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Report Card Requirements

Fishing Regulations Icon California Fishing

Regulations seen in RED TEXT denote changes in the freshwater fishing regulations that have occurred since the publication of the 2017–2018 Freshwater Sport Fishing regulations booklet.

1.73. Salmon

(a) Salmon includes Chinook, coho, pink, chum, and sockeye salmon.

(b) Any person in possession of a recreationally taken salmon with a missing adipose fin (the small, fleshy fin on the back of the fish between the back fin and tail) shall immediately relinquish the head of the salmon, upon request by an authorized agent or employee of the department, to facilitate the recovery of any coded-wire tag. The head may be removed by the fish owner or, if removed by the official department representative, the head shall be removed in a manner to minimize loss of salmon flesh and the salmon shall immediately be returned to the fish owner.

Inland Salmon Informational Note

All inland anadromous waters that are listed as “closed to take of salmon” in the district or special regulations are also closed to any catch and release fishing that results in hooking or attempting to hook a salmon.

As a reminder, Section 1.80 defines take as “Hunt, pursue, catch, capture or kill fish, amphibians, reptiles, mollusks, crustaceans or invertebrates, or attempting to do so.”

There will be no allowance for any catch and release fishing that targets salmon when the river or stream is closed to salmon fishing.

1.74. Sport Fishing Report Card Requirements

(a) Purpose. These regulations are designed to improve recreational fishing effort and catch information in some or all areas where the fisheries operate. Many of these species are of high commercial value, and therefore, additional enforcement mechanisms are needed to improve compliance with existing bag limits and other regulations, and to reduce the potential for poaching.

(b) Report card requirements apply to any person fishing for or taking the following species regardless of whether a sport fishing license is required:

(1) Salmon, in the anadromous waters of the Klamath, Trinity, and Smith river basins. Anadromous waters are defined in Section 1.04 of these regulations.

(2) Steelhead trout.

(3) White sturgeon.

(4) Red abalone.

(5) California spiny lobster.

(c) General Report Card Requirements.

(1) Any person fishing for or taking any of the species identified in this Section shall have in his immediate possession a valid non-transferable report card issued by the department for the particular species. See special exemption regarding possession of report cards for lobster divers in Section 29.91 of these regulations.

(2) All entries made on any report card or tag shall be legible and in indelible ink.

(3) A report card holder fishing with a one, two, or ten-day sport fishing license, may replace the expired fishing license without purchasing a new report card so long as the report card is still valid.

(4) Report cards are not transferable and shall not be transferred to another person. No person shall possess any report card other than his own.

(5) A person may only obtain one abalone report card and one sturgeon report card per report card period.

(6) Any report card holder who fills in all available lines on his steelhead, salmon or lobster report card shall return or report the card to the department pursuant to subsection 1.74(e) prior to purchasing a second card.

(7) Data recording and tagging procedures vary between report cards and species. See specific regulations in sections 5.79, 5.87, 5.88, 27.92, 29.16, and 29.91 that apply in addition to the regulations of this Section.

(d) Report Card Return and Reporting Requirements

(1) Report card holders shall return or report their salmon, steelhead, sturgeon, or abalone report cards to the department pursuant to subsection 1.74(e) by January 31 of the following year.

(A) Any report card holder who fails to return or report his salmon, steelhead, sturgeon, or abalone report card to the department by the deadline may be restricted from obtaining the same card in a subsequent license year or may be subject to an additional fee for the issuance of the same card in a subsequent license year.

(2) Report card holders shall return or report their lobster report cards pursuant to subsection 1.74(e) by April 30 following the close of the lobster season for which the card was issued.

(A) Any report card holder who fails to return or report his or her lobster report card by April 30 following the close of the lobster season specified on the card shall be subject to a nonrefundable non-return fee specified in Section 701, in addition to the annual report card fee, for the issuance of a lobster report card in the subsequent fishing season.

(e) Report Card Return and Reporting Mechanisms:

(1) By mail or in person at the address specified on the card. A report card returned by mail shall be postmarked by the date applicable to that card as specified in subsection 1.74(d)(1) or 1.74(d)(2).

(2) Online through the department’s license sales service website by the date applicable to that card as specified in subsection 1.74(d)(1) or 1.74(d)(2).

(3) If a report card is submitted by mail and not received by the department, it is considered not returned unless the report card holder reports his or her report card as lost pursuant to subsection 1.74(f).

(f) Lost report cards.

(1) Any report card holder who loses his report card shall submit an affidavit, signed under penalty of perjury, in person to a department license sales office containing all of the following information:

(A) A statement containing the report card holder’s full name confirming that the originally issued report card cannot be recovered.

(B) A statement containing the report card holder’s best recollection of the prior catch records that were entered on the report card that was lost.

(C) A statement describing the factual circumstances surrounding the loss of the card.

(2) An affidavit for a lost report card shall be presented at a department license sales office, by the date applicable to that card specified in subsection 1.74(d)(1) or 1.74(d)(2) to be considered returned.

(3) Notwithstanding subsection 1.74(c)(5), any report card holder who loses his report card during the period for which it is valid may replace the lost report card by submitting an affidavit as described in subsection 1.74(f)(1) and payment of the report card fee and replacement processing fee specified in Section 701.

