In-Season Ocean Fishing Regulation Changes

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This page contains information about unscheduled, in-season regulation changes for recreational and commercial ocean fishing.

CDFW is required to notify the public of in-season regulation changes for groundfish at least 10 days before the new regulations becomes effective, via news release.

"The department shall give the public and the National Marine Fisheries Service no less than 10 days notice of any fishery closure or rule change implemented pursuant to this Section via a department news release." - Section 27.20(f) of Title 14, California Code of Regulations(opens in new tab)

Further information may be obtained by calling your local CDFW office. You may also sign up for the Marine Region News Service to receive automatic notification of in-season regulation changes.


News Releases, Updates and Informational Notices

October 4, 2021

Southern California Fisheries Closure Implemented Due to Oil Spill

August 31, 2021

2021 Recreational Pacific Halibut Fishery to Reopen Sept. 3

August 10, 2021

After Five Year Closure Due to Domoic Acid, Razor Clam Fishery Opens in Humboldt County

June 29, 2021

Recreational Pacific Halibut Fishery to Close June 30 for Rest of the Year

May 18, 2021

CDFW Works With Diverse Stakeholders Group to Manage Entanglement Risk in the Commercial Dungeness Crab Fishery

May 3, 2021

Commercial Dungeness Crab Update

April 30, 2021

Fish and Wildlife Director Opens Razor Clam Fishery in Del Norte County; Fishery in Humboldt County Remains Closed Due to Public Health Hazard


Summary of Regulation or Season Changes

October 4, 2021

Take of all fish and shellfish is immediately prohibited from Huntington Beach to Dana Point, including the shorelines and offshore areas and all bays due to an oil spill in Southern California. The Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment has determined that a threat to public health is likely by fishing in the affected area or consuming fish or shellfish that may have been affected by the spill. The extent of the closure will change as conditions and factors in the area change. SEE THE LATEST CLOSURE MAP

August 31, 2021

The recreational Pacific halibut fishery re-opened on Friday, Sept. 3 at 12 a.m. and will remain open until Nov. 15 or until the quota is reached, whichever is earlier. Based on the current estimates of catch through June, CDFW estimates that 20,964 net pounds of the 39,260 net pound quota remain for anglers to catch. The 2021 recreational fishery was closed on June 30 due to projected attainment of the quota. Since that date, evaluation of new 2021 catch information prompted CDFW and its partners at National Marine Fisheries Service, the International Pacific Halibut Commission, and the Pacific Fishery Management Council to reopen the fishery.

August 10, 2021

The recreational razor clam fishery in Humboldt County has re-opened following a recommendation from state health agencies that the consumption of razor clams in the area no longer poses a significant threat for domoic acid exposure. Testing of razor clams at Clam Beach, Humboldt County in June and July 2021 indicated all clams were below the federal action level for domoic acid of 20 parts per million. There are currently no razor clam fishery closures in the state.

June 29, 2021

The recreational Pacific halibut fishery closed on Wednesday, June 30 at 11:59 p.m. for the remainder of 2021. Based on the latest catch projections, CDFW expects the 2021 California recreational quota of 39,260 net pounds will be exceeded unless the fishery is closed at this time.

May 18, 2021

The commercial Dungeness crab fishery closed statewide beginning at noon on June 1, 2021. CDFW Director Charlton H. Bonham announced the closure after recent survey data indicated an increase in humpback whales returning to California fishing grounds. All available data and recommendations from staff, the Dungeness Crab Fishing Gear Working Group, and other stakeholders was also considered. The Lost and Abandoned Gear Program began removing commercial Dungeness crab traps left in the water after the close of the season, on June 7, 2021 at 6 a.m.

May 3, 2021

Beginning at noon on May 10, 2021, from the Oregon state line to the Sonoma/Mendocino county line (Fishing Zones 1 and 2), commercial Dungeness crab fishing will only be allowed in ocean waters 30 fathoms and shallower. All vessels must also carry onboard an electronic monitoring system capable of recording the vessel’s location while engaged in fishing activity using GPS coordinates at a frequency of no less than once per minute during fishing operations. Electronic monitoring data must be made available to CDFW upon request for the duration of the fishing period and 60 days thereafter. This management action will remain in place until lifted by the CDFW Director or the season closes.

April 30, 2021

After a five-year closure, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife Director has re-opened the recreational razor clam fishery in Del Norte County following a recommendation from state health agencies that the consumption of razor clams in the area no longer poses a significant threat for domoic acid exposure.