SACRAMENTO — California’s Department of Fish and Wildlife (DFW) announced, for the first time in more than a decade, anglers would be allowed to retain canary rockfish. The species was declared overfished in 2000, however its population was recently announced as rebuilt.
“The population rebuilt to healthy levels quicker than anticipated based on a combination of conservation efforts and restrictive management,” DFW staff said in a released statement.
DFW announced the fishery would be open for 2017.
Anglers must abide by the following statewide guidelines:
- New sub-bag limit of one canary rockfish within the 10-fish rockfish, cabezon, greenling bag limit
- New sub-bag limit of three black rockfish within the 10-fish rockfish, cabezon, greenling bag limit
- Two-fish bag limit for lingcod;
- Year-round retention of petrale sole and starry flounder at all depths.
The sub-bag limit for bocaccio was eliminated.
“Take and possession of bronzespotted rockfish, cowcod and yelloweye rockfish will remain prohibited statewide,” DFW staff stated.
Regulatory changes were made to the canary rockfish fishery in late 2016. The changes went into effect Feb. 7.
Southern California anglers will be able to catch canary rockfish in 60 fathoms (360 feet) or less beginning March 1. The local fishery will remain open through Dec. 31.
The fishery will also be open in California’s other regions according to the following schedule:
- Central Coast: April 1 to Dec. 31, 50 fathoms (300 feet) or less
- San Francisco: April 15 to Dec. 31, 40 fathoms (240 feet) or less
- Mendocino Coast: May 1 to Oct. 31, 20 fathoms (120 feet) or less, then Nov. 1 to Dec. 31 without depth restriction
- Northern Coast: May 1 to Oct. 31, 30 fathoms (180 feet) or less, then Nov. 1 to Dec. 31 without depth restriction.
Additional information on recreational groundfish regulations, including in-season changes, is available via the state’s Recreational Groundfish Hotline, which is at 831-649-2801. Up-to-date information is also available at wildlife.ca.gov/conservation/marine/groundfish.
(California DFW photo)