27.00 Definition. The Ocean and San Francisco Bay District consists of the Ocean and San Francisco Bay, as described herein. The Ocean is the open seas adjacent to the coast and islands and the waters of open or enclosed bays contiguous to the ocean, including the waters of Elkhorn Slough, west of Elkhorn Road between Castroville and Watsonville. San Francisco Bay is the waters of San Francisco and San Pablo bays plus all their tidal bays, sloughs, estuaries, and tidal portions of their rivers and streams between the Golden Gate Bridge and the west Carquinez Bridge. For purposes of this section, waters downstream of the Trancas Bridge on the Napa River, downstream of the Highway 121 Bridge on Sonoma Creek, and downstream of the Payran Street Bridge on the Petaluma River are tidal portions of the Napa River, Sonoma Creek, and Petaluma River, respectively. Also see Section 1.53.
27.05. Chumming. Chumming, including chumming with live bait, is permitted.
27.10. Live Bait Restrictions. Tilapia may not be used or possessed for use as bait in ocean waters.
27.15. Multi-Day Fishing Trips. The following provisions apply to anglers and to boat owners and operators when a Declaration for a Multi-Day Fishing Trip has been filed with the department.
(a) Provisions related to the angler: Up to three daily bag and possession limits of saltwater fin fish, lobster and rock scallops and up to two daily bag and possession limits of abalone are allowed for a person fishing during a multi-day trip in ocean waters from a boat whose owner or operator has filed a Declaration for Multi-Day Fishing Trip, pursuant to the provisions of sub-section (b) below.
(1) The provisions of this section do not authorize any person to take more than one daily bag limit of fish during one calendar day.
(2) The provisions of this section do not apply to the taking and possession of salmon, steelhead, striped bass and sturgeon.
(b) Provisions related to the boat owner or operator who has filed for a Declaration for a Multi-Day Fishing Trip:
(1) The owner or operator of a boat shall submit to the nearest department office a Declaration for Multi-Day Fishing Trip and payment as specified in Section 701. The Declaration for Multi-Day Fishing Trip shall include the following information:
(A) Place, date and time of departure of the boat.
(B) Place, date and estimated time of return of the boat.
(C) Name of the boat.
(D) Date and hour Declaration mailed or delivered to the department.
(E) Additional requirements for Commercial Passenger Fishing Vessels:
1. The Commercial Boat Registration Number issued pursuant to Fish and Game Code Section 7880.
2. Copy of passenger manifest if fishing within 10 miles of the mainland shore of California.
(2) The Declaration for Multi-Day Fishing Trip must be submitted to the nearest department office in order for any person aboard such boat to possess more than one bag limit of saltwater fin fish, abalone, lobster and rock scallops. If mailed, the Declaration for Multi-Day Fishing Trip must be received at least 48 hours prior to the date of the boat’s departure. If the 48-hours advance notice is not met, the original copy of the form signed by an authorized department representative must be aboard the vessel during the trip. Forms will be accepted for authorization only during business hours of 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
(3) A Declaration for Multi-Day Fishing Trip may not be filed for a trip unless the trip is continuous and extends for a period of 12 hours or more on the first and last days of the trip and no berthing or docking is permitted within five miles of the mainland shore.
(4) The owner or operator of a boat filing a Declaration for Multi-Day Fishing Trip shall prepare such form in duplicate, and shall require the duplicate to be posted in full view of the passengers aboard the boat.
(5) All passengers must disembark at place of return as stated on the Declaration for Multi-Day Fishing Trip.
27.56. Take General. Except as otherwise provided, there are no closed seasons, closed hours or minimum size limits on fin fish in the Pacific Ocean including all saltwater bays except that in San Francisco Bay between the Golden Gate Bridge and the Carquinez Bridge and in saltwater tributaries to the bay within the area bounded by Interstate 80 and Highways 17, 101 and 37 finfish may not be taken between one hour after sunset to one hour before sunrise except from shore or piers.
