Fishing

California Spiny Lobster Season

California Spiny Lobster

California Spiny Lobster season is literally just hours away and the California Department of Game and Fish sent out a notice to make sure everyone is aware of the regulations for the upcoming season.

“Regulations governing the sport take of spiny lobster have helped to preserve the tradition of lobster diving and hoop netting for spiny lobster in Southern California,” the DFG said.

Make sure to keep up to date on all of the lobster regulations. The 2011-12 spiny lobster season regulations include:

• Anglers (16 years or older) must possess a valid sport fishing license, enhancement stamp and a lobster report card.

• Children who are under 16 and fishing for lobster must possess a lobster report card.

• Lobster report cards need to be filled out while you are on your fishing trip. Prior to the start of your fishing activity, the card holder must record the month, day, location and gear code on the card.

• When finished fishing or changing locations, the fishermen must immediately record the number of lobster taken from that location.

California Spiny lobster taken must measure at least 3 1/4 inches in length, and are measured in a straight line on the mid-line of the back from the rear edge of the eye socket to the rear edge of the body shell.

• The daily bag and possession limit is seven lobsters.

• Divers may take lobsters by hand only.

• For those catching lobster with a Type B hoop net, the upper ring or rings shall be connected to the bottom ring and supported by no more than six rigid support arms, and the assembled frame shall measure no more than 10 inches tall. This is a change in the regulations not printed in the Ocean Regulations or the supplement.

• No more than five hoop nets may be possessed by a person when taking spiny lobster or crab. No more than 10 hoop nets may be possessed aboard a vessel, regardless of how many fishermen are onboard.

Lobster report cards must be returned to the Department of Fish and Game (DFG) by the end of January of the following year regardless of whether you used the card or were able to catch any lobster. This information is extremely valuable for management, so please don’t forget to turn in your cards. Anglers who fill up a report card can turn in their card and purchase another.

DFG has fish samplers working at many launch ramps and beaches, and they’re anxious to interview anglers and measure their lobsters to collect information on this valuable fishery.

The sport season for California’s spiny lobster season opens at one minute after midnight on Saturday, October 1 and continues through March 21, 2012.

The complete set of California spiny lobster regulations are contained in the 2011-12 Ocean Sport Fishing regulations booklet, found online at www.dfg.ca.gov/regulations and wherever fishing licenses are sold.

For more information about California’s spiny lobster is available on the DFG website at www.dfg.ca.gov/marine.