the following points in the order listed:
41° 20.100’ N. lat. 124° 04.911’ W. long.;
41° 20.100’ N. lat. 124° 10.000’ W. long.;
41° 17.600’ N. lat. 124° 10.000’ W. long.; and
41° 17.600’ N. lat. 124° 05.399’ W. long.
Reading Rock State Marine Reserve It is unlawful to injure, damage, take, or possess any living, geological, or cultural marine resource. This area is bounded by straight lines connecting the following points in the order listed except where noted:
41° 20.100’ N. lat. 124° 10.000’ W. long.;
41° 20.100’ N. lat. 124° 14.655’ W. long.; thence southward along the three nautical mile offshore boundary to
41° 17.600’ N. lat. 124° 11.963’ W. long.;
41° 17.600’ N. lat. 124° 10.000’ W. long.; and
41° 20.100’ N. lat. 124° 10.000’ W. long.
Samoa State Marine Conservation Area It is unlawful to injure, damage, take, or possess any living, geological, or cultural marine resource for… recreational purposes, with the following specified exceptions:

1. The recreational take of salmon by trolling [sub-section 27.80(a)(3)]; surf smelt [Section 28.45] by dip net or Hawaiian-type throw net [Section 28.80]; and Dungeness crab by trap, hoop net or hand is allowed.

2. The following federally recognized tribe is exempt from the area and take regulations for Samoa State Marine Conservation Area [sub-section 632(b)(8)] and shall comply with all other existing regulations and statutes: Wiyot Tribe.

This area is bounded by the mean high tide line and straight lines connecting the following points in the order listed except where noted:
40° 55.000’ N. lat. 124° 08.432’ W. long.;
40° 55.000’ N. lat. 124° 12.677’ W. long.; thence southward along the three nautical mile offshore boundary to
40° 52.000’ N. lat. 124° 14.225’ W. long.; and
40° 52.000’ N. lat. 124° 09.803’ W. long.
South Humboldt Bay State Marine Recreational Management Area It is unlawful to perform any activity that would compromise the recreational values for which the area may be designated. Recreational opportunities may be protected, enhanced, or restricted, while preserving basic resource values of the area.

1. The following federally recognized tribe is exempt from the area and take regulations for South Humboldt Bay State Marine Recreational Management Area [sub-section 632(b)(9)] and shall comply with all other existing regulations and statutes: Wiyot Tribe.

2. Waterfowl may be taken in accordance with the general waterfowl regulations [sections 502, 550, 551, and 552].

This area is bounded by the mean high tide line and straight lines connecting the following points in the order listed:
40° 43.000’ N. lat. 124° 15.527’ W. long.;
40° 43.000’ N. lat. 124° 15.000’ W. long.;
40° 42.000’ N. lat. 124° 15.000’ W. long.; and
40° 42.000’ N. lat. 124° 16.141’ W. long.
Sugarloaf Island Special Closure Special restrictions on boating and access apply to Sugarloaf Island as follows.

(A) A special closure is designated from the mean high tide line to a distance of 300 feet seaward of the mean lower low tide line of any shoreline of Sugarloaf Island, located in the vicinity of 40° 26.326’ N. lat. 124° 24.827’ W. long.

(B) Except as permitted by federal law or emergency caused by hazardous weather, or as authorized by sub-section …(C), no vessel shall be operated or anchored at any time from the mean high tide line to a distance of 300 feet seaward of the mean lower low tide line of any shoreline of Sugarloaf Island.

(C) No person except department employees or employees of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or United States Coast Guard, in performing their official duties, or unless permission is granted by the department, shall enter the area defined in sub-section …(B).

South Cape Mendocino State Marine Reserve It is unlawful to injure, damage, take, or possess any living, geological, or cultural marine resource for… recreational purposes. This area is bounded by the mean high tide line and straight lines connecting the following points in the order listed except where noted:
40° 26.100’ N. lat. 124° 24.340’ W. long.;
40° 26.100’ N. lat. 124° 31.958’ W. long.; thence southward along the three nautical mile offshore boundary to
40° 24.900’ N. lat. 124° 31.084’ W. long.; and
40° 24.900’ N. lat. 124° 23.800’ W. long.
Steamboat Rock Special Closure Special restrictions on boating and access apply to Steamboat Rock as follows.

