With the advent of Spring comes the opening of the 2008 abalone season on the Mendocino Coast. Beginning April 1st, the waters north of San Francisco Bay are open for abalone fishing. There’s a new tagging requirement for abalone this year, on top of all of the previous regulations. Free divers and shore pickers are now required to tag their catches as soon as they exit the water.
Here are the 2008 California regulations for abalone:
- Red abalone can be taken from April 1 through June 30, and from August 1 through November 30. The waters are closed during July for a recovery period during the high-take season.
- The daily limit per person is 3 per day, with a maximum of 24 per year.
- Abalone have to be at least 7 inches in diameter.
- They can only be taken by hand or with abalone irons. Scuba gear is prohibited.
- All persons 16 and older must have a California fishing license, as well as an abalone report card.
- Abalone must be tagged with a tag from the report card immediately upon exiting the water (to the shore or a motorized boat). People in kayaks can wait until they reach shore.
- Abalone must remain in the shell with tags attached until being prepared for immediate consumption.
You can find out more on the Web site for the CA Department of Fish and Game, including a video on how to use the new tags.
Have fun, and be safe! Check out our page on Ocean Safety for some tips on remaining safe around the ocean.