Article 9. Salt-water And Anadromous Fish Generally of California Fish And Game Code >> Division 6. >> Part 3. >> Chapter 2. >> Article 9.
(a) Any striped bass, salmon, or sturgeon, if alive, that is
taken in any type of net in any district shall be immediately
liberated from the net by the fishermen and immediately returned to
the water without further harm.
(b) Any striped bass, salmon, or sturgeon that is taken in any
type of nets in any district shall be removed from the net by the
fisherman and immediately returned to the water, regardless of the
condition of the fish.
(c) The holder of a commercial fishing license shall not have in
his or her possession, except when releasing fish from the net, any
striped bass, salmon, or sturgeon, whether dead or alive, at any time
when conducting netting operations or when going to or from those
(d) Fish returned to the water in accordance with this section is
not deterioration, waste, or spoilage of fish for purposes of Section
Striped bass and salmon may be sold or offered for sale only
under the following conditions:
(a) If the striped bass is taken or possessed by, and is the
cultured progeny of, an aquaculturist who is registered under Section
15101, that striped bass may be sold or purchased subject to
regulations of the commission.
(b) If the striped bass is taken legally in another state that
permits the sale of that fish and if the fish is lawfully imported
under Section 2363, the striped bass may be possessed, sold, or
(c) If the salmon is taken legally in another state that permits
the sale of salmon, and is lawfully imported consistent with Section
2361, the salmon may be possessed, sold, or purchased.
(d) If the salmon is taken in accordance with Article 4
(commencing with Section 8210.2), the salmon may be possessed, sold,
Kelp bass, sand bass, or spotted bass, all of the genus
Paralabrax, shall not be sold or purchased, or possessed in any place
where fish are purchased, possessed for sale, or sold, or where food
is offered or processed for sale, or in any truck, vessel, or other
conveyance operated by or for a place so selling or possessing fish;
except that those fish may be imported into this state pursuant to
Article 1 (commencing with Section 2345) of Chapter 4 of Division 3,
and may be sold under regulations as the commission may adopt. It is
unlawful to take, possess, or sell any fish less than 10 1/2 inches
in length of the species specified in this section.
No yellowfin croaker, spotfin croaker, or California corbina
may be sold or purchased, or possessed in any place where fish are
purchased, possessed for sale, or sold, or where food is offered for
sale, or in any truck or other conveyance operated by or for a place
so selling or possessing fish.
Yellowfin tuna and bluefin tuna may be taken at any time.
No bluefin tuna weighing less than 7 1/2 pounds may be sold,
purchased, or processed.
Albacore may be taken at any time.
(a) Pacific bonito less than 24 inches fork length or five
pounds in weight shall not be taken or possessed on any vessel at any
time for any commercial purpose, except as follows:
(1) A load of bonito taken on a vessel by the use of round haul
nets may contain 18 percent or less by number of bonito smaller than
the minimum size.
(2) A load of fish taken on a vessel by the use of gill nets or
trammel nets may contain 1,000 pounds or less of bonito smaller than
the minimum size per trip.
(b) Pacific bonito smaller than the minimum size, incidentally
taken, may be used for any purpose.
Pacific bonito shall be measured from the tip of the lower
jaw to the center of the fork of the tail fin.
Skipjack may be taken at any time.
(a) Giant seabass (Stereolepis gigas) may not be taken for
any purpose, except that not more than one fish per vessel may be
possessed or sold if taken incidentally in commercial fishing
operations by gill or trammel net. Any fish so taken shall not be
transferred to any other vessel.
(b) The restrictions specified in this section shall not apply to
1,000 pounds of giant seabass per trip taken in waters lying south of
the International Boundary Line between the United States and Mexico
extended westerly into the Pacific Ocean. Fish taken under this
provision, however, shall be limited to a maximum aggregate of 3,000
pounds per vessel in any calendar year. A current fishing permit
issued by the Mexican government constitutes valid evidence that the
giant seabass were taken south of the international boundary.
It is unlawful to take grunion (Leuresthes tenuis) except
between June 1st and March 31st.
Barracuda and yellowtail not less than 28 inches in length
may be taken with hook and line at any time.
It is unlawful to take, possess, sell, or purchase any
white sea bass less than 28 inches in length, measured from the tip
of the lower jaw to the end of the longer lobe of the tail.
No barracuda or yellowtail less than 28 inches in length may
be sold or purchased, except that not more than five barracuda and
five yellowtail per day may be possessed by the holder of a
commercial fishing license for noncommercial use if taken
incidentally in commercial fishing.
