STATEWIDE — We’re approaching the end of yet another summer season, which is good news for Southern California’s recreational lobster divers, hoop netters and hunters.
The 2016 recreational spiny lobster season will begin in late September, but divers and hunters can get a jump on the year’s open hunt by purchasing report cards on Aug. 15.
California requires all spiny lobster divers, hoop netters and hunters to record their catches on an official report card. The card can be obtained from the state’s Department of Fish and Wildlife (DFW) for $9.46. All purchased report cards are valid for the length of the recreational spiny lobster season.
Failure to return the spiny lobster report card after the season will result in a $20 fee assessed when the holder purchases the requires documents again in 2017. The deadline to return your spiny lobster report card – whether or not you caught any lobsters – is April 30, 2017.
Report cards are available at all DFW fishing license sales office or online at ca.wildlifelicense.com/internetsales or by phone at 800-565-1458. Visit wildlife.ca.gov/licensing/fishing for more information.
The recreational spiny lobster season opens on Oct. 1 and continues through March 22, 2017.
California law restricts the daily recreational catch to seven lobsters person.
“No more than one daily bag limit may be taken or possessed by any one person unless otherwise authorized … regardless of whether they are fresh, frozen or otherwise preserved,” DFW staff stated about the catch limit. “This means that if you have a limit of seven lobsters at home, you cannot go out and get more lobsters until the first limit is disposed of in some way (eaten, given away, etc.).”
Anyone who takes lobster must carry a measuring device.
Click here to find out more about frequently asked questions and various resources about spiny lobster.
In addition to the report card all divers, hoop netters and hunters must also purchase a California Sport Fishing License with a Sport Ocean Enhancement validation.
“Any child who is under 16 years of age or adult who is hoop netting from a public pier (only two hoop nets allowed) is not required to purchase a sport fishing license,” DFW officials stated.
More information about California’s Spiny Lobster Fishery Management Plan can be found here.