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March 30, 2006

DFG Announces Expanded Ocean Bottomfishing Opportunities for Sport Anglers

The Department of Fish and Game (DFG) today announced that it will extend the 2006 recreational groundfish (bottomfish) season...

The Department of Fish and Game (DFG) today announced that it will extend the 2006 recreational groundfish (bottomfish) season in many areas of the state.
 
"The California Recreational Fisheries Survey is the best scientific method available for evaluating catch in our recreational ocean fisheries," said DFG's Director Ryan Broddrick. "Just as was the case in 2005, the Department will continue to make additional fishing opportunities available when the changes are supported by accurate data."

These in-season regulation changes are based on complete 2005 sport catch data received from the new California Recreational Fisheries Survey (CRFS) and are made under the authority granted to the Director by the Fish and Game Commission. Catch data show that these additional opportunities are possible while still remaining within state and federal harvest quotas.

As a result, the following seasons and depth restrictions, listed by management area are:
 
Northern Management Area (Oregon border to 40 degrees 10 minutes north latitude)
* Rockfish, cabezon, greenlings (RCG Complex) and other federal groundfish (other than lingcod): Open to boat-based anglers from May 1 through Dec. 31 in waters from 0-30 fathoms (0-180 feet).
* Lingcod: Open to boat-based anglers from May 1 through Nov. 30 in waters from 0-30 fathoms (0-180 feet).

North-Central Management Area (40 degrees 10 minutes north latitude to 37 degrees 11 minutes north latitude)
* RCG Complex and other federal groundfish (other than lingcod): Open to boat-based anglers from July 1 through Dec. 31 in waters from 0-20 fathoms (0-120 feet).
* Lingcod: Open to boat-based anglers from July 1 through Nov. 30 in waters from 0-20 fathoms (0-120 feet).

Monterey South-Central Management Area  (37 degrees 11 minutes north latitude to 36 degrees north latitude)
* RCG Complex, other federal groundfish (other than lingcod), California sheephead and ocean whitefish: Open to boat-based anglers from July 1 through Dec. 31 in waters from 0-20 fathoms (0-120 feet).
* Lingcod: Open to boat-based anglers from July 1 through Nov. 30 in waters from 0-20 fathoms (0-120 feet).

Morro Bay South-Central Management Area (36 degrees north latitude to 34 degrees 27 minutes north latitude)
* RCG Complex, lingcod, other federal groundfish, California sheephead, ocean whitefish and California scorpionfish: Open to boat-based anglers from May 1 through Sept. 30 in waters from 0-40 fathoms (0-240 feet).

Southern Management Area (34 degrees 27 minutes north latitude to the Mexico border)
* RCG Complex, other federal groundfish (other than lingcod), California sheephead, ocean whitefish and California scorpionfish: Open to boat-based anglers from March 1 through Dec. 31 in waters from 0-60 fathoms (0-360 feet), except during September and October when fishing is restricted to waters from 0-30 fathoms (0-180 feet).
* Lingcod: Open to boat-based anglers from April 1 through Nov. 30 in waters from 0-60 fathoms (0-360 feet), except during September and October when fishing is restricted to waters from 0-30 fathoms (0-180 feet).

Other than lingcod, these species are open to divers and shore-based anglers year-round in all areas of the state.

Director Broddrick reminded anglers that fishing opportunities could be restricted later in the year if new CRFS data show that species are being caught at levels higher than allowed.