(a) Except as provided in this article there are no closed seasons, closed hours or minimum size limits for any invertebrate. The bag limit on all invertebrates for which the take is authorized and for which there is not a bag limit otherwise established in this article is 35. In San Francisco and San Pablo bays and saltwater tributaries east of the Golden Gate Bridge invertebrates may not be taken at night except from the shore.
(b) Take of all invertebrates is prohibited within state marine reserves. Take of certain invertebrates may be prohibited within state marine parks and state marine conservation areas as per sub-section 632(b). In addition, tidal invertebrates may not be taken in any tidepool or other areas between the high tide mark (defined as Mean Higher High Tide) and 1,000 feet seaward and lateral to the low tide mark (defined as Mean Lower Low Water) except as follows:
(1) Except where prohibited within state marine reserves, state marine parks, state marine conservation areas, or other special closures only the following may be taken: red abalone, limpets, moon snails, turban snails, chiones, clams, cockles, mussels, rock scallops, native oysters, octopuses, squid, crabs, lobsters, shrimp, sand dollars, sea urchins and worms except that no worms may be taken in any mussel bed, unless taken incidental to the harvesting of mussels.
(c) Measuring Devices. Every person while taking invertebrates which have a size limit shall carry a device which is capable of accurately measuring the minimum legal size of the species taken.
(d) In all ocean waters skin and Self Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus (SCUBA) divers may take invertebrates as provided in this article except that in all ocean waters north of Yankee Point (Monterey Co.), SCUBA may be used only to take sea urchins, rock scallops and crabs of the genus Cancer. For the purpose of this section, breathing tubes (snorkels) are not SCUBA.
(e) It shall be unlawful to use or possess any hydraulic pump or other device capable of liquifying sand within 100 yards of any place where marine invertebrates may be present, except in a permanent residence.
Abalone, clams, scallops, mussels, etc.
(a) Except as otherwise provided in this article, saltwater mollusks, including octopus, may be taken only on hook-and-line or with the hands.
(b) The size of a mollusk is measured in greatest shell diameter.
29.20. Clams General.
(a) Except as provided in this article, there are no closed seasons, bag limits or size limits on saltwater clams.
(b) Fishing hours: One-half hour before sunrise to one-half hour after sunset.
(c) Gear restrictions. It shall be unlawful to use anything other than the following hand-operated devices to take clams: spades, shovels, hoes, forks, rakes, devices that use suction to remove clams commonly known as slurp guns or clam guns, or rigid pipes used to prevent the collapse of holes when digging for clams. It shall be unlawful to use any other device to take clams, including any hydraulic pump or other devices capable of liquifying sand. It shall be unlawful to possess any such unauthorized device, except in a permanent residence, concurrently with any clam. No instrument capable of being used to dig clams may be possessed between one-half hour after sunset and one-half hour before sunrise, on any beach of this state, except tools and implements used in the work of cleaning, repairing or maintaining such beach when possessed by a person authorized by appropriate authority to perform such work.
(d) Clams that have a size limit shall be immediately measured. Any undersize clams, or other clams that are not retained, shall be immediately reburied in the area from which they were taken. All clams shall be kept in a whole and measurable condition until being prepared for immediate consumption. When taking or possessing clams each person is required to keep a separate container for their clams. It shall be unlawful to commingle one person’s clams with clams taken by another person.
Crabs, lobster, shrimp, etc.
29.80. Gear Restrictions for Recreational Take of Saltwater Crustaceans.
(a) General Provisions:
(1) Saltwater crustaceans may be taken by hand.
(2) Nets, traps or other appliances may not be used except as provided in this Section.
(3) It is unlawful to disturb, move, or damage any trap; or remove any saltwater crustacean from a trap, that belongs to another person without written permission, including permission transmitted electronically, in possession from the operator of the trap. Any person with written permission from the operator of a crab trap will be in compliance with subsection (c)(3)(A)(1) if the written permission contains the operator’s GO ID number that matches the GO ID number on the buoy of the crab trap being fished.
