DFG Proposes Change to 2008 Ocean Sportfishing Regs from Point Arena to the Oregon

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Posted by DFG News Release on August 19, 2008 at 22:43:40:

DFG News Release
DFG Proposes Change to 2008 Ocean Sportfishing Regulations from Point Arena to the Oregon Border Public Meeting to be Held Aug. 21 in Trinidad, Calif.

Aug. 19, 2008

John Budrick, DFG Marine Biologist (650) 339-0126
DFG Office of Communications (916) 322-8911

The Department of Fish and Game (DFG) today proposed closing the recreational fishery for rockfish, lingcod, cabezon and greenlings, beginning Sept. 2. If approved by the Office of Administrative Law (OAL), the closure, from Point Arena north to the Oregon border is expected to keep California’s recreational yelloweye rockfish catches within the 2008 federal harvest guideline of 2.1 metric tons.

“Keeping the rockfish season open could result in exceeding the yelloweye rockfish harvest guideline,” said DFG Director Donald Koch. “While we are aware that a shortened season will affect sport anglers, we are also concerned that failure to take action at this time could jeopardize the future rebuilding of this important over-fished species.”

DFG estimates that through Aug. 10, 2008 approximately 1.3 metric tons of yelloweye rockfish have already been incidentally taken in ocean fishing activities statewide this season. The 2008 season was originally slated to run through December in the Northern Management Area and through November in the North-Central Management Area North of Point Arena.

In 2007, the yelloweye rockfish stock assessment estimated the current biomass at only 16.4 percent of the historic population size. Under federal laws, any species with a biomass at or below 25 percent of its historic size is considered over-fished. Federal law requires that steps be taken to rebuild over-fished stocks within the shortest time practical, requiring management measures that minimize fishing impacts on these stocks.

A public meeting to discuss the proposed regulation change will be held Aug. 21, 2008 from 1-5 p.m. at the Trinidad Town Hall, at 409 Trinity Street, in Trinidad. DFG staff will be available to answer questions, accept public comments and discuss additional details concerning the need for this in-season action.

To institute the closure, DFG must adopt regulations that are then reviewed and approved by the OAL. Documents describing the need for the proposed action have been prepared by DFG staff and may be viewed on DFG’s Web site at www.dfg.ca.gov/marine/inseason2008.asp. Written comments on the proposed action will be accepted by OAL for a five day period commencing on the date the documents are posted on OAL’s Web site at:  www.oal.ca.gov/New_Emergency_Now.htm.

If the proposed changes are approved, beginning Sept. 2, 2008 the seasons and depth restrictions for boat-based anglers would be as follows:

  • Northern Management Area (Oregon border south to 40° 10' N. latitude near Cape Mendocino in Humboldt County): CLOSED – Fishing for rockfish, cabezon, greenlings and lingcod would be closed to boat-based anglers beginning Sept. 2, 2008.
  • North-Central Management Area North of Point Arena (40° 10' N. latitude near Cape Mendocino in Humboldt County to 38° 57' N. latitude near Point Arena in Mendocino County): CLOSED – Fishing for rockfish, cabezon, greenlings and lingcod would be closed to boat-based anglers beginning Sept. 2, 2008.
  • Regulations for all Management Areas south of 38° 57' N. latitude: Seasons remain as defined in the California Marine Sportfishing Regulations for 2008 (sections 27.35-27.50).

For more information about the Pacific Fishery Management Council, the federal agency responsible for setting harvest guidelines for groundfish, visit www.pcouncil.org.

For more information regarding recreational groundfish regulations and to stay informed of in-season regulation changes, call the Recreational Groundfish Fishing Regulation Hotline at (831) 649-2801, or visit the DFG Marine Region Web site at www.dfg.ca.gov/marine.

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