Emergency Commercial Fishing Closure for California Sheephead

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Posted by Chris on November 21, 2001 at 12:31:37:

Emergency Commercial Fishing
Closure for California Sheephead

Effective November 19, 2001 through December 31, 2001

Effective 12:01 a.m. November 19, 2001 until midnight December 31, 2001, the commercial fishery
for California sheephead will be closed. This emergency prohibition on the commercial take of
California sheephead will be in effect throughout the state of California.

The Fish and Game Commission (Commission) took this action after receiving a report from the
California Department of Fish and Game (Department) indicating that the 81,425 pound 2001
commercial allocation for California sheephead had been reached as of October 5. Based upon a
recommendation from the Department, the Commission made the decision to close the fishery at its
regularly scheduled November 2 meeting. No closure of the recreational segment of the fishery is

Interim management measures for the nearshore fishery, adopted by the Commission in December
2000, include an annual optimum yield (OY) for sheephead of 220,144 pounds. This figure was arrived
at by reducing by 50 percent the mean of the combined recreational and commercial catches for the
period 1994 through 1999, a period when the Department believed the stock size to be relatively
stable. The 50 percent reduction was applied because of the level of uncertainty of the OY estimate
and the lack of critical fishery management information. The Commission then allocated the resulting
OY between the recreational and commercial fishery segments based on the proportion of the total
take recorded by the two segments during the periods 1980 through 1989 and 1993 through 1999.
Finally, the Commission adopted management measures such as minimum size limits and monthly
and weekly closures recommended by the Department as likely to restrict annual stake to the
allocated amount. However, commercial catches exceeded expectations, necessitating the need for
the Commission to impose an early closure of the fishery.

Unfortunately, since that annual allocated amount was reached as of October 5, this new closure
became necessary. Remember, you will not be able to take California sheephead for the rest of the
year beginning the week of November 19.

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