No person holding a commercial fishing license while on any
barge or boat which for hire carries any sport fisherman may take or
have in his possession in any one day more than the aggregate number
of the following kinds of fish permitted in the case of sport
fishing: bluefin tuna, yellowfin tuna, skipjack, yellowtail, marlin,
broadbill swordfish, black seabass, albacore, barracuda, white
seabass, bonito, rock bass, kelp bass, California halibut, California
corbina, yellowfin croaker, and spotfin croaker.
Barracuda and yellowtail shall be measured from the tip of
the lower jaw to the end of the longer lobe of the tail.
From May 1st to August 31st, inclusive, all of the following
(a) For any one person to have in his or her possession on any
boat, barge, or other vessel more than 500 pounds of yellowtail.
(b) For any two or more persons to have in their possession on any
boat, barge, or other vessel a combined weight of more than 500
pounds of yellowtail per person.
(c) For any five or more persons to have in their possession on
any boat, barge, or other vessel a combined weight of more than 2,500
pounds of yellowtail.
(a) No female angel shark measuring less than 42 inches in
total length or 15 1/4 inches in alternate length and no male angel
shark measuring less than 40 inches in total length or 14 1/2 inches
in alternate length may be possessed, sold, or purchased, except that
10 percent of the angel sharks in any load may measure not more than
1/2 inch less than the minimum sizes specified herein.
(b) Angel shark total length shall be measured from the anterior
end of the head to the tip of the tail while the fish is lying in a
position of natural repose. When measuring total length or alternate
length, the tip of the tail may be laid flat against the surface of
the measuring device. Angel shark alternate length shall be measured
from the point where the leading edge of the first dorsal fin meets
the back to the tip of the tail. Angel sharks may be constrained from
lateral movement during measurement by restraining devices approved
by the department.
(c) Angel sharks taken in gill or trammel nets shall be landed
(brought ashore) with at least one intact pelvic fin and the tail fin
(d) Angel sharks taken in gill or trammel nets shall not be
transferred to or from another vessel, except that angel sharks may
be transferred to or from vessels with a department observer on
board. An observer shall observe and make a written record of that
(a) A person shall not take, possess, sell, or purchase for
commercial purposes any leopard shark less than 36 inches in total
(b) Notwithstanding subdivision (a), leopard sharks less than 36
inches in total length possessed by a person for aquarium display on
or before January 1, 1994, may be retained by that person if a letter
declaring that the shark was legally obtained prior to January 1,
1994, is provided to the Sacramento office of the department on or
before January 1, 1995.
(a) Herring eggs may only be taken for commercial purposes
under a revocable, nontransferable permit subject to such regulations
as the commission shall prescribe. In addition to the license fees
provided for in this code, every person taking herring eggs under
this section shall pay a royalty, as the commission may prescribe, of
not less than fifty dollars ($50) per ton of herring eggs taken.
(b) Whenever necessary to prevent overutilization, to ensure
efficient and economic operation of the fishery, or to otherwise
carry out this article, the commission may limit the number of
permits which are issued and the amount of herring eggs taken under
(c) In limiting the number of permits, the commission shall take
into consideration any restriction of the fishing area and the safety
of others who, for purposes other than fishing, use the waters from
which herring eggs are taken.
(d) Every person operating under a permit issued pursuant to this
section is excepted from the provisions of Chapter 6 (commencing with
Section 6650) of Part 1 of Division 6 for aquatic plants taken
incidental to the harvest of herring eggs.
California halibut (Paralichthys californicus) may be taken
at any time.
No California halibut may be taken, possessed, or sold that
measures less than 22 inches in total length. Total length means the
shortest distance between the tip of the jaw or snout, whichever
extends farthest while the mouth is closed, and the tip of the
longest lobe of the tail, measured while the halibut is lying flat in
natural repose, without resort to any force other than the swinging
or fanning of the tail.
(a) Except where subdivision (b) has been complied with,
marlin meat, whether fresh, smoked, canned, or preserved by any
means, shall not be bought or sold, or possessed or transported for
the purpose of sale.
(b) Notwithstanding the provisions of subdivision (a) of this
section, black marlin (Makaira Indica) may be imported into this
state for the purpose of processing (manufacturing) a product
commonly known as fish cakes for human consumption. All black marlin
(Makaira Indica) imported into this state must be in an identifiable
condition and accompanied by a bill of lading, showing the name of
the consignor, the consignee, and the weight or number of fish
shipped. A copy of the bill of lading must be delivered to the
nearest office of the department either prior to or no later than two
days after receipt of the fish. No black marlin (Makaira Indica)
imported into California may leave the premises of the original
consignee unless written permission is received from the department,
or unless processed into the form of the product commonly known as
Swordfish shall not be taken, possessed aboard a boat, or
landed by a person for commercial purposes except under a valid
swordfish permit. At least one person aboard the boat shall have a
swordfish permit issued to that person that has not been revoked or
suspended, subject to regulations adopted by the commission.
