In-Season Ocean Fishing Regulation Changes

Commercial Digest 2020 cover - link opens in new window

This page contains information about unscheduled, in-season regulation changes for recreational and commercial ocean fishing in 2020.

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, link opens in new windowCalifornia Code of Regulations

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

November 24, 2020

Commercial Dungeness Crab Update

November 20, 2020

Update on the Commercial Dungeness Crab Season

November 4, 2020

CDFW Works With Commercial Dungeness Crab Industry and Environmental Community to Implement New Regulations to Protect Whales from Entanglement

August 7, 2020

Recreational Pacific Halibut Fishery to End Aug. 11


Summary of Regulation or Season Changes

November 24, 2020

The commercial Dungeness crab season in the central management area, Point Arena to the Mexico border, will continue to be delayed due to the presence of whales within fishing grounds and the potential for entanglement in commercial crab fishing gear. CDFW is planning additional aerial surveys for the first week of December to inform a risk assessment in advance of Dec. 16. When the data indicates the whales have migrated out of the fishing grounds, CDFW will open the commercial season. Also, the commercial Dungeness crab season in the northern management area was scheduled to open Tuesday, Dec. 1, but was delayed until at least Wednesday, Dec. 16 due to not meeting standards for quantity of meat per crab.

November 20, 2020

The northern California commercial Dungeness crab season has been delayed until 12:01 a.m. on Wednesday, Dec.16, 2020 due to not meeting standards for quantity of meat per crab. The delay area includes Mendocino, Humboldt and Del Norte counties (Fish and Game Districts 6, 7, 8 and 9). If there are no further delays, the fishery opening will be preceded by a 64-hour gear setting period that would begin no earlier than 8:01 a.m. on Sunday, Dec. 13, 2020. Another round of testing is scheduled to occur on or around Dec. 1. Also, the central California commercial Dungeness crab season which was scheduled to open on Nov 15, 2020 was delayed due to elevated risk of marine life entanglement in commercial crab fishing gear. CDFW expects to announce the results of the latest risk assessment for the central California fishery early next week.

November 4, 2020

The commercial Dungeness crab season in the central management area, which was scheduled to open Sunday, Nov. 15, was delayed due to the presence of whales within fishing grounds and the potential for entanglement. In mid-November, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) Director will re-assess entanglement risk in the central management area and evaluate risk in the northern management area, which is scheduled to open Tuesday, Dec. 1. The recreational season opened as planned statewide on Nov. 7.

August 7, 2020

During the last week of July and beginning of August, CDFW field staff recorded a record high number of Pacific halibut being caught, which quickly filled the remainder of the annual California recreational Pacific halibut quota. Formal authority to close the fishery resides with the National Marine Fisheries Service, which took action to close the fishery following consultation with CDFW. The fishery closed at 11:59 p.m., August 11, 2020.