Mendocino Management Area

Saltwater Marine Fishing Regulations California Saltwater Fishing

Ocean waters between 40°10’ N. latitude (near Cape Mendocino) and 38°57.5’ N. latitude (Point Arena). Includes a portion of Humboldt County and most of Mendocino County

Note: Before engaging in ocean sportfishing for groundfish and associated species, please review one of the resources listed in Footnote 1 to receive the most up-to-date regulations.


Time Period 1, 2, 3

Depth Limit 1, 2, 3

Daily Bag Limit 1

Min. Size Limit 1, 4, 5

RCG Complex1 (includes all species of Rockfishes, Cabezon and Greenlings, Sections 1.91 and 28.55, 28.28, and 28.29) Boat-based Anglers2:
Open: May 1-Oct 31, and Nov 1-Dec 31
Closed: Jan 1–Apr 30 Divers, Shore-based Anglers2:
Open year-round
May 1-Oct 31: Take is prohibited seaward of 20 fathoms (120 feet) in depth

Nov 1-Dec 31: May be taken at any depth

See exception at end of table

10 fish in combination per person EXCEPT:
Cabezon: 3 fish per person
Canary rockfish: 1 fish per person
Black rockfish: 3 fish per person
See individual species and groups below

Cabezon: 15” total length

Kelp and/or rock greenlings: 12” total length

(Section 28.27)
Same as RCG Complex, above 2 fish per person 22” total length
Leopard Shark
(Section 28.56)
Boat-based Anglers2:
Same as RCG Complex, above Divers, Shore-based Anglers2: Open year-round
All Anglers: Same as RCG Complex, above 3 fish per person 36” total length
California Scorpionfish
(Section 28.54)
Boat-based Anglers2:
Open: May 1-Aug 31
Closed: Jan 1-Apr 30 and Sep 1-Dec 31 Divers, Shore-based Anglers2:
Open year-round
Same as RCG Complex, above 5 fish per person 10” total length
Pacific Sanddabs and “Other Flatfish”3 (Section 28.48) Open year-round No depth limit Pacific sanddab: No limit

All “Other Flatfish”3: 10 fish of each species, limit 20 fish total in combination, per Section 27.60

No size limit
Petrale Sole and Starry Flounder
(Section 28.47)
Open year-round No depth limit No limit No size limit
Other Federal Groundfish
(Section 28.49)
Same as RCG Complex, above Soupfin shark: 1 fish per person

All Other Federal Groundfish: 10 fish of each species, limit 20 fish total in combination, per Section 27.60

No size limit

These rockfishes may not be taken in California: Cowcod, Bronzespotted Rockfish, and Yelloweye Rockfish (Section 28.55)
Fishing is closed year-round, at all depths. No retention at any time (zero fish per person)