Tag Archives: Abalone

Abalone Season Opens April 1 along the Northern California Coast

California’s popular red abalone sport fishery season will open April 1 in most waters north of San Francisco Bay. However, parts of Fort Ross State Historical Park remain closed to the take of abalone. A map of the closed area can be found online at http://nrm.dfg.ca.gov/FileHandler.ashx?DocumentID=42101&inline=true.

Fishing for abalone is allowed from 8 a.m to one half hour after sunset. People may travel to fishing locations before 8 a.m. but may not actively search for or take any abalone before that time. The annual limit is 18, but only a total of nine can be taken from Sonoma and Marin counties.

A complete list of abalone fishing regulations is available in the 2016 Ocean Sport Fishing Regulations booklet, which is available wherever fishing licenses are sold or at www.wildlife.ca.gov/fishing/ocean/regulations/sport-fishing.

Abalone licenses and report cards may be purchased online at www.wildlife.ca.gov/licensing/fishing.

Abalone report cards are required to be reported online at www.wildlife.ca.gov/licensing/fishing#758846-harvest-reporting or returned to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s Fort Bragg office, 32330 North Harbor Dr., Fort Bragg, CA 95437-5554.

The return deadline is Jan. 31, 2017 but cards can be submitted early. Abalone report cards must be returned even if no abalone were taken or no attempt was made to take abalone.

Abalone cling to rocks, from wave-swept intertidal ledges to deep ocean reefs, where they feed on kelp and other algae. It can take 12 years or more for abalone on the north coast to grow to legal size for harvest. Similar to rockfish, abalone are a long-lived species but have generally low rates of reproduction. The fishery is managed conservatively to ensure a healthy fishery for generations to come.

In recent years, the red abalone fishery has come under some stress due to unfavorable ocean conditions.  In 2011, a red tide caused a die-off of abalone and other invertebrates primarily in Sonoma County.  Abalone feed on kelp but the warm water conditions the past two years have greatly reduced kelp growth which has resulted in noticeably leaner abalone. Great increases in purple urchin populations have reduced the amount of food and habitat available for abalone and could slow the recovery of kelp beds.

Abalone divers can help state biologists assess the ever-changing conditions that influence the abalone fishery. This year, a program will be established to allow divers to report observations that may help ongoing management. CDFW plans to kick off the new observer program later this spring.

Currently, the only ongoing abalone fishery in California is in the northern region of the state, which has remained productive for nearly 60 years. In 2014, the most recent year numbers are available, the catch estimated from returned abalone report cards and telephone surveys was 148,000 abalone. The average catch over the past five years has been about 210,000 abalone annually.

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Media Contacts:
Jerry Kashiwada, CDFW Marine Region, (707) 964-5791
Carrie Wilson, CDFW Communications, (831) 649-7191

Nominations Sought for Recreational Abalone Advisory Committee

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) is requesting nominations to fill two vacant representative positions on the Recreational Abalone Advisory Committee (RAAC).

The purpose of the RAAC is to make recommendations to CDFW’s Director for projects and budgets for the expenditure of funds from the Abalone Restoration and Preservation Account.

The RAAC consists of nine members: two representatives from each of three coastal regions (south, central and north), two science experts and one enforcement representative.

CDFW is accepting nominations for the north and south coastal representative positions through March 4, 2016. Nominees must reside within established geographic boundaries for the respective regions. Nominees for the north region must reside north of the southern boundary line of Marin County extending due east, and nominees for the south region must reside south of the Santa Barbara/San Luis Obispo County line extending due east.

Nominations may come from any individual or member of an organization involved in the recreational abalone fishery. To nominate a representative for either of these two seats, please send a nomination letter to:

Ian Taniguchi, Marine Region Senior Abalone Scientist
California Department of Fish and Wildlife
4665 Lampson Ave., Ste. C
Los Alamitos, CA 90720

Letters may also be sent via email to ian.taniguchi@wildlife.ca.gov. Nomination letters should include the nominee’s current residence and contact information, as well as a brief description of the nominee’s experience in the abalone fishery.

Funding for the Abalone Restoration and Preservation Account comes from the sale of recreational abalone stamps and report cards. More details about abalone management and the RAAC can be found on the CDFW website at www.wildlife.ca.gov/conservation/marine/invertebrates/abalone.

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Media Contacts:
Ian Taniguchi, CDFW Marine Region, (562) 342-7182
Carrie Wilson, CDFW Communications, (831) 649-7191

Free Fishing Day is Saturday, Sept. 5

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) invites all Californians to celebrate the end of summer by going fishing. Sept. 5 is the second of two Free Fishing Days in 2015, when people can try their hand at fishing without having to buy a sport fishing license. Free Fishing Days are also a great opportunity for licensed anglers to introduce non-angling friends and children to fishing and the outdoors.

