New 2011-2012 Groundfish Regulations Delayed

Media Contacts:
Deb Wilson-Vandenberg, DFG Marine Region, (831) 649-2892
Jayna Schaaf-Da Silva, Marine Region, (831) 649-7196
Jordan Traverso, DFG Communications, (916) 654-9937

The California groundfish regulations for 2011-12 recently adopted by the Fish and Game Commission will not be ready for implementation on Jan. 1, 2011 as planned. These regulations conform to federal regulations adopted by the Pacific Fishery Management Council (PFMC). However, due to procedural difficulties encountered with the federal rule making process, the 2010 regulations will remain in place until further notice.

“We are working closely with our federal fishery management partners to establish an implementation date,” said Department of Fish and Game (DFG) Marine Region Manager Marija Vojkovich. “We will announce the effective date for the new regulations as soon as it has been established. Until then, we ask that fishermen continue to follow the 2010 rules.”

The new California regulations were developed in collaboration with fishery constituents, other Pacific states, PFMC and the National Marine Fisheries Service over the past 18 months.

Anglers are advised to check regulations before targeting federally managed groundfish, as the proposed 2011-12 changes included modifications to fishing seasons, harvest limits, bag limits and species compositions, trip limits, fishing depths and gear constraints for rockfish, lingcod, cabezon, greenlings, California scorpionfish (sculpin) and other species.

The 2010 recreational and commercial groundfish regulations are available at the DFG website at www.dfg.ca.gov/marine/groundfishcentral or recreational anglers can call the Recreational Groundfish Hotline at (831) 649-2801. The delay mainly affects the recreational groundfish fishery.

The public can still comment on the proposed federal groundfish regulation changes on or before Jan. 4, 2011. Instructions for submitting public comments can be found at www.nwr.noaa.gov/Publications/FR-Notices/2010/loader.cfm?csModule=security/getfile&pageid=48404 (this page may be slow to load). The proposed recreational changes can be found on pages 67894 through 67896.