What’s New for 2018

Fishing Regulations California Freshwater Fishing

American River Fishing Closure

The lower American River from Nimbus Dam downstream to the USGS gauging station cable crossing is now closed to fishing year-round to protect spawning and rearing salmon and steelhead and to improve hatchery broodstock collections through a new fish ladder in the basin. See Section 7.50(b)(5)

Leader Length Restriction

In an effort to protect salmon and steelhead in anadromous waters, regulations were adopted that restrict the distance from the terminal end of the fishing line/leader and associated weight. Anglers should reference Section 2.05 to understand the definition and exemptions associated with the use of weight along with distance restriction.

Definition of Bait

A definition of bait has been added to the regulations. See Section 1.18

Rock Creek Closure

Rock Creek in Shasta County is closed to all fishing to protect Shasta Crayfish. See Section 5.35.

Bow and Arrow Fishing

Bow and arrow fishing is now permitted for bullhead and catfish in the Delta, Big Bear Lake, and Lake Isabella. See Section 2.25.

Definition of Artificial Lure

The definition of artificial lure has been revised to clarify that no scents or flavors shall be used on lures on waters where only artificial lures with barbless hooks may be used.

Protect our Rivers, Preserve our fish

Rock Snot (Didymo) is an invasive freshwater alga that smothers streambeds and decreases fishing opportunities. Rock Snot clings to fishing gear, waders, boots, and boats.


Clean gear thoroughly before leaving every waterbody. Freeze gear a minimum of eight hours at 26˚F OR dry completely and wait an additional 24 hours prior to the next use. For more information on invasive species visit wildlife.ca.gov/Conservation/Invasives

Keeping up with in-Season Regulation Changes

State sport fishing regulations may change during the year. Before engaging in any sport fishing, please access one of the following sources for up-to-date information:

Check the Department’s regulations page at wildlife.ca.gov/regulations for any new changes,

Check the Department’s News Room at wildlife.ca.gov/news for any new announcements, or

Call the Department office nearest your fishing location (see CDFW Contact Information)

Forthcoming Supplement

A supplement updating the regulations contained in this booklet will be released by May 2018. The supplement is produced to update the ocean and inland salmon regulations and any other regulations that have changed since the publication of the 2018-2019 Freshwater Sport Fishing regulations booklet.The supplement will not include the complete set of regulations contained in the Freshwater Sport Fishing regulations booklet, so please retain this booklet.