Category Archives: Editor’s Blog

Gas Truck Accident In Sonoma Prompts GSSA Fundraiser To Be Postponed

The following is courtesy of the Golden Gate Salmon Association:

Sonoma, CA (November 18, 2019) – The crash of a gasoline tanker truck which spilled 4300 gallons of gas and shut down state highway 121 Saturday in both directions has forced the rescheduling of the 6th Annual Sonoma Salmon Stewards fundraising dinner.  The dinner is sponsored by the Golden State Salmon Association (GSSA), formerly GGSA, and is an annual highlight in Sonoma’s Valley of the Moon.

The dinner has been rescheduled for Saturday, February 1 at Viansa Sonoma and will honor biodynamic cannabis farmer Erich Pearson, founder operator of Sparc Farm at Gordenker Ranch in Glen Ellen.  The February dinner will feature an evening of culinary delights and Sonoma County’s finest wines. It will also feature an auction to raise money to support GSSA’s work to keep strong salmon populations in California.

Among the very special auction items:

  • a weekend for six at a private estate on the beautiful rugged south Mendocino coast,
  • a weekend for two at SF Japantown’s luxurious Kabuki Hotel topped off with tickets to the Fillmore Auditorium for a show of your choice
  • an overnight stay at Plumpjack resort in Squaw Valley.
  • a weekend at beautiful Caples Lake Resort in the Sierras, complete with a free boat rental
  • a clays shoot at Sonoma’s Wing and Barrel for you and your friends.

In the category of unusual, unique experiences to be auctioned:

  • a rare, private tour behind the scenes at the state’s most successful salmon hatchery
  • a customized guided visit for ten to one of the state’s most successful cannabis cultivating farms in Sonoma County
  • a private, customized fishing trip for four on a state of the art, comfortable, top of the line sport fishing boat.
  • a customized dinner for ten at the historic William Tell House in Tomales
  • a twilight crab and wine dinner for six on a private Bodega Bay charter boat.
  • a personalized fly fishing experience to be used either in the upper Sacramento River or Trinity River.

Original tickets will be accepted and there are still tickets available at

Any who had tickets for the November 16 date who can’t make the February date or want a refund should contact GSSA at the number below.

“We are sorry we’ve had to reschedule due to circumstances beyond our control but the show will go on and we thank supporters for being understanding and bearing with us,” said GSSA president John McManus.

The festivities will take place at Viansa Sonoma, 25200 Arnold Drive in Sonoma on Saturday, February1 starting at 5p.m until 9p.m. The winery known for its wetlands and views, provides a perfect location for the annual GSSA fundraiser.

  The evening will begin with an appetizer reception, followed by a dinner prepared by critically acclaimed Chef Ted Wilson of William Tell House in Tomales Bay.

For Tickets:

For ticket refunds contact Cat Kaiser at 855-251-4472

About Viansa Sonoma

Established in February 1990 with the goal of bringing the Northern Italian culture of food and wine to the Sonoma valley and share the rich family history of Vicki and Sam Sebastiani. Viansa winery is located on beautiful hillside in the picturesque Carneros region of Sonoma Valley featuring a 97 acre waterfowl preserve where migratory ducks and geese find sanctuary during on their annual trip between Canada and Mexico.

About GSSA

The Golden State Salmon Association ( is a coalition of salmon advocates that includes commercial and recreational salmon fisherman, businesses, restaurants, a native tribe, environmentalists, elected officials, families and communities dedicated to restoring California salmon for their economic, recreational, commercial, environmental, cultural and health values

More Delays For NorCal Commercial Dungeness Season

The following is courtesy of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife:

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) is providing the following information and important updates on the status of the Northern and Central California commercial Dungeness crab fisheries.

Northern Management Area (Fish and Game Districts 6, 7, 8 and 9):

In a memo released today, CDFW Director Charlton H. Bonham delayed the northern California commercial Dungeness crab season due to poor crab meat quality test results. The delayed area in the north includes Mendocino, Humboldt and Del Norte counties (Fish and Game Districts 6, 7, 8 and 9).