(a) General. No more than 20 finfish in combination of all species with not more than 10 of any one species, may be taken or possessed by any one person except as otherwise provided or as defined in sub-section (c) below or in Section 195. See sections 27.70 through 28.62 for special bag limits, minimum size limits and poundage restrictions for certain species that apply in addition to the general bag limit.
(b) There is no limit on the following species: anchovy, jacksmelt, topsmelt, Pacific butterfish (pompano), queenfish, sanddabs, skipjack, jack mackerel, Pacific mackerel, Pacific staghorn sculpin, round herring, Pacific sardine, petrale sole and starry flounder.
(c) Boat limit. When two or more persons that are licensed or otherwise authorized to sport fish in ocean waters off California or in the San Francisco Bay District, defined in Section 27.00, are angling for finfish aboard a vessel in these waters, fishing by all authorized persons aboard may continue until boat limits of finfish are taken and possessed aboard the vessel as authorized under this section or Section 195, Title 14, CCR.
(1) The authorization for boat limits aboard a vessel does not apply to fishing trips originating in California where fish are taken in other jurisdictions.
(2) A boat limit for a species or species group is the number of persons aboard a vessel that are licensed or otherwise authorized to sport fish in ocean waters off California, or in waters of the San Francisco Bay District, (see special conditions of Section 195, Title 14, CCR, applicable to operator and crew members of vessels licensed pursuant to Fish and Game Code 7920) multiplied by the individual daily bag limit authorized for a species or species group in those waters. With the exception of species listed in sub-section (b) above, the total fish aboard a boat may not exceed the aggregate per-person daily bag limit of 20 finfish in combination of all species times the number of anglers licensed or otherwise authorized to sport fish aboard the vessel. It is unlawful to exceed the boat limit at any time.
(3) All persons aboard a vessel may be cited where violations involving boat limits are found, including, but not limited to the following violations:
(A) Over limits
(B) Possession of prohibited species
(C) Violation of size limits
(D) Fish taken out of season or in closed areas.
(4) Upon completion of a fishing trip aboard a vessel, each licensed angler or person otherwise authorized to sport fish may not possess more than the individual daily bag and possession limits.For purposes of this section, a trip is completed at the time a person disembarks from a vessel and individual possession limits apply. Special boat limit provisions apply to persons fishing aboard commercial passenger fishing vessels reporting pursuant to Section 195, Title 14, CCR.
(5) Species for which no daily bag limit exists are not counted as part of a boat limit.
(6) Boat limits are not authorized for sturgeon fishing and shall not apply to the take, possession or retention of sturgeon.
27.65. Filleting of Fish on Vessels.
(a) Definition of Fillet: For the purposes of this section a fillet is the flesh from one side of a fish extending from the head to the tail which has been removed from the body (head, tail and backbone) in a single continuous piece.
(b) Fish That May be Filleted: No person shall fillet on any boat or bring ashore as fillets any fish, except in accordance with the following requirements:
(1) Kelp bass, barred sand bass, and spotted sand bass: All fillets shall be a minimum of seven and one-half inches in length. Each fillet shall bear intact a one-inch square patch of skin.
(2) Barracuda: Fillets must be a minimum of 17 inches in length. Each fillet shall bear intact a one-inch square patch of silver skin.
(3) Lingcod. Lingcod fillets must be a minimum of 14 inches in length. Each fillet shall bear intact a one-inch square patch of skin. The minimum size and minimum fillet size for lingcod may be changed during the year or in-season by the department under the authority of subsection 27.20(e). See sub-section 27.20(f) for additional information.
(4) White sea bass: Fillets must be a minimum of 19 inches in length. Each fillet shall bear intact a one-inch square patch of silver skin.
(5) Pacific bonito: No more than 10 fillets of any length may be possessed. All bonito fillets possessed shall be considered a part of the allowable undersized tolerance of five bonito per day less than 24 inches fork length or weighing less than five pounds as provided in Section 28.32 of these regulations. All fillets shall bear intact a one-inch square patch of skin.
