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N. Ca Abalone Season Opened April 1

04/04/16 -- California’s popular red abalone sport fishery season will open April 1 in most waters north of San Francisco Bay. However, parts of Fort Ross State Historical Park remain closed to the take of abalone. A map of the closed area can be found online.

Fishing for abalone is allowed from 8 a.m to one half hour after sunset. People may travel to fishing locations before 8 a.m. but may not actively search for or take any abalone before that time. The annual limit is 18, but only a total of nine can be taken from Sonoma and Marin counties.

diver and red abalone, courtesy of CDFW
Abalone diving, photo courtesy of CDFW

A complete list of abalone fishing regulations is available in the 2016 Ocean Sport Fishing Regulations booklet, which is available wherever fishing licenses are sold or here.

Abalone licenses and report cards may be purchased online.

Abalone report cards are required to be reported online or returned to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s Fort Bragg office, 32330 North Harbor Dr., Fort Bragg, CA 95437-5554.

The return deadline is Jan. 31, 2017 but cards can be submitted early. Abalone report cards must be returned even if no abalone were taken or no attempt was made to take abalone.

Abalone cling to rocks, from wave-swept intertidal ledges to deep ocean reefs, where they feed on kelp and other algae. It can take 12 years or more for abalone on the north coast to grow to legal size for harvest. Similar to rockfish, abalone are a long-lived species but have generally low rates of reproduction. The fishery is managed conservatively to ensure a healthy fishery for generations to come.

In recent years, the red abalone fishery has come under some stress due to unfavorable ocean conditions. In 2011, a red tide caused a die-off of abalone and other invertebrates primarily in Sonoma County. Abalone feed on kelp but the warm water conditions the past two years have greatly reduced kelp growth which has resulted in noticeably leaner abalone. Great increases in purple urchin populations have reduced the amount of food and habitat available for abalone and could slow the recovery of kelp beds.

Abalone divers can help state biologists assess the ever-changing conditions that influence the abalone fishery. This year, a program will be established to allow divers to report observations that may help ongoing management. CDFW plans to kick off the new observer program later this spring.

Currently, the only ongoing abalone fishery in California is in the northern region of the state, which has remained productive for nearly 60 years. In 2014, the most recent year numbers are available, the catch estimated from returned abalone report cards and telephone surveys was 148,000 abalone. The average catch over the past five years has been about 210,000 abalone annually.


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Disregard the story’s title. I don’t really have a “first” name. If I did, it would probably be something like Leviathan or Behemoth or maybe Lunker. Officially, I’m a trout. A brown trout. A giant, brown trout. Possibly the biggest, fattest...Full Story
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How to make Tuscan Tuna Salad with Fennel By Frank Galusha
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german brown trout in Modoc creek. MyOutdoorBuddy.com
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09/04/14 -- Catching a German Brown Trout from the creeks in Modoc County is a fine way to spend an afternoon. There are many creeks in this part of California that drain the Warner Mountains. Stream trout fishing in this region opens...Full Story
Throw the kitchen sink at them
Indian Paintbrush is a favorite wildflower that carpets wilderness landscapes. Phil Flip Akers, myoutdoorbuddy.com
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08/20/14 -- Our wilderness areas are special, where Mother Nature is landlord and natural forces operate freely. Within the wilderness you will find no roads, shelters, picnic tables, toilets, or other conveniences. You enter at...Full Story
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03/06/04 -- Humboldt Bay, a busy commercial harbor and home port to many charter and private offshore fishing boats, is also popular with shore-based anglers and small boaters seeking bottomfish, sharks, crabs and clams...Full Story
Pulled into the pipes: Green Sturgeon
green sturgeon
By Erin Loury, FISHBIO
03/04/14 -- [Posted with permission of FISHBIO] Living in the Sacramento River can be a risky business for juvenile green sturgeon (Acipenser medirostris). The young fish must swim through a gauntlet of water... Full Story
Not Just Any Fish
California Golden Trout, California Heritage Trout Challenge, Not Just Any Fish, Phil
By Phil "Flip" Akers
02/14/13 -- Trout have inhabited California waters from the Sierra Nevada and Warner Mountains to the Pacific Ocean since prehistoric times. However, most of the trout caught by anglers are either hatchery raised fish...Full Story

 

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