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New Crab Trap Restrictions in California: What Recreational Fishermen Need to Know

Map of fishing zones in California with boundaries outlined and labeled.
Map of fishing zones in California with boundaries outlined and labeled.

Dear Members of the Bay Area Sportfishers Club,

This is about the Crab Trap Restrictions in California I wanted to bring to your attention the recent announcement from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) regarding the recreational crab trap prohibition in Fishing Zones 3-6, which will take effect on May 15, 2023 at 12 p.m. (noon). This decision has been made to protect the humpback whales that have started to return to forage off the coast of California.

As recreational fishermen, it is our responsibility to ensure that we are doing our part in protecting these majestic creatures. This means adhering to the regulations set forth by the CDFW to minimize entanglement risks. While this may be an inconvenience, it is necessary to ensure the safety and well-being of our marine life.

It is important to note that the recreational take of Dungeness crab by other methods, such as hoop nets and crab snares, will still be allowed through the close of the season on June 30, 2023. However, it is vital that we all follow the best practices(Found Below) to minimize any potential risks.

Additionally, Fishing Zones 1 through 6 are under a Fleet Advisory for both the commercial and recreational Dungeness crab fisheries until the season closes in each Fishing Zone. As a reminder, all anglers should be prepared to act quickly to remove fishing gear from remaining open areas should entanglement risk become elevated.

At the Bay Area Sportfishers Club, we take conservation and sustainability seriously. We encourage all of our members to support these efforts by following all regulations and best practices while out on the water.

We understand that this news may come as a disappointment to some of our members, but we hope that you will join us in doing our part to protect the humpback whales and other marine life in our waters. Let us continue to fish responsibly and sustainably, and lead by example in our community.

Here is a PDF of the Best Practices Guide

Download PDF • 1.03MB

Tight lines, Frankie and the Bay Area Sportfishers Club

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