Recreational ocean fishery opened on May 1

Anglers were directed to ‘strictly follow state and local health guidelines.'

SACRAMENTO—California’s Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) allowed the recreational ocean fishery, which includes angling for ocean salmon, groundfish and Pacific halibut, on May 1, as planned. The season opens annually on May 1 and continues through the fall.

The ocean salmon season start applies to the Fort Bragg, San Francisco and Monterey areas; Monterey includes Central and Southern California. Anglers will also be able to fish for groundfish in other management areas. Pacific halibut fishing also opened statewide on May 1.

“Anglers are reminded to abide by all state and local health guidelines regarding non-essential travel and physical distancing,” CDFW staff said in a released statement. “Staying home in order to stay healthy is the best way to keep yourself and others safe. Anglers are also advised to check with local authorities on the status of harbor services and access points as many site closures and access restrictions exist and may change daily.”

Anglers are limited to using only one line with up to two hooks for the recreational Pacific halibut fishery. Harpoon, gaff or net may be used to assist an angler in the taking of a legally caught Pacific halibut. Take by spearfishing is also allowed.

The ocean salmon season is slated to run from May 1 to Nov. 8, with a daily bag limit of two salmon of any species (except soho). The minimum size limit is 20 inches, total length.

“No more than two daily bag limits may be in possession when on land,” according to state regulations. “On a vessel in ocean waters, no person shall possess or bring ashore more than one daily bag limit.”

California’s ocean salmon, groundfish and Pacific halibut fisheries are governed by federal regulations; the Pacific Fishery Management Council makes policy recommendations on all three fisheries. Regulations for state waters are made by the California Fish and Game Commission and match federal season dates.

There are several hotlines available for the three fisheries:

–          ocean salmon, 707-576-3429 (CDFW), 800-662-9825 (National Marine Fisheries Service)

–          recreational groundfish, 831-649-2801 (CDFW)

–          Pacific halibut, 831-649-2801 (CDFW), 800-662-9825 (National Marine Fisheries Service).


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