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Changes in DFG Regulations Offer Anglers Additional Ocean Fishing Opportunities


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Posted by DFG on February 21, 2006 at 17:58:42:

NEWS RELEASE FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE : Feb. 21, 06 : 06:021

Changes in DFG Regulations will Offer Anglers Additional Ocean Fishing Opportunities

The California Department of Fish and Game (DFG) today announced regulation changes that affect recreational seasons for several groundfish in Southern California, including the California scorpionfish. The scorpionfish recreational fishery will open March 1 instead of Oct. 1 and run for at least six months, rather than the previous three-month season, providing more fishing opportunities for marine recreational anglers in state waters from Lopez Point to the Mexico border. Based on a recent assessment of the Southern California scorpionfish population, DFG's fishery managers have determined that the species can support an extended season.

"DFG is committed to providing as many fishing opportunities as possible for California's recreational anglers, while still working within the guidelines of state and federal fishery management plans," said DFG Director Ryan Broddrick. "We are pleased with the results of a recent stock assessment showing that we have a very healthy scorpionfish population. We're glad we can pass on the benefits to sport anglers and the sport fishing industry by making these changes."

Under authority granted by the California Fish and Game Commission, Broddrick approved changes that will open the California scorpionfish fishery March 1 and align the recreational fishing season and depth restrictions with those of the rockfish. The fishery for scorpionfish, commonly known as sculpin, will open in state waters for the area from Point Conception south to the Mexico border. State waters extend approximately three miles. The daily sport bag and possession limit will remain at five fish.

In-season changes made since Jan. 1, 2006 have altered the accuracy of certain regulations contained in the 2006 California Ocean Sport Fishing Regulations booklets pertaining to the area from Lopez Point to the Mexico border. Regulations for the area north of Lopez point have not changed. In order to understand and comply with the most current ocean sport fishing regulations, anglers should note the following updated bottom fishing summaries incorporating all recent regulation changes:

Lopez Point (Monterey County) to Point Conception (Santa Barbara County):

  • Rockfish, Cabezon, Greenlings, Lingcod and other federal groundfish and associated state-managed species: Open May 1 through Sept. 30 in waters less than 240 feet (40 fathoms) deep for boat-based anglers.
Point Conception to the Mexico Border:
  • Rockfish, Cabezon, other federal groundfish (except California scorpionfish, lingcod), and California sheephead and other associated state-managed species: Open March 1 through Aug. 31 in all waters less than 360 feet (60 fathoms) deep; Sept. 1 through Sept. 30 in all waters less than 180 feet (30 fathoms) deep for boat-based anglers.
  • Scorpionfish: Open March 1 through Aug. 31 in state waters only less than 360 feet (60 fathoms) deep; Sept. 1 through Sept. 30 in state waters less than 180 feet (30 fathoms) deep for boat-based anglers.
  • Lingcod: Open April 1 through Aug. 31 in all waters less than 360 feet (60 fathoms) deep; Sept. 1 through Sept. 30 in waters less than 180 feet (30 fathoms) deep for boat-based anglers.
These seasons and depth restrictions apply to boat-based anglers, specifically. Rockfish, cabezon, greenlings and scorpionfish are open to shore-based anglers year-round. Lingcod is closed to all recreational angling from Jan. 1 through March 31 and Dec. 1 through Dec. 31 during the spawning season.

Additional in-season changes are being considered to recreational seasons for groundfish including rockfish, lingcod, cabezon, greenling, scorpionfish and others for implementation later in 2006. To stay informed of in-season regulation changes, call the groundfish hotline (831) 649-2801, visit the Marine Region Web site at www.dfg.ca.gov/mrd or call a local DFG office.


Contacts:
Debbie Aseltine-Nielsen, Marine Region, (858) 546-7150
Ed Roberts, Marine Region (707) 441-575



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