Tag Archives: abalone

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.

Wildlife Officers Arrest Three for Possession of 59 Abalone

Officers from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife have arrested three San Francisco men for combined possession of 59 illegally harvested abalone. The suspects, Jin He Li, 35; Wei Q Wu, 27; and Jinfu Wu, 43, all of San Francisco, were booked into Mendocino County jail in Ukiah.

On Nov. 5, wildlife officers observed a suspicious van with one man inside parked on the side of the road near the town of Elk in Mendocino County. The officers began surveillance on the van and ultimately observed two divers in the water near the location where the vehicle was parked. The divers appeared to be taking gross overlimits of abalone. The officers observed the suspected poachers make multiple trips into the water and appear to hide illegally harvested abalone on the shore. The officers allowed them to gather their catch and leave the scene.

Officers later contacted the suspects at their San Francisco residence and arrested all three for conspiracy to illegally harvest abalone and combined possession of a gross overlimit of abalone.

Wildlife officers seized all 59 abalone, the van and dive gear as evidence. The suspects had removed all abalone from their shells which is an additional violation.

Media Contact:
Lt. Patrick Foy, CDFW Law Enforcement Division, (916) 508-7095

Final Poacher Sentenced from 2013 Abalone Sting Operation

After almost a year of court procedures, the last of 18 abalone poachers arrested in a 2013 sting has been sentenced. All 18 suspects were found guilty or pled no contest to the charges.

On Aug. 29, 2013, California wildlife officers simultaneously served 13 search/arrest warrants throughout the San Francisco Bay Area and Sacramento on 18 suspected abalone poachers. The last of the 18, Dung Tri Bui of San Leandro, was recently found guilty in Mendocino County Superior Court after a week long jury trial. Bui was convicted of three misdemeanor counts, including take of abalone for commercial use, conspiracy to take abalone for commercial purposes and take of abalone greater than the daily limit. He was sentenced to 36 months summary probation, $15,000 fine and a lifetime ban on fishing (including the take of abalone). Deputy District Attorney (DDA) Daniel Madow presented the case.

In total, $139,883 in fines and 11 fishing license revocations were handed out to the 18 subjects. All of the subjects received summary probation ranging from one to three years. All seized dive gear was ordered forfeited by the court. Mendocino DDAs Heidi Larson and Tim Stoen and support staff also spent a tremendous amount of time on these cases along with numerous staff from the Sacramento District Attorney’s office.

“We had excellent support from the respective District Attorney’s offices for taking these crimes seriously and prosecuting the poachers to the full extent of the law,” said Asst. Chief Brian Naslund of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) Law Enforcement Division. “The gear forfeiture, fines and lifetime fishing license revocations for California’s worst poaching offenders will hopefully put them out of the poaching business permanently.”

Poachers Charges Revoked Fine Probation
SF Bay Area
Khoa Dang Nguyen 5521.5 Life fish/hunt $15,000 36 months
Chinh Quan Le 5521.5 Life fish/hunt $15,000 36 months
Hung Vo 5521.5 Lifetime fishing $15,000 24 months
Toi Van Nguyen 5521.5 Life fish/hunt $15,000 24 months
Dung Tri Bui 5521.5, PC 182, 29.15[c] Lifetime fishing $15,000 36 months
Hai Van Ha 5521.5, PC 182, Lifetime abalone $1,353.50 24 months
Duoc Van Nguyen 5521.5, PC 182 Lifetime abalone $1,353.50 24 months
Andy Phan 2000/29.15 [c] Lifetime abalone $1,537 24 months
Charlie Le PC 182 No $1,420 24 months
Nhan Trung Le PC 182, 2000/29.15[c] No $1,888 24 months
Suong Hung Tran 29.15[c] No $1,771 24 months
Chuyen Van Bui 1052[f] No $1,303 24 months
Diep van Nguyen 2000/29.15[c] No $1,537 12 months
Khoa Ngoc Nguyen 29.16[b] No $1,420 12 months
Sacramento
Dung Van Nguyen 5521.5, PC 115 (a) (F) Lifetime fishing $15,000 32 mo State prison
Tho Thanh Phan 5521.5 Lifetime fishing $15,000 24 months
Hiep Ho 5521.5 Lifetime fishing $20,000 26 months
Hung Van Le 2000, 29.16(a) No $1,303 24 months

PC 115 Forgery of government documents
PC 182 Conspiracy to commit a crime
F&G Code 5521.5 Unlawful to take abalone for commercial purposes
F&G Code 2000 Unlawful possession of California’s fish and wildlife
F&G Code 1052 Unlawful use of another’s hunting/fishing license
Title 14 – 29.15 abalone overlimit
Title 14 – 29.16 abalone report card violations

The original press release announcing the bust can be found at
https://cdfgnews.wordpress.com/2013/08/29/cdfw-officers-arrest-13-poaching-suspects-in-oakland-and-sacramento/.

The case was investigated by the CDFW Special Operations Unit, a specialized team of wildlife officers tasked with investigating illegal black market sales of California’s fish and wildlife resources.

Media Contact:
Andrew Hughan, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8944

Public Input Sought at Red Abalone Fishery Management Workshops

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) invites the public to attend a series of workshops kicking off the Red Abalone Fishery Management Plan development process. CDFW specifically seeks public opinion regarding red abalone fishery goals, priorities and management needs.

CDFW will also hold two pre-workshop open houses where the public can engage in informal discussions with fishery managers and biologists. Workshops will be held on Wed., Oct. 1 from 4-7 p.m. at the Central Santa Rosa Library, Central Forum Room, 211 E St., Santa Rosa (95404) and Thur., Oct 2 from 6-9 p.m. at the Marin Rod and Gun Club, 2675 East Francisco Blvd., San Rafael (94901).

