California Department of Fish and Wildlife

Get Hooked on the Marine Region and MLPA Websites!

computer screen showing DFG logo

by Aaron Del Monte, Marine Region Webmaster

For the latest information on fishing regulations, marine resources, and news affecting our California coastline, your first stop should be the Department of Fish and Game Marine Region website. This comprehensive information source currently contains well over 2,000 web pages and documents readily available to the public. If you are new to this website, we invite you to explore the valuable resources we have created. For those who have already visited the site, be sure to check back regularly, since new features, updates, and press releases are added every week. Here are some recent, noteworthy updates:

DFG Announces Changes to 2012 Ocean Sportfishing Regulations from Point Conception to the Mexico Border Effective Nov. 1: DFG is limiting fishing depths in the Southern Groundfish Management Area to reduce interactions with cowcod. DFG's action follows a recommendation made by the Pacific Fishery Management Council at its September meeting.

South Coast and North Central Coast MPA Guide Distribution Locations: Looking to pick up a handy MPA reference? These pages list businesses, DFG offices, and other locations that distribute DFG's Guide to the Southern California Marine Protected Areas and Guide to the North Central California Marine Protected Areas, which include maps, coordinates, shoreline boundary images, and regulations for MPAs.

California Spiny Lobster Fishery Management Plan: DFG is moving forward with the development of a fishery management plan for California spiny lobster, which supports important commercial and recreational fisheries and plays a key role in the southern California kelp forest ecosystem. These pages include documents and presentations from recent meetings.

Shellfish and Finfish Health Advisories: This page contains announcements from the California Department of Public Health and additional information regarding health advisories from consuming California finfish, shellfish and crustaceans.

Here are some of our most popular pages:

2012-2013 Ocean Sport Fishing Regulations Booklet: This is the 2012-2013 Ocean Sport Fishing Regulations Booklet (in PDF format) that was distributed in March 2012. The bookmarked PDF file features red bookmark headings which denote sections that have changed or are new for 2012. This page also contains the 2012-2013 Freshwater and Ocean Sport Fishing Regulations Supplement, distributed in June 2012.

California Ocean Sport Fishing Regulations Map: Going ocean fishing? This should be your first stop. Simply click the marine location where you plan to fish and you will access a compact list of sport fishing regulations for that area. The pages are printer-friendly, so you can print the regulations and take them with you on your next fishing trip. These pages are updated frequently, so you can be assured that they contain the most up-to-date information.

Invertebrate Management Project: The Invertebrate Management Project monitors and manages important commercial and recreational marine invertebrate fisheries occurring primarily in the nearshore environment of California's marine waters. These web pages contain expansive information about abalone, crabs, sea urchin, California spiny lobster and other marine invertebrates.

Calendar of Events: The Marine Region Calendar of Events contains information about events of interest to the public, including meetings, public events, and notable changes to ocean fishing regulations. Each listing includes a link to additional information.

Thank you for using the Marine Region website as a resource for news, information and regulations. We hope you will visit our site again soon!

The Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) Website

The 1999 MLPA directed the state to design and manage a network of marine protected areas (MPAs) in order to, among other things, protect marine life and habitats, marine ecosystems, and marine natural heritage, as well as improve recreational, educational and study opportunities provided by marine ecosystems. This website contains up-to-date information about this exciting endeavor, including these popular resources:

South Coast Marine Protected Areas: California's new and improved Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) network in the south coast region (Point Conception in Santa Barbara County to the California/Mexico border) went into effect January 1, 2012. The south coast MPA network encompasses 37 new or modified MPAs, plus the pre-existing 13 MPAs and two special closures located at the northern Channel Islands. This page contains summaries of the regulations and boundaries for each MPA, plus links to maps.

North Coast Study Region: The MPA planning process has been completed in the north coast study region (California/Oregon border to Alder Creek near Point Arena in Mendocino County) and nineteen MPAs, one State Marine Recreational Management Area and seven special closures were adopted by the Commission. The north coast MPAs and special closures are not expected to go into effect before 2013.

MPA Mobile Website: This website allows anglers, divers and other ocean users to look up current information about MPA regulations and boundaries from personal computers, as well as smartphones and other portable Internet-enabled devices. Users can search for any current MPA by name or county, or by using the interactive map. Users can also find and track their current location via GPS and determine whether or not they are currently located within an MPA.

Return to the October 2012 Issue