DFG Schedules Dec. 8 as New Rockfish Fisheries Closure Date

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Posted by Chris on November 25, 2003 at 20:48:55:

California's recreational rockfish fisheries are scheduled to close at midnight, Monday, Dec.   8, the California Department of Fish and Game (DFG) announced Tuesday.   The closure is necessary to protect the fish populations and future fishing opportunities.

The closure affects recreational fishing for rockfishes, California scorpionfish (sculpin), and lingcod.   The commercial fishery for California sheephead will also close on Dec.   8.   These closures will be in effect for all state waters (shore to three miles) along the coast, affects all methods of take, and will last through the remainder of the year.

"Both the state and the federal government have adopted regulatory protections that have now been triggered based on information available on the health of these resources and the catch by fishermen," said DFG Acting Director Sonke Mastrup.

The DFG originally took action to close California's recreational rockfish fisheries and the commercial sheephead fishery effective Nov.   21 due to harvest limits being met, and following federal action taken by the Pacific Fishery Management Council (PFMC).

A Nov.   20 ruling, however, by San Luis Obispo Superior Court Judge Martin Tangeman kept California's rockfish fisheries open.   The judge's order, striking DFG's previous action to close the recreational fisheries, was based on what the court concluded was insufficient public notice.   DFG is therefore re-noticing both closures and is asking fishermen voluntarily not to fish these fisheries until they legally close.

The PFMC took action Nov.   5 to close recreational and commercial groundfish fishing due to impacts on lingcod and canary rockfish, two federally designated "overfished" groundfish species.

The PFMC's federal action and closure took effect on Nov.   21.   The inseason adjustments to management measures effectively closed recreational fishing for groundfish in federal waters and commercial groundfish fishing in both federal and state waters.   For detailed information on the PFMC's actions, log on to www.pcouncil.org.

For additional information on California's ocean fisheries, log on to DFG's Web site at www.dfg.ca.gov/mrd/.

Contact: Chamois Andersen, Information Officer, (916) 657- 4132
Carrie Wilson, Marine Region, (831) 238-2044

Additional articles:
The Mercury News
AP on the Sarasota Hearald Tribune
DFG News Release

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