Tag Archives: fishing

Changes to Recreational Groundfish Regulations Effective Oct. 16

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) announces new restrictions on recreational fishing for groundfish in waters north of Point Conception to the Oregon/California border. Changes to authorized fishing depths described below take effect Monday, Oct. 16 at 12:01 a.m., and will remain in place through the remainder of 2017.

The recreational groundfish fishery depth restrictions will be as follows:

  • Northern Management Area (Oregon/California border to Cape Mendocino): Take is prohibited seaward of 20 fathoms (120 feet) in depth. The ‘all-depth’ groundfish fishery slated for November and December 2017 in this area is canceled.
  • Mendocino Management Area (Cape Mendocino to Point Arena): Take is prohibited seaward of 20 fathoms (120 feet) in depth. The ‘all-depth’ groundfish fishery slated for November and December 2017 in this area is canceled.
  • San Francisco Management Area (Point Arena to Pigeon Point): Take is prohibited seaward of the 30 fathom depth contour (180 feet).
  • Central Management Area (Pigeon Point to Point Conception): Take is prohibited seaward of the 40 fathom depth contour (240 feet).
  • Southern Management Area (Point Conception to the US/Mexico border): Take is prohibited seaward of the 60 fathom depth contour (360 feet). No changes are slated for this area.

The 20 fathom depth restriction is described by the general depth contour (California Code of Regulations Title 14, section 27.20(a)). The 30, 40 and 60 fathom depth contours are defined by straight lines connecting the waypoints as adopted in federal regulations (Code of Federal Regulations Title 50, part 660, subpart G).

Based on recent bycatch estimates for yelloweye rockfish (Sebastes ruberrimus) from the California sport fishery, CDFW projects that the harvest guideline specified in federal regulation for 2017 (3.9 metric tons) will be exceeded unless changes are made. Pursuant to CCR Title 14, section 27.20(e), CDFW has the authority to make modifications to the fishery to avoid exceeding the limit, and must issue notice of any changes at least 10 days in advance of the effective date.

Yelloweye rockfish are a long-lived, slow-growing shelf rockfish species that were declared overfished in 2002 and cannot be retained in the recreational fishery. They are currently managed under a strict federal rebuilding plan to allow the population to recover, which has required significant cutbacks to west coast sport and commercial fisheries for more than a decade.

Although fishing for rockfish and other groundfish will remain open through the end of the year, CDFW urges anglers to avoid fishing in areas where yelloweye rockfish are known to occur (e.g., rocky outcrops and pinnacles). If taken, yelloweye rockfish should be immediately returned to the water with a descending device to minimize injury and mortality. CDFW also encourages anglers who encounter them to change fishing locations to prevent catching additional yelloweye rockfish.

For more information regarding groundfish regulations, management, stock status information, fish identification tools, and current catch trends, please visit the CDFW Marine Region Groundfish Central website at www.wildlife.ca.gov/Conservation/Marine/Groundfish.

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Media Contacts:
Marci Yaremko, CDFW Marine Region, (858) 442-3004

Kirsten Macintyre, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8988

Anglers Reminded to Avoid Yelloweye Rockfish

In anticipation of the upcoming Labor Day holiday weekend, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) reminds all anglers to avoid yelloweye rockfish (Sebastes ruberrimus) when engaging in recreational ocean fishing.

CDFW urges anglers to avoid fishing in areas where yelloweye rockfish are known to occur (e.g., rocky outcrops and pinnacles). If taken, yelloweye rockfish should be immediately returned to the water with a descending device to minimize injury and mortality. CDFW also encourages anglers who encounter them to change fishing locations to prevent catching additional yelloweye rockfish.

Yelloweye rockfish are a long-lived, slow-growing shelf rockfish species that was declared overfished in 2002. They are currently managed under a strict federal rebuilding plan to allow the population to recover, which has required significant cutbacks to West Coast sport and commercial fisheries for over a decade.

For more information regarding groundfish regulations, management, stock status information, fish identification tools and current catch trends, please visit the CDFW Marine Region Groundfish Central website at www.wildlife.ca.gov/Conservation/Marine/Groundfish.

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Media Contacts:
Joanna Grebel, CDFW Marine Region, (831) 601-2279
Carrie Wilson, CDFW Communications, (831) 238-2044

 

 

Pilot Peak Lahontan Cutthroat Trout Released into Truckee Basin Waters

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) will start releasing Pilot Peak Lahontan cutthroat trout into Truckee area waters to give Sierra Nevada anglers the opportunity to catch some trophy sized trout in a year or two. 

Last week CDFW received a shipment of cutthroat trout eggs from the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s (USFWS) Lahontan National Fish Hatchery Complex in Gardnerville, Nevada. This is the second shipment of eggs in the last two years and is part of a joint effort between the USFWS and CDFW to bring a native, trophy sport fish to the Truckee River Basin. 

“Anglers have been pulling some amazing, trophy-class Pilot Peak Lahontan cutthroat trout out of Pyramid Lake in Nevada for the last several years, and we really wanted to get this strain of fish for our anglers here in California,” said Jay Rowan, senior environmental scientist for CDFW’s North Central Region Hatchery Program. “Hopefully we will start seeing some really big ones showing up in a few years.” 

The Pilot Peak Lahontan cutthroat trout is a lake form of cutthroat trout. This particular strain is native to the Truckee River Basin and is known for their aggressive feeding behavior and large size. 

“They are an interesting fish to raise … being wild, they are a little wary, but they seem to take to feed fairly well,” said Steven Schnider, a CDFW fish and wildlife technician. “They are aggressive, so if you don’t separate them when they are young, you will see the bigger fish with tails sticking out of their mouths.” 

