DFG Announces Changes to Recreational Groundfish 2008 Fishing Regulations

No Gravatar

Emergency regulations to restrict recreational fishing for groundfish in northern California to depths of less than 120 feet went into effect today. The Department of Fish and Game (DFG) announced that the regulations are now effective in both state and federal waters. The new depth restriction began May 1 in federal waters (3 to 200 miles from shore) from Pigeon Point to the Oregon border when the recreational groundfish season opened. This depth restriction is necessary to minimize contact with yelloweye rockfish and the possibility of an early fishery closure.

The season, area and depth restrictions (listed by management area) for boat-based anglers will be as follows:

NORTHERN MANAGEMENT AREA – OREGON BORDER TO 40°10′ NORTH LATITUDE (NEAR CAPE MENDOCINO, HUMBOLDT COUNTY)

  • Rockfish, cabezon, greenlings (RCG Complex) and other federal groundfish (other than lingcod): Open to boat-based anglers from May 1 through Dec. 31 in waters from 0 to 120 feet (0 to 20 fathoms).
  • Lingcod: Open to boat-based anglers from May 1 through Nov. 30 in waters from 0 to 120 feet (0 to 20 fathoms).

NORTH-CENTRAL MANAGEMENT AREA – 40°10′ NORTH LATITUDE (NEAR CAPE MENDOCINO, HUMBOLDT COUNTY), TO 37° 11’ NORTH LATITUDE (NEAR PIGEON POINT, SAN MATEO COUNTY)

  • Rockfish, cabezon, greenlings (RCG Complex) and other federal groundfish (other than lingcod): Open to boat-based anglers from June 1 through Nov. 30 in waters from 0 to 120 feet (0 to 20 fathoms).
  • Lingcod: Open to boat-based anglers from June 1 through Nov. 30 in waters from 0 to 120 feet (0 to 20 fathoms).

Anglers are encouraged to visit the DFG Web site at www.dfg.ca.gov/marine/education.asp to find information about ways to minimize impacts on yelloweye and canary rockfish, contribute to the recovery of fish populations and help avoid an in-season closure. DFG recommends the following steps to reduce take of these species:

  • Know all rockfish species and regulations and learn to distinguish prohibited species.
  • Avoid rocky areas like pinnacles where yelloweye rockfish are known to live.
  • If yelloweye or canary rockfish are encountered when fishing, move to a different location to reduce contact with these species.
  • Use methods to return fish back down to depths that reduce gas expansion injuries (pressure shock or barotrauma). For information about gas expansion injuries and descending devices visit www.dfg.ca.gov/marine/pdfs/release.pdf.
  • Report catches and encounters to samplers accurately.

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