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Changes to Ocean Fishing

Fishing Regulations Icon California Fishing

Regulations seen in RED TEXT denote changes in the ocean fishing regulations that have occurred since the publication of the 2018–2019 Saltwater Sport Fishing Regulations booklet.

Free Fishing Days!

July 1, 2018 and Sept. 2, 2018

On these days only, all regulations apply and report cards are required, but no license is required for sport fishing.

 

27.80. SALMON

(a) Methods of take:

(1) General Provisions. Only by angling as defined in Section 1.05. No sinkers or weights exceeding four pounds may be used, except that a fishing line may be attached to a sinker or weight of any size if such sinker or weight is suspended by a separate line and the fishing line is released automatically by a mechanical device from the sinker or weight when any fish is hooked. See sections 28.65 and 28.70.

(2) Barbless Hooks. No more than two (2) single point, single shank barbless hooks shall be used in the ocean north of Point Conception (34°27’00” N. lat.) when salmon fishing or fishing from any boat or floating device with salmon on board.

(3) Other Hook Restrictions. When fishing with bait in the ocean between Horse Mountain (40°05’00” N. lat.) and Point Conception, if angling by any means other than trolling, then no more than two (2) single point, single shank, barbless circle hooks shall be used. The distance between the two hooks must not exceed five inches when measured from the top of the eye of the top hook to the inner base of the curve of the lower hook, and both hooks must be permanently tied in place (hard tied). A circle hook is defined as a hook with a generally circular shape, and a point which turns inwards, pointing directly to the shank at a 90 degree angle. Trolling is defined as angling from a boat or floating device that is making way by means of a source of power, other than drifting by means of the prevailing water current or weather conditions. See Section 28.65(g).

(4) One Rod Restriction north of Point Conception. Salmon may be taken by angling with no more than one rod in ocean waters north of Point Conception. See Section 28.65(e).

(b) Statewide Coho (silver) Salmon Restrictions: No coho (silver) salmon may be retained.

(c) Open Fishing Days, Daily Bag Limits, and Minimum Size in effect April 7 through April 30, 2018.

(1) North of Horse Mountain (40°05’00”N. lat.) and in Humboldt Bay.

(A) Closed to salmon fishing.

(2) Between Horse Mountain and Point Arena (38°57’30” N. lat.).

(A) Closed to salmon fishing.

(3) Between Point Arena and Pigeon Point (37°11’00” N. lat.).

(A) Closed to salmon fishing.

(4) Between Pigeon Point and Point Sur (36°18’00” N. lat.).

(A) Open to salmon fishing from April 7 to April 30, 2018. Fishing is authorized 7 days per week.

(B) Daily Bag Limit: 2 salmon per day. See subsection (b) above and subsection (e) below.

(C) Minimum Size: 24 inches total length.

(5) South of Point Sur.

(A) Open to salmon fishing from April 7 to April 30, 2018. Fishing is authorized 7 days per week.

(B) Daily Bag Limit: 2 salmon per day. See subsection (b) above and subsection (e) below.

(C) Minimum Size: 24 inches total length.

(d) Open Fishing Days, Daily Bag Limits, and Minimum Size in effect on or after May 1, 2018.

(1) North of Horse Mountain (40°05’00” N. lat.) and in Humboldt Bay.

(A) Open to salmon fishing from June 1 through September 3, 2018.

(B) Daily Bag Limit: 2 salmon per day. See subsection (b) above and subsection (e) below.

(C) Minimum Size: 20 inches total length.

(2) Between Horse Mountain and Point Arena (38°57’30” N. lat.).

(A) Open to salmon fishing June 17 through October 31, 2018 Fishing is authorized 7 days per week.

(B) Daily Bag Limit: 2 salmon per day. See subsection (b) above and subsection (e) below.

(C) Minimum Size: 20 inches total length.

(3) Between Point Arena and Pigeon Point (37°11’00” N. lat.).

