Wednesday August 23, 2023

California Department of Fish and Wildlife

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) announced that as of 12:01 a.m. Friday, Sept. 1, 2023, the 50-fathom Rockfish Conservation Area (RCA) boundary line for the Mendocino Groundfish Management Area (GMA) (Cape Mendocino to Point Arena), San Francisco GMA (Point Arena to Pigeon Point) and Central GMA (Pigeon Point to Point Conception), will take effect.

In these GMAs, recreational boat-based groundfish fishing will be ‘offshore only’ and allowed only seaward (away from land) of the 50-fathom boundary line, defined by straight lines connecting waypoints (50 CFR Part 660, Subpart G). Shelf rockfish, slope rockfish and lingcod may be taken seaward of the 50-fathom boundary line, while it will be unlawful to take or possess nearshore rockfish as defined in Title 14, Section 1.91(a)(1), cabezon or greenlings at any depth. In the Southern GMA from Pt. Conception to the U.S.-Mexico border, these same ‘offshore only’ rules will take effect as originally planned on Sept. 16.

During the ‘offshore only’ fishery, fishing gear shall not be deployed shoreward of the 50-fathom RCA boundary line when shelf rockfish, slope rockfish or lingcod are possessed onboard the vessel, however vessels may transit shoreward of the 50-fathom RCA boundary line with these species in possession if no gear is deployed. Additionally, vessels fishing in the adjacent Southern GMA and transiting back to the Central GMA must adhere to the ‘offshore only’ provisions effective in the Central GMA and shall not return with nearshore species aboard. These changes do not apply to shore-based anglers or divers.

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