(b) Hoop nets. Hoop nets may be used to take spiny lobsters and all species of crabs.
(1) Hoop Net Defined: Only Type A and Type B hoop nets, as described below, are allowed for use:
(A) Type A: Fishing gear that is comprised of one to three rigid ring(s), with each ring measuring no greater than 36 inches in inside diameter nor less than 10 inches in inside diameter, which is/are connected to non-metallic soft mesh thereby forming a circular-shaped net with an enclosed bottom and with the following specifications:
1. Lift lines shall be attached only to the top ring.
2. A second and third rigid ring(s) may be connected by non-metallic soft mesh to the top ring; however, each ring must be equal in size to or smaller than the ring above it.
3. When the net is being raised, the top ring shall be above and parallel to all other rings, with the enclosed bottom portion of the non-metallic soft mesh even with or hanging below all other rings.
4. All parts of the hoop net shall collapse and lie flat when resting on the ocean floor in such a manner that the gear does not entrap or restrict the free movement of crustaceans until lifted.
5. When suspended from lift lines, the entire hoop net shall measure no taller than 36 inches; and
6. The ring material shall not be thicker than one inch in any dimension.
(B) Type B: Fishing gear that is comprised of only two rigid rings (not including the bait ring), with the bottom ring measuring no greater than 36 inches in inside diameter and the top ring measuring no less than 15 inches in inside diameter and with the following specifications:
1. The top ring shall be connected to the bottom ring and supported by no more than six rigid straight support arms, and the assembled frame shall measure no more than 10 inches tall.
2. The rings and support material shall not be thicker than one inch in any dimension.
3. All rings shall be connected by non-metallic soft mesh, thereby forming a net with an enclosed bottom.
4. Lift lines shall be attached only to the top ring.
5. When suspended from lift lines, the enclosed bottom portion of the net shall be even with or hanging below the bottom ring, and the entire net shall measure no taller than 30 inches.
6. It is unlawful to have any entrances below the top ring; and
7. A bait ring may be used if it is attached to the bottom half of the net and it is not attached to any part of the rigid frame.
(2) The owner or operator of a hoop net shall raise the hoop net to the surface and inspect the contents of the hoop net at intervals not to exceed 2 hours.
(3) It is unlawful to abandon or leave unchecked a hoop net for more than 2 hours. Any hoop net left unchecked for more than 2 hours shall be considered abandoned and may be seized by any person authorized to enforce these regulations.
(4) Limits: Except for the limit of two hoop nets when taking crabs from a public pier under subsection 28.65(b), the following limits apply when taking spiny lobster or crab.
(A) Between Point Arguello, Santa Barbara County, and the United States-Mexico border, not more than five hoop nets shall be possessed or deployed by a person, unless when two or more persons are on a vessel, in which case not more than 10 hoop nets may be possessed or deployed from such vessel.
(B) North of Point Arguello to the California-Oregon border, there is no limit on the number of hoop nets that may be possessed or deployed.
(5) Hoop Net Identification Requirements: All hoop nets shall be marked with a surface buoy except those hoop nets deployed by persons on shore or manmade structures connected to the shore.
(A) The surface buoy of hoop nets deployed from commercial passenger fishing vessels shall be legibly marked to identify the commercial boat registration number of the vessel.
(B) The surface buoy of hoop nets provided by a licensed guide to clients for use on guided trips shall be legibly marked to identify the guide license number of the accompanying guide.
(C) In all other cases, the surface buoy of any deployed hoop net shall be legibly marked with the operator's GO ID number, or the GO ID number of at least one operator if there are multiple operators.
(6) Hoop nets shall not be deployed and used in ocean waters south of Point Arguello, Santa Barbara County, during the 24-hour period prior to the opening of the recreational spiny lobster season.
(c) Crab traps:
(1) Crab traps shall have at least two rigid circular openings of not less than four and one-quarter inches inside diameter so constructed that the lowest portion of each opening is no lower than five inches from the top of the trap.