The northern Dungeness crab fishery is delayed until 12:01 a.m. on Monday, Dec. 16, 2019 pending another round of testing tentatively scheduled on or around Dec. 1. If these results indicate good quality and there is no area under an additional domoic acid delay, the fishery will open Monday, Dec. 16, and be preceded by a 64-hour gear setting period that would begin 8:01 a.m. on Friday, Dec. 13, 2019.

Crab are evaluated to compare meat weight to total crab weight to determine whether they are ready for harvest under testing guidelines established by the Tri-State Dungeness Crab Committee in conjunction with tests done in Oregon and Washington. If results indicate poor crab quality, the CDFW director may delay the fishery under authority of Fish and Game Code, section 8276.2.

“This industry-supported quality test determines if Dungeness crab have filled out in time following their molting period,” said CDFW Environmental Scientist Christy Juhasz.

If the next round of quality testing continues to show low quality crab, Director Bonham has the authority to delay the season an additional 15 days, until Dec. 31. The season can be delayed no later than Jan. 15, which is what happened in the 2017-2018 and 2018-2019 seasons.

Central Management Area (Fish and Game Districts 10 and south):

The Central Management Area (Sonoma County and south) was delayed seven days by declaration of the Director to avoid marine life entanglements and opens at 12:01 a.m. on Friday, Nov. 22, assuming no additional delays due to domoic acid. This opening is preceded by an 18-hour gear setting period that would begin no earlier than 6:01 a.m. on Nov. 21.

However, ocean waters between Point Reyes, Marin County (38° 00.00’ N. latitude) and the northern boundary of Pillar Point State Marine Conservation Area in San Mateo County (37° 30.00’ N. latitude) has yet to clear for domoic acid. The opening or delay of the fishery in this area will be announced prior to 6 p.m. on Nov. 20.  If the scheduled opener in this area is declared delayed, the fleet will be informed when the area is cleared of domoic acid and, pursuant to Fish and Game Code, section 5523, will be given a 72-hour notice before pre-soak is to commence.

The fleet will be notified via press release and the Dungeness Crab Task Force email listserv as well as the CDFW Domoic Acid Fishery Closure Information Line at (831) 649-2883. All individuals planning to fish in this area are strongly encouraged to check these sources in order to confirm the opening time prior to setting their gear in this area.

For more information, please visit and read CDFW’s Frequently Asked Questions on the 2019-2020 Dungeness crab commercial season.

For more information on health advisories related to fisheries, please visit

Mad River Alliance Event Will Benefit Conservation

The following is courtesy of Mad River Alliance:




Mad River Alliance’s 9th birthday fundraiser! We will be celebrating with a barn dance with the Striped Pig Stringband, live music by Barn Fire, beverages, good food, and even better company! There will be a silent auction, 50/50 raffle, and a special raffle item from Thule, Kokatat, and Pacific Outfitters! All proceeds will go towards our restoration, conservation, education, and science & monitoring programs!
Arcata Veterans Memorial Hall
1425 J St, Arcata, CA 95521
December 7th, 7pm – 11:30pm




Want more information? Visit our Facebook page to RSVP and read more about it!
Can’t attend our event but still want to support? We have a donation page on our website!


Mad River Alliance
P.O. Box 1252
Blue Lake, CA 95525



Poached Deer Found On Compound Among Illegal Cannabis Busts

The following is courtesy of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife: 

In October, wildlife officers at the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) shut down several illegal cannabis grows in Kern and Tehama counties. The properties are owned by CDFW and set aside as protected wildlife habitat.

Support for the different missions was provided by several entities, including the California Department of Justice, the National Guard, the Kern County Sheriff’s Office and the Tehama County Sheriff’s Office.

