Regulations | Illustrations and Additional Information
NOTE: The red abalone season closure has been extended through March 31, 2021.
Phase-out of Printed Regulation Booklets: As part of a broader effort by the department to go paperless, CDFW is in the process of transitioning to online regulations books and will be decreasing the number of printed books shipped to license agents and CDFW offices in 2019 and beyond. The cost to print and ship regulations books is significant, and money saved will be put toward fish and wildlife conservation. This year's booklets will also be returning to the smaller, mostly black-and-white format.
Try our Ocean Sport Fishing Interactive Web Map on your next fishing trip! This new resource is designed to help you visualize sport fishing regulation boundaries, including marine protected areas and groundfish conservation area depth restrictions, on your mobile phone.
- General Provisions and Definitions
- Finfish Fishing Regulations
Includes limits, filleting, individual species regulations, and more
- Finfish Fishing Gear Restrictions
- Invertebrate Fishing Regulations NOTE: The red abalone season closure has been extended through March 31, 2021.
Includes limits, seasons, gear restrictions, individual species regulations, and more for abalone, crab, clams, lobster, mussels, scallops, and other invertebrates
- Marine Plant Regulations
- 2019-2020 Sport Fishing Regulations Supplement (PDF)
Regulations effective through February 28, 2020 unless otherwise noted
This is the annual supplement that contains final 2019 ocean salmon seasons and other ocean salmon fishing regulations. The supplement also includes updated California sheephead fillet-at-sea regulations, and changes in purple sea urchin, canary rockfish, black rockfish, lingcod, and Pacific halibut regulations. Freshwater salmon and trout fishing information is also included.
- 2019 In-Season Ocean Fishing Regulation Changes
This page provides links to CDFW news releases detailing the reasons behind in-season regulatory changes as well as a summary of changes.
- California Ocean Sport Fishing Regulations Map
Up-to-date sport fishing regulations online - just click on the map to see regulations for your area.
- California Marine Protected Area Maps and Regulations
- Summaries of Recreational Groundfish Fishing Regulations
- Ocean Salmon Season Information
- Updated Dungeness and Rock Crab Season Information
- Fishing License Information
Fish Identification, How-To Videos, Maps, and Additional Information
California Fishing Passport
A fishing incentive and recognition program to highlight and promote fishing throughout the state. Pick up your free copy of the California Fishing Passport
book listing 150 different popular fresh and saltwater finfish and shellfish that occur throughout the state. Try to catch one of every species listed, and you will receive stamps in your passport book documenting each achievement.
Fish Identification Illustrations
- Black, Blue Rockfish ID Flyer
This flyer lists identifying features that can be used to differentiate between black rockfish and blue rockfish.
- Canary, Vermilion, Yelloweye Rockfish ID Flyer
This flyer lists identifying features that can be used to differentiate between canary rockfish, yelloweye rockfish, and vermilion rockfish.
- Crabbing for Dungeness Crab from a Vessel - Part I (YouTube)
This video shows different types of gear, and how to prepare for a day of crabbing.
- Crabbing for Dungeness Crab from a Vessel - Part II (YouTube)
This video shows how to deploy and retrieve crab pots, as well as how to handle and measure Dungeness crab.
- Rockfish and Lingcod Fishing Tips and Tricks (YouTube)
This video provides guidance and tips for having a successful day of fishing for rockfish and lingcod.
- Live Bait Fishing (YouTube)
This video shows how to set up and fish surface waters using live bait.
- Pier Fishing (YouTube)
This video shows how to set up and fish from a Southern California pier. Basic information applies to pier fishing at other locations in California, as well.
- Demonstration Video (YouTube): California Abalone Reporting and Tagging Requirements
This video shows abalone sport divers and rock pickers how to comply with abalone regulations enacted April 2008.
- Cowcod Conservation Areas
- Fort Ross Red Abalone Closure Map (PDF)
Regulations (Section 29.15(b)(1)) effective January 1, 2014
- Measurement Methods for Finfish and Invertebrates (PDF)
- Health Advisories and Fishery Closures for California Finfish, Shellfish, and Crustaceans