Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Groundfish Season Opens on the Mendocino County Coast

The following is a Facebook post published by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife:

Get ready for the May 1 groundfish opener! The Northern Management Area and the Mendocino Management Area are open for boat-based groundfish fishing as of May 1, and are scheduled to remain open through Dec. 31. The Northern Management Area encompasses the ocean waters between 42°00′ N. latitude (CA-OR state line) and 40°10′ N. latitude (near Cape Mendocino). The Mendocino Management Area encompasses the ocean waters between 40°10′ N. latitude (near Cape Mendocino) and 38°57.5′ N. latitude (Point Arena). The groundfish fishery for divers and shore-based anglers is open year-round.

Please remember that from May 1 through Oct. 31 take is prohibited seaward of the 30 fathom (180 feet) Rockfish Conservation Area boundary line. Beginning November 1 through Dec. 31 the fishery is scheduled to be open at all depths. You can find downloadable maps of RCA waypoints and lines at https://wildlife.ca.gov/conservation/marine/groundfish…

It is important to dust off those fish ID skills, especially since new sub-bag limits in 2022 for vermilion rockfish, copper rockfish and quillback rockfish are in effect. Be ready to identify these three fish, their sub-bag limits are as follows:

  • Vermilion rockfish: 4 fish per person
  • Quillback rockfish: 1 fish per person
  • Copper rockfish: 1 fish per person

Flyers are available that can be used to help identify vermilion rockfish, copper rockfish and quillback rockfish from similar looking species. You can find them at https://wildlife.ca.gov/fishing/ocean/fish-id. The rockfish, cabezon, and greenling (RCG) combined daily bag limit remains at 10 fish.

Please note that anglers should check CDFW’s website for the current regulations before fishing for groundfish, which include rockfish, lingcod and other species as defined in the California Code of Regulations, Title 14, section 1.91, as changes can occur in-season. For more information on the new 2022 recreational rockfish sub-bag limits and to stay informed of in-season changes, please call the Recreational Groundfish Hotline at (831) 649-2801 or visit CDFW’s summary of recreational groundfish fishing regulations for 2022 at https://wildlife.ca.gov/…/regulations/groundfish-summary

For background information on groundfish science and management, please visit CDFW’s Marine Region Groundfish page at https://wildlife.ca.gov/conservation/marine/groundfish

Can you identify which rockfish is featured in these photos?


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MendoFever Staff
MendoFever Staff
Editor's Note: Whenever an article's byline reads "MendoFever Staff", the contents of that article were not composed by any of our reporters. Types of writing that will be attributed to "MendoFever Staff" include press releases, letters to the editor, op-eds, obituaries— essentially writing that is not produced by a reporter.

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