(6) California halibut taken from or possessed aboard a vessel south of Point Arena (Mendocino County): Fillets must be a minimum of 16 and three-quarter inches in length and shall bear the entire skin intact. A fillet from a California halibut (flesh from one entire side of the fish with the entire skin intact) may not be cut in half fillets. However, a fillet may be cut lengthwise in a straight line along the midline of the fillet where the fillet was attached to the vertebra (backbone) of the fish only if the two pieces of a fillet remain joined along their midline for a length of at least two inches at one end of the fillet.
(7) Yellowtail: Fillets must be a minimum of 17 inches in length, except not more than 10 fillets may be less than 17 inches. Each fillet shall bear intact a one-inch square patch of skin.
(8) Rockfish: Fillets must have the entire skin attached. The minimum size and minimum fillet size for rockfish may be changed during the year or in-season by the department under the authority of subsection 27.20(e). See sub- section 27.20(f) for additional information.
(9) California scorpionfish (commonly termed “sculpin”): Fillets must be a minimum of 5 inches. Each fillet shall bear intact a one-inch square patch of skin. The minimum size and minimum fillet size for California scorpionfish may be changed during the year or in-season by the department under the authority of sub- section 27.20(e). See subsection 27.20(f) for additional information.
(10) Ocean whitefish: Fillets must be a minimum of 6 and one-half inches in length and shall bear the entire skin intact.
(11) For all species of tuna filleted on any boat or brought ashore as fillets south of a line running due west true from Point Conception, Santa Barbara County (34°27’ N. lat.) each fish must be individually bagged as follows:
(A) The bag must be marked with the species’ common name.
(B) The fish must be cut into six pieces with all skin attached. These pieces are the four loins, the collar removed as one piece with both pectoral fins attached and intact, and the belly fillet cut to include the vent and with both pelvic fins attached and intact.
(12) California sheephead: Fillets must be a minimum of 6 and three-quarter inches in length and shall bear the entire skin intact.
(13) All other species except those listed in subsection (c) of this section: Each fillet shall bear intact a one-inch square patch of skin. The fillets may be of any size.
(c) Fish That May Not be Filleted, Steaked or Chunked: No person shall fillet, steak or cut into chunks on any boat or bring ashore as fillets, steaks or chunks the following: any species with a size limit unless a fillet size is otherwise specified in these regulations. California halibut may be filleted or brought ashore as fillets south of Point Arena (Mendocino County).
27.70. Trout in the Ocean.
(a) Methods of take: The trout must voluntarily take the bait or lure in its mouth.
(b) Limit: Three, except the take of steelhead rainbow trout in the ocean is prohibited.
28.65. General. Except as provided in this article, fin fish may be taken only on hook-and-line or by hand. Any number of hooks and lines may be used in all ocean waters and bays except:
(a) San Francisco Bay, as described in Section 27.00, where only one line with not more than three hooks may be used.
(b) On public piers, no person shall use more than two rods and lines, two hand lines, or two nets, traps or other appliances used to take crabs.
(c) When rockfish (genus Sebastes), California scorpionfish (Scorpaena guttata), lingcod (Ophiodon elongatus), cabezon (Scorpaenichthys marmoratus), kelp or rock greenlings (Hexagrammos decagrammus and Hexagrammos lagocephalus), or species listed in Section 28.49 are aboard or in possession, only one line with not more than two hooks may be used pursuant to Sections 28.55, 28.27, 28.28, 28.29, or 28.49 respectively.
(d) No gaff hook shall be used to take or assist in landing any finfish shorter than the minimum size limit. For the purpose of this section a gaff hook is any hook with or without a handle used to assist in landing fish or to take fish in such a manner that the fish does not take the hook voluntarily in its mouth. No person shall take finfish from any boat or other floating device in ocean waters without having a landing net in possession or available for immediate use to assist in landing undersize fish of species having minimum size limits; the opening of any such landing net shall be not less than eighteen inches in diameter.
