Article 5. Lobster of California Fish And Game Code >> Division 6. >> Part 3. >> Chapter 2. >> Article 5.
As used in this code, "spiny lobster" refers to the species
(a) Subject to this article and Article 1 (commencing with
Section 9000) of Chapter 4, a lobster trap, as described in Section
9010, may be used to take lobster for commercial purposes under a
lobster permit issued pursuant to Section 8254.
(b) The following species may be taken incidentally in lobster
traps being fished under the authority of a lobster permit issued
pursuant to Section 8254, and any other species taken incidentally
shall be immediately released back to the water:
(1) Crab, other than Dungeness crab.
(2) Kellet's whelk.
(c) Spiny lobsters taken in the manner commonly known as
skindiving or by a person using self-contained underwater breathing
apparatus shall not be sold.
Spiny lobsters may be taken only between the first Wednesday
in October and the first Wednesday after the 15th of March. Lobster
traps may be set and baited 24 hours in advance of the opening date
of the lobster season if no other attempt is made to take or possess
No spiny lobster less than three and one-quarter inches in
length measured in a straight line from the rear edge of the eye
socket to the rear edge of the body shell, both points to be on the
midline of the back, may be taken, possessed, purchased, or sold.
Every person taking spiny lobster shall carry a measuring device
and shall measure any lobster immediately on removal from his trap
and if it is found to be undersize the lobster shall be returned to
the water immediately.
It is unlawful to pickle, can, or otherwise preserve any
spiny lobster, but spiny lobsters may be preserved by freezing and
may be cooked for consumption in the fresh state.
(a) Lobsters shall not be taken for commercial purposes
except under a valid lobster permit issued to that person that has
not been suspended or revoked, subject to regulations adopted by the
(b) Every person who takes, assists in taking, possesses, or
transports lobsters for commercial purposes while on any boat, barge,
or vessel, or who uses or operates or assists in using or operating
any boat, net, trap, line, or other appliance to take lobsters for
commercial purposes, shall have a valid lobster permit.
(c) The permit fee for a lobster permit is two hundred sixty-five
(d) The fee for a lobster crewmember permit is one hundred
twenty-five dollars ($125).
(e) For the purposes of this section, it is prima facie evidence
that lobster is taken for commercial purposes if the possession of
lobster is more than three times the sport bag limit.
When a complaint has been filed in a court of competent
jurisdiction charging a holder of a commercial lobster permit with a
violation of Section 8251 or 8252, and no disposition of the
complaint has occurred within 90 days after it has been filed in the
court, the department may suspend the commercial lobster permit of
the person. The permitholder whose permit was suspended under this
section may, within 10 days after the receipt of the suspension
notice from the department, request a hearing, and, within 20 days
after the request has been made, a hearing shall be held by the
commission. A decision shall be made within a reasonable time on
whether the suspension of the permit shall be terminated or continued
until the disposition of the complaint by the court. In determining
whether to terminate or continue the suspension of the permit, the
commission shall consider whether or not the violation could have a
detrimental effect on the resources and whether or not a continued
suspension of the permit is in the best public interest, and shall
find whether there is sufficient evidence that a violation has
occurred. A failure to make a finding that there is sufficient
evidence that a violation has occurred or a finding that there is
insufficient evidence shall terminate the suspension of the permit
under this section. If the permitholder is acquitted of the charges
or the charges against him or her have been dismissed, any suspension
of the permit is thereby terminated. No complaint shall be filed in
a court charging a commercial lobster permitholder with a violation
of Section 8251 or 8252 unless evidence supporting the charge has
been reviewed by the appropriate county or city prosecuting agency
and a criminal complaint has been issued by that agency.
The permit number of the person owning or in command of any
boat used to take lobster shall be visibly displayed on both sides of
the boat in 10-inch black numbers, one inch wide, on a white
Lobster traps may be used to take spiny lobster in Districts
18, 19, 20A, and those portions of District 20 lying on the southerly
side of Santa Catalina Island between Southeast Rock and China
Whenever it is necessary to prevent overutilization or to
ensure efficient and economic operation of the fishery, the
commission may limit the number of permits that may be issued
pursuant to this article. As it determines appropriate to protect the
resource, the commission may limit the number of permits on a
statewide basis or within selected geographical areas.