In Kern County, wildlife officers eradicated nearly 10,000 illegal cannabis plants. One grow was discovered on the Allensworth Ecological Reserve with approximately 509 plants. Four subjects were arrested for felony cultivation, conspiracy, possession of methamphetamine, possession of a stolen firearm and numerous environmental violations. During the course of that investigation, officers located and eradicated another two plots adjacent to the ecological reserve with another 6,799 plants.

A third illegal grow site was discovered on CDFW land in western Kern County. Approximately 2,270 plants were eradicated and six search warrants were served all within a quarter mile of each other. There were no suspects at the locations.

“Sadly, discovering thousands of illegal plants on CDFW property demonstrates the extent those involved in illegal cultivation will go to grow their product,” said David Bess, CDFW Deputy Director and Chief of the Law Enforcement Division. “Those individuals engaged in this egregious behavior have no respect for the unique species of plants and wildlife that depend on these protected areas to live and thrive.”

In Tehama County, an illegal grow was discovered along Antelope Creek in the Tehama Wildlife Area. Approximately 2,500 fully budded plants were eradicated and nearly 250 lbs. of processed cannabis was seized. Evidence of a poached deer was also discovered. No suspects were onsite or arrested. Each property contained numerous environmental violations including litter, pollution, habitat destruction, illegal water diversions, alteration of a streambed, sediment discharge and other serious environmental crimes.

All these illegal cannabis grows were located in counties with sensitive wildlife habitat which are home to several important species of plants, birds, mammals and fish found nowhere else in the world.

CDFW encourages the public to report illegal cannabis cultivation and environmental crimes such as water pollution, water diversions and poaching to the CalTIP hotline by calling (888) 334-2258 or texting information to “TIP411” (847411).

CDFW Seeking Grant Applications For Hispanic Fishing Program

The following is courtesy of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife:

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) is now accepting grant applications for fishing programs, classes and activities that educate and engage Hispanic communities. This grant program is part of CDFW’s ongoing angler recruitment, retention and reactivation (R3) effort to increase fishing participation statewide.

To be eligible for funding, programs must be:

  • Ethnically inclusive: Events will be open to families of all races/ethnicities with bilingual Spanish-English instruction, materials and outreach.
  • Family-focused: Program will encourage participation across multiple generations and genders.
  • Metro-centric: Program will encourage focus in California metro areas.
  • Focused on multiple opportunities: Program will provide multiple opportunities for the same audience to participate in fishing activities.
  • Program should promote good stewardship toward the state’s aquatic resources and include information on angler funded (i.e. Sport Fish Restoration Act) conservation projects.

The funds are made available from the George H.W. Bush Vamos A Pescar™ Education Fund. The fund supports the Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation’s (RBFF) Hispanic initiative, Vamos A Pescar™. To further the reach and facilitate partnerships at the local level, funds are provided for state agencies to match and sub grant to local 501(c)(3) organizations. With the help of donations from companies and organizations, this fund has continued to grow and expand nationally to keep future generations educated about the joys of fishing and boating and the importance of conservation.

Interested 501 (c)(3) organizations should review the RBFF George H.W. Bush Vamos A Pescar™  Grant Guidelines, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife blank grant agreement template and then complete both the California Department of Fish and Wildlife grant application and the RBFF George H.W. Bush Vamos A Pescar™  application. Completed application packets containing both applications should be sent via email to no later than 5 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 6, 2019.

Proposals will be ranked by CDFW staff and submitted to RBFF for review by their advisory board. The advisory board will choose the final grant recipients by Jan. 17, 2020 and CDFW will notify recipients soon thereafter. Final decisions on the program are subject to the availability of state matching funds.

Central Valley Salmon Numbers Of Returning Fish Look Solid

Central Valley salmon might be in the middle of a water war in California, but for now, the returns look pretty solid from a statistical standpoint on rivers such as the Mokelumne, American, Feather and Sacramento.  Here’s Dan Bacher of the Stockton Record with more: 

A total of 10,009 salmon have gone over Woodbridge Dam in Lodi on the Mokelumne to date, according to Will Smith, manager of the CDFW’s Mokelumne River Fish Hatchery. Last year a total of 12,078 fish were counted over the dam.