An overview of current red abalone fishery information and the fishery management plan process will be presented at the meetings. The new fishery management plan will focus on the northern California sport fishery and also serve to update the current Abalone Recovery and Management Plan.

CDFW received valuable insight from the first two public workshops in Sacramento and Fort Bragg. These workshops are the initial steps of a multi-year process that will include further opportunities for public comment. The success of this fishery management plan process largely depends on the continued involvement of the recreational abalone fishing community as well as the general public. For more information about public participation in this process and to view the workshop agenda, please visit www.dfg.ca.gov/marine/redabalonefmp.

Media Contacts:
Jerry Kashiwada, CDFW Marine Region, (707) 964-5791
Andrew Hughan, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8944

Red Abalone Fishery Management Plan Public Workshops to be Held

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) is beginning the process of developing a red abalone (Haliotis rufescens) Fishery Management Plan (FMP). The purpose of developing an FMP for the California red abalone fishery is to further refine and implement the long term management objectives outlined in the Abalone Recovery and Management Plan and meet the tenents of the Marine Life Management Act. The initial phase of the FMP will be focused on the northern California sport fishery and will begin with the four public workshops detailed below:

abalone shell with varying, non-parallel stripes of red, orange, to cream colors
Red abalone. Kon Karpov photo

Thursday, Sept.  18
7-9 p.m.
CDFW Fisheries Branch
830 S St.
Sacramento, CA 95814

 Friday, Sept. 19
7-9 p.m.
Russian Gulch State Park Recreation Hall
12301 North Highway 1
Mendocino, CA 95460

Wednesday, Oct. 1
5-7 p.m.
Central Santa Rosa Library
Central Forum Room
211 E St.
Santa Rosa, CA 95404

Thursday, Oct. 2
7-9 p.m.
Marin Rod and Gun Club
2675 East Francisco Blvd.
San Rafael, CA 94902

The success of this FMP process largely depends on the continued involvement of the recreational abalone fishing community as well as the general public. For more information on participation in this process and to view the workshop agenda, please visit www.dfg.ca.gov/marine/redabalonefmp/.

Media Contacts:
Pete Kalvass, CDFW Marine Region, (707) 964-9080
Carrie Wilson, CDFW Communications, (831) 649-7191

CDFW Conducts Successful Abalone Checkpoint on the Sonoma County Coast

California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) officers contacted more than 650 abalone divers at a wildlife checkpoint operation north of Jenner on Sunday, May 18. Checkpoints are an effective tool for wardens, who seek to promote safety, education and compliance with law and regulations through education, preventative patrol and enforcement.

All vehicles traveling south on Highway 1 in Sonoma County were screened at the checkpoint. Screening consisted of an introduction and brief questions. Approximately 260 vehicles were directed into the inspection area. Wildlife officers issued 31 citations and several dozen warnings. Violations included overlimits of abalone, undersize abalone, report card violations and alterations, abalone not tagged, abalone meat out of the shell, short fish and several other Fish and Game Code violations.

One diver attempted to throw a tagged but undersized abalone into nearby bushes, but instead threw it into a warden’s truck bed. The loud clanking alerted officers to the attempt.

Media Contact:
Capt. Steve Riske, CDFW Law Enforcement, (707) 838-6930
Andrew Hughan, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8944

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CDFW Coastal Wardens to Conduct Wildlife Checkpoint

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) will be conducting a wildlife checkpoint operation to promote safety, education and compliance with law and regulations.

CDFW law enforcement division will be conducting the inspection on Highway 1, south of Fort Bragg, May 18, 2014, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The wildlife checkpoint is being conducted to protect and conserve fish and wildlife, and to encourage safety and sportsmanship by promoting voluntary compliance with laws, rules and regulations through education, preventative patrol and enforcement.

Abalone enforcement has been one of the top priorities for CDFW for the past several years and have strict size and take limits to protect the resource.

Media Contacts:              
Tiffany Stinson, CDFW Law Enforcement, (707) 824-1260
Andrew Hughan, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8944

CDFW Officers Arrest 13 Poaching Suspects in Oakland and Sacramento

Abalone shellsMedia Contacts:
Sacramento Media: Warden Mark Michilizzi, CDFW Law Enforcement, (916) 996-9003
Bay Area Media: Lt. Patrick Foy, CDFW Law Enforcement, (916) 508-7095

Based on an intensive investigation dubbed Operation Oakland Abalone Syndicate, California game wardens arrested 13 suspects in Oakland and Sacramento for harvesting sport caught abalone and possession for commercial sale. It is illegal to harvest wild abalone for commercial sale anywhere in California.

Suspects arrested were Chinh Quan Le, 60, Khoa Dang Nguyen, 40, Hung Ngoc Quoc Vo, 41 and Toi Van Nguyen, 48. All four men are from Oakland and all four had previous abalone poaching convictions. In addition, wardens arrested Hai Van Ha, 43, Duoc Van Nguyen, 48 and Nhan Trong Le, 46, all also of Oakland, and Andy Phan, 47, of Fairfield and Charlie Le, 55, of Alameda. In Sacramento officers arrested Dung Van Nguyen, 40, Hiep Ho, 46, Hung Van Le, 42 and Tho Than Phan, 59.

“Unless it is stopped, poaching will degrade California’s abalone population over time,” said CDFW’s Capt. David Bess. “It ultimately affects the honest, sport abalone harvesters who follow the laws.”
Based upon surveillance, game wardens allege the men conspired to profit from the sale of abalone with a black market network of buyers in the Bay Area and Sacramento.

Game wardens wish to express appreciation for the honest abalone divers’ patience with abalone report card requirements and abalone checkpoints. Both were an integral part of the investigation. The suspects face charges ranging from felony conspiracy to multiple poaching-related violations.