(2) Crab traps shall contain at least one destruct device of a single strand of untreated cotton twine size No. 120 or less that creates an unobstructed escape opening in the top or upper half of the trap of at least five inches in diameter when the destruct attachment material corrodes or fails.
(3) Trap Gear Identification: Every crab trap shall be marked with only a main buoy and a marker buoy, except as noted under subsection 29.80(c)(3)(C) below.
(A) A main buoy is a surface buoy that is at least 5 inches in diameter and 11 inches in length.
1. The main buoy for traps deployed by an individual shall be legibly marked with the operator’s assigned GO ID number.
2. The main buoy for traps deployed from a commercial passenger fishing vessel shall be legibly marked to identify the commercial boat registration number of that vessel.
(B) A marker buoy is a red buoy 3 inches in diameter and 5 inches in length attached no more than 3 feet from the main buoy.
(C) In addition to marking the buoy pursuant to subsection (c)(3)(A)2., traps deployed by commercial passenger fishing vessels shall be legibly marked to identify the commercial boat registration number of the vessel.
(4) Crab traps shall not be deployed and used in ocean waters seven days prior to the opening of the Dungeness crab season.
(5) Every crab trap shall be raised, cleaned, and emptied (serviced) at intervals not to exceed 9 days, weather conditions at sea permitting, and no crab trap shall be abandoned in the waters of this state.
(6) Trap Limits:
(A) An individual shall not operate more than 10 deployed traps, except an individual may service up to 10 additional traps if the individual has in possession written permission from the operator(s) of the additional traps whose gear are identified in accordance with subsection (c)(3)(A)1.
(B) A commercial passenger fishing vessel shall not deploy more than 60 traps per vessel.
(7) Starting at least 5 days in advance of the opening of the recreational Dungeness crab fishing season pursuant to Section 29.85, the director shall, on at least a monthly basis until the season opens statewide and March 1 through June 15, evaluate and respond to risk of humpback whales, blue whales, and/or Pacific leatherback sea turtle entanglement with recreational crab fishing gear as follows:
(A) The director shall evaluate entanglement risk based on marine life concentrations as defined in subsection 132.8(a)(10), Title 14, CCR, and consistent with the acceptable data and numerical triggers outlined in subsection 132.8(c)(2).
1. If data are available, and marine life concentrations meet the numerical triggers for any species as specified in subsection 132.8(c)(2)(A) 4. (in the fall) or 132.8(c)(2)(B) (in the spring), the director shall take action pursuant to subsection 29.80(c)(7)(B) below.
2. If data are unavailable prior to the recreational Dungeness crab season opener, the director shall take action pursuant to subsection 29.80(c)(7)(B) below until data are available, at which point subsection 29.80(c)(7)(A)1. shall apply.
(B) If required under subsection 29.80(c)(7)(A) above, the director after consulting with the president of the commission or the president’s designee, shall implement one or more of the following recreational management actions that the director demonstrates protects humpback whales, blue whales, and/or Pacific leatherback sea turtles based on best available science. Recreational management action shall be determined based on consideration of information outlined in subsection 132.8(d):
1. Advisory notice to recreational crab fishers to employ voluntary efforts and/or measures to reduce the risk of entanglements (e.g. best fishing practices).
2. Recreational Dungeness crab season delay and continuation of the crab trap prohibition specified in subsection 29.80(c)(4), whereby the director shall prohibit the deployment and use of recreational crab traps until new data indicates the numerical triggers for any species as specified in subsection 132.8(c)(2)(A) 4. (in the fall) are no longer met, at which point the director shall lift or modify the Dungeness crab season delay as appropriate.
3. Season closure, whereby the director shall prohibit the deployment and use of recreational crab traps until new data indicates the numerical triggers for any species as specified in subsection 132.8(c)(2)(B) (in the spring) are no longer met, or the normal end of the Dungeness crab season specified in subsection 29.85(b)(2), at which point the director shall lift or modify the closure as appropriate.
(C) Recreational management action may be implemented statewide or by fishing zone(s) (as defined in subsections 132.8(a)(7)(A)-(G)), if the director demonstrates less-than-statewide action protects humpback whales, blue whales, and/or Pacific leatherback sea turtles based on best available science.
