Next Dive Club Outing

July 16 - 18

Mylandia camping on the North Fork of the Yuba river

Nothing but heat and beautiful scenery - contact Pete


In Other Ocean News:

Successful Abalone Checkpoints Conducted Along North Coast

The California Department of Fish and Game conducted two abalone checkpoints on California's north coast on June 16 and 17.

Both checkpoints were slower than usual due to rough ocean conditions.

One checkpoint in Navarro, Mendocino County, was conducted by 21 game wardens and one State Park ranger. Members of the Mendocino Abalone Watch group assisted with game bag checks and directing traffic. Officers made contact with 409 divers and issued 10 citations for violations including over-limits of abalone, failure to complete abalone report cards and properly tag abalone, and possession of undersized abalone. Wardens are working with the Mendocino County District Attorney's office to investigate two individuals who came through the checkpoint with 78 immature marijuana plants (each approximately 18 inches tall).

At Russian Gulch in Sonoma County, 20 officers including game wardens and State Park and county park rangers contacted 563 divers. Officers issued 16 citations for over-limits of abalone and turban snails, abalone report card violations and possession of undersized greenlings, short abalone, abalone out of shell and illegally harvested abalone.

Free Fishing Day - July 2nd

Free Fishing Day, statewide. On this day, people may fish California's waters without a sport fishing license. All regulations, such as bag and size limits, gear restrictions, report card requirements, fishing hours and stream closures remain in effect. Every angler must have the appropriate report card if fishing for steelhead, sturgeon, or salmon in the Smith and Klamath-Trinity River systems. More information at www.dfg.ca.gov/licensing/fishing/freefishdays.html

California Outdoors Q&A: Turning a Waterski Kneeboard into an Abalone Diving Rig?

Question: What is the definition of a boat or vessel? I ask because I am altering an old waterski kneeboard into a specialized abalone diving rig with a small anchor so I can accurately place my board closer to abalone. It's a smaller version of a surfboard. It has no sails, rudders, oars or motor but does have an anchor. The anchor will be a marker for me to follow down on my next breath. I am wondering though if by adding this anchor I am making it into what will be construed to be a vessel?

Answer: There is no prohibition against using a kneeboard instead of a float tube, which is much more common for abalone. A diver may use an anchor on a float tube or kneeboard if they choose to, but most just tie a line to a piece of kelp to keep the tube in place. What you describe is a legal device to access an abalone diving spot as long as you are not using SCUBA equipment. A kneeboard would not be considered a boat or vessel so you will not need to tag your abalone and fill out your card until you return to shore.

Abalone Pearls - Can They Be Legally Bought and Sold?

Question: I saw an abalone pearl for sale on Craig's List. Is this legal? I always thought no part of the abalone may be bought, sold, traded or bartered when taken under a California sport fishing license. What does the Department of Fish and Game (DFG) and California law say regarding abalone pearls? My understanding is the pearl is not part of the mollusk but instead a foreign object that got stuck in the gonad or between the shell and the meat. Any help would be much appreciated. (Matt M.)

Answer: You are correct. Unless the abalone was taken by licensed California commercial divers prior to the 1997 commercial abalone fishing ban, or purchased from a commercial abalone aquaculture operation, then it is a violation to sell the shell or any other part of the abalone. It is legal to import the pearls for sale if they comply with commercial fish laws regarding importation. Therefore, it would be incumbent upon the jeweler/individual offering the pearl for sale to have documentation that they obtained the pearl legally.


Abalone Data

Question: Since the introduction of the abalone report card, fishermen must now enter on the card the area where the abalone was taken. At the end of the season, these cards are mailed in to the DFG. Can you tell me if there is a report available that would tell me the quantity of abalone that are taken from the different areas that are listed on the report card?

Answer: Yes, it is available on the Marine Region website at the following link: www.dfg.ca.gov/marine/pdfs/abcatch02-09.pdf



Salt Point Ocean Conditions removed from homepage - they haven't updated it since November 2010. If they start to keep it current again I'll repost it.


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