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All fishing regulations, such as bag and size limits, gear restrictions, report card requirements, fishing hours and stream closures remain in effect. Every angler must have an appropriate report card if they are fishing for abalone, steelhead or sturgeon anywhere in the state, or salmon in the Smith and Klamath-Trinity river systems.

CDFW offers two Free Fishing Days each year – usually around the Fourth of July and Labor Day weekend – when it’s legal to fish without a sport fishing license. This year, the Free Fishing Days were set for the Saturdays near Independence Day and Labor Day (this year, July 4 and Sept. 5).

Free Fishing Days provide a low-cost way to give fishing a try. Some CDFW regions offer Fishing in the City, a program where children can learn to fish in major metropolitan areas. Fishing in the City and Free Fishing Day clinics are designed to educate novice anglers about fishing ethics, fish habits, effective methods for catching fish and fishing tackle. Anglers can even learn how to clean and prepare fish for eating.

Anglers should check the rules and regulations for the waters they plan to fish because wildlife officers will be on duty to enforce them. For more information on Free Fishing Days, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/licensing/fishing/free-fishing-days.

Media Contacts:
Andrew Hughan, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8944
Kyle Murphy, CDFW Fisheries Branch, (916) 323-5556

Nominations Sought for Recreational Abalone Advisory Committee

Media Contacts:
Ian Taniguchi, CDFW Marine Region, (562) 342-7182
Carrie Wilson, CDFW Communications, (831) 649-7191
Kirsten Macintyre, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8988

Red abalone
Red abalone (Haliotis rufescens)

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) is seeking nominations to fill two vacant central California representative positions on the Recreational Abalone Advisory Committee (RAAC).

The RAAC budgets for the expenditure of funds from the Abalone Restoration and Preservation Account and recommends specific projects to the CDFW Director. The Abalone Restoration and Preservation Account is funded by the sale of recreational abalone stamps and report cards.

The RAAC consists of nine members: two representatives from each of three coastal regions (north, central and south), two science experts and one enforcement representative. Currently, the two central region seats are open.

Nominations may come from any individual or member of an organization involved in the recreational abalone fishery. Nominees must reside between the southern boundary line of Marin County extending due east and the Santa Barbara/San Luis Obispo County line extending due east.

Nominations should be submitted in writing and must include the nominee’s name, current residence and contact information, as well as a brief description of the nominee’s experience in the abalone fishery. Please submit written nominations by Wednesday, March 11, 2015, either by email (ian.taniguchi@wildlife.ca.gov) or regular mail to the following address:

California Department of Fish and Wildlife
4665 Lampson Ave., Ste. C
Los Alamitos, CA  90720
Attention: Ian Taniguchi

More details about abalone management and the RAAC can be found on the CDFW website at www.dfg.ca.gov/marine/invertebrate/abalone.asp.

Anglers Reminded to Submit Steelhead, Sturgeon, Abalone and Salmon Report Card Data in January

Media Contacts:
Glenn Underwood, CDFW License and Revenue Branch, (916) 928-5841
Andrew Hughan, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8944

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) reminds anglers and divers that they are required by regulation to report or return their 2014 report cards.

Information collected from sport fishing report cards provides CDFW biologists with important data necessary to monitor and manage California’s diverse recreational fisheries, including preparing recommendations for sport fishing seasons and limits that allow for sustainable levels of take. This science-based management helps to ensure healthy populations of fish for future generations.  2014 report cards are due by Jan. 31, 2015 for steelhead, sturgeon, abalone and north coast salmon fisheries. Spiny lobster report cards must be returned or reported by April 30, 2015. Anglers and divers are required to report even if the report card was lost or they did not fish.  Cards should be reviewed carefully for accuracy before submission.

There are two ways to meet the mandatory reporting requirement. Online reporting (www.wildlife.ca.gov/Licensing/Fishing#758846-harvest-reporting) is easy, fast and free. Online reporting includes instant confirmation that the report has been received and accepted. Report cards may also be returned by mail to the addresses listed below.

North Coast Salmon Report Cards
CDFW – Klamath River Project
5341 Ericson Way
Arcata, CA 95521-9269

Abalone Report Cards
CDFW – Abalone Report Card
32330 N. Harbor Dr.
Fort Bragg, CA 95437-5554

Steelhead Report Cards
CDFW – Steelhead Report Card
P.O. Box 944209
Sacramento, CA 94244-2090

Sturgeon Report Cards
CDFW – Sturgeon Report Card
P.O. Box 944209
Sacramento, CA 94244-2090

Any person who fails to return or report a 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.

Please note that license sales agents cannot accept report cards. More information about report cards is available at www.wildlife.ca.gov/Licensing/Fishing.