Posted by Chris on November 13, 2003 at 10:42:22:
In Reply to: rockfish, scorpionfish, & lingcod closure Nov 21 posted by Chris on November 13, 2003 at 05:16:37:
Department of Fish and Game
NEWS RELEASE FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE November 12, 2003 03:0107
Contact(s): Contacts: Carrie Wilson, Marine Region, (831) 649-7191
Tom Barnes, Marine Region, (858) 546-7167
California's Rockfish Fisheries To Close Nov. 21
Following federal action taken by the federal Pacific Fishery Management Council (PFMC) and conforming action taken by the state, effective Friday, Nov. 21, California's recreational and most commercial fisheries for nearshore rockfishes, shelf rockfishes, California scorpionfish (sculpin), and lingcod will close in all ocean waters, announced the California Department of Fish and Game (DFG). In addition, the commercial California sheephead fishery in both state and federal waters will also close on Nov. 21.
The statewide closures were adopted Nov. 5 by the PFMC and subsequently by the DFG after review of projected fishery landings through October. Those landings showed that harvest limits would have been met or exceeded by the Nov. 21 closure date.
The PFMC's actions prohibit recreational and commercial fishing for groundfish in most waters off of California's coastline. For detailed information on the PFMC's actions, log on to www.pcouncil.org. The closures come with more than six weeks left of the current fishing season and will last for the remainder of the year.
In addition, DFG will submit a formal request to the California Fish and Game Commission to consider an emergency action to close recreational fishing for ocean whitefish and for other federal groundfish species not listed above. This action would also be effective on Nov. 21, or as soon as administratively possible, and will last through the end of the year.
Prior to the PFMC actions, the DFG was closely tracking unanticipated high landings of nearshore rockfishes, lingcod, and canary rockfish in California's recreational fishery.
"In past years, anglers had more opportunities to fish for rockfish in deeper waters. This year, fishing for rockfish was limited to waters shallower than 120 feet which put greater pressure on nearshore species," said Fred Wendell, DFG nearshore fishery manager. "When we combined landings from northern California, where fishing opened early in 2003, with later landings from central and southern California, we found that we have filled or exceeded annual limits faster than anticipated." High landings are also believed to have resulted from salmon and albacore anglers switching to rockfish due to poor fishing in the early part of the season.
While these actions close fishing opportunities for a large number of species, there are still recreational fishing opportunities for other species. Those fisheries include kelp bass, sand bass, surfperches, halibut, striped bass, sturgeon, white seabass, yellowtail, bonito, croaker, corbina, opaleye, halfmoon, and others.
For a list and description of fishes included in the closures, refer to DFG's Marine Region Web page at http://www.dfg.ca.gov/mrd/ or DFG's Fish Identification Guides, available online at www.dfg.ca.gov/mrd/fishid.html. Printed information concerning fishing regulations is also available at your local DFG office.
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