California spiny lobster season nears its end

The recreational spiny lobster fishing season started Sept. 28, 2019 and ends March 18.

STATEWIDE—All good things come to an end – for California’s 2019-2020 spiny lobster season, that end is nearing. The season ends March 18 at midnight.

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) reminds anglers spiny lobster report cards are due by April 30. They can be filled out online at bit.ly/2UY6G5Y or mailed to CDFW, Lobster Report Card, 3883 Ruffin Rd., San Diego, CA 92123.

CDFW requires all anglers, even young ones, to have a spiny lobster report card in their possession while fishing for or taking lobster. The cards must be reported even if no lobsters were taken or no attempts were made to take lobsters.

If multiple spiny lobster report cards were purchased, all cards, including lost cards, should be reported to avoid the $20 non-return fee when purchasing a spiny lobster report card next lobster fishing season.

According to CDFW, unlike commercial catch, the department had very little reliable information on the magnitude of the recreational lobster catch and fishing effort prior to the lobster report card.

“Data from these report cards allow us to determine if catch is increasing or decreasing, the number of lobsters caught per fishing trip, and which gear type is the most efficient,” CDFW Marine Environmental Scientist Jenny Hofmeister said in a released statement. “All these pieces of information help managers monitor the population. Everyone benefits from reporting your catch on time. Lobster divers and hoop netters avoid paying the non-return fee, and, more importantly, CDFW scientists can ensure the fishery remains sustainable.”

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