(A) Based on the information provided in the written affidavit for abalone and sturgeon report cards, the department shall issue only the number of tags that were reported unused on the previously issued report card.

5.87. North Coast Salmon Report Card Requirement

(a) Report Card Required in Waters of the Klamath-Trinity River System and the Smith River. All anglers must have a North Coast Salmon Report Card in their possession while fishing for or taking salmon in waters of the Klamath-Trinity River System and the Smith River, and must complete and return the card pursuant to regulations in this Section and in Section 1.74.

(b) Prior to beginning fishing activity, the cardholder shall record the month, day, and fishing location on the first available line on the report card.

(c) For the Klamath-Trinity River System: Whenever the cardholder lands (either retains or releases) a Chinook salmon, the angler shall immediately record whether the fish was an adult or a jack, and whether the fish has an adipose fin present. Whenever the cardholder releases a Coho salmon, the angler shall immediately record whether the maxillary is present or absent.

(d) For the Smith River: Whenever the cardholder lands (either retains or releases) a Chinook salmon, the angler shall immediately record whether the fish was an adult or a jack, and whether the fish has an adipose fin or left ventral fin present.

(e) Whenever the cardholder moves to another fishing location, the angler shall record the month, day, and location on the next line on the report card.

(f) In the Klamath-Trinity River System and Smith River, a jack Chinook salmon is defined as any Chinook salmon that is less than 22 inches total length.

(g) In the event an angler fills in all lines and returns a North Coast Salmon Report Card, an additional card may be purchased. See Section 1.74.

(h) The annual fee for the North Coast Salmon Report Card is specified in Section 701, Title 14, CCR

5.88. Steelhead Report and Restoration Card Requirements for Inland Waters

(a) Steelhead Fishing Report and Restoration Card Required. All anglers must have a Steelhead Fishing Report and Restoration Card in their possession while fishing for or taking steelhead in anadromous waters, as defined in Section 1.04. Anglers must complete and return the card pursuant to regulations in this Section and in Section 1.74. For purposes of these regulations, a steelhead trout is defined as any rainbow trout greater than 16 inches in length found in anadromous waters.

(b) Prior to beginning fishing activity, the cardholder must record the month, day, and location code on the first available line on the report card.

(c) When a steelhead is retained, the cardholder must immediately fill in a circle indicating whether the fish is a wild fish or a hatchery fish.

(d) When the cardholder moves to another location code, or finishes fishing for the day, the angler must immediately record on the card the number of wild and hatchery fish that were released from that location and the number of hours fished for steelhead to the nearest hour.

(e) In the event an angler fills in all lines and returns a Steelhead Fishing Report and Restoration Card, an additional card may be purchased. See Section 1.74.

(f) The annual fee for the Steelhead Fishing Report and Restoration Card is specified in Section 7380 of the Fish and Game Code.

8.01. Special Measures for Fisheries at Risk

(a) The commission has established a quick response process to temporarily close fisheries experiencing degraded habitat quality and or quantity or extremely low population size within waters of the state. The criteria set forth in subsections (b) and (c) are intended to ensure that fisheries are protected under critical environmental conditions. These criteria will be monitored in statewide inland fisheries, and they will be evaluated on a water by water basis over time as conditions change.

(b) The department may close to angling any waters of the state not currently listed in Section 8.00 of these regulations if the director, or his or her designee, finds one or more of the following conditions have been met:

(A) Water temperatures in occupied habitat exceed 70° Fahrenheit for over eight hours a day for three consecutive days.

(B) Dissolved oxygen levels in occupied habitat drop below 5 mg/L for any period of time over two consecutive days.

(C) Fish passage is impeded or blocked for fish species that rely on migration as part of a life history trait.

(D) Water levels for ponds, lakes and reservoirs drop below 10% of their capacity.

(E) Adult breeding population levels are estimated to be below 50 individuals for a sub-population and 500 individuals for a standard population.

(c) Waters closed pursuant to subsection (b) shall be reopened by the department when the director, or his or her designee, determines the initial closure-based criteria are no longer met and water temperatures do not exceed 70° Fahrenheit for over eight hours a day for 14 consecutive days and dissolved oxygen remains above 5 mg/L for 14 consecutive days.

(d) It shall be unlawful to take fish in any waters of the state closed to angling pursuant to this Section.

(e) Notification of department actions.

(1) The department shall maintain a list of closed waters of the state and update that list on Wednesday of each week by 1:00 pm. In the event that water conditions change later in the week, the fishing status for each specific water will not change until the day following the next Wednesday. It shall be the responsibility of the angler to use the telephone number provided below or go to the department’s website at www.wildlife.ca.gov/Regulations to obtain the current status of any water. The number to call for information is (916) 445-7600.

Save our water

Now more than ever, it’s important to conserve our most precious resource. Remember, fish need water!

California has been dealing with the effects of drought for five years. To learn about all the actions the state has taken to manage our water system and cope with the impacts of the drought, visit drought.ca.gov.

Every Californian should take steps to conserve water.

Learn to conserve water.

www.SaveOurWater.com