Abalone Season Begins Today (April 1, 2007)

Mar. 22, 2007
News Release

Contact(s):
Carrie Wilson, DFG Office of Communications and Education, (831) 649-7191
Jerry Kashiwada, Marine Region, (707) 964-5791

Starting April 1, the season reopens for divers and shore pickers to hunt for California’s famous red abalone in waters north of San Francisco Bay.

The open season for the delectable mollusk will run from April 1 through June 30 with a one-month closure during July to give the resource a “breather” at a time of year when abalone take has traditionally been high. The season resumes on Aug. 1 and runs through Nov. 30.

Regulations governing the sport take of red abalone have helped to preserve the tradition of abalone diving and shore picking in northern California for nearly 100 years. For 2007, red abalone regulations include:

• Free divers and shore pickers (16 years or older) must possess a valid sport fishing license as well as an Abalone Permit Report Card (also known as a “punch card”). The use of scuba is prohibited.

• Abalone taken must exceed the minimum size limit of 7 inches measured along the longest shell diameter.

• The daily bag limit is three per day, with a maximum limit of 24 abalone per year.

• Abalone Permit Report Cards must be returned to DFG within 30 days of the close of the season (due Dec. 30, 2007). Report cards should be mailed to DFG’s Fort Bragg field office at 19160 South Harbor Drive, Fort Bragg, CA 95437-5798. The cards may be submitted early. Regulations also require that report cards be returned even if no abalone were taken.

For the full set of abalone regulations, check the 2007 Ocean Sport Fishing regulations booklet, available wherever fishing licenses are sold and online at www.dfg.ca.gov/regulations.

This is the seventh year an Abalone Permit Report Card has been required in addition to a fishing license for each person taking abalone. Those taking abalone are required to immediately punch a hole in the appropriate area on the card and record catch information for each abalone taken once they reach shore or boat. The report card is a valuable tool that helps DFG manage the northern California red abalone fishery. Data from the cards are used along with other information to estimate landings – information that helps biologists monitor the health of this sport fishery. For more information about California’s red abalone, visit the DFG Web site at www.dfg.ca.gov/mrd/abalone.html.

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