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Old 03-27-2008, 11:56 PM   #1
scubapro5
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Default Abalone Fishing Season To Open April 1; New Tagging Requirement

Abalone Fishing Season To Open April 1; New Tagging Requirement

The season for California's popular red abalone sport fishery will open April 1 in waters north of San Francisco Bay. New in 2008, the Department of Fish and Game (DFG) will now require free divers and shore pickers of all ages who pursue this mollusk to have an abalone report card and to tag their catch immediately after exiting the water.
"California's red abalone is a very important and valuable fishery resource," said Nancy Foley, Chief of DFG's Law Enforcement Division. "This new regulation should enable our law enforcement officers to better enforce regulations designed to prevent the overharvest of this abalone fishery."

While the abalone report card is not new this year, the tagging requirement is. The new regulation will allow DFG to better track abalone taken from California waters and ultimately manage the species more effectively.

"The abalone report cards have greatly increased the consistency of our estimates of annual take and are a vital source of information needed to manage this resource," said Associate Marine Biologist Jerry Kashiwada. "The tags will help address the issue of people neglecting to fill out their cards and help ensure annual limits are not exceeded. The new requirement will allow us to account for abalone taken by persons under 16 years of age and on free fishing days. In the past those numbers were largely unknown."

California 2008 Sport Fishing Regulations for Abalone are as follows:

_ Red abalone may be taken from April 1 through June 30; and from Aug. 1 through Nov. 30 in California's waters north of San Francisco. The sport fishery is closed in July to allow abalone a recovery period during this traditionally high-take period.

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

_ Abalone taken must measure at least 7 inches in diameter.

_ Abalone may only be taken by hand or by abalone irons. Scuba gear and surface-supplied air are prohibited.

_ Free divers and shore pickers (16 years or older) must possess a valid sport fishing license. Abalone report cards are required by everyone fishing for or taking abalone.

_ Licenses and report cards are required on all abalone fishing days, including the two free fishing days, June 7 and Sept. 27.

_ Abalone must be tagged immediately upon exiting the water or immediately upon boarding a vessel, whichever comes first. Persons using non-motorized vessels (like kayaks) may wait until reaching shore to tag their abalone and record information on their abalone report cards.

_ All abalone must be tagged with a detachable tag corresponding to the abalone report card of the diver/picker. Even abalone given to others must retain the tags until ready for immediate consumption. Tags separated from abalone report cards prior to use are invalid. Tags must remain attached to abalone report cards until an abalone is being tagged.

_ Abalone must remain in the shell with tags attached until being prepared for immediate consumption. Everyone engaging in the take of abalone is responsible for knowing and abiding by all California Marine Sport Fishing Regulations pertaining to abalone. DFG has produced a short video that demonstrates the new tagging procedures that will be required. To view this video online and to see a complete list of abalone fishing regulations, log on to http://www.dfg.ca.gov/education/vide...gulations.html. A complete list of abalone fishing regulations is available in the 2008 Ocean Sport Fishing Regulations booklet, which is available wherever fishing licenses are sold or online at

www.dfg.ca.gov/marine/pdfs/oceanfish2008.pdf
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