(A) Open to salmon fishing June 17 through October 31, 2018. Fishing is authorized 7 days per week.

(B) Daily Bag Limit: 2 salmon per day. See subsection (b) above and subsection (e) below.

(C) Minimum Size: 20 inches total length.

(4) Between Pigeon Point and Point Sur (36°18’00” N. lat.).

(A) Open to salmon fishing May 1 through July 2, 2018. Fishing is authorized 7 days per week.

(B) Daily Bag Limit: 2 salmon per day. See subsection (b) above and subsection (e) below.

(C) Minimum Size: 24 inches total length.

(5) South of Point Sur.

(A) Open to salmon fishing May 1 through July 2, 2018. Fishing is authorized 7 days per week.

(B) Daily Bag Limit: 2 salmon per day. See subsection (b) above and subsection (e) below.

(C) Minimum Size: 24 inches total length.

(e) Ocean salmon possession limit: No more than two daily bag limits may be possessed when on land. On a vessel in ocean waters, no person shall possess or bring ashore more than one daily bag limit.

See Section 1.17 and 27.60(c) of these regulations.

§28.20. Halibut, Pacific

(a) Season:

(1) Pacific halibut may be taken only from May 1 through June 15, July 1 through 15, August 1 through 15, and September 1 through October 31 or until the quota is reached, whichever is earlier. Pacific halibut take is regulated by a quota that is closely monitored each year in alignment with federal regulations.

(2) The Pacific halibut quota is published in the Federal Register 83 FR 13090 (March 26, 2018). (April 20, 2017). The department shall inform the commission, and the public via a press release, prior to any implementation of restrictions triggered by achieving or expecting to exceed the quota. Anglers and divers are advised to check the current rules before fishing. The latest fishing rules may be found on the department’s website at: wildlife.ca.gov/Fishing/Ocean, or by calling the Recreational Groundfish Fishing Regulations Hotline (831) 649-2801 or the National Marine Fisheries Service Area 2A Halibut Hotline (800) 662-9825 for recorded information, or by contacting a department office.

(b) Limit: One.

(c) Minimum size: None.

(d) Methods of Take:

(1) When angling, no more than one line with two hooks attached may be used.

(2) A harpoon, gaff, or net may be used to assist in taking a Pacific halibut that has been legally caught by angling. See Section 28.95 of these regulations for additional restrictions on the use of harpoons.

(3) Take by spearfishing is allowed pursuant to Section 28.90 of these regulations.

Increase to Canary Rockfish Daily Bag Limit

Effective April 14, 2018, the sub-bag limit for canary rockfish increased from one fish to two fish within the RCG Complex daily bag limit of 10 fish. (See press release at https://bit.ly/2HasvK0)

For more information regarding groundfish regulations please visit the CDFW Marine Region Groundfish web page at www.wildlife.ca.gov/Conservation/Marine/Groundfish or call the Groundfish Regulations hotline at (831) 649-2801.

Have You Seen Me?

Chinese mitten crabs are nonnative, invasive species that pose a serious threat to California’s economy and aquatic ecosystems. They clog fish screens and impede water delivery, burrow into levees weakening infrastructure and increasing erosion, prey on, compete with, and transfer diseases to native species, and damage rice crops through excessive foraging. Chinese mitten crabs invaded the San Francisco Bay in 1992 and by 1996 had spread to the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. They experienced a population boom in 1997, and by 1998 could be found over 100 miles north and east of the Bay in the Sacramento and San Joaquin River watersheds. Chinese mitten crabs have mysteriously disappeared from the Delta and are now only rarely seen in San Francisco Bay.

Have you seen any Chinese mitten crabs?

Report sightings of Chinese mitten crabs to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) Invasive Species Program by calling 866-440-9530 or sending an email to Invasives@wildlife.ca.gov. Additionally, if you catch a Chinese mitten crab, do not release it back into the water! Any Chinese mitten crabs that are caught should be killed immediately and preserved in alcohol or frozen for later identification by CDFW staff.