Status of the California Sheephead Stock for 2004

Background Information


In 2004, the first stock assessment was completed under the Marine Life Management Act Nearshore Fishery Management Plan. The California Department of Fish and Wildlife sponsored a stock assessment for California sheephead (Semicossyphus pulcher) in southern California waters. This assessment moves the fishery to a "data moderate" status, and provides a more reliable scientific basis for further discussion. Aspects of biology and social structure are significantly different for sheephead than for the rockfishes, lingcod and cabezon that have already been assessed by the Pacific Fishery Management Council. These differences present a challenge in considering which configuration of conservation and management measures will provide long-term sustainability.

Since the assessment, CDFW has contracted scientists, fishermen and academia to conduct research to help better quantify some of the uncertainties in the assessment and to determine if there have been changes in size and age in maturity and sex-change.

The California sheephead stock assessment is available in PDF format online or a request can be made to receive a CD-ROM containing copies of (1) the stock assessment and (2) the peer review report by contacting Ms. Meisha Key at (831) 420-3973 or Should you need additional information, please contact Ms. Deb Wilson-Vandenberg, Nearshore Fishery Management Plan Implementation Coordinator, at (831) 649-2892 or