“We’re having a good, above normal season, although anglers have reported slow fishing in the river,” Smith said. “We will probably see around 14,000 to 15,000 fish in the river this season; last year the count was around 18,000.”…

Likewise, large numbers of salmon are showing at the Feather River Fish Hatchery in Oroville. “It’s a really, really good year at the hatchery, although the fish are later than normal,” said Ana Kastner, hatchery manager.


An Upland Bird Bonanza In California

The following is courtesy of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife:

The holidays begin early for many California hunters with the Saturday, Nov. 9 openers for pheasant, wild turkey and the second dove season.

Ring-necked Pheasant

The pheasant opener on the second Saturday of November remains a strong tradition for many families. The flush of a wild, cackling, rooster pheasant is one of nature’s most thrilling moments.

The good news is that some of the best pheasant habitat in California is found on state wildlife areas and federal wildlife refuges open to public hunting.

Several CDFW Type A wildlife areas are especially popular with wild pheasant hunters, including Upper Butte Basin, Yolo Bypass, Los Banos, North Grasslands, Grizzly Island and Gray Lodge. These areas are all open to pheasant hunting on their normal Saturday, Sunday and Wednesday waterfowl shoot days during the pheasant season.

In addition, all three units of the Upper Butte Basin Wildlife Area – Little Dry Creek, Howard Slough and Llano Seco – along with Gray Lodge Wildlife Area will be open to a special pheasant hunt the first Monday of the pheasant season – Veterans Day, Nov. 11 – to provide additional hunting opportunities.

Type A wildlife areas in the San Joaquin Valley – Los Banos, Mendota and North Grasslands – will be open for pheasant hunting only on waterfowl hunt days during the pheasant season.

Several federal wildlife refuges are also popular destinations for pheasant hunters, including the Sutter, Colusa, Delevan and Sacramento national wildlife refuges. These refuges are open to pheasant hunting on their normal Saturday, Sunday and Wednesday waterfowl hunt days during pheasant season. Additionally, Colusa, Delevan and Sacramento national wildlife refuges will be open to a special pheasant hunt in their spaced waterfowl blind and assigned pond areas the first Monday of pheasant season.

The San Luis National Wildlife Refuge in Merced County will open a portion of its Freitas Unit to pheasant hunting on opening weekend only, Nov. 9 and 10. The spaced blind area within the Kesterson Unit will open for a special one-day wild pheasant hunt on Monday, Nov. 11. Pheasant hunting is permitted in the free roam area of the San Luis Unit on the regular Saturday, Sunday and Wednesday waterfowl shoot days during the duration of the wild pheasant season.

At the Kern National Wildlife Refuge, hunting is not permitted on Sundays. Pheasant hunting at this refuge is available on the free roam waterfowl hunt areas on Saturdays and Wednesdays beginning Nov. 9 and continuing through the duration of pheasant season.

The Tule Lake National Wildlife Refuge and the Lower Klamath National Wildlife Refuge in northeastern California are home to some of the most robust wild pheasant populations in the state. They are open daily for pheasant hunting throughout the season.

The 2019 general pheasant season runs from Saturday, Nov. 9 through Sunday, Dec. 22. The daily bag limit is two males per day for the first two days of the season and three males per day thereafter. The possession limit is triple the daily bag limit. Shooting hours are from 8 a.m. to sunset.

Wild Turkey (Fall Season)

The chance to provide a wild turkey for Thanksgiving dinner is strong motivation for many fall turkey hunters. The fall season runs from Saturday, Nov. 9 through Sunday, Dec. 8, and – unlike in the spring season – both males and females may be taken. The daily bag limit is one turkey of either sex with a season and possession limit of two birds.

For the first time, fall turkey hunting will be available to the public at several northern California national wildlife refuges.