This piscivorous (fish eating) behavior is what allows the Pilot Peak Lahontan cutthroat trout to grow quickly and to such large sizes. In choosing which waters to plant, CDFW fisheries biologists have targeted waters that have robust bait fish populations. 

“We did a survey of anglers in some of the Truckee basin reservoirs back in 2010, and 85 percent of the anglers we interviewed were in favor of CDFW stocking Lahontan cutthroat trout in these waters,” said Rowan. “I think those results were largely driven by the success of Pilot Peak Lahontan cutthroat trout at Pyramid Lake.” 

Stocking of the sub-catchable size fish from last year’s eggs will begin as early as next week and will continue as the snow melts and planting trucks can gain access. Lakes to be stocked include Echo, Fallen Leaf, Donner, Boca, Prosser, Stampede and Webber lakes.

The Lahontan National Fish Hatchery Complex is an integrated fishery program that includes the Lahontan National Fish Hatchery, Marble Bluff Fish Passage Facility and Fishery Assistance. The program emphasizes the connection of fishery management with the health of the lake and river habitats upon which species depend.

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Media Contacts:
Jay Rowan, CDFW North Central Region, (916) 358-2883
Andrew Hughan, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8944

Two California Organizations Among 2017 George H.W. Bush Vamos A Pescar™ Education Fund Grantees

Two California non-profit organizations have been awarded funds to provide fishing programs for Hispanic families. A total of $10,792 in grants was awarded by the Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation (RBFF) through the George H.W. Bush Vamos A Pescar™ Education Fund. The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) will match the grant funds, effectively bringing the total amount of funding to $21,585.

Latinos are California’s largest ethnic population, with almost 15 million people of Hispanic heritage. Yet only a fraction of California’s nearly 1.8 million anglers are Hispanic. CDFW and RBFF are finding new ways to educate and engage Hispanic communities in fishing and boating activities. These grants were made available for programs that support this cause.

Projects approved for funding include:

  • Hispanic Access Foundation ($16,560) – This grant will fund four high impact, high visibility fishing outings for families in Los Angeles and San Diego during Latino Conservation Week and Hispanic Heritage Month. The Hispanic Access Foundation will coordinate four outings to teach multi-generational families basic fishing instruction, water safety and hands-on conservation and aquatic stewardship activities. The program is designed to build familiarity with local fishing locations, foster meaningful relationships with fishing and environmental resource experts and teach ethical angling practices and good stewardship toward California’s aquatic resources.
  • East Bay Spanish Speaking Citizens Foundation ($5,025) – This grant will fund activities to introduce fishing to mainly Spanish-speaking families for the first time. The program will provide fishing licenses, teach angling skills, familiarize participants with local fishing access, convey the importance of safety and conservation, and provide instruction on cooking their catch.

Grant funding was made available through the George H.W. Bush Vamos A Pescar™ Education Fund, which supports RBFF’s Hispanic initiative, Vamos A Pescar™. The Education Fund allows state agencies to provide sub-grants to local 501(c)(3) organizations with project ideas that support efforts to keep future generations educated about the joys of fishing and boating and the importance of conservation. With the help of donations from companies and organizations, the Education Fund has continued to grow and expand nationally.

To be eligible for funding, proposals were required to encourage family participation (both genders and multiple generations), appeal to participants who live in metropolitan communities, be ethnically inclusive (open to families of all races and ethnicities) and provide hands-on experiences and conservation activities.

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Media Contact:
Clark Blanchard, CDFW Education and Outreach, (916) 651-7824

CDFW Releases New Guide to Heritage Trout Challenge

300th Angler Completes Popular Statewide Fishing Challenge

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) has released the Angler’s Guide to the California Heritage Trout Challenge, a new online tool for those interested in fishing for California’s heritage trout. The guide provides anglers with detailed information on how to complete the Heritage Trout Challenge, including information about where to catch native trout, identification tips and a history of habitat restoration efforts.

Created in 2003, the Heritage Trout Challenge promotes California’s unique opportunity to pursue one of the most diverse assemblages of native trout found in the United States. Over the millennia, 12 unique trout types evolved to inhabit California.

Over the past 14 years, CDFW has provided customized certificates to anglers who successfully caught and photographed at least six different California native trout from their historic drainages.

The program recently hit a milestone as Christy Seifert of Citrus Heights became the 300th angler to complete the Heritage Trout Challenge.

“This experience has turned me and my fishing group into trout nerds,” Seifert said. “Now we can’t stop trying to catch more and more different species of wild trout in new places.”

Some anglers take the challenge even further by catching all of the recognized native trout in California and earning the title of Master Angler.

“Being associated with the challenge and the anglers that have completed it has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my career,” said Roger Bloom, CDFW environmental program manager and creator of the Heritage Trout Challenge. “Hopefully this guide will provide inspiration, along with information, to help anglers complete the challenge and create their own native trout angling memories.”

CDFW invites anglers, families and friends to take the challenge. Through the process, anglers will hopefully explore new waters and enjoy the diverse fishing opportunities in California. Anglers are encouraged to research and explore the waterways where these trout live, as the learning process is key to the challenge. CDFW Heritage and Wild Trout Program staff is available to answer questions and offer tips. Most are anglers themselves and enjoy assisting others in their pursuit of the challenge.

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Media Contacts:
Roger Bloom, CDFW Fisheries Branch, (916) 445-3777
Clark Blanchard, CDFW Education and Outreach, (916) 651-7824