The fee for the permit issued pursuant to Section 8394 is
three hundred thirty dollars ($330). This permit fee does not apply
to the holder of a valid drift gill net shark and swordfish permit
required under Article 16 (commencing with Section 8560) of Chapter
(a) Upon the recommendation of the director regarding
management measures for surfperch of the family Embiotocidae, the
commission may adopt regulations to manage the commercial surfperch
resource and fisheries consistent with Part 1.7 (commencing with
Section 7050), including, but not limited to, adoption of changes to
the prohibitions imposed under subdivision (b).
(b) Except as may be authorized under subdivision (a), surfperch
of the family Embiotocidae may be taken only between July 16th and
April 30th, except shiner surfperch (Cymatogaster aggregata), which
may be taken, sold, or purchased at any time. Surfperch may be sold
or purchased only between July 16th and May 10th, except as may be
authorized under subdivision (a). South of a line drawn east and west
through Point Arguello, barred surfperch, redtail surfperch, and
calico surfperch may not be taken for commercial purposes, except as
may be authorized under subdivision (a). Surfperch of these three
species that have been taken north of the line during the open season
and shipped south of the line may be sold or purchased under those
regulations that the commission may prescribe.
It is unlawful to take fish for commercial purposes in that
portion of Tomales Bay in District 10 between a line drawn from the
most northern tip of Tomales Point northeast, 47 magnetic, to the
opposite shore in the vicinity of Dillon Beach, and a line drawn west
from the western tip of Tom's Point, 252 magnetic, to the opposite
eastern shore of Tomales Point.
This section does not apply to the taking of oysters by persons
licensed under Article 4 (commencing with Section 6480), Chapter 5,
Part 1, Division 6, from their allotted areas.
North of Point Conception, squid may be taken the year
around; however, the commission may adopt regulations specifying the
days of the week and the times of the day when squid may be taken.
(a) In District 10, it is unlawful to engage in the
(1) Attract squid by a light displayed from any vessel, except a
vessel deploying nets for the take, possession, and landing of squid
or from the seine skiff of the vessel deploying nets for the take,
possession, and landing of squid.
(2) Attract squid by a light displayed from any vessel whose
primary purpose is not the deployment, or assisting in the
deployment, of nets for the take, possession, and landing of squid.
(3) To encircle any vessel, other than by the seine skiff of a
vessel deploying nets for the take, possession, and landing of squid,
while that vessel is engaged in the taking of squid.
(b) For purposes of this section, "seine skiff" means a vessel
that is not licensed by the federal government or registered by the
Department of Motor Vehicles, that is used to assist a larger
federally-licensed or state-registered fishing vessel by assisting in
the deployment and retrieval of nets and the landing of fish, and
that travels with that larger fishing vessel at all times, that is
used solely at the direction of the operator of the larger fishing
vessel, and that is owned by the owner of the larger fishing vessel.
(a) California killifish (Fundulus parvipinnis), mudsuckers
(Gillichthys mirabilis), and yellowfin gobies (Acanthogobius
flavimanus) may only be taken for commercial purposes with baitfish
traps in the tidewaters of Districts 3 1/2, 4, 4 1/8, 4 3/4, 16, 17,
and 21, in the tidewaters of District 10 south of the City and County
of San Francisco, in the Salton Sea, and in Imperial and Riverside
(b) Shiner perch (Cymatogaster aggregata), staghorn sculpin
(Leptocottus armatus), mudsuckers (Gillichthys mirabilis), and
yellowfin gobies (Acanthogobius flavimanus) may only be taken for
commercial purposes with baitfish traps in Districts 11, 12, and 13
and in the tidewaters of Districts 2 and 2 1/2.
(c) Any unauthorized species taken incidentally in baitfish traps
in the districts specified in subdivisions (a) and (b) shall be
(d) Baitfish traps, as described in Section 9020, may be used
subject to Article 1 (commencing with Section 9000) of Chapter 4.
(a) To the extent not in conflict with Section 8607, marine
species of fin fish which are classified as groundfish may be taken
under the regulations of the commission.
(b) Marine species of fin fish, including, but not limited to, fin
fish which are classified as groundfish, may be taken with fin fish
traps, subject to Article 1 (commencing with Section 9000) of Chapter
4, under regulations of the commission. The regulations may limit
the number of fin fish traps which any vessel may use, designate the
areas in which the traps may be used, and prescribe other limitations
on the use of fin fish traps.
(c) Any other species not otherwise prohibited may be taken in a
fin fish trap.