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In-season Sportfishing Regulation Changes for Key Groundfish Species





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Posted by DFG on June 20, 2006 at 17:42:07:

California Department of Fish and Game
NEWS RELEASE FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 06:068 June 20, 06

Contacts: Ed Roberts, Marine Biologist, (707) 441-5757
Carrie Wilson, Office of Public Affairs, (831) 649-7191

DFG Announces In-season Sportfishing Regulation Changes for Key Groundfish Species

The California Department of Fish and Game (DFG) has announced changes to take effect July 1 relaxing several of the 2006 recreational groundfish regulations. DFG approved the regulation changes following the adoption of in-season adjustments by the Pacific Fishery Management Council at its recent meeting in Foster City. The regulation changes for state and federal waters are slated to take effect on July 1.

  • The Council reviewed the most recent California Recreational Fishery Survey (CRFS) data and, under the current harvest guidelines for overfished species, it was determined that even with the proposed changes, California will not exceed its allocations," said DFG Director Ryan Broddrick.
  • Therefore, relaxing most of the depth restrictions and extending some of the seasons will not pose a threat to overfished species. This move comes just in time for the July 1 central coast bottom-fishing season opener, and will provide anglers with access to some of the deep-water groundfish such as the popular vermilion rockfish."
Beginning July 1, the seasons and depth restrictions (listed by management area) for boat-based anglers are as follows:

Northern Management Area (Oregon border south to 4010' north latitude):

  • Rockfish, cabezon, greenlings (RCG Complex), other federal groundfish (other than lingcod), California sheephead, ocean whitefish and California scorpionfish: Open to boat-based anglers from May 1 through Dec. 31, 2006 in waters from 0 to 30 fathoms (0 to 180 feet).
  • Lingcod: Open to boat-based anglers from May 1 through Nov. 30 in waters from 0 to 30 fathoms (0 to 180 feet).
North-Central Management Area (4010' north latitude to 3711' north latitude):
  • Rockfish, cabezon, greenlings (RCG Complex), other federal groundfish (other than lingcod), California sheephead, ocean whitefish and California scorpionfish: Open to boat-based anglers from July 1 through Dec. 31 in waters from 0 to 30 fathoms (0 to 180 feet).
  • Lingcod: Open to boat-based anglers from July 1 through Nov. 30 in waters from 0 to 30 fathoms (0 to 180 feet).
Monterey South-Central Management Area (3711' north latitude to 36 degrees north latitude):
  • Rockfish, cabezon, greenlings (RCG Complex), other federal groundfish (other than lingcod), California sheephead, ocean whitefish and California scorpionfish: Open to boat-based anglers from July 1 through Dec. 31 in waters from 0 to 30 fathoms (0 to 180 feet).
  • Lingcod: Open to boat-based anglers from July 1 through Nov. 30 in waters from 0 to 30 fathoms (0 to 180 feet).
Morro Bay South-Central Management Area (36 north latitude to 34 27' north latitude):
  • Rockfish, cabezon, greenlings (RCG Complex), other federal groundfish (other than lingcod), California sheephead, ocean whitefish and California scorpionfish: Open to boat-based anglers from May 1 through Oct. 31 in waters from 0 to 40 fathoms (0 to 240 feet).
  • Lingcod: Open to boat-based anglers from May 1 through Oct. 31 in waters from 0 to 40 fathoms (0 to 240 feet).
Southern Management Area (34 27' north latitude to the Mexico border):
  • Rockfish, cabezon, greenlings (RCG Complex), other federal groundfish (other than lingcod), California sheephead, ocean whitefish and California scorpionfish: Open to boat-based anglers from March 1 through Dec. 31 in waters from 0 to 60 fathoms (0 to 360 feet).
  • Lingcod: Open to boat-based anglers from April 1 through Nov. 30 in waters from 0 to 60 fathoms (0 to 360 feet).
The species listed above are open to divers and shore-based anglers year-round in all areas of the state, except for lingcod which is open from April 1 through Nov. 30.

Broddrick reminds anglers that fishing opportunities could be restricted later in the year if new CRFS data show that species are being caught at levels higher than allowed. It is not anticipated that the proposed recreational groundfish regulation changes will significantly increase the incidental take of bocaccio, canary, yelloweye or other depleted rockfishes. However, the potential for taking too many of these deeper water species incidentally increases with the relaxing of depth restrictions. Consequently, anglers should avoid areas where they are likely to encounter these depleted rockfishes, and anglers need to properly identify their catches since canary and yelloweye rockfishes can be easily confused with vermilion rockfish.

For more detailed information about current bottom-fishing regulations, important characteristics for identifying key groundfish, and in-season changes in regulations, call the groundfish hotline (831) 649-2801, visit the Marine Region Web site at www.dfg.ca.gov/mrd, or call your local DFG office.



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