(e) North of Point Conception (34°27’00” N. lat.), where only one rod and line may be used by each angler fishing for salmon, or fishing from any boat or floating device with salmon on board.
(f) Mousetrap gear prohibited: It is unlawful to use, assist in using, or to possess aboard any vessel, hook-and-line gear commonly termed “mouse traps” constructed of a hook(s) or lure(s), attached to one end of a line that is attached to a float, or floats at the other end, and that when fished, is not attached directly to a person or vessel. Possession of such gear aboard a vessel shall be prima facie evidence that the gear is being used in violation of this regulation.
(g) North of Point Conception to 40°10’00” N. lat. line (near Cape Mendocino), subsection 27.80(a)(3) applies to each angler fishing for salmon or fishing from any boat or floating device with salmon on board.
28.70. Weight, Power Driven Gurdies or Power Driven Winches.
(a) No sinker or weight weighing more than four pounds, nor any power-driven gurdy or power-driven winch, may be used in any ocean waters or saltwater bays north of Point Arguello. This regulation does not apply to:
(1) Power gurdies or power winches used solely for handling crab nets or traps;
(2) The use of downriggers where the downrigger line is not used as a fishing line but is attached to the fishing line by a breakaway line; or
(3) The use of electric fishing reels manufactured for sport fishing use.
28.75. Baited Traps for Shiner Surfperch, Pacific Staghorn Sculpin and Longjaw Mud Suckers. In San Francisco and San Pablo bays and their saltwater tributaries, and in the open ocean and the contiguous bays of Mendocino, Sonoma and Marin counties, traps not over three feet in greatest dimension may be used to take shiner surfperch, Pacific staghorn sculpin and longjaw mudsuckers. Any other species taken shall be returned to the water immediately.
28.80. Dip Nets and Hawaiian Type Throw Nets. Dip nets of any size and baited hoop nets not greater than 36 inches in diameter may be used to take herring, Pacific staghorn sculpin, shiner surfperch, surf smelt, topsmelt, anchovies, shrimp and squid. Hawaiian type throw nets may be used north of Point Conception to take such species.
28.85. Beach Nets. Beach nets not over 20 feet in length with meshes at least 7/8 of an inch in length may be used to take surf smelt north of Point Conception.
28.90. Diving, Spearfishing. Persons who are floating or swimming in the water may use spearfishing gear and skin or SCUBA diving equipment to take fin fish other than giant (black) sea bass, garibaldi, gulf grouper, broomtail grouper, trout, salmon, or broadbill [swordfish], except that:
(a) No person may possess or use a spear within 100 yards of the mouth of any stream in any ocean waters north of Ventura County.
(b) When spearfishing for or in possession of federal groundfish species or all greenlings of the genus Hexagrammos as authorized pursuant to subsection 27.20(b)(1)(D), in an area or during a season closed to the take of these species, no fishing gear except spearfishing gear may be aboard the vessel or watercraft.
28.91. Slurp Guns. Slurp guns may be used to take finfish except that bag and possession limits shall not be exceeded wherever they apply and no species of finfish may be taken for which a minimum size limit has been established (see Sections 27.60 and 28.00-28.55).
28.95. Spears, Harpoons and Bow and Arrow Fishing Tackle. Spears, harpoons and bow and arrow fishing tackle may be used for taking all varieties of skates, rays, and sharks, except white sharks. Harpoons may be used to assist in taking Pacific halibut as specified in Section 28.20. Such gear may not be possessed or used within 100 yards of the mouth of any stream in any ocean waters north of Ventura County, nor aboard any vessel on any day or on any trip when broadbill swordfish or marlin have been taken. Bow and arrow fishing tackle may be used to take finfish other than giant (black) sea bass, garibaldi, gulf grouper, broomtail grouper, trout, salmon, broadbill [swordfish] and white shark.
29.00. Gear Used in Taking Grunion. No appliances of any kind may be used to take grunion, and no holes may be dug in the beach to entrap them.