(D) Notice of a delay or closure pursuant to subsection 29.80(c)(7)(B) 2. or 3. shall be transmitted via a director’s declaration. The declaration will describe the following:
1. Data supporting the entanglement risk evaluation pursuant to subsection 29.80(c)(7)(A).
2. Relevant information informing management considerations from subsection 132.8(d).
3. Rationale for nexus between management considerations in subsection 132.8(d) and chosen recreational management action under subsection 29.80(c)(7)(B).
4. Duration of management action.
(E) The director’s declaration pursuant to subsection 29.80(c)(7)(D) shall provide a minimum of 5 days’ notice before the delay or closure becomes effective.
(F) The director’s declaration and/or any advisory notice shall be communicated via the department’s “Whale Safe Fisheries” web page located at https://wildlife.ca.gov/Conservation/Marine/Whale-Safe-Fisheries. At its discretion, the department may communicate declarations and/or advisory notices via additional formats.
(G) After the director implements a management action pursuant to subsection (c)(7)(B), he or she shall notify the commission and request that the commission schedule a public discussion of the management action at its next regularly-scheduled commission meeting.
(d) Crab loop traps may have up to six loops.
(e) Crab trap areas: Crab traps, including crab loop traps, may be used north of Point Arguello, Santa Barbara County to take all species of crabs.
(f) Shrimp and prawn traps may be used to take shrimp and prawns only. Trap openings may not exceed ½ inch in any dimension on traps used south of Point Conception nor five inches in any dimension on traps used north of Point Conception.
(g) Diving for crustaceans: In all ocean waters, except as provided in Section 29.05, skin and SCUBA divers may take crustaceans by the use of the hands only. Divers may not possess any hooked device while diving or attempting to dive. Divers may be in possession of spearfishing equipment so long as possession of such equipment is otherwise lawful and is not being used to aid in the take of crustaceans.
(h) Gear Restrictions. It shall be unlawful to use anything other than the following hand-operated devices to take sand crabs or shrimp: spades, shovels, hoes, forks, rakes, devices that use suction commonly known as slurp guns or clam guns, or rigid pipes used to prevent the collapse of holes when digging for sand crabs or shrimp. It shall be unlawful to use any other devices to take crabs or shrimp, including any hydraulic pump or other devices capable of liquifying sand.
(i) Dip nets and Hawaiian-type throw nets: Shrimp may be taken with dip nets and Hawaiian-type throw nets north of Point Conception.
(j) Shrimp trawls: Shrimp beam trawls may be used to take shrimp only in San Francisco Bay waters east of the Golden Gate Bridge, and in San Pablo Bay. The beam trawl frame from which the net is hung may not exceed 24 inches by 18 inches. The trawl may be towed by motorized vessels but may not be retrieved by mechanical devices. Any fish, other than shrimp, caught in the trawl must be returned immediately to the water.
29.91. Spiny Lobster Report Card Requirements for Ocean Waters.
(a) Spiny Lobster Report Card Required. All individuals must have a Spiny Lobster Report Card in their possession while fishing for or taking spiny lobster. In the case of a person diving from a boat, the report card may be kept in the boat, or in the case of a person diving from the shore, the report card may be kept within 500 yards from the point of entry. Individuals must complete and return the card pursuant to regulations in this section and in Section 1.74.
(b) Prior to beginning fishing activity, the cardholder must record the month, day, location, and gear code on the first available line on the report card. For purposes of this subsection “beginning fishing activity” is defined as placing a hoop net into the water or entering the ocean to take spiny lobster.
(c) When the cardholder moves to another location code, or finishes fishing for the day, the cardholder must immediately record on the card the number of spiny lobster kept from that location. (d) In the event an individual fills in all lines and returns a Spiny Lobster Report Card, an additional card may be purchased. See Section 1.74.
(e) The annual fee for the Spiny Lobster Report Card is specified in Section 701, Title 14, CCR.