The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) reminds anglers that the north coast red abalone fishery will be closed in 2018. In December 2017, the Fish and Game Commission voted to close the 2018 season. The closure is the result of extreme environmental conditions, including a widespread collapse of northern California kelp forests (https://cdfwmarine.wordpress.com/2016/03/30/perfect-storm-decimates-kelp/).
CDFW surveys in 2017 found low abalone abundance, starving abalone and many fresh empty shells, which indicate recent high abalone mortality.
The reopening of the fishery will be determined by the new Red Abalone Fishery Management Plan (RAFMP) currently being developed under the direction of the Fish and Game Commission. The California Fish and Game Commission will be discussing the RAFMP at their April 18-19, 2018 meeting in Ventura.