(A) A special closure is designated from the mean high tide line to a distance of 300 feet seaward of the mean lower low tide line of any shoreline of Steamboat Rock, located in the vicinity of 40° 24.919’ N. lat. 124° 24.241’ W. long. during the period of March 1 to August 31.

(B) Except as permitted by federal law or emergency caused by hazardous weather, or as authorized by sub-section …(C), no vessel shall be operated or anchored from the mean high tide line to a distance of 300 feet seaward of the mean lower low tide line of any shoreline of Steamboat Rock during the period of March 1 to August 31.

(C) No person except department employees or employees of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or United States Coast Guard, in performing their official duties, or unless permission is granted by the department, shall enter the area defined in sub-section …(B) during the period of March 1 to August 31.

Mattole Canyon State Marine Reserve It is unlawful to injure, damage, take, or possess any living, geological, or cultural marine resource for… recreational purposes. This area is bounded by straight lines connecting the following points in the order listed except where noted:
40° 20.000’ N. lat. 124° 22.500’ W. long.;
40° 20.000’ N. lat. 124° 25.902’ W. long.; thence southward along the three nautical mile offshore boundary to
40° 17.000’ N. lat. 124° 25.869’ W. long.;
40° 17.000’ N. lat. 124° 22.500’ W. long.; and
40° 20.000’ N. lat. 124° 22.500’ W. long.
Sea Lion Gulch State Marine Reserve It is unlawful to injure, damage, take, or possess any living, geological, or cultural marine resource for… recreational purposes. This area is bounded by the mean high tide line and straight lines connecting the following points in the order listed except where noted:
40° 14.400’ N. lat. 124° 19.983’ W. long.;
40° 14.400’ N. lat. 124° 25.943’ W. long.; thence southward along the three nautical mile offshore boundary to
40° 12.800’ N. lat. 124° 24.809’ W. long.; and
40° 12.800’ N. lat. 124° 18.155’ W. long.
Big Flat State Marine Conservation Area It is unlawful to injure, damage, take, or possess any living, geological, or cultural marine resource for… recreational purposes, with the following specified exceptions:

1. The recreational take of salmon by trolling [sub-section 27.80(a)(3)]; and Dungeness crab by trap, hoop net or hand is allowed.

2. The following federally recognized tribes (listed alphabetically) are exempt from the area and take regulations for Big Flat State Marine Conservation Area [sub-section 632(b)(15)] and shall comply with all other existing regulations and statutes: SEE FOOTNOTE 1

This area is bounded by the mean high tide line and straight lines connecting the following points in the order listed except where noted:
40° 09.400’ N. lat. 124° 12.671’ W. long.;
40° 09.400’ N. lat. 124° 19.366’ W. long.; thence southward along the three nautical mile offshore boundary to
40° 07.500’ N. lat. 124° 16.203’ W. long.; and
40° 07.500’ N. lat. 124° 10.313’ W. long.

Mendocino County

Double Cone Rock State Marine Conservation Area It is unlawful to injure, damage, take, or possess any living, geological, or cultural marine resource for… recreational purposes, with the following specified exceptions:

1. The recreational take of salmon by trolling [sub-section 27.80(a)(3); and Dungeness crab by trap, hoop net or hand is allowed.

2. The following federally recognized tribes (listed alphabetically) are exempt from the area and take regulations for Double Cone Rock State Marine Conservation Area [sub-section 632(b)(16)] and shall comply with all other existing regulations and statutes: SEE FOOTNOTE 2

This area is bounded by the mean high tide line and straight lines connecting the following points in the order listed except where noted:
39° 48.500’ N. lat. 123° 50.713’ W. long.;
39° 48.500’ N. lat. 123° 55.875’ W. long.; thence southward along the three nautical mile offshore boundary to
39° 44.300’ N. lat. 123° 54.178’ W. long.; and
39° 44.300’ N. lat. 123° 50.055’ W. long.
Rockport Rocks Special Closure Special restrictions on boating and access apply to Rockport Rocks as follows.

(A) A special closure is designated from the mean high tide line to a distance of 300 feet seaward of the mean lower low tide line of any shoreline of Rockport Rocks, located in the vicinity of 39° 44.184’ N. lat. 123° 50.020’ W. long. during the period of March 1 to August 31.