Turkey hunters have several new opportunities in 2019 as the Sutter, Sacramento, Delevan and Colusa national wildlife refuges will open to fall turkey hunting for the first time. Turkey hunting will be permitted in the waterfowl free roam and pheasant hunting areas only at the refuges during their normal Saturday, Sunday and Wednesday waterfowl shoot days during the turkey season.

Shooting hours are from one-half hour before sunrise to sunset.

Second Dove Season

California’s second dove season runs from Saturday, Nov. 9 through Monday, Dec. 23. The second dove season offers cooler weather, fewer crowds and the chance for a mixed bag of species – quail and rabbit, for example – that often share the same habitat.

Limits remain the same as the early season: Mourning dove and white-winged dove have a daily bag limit of 15, up to 10 of which may be white-winged dove. The possession limit is triple the daily bag limit. There are no limits on spotted dove and ringed turtle dove. Hunting for Eurasian collared dove is legal year-round and there is no limit. Shooting hours are from one-half hour before sunrise to sunset.

In addition to public hunting opportunities available at state wildlife areas and federal wildlife refuges, CDFW offers special hunts at the Upland Game Wild Bird Hunts page and through the SHARE program, which provides public hunting access to private land or other landlocked properties. New hunters should visit CDFW’s Apprentice Hunts webpage for additional pheasant hunting opportunities.

Additional Requirements

Both a valid hunting license and upland game bird validation are needed to hunt pheasant, turkey and dove. An upland game bird validation is not required for junior license holders, but all hunters are required to have a Harvest Information Program (HIP) validation when hunting migratory game birds such as mourning dove and snipe. A wildlife area hunting pass is required for adults to hunt on a Type A state-operated wildlife area and national wildlife refuge. Please check with the individual property for specific details and regulations on each area.

Please note that nonlead shot is now required when taking any wildlife with a firearm anywhere in California. Hunters need to plan accordingly. For more information, please see the CDFW nonlead ammunition webpage.


Coalition Sends Letter To Raise Concerns Over Delta Discharges

The following is courtesy of the Pacific Coast Federation of Fisherman’s Association:

San Francisco, Calif. — November 6, 2019 – Today the Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen’s Associations led a coalition of fishing organizations, tribes, and environmental groups in sending a letter to the Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board condemning plans to extend permitting of the Grasslands Bypass Project (GBP).

After two decades of promises to cease toxic discharges of selenium and other contaminants into the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, the Bureau of Reclamation and the Regional Board are poised to sanction a quarter century of continued toxic discharges into the Delta via the GBP. These discharges frequently exceed numerous water quality criteria. Allowing decades of relaxed standards will impact the entire aquatic food chain, endangered and commercially harvested salmon, migratory birds, recreational fisheries, and communities that rely on the Delta for drinking water.

The GBP commenced operations in 1995 as a two-year program. Its initial federal use agreements have now been extended three times, and the project has been granted numerous waste discharge waivers. All of the permits, environmental reviews, and findings that supported these use agreements were predicated on zero discharge at the end of each agreement’s term: first for 5 years, then 10 more years, and then 10 additional years. All that time—25 years in total—polluted discharge from the GBP confirmed to exceed toxicity thresholds was either entirely exempt from meeting protective water quality standards, or only required to meet relaxed, greatly reduced standards. Furthermore, over that 25-year-period the GBP steadily reduced both its monitoring of polluted discharges and its record of compliance .

The Newsom and Trump Administrations’ non-compliant proposed action comes despite a court ruling at the 9th Circuit earlier this year, which found that commingled stormwater and agricultural discharges are not exempt from the National Pollution Discharge Elimination System.

