Tight Lines: New sheephead fillet-at-sea regulations are now in effect

STATEWIDE—Are you planning to fillet your California sheephead catch at sea? There is a new regulation fully in effect, as of April 1, for Southern California anglers who catch sheephead. The new regulation, according to the state’s Department of Fish and Wildlife (DFW), “adds a 6.75-inch minimum fillet length and requires that the entire skin remain intact, allowing legal-sized California sheephead to be filleted on board vessels while at sea and brought ashore as fillets.”

The new regulations, according to DFW staff, will be included in the supplemental sportfishing regulations booklet. Also included in the supplemental booklet are updated regulations for black rockfish, canary rockfish, ocean salmon and Pacific halibut.

DFW staff worked with the Sportfishing Association of California to develop and establish the new regulation.

The changes to sheephead fillet regulations furring the February Fish and Game Commission meetings in Sacramento.

“The Sportfishing Association of California sincerely appreciates the Department and their willingness to work with the community to solve a problem which will result in the protection of our resources. This is just another example of the collaborative efforts of the Department and industry as we jointly assist recreational fishing efforts,” Ken Franke, president of the Sportfishing Association of California, said in a released statement.

Contact Miranda Haggerty, an environmental scientist with DFW, at 858-467-2015 for more information about the sheephead fillet regulation change.

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