(B) Except as permitted by federal law or emergency caused by hazardous weather, or as authorized by sub-section …(C), no vessel shall be operated or anchored from the mean high tide line to a distance of 300 feet seaward of the mean lower low tide line of any shoreline of Rockport Rocks during the period of March 1 to August 31.

(C) No person except department employees or employees of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or United States Coast Guard, in performing their official duties, or unless permission is granted by the department, shall enter the area defined in sub-section …(B) during the period of March 1 to August 31.

Vizcaino Rock Special Closure Special restrictions on boating and access apply to Vizcaino Rock located in the vicinity of 39° 43.618’ N. lat. 123° 49.950’ W. long. as follows.

(A) A special closure is designated from the mean high tide line to a distance of 300 feet seaward of the mean lower low tide of any shoreline of Vizcaino Rock westward of 123°49.887’ W. longitude, during the period of March 1 to August 31.

(B) Except as permitted by federal law or emergency caused by hazardous weather, or as authorized by sub-section …(C), no vessel shall be operated or anchored from the mean high tide line to a distance of 300 feet seaward of the mean lower low tide line of any shoreline of Vizcaino Rock westward of 123° 49.887’ W. longitude during the period of March 1 to August 31.

(C) No person except department employees or employees of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or United States Coast Guard, in performing their official duties, or unless permission is granted by the department, shall enter the area defined in sub-section …(B) during the period of March 1 to August 31.

Ten Mile State Marine Reserve It is unlawful to injure, damage, take, or possess any living, geological, or cultural marine resource for… recreational purposes. This area is bounded by the mean high tide line and straight lines connecting the following points in the order listed except where noted:
39° 35.900’ N. lat. 123° 47.243’ W. long.;
39° 35.900’ N. lat. 123° 51.479’ W. long.; thence southward along the three nautical mile offshore boundary to
39° 33.300’ N. lat. 123° 50.559’ W. long.; and
39° 33.300’ N. lat. 123° 46.015’ W. long.
Ten Mile Beach State Marine Conservation Area It is unlawful to injure, damage, take, or possess any living, geological, or cultural marine resource for… recreational purposes, with the following specified exceptions:

1. The recreational take of Dungeness crab by trap, hoop net or hand is allowed.

2. The following federally recognized tribes (listed alphabetically) are exempt from the area and take regulations for Ten Mile Beach State Marine Conservation Area [sub-section 632(b)(20)] and shall comply with all other existing regulations and statutes: SEE FOOTNOTE 2

This area is bounded by the mean high tide line and straight lines connecting the following points in the order listed except where noted:
39° 33.300’ N. lat. 123° 46.015’ W. long.;
39° 33.300’ N. lat. 123° 50.559’ W. long.; thence southward along the three nautical mile offshore boundary to
39° 32.500’ N. lat. 123° 50.418’ W. long.; and
39° 32.500’ N. lat. 123° 46.242’ W. long.; thence northward along the mean high tide line onshore boundary to
39° 33.098’ N. lat. 123° 46.003’ W. long.; and
39° 33.199’ N. lat. 123° 45.966’ W. long.
Ten Mile Estuary State Marine Conservation Area3 It is unlawful to injure, damage, take, or possess any living, geological, or cultural marine resource for… recreational purposes, with the following specified exceptions:

1. The following federally recognized tribes (listed alphabetically) are exempt from the area and take regulations for Ten Mile Estuary State Marine Conservation Area [sub-section 632(b)(21)] and shall comply with all other existing regulations and statutes: SEE FOOTNOTE 2

2. Waterfowl may be taken in accordance with the general waterfowl regulations [sections 502, 550, 551, and 552].

This area consists of waters below the mean high tide line within the Ten Mile Estuary, eastward of a line connecting the following two points:
39° 33.199’ N. lat. 123° 45.966’ W. long.; and
39° 33.098’ N. lat. 123° 46.003’ W. long.
and westward of a line connecting the following two points:
39° 32.400’ N. lat. 123° 44.785’ W. long.; and
39° 32.382’ N. lat. 123° 44.769’ W. long.
MacKerricher State Marine Conservation Area It is unlawful to injure, damage, take, or possess any living, geological, or cultural marine resource for… recreational purposes, with the following specified exceptions:

1. All recreational take is allowed in accordance with current regulations.

This area is bounded by the mean high tide line and straight lines connecting the following points in the order listed:
39° 30.100’ N. lat. 123° 47.327’ W. long.;
39° 30.100’ N. lat. 123° 49.000’ W. long.;
39° 27.120’ N. lat. 123° 49.000’ W. long.; and
39° 27.120’ N. lat. 123° 48.830’ W. long.
Point Cabrillo State Marine Reserve It is unlawful to injure, damage, take, or possess any living, geological, or cultural marine resource for… recreational purposes This area is bounded by the mean high tide line and straight lines connecting the following points in the order listed:
39° 21.400’ N. lat. 123° 49.418’ W. long.;
39° 21.400’ N. lat. 123° 50.000’ W. long.;
39° 20.600’ N. lat. 123° 50.000’ W. long.; and
39° 20.600’ N. lat. 123° 49.266’ W. long.
Russian Gulch State Marine Conservation Area It is unlawful to injure, damage, take, or possess any living, geological, or cultural marine resource for… recreational purposes, with the following specified exceptions:

1. All recreational take is allowed in accordance with current regulations.

This area is bounded by the mean high tide line and straight lines connecting the following points in the order listed:
39° 19.860’ N. lat. 123° 48.840’ W. long.;
39° 19.860’ N. lat. 123° 49.000’ W. long.;
39° 19.470’ N. lat. 123° 49.000’ W. long.; and
39° 19.470’ N. lat. 123° 48.500’ W. long.
Big River Estuary State Marine Conservation Area3 It is unlawful to injure, damage, take, or possess any living, geological, or cultural marine resource for… recreational purposes, with the following specified exceptions:

1. The recreational take of surfperch (family Embiotocidae) by hook-and-line from shore only; and Dungeness crab by hoop net or hand is allowed.

2. The following federally recognized tribes (listed alphabetically) are exempt from the area and take regulations for Big River Estuary State Marine Conservation Area [sub-section 632(b)(25)] and shall comply with all other existing regulations and statutes: SEE FOOTNOTE 2

3. Waterfowl may be taken in accordance with the general waterfowl regulations [sections 502, 550, 551, and 552].

This area consists of waters below the mean high tide line within the Big River Estuary, eastward of a line connecting the following two points:
39° 18.134’ N. lat. 123° 47.517’ W. long.; and
39° 18.070’ N. lat. 123° 47.543’ W. long. and westward of a line connecting the following two points:
39° 18.222’ N. lat. 123° 46.242’ W. long.; and
39° 18.150’ N. lat. 123° 46.240’ W. long.
Van Damme State Marine Conservation Area It is unlawful to injure, damage, take, or possess any living, geological, or cultural marine resource for… recreational purposes, with the following specified exceptions:

1. All recreational take is allowed in accordance with current regulations.

This area is bounded by the mean high tide line and a straight line connecting the following points:
39° 16.335’ N. lat. 123° 47.712’ W. long.; and
39° 16.147’ N. lat. 123° 47.429’ W. long.
Navarro River Estuary State Marine Conservation Area It is unlawful to injure, damage, take, or possess any living, geological, or cultural marine resource for… recreational purposes, with the following specified exceptions:

1. The recreational take of salmonids by hook-and-line is allowed consistent with salmonid regulations in Section 7.50.

2. The following federally recognized tribes (listed alphabetically) are exempt from the area and take regulations for Navarro River Estuary State Marine Conservation Area [sub-section 632(b)(27)] and shall comply with all other existing regulations and statutes: SEE FOOTNOTE 2

3. Waterfowl may be taken in accordance with the general waterfowl regulations [sections 502, 550, 551, and 552].

This area consists of waters below the mean high tide line within the Navarro River Estuary, eastward of a line connecting the following two points:
39° 11.536’ N. lat. 123° 45.685’ W. long.; and
39° 11.489’ N. lat. 123° 45.516’ W. long.
and westward of a line connecting the following two points
39° 11.846’ N. lat. 123° 44.809’ W. long.; and
39° 11.803’ N. lat. 123° 44.843’ W. long.