What’s New for 2017
California Saltwater Fishing
CDFW Offices No Longer Accept Cash
Starting January 1, 2017 the California Department of Fish and Wildlife will no longer accept cash at the License and Revenue Branch and regional license offices. Checks, money orders, or any debit or credit card with the Visa or Mastercard logo are accepted. Cash transactions will still be available for all items sold at authorized local sales agents. Search for a license agent near you at www.ca.wildlifelicense.com/InternetSales/OutletSearch/FindOutlet.
Groundfish (Effective February 7, 2017)
The California Fish and Game Commission approved changes to recreational groundfish regulations on December 7, 2016 to conform to changes in federal rules for 2017 and 2018. Changes included new season dates and fishing depths in some groundfish management areas, a lingcod bag limit decrease from 3 fish to 2 fish, a new sub-bag limit of 1 canary rockfish within the RCG Complex bag limit of 10 fish, elimination of the sub-bag limit for bocaccio, a black rockfish bag limit decrease from 5 fish to 3 fish within the RCG Complex bag limit of 10 fish, and allowing petrale sole and starry flounder to be retained year-round at all depths.
See pg. 11 for ways to stay informed of in-season regulation changes. Anglers are advised to call the CDFW Groundfish Hotline at (831) 649-2801, or check the CDFW website at wildlife.ca.gov/conservation/marine/groundfish for the most up-to-date groundfish regulations.
Red Abalone (Effective April 1, 2017)
The California Fish and Game Commission approved emergency regulations on December 7, 2016 to reduce the take of red abalone in the open area north of San Francisco Bay due to unfavorable environmental conditions. Under the emergency regulations, red abalone may be taken only during the months of May, June, August, September and October. The yearly trip limit is reduced from 18 to 12 abalone, with no more than 9 abalone from south of the boundary between Sonoma and Mendocino counties.
California Spiny Lobster (Effective April 1, 2017)
The California Fish and Game Commission approved changes in the recreational California spiny lobster fishing regulations on June 22, 2016. The new regulations are included in this booklet, and are posted on the CDFW website at www.wildlife.ca.gov/New-Lobster-Fishing-Regs. Changes include a new opening time of 6:00 a.m. on the first day of the season, and clarification of measuring methods and rules regarding possession of spearfishing gear while diving for crustaceans. Also, hoop nets used to take crustaceans south of Point Arguello must be marked with a surface buoy, and the surface buoy must have the operator’s GO ID number on it. Hoop nets deployed from shore or piers are not required to be marked with a surface buoy.
It is unlawful to do the following