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 Panulirus interruptus.
(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.
  (3) Octopus.
  (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 the lobsters.
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 commission.
  (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 dollars ($265).
  (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 background.
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 Point.
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.