Please keep track of the tag numbers, general locations, and dates associated with any lost traps, as this information is requested on the trap loss reporting form and if you apply for replacement tags. For each lobster operator permit that you possess, you are required at the end of each season to submit the completed End of Season Spiny Lobster Trap Loss Reporting Affidavit - DFW 1020 (PDF) by April 15th to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, 3883 Ruffin Rd., San Diego, CA 92123.
The affidavit will help estimate the number of traps lost during a season, and provides CDFW with needed essential fisheries information to help inform future management decisions. The additional spatial information on trap loss will also be useful for informing gear recovery programs, identifying potential conflicts within the marine environment, and for the issue of marine mammal gear interactions.
No, the Commission has declined to adopt the measure at this time.
The recreational lobster season opener start time has changed from 12:01 a.m. to 6:00 a.m. for safety purposes. However, the commercial lobster season will stay the same.
The updated Daily Lobster Log - DFW 122 (PDF) form looks very similar to the old one, except that each page now accommodates two days of fishing instead of three. The field for “nearest landmark” has been replaced with fields for GPS locations (decimal minutes) for a specific set of traps in addition to CDFW fishing block number. “Number of traps currently deployed in the water” is new information being collected and there is now room for up to four (4) landing receipt numbers on the form.
Branding of commercial trap floats is allowed in addition to paint-based markings, so long as the commercial fishing license number is in a “color which contrasts with that of the buoy.”
The new formal CDFW waiver process replaces the note system. Fishermen applying for a waiver must submit a request in writing to CDFW’s License and Revenue Branch at LRB@wildlife.ca.gov or by mail to: Dept. of Fish and Wildlife, License and Revenue Branch, 1740 N Market Blvd, Sacramento, CA 95834 describing why having another lobster permit holder service his/her traps and/or receivers is necessary. The waiver must include the following information: names and permit numbers of the lobster permit holder requesting the waiver and the lobster permit holder to be given permission to pull, service, or transport the traps and/or receivers; proposed time period and location to conduct operations; and trap tag number(s) or number of traps and/or receivers to be pulled, serviced or transported. CDFW may request other related information prior to granting or denying the waiver. The waiver may include conditions CDFW deems necessary. The lobster operator permit holder must have a copy of the waiver in possession when pulling, servicing, or transporting the traps and/or receivers, and may retain lobsters caught in the traps or contained in the receivers unless otherwise specified as a condition of the waiver.
Yes, lobster traps not retrieved 14 days after the close of the commercial lobster season will be considered abandoned. From 15 days after the close of the season through September 15, an unlimited number of lobster traps may be retrieved by a lobster operator permit holder or a CDFW designee and transported to shore.
Yes, commercial fishermen are allowed to possess up to two lobster operator permits, with no restriction on the type of lobster operator permits in possession. If a transferable lobster permit is transferred to a person already in possession of a valid transferable lobster operator permit and a non-transferable lobster operator permit, the non-transferable permit is rendered null and void. That non-transferable permit and the trap tags associated with it must be immediately surrendered to CDFW’s License and Revenue Branch. Here is the new Lobster Operator Permit Transfer Application - DFW 1702 (PDF).
Yes, the FMP lists possible management measures to be implemented in the future if needed, including adjusting the trap limit. So yes, it is possible that in the future the trap limit could be increased or decreased. However, this is not expected in the near future.