Some salmon season news:
Abalone Season Opens May 1,
One Month Later Than Years Past
CDFW is reminding abalone divers that the 2017 season will be shortened by two months, with the traditional opening date of April 1 now delayed until May 1. The fishery will also close a month earlier than usual, on Oct. 31. The July closure remains in effect.
The annual (calendar year) limit is changing from 18 abalone to 12. As in the past, no more than nine abalone may be taken south of the boundary between Sonoma and Mendocino counties. Make sure you are familiar with the 2017-18 Ocean Sport Fishing Regulations before you hit the water.
The red abalone limit was reduced and season shortened because CDFW surveys found lower densities of red abalone in deeper waters due to recent unfavorable environmental conditions. There have been three years of poor growth of kelp, a major food for abalone. Dramatic increases in purple sea urchin populations have further reduced the food available for abalone. Lack of food can cause abalone to die from starvation or to be weakened and reduce their ability to survive strong waves. Lack of food in deeper water has probably caused abalone to move into shallower water where they can be caught in the fishery.
The concentration of abalone in shallow water will make them seem more abundant but the overall population is lower and more vulnerable to overfishing. For more details, visit https://cdfwmarine.wordpress.com/2016/03/30/perfect-storm-decimates-kelp/.
Abalone report cards are now available for purchase. Get your fishing license and abalone report card so you don’t miss a single day of the season.