“Fishermen and coastal communities have been dealing with the mess from upstream polluters for decades. The result is poisoned waterways, fish stocks at a fraction of historic levels, and losses to salmon fishing jobs and California’s own seafood resource,” said Noah Oppenheim, executive director of PCFFA. “Meaningful solutions for these agricultural discharges are adequate wastewater treatment and implementing the land retirements that have been called for by federal agencies for decades, not continued dumping into public waterways. Governor Newsom has a real opportunity to avoid cementing a toxic legacy for the Delta and California’s fishing communities that rely on clean water by abandoning this course of action.”

A public hearing on the RWQCB’s proposed action will be held on December 5th.


The Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen’s Associations is the largest commercial fishermen’s organization on the West Coast, representing 17 local and regional associations from Santa Barbara to Southeast Alaska. As a major commercial fishing industry trade association, PCFFA represents the interests of commercial fishing families who make their living harvesting and delivering high-quality seafood to America’s tables.

Snake Fungal Disease Detected In Amador County California Kingsnake

The following is courtesy of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife:

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) has confirmed the state’s first case of Snake Fungal Disease (SFD) in a California kingsnake (Lampropeltis californiae) from Plymouth, Amador County. The snake, which was emaciated and suffering from severe skin disease, was found by a member of the public on the side of the road and submitted for rehabilitation to Tri County Wildlife Care. Given its poor prognosis and the potential presence of SFD, the snake was humanely euthanized by CDFW’s Wildlife Investigations Laboratory and sent to the University of Illinois, where post-mortem examination and testing confirmed it was infected with the Ophidiomyces ophiodiicola fungus that causes SFD. In addition, this week the fungus was detected on the skin and in tissues from a Florida watersnake (Nerodia fasciata pictiventris) found deceased and collected by CDFW from Folsom, Sacramento County, suggesting the original case was not isolated.

SFD is a newly emerging disease in snakes. Cases may be mild to life-threating. Visible signs may include scabs, skin ulcers or nodules, crusted scales, discolored scales, cloudy eyes and a swollen or disfigured face. The infection may cause the upper layer of infected skin to shed repeatedly. Affected snakes are often emaciated, possibly due to decreased ability to capture prey, and often rest in open, unprotected areas where they are exposed to adverse weather and predators.

Florida watersnake with Snake Fungal Disease
Florida Watersnake with Snake Fungal Disease

The Ophidiomyces ophiodiicola fungus lives in soil and can be transmitted to snakes through skin abrasions or through direct contact with other infected snakes. SFD can also be passed from mother to offspring at birth in some species. Snake species that share dens may be at higher risk than solitary species.

First characterized in 2008, SFD has been detected in more than 30 snake species in the U.S. and Europe. The fungus is present in at least 23 states, primarily in eastern states and the Midwest, although in 2018 it was also detected in Idaho and in southern Ontario, Canada. This detection in California is the furthest west the disease has been confirmed.

Although SFD has caused significant mortalities in species of conservation concern, such as the Timber Rattlesnake (Crotalus horridus) and federally threatened Eastern Massasauga (Sistrurus catenatus), other species may only exhibit mild infections.

It is unknown if SFD will impact snake populations in California. CDFW will be working with wildlife rehabilitators, academic and agency partners, and others who work with snakes to increase surveillance for SFD in California and implement appropriate precautions to minimize risk for human-caused spread among snakes. There is no evidence that SFD is transmittable from snakes to humans.

Although members of the public should avoid directly handling or disturbing snakes, they can assist CDFW’s efforts by reporting sightings of snakes with skin sores or unusual behavior.

As a reminder, releasing any animals that have been in captivity, even temporarily, requires prior written approval by CDFW.

More information on SFD is available at:

Recreational Dungeness Crabbing Opened Today; Commercial Season Delayed South Of Mendocino/Sonoma

The following  press releases are courtesy of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife:

As thousands of recreational anglers await the start of the statewide sport season for Dungeness crab on Saturday, Nov. 2, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) is advising anglers not to consume the viscera of crab caught in two coastal areas due to the presence of domoic acid.

In a health advisory issued today, CDPH advises recreational anglers not to consume the viscera (guts) of Dungeness crab caught from Shelter Cove in Humboldt County (40° 01.00? N. Lat.) south to Point Arena in Mendocino County (38° 57.50? N. Lat.) and from Point Reyes in Marin County (38 ° 00.00? N. Lat.) south to Pillar Point in San Mateo County (37° 30.00? N. Lat.).

Domoic acid is a potent neurotoxin produced by a naturally occurring marine diatom (algae). Under certain ocean conditions large blooms of these diatoms occur and then accumulate in Dungeness crab. At low levels, domoic acid exposure can cause nausea, diarrhea and dizziness in humans. At higher levels, it can cause persistent short-term memory loss, seizures and death. Please remember to eviscerate any crab caught in these regions prior to cooking. This reduces the risk of domoic acid poisoning. Check the CDPH Domoic Acid webpage for the latest crab test results.

Beginning at 12:01 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 2, recreational crabbers are limited to a daily bag and possession limit of 10 crabs that are at least 5 ¾ inches in width as measured by the shortest distance through the body from edge of shell to edge of shell directly in front of and excluding the points (lateral spines).

Dungeness crab may be caught using hoop nets, crab traps, crab loop traps (crab snares) or skin and scuba divers may take them by the use of the hands only.Crab trap buoys must display the owner’s “GO ID” number as assigned by the Automated License Data System and the trap must contain at least one destruct device. Whenusing another person’s trap, written permission, including permission transmitted electronically (i.e. email or text), from the owner of the trap must contain the GO ID number that matches the GO ID on the buoy and must be in the operator’s possession in order to operate the trap.

Minimizing the risk of whale and turtle entanglements remains a top priority of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW). CDFW recently requested the Fish and Game Commission consider regulations to reduce the risk of entanglements in recreational Dungeness crab fishing gear. The Commission’s Marine Resources Committee will discuss and consider possible management recommendations at its meeting on Nov. 5 in Sacramento.

CDFW strongly encourages anglers to follow the Best Fishing Practices Guidedeveloped by the California Dungeness Crab Fishing Gear Working Group. Voluntary actions anglers can employ include keeping the line between the pot and main buoy taught and vertical, reducing the amount of vertical line at the surface, avoiding setting gear in the vicinity of whales and turtles, and marking gear consistent with regulations.

More information:


CDFW Director Issues Preliminary Determination to Delay Commercial Dungeness Crab Season South of Mendocino/Sonoma County Line

California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) Director Charlton H. Bonham has issued a preliminary determination that the Nov. 15, 2019 start date for the California Dungeness crab fishery south of the Mendocino/Sonoma county line poses a significant risk of marine life entanglement. The anticipated management response is a delay of the opening of the commercial Dungeness crab fishery in that area from Nov. 15 to Nov. 23, 2019.

Under the authority of section 8276.1(c)(1) of the Fish and Game Code, the Director may restrict take of commercial Dungeness crab if there is a significant risk of marine life entanglement due to fishing gear. As required in Fish and Game Code, section 8276.1(c)(4), the Director is providing 48 hours’ notice to the California Dungeness Crab Fishing Gear Working Group and other stakeholders.

“In making this determination, we considered the input of the Working Group and its advisors through a structured decision-making process in which diverse interests were represented including fishing, environmental and management agencies,” said Director Bonham.

Before enacting the proposed management measure, Director Bonham will consider any recommendations or new information provided by 5 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 4, 2019. Anyone with recommendations and information related to this preliminary determination should submit it to by that deadline.

In addition to this preliminary determination of delay due to a significant risk of whale entanglements, additional delays are possible due to human health risks or poor crab quality. Through the course of the crab season, CDFW will engage regularly with the Dungeness Crab Fishing Gear Working Group to review scientific information and monitor and adapt to the risk of whale entanglements. Based on that process, CDFW could take future management actions. For more information related to the preliminary determination of delay please visit CDFW’s Whale Safe Fisheries page.

